Achieving Temporal Density in a Moral Cosmos (1.04.11)
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.