Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stairway to Heaven

I caught a bit of Bill Maher on 'Late Night with Conan Obrien.' He is out doing the show circuit promoting his new documentary 'Religulous.' It takes some real brass ones to fly in the face of peoples faiths. Maher obviously has the mettle.

Maher said something that I agree with. He said that Religion has been the last big TABOO subject out there. When it comes to matters of faith...people want to be left alone...usually in the dark the way I see it. Maher said he isnt an atheist. He's admittedly agnostic. In other words, he doesnt profess to know the ultimate answer to the Big Mystery. In his view, disbelief is also a matter of faith when it comes to that Mystery. You might as well just admit...you have no idea.

Well now, I think I have some idea when it comes to religion and the Big Mystery. After all, I am a man educated in theology, philosophy and science. With all that, I still agree with Maher when he says that ultimately he just doesnt know. I'm certainly NOT an atheist myself. I'm not sure I could be called agnostic either. I believe there is an Order to the Universe. I'm certain of that. That's testable. That's math. And I have a really good idea of what that Order might be and how human consciousness approaches it individually. Even so...unless I take myself completely OUT of the Question then I'll never have The Answer. Chew on that for a second.

The cultures of the world are full of myths that define how different people approach the ineffable. While it is easy, scientifically speaking, to simply dismiss these myths as fairy tale nonsense I think that doing so is absolutely the wrong thing to do. I think you miss something vital when you do that.

As for myself, I think that Carl Jung had some great ideas about religion. Jung noticed patterns in the beliefs and symbols of different people and he began to recognize The Order. It's really not so unlike using different alphabets or languages to describe the same ideas or things. Though the descriptions may differ vastly, the focal concept remains the same.

Personally, I think we 'moderns' have most of it backwards. And if you spend any real time studying and comparing religion then you'll soon understand what I mean by that. The ancients used to travel 'inward' to Heaven. They utilized psychotropic plants and herbal hallucinogens to climb their personal Stairway to Heaven. There, the shamans peered firsthand into the most ethereal orders of Jung's realm, the psyche. What's backwards is, we seem to believe that what is physical is most real and that the mind is just a fertile ground for fantasy. In fact, science has demonstrated otherwise. Great recent strides in the field of genetics have revealed genetic adaptations within an individuals lifetime can in fact be passed on. This kind of Lamarckism is making a comeback.

In my view 'the mind' is more than just what's in the brainpan. I think that the genes are another order of that mind...and that the body is another order of that mind...and that the world is the First order of that mind and what orders the world ....

Buddha kind of thought that was the mind. So maybe the mind is the psyche and the psyche, as Jung remarked, is the world. That leaves the rest of us right in the middle somewhere.

If you ever wonder where the Greek pantheon of gods went then you've missed a lot. If you think it was a bunch of useless myth then you should pick up a copy of Joseph Campbell's 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces' or Jung's 'Man and His Symbols.' Or just grab a Bible or a Koran.

What you are looking for in all of those tomes...are Archetypes. These are the blueprints, the first forms.

The Universe cycles and recycles its prima materia. We observe that everyday in nature. And along the way, as its evolving, it seems to be remembering things too. Organisms become more complex. Ontology Recapitulates Phylology and so forth. It builds upon itself and each new Universal 'Invention,' or another Archetype, allows for new laws and new ways of doing things.

Where did those Greek gods and goddesses really go? Look in the mirror. Dont believe in Angels? The word 'angel' means angle or form of...traditionally forms of God. What intelligent person can argue with forms? Form follows Function...so what's the Point!? Gotcha! At any rate, maybe you're not just a Sagittarius. You are Sagittarius, just like you're a man or a woman...and a rose is a rose.

Carl Sagan once remarked that if you want to make an Apple Pie...'then first you have to create the Universe.' Well said Carl. I was a boy eating pizza when I watched him say that on 'Cosmos.' I certainly looked at my pizza...with just a bit more awe. The point is...the Order is Inherent not so much within the Universe...but as the Universe. Take a gander at a great book called 'The Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe' by Michael Schneider for some wonderful exposition on Archetypes and developmental theory. The trick to making something out of nothing is getting a good idea of what the definitions of nothing are. Voila! You have something there! It's a great big nothing!

Follow the numbers up the Stairway to Heaven and you'll trek up 0, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and then circle back to 0 to build onto the next 'order.' Each number is descriptive of a fundamentally unique change in the order of things. Each is an archetype, a form. To put it another way, once the design is modified the options change. A circle and a square make for very different table arrangements.

The human condition, the human body...these are printouts of the inherent order as it has come to be and as it has expressed itself within its surrounding 'field' conditions. A snowflake always has 6 sides. Why? It's because the water molecule has 6 sides. The surrounding world just kind of dresses up what's already there.

People are always trying to find themselves. They go to therapists to reprogram patterned thinking or they try to 'break the mold' or 'step out of the rut.' But are you ... you? Or are you more than the clothes you wear, the things you have been taught and the genes that you inherited from your parents?

Think of a tornado. A vortex like a tornado is formed when there is a conditional polarity such as a warm front meeting a cold front. Masses of air are simply a medium for the forces that are at work. Vortexes can happen in water. They can happen in math. Now, apply that tornado, those invisible forces, to any number of different 'mediums' and you'll come up with all kinds of different versions of god...or man...or universe. If your tornado strikes a trailer park then you see a bunch of trailer park debris swirling around. If it happens over sand then you see a bunch of sand. Water...you get the idea.

Each of those tornados is different though they are fundamentally ... the same. Each, because of its environmental structure, is capable of different things. I'd worry about getting smacked around by mobile homes...but water...? Maybe I should worry too...but for a different reason entirely.

Our problem with religion is that we dont know half enough about ourselves to understand what God is. It's easier then to cast Her...him too, in man's image just because we're water molecules and we make nice 6 sided snowflakes.

What this means is that God isnt there...because God is here. God is immanent. Now hold on Shirley McClaine! Are you God?

I think of it this way. Is the little red blood cell in your left finger ... you? Ahh...that's not Religion at all. That's Philosophy.



Matthew Siegmann said...

Excellent blog brother! You mentioned myths, remeber all myths, no matter how outlandish are based on some grain of truth. We found out Troy was a real city, the plagues of Egypt were cause from the Minoan Island of Thera blowing up and sending toxic ash clouds in the direction of Egypt, every culture has a flood story in their history, the Greek myth of the minotaur eating Greeks that got lost in the maze at King Minos' palace is based off of one of the many King Minos of the Minoans, and the palace at Knosses which was like a maze it was so huge, and during the reign of the Minoans, before the Greeks ruled the Mediteranian, they'd kidnaped Greeks and brought them back to the palace to have them do tricks with bulls (early day bull fighting type stuff) for the pleasure of the king.

Anyway just thought I'd get your brain swarming about the truth in myths.

Hope you have a great day.

Freestyle said...

Yes Brother. Many myths do have a good deal of historical truth in them.

Still, as Campbell said, Myths are things that never were but always are. I think that the most amazing thing is that these gods and creatures of 'pneuma' live within the world (our psyches included) rather than above it. That's not to say that they arent real at all.

Many things are not literally real. But metaphorical reality is probably more like consciousness than the physical characterisics of an apple per se.

Each of our minds is an amalgam of symbols and imagery; learned behaviors and inherited pathfinding instincts or dynamics. The funny thing is that none of those memories, genes or traits, by itself, is you. You're the tornado...whatever that is. Buddha would say that we are what comes from the conditions of Scott or the conditions of Matt.

Try to stop your mind for a moment...or your heart for that matter. Just what are you in control of? So what is in control?

If God is the world then maybe it isnt God that isnt real. Maybe its you...in your youness. Who do your instincts belong to after all?

Why do I like blonde women? Hmm...who cares!? I do!

I would argue that heavenly things are no less literally real than your individual self. However, you're an amalgam and so are those things.

Jung wondered throughout his life whether these things of the mind are 'transpersonal' insomuch as existing between people. Nonlocality essentially answers this in the affirmative demonstrating that there is only one fish in the bowl but that it has many self reflecting viewpoints. Thus, relatively, it is many fish...

None of us is truly seperate in the world. At the meanest level everything is one thing seperated by relative spacetime differentials and organizational properties. It's kind of like ice in water. Two cubes next to each other look seperate. And, in some ways, they are. And yet, its all just water in different states.

I sure like that blonde gene. She, like gods and angels, just seems to pop up here and there and make herself known. And its a good thing too.

Many ancient tribal societies used to hold their 'Ancestors' in high regard...asking them for guidance etc and speaking to them in sweat lodges and the like. Were they so wrong?

Dawkins brought a lot to light about Genes and Memes (the more effemeral counterparts to genes. If we are mobile, momentary, memory organisms (sorry for the alliteration) then it is simply spacetime that seperates us from them...the Ancestors in our blood and the world psyche.

Again...its not that such things arent real. I think they absolutely are. But I think we need to redefine what we understand to be our personal sense of being.

Almost 70 percent of the human body isnt human at all...its related more to plants and parasites and bacteria than to something specifically human. I would suppose our minds are like that. So gods and angels are like organs or genes. They can and often do express themselves.

I think these god genes remain conscious within all of us and find their expression through us. This is what Archetypes do after all. And they are no more impersonal than you or I. The idea of that is actually oxymoronic.

Still...many people find the physical far more comforting. They take affront to the myths and metaphors...archetypes and the psyche. They would rather believe that the physical is the simple end of reality. Of course...what is the point of death...if not to die?

The real question is what is the point of life? And life did not begin with matter...it stirred up in forces and fields and energy. Think of waves moving on the surface of water. Matter, the physical, is no more than the visible effect of what has gone on before...

In the real world.

Matthew Siegmann said...

Indeed brother, this is the kind of stuff I sometimes lye awake at night thinking about... that and how scared of dieing I am. Incidentally, have you seen the movie, "What the BLEEP Do We Know!?" If not, you should, it's very thought provoking on stages of conciousness. Also, some of your philosophy is sounding a little bit on the Descartes side. :-D "I drink therefore I am!"

Freestyle said...

I do indeed drink. And more and more...

Copyright 2008-2012. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this blog or its content may be reproduced without the express written permission of the Author.

Knockin On Heaven's Door