Don't Let the Darwinists Steal Your Launch Monkey
It's not an unpleasant sensation. Far from it. In fact, I enjoy going through the arkive and rewriting an old post. It's a totally different experience. I think I mentioned that when I wrote the book, I went through lengthy cycles of "reception" and "trancemission," or planting and harvesting. For reasons that should be soph-evident, it was very difficult to harvest during planting season.
But since then, it's been like one long harvest. I never assume the harvest will continue, and I keep waiting for it to stop, but I don't make up the rules. I think I might actually be in one of those temporal fractals related to Terence McKenna's Whiteheadian idea about the ingression of novelty into the cosmos.
Should I even try to explain that bit of mystagoguery? Let's just say that, like the weather, there are a multitude of cyclic temporal patterns in the psyche, and when they all align at once, you hit the slackpot.
There he goes again, trying to write a new post when I didn't intend to! Here's an updated one from last year:
Let's call the Darwinists' bluff and find out who really believes in evolution, them or us. Time to separate the men from the bonobos, the chimps from the champs, the Overman from the Olbermann.
Although I'll largely discuss this in Aurobindean terms, I obviously believe we're talking about universal principles, so I don't think it's all that difficult to put them in a Christian context. For example, as Paul expressed it, there are the milk drinkers and the meat eaters (and he didn't even get into lactose-intolerant people such as Bill Maher or Charles the Queeg, who produce all that gas when they try to digest spirit):
"And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?"
Mere manhood. For the purposes of argument -- even though it is a priori absurd -- let us stipulate that natural selection could get you that far, i.e., from dirt to man. That being the case, how does one account for the further evolution -- which takes place in the span of a single lifetime, not eons of random errors -- into higher and more subtle planes of reality?
Paul provides a hint, noting that humans must water and till the field (↑), but that "God gives the increase" (↓). We a-spire but God in-spires (spire meaning both breath and spirit, or pneuma). Or, you could say that our every inhalation is God's exhalation (hale being related to health and wholeness; if not, it ought to be). God himself has no expiration date, as his re-spiration is the rhythm of eternity and the heartbeat of existence.
Through this eternal respiration, God's energies course through every vein, artery, and capillary of the cosmos -- unless, of course, you have hardening of the categories, or atheo-sclerosis. The latter ultimately ends in a heart attack, except that it is you who have attacked your own heart, you heartless bastard.
Now, there are two great fields of evolution, which Genesis discusses in terms of the "upper waters" and "lower waters." It doesn't really matter what you call them, so long as you understand that there is a vertical scale in creation, with a "principial" realm above (i.e., the world of immutable principles, ideas, and archetypes) and a manifested world below.
What makes man unique -- among other things -- is that he is consciously aware of living in both worlds; in a sense, he has his feet on the earth and his head in the stars, i.e., the celestial realm. There was a time that even most scientists took this for granted, but no longer. Confusing method with ontology, the materialist has his feet in the clouds and his head up his ass, proctically speaking.
As man ascends the cosmic scale of evolution, on the one hand he interiorizes, colonizes, and assimilates more and more of the higher planes; at the same time, he exteriorizes what he has assimilated, in the form of culture. In one sense, you can view culture as the debris left behind marking man's evolutionary journey -- paintings, poems, symphonies, novels, game shows, whatever.
Let's say man disappeared from the face of the earth, but all his cultural artifacts were preserved and left behind. If some interplanetary anthropologist dropped down for a visit and rummaged through our stuff, what would he think about our long, strange trip from cave paintings to space shuttle?
In Aurobindo's terminology, the purely human realm ends with Mind. The divine realm is called Supermind. But there is no -- nor could there be any -- absolute gap between Mind and Supermind, just as there can be no gap between fetus and adult or ape and man; but again, the continuity comes from above, not below.
This vertical continuity is a result of a divine descent, not a material ascent -- the latter of which is strictly impossible. Matter doesn't "ascend" anywhere, or it wouldn't be matter. But matter does have horizontal continuity, which is why it is reducible to one giant ocean of undulating energy (which is a material analogue of the Divine sea of being).
And the reason why science is even possible is because of the horizontal continuity of creation -- which is another way of saying that we live in a Cosmos, or ordered totality, that is uniform throughout. This is why we just "know" that the physical laws we discover are universal, both in time and space. This assumption of science is rooted in faith, but the faith is hardly inconsistent with Reason. Rather, like all genuine faith, this is "preconceptual knowledge," or the "unthought known" awaiting fertilization and realization; it is the great waiting-womb of the unborns.
Now, mythological rumor has it that the upper and lower hemispheres "are separated by a 'golden lid,' which in some traditions is called 'the Gate of the Sun'" (Van Vrekhem) or "the threshold of the great Raccoon den in the sky" (Toots Mondello). Furthermore, "it is on this dividing zone above Mind and below Supermind" that we find four distinct levels of further evolutionary advance. Paul lumps them all together by referring to them as the carnivorous realm of "meat," but there are naturally different grades and cuts of meat. And there are different restaurants and churches that cater to different tastes, everything from mooseburgers to filet mignon. There are even churches that can make tofu look like meat, such as the Unitarians. But they don't fool anyone.
We discussed one of these levels the other day, that is, the "higher mind," or mind of light. One of Aurobindo's central ideas was that it was necessary for human beings to evolve toward the higher mind in order to literally build an evolutionary bridge between Mind and Supermind, otherwise the gap is just too vast.
I mean, some individuals have managed to span the distance -- we call them saints and mystics -- but if increasing numbers of human beings don't begin to occupy and live out of these higher realms, I personally don't see much of a future for man. Rather, in order to survive, he must literally begin to colonize these higher zones, just as he once colonized and developed the earth. (And just as it was once necessary for man to colonize the worlds of science and reason -- and still is necessary for most cultures.)
In fact, this is one of those intrinsic distinctions between the left and the true conservative, of which there aren't all that many. The leftist believes that unredeemed man is fine the way he is, and that it is just a matter of having a powerful enough state to manipulate conditions to make everyone happy, healthy, virtuous, and rich.
That is an insult to fairy tales.
The true conservative is primarily concerned with respecting the ontological realities of which this world is a derivative copy. He is concerned with permanent, which is to say, eternal things, and a culture is only "good" to the extent that it allows the individual to freely discover and conform to these higher realities.
But the higher realms are more than just the source of absolute morality. And this ontological space again contains gradations, which it must, on pain of being unreachable by humans. As God "descends" into existence, the "ray of creation" becomes increasingly diluted, so to speak, from the celestial light to the darkness of matter. Van Vrekhem writes that
"If the Supermind is symbolized by a Sun and the lower hemisphere by an ocean, then the rays of the sun penetrate the surface of the ocean and illumine its highest layers till the water gradually becomes darker and finally completely dark." Now, the higher levels of the water represent the upper limit of mind. For example, my cyberstalking troll cannot penetrate realms beyond mind, but that is not to say that he is devoid of light. To the contrary, all light is ultimately of the Light, even the light that darkens the atheist mind! But as Aurobindo wrote, "mind is a passage, not a culmination."
The point is, the mere mind of the milk drinker -- or lost vegan -- sees "through an ocean, darkly," and must rise into the light and air above the surface. Again, this first stop toward our deustination is what we call "higher mind," or the mind of light.
If there was a time that you didn't understand my writing -- or Schuon, or Unknown friend, or any other skywalking pneumanaut -- but now you do, it's simply because you are at the very least floating your boat on the surface of the lower waters with your toes dangling above. Give yourself credit. You are no longer a big fish in a very small pond -- like a Queeg, or the tenured mediocrities of baracademia -- but a humble fish in the upper ocean of truth, light, being, and bliss. Would you -- could you! -- ever go back into those skanky, lizard infested waters? No, of course not, any more than you would want to revert to breast milk for your nutrition.
Let's talk about these upper ontological stories and storeys of the cosmos. Again, they are anterior to us, like unknown but real territories that are yet to be inhabited by more than a few. And, just like geographical territories, the borders between them are only relatively, but not ultimately, real. You can draw a distinction between California and Nevada, or fetus and adult, or San Francisco and reality, but the distinctions are obviously not absolute.
In one sense, you could say that these higher stations correspond to the physical senses, only transposed to a higher key. For example, the "higher mind" corresponds with "hearing," the "illumined mind" with "seeing." The next stage, "intuitive mind," is analogous to touching; while the last one, Overmind, would be analogous to tasting God, as in the one taste of Buddhism.
(See p. 257: "Ananda chance to sat down at the last resort and enjoy a little moksha before somarise. Sorry, menyou have only one taste. Whoops, where'd ego?")
I'm not particularly interested in writing about the upper, upper stories, the tip-toppermost of the poppermost of the cosmic eschalator, any more than I want to teach quantum physics to my four year-old. At this point in history, it is much more important that a larger number of people merely colonize the higher mind, especially in America, which must lead the way. In other parts of the world -- such as the Islamic world -- it is critical that they merely colonize the lower mind, because they've got a long way to go in that respect (there are also various levels of lower mind that are conceptualized by developmental psychologists in diverse ways).
As I discussed in the Wholly Coonifesto, one of the keys to beginning the vertical ascent is to realize what Aurobindo calls the "psychic being" behind the ego. You might say that it is our true self, or soul, that identifies with whatever level we happen to be at. It is what accounts for the continuity in our lives, despite the incredible discontinuity between child, man, and beyond. It's why you still feel like the same person even though you aren't.
The soul, which is a general principle, is individualized in man. Indeed, it is why we are individuals, or at least capable of so becoming. You might say that the psychic being is our unique soulprint, or "spiritual personality"; where soul is indistinct -- like consciousness -- the psychic being is distinct, just as consciousness as such is refracted through the lens of individual brains. The soul couldn't really evolve in the absence of the psychic being. The latter "temporalizes and individualizes what is eternal in potentiality, transcendent in essence, in this projection of the spirit." Soul is present in other animals, but only in man is it "individualized and given shape" by the psychic being.
This is why each person -- potentially, anyway -- is as unique as a snowflake; and one reason why collectivism is therefore an "ontological sin." One godly man makes a majority. In a certain very real way, each person is his own species, and therefore a unique "problem of God." Which in turn is why man is condemned to transcendence, and why he must perpetually shed himself in order to become himself. So don't let the apes steal your meat money, or you'll end up nothing but monkey meat.