Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Incarnation, Discarnation, and Reincarnation

Okay, okay, a post. This one was spat out five years ago, and has never been rewordgitated. It will be as good as news to most readers. It certainly is to your early morning psychopomp.

To back up a bit, we've been spending some of our free time in a first approach at organizing the Knowa's Arkive.

No, we are not making much progress. Plus, most of 2005-2006 is pretty dispensable, in our esatimation. Sometimes we wish the blog were better known, or at least unKnown by more souls. But whenever we review what we have written, we always say to oursoph: "glad the blog wasn't better known back then!"

This one is in response to a question about reincarnation, asked in the course of an interview conducted by the improprietor of the blog Sigmund, Carl and Alfred.

Q: Do you believe in reincarnation? Do we really get another chance to “get it right?” Why?

A: Hmm... Why do I get the feeling that I have begged this question before?

Oh, wait. That's deja vu. This question is about reincarnation.

It is interesting that the Eastern, “right hemisphere” of the world regards reincarnation as a banal matter of faith, while it is a stumbling block for the Western, left hemisphere of the worldbrain. Is there a corpus colossum that can join the two hermetispheres and make sense of the concept?

As always, words are problematic and potentially misleading in discussing spiritual matters. In short, words are words, not the reality to which they point, nor the experience which they memorialize.

To start before the beginning, there is a fundamental difference between Western and Eastern approaches to philosophy, in the sense that the former generally begins and ends with knowledge by analysis and discernment, while the latter rests upon knowledge by experience and identification. (As we will see, this is more a matter of emphasis, for in reality, we cannot have the one without the other.)

For example, the touchstone of Vedanta is the Upanishads, which were written (actually, remumbled by others) by ancient rishis, or seers. As such, the Upanishads do not contain ideas that are argued but visions that were seen and experienced. Not only is this truth “seen,” but the seer comes to embody the truth so perceived.

In other words, this is transformative truth -- in knowing it, one is not the same. Naturally words must be used to convey the experience, but they mustn’t be confused with the thing in itself. This is a very different from Western philosophy, which mostly consists of ideas -- however wooly or trite -- that can be passed like an object from mind to mind.

The horizontal aspect of language is mostly reducible to a purely Darwinian explanation. But there is an irreducibly mysterious vertical aspect to language that cannot be so reduced, unless one wishes to be absurd. Most modern people don't mind being absurd, so long as they can imagine that they understand. Better to be absurd than to deal with the anxiety of not knowing. Hence, college.

It has been remarked that poets are metaphysicians in the raw, mediators between the essence of being and the miracle of knowing.

More generally, in its sacred, mythological, or poetic modes, language is the nexus between the nighttime and daytime realms. It imparts a kind of knowing, but one must not confuse this knowing with profane knowing of the linear and unambiguous variety. Just like everyday language, it reveals and discloses an "object." But it is not a three-dimensional object. Rather, it is a hyperdimensional subject-object.

Or one may think of profane language as dealing with horizontal recollection, while the type of language we are discussing involves vertical recollection, or anamnesis.

It is said that “that which is Night to all beings, that is Day to the Seer.” The typical soul is blinded by the bright and shiny objects of the waking world, while the seer is able to detect hidden connections in the night womb where events incubate before undergoing the formality of becoming in the external world. This we call the seer's catalogue.

There is a Bigstream of Life into which the particular stream of your playful lila life enters upon conception. Your life is a little eddy, so to speak, in the stream of Life, and partakes of that larger Life.

Once here, we see through a glass darkly: “on earth the broken arcs, in heaven the perfect round.” We float atop this mortality-go-round, but the stream below is full of information that links us to the whole.

Down below is a storehouse of collective memory to which we have access, and which can definitely give us the feeling that we have been here before, in particular, because spiritual growth always involves recollection -- not horizontal recollection but vertical recollection. We have a memoir of a future samething-or-Other that is already "inside" us, in our deepest, most inward being (or "beyond" us in our "highest" being. Whatever.).

Reincarnation is a way of talking about the two very different kinds of heredity that clearly operate in us: a horizontal heredity that is encoded in our genes and our culture, and a vertical heredity that seems to shape us from "above" rather than "behind."

In our view, when we talk about reincarnation, we are simply acknowledging the reality of vertical heredity. It is a way of talking about something real yet mysterious -- about that part of ourselves which not only has distinct inclinations and attitudes -- even perhaps a terrestrial mission -- but is also able to tap into a sort of knowledge base of which it has had no personal experience.

Are we really the product of two heredities? I don't know about you, but genes or no genes, I have no idea how I dropped into my particular spacetime matrix, AKA family, given the indifference and mutual incomprehension. I incarnated with very specific inclinations -- a bicosmic orientation -- that I can find in none of my relatives, either living or dead (at least until my son).

But I certainly see these connections in non-blood relations with whom I share vertical DNA.

*****

So, we apparently have a terrestrial heredity that extends back through higher primates, lower mammals, fish, plants, single cells, and across the dark abyss to insentient matter.

On the other invisible hand, we have a vertical heredity that extends through various degrees of being, all the way up until we reach Brahman, the Absolute, the One, The Father in Heaven, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and the Uncreated Slack.

Our "frontal self" comes into the world the usual way, while another part of us is imaginately conceived, or, one might say, "word made flesh."

Unlike the horizontal word of DNA and natural selection, this is the vertical word of transnatural election.

There was a time, not too long ago, when human beings were not aware of their vertical descent from above, any more than animals are. Again, if you think of our humanness as situated at the innersection of the horizontal and vertical, it took some time for Homo sapiens to realize their place in the vertical.

In fact, one cannot even know of the horizontal until consciousness has lifted us above it. Otherwise we are simply immersed in our perceptions and engulfed by the senses. But as consciousness ascends, one begins to realize that the vertical is also a world in its own right.

After all, Homo sapiens was genetically complete as long ago as 200,000 (or as recently as 100,000) years. And yet, either way, we don't see much evidence in the archeological record of "vertical liftoff" until about 35-40,000 years ago, with the sudden appearance of beautifully realized cave paintings, body decoration, musical instruments, statuary, widespread burial of the dead, etc.

Clearly, vertical liftoff had begun by then, into a nonsensuous dimension of transcendental Love, Truth and Beauty that was anterior to our arrival there. For what would motivate an erstwhile ape not just to paint, but to do so with such refined delicacy of line, shade, and contour? Why bother?

But vertical progress for humans is frequently stalled, both collectively and individually. Human beings have reached many historical impasses, or crossroads (frankly, we are in a somewhat nasty one right now).

In reality, these are not horizontal impasses. Rather, they are vertical impasses. Overcoming these world-historical obstacles is not a matter of additional horizontal evolution. That process is basically over, although recent research seems to demonstrate that some additional evolution has been going on at the margins.

But even if certain brains have been getting a little bigger or smarter, it is not our hardizontalware, but our vertical software -- or aloftware -- that counts. You can have a gifted IQ but still languish below on the vertical launch pad, a point that is obvious if you consider the sorry state of contemporary academia. Plenty of big-brained primates there, all messed up with no place to grow.

As such, past historical impasses have been broken through in one of two ways: either a vertical ascent by some great hero from this side of manifestation, or a descent of the divine energy into time or into a particular person.

The vehicle of both ascent and descent is our perfected self, unencumbered by the accidents and distortions of horizontality. It is actually already there calling you, just waiting for you to catch up.

One of the main purposes of a religious luxicon is to provide memes of talking about an otherwise immaterial and nonsensuous dimension. Light, transparent, bright, freely coursing energy... these are all gladjectives that apply.

In the gospels, it says that Jesus gave a few disciples the privilege of seeing his vertical body of light. What must that have been like? First, of course, the disciples had to "ascend" vertically, "high upon a mountain." There, within the orbit of their highest aspiration, Jesus' face "shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light." Then Jesus held a summit conference with two other luminous bodies, Moses and his shadowy double, Elijah.

Our physical body is on loan from nature, whom we must repay at the end of our days. "Thou owest nature a death."

But looked at vertically, the body is descended from the spirit, not vice versa; or, one might say that the spirit is the form of the body. Death, or disincarnation, involves an apparent separation of the vertical from the horizontal. Reincarnation is one way to talk about their mysterious union down here in 4D, but the realincarnation is above and ahead, not behind or below.

40 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

The typical soul is blinded by the bright and shiny objects of the waking world, while the seer is able to detect hidden connections in the night womb where events incubate before undergoing the formality of becoming in the external world.

Ah, so. That must be why certain types of reading are only properly accompliced at 3 or 4 in the AM, while most of the household (including the reader, it seems at times) is asleep.

8/23/2011 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Most modern people don't mind being absurd, so long as they can imagine that they understand. Better to be absurd than to deal with the anxiety of not knowing. Hence, college.

Chesterton couldn't have said it better himself.

8/23/2011 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I am glad you reposted this as it is an incredibly rich vein.

In our view, when we talk about reincarnation, we are simply acknowledging the reality of vertical heredity. It is a way of talking about something real yet mysterious -- about that part of ourselves which not only has distinct inclinations and attitudes -- even perhaps a terrestrial mission...

You'll see in the Bible echoes of this in that Moses talks about God sending "another prophet" like himself, the prophecy of the Forerunner coming in the "spirit and power of Elijah", and Christ saying He would send a Parakletos of the same kind as Christ Himself.

Cool.

8/23/2011 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Drat, mushroom beat me to it.

8/23/2011 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Off topic, sign of the apocalypse?

8/23/2011 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

@julie. We are about 50mi south of the epicenter. Loud, like thunder and jets 100 feet overhead.
Sheep ran around the pastures very confused. Slab slab shook quite a bit underfoot. Lasted about a minute. Nothing damaged. Quite a thrill.

8/23/2011 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Earthquakes in diverse places -- another argument against multiculturalism.

8/23/2011 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger swiftone said...

Nice repost. As per Julie, some late night reading has been... well, been re reading a paragraph or two of "Lazarus, Come Forth."

I was hit as with the clue bat by Tomberg's assertion that there is no reason that reincarnation is inconsistent with Christianity. That has been sitting in the the odd thoughts looking for the completer for some time. This post couldn't improved for me.

8/23/2011 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger swiftone said...

This is a dummy comment.

8/23/2011 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here is a truly bizarre movement I'd never heard of before. Stumbled across it in a new book on millennial cults, Heaven and Earth.

8/23/2011 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I mean Heaven on Earth.

8/23/2011 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow. Nazi spiritualism is alive and well - who knew?

8/23/2011 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

"Homo sapiens was genetically complete as long ago as 200,000 (or as recently as 100,000) years. And yet, either way, we don't see much evidence in the archeological record of "vertical liftoff" until about 35-40,000 years ago."

I read that in your book last week. IF TRUE (and I don't have a good reason to doubt you) that is a real paradigm shifter for me. The hardware developed without apparent selection pressure to do so? But we needed that much hardware to run the spiritual software that makes us human.

If I were a materialist I would be looking real hard for some reason we would have bigger-than-necessary brains sitting around, idle, for 100,000 years.

Anyhoo, thanks for the insight.

And thanks for reincarnating this post.

8/23/2011 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, it's obviously speculative, but it fits the evidence, and I haven't come across any evidence since then that contradicts it. I'm always looking.

8/23/2011 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Wow. Yeah... nothing says spirituality like "...living without hope, only for hatred’s sake."

8/23/2011 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Ooooo.. CrazyNaziHindu Cat lady.

What is it with vegetarianism and evil? Seems like an enlightened thing to do. Not killing the animals and all.

Maybe it has to do with treating animals and humans with equal regard? That kind of thinking cuts both ways I'm afraid.

8/23/2011 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I was struck just by how "modern" or post-modern the first sentence sounds -- that she was a vegetarian, supported animal rights, paganism, oh, and that little Aryan thing. Freaky.

8/23/2011 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

John said "Maybe it has to do with treating animals and humans with equal regard? That kind of thinking cuts both ways I'm afraid."

Bingo. That flipside of the matter is exactly what it means and the only thing it ever really accomplishes.

Vegetarianism (as 'kindness' to animals) and animal rights, doesn't lift animals up, but lowers humans to the level of animals. In the process of that inversion of rights, dignity, and the concept of it, goes out the window and civility goes to the dogs.

8/23/2011 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's all so matter of fact, it's almost like a Monty Python skit. The wikipedia entry plays it totally straight, like there's nothing unusual going on here:

'She was a pioneering animal-rights activist and proponent of Hinduism and Nazism, synthesizing the two, proclaiming Adolf Hitler to have been sent by Providence, much like an Avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. Her writings have influenced neo-Nazism and Nazi mysticism. Although mystical in her conception of Nazism, Savitri Devi saw Nazism as a practical faith that did not need metaphysics. Among Savitri Devi's ideas was the classifications of "men above time", "men in time" and "men against time". She is credited with pioneering neo-Nazi interest in occultism, Deep Ecology, and the New Age movement.'

8/23/2011 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Damn, that's just creepy. Though to be fair, I think they give the Grand Klingon Wizard (with a +5 Hat of Lurking) of the KKK the same treatment.

Re. the plants, what will vegetarians do when science finally proves without a doubt that they have feelings, too? Would that mean a boy = a puppy = a salad ?

8/23/2011 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Duh! They only eat the evil salads.

8/24/2011 01:55:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Devi is one but a more intriguing esoteric Hitlerist is Miguel Serrano [rip] friend to Jung & Hesse, Ambassador from Chile to India and allround swell guy!

I like his book
NOS

8/24/2011 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

"Entelechy"
(from Greek entelecheia), in philosophy, that which realizes or makes actual what is otherwise merely potential. The concept is intimately connected with Aristotle’s distinction between matter and form, or the potential and the actual. He analyzed each thing into the stuff or elements of which it is composed and the form which makes it what it is (see hylomorphism). The mere stuff or matter is not yet the real thing; it needs a certain form or essence or function to complete it. Matter and form, however, are never separated; they can only be distinguished. Thus, in the case of a living organism, for example, the sheer matter of the organism (viewed only as a synthesis of inorganic substances) can be distinguished from a certain form or function or inner activity, without which it would not be a living organism at all; and this “soul” or “vital function” is what Aristotle in his De anima (On the Soul ) called the entelechy (or first entelechy) of the living organism. Similarly, rational activity is what makes a man to be a man and distinguishes him from a brute animal.

8/24/2011 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I believe Ms. Savitri only ate vegetables that had died of natural causes.

8/24/2011 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ah, so she only eats the old and the weak vegetables. That explains a lot.

***

Speaking of Monty Python, do you think if we used this approach with China they'd forgive our national debt?

8/24/2011 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

just up at Drudge:
Bill Clinton declares vegan victory: 'Eats fruits, vegetables and beans, but no red meat, chicken or dairy'...

8/24/2011 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

HA! I knew it! Better keep an eye on that guy.

8/24/2011 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Look out for his next book.

"MY STRUGGLE with Coronary Artery Disease"

8/24/2011 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

8/24/2011 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The Dutch have the right idea: The Netherlands to Abandon Multiculturalism":

“A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens. It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands. The integration will not be tailored to different groups.”

If only we would do that here...

8/24/2011 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Greek Police Smash Violent Doughnut Ring.

Parody and satire just keep getting harder and harder.

8/24/2011 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger John Lien said...

You know, doughnuts contain no meat. Just sayin...

8/24/2011 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

do you need me to remind you Ann is 'on' today w/ a critique of that mystery religion Darwinism

-which he might not even be a member of if alive in this century

8/24/2011 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, good grief. Speaking of vegans and self-parody...

8/24/2011 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

i was on a local campus today, saw a coed in just such hard-studying
garb
- hard studying as in 'makes it hard
to study'

8/24/2011 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lol... you're all killin' me.

Mushroom, I shared out the daunting Doughnut dealer's link.

Indeed, how is the Onion NOT involved in that?

wv:ovenc
Yes, time to put the doughnuts in the oven again.

8/24/2011 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew Casey Smallwood said...

Does this mean you are going to post on Initiatory traditions?

8/24/2011 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

I don't think it is a matter of sane or insane.

Conservatives seem to be a lower evolved sect of humanity. Kind of like modern humans 50,000 yrs ago that coexisted with the Neanderthals. Very similiar.

Science denying, superstitious. Study after study after study has shown conservatives do not handle information well. They are not equipped to adapt, they rely on persistent response patterns often not based on sound logic and critical thinking.

A dying breed .. destined for extinction.

8/25/2011 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

willian "Conservatives seem to be a lower evolved sect of humanity."

Good to see that you're in touch with your Nazi roots.

8/25/2011 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cond0010 said...

"Conservatives seem to be a lower evolved sect of humanity."

Ah... yet another Satoshi Kanazawa diatribe. I thought that Bob already thoroughly spanked that monkey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6Tb3IwN6U8#t=30s

Just because someone got a degree doesn't make them an 'expert' at anything. At best they are _advisors_ to people who actually do 'stuff' in life.

As I said on a different website, Science is now the last refuge of the scoundrel.

8/25/2011 11:16:00 PM  

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