Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Achieving Temporal Density in a Moral Cosmos (1.04.11)

How'd that happen? It was 5:00, then Bob looked up again and it was 7:30. But Bob was still in bed. Only a speed post from me, Bob's unconscious, can save us now.

For me, the most provocative chapters in Bolton's Gnosis have to do with the cosmic law of "action and reaction" and how this relates to providence and fate. Until modern times, religion had more to do with trying to "control" external circumstances, an idea which became increasingly untenable for most people with the rise of science. As a result, religion became more of an "interior" pursuit for extreme seekers, essentially applying to consciousness but not matter, so to speak. With the rise of quantum physics this has changed somewhat, since it seems that it is possible to reduce matter to a form of conscious energy, i.e., a shakti your system. But still, it seems that mainly fundamentalists and new agers (e.g., "The Secret") think they can directly influence external events in a magical way.

Bolton provides a new way to think this through, and to steer a course between what amounts to deism -- that is, a God who got the universe underway but has a hands-off policy thereafter -- and the "cosmic bellhop" of popular mythology, i.e., a God who magically fulfills our every wish like a liberal politician.

Most Raccoons would insist that.... No, let's not say "God," because in my opinion, that just confuses things. The word is so saturated, that it has implicit conclusions that foreclose the exploration before it's even begun. This is why Bob employed the symbol "O" in his book, so that it could "accumulate" meaning based upon actual experience, rather than imposing a meaning we don't intend. This is for the purpose investigating the mindmatter in a more "scientific" manner, free of unnecessary preconceptions that cloud our perception.

You might say that O begins "empty," but gradually becomes God as we fill it out with our own experience. In this regard, it is critical that the experience be ours, not someone else's, otherwise we are simply "thinking with someone else's head," something that is fine for most disciplines but a cul-de-slack when it comes to real spiritual growth.

First of all, as Bolton points out, one cannot deny the fact that scripture makes numerous references to the law of action and reaction (henceforth, "the law") -- that is, the idea that we reap what we sow, that those who live by the sword shall die by it, "forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors," etc. In a word, karma. The Bible is filled with references to karma -- that what goes around comes around, and that evil will be punished and good rewarded.

Obviously we all want this to be true, but is it true in fact? It seems that most people conclude that it can't possibly be true -- that everywhere the wicked flourish and the decent are punished. Therefore, in order to maintain the belief in a just cosmos, reward and punishment must take place on some post-mortem plane. Certainly I am willing to believe this, on purely transrational grounds alone. Of course, its easier for me to believe it, since I am unconscious, and the unconscious mind works along very different, atemporal lines, than the conscious mind. As your unconscious, I am always meting out reward and punishment in ways that appear mysterious to you, your conscious mind.

More generally, if the very structure of the universe proves to us that it must have been created, and that its creator must unnarcissarily be good, then goodness must somehow prevail "in the end." In short, we have no difficulty whatsoever in accepting ontological arguments that the cosmos must be moral through and through, even if it's often in a very indirect way due to the hierarchical complexity of manifest existence, both spatially and temporally.

Furthermore, the cosmos is obviously not a machine and man is clearly free. If the cosmos were a machine, then we would see an immediate relationship between cause and effect on the moral plane. You'd do something bad, and a lightning bolt would come down and strike you from the sky. Pathological liars like Bill Clinton or Al Gore would no sooner open their mouths than drop dead. If morality operated in this instantaneous manner, then we wouldn't actually be morally free in any meaningful way. Rather, we'd just be good to avoid the punishment. No one would be good for goodness' sake. Then there'd be no Santa Claus. Either that, or every morning would be Christmas, with gifts everywhere for yesterday's good deeds.

It is interesting that materialists naturally accept the existence of cause and effect on the material plane, and in fact, reduce all of reality to this mechanical realm. And yet, they deny the possibility of anything similar on the moral plane, which is one more reason why their metaphysic is so incoherent. But if we turn the cosmos upside down -- which is to say, right side up -- then we can see that material cause and effect is simply the "residue" of the first cause, which must be above, not below. You cannot derive free will from materialism, but you can derive matter from a freely willed universe. And as Bob mentioned yesterday, humans can only exercise freedom in a universe that has a stable foundation, so to speak, i.e., predictable boundary conditions.

Speaking of foundations, I'm beginning to run out of time here, so I've merely laid one. But I think most senior Raccoons -- assuming you weren't too much of complete a-hole before you realized you were one -- will have noticed that as you come into closer proximity to O, you also "shorten" the distance between cause and effect on the moral plane. Bob mentioned this in the Coonifesto -- I don't have time to look it up at the moment, but he makes the common observation that as one draws closer to O, the synchronicities begin piling up fast and furious, and the Law becomes more apparent. Something happens to time, whereby it "thickens" and we begin to intuit all sorts of causal connections operating along different, immaterial timelines. Eventually it begins to look as if our life were more of a conspiracy than the workings of a lone nut.

That's all I'll say at the moment. I'm outta here.

30 Comments:

Blogger CrypticLife said...

"If morality operated in this instantaneous manner, then we wouldn't actually be morally free in any meaningful way. "

So, morality can't operate in this instantaneous manner you describe. How long a delay does one need between the act and the punishment/reward so that free will is not compromised?

1/02/2008 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

God only knows....;)

That's why faith takes over.

1/02/2008 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said "So, morality can't operate in this instantaneous manner you describe. How long a delay does one need between the act and the punishment/reward so that free will is not compromised?"

Nah. The delay depends on the nature of the act, and Free Will is never compromised.

Personally, I think the fundamental (or maybe fundaspiritual) damage is done immediately... the full realization (not necessarily the in the perceptive sense, but in the being brought into Reality, seen and/or unseen, sense) of the deed may not occur for some while.

Sort of like letting go of a cookie jar from the height of your counter, roof top or the edge of a cliff - the fundamental breach happens immediately as grounded support is severed - but depending on what it was released above, the perceptible effect, the smashup is going to be delayed, but it's definitely coming.

The other part is, that I think when we look for physical effects (lightening, justice, etc) we're looking in the wrong place. If there is a hereafter, your physical state and comfort is obviously not of big importance to it, seeing as though you can't take it with you.

The damage, and the benefit, occurs within you, in your ability to experience and embrace Truth. That, IMHO (yeah...right!) is what is instantly impacted, separated from a grounded support in Truth, and the disintegration spreads and accumulates, and may or may not be manifested visibly, but where it counts, it Counts, for Good or ill.

Free Will is never compromised, you are free to mentally/spiritually integrate or to disintegrate at all times, and there is a cause and an effect, it's just probably not going to be Realized in the manner you might expect.

1/02/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

-

1/02/2008 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Cryptic, it's not that morality can't operate this way, but rather that it very rarely does operate this way, at least on a level that is obvious to the unObservant.

1/02/2008 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Quite apart from my daily rummaging through the elegant fecund trash heap that is One Cosmos, I mentioned to a colleague(another rich capitalist pig) that I was thinking about reading more about quantum physics. This conversation took place about an hour ago. I tune in to OC and the first paragraph today contains a reference to...

OK. Enough about that.

Female Raccoons: you may be interested to know that Smoov has finally located (we think) an appropriate wife. She is Catholic, and a high-ranking UN delegate (I know, I know -- but it's not like that, really, I assure you).

This could be the real deal. She's not a co-ed (yikes) and she does not want me for my money.

1/02/2008 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

Karma may not happen in this lifetime. It's your soul that is impacted, not your physical body. Although, I have observed the "instant karma" phenomenon on occasion ie; someone driving recklessly to pass my slow moving truck only to drive into the lagoon a few miles down the road.

1/02/2008 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Smoov,
Just make sure she isn't only after your Polyani.

Just sayin'

(Congrats!)

1/02/2008 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

...um... or you Polanyi...

(sheesh)

;-)

1/02/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Furthermore, the cosmos is obviously not a machine and man is clearly free. If the cosmos were a machine, then we would see an immediate relationship between cause and effect on the moral plane. You'd do something bad, and a lightning bolt would come down and strike you from the sky. Pathological liars like Bill Clinton or Al Gore would no sooner open their mouths than drop dead. "If morality operated in this instantaneous manner, then we wouldn't actually be morally free in any meaningful way. Rather, we'd just be good to avoid the punishment. No one would be good for goodness' sake. Then there'd be no Santa Claus. Either that, or every morning would be Christmas, with gifts everywhere for yesterday's good deeds."

Excellent, BU!
In a nutshell, that explains why "bad" things happen to "good" people.

When people say "why or how could God allow evil to exist," they don't realize that God is Justice, and Justice must allow moral liberty, or He wouldn't be Justice.

All that God is, and all we can potentially be, hinges on Liberty and Freedom.

Otherwise, we would all be merely redheaded stepford children.
Aye robots, programmed to do "good."
Only it wouldn't really be good, because goodness, and for that matter, truth, justice, beauty, nobility, decency, honor and love,
cannot exist without moral freedom.

1/02/2008 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Crypto-
As usual you miss the point entirely.
Re: temporally dense. Which is what you are, materially.

Another irony just passed you by.

1/02/2008 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Coongratulations, Smoov! :^)

1/02/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Ben -

Do I detect a certain "rapidity" in the repetitive nature of your posting? Does this tell us anything about the machine in your personal cosmos?

Hah??

1/02/2008 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Heh! You win the kewpie doll, Walt!
I was just gettin' ready to post about the new 'puter. :^)

1/02/2008 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

It's a Raccoon thing: ya gotta be quick on the draw!

1/02/2008 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here's a You Tube clip of Terence McKenna. You can get a sense of why this guy was so entertaining to listen to in a sleep-deprived state at 3:00AM. True, he was crazy, but also a genius. I don't agree with many of his theories, but he definitely fired my imagination and helped vault me over the rainbow and out of Kansas.

1/02/2008 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

i realize i'm on the extreme edge of "out of the loop" but according to my reading, didn't smoov just start looking for a wife... recently?

remarkable...

or maybe it was a post i read from a while back, recently. i shall research the matter.

well mr. smoov congrats on the good ...what you call it... wife-finding? sounds good. ;) !

1/02/2008 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Lucky Smoov. I've always wanted to ride on the chrome horse with my diplomat.

1/02/2008 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob Z's unconscious said...

Who carried on her shoulder a siamese cat?

1/02/2008 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Thanks, Ben, I don't know that I would have felt fulfilled if someone here hadn't lobbed a vague insult in my direction.

I am a bit more interested in the processes leading up to the point and the peripherals around it than the point itself. But thanks for pointing out my temporal density.

1/02/2008 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Congrats, Smoov - I hope she's the real deal!

1/02/2008 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob said,
“…as one draws closer to O, the synchronicities begin piling up fast and furious, and the Law becomes more apparent.”

Bob, would you say it is a double-edged sword? …as in, you might also become more sensitive to the absence of O – such as the strong repelling sense coming from that cretin you mentioned yesterday. I’m still having some trouble trying to shake what came through his words...

1/02/2008 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Something happens to time, whereby it "thickens" and we begin to intuit all sorts of causal connections operating along different, immaterial timelines. Eventually it begins to look as if our life were more of a conspiracy than the workings of a lone nut.

Whew. I thought I was really going crazy. This is happening to me right now. You need lots of faith because otherwise it is too freaky. I think I understand why it takes time to approach O. Going too fast would be scary, terrifying I think, without the proper foundation. I was scared; at least now I know whats going on, which makes me feel better even, if I'm still a little scared. Thanks Bob and company your lifesavers.

1/02/2008 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous wolfhound said...

Bob, as an eminent trickcyclist, does calling people " Assholes " not come under the heading of "limiting spiritual growth? " And wasn't"Sri"Aurobindo just another Bengali bomb thrower-literally, that is ? And does your hatred of the French fall under Richard Fords main character in " The Lay of the Land " querying American irrational hatred of the French, or do you hate the French because of the Mother ?

1/02/2008 08:04:00 PM  
Anonymous at in duluth said...

Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal...

1/02/2008 08:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Djadja said...

I’ve got a long way to go to draw close enough to O to see “the synchronicities begin piling up fast and furious,” but I’ll keep plugging away at it. Right now, the tooth and claw seems a bit disconnected from karma, instant or otherwise.

But there’s an inherent wrongness about seeing the bad prosper, summed up with the observation that they “got away with it.” You can only get away with something if there’s an expectation of justice to compare it to — a sort of gut-level, largely shared connection to cosmic law.

(If this post got sent twice, sorry about that.)

1/02/2008 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous twisted parallel universe said...

Vulfhund,

Velcome!

1/02/2008 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

whatsa dark matter
with all the dark energy
4 percent adams

1/02/2008 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Pffffttt!" "Pffffttt!" "Pffffttt!"
and
Woof.

1/03/2008 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Wow, smoov. Efficient. I've been looking for... 6 years? Phew. Sorry, just recently it came to my mind how long I've been looking.

If it is the real thing, what a blessing. I'd rather search for all time than end up with a battleaxe.

Difficult subject for me.

1/03/2008 07:07:00 AM  

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