Sages, the real ones, from a number of traditions, tell us that a supernal consciousness, like an infinite ocean of mind, permeates the universe in a sort of matrix of interpenetration. This mind, which arises from the nature of things as they are, is “not a person but not less than a person”. It does have a desire for inquiring and experiencing and self-understanding, and over billions of years it influences the chaotic energy forms and particles of the substrate into just enough order so that the likelihood of reproducible systems will manifest, impinging a degree of order (without cancelling the general chaos), and increasing the possibility of discrete biological life. That oceanic mind then experiences the cosmos more intimately through the device of biological life. It’s as if it has infinite senses which it extends like tendrils into every manner of creature. It sees what we see (or what is seen by bees, or octopi, and so on); it experiences what we experience. It is “that which sees”. We are its mirror. *It* is deathless. So when we die, dissolve away, itremains. We’re like a billion billion roses on its endless rose bush. The roses fade, the bush remains. It is said to keep records of all of us, in some wise.
However, there is another process, which perhaps it has willed into being, with which we can create enough selfhood, enough being, so we can continue after death as something akin to individuals, within this ocean of mind. We then have a “subtle body” that can move about within the levels of the body of the Absolute. The oceanic mind experiences what we experience there, too. These selfhoods cooperate to create an intermediate being, a sort of enormous collectively-created Bodhisattva, between the subjective “living” world and the ocean of mind. This intermediate being prefers a kind of positive pro-generative spin, and it emanates on a level enabling some people in the world, if they’re sensitive enough, to be linked to the ineffable, indefinable source-mind. This intermediate being tries to help us evolve, in the spiritual sense of evolution, but can only do it rather obliquely, and it can only help those open to it, and those who make the effort…We have, then, possibilities beyond the death of the subjective self; the possibility that the subjective self, which tends to disintegrate at death, can keep a sort of subtle template that still remembers its selfhood…and it can become an objective self. And it might have, stored within it, the memories of its life…
Demons–in the supernatural horror sense of the word–may exist, in real life, if other kinds of discarnate entities exist. Nature seems prone to creating each organism with something like an opposite, or at least an opposition. Nature is founded on balance. If an ocean fish swims about as an aquatic herbivore, harmless to us, we presume that somewhere there are sharks. If there are flowers that lift our spirits with their beauty, there are also some that poison us when we touch them. There are predators in corporeal nature; there are assuredly predators within incorporeal nature: in the realm of spirits, if such a realm exists.
If souls or spirits survive our deaths, they will carry certain of character fixations into the afterlife. Men who are predators in life may be predators after death. Some may be the basic template for the creatures we call “demons”. Mortal men of cruelty might become immortal spirits of cruelty. Perhaps, as in some Hindu lore, some discarnate spirits may be parasites feeding off human life energy.
How could the purported spiritual realm be complete without predators? Surely if such a realm exists it has its own natural, if subtle, biology; its own “food chain”, its own ecology. It’s not a case of magic–but of some unknown ecosystem existing in a realm thus far invisible to us. Unseen–yet as natural as snails and birds and bacteria…and sharks.
In a dream I was told that in the Realm of Death everything is the opposite of what it has been; there we must become the unfulfilled potentiality that is remains unfelt, undone.
We’re not fully conscious because we unconsciously choose a walking, talking daily form of sleep. We choose this because becoming conscious is painful. It requires suffering life as it is. Conscious suffering. The part of us that hides from the discomfort of consciousness steers us away from it. Whimpering, it hides under a blanket from the biting wind: the winds of consciousness are cold, until we adjust to them. A seeker of gnosis needs courage. (The connection to the indigenous culture warrior tradition should be apparent.)
It could be that all modern art which is not merely satirical or socially referential is an expression of yearning for consciousness; is first a reaching for freedom from hackneyed, mechanical mental association, and second a freedom from fixities in behavior, in perception; is an escape from inevitable linkages of psychological reactivity. In a moment of freedom imparted by Magritte, Ernst, Matthew Barney we see the ordinary world anew, and every object becomes an “art object”, and zen, for that moment, has nothing on us.
The cruelest thing God ever did was to give us a sense of justice. I’m amazed at how little justice there is, in human history, when we are so evidently designed to thirst for it. Or do we simply thirst for justice because there’s so little. There is no justice in the human sense–and that’s justice. Why should a human being, a midi-organism (as opposed to macro or micro) – why should any organism, any one entity, impose its own “justice”? Cosmic laws are not justice, or injustice; they are innate cause and effect. Do we thirst for justice for innate sociobiological reasons, futilely struggling to impose the subjective on the objective? But–mitigation is real. We can litigate–and thus mitigate–the darkness. We can mitigate the darkness with the only small lamp available. (All low roads lead to the same abyss).
God created the universe so that God could play basketball; God created the universe so that God could go dancing; God created the universe so that God could go skiing; God created the universe so that God could make war; God created the universe so that God could make love; God created the universe so that God could make love; God created the universe so that God could eat smaller fishes…did I mention making love?
Even an atheist must feel a desire, however unfulfilled, to express gratitude for life’s gifts, in whatever way they may have evolved. The hunger to express that gratitude suggests that there is indeed something to express it to.
Everything is approximate. No arrow flies true. Humanity needs a thread; there never is enough firm connection. We may well be dots on a Japanese artist’s “randomness in nature” practice page but we are made to seek currents of connection, to swim within. A concert exists to provide a thread; so too an army, so too a family. The organism seeks something more organic. Maybe it’s no more than biological exaggeration; maybe it’s more than biological exaggeration.
I struggle not to live in a Gnostic myth. I sometimes think that if the God of the Old Testament existed, he was essentially an incompetent, ill-tempered babysitter left to mind us till we should be ready to meet the real God.
The truth protects itself. Mind is thesis; chaos is antithesis; cosmos is synthesis.
Consciousness is a direction.
What is the significance of my insignificance? What are we here for? Is it for something we must do tomorrow, next week, next year, in a thousand years–someday? If we are here for a purpose, if we are here for a reason, it isn’t a purpose to be fulfilled in some indefinite future. It must be something expected of us as soon as we are capable of making choices. It must come after the terrible knowledge that is the loss of innocence, if it comes at all. Once we are privileged to be innocent no longer, we are expected to fulfill our purpose: to play out the proper Tarot card, the apt symbolism of all our moments; all our choices.
When we try to see ourselves as we are, to know ourselves, we have to remember that if it’s never somewhat painful, then it can never be fully true. There is the plumb line to measure straightness: the suffering accompanying honest self knowledge.
Don’t listen to those who say regret nothing. Treasure your regrets. They are the cold coin of learning.
Some people are just fear in tandem with appetites, nothing more.
It bothers me when people jump on that Latinx bandwagon spelling. The problem is that it assumes there’s something innately wrong with Latin culture; that there’s something wrong with the language Spanish itself. Like the Spanish speaking people don’t have the right to have a language that uses gender in its form. “Sorry, we mostly-white very young hipsters insist that you can’t say Latino and Latina anymore.” Yes there are some Latin people who like the Latinx thing–a very young, desperately hip minority. And, evidently, it’s like screw all those Hundreds of Millions of more traditional Hispanic folks out there for liking their language as it was. How dare they?!
I’m very pro transgender rights but when they start stomping on someone’s language…
It’s new to me, anyway. I got it twice today, in two versions. A recording calls and says that “An illegal package with your name on is being held at the US border. In order to clear this up with authorities press one to talk to an agent. Failure to do this will get you impeached.” That’s what they said! Impeached! Foreigner scammers unclear on what the word impeached means to us, I guess. The second one was even more confused sounding. “This is a a direct important call from your government about package at border with your name, you must …”
I assume that if I press one it either puts me on with someone who will try to pretend they’re a government agent and demand money to keep me out of jail –or offer me a reward but first I must give them my bank account number and social security number or send them a fee…OR, pressing one triggers some kind of intrusion into my phone so they can plunder my personal information…This particular bumbling scam made me laugh. I was sorry a live person wasn’t on so I could fuck with them…
I’m not youthful, at this time in my life, and calls like this (like the ones that tell them they’re in trouble with the IRS when they’re not) target elderly people–lists go around amongst scammers– as the elderly are thought to be fearful and easily scammed. Trouble is, they often are just that. They need to be told this stuff isn’t real. Here’s a new one you can tell them about.
It’s hard to decide what sort of people are the very lowest forms of parasite. There are so many levels of interpersonal parasitism, and predation. But the psychopaths who deliberately target elderly people for scams are very, very close to the lowest form of parasite.
Zombies, vampires, witches, witch hunters, more zombies…Zombies in television, in movies, in videogames. OH so many zombies in videogames. Remakes of old TV shows; reboots of old movie heroes. What we have here is a failure to cogitate. It’s a failure of the imagination, really. But especially…zombies. Zombie show spinoffs. Games based on zombie show spinoffs. Movies based on zombie games. Living dead, walking dead, imagination dead. No one can think of anything new, in popular television or movies. Well–people can. I can. You can. Lots of writers out there can. But no one is asking for their ideas. Studio suits are like dogs eating their own vomit. “It’s still good to eat!”
“Hundreds died when ISIS Fighters attacked a prison. Here’s how it played out” says the Washington Post headline. It’s everyone, across internet (at least) journalism. “Here’s how it happened” is the modern tinker-toy headline attention getting. Or What You Need to Know”–which is even more obnoxious.
Here’s how. What you need. They’re talking down to online readers because they assume you have a short attention span and you don’t want really deep information. Here’s another obnoxious usage of this kind: “This is what it feels like to attend a film festival in the metaverse” … So–this is what it feels like? For me too? They’re using these egregious shortcut cliches because…they think we’re stupid.