Saturday, November 12, 2005

Weekend Sermon: Inward Mobility

A few years ago I had a moment of lucidity while at a video store, watching a couple of bereft humanoids milling around looking for something to download into their brain -- to furnish the dreary habitat of their soul, so to speak. They were having great difficulty determining what to rent, as they had already seen almost everything in the store. To my horror, it occurred to me that the average person has no proper imaginative life of their own, but must download programs from other people's imaginations in order to simulate having one. Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad if they were downloading Shakespeare, Dante, or Wodehouse, but most people download infrahuman tripe that enters the psyche and acts like a virus, commandeering the host, reproducing itself, and demanding more of the same kind of nourishment. You are what you eat, both physically and spiritually.

Ensnared in the dream machine that is ordinary life, human beings pass their days absorbed in the relentless spectacle of images, messages, and command hallucinations from the media that tell us what to be, want, and know. Unless you attempt to step off the carousel, you don't realize that it is actually dragging you along by the collar toward the abyss. Life passes away as if it never happened, its purpose perhaps dimly intuited but never realized.

For just as the human baby is born neurologically incomplete, the human adult is born spiritually incomplete. "Birth" for the infant is not actually signified by exit from the womb. Rather, what distinguishes human beings from the beasts is that we are born many months premature, so that psychological birth is a process extending over many months and even years of post-uterine existence.

Likewise, the birth of the adult personality in no way coincides with the birth of the higher self. Just as a baby will fail to thrive and ultimately die if not properly nurtured during its earliest years, our latent spiritual faculties will go undeveloped in the absence of the proper matrix to bring them into being.

This is what it means to be spiritually "born again" from above. There is the horizontal birth of the exterior man, and the vertical birth of the interior man. We are all carrying within us an astral fetus that may or may not come to term before the window closes and the light disappears.

In order to avoid the disaster of an astral abortion, we must detach from the false and illusory Matrix by any means necessary and plug back into the Real. Our commitment to the illusions of the Matrix is called Death, Forgetting, or Sleeping. Detaching from it is called Birth, Awakening, or Remembering.

Both the ego and the higher Self exist as "centers of gravity," like a star or large planet that draws things toward it. The ego draws people, experiences, and thoughts that validate it, just as the higher Self will draw what it requires to experience and articulate itSelf. While the lower self is very well adapted to the the exterior world, it is not necessarily equipped to perceive what touches the eternal. Moreover, as we move through life, its roots grow deeper and deeper, requiring a more complicated context to justify and nourish it.

The unregenerate exterior man will overlook all of the abundant hints, clues, and meaningful coincidences that point the way in, up, and out. For example, he may notice the beauty of the universe, but regard it as mere information rather than a secret influence manifesting from another sphere. The exterior man may even be hypnotized by this tempting beauty, which is a perfectly acceptable response as far as the Prince of this World is concerned, so long as the beauty does not stir him from his metaphysical slumber.

Therefore, before we can truly even think about what lies beyond this world, we must forge a link between our lower and higher selves, so that "vibrations" and messages from the other side can get through. These vertical influences originate from the dark side of our being, so we must begin by discerning between the two kinds of influences and building a line of transmission between the celestial and terrestrial. As you begin assimilating these influences, you will actually strengthen the center within yourself that is able to perceive them.

Again, think of your higher self as a sort of attractor in subjective phase space, pulling ideas and experiences toward it. At the very center of this attractor is an "I" that can only "am" with your help. It exists at no particular place and has a probability to be found anywhere, but only when found there. So long as it is not found, it ex-ists nowhere.

This is why God is encountered in the means available to know him. By our dwelling in God, God dwells in the cosmos, and by knowing God, we are known by him. While we are the image of the Creator, without a clean mirror, the reflected object is either obscure or seems to disappear entirely.

Your true Self is nothing less than the Whologram of your private particle that has already realized its destiny and patiently waits for the rest of you to catch up. Among other things, when you meditate or pray, you are actually making a formal appeal to your "future self" to manifest: thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

Since Birth, Awakening, and Remembering are variations on the same underlying theme, any one of these facilitates the others. You can be born again by flexing your vertical memory, or awaken by remembering your second birth. In either case, your mysterious being is paradoxically beckoning you to become more of what you already are, what you have always been, and what you are to realize in your becoming. Who you are in the fleeting now is but a fragment of an outwardly expanding ripple originating from an atemporal center where the eternal questions perpetually arise: Do you realize that I am? Do you realize who is I am? Do you realize I am that?


R. Sherman said...

Another spot on post. I'll use it to explain to the kids why we're going on yet another vacation to the mountains instead of Disneyland. That is, I wish to protect them from "command hallucinations" coming from the mouse ears and put them on the path to knowing their transcendant selves via a 10 mile hike.


D. Vision said...

Hi Bob,

Great article (as always).

I am starting a bit of a blogging effort now. Click on my name if you are interested. It's mostly technology and how it relates to political philosophy.

When I figure out how to put up my own links, I'll add one to you. Still learning now.

Goesh said...

excellant commentary, very well said! I am so blessed with parents that took me and my siblings to the library at a very early to get our cards and saw to it that we went to the library on a regular basis. When we got a television set, it was not turned on during the week. There were at most 3-4 hours of viewing on any given weekend and it was considered a treat, not a right. When we would beg for certain toys as children, we were often told to use our imaginations and play. We had a simple routine during the school year - get home and change out of our good clothes, do chores, eat supper, do homework then we have free time. We were allowed to use the phone in high school to get assistance from friends for homework and were allowed just a bit of time for socializing. Young kids did not use the phone. We were so primitive growing up in that rural area that we didn't even lock the house and left the keys in the car at all times.

annk said...

Neil Postman has (imo) an excellent take on this in "Amusing Ourselves to Death."