Darwinians and Other Creationists
And remember, when we say "earth evolved life," we are obviously using "evolved" in a non-Darwinian sense, since Darwinism only applies to the already living. So Darwinism has nothing to say about the evolution of Life per se (just as it has nothing useful to say about the further evolution of consciousness toward the higher planes).
Come to think of it, is it possible to speak of the creation in the absence of creation and therefore a Creator? What I mean is that Darwinism is always sneaking in higher order concepts that its ideology won't permit, such as purpose, creativity, truth, etc. In reality, Darwinism enshrines its own form of creationism, except that it is magical as opposed to spiritual. We're all creationists. At issue is how it is possible for true creativity to occur in a dead and meaningless cosmos.
Perhaps we should first define creation. Let's see... for me, creation involves bringing something entirely novel into existence, something that certainly couldn't have occurred randomly, but only through the creative act. Therefore, all true creativity is analogous to the original creatio ex nihilo. If the Beatles hadn't created I Am the Walrus in 1967, then no one would have. Ever.
Similarly, if I don't write my posts when I do, they'll never be written, for you can never pass through the same stream of consciousness twice. Admittedly, I practice a form of extreme seeking and off-road spiritual adventure in which I suspend memory, desire, and understanding, in order to spontaneously cook up a fully half-baked post from scratch each morning, but even so, that's just pushing the creative process to the inner limits. Plus I'm too lazy to prepare.
My models in this regard are Bion and a particular teacher I had in graduate school, Dr. Panajian (through whom I first encountered Bion; I suppose I should also mention Aurobindo, who spontaneously wrote about ten books at the same time in this manner -- he called it "overmental writing"). I bring this up because I literally cannot imagine who I might have become if I hadn't met Dr. Panajian, and through him, discovered the works of Bion.
Assuming that today "I am who I am," then I might have easily not become who I am, or else become who I am not. In any event, this was one of those existential crossroads, that when you look back at your life, looks preposterously "arranged" -- perhaps as if my future self were drawing toward itself what it needed in order to be, or to transition from potential to actuality. (As the rabbis say, God spends most of his time arranging meetings and marriages.)
Before you dismiss this out of hand, we know that human development is teleological, in that it is "guided" by an end point, i.e., mature adulthood. This obviously takes place on the biological plane. By virtue of what principle can it not take place on the psychological or spiritual planes? In fact, there is no principle that forbids it, which is one of the reasons why the Raccoon stresses the importance of synchronicity -- which is not mere "coincidence." Rather, Jung's point was that it was meaningful coincidence, in particular, a coincidence that illuminates some deeper understanding, or places one on an entirely new path, or opens one up to the world of the transcendent, etc.
For example, I read something about how at the Tim Russert funeral, they played the song Over the Rainbow, and then, at the conclusion of the service, a real rainbow appeared over Washington DC. For me, that's a fascinating coincidence. But for another, it might have been a synchronicity that shattered their egoic defenses and opened them up to the transcendent plane. The latter is what counts, not the coincidence itself. In other words, if you try to inductively arrive at a spiritual worldview based merely upon cataloguing all of the weird coincidences that have occurred in your life, you'll never get there. Rather, the synchronicities must reach way down and in. They're usually connected to a deeper psycho-spiritual organizing principle.
I know for a fact that many people feel the same way about this blog, as if they were "guided" or "drawn" here. I don't know, but I do find it interesting that as soon as I abandoned myself to this process and let 'er rip (as opposed to being a more conventional blog in its first few months of existence) I drew a sort of core audience that hasn't really grown or changed much. I find that odd. And the oddness cuts both ways, because I really couldn't do this in the absence of the ideal little audience that somehow found me.
Anyway, back to Dr. Panajian, whom I believe I mentioned in at least one previous post. He was so completely different from any other teacher I had ever encountered, in that he used no notes whatsoever, but would spontaneously spin his lectures out of his own psychic substance -- in the way a spider produces a web from its own body -- for two or three hours at a time. He would slowly pace back and forth, looking as if he were focused on a reality we couldn't see. It was as if he were taking a leisurely stroll in psychic space, and just describing the landscape. He would pause to look at that small creek over there, or turn this rock over down here, in order to see what was underneath. Look! Mind parasites!
Now, I suppose anyone can "run off at the mouth." But this was obviously different, in that is was so deep and true, not to mention "hypnotic." What I mean is that there was also a certain "rhythm" to it, and I have subsequently discovered that this rhythm is one of the essential features that spontaneously occurs when one is operating in the mode of O-->(k). This is because it is not just "order out of chaos." Rather, there is a deep ordering principle at play, which reveals itself as a sort of rhythmicity.
For example, when I abandon myself to these posts, they nevertheless seem to spontaneously reveal a beginning, middle and end. I never cease to be surprised at how often the post meanders to its logical end, and I say to myself, "Oh. It's done." It doesn't happen every time, I think in part because I never know for sure how much time I have. But if left alone in an unstructured space of time, the posts do finish themselves. This also occurs in the practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Once the patient adapts to the 50 minute time frame, their unconscious often spontaneously produces a narrative that has a beginning, middle and end, and "closes itself up" by the conclusion of the hour.
Bion simply took this to a logical extreme, both in lecturing and in conducting therapy. He said that the job of the psychoanalyst was to "abandon memory, desire, and understanding" during the session, so that genuine meaning could spontaneously emerge in the session. He is the one who coined "O," in that he applied this symbol to the "ultimate unknowable reality" between analyst and patient. As they sat there together with the patient free associating -- that is, saying whatever comes to mind -- certain meanings and patterns would spontaneously form, like clouds in a clear blue sky. The job of the analyst is to notice these formations when they are "ripe" and robust enough to warrant it. This is quite the opposite of a therapist having his own predetermined structure, or (k), that he merely superimposes on O. For Bion, truth is perpetually discovered in the now.
Naturally it takes a great deal of skill, intelligence, training, and intuition to do what Bion did. After all, if most people "suspend memory, desire, and understanding," they will produce only amorphous mush -- for example, Obama when he is not guided by a teleprompter. Oddly enough, I see something quite different at work in President Bush. While liberals love to make fun of his communication style, I always see someone struggling to convert O into words. I can feel it, but he simply lacks the verbal facility to do what a Dr. Panajian could do. In fact, I don't see how any politician could do it, because it would be far too dangerous. This is why, when you see them interviewed, they are all like robots, with their pat answers. Bush is not like this, and yet, he is criticized for it. (One of the annoying things about Bill Clinton is that he is always "faking" O-->(k), when he couldn't be more transparently insincere.)
Obviously, the process is very similar to jazz, which also requires an intense amount of preparation which must then be "forgotten" in order to spontaneously create something truly novel in the moment. For that is another thing about creativity: it can only occur now.
This is why I emphasize the concept of higher non-doodling, or what the Subgenius calls "floating on the luck plane." I have discovered that only by this kind of slack-driven life can one be guided by the nonlocal attractors that are everywhere. In my opinion, it is these nonlocal attractors that are responsible for the meaningful coincidences in our lives.
Please. This is not a Newtonian universe. Rather, it is made of conscious energy, so there is no reason why there cannot be higher fields of conscious energy that guide evolution in a teleological way. In fact, no one could convince me that they do not exist, which is really the point Plato was trying to make 2500 years ago. Clearly there are nonlocal forms that guide the evolution of the human subject.
In a sense, I could say that my entire spiritual life has involved deeply immersing myself into the phase space of this or that saint or sage, which literally drew me into the same space once I made the conscious effort to "meet them halfway." And I must emphasize that this was an utterly different form of learning than mere memorization, for it was a kind of top-down learning, in which the particulars are spontaneously produced by some sort of convergence with a deeper principle. I have seen this take place over and over in my life, in which I suddenly have access to new forms of knowledge that cannot be explained by anything I have learned only in the exterior sense.
In fact, one of the reasons I was such a poor student through so much of my education, is that I was presented only with "exterior knowledge" that was of no interest to me. I just couldn't see its point. But perhaps even worse is when religion is presented in this exterior manner, which automatically trivializes it. And one could certainly say the same of psychology. Again, what made Dr. Panajian unique in my experience was his teaching -- or "trancemission" -- of the subject from the inside out.
Which is what I always try to do with the blogging. I'm sure none of you have failed to notice how our trolls inevitably come at the subject from the outside in. But you cannot get here from there, any more than you can get from matter to life, life to mind, or mind to spirit. Creatio ex nihilo only works the other way around. Otherwise you end up with nihilo ex creatio. Or let us just say that you are either a creationist or a nihilist.