Monday, September 27, 2004

A true anecdotal story:

A seeker once went to visit a well-known Teacher. After having been permitted to attend an audience with the Teacher, the aspiring seeker asked if he could be permitted to join the circle of disciples. The Teacher replied that he wasn't yet ready. "You need to do more preparation" casually remarked the modern Teacher. "What should I do?" inquired the despondent seeker.

"Read more science-fiction" came the reply. There was a little confusion on the seeker's face!

Much of what is nowadays being discussed in terms of our human evolution has appeared, in various forms, over the last century among scattered science-fiction novels; some more well-known than others. Such ideas have indeed been scattered into the consciousness of many readers through such means. A reading of many sci-fi classics will throw-up a thread of such major ideas, as have been discussed by such notables as A.C. Clarke; O. Stapledon; H.G. Wells; T. Sturgeon; R. Heinlein...amongst others.

There have also been other spheres of exposure. For example, what Teilhard de Chardin was writing about once seemed like, and to some still does seem like, science-fiction - yet it was a deep philosophy. Now such ideas are making a comeback, a resurgance. Chardin's ideas proved to be integral to such cultural theorists as Marshall McLuhan (famous for coining the phrase 'global village' back in the 60s). Again, I will leave a few poignant quotes here - all taken from de Chardin's 'Let Me Explain' (Fontana, 1974):

- 'but if on the contrary man sees a new door opening above him, a new stage for his development; if each of us can believe that he is working so that the universe may be raised, in him and through him, to a higher level-then a new spring of energy will dwell forth in the heart of earth's workers. The whole great human organism, overcoming a momentary hesitation, will draw its breath and press on with strength renewed.' (: 5)

- 'In us the world's evolution towards spirit has become conscious. Our perfection, our interest, our salvation as elements can depend therefore on nothing less than pushing this evolution forward with all our strength. We may not yet understand exactly where it is taking us, but it is absurd for us to doubt that it is leading as towards some end of supreme value.' (: 60)

- 'no longer only, as of old, for our little individuality, our little family, our little country-no longer indeed only for the whole earth-but for the salvation and success of the universe itself, how should we modern men best organise the maintenance, distribution and progress of the energy of man around us? Therein lies the whole question.' (: 61)

- 'an irresistible and irreversible technical-cultural organization... is manifestly in progress of development within human society. On the other hand, as an effect of co- reflection, the human mind is continually rising up collectively-collectively, because of the links forged by technology-to the appreciation of new dimensions' (: 72)

- 'Nevertheless there are certain precise conditions in the field of energy that must be satisfied by the event we anticipate (a more pronounced a wakening in man, as it comes closer, of the 'zest for Evolution' and the 'Will to live'); and from these we are forced to conclude that all ultra-reflection coincides with a final attainment of irreversibility. (: 73)

The beauty of Teilhard de Chardin is that he talks about the collective, unified soul of humankind as a 'conspiracy' of individuals who 'associate themselves to raise to a new stage the edifice of life. The resources we enjoy today, the powers and secrets of science we have discovered, cannot be absorbed by the narrow system of individual and national divisions which have so far served the leaders of the world.' (:67)

Friday, September 24, 2004

In 1959 the Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin wrote 'The Phenomenon of Man': he also wrote numerous other books. Most of them, including the above book, were not published in his lifetime. He was not allowed to publish them, under order of the Church Authorities, for they considered them blasphemous. Yet these works show an immense vision: a far-seeing vision of the unification of Mankind - a world of interconnectedness and collectivity. A world-mind. Here are some poignant extracts from 'The Phenomenon of Man' which I hope will serve to illustrate some of the points being raised here on our evolutionary potentials & possibilities:

'…the stuff of the universe, by becoming thinking, has not yet completed its evolutionary cycle, and that we are therefore moving forward towards some new critical point that lies ahead.' (p.251)

'We are faced with a harmonised collectivity of consciousness equivalent to a sort of super-consciousness. The idea is that of the earth not only becoming covered by myriads of grains of thought, but becoming enclosed in a single thinking envelope so as to form, functionally, no more than a single vast grain of thought on the sidereal scale, the plurality of individual reflections grouping themselves together and reinforcing one another in the act of a single unanimous reflection...peoples and civilisations reached such a degree of either physical communion or economic interdependence of frontier contact that they could no longer develop save by interpenetration of one another.' (p.251/2)

'In every organised whole, the parts perfect themselves and fulfil themselves…The more 'other' they become in conjunction, the more they find themselves as 'self'.' (p.262)

'…according to the evolutionary structure of the world, we can only find our person by uniting together. There is no mind without synthesis.' (p.263)

'It may well be that in its individual capacities and penetrations our brain has reached its organic limits. But the movement does not stop there. From west to east, evolution is henceforth occupied elsewhere, in a richer and more complex domain, constructing, with all minds joined together, mind. Beyond all nations and races, the inevitable taking-as-a-whole of mankind has already begun'. (p.278)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

It was mentioned in the last post how it is important how we participate in the world with Intention.

This is exactly in accordance with how quantum physics describes our physical reality: it is an observer-based reality, where the observer is not separate from but an integral part to the experience one has, or knowledge one gains, from the physical world:

in other words, the universe is a participatory universe: it responds to the observer -

this then makes such Eastern koens (meditative riddles) such as: 'If everybody stopped looking at the moon, would it disappear?' make more sense. The world exists because we are here to observe it - to participate in it.

This is ancient knowledge, yet it is now being given more credibility through our Western science: a good synopsis to this is the classic book 'Tao of Physics' by Fritjof Capra.

How we remember ourselves, observe ourselves, believe ourselves is fundamental to how we mould and create our participation with the world around us. It is an active endeavour, an active takes TWO...

The old Hasidic tale (found in many cultures) has Jehovah/God arguing with Adam, for God was saying that Adam should be eternally grateful to Him for Adam's creation:
'ah yes', said Adam, 'but without me, how would You be known?'

I'll be away for a while....again...

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Much has been happening. Travels, Meetings, Doings.

'Intention' has been of focus in what has recently passed: responsibility to oneself. The world, as material and physical as it is, is nevertheless malleable. It can be affected by the strength of one's own presence, or rather, Intention.

It is endlessly creative: our own laws of physics reminds us that it ebbs and flows into creation - endlessly renewing itself. The atoms that we are now are not those that constituted us before - all our physical body is being replaced, and replenished. Like the tide... too do our thoughts, ideas, wishes, dreams, wants, desires...they come and go -they ebb, appear dynamic, rushing, then often flow away from us... so how can we remain true, solid, in such a dynamic world?

We can 'fix' ourselves...become the 'attractor' for the flux around us (to use contemporary terms) - by focusing our Intention, our Will, our density of Being. The Intention attracts the ebbing world around pulled by a greater force... the world 'is' because we see it this way...what becomes can be how we passively view it...or how we participate in it with Intention.
"An important distinction between the present and the past is to be noted in the greater prevalence today of individuals who are seeking, sensing, and expressing their OWN BEING...for self-expression of the BEING among larger and larger masses of people."

Jonas Salk (discover of Polio vaccine & Nobel laureate) - 'The Survival of the Wisest' (1973)

This is one among so many similar statements...with the aid today of deeper understandings in science, we are once again seeing a convergence between spirituality & science:

the renowned historian Arnold Toynbee once said: "The ultimate work of civilisation is the unfolding of ever-deeper spiritual understanding"

Albert Einstein noted: "Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind" ...both science and religion strive for Truth...both understand the dynamic nature of that which is Life: there is no division: separation is only a place where We stand...

..."Our perceiving self is nowhere to be found within the world-picture, because it itself is the world-picture" (Erwin Schrodinger - Nobel laureate)

In every moment we have a choice as to how we wish to see that moment: that choice counts, because every moment counts: we live our own world-picture. If we evolve, our world does too.