It's an Ideal World to Become Who You Are (12.31.10)
I've mentioned before that I'd never heard such a spellbinding speaker. He would weave together such an unusual combination of subjects, and somehow it would all make perfect sense at 3:00AM -- psilocybin, brain chemistry, Joyce, Whitehead, Jung, chaos theory, temporal resonance, morphic fields, linguistics, mysticism, anthropology, art, none of it seemingly "forced." Although it was definitely odd, it was no doubt genuine. It was just his unique vision.
I remember at the time wishing intensely that I could somehow become like that, but in my own way. In hindsight, I now realize that throughout my life I've had a number of "ideals" that I've been able to activate and make my own by first locating them outside myself. This is the only way I can explain certain otherwise inexplicable things that have happened to me -- or skills that I have acquired -- during my life. It is as if we really do attract and become that which we "love" or idealize; as such, there is great spiritual danger in idealizing the wrong kind of thing or person, because you will become that as well.
Terence McKenna was definitely a vital stepping stoner on the way up and back to my Self. In turn, I hope this blog can provide this service for others. I realize that some readers sort of "idealize" me in a way. It makes me uncomfortable, but I suppose it's okay so long as I merely represent the exteriorization of something that is becoming active in you -- a memoir of your own future Self, so to speak.
Joseph Chilton Pearce has discussed this in at least a couple of his books. I have no time to dig them out, but he points out that we are born with a unique psychic blueprint, which may be thought of as an in-built "expectation" for certain kinds of experience. (Here you go -- this was pretty good, The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit.) The blueprint is like the lock, while the experiences, or external models, are like the key that unlocks it and gives it content. In fact, Jung speaks of the archetypes -- e.g., the Great Mother, the anima, the "wise old man," the crone, etc. -- in the same way. Bion called them "preconceptions," or "empty categories" awaiting and anticipating certain experiences that will automatically "make sense" on a deep level when we have them. Your "soul mate" is not just a person, but a whole world -- a world that you paradoxically co-create in discovering it.
Of particular interest is the archetype of the Self, which is your own unique constellation of factors -- as unique as your face. When you consider the fact that the billions of people who have lived and died have all had unique faces, and yet, have more or less been psychologically "faceless," you've hit on one of the enduring tragedies of life, i.e., that most people are condemned to die before they are even born.
In One Cosmos, I don't explicitly delve much into politics at all, but if there is a coonfluence between my political and spiritual views, this is it. For if the purpose of life is to realize one's archetype, then the ultimate value of a culture or nation or political movement will be the degree to which it either impedes or makes this realization possible (see page 180): "We must each of us, in our own way, fight for the cultural circumstances that make intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth possible, because most cultural circumstances actively suppress our growth as human beings."
As such, any purely materialistic political philosophy will be a non-starter. I never say that "Republicanism" is any kind of ideal. Far from it. It's just that the left is so incredibly dangerous and destructive to human ends, that it must be opposed, just as the Islamofascists must be. In the case of the latter, their great evil is the same: the systematic smothering of our spiritual individuation. To force women to live in bags -- i.e., to deprive them of their face -- is a terrifying metaphor of what they do to the soul, which is to say, bury it in darkness. Likewise, radical feminism sophicates the beautiful archetypal feminine form in an airless black bag of faceless ideology.
At any rate, all of the archetypes are collective save for one, which is your unique Self, and which is yours to keep as a consolation prize for this difficult journey we call life. Now, presuming there is a Creator, each person represents a unique "problem of God," something spoken of by Sri Aurobindo. And this is where we can run into a bit if trouble with institutionalized, "big box" religions, which can tend to cater to a psychological "type" rather than the individual. It doesn't have to be this way, any more than a Big Mac has to taste the same at every McDonalds in the world, but it's amazing how you can get people to choose things that aren't in their interests with enough salt and fat.
Now, there was clearly a time when it was necessary for institutionalized religion to be geared toward the collective, since it wasn't too long ago that what we call the modern individual Self did not exist -- or at least for only a very few lucky souls. If you don't believe me, try digesting Charles Taylor's 600 page explanation, Sources of the Self, followed by his latest offering, A Secular Age, and get back to me. I think he pretty much covers the waterfront on that topic.
The problem is, how do you have a timeless and unalterable truth geared toward individuals? In reality, it's not a problem at all -- it's like asking how can you have a thing called "life," and yet, all these diverse species. Or how can consciousness exist with all these individuals walking around calling themselves "I." Who is the real I?
Likewise, who is the real God? The answer may surprise you. In fact, if it doesn't surprise you, it's probably the wrong answer. More on that later. But to say that God knows the number of hairs on your head is a way of saying that he values your uniqueness.
Now, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Bolton says what amounts to the same thing in his Keys of Gnosis: "Because of the presence of its immanent principle or 'divine spark,' the soul can thus align itself with forces and influences which share its true nature, or it can align itself with forces which are alien to it and which tend to make it more and more a part of a physical system in which individuality would ultimately be lost."
Precisely. The exertion of free will becomes relevant here, for "the less free the will is, the more it functions simply in reaction to outside forces with standard responses to standard stimuli and stimulations." This is the Big Mac person, whom it is so easy for Demogogocrats to control. In all of their policies and pronouncements, they are always speaking to this type of unthinking McDullard. Occasionally the MSM gets hip to the spell, but then they fall right back to sleep, since the platitudes of contemporary liberalism speak to them on a very deeply shallow level, no matter how much they admit it to themselves.
A free will is a will that doesn't react, but acts. I think we'll be getting into this more deeply later in the week, but this is the true meaning of "turning the other cheek." For example, if someone pulls a knife on you, it is perfectly acceptable to pull a gun on them, so long as the act is not "kind for kind" on an emotional or spiritual level. This is a spiritually perilous area, and one must "walk the razor's edge" to not fall into the trap of retaliation, even while administering disinterested cosmic justice, for if done in the wrong spirit, then the wrong will return to you. I mentioned this last year, in reference to the barbarous spirit in which Saddam was put to death, in contrast to the sober manner in which Americans do the necessary deed. Those folks who were whooping it up are asking for it, karmically speaking.
Let's take some examples that come readily to mind. Liberals fantasize that we invaded Iraq for purely imperialistic reasons, or for reasons of "revenge." In fact, America never does this. Rather, it's as if we say: "if you attack us, we will force you to have democracy, liberty, free markets, and all sorts of other good things, so you'd better think twice." This is the very opposite of the type of purely talionic, punitive response which would have been carried out by ancient Rome, or the Soviet Union, or the Muslim world. Look at Israel. If they responded to the Palestinian savages in kind, they would simply eliminate them from the face of the earth and be done with them. There is no "cycle of violence" there. That's absurd.
Look at Germany and Japan. We conquered them in order to liberate them, fully in keeping with the deeper meaning of turning the other cheek. If we had responded in kind, then we would have simply destroyed them. Thus, when liberals fantasize about America being an "evil empire," it is simply a projection of their own spiritually debased state. Their talionic feelings toward President Bush could not be more childishly transparent. They really would like to torture and kill him. I mean, I've read threads in which they glory in the hope that his former spokesman will suffer and die of colon cancer, or that Dick Cheney will have a debilitating stroke. These are frightening souls existing in a very hellish dimension that they have chosen for themselves.
Now, back to free will. Bolton writes that three conditions are necessary in order to be "capable of consistent and self-originated activity.... namely, the physical strength necessary for it, a practical knowledge of what the action involves, and finally a relation of the actions to values and long-term purpose, not to accidental needs and whims."
Hmm, he forgot to mention sufficient time, of which I am now out.
Cooncidentally, Mrs. G. has a post that touches on today's topic, In Memory of My Mother in Spirit, who passed away two days ago.
Oh, and while I'm thinking of it -- being the end of the year and all -- I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who purchased books and things through the amazon links on the blog. To my surprise, it definitely adds up, basically providing enough in amazon coupons to keep me in books, which in turn provide the fodder for more posts as I reflect upon and dialogue with them. So keep it up, since it's for your own good!