Friday, June 26, 2009

Do Ya Wanna Grow Up?

What does it mean to be a "grown-up"? I started asking people this question the other day. It quickly became clear that very few have seriously thought about this. Almost everyone felt adulthood to be a burden to some degree. The differences were mainly of degree of acceptance. Surprisingly, no one considered it a purely chronological event. In other words, reaching the age of majority does not automatically make you a "grown-up". Although most people I talked to were surprised to be asked such a question, all were eager to discuss the subject once broached. Responses fell into two main categories.
The quickest responders said something along the lines of, "I'm not a grown-up. I'll never grow up!" Interesting, age was no indicator of this attitude. These people associated growing up with capitulation to conformity and the end of laughter. They refuse to let play turn to drudgery and growth to stagnation. Their childhoods tended to be curtailed or unsatisfactory in some way. The adults in their lives were not positively perceived, as a rule. They also had some experience of being outcast from society. Personally, I am more sympathetic to this view.
Those who did consider themselves "grown-ups" were slower to reply. All these mentioned responsibility to others, usually family. Those without family ties felt a responsibility to their social roles. They expressed a wistful nostalgia for childhood, lacking in the other group. Their conception of adulthood was also tied to externalities, such as appearance, and specific milestones, like becoming a parent or building a career. They were generally more conservative. As children, they were more likely to look up to adults.
I, who am naturally introspective and have had more time to think about it, proposed another definition. When presented with it, everyone I spoke to thought it appropriate. It is likely that this agreement reflects the culture of the Cascadian region, where I am. To me, being a grown-up means not needing to be told what to do. It means I have the emotional maturity and experience to make my own decisions, based on actual requirements instead of inflexible rules. I think this instinctive claim to sovereignty underlies both the conservative aversion to government interference and the liberal philosophy of tolerance. I wish the former would be more willing to extend this freedom of self-determination to others and the latter would realise that responsibility can't be legislated.
Sadly, the way our civilisation is set up discourages (or even forbids) this sort of personal sovereignty. Our religions demand infantile obedience. Our economic systems in particular, are rooted in a coercive "stick and carrot" mentality that assumes our inability to regulate ourselves. We are encouraged to believe that chaos would ensue if we didn't have some authority figure standing over us with a whip in one hand and a big bag of toys in the other. The opposite is true. A proliferation of rules and regulations in every area of our lives denies us the right to ever make responsible choices for ourselves. Our ability to self-determine atrophies from lack of use. As a result, we remain forever childish. We are rendered unable to trust ourselves or each other. All this is no accident, and a dream-come-true for the control system. Is it any wonder that most of us consider being a "grown-up" such a drag?

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Flowering

Humanity's current operating system has become obsolete. It is now clear that, if we continue to use it, we will become extinct. The old paradigm has certain flaws that render it vulnerable to corruption. At this point in time, the corruption is so advanced that the system is about to fail. Everybody knows it deep down, but most are still in denial since they don't yet see an alternative. A rapidly growing number of self-referent and visionary people are now in the process of installing a more advanced program. If all goes well, it should be up and running within 3-5 years.
The new paradigm isn't really new. It appears and reappears throughout history. For this reason, it has been called the Perennial Philosophy. It is the core understanding of mystics in all traditions. It is the reality paradigm that corresponds to and stems from Gnosis. The founders of all religions knew it, but the religions themselves are hostile to it since it means the end of their control. It flowered during the Renaissance in Europe when philosophers, theologians, mathematicians and artists of different places and cultures came together and pooled their knowledge. The invention of the printing press helped it to spread. Legacies of this period include Humanism, the Tarot, the Qabalah and Hermeticism. The movement was suppressed by the Catholic church by means of the Inquisition. The Inquisition was the attempted murder of an idea, a noocide. I say "attempted" because it could not be destroyed, only driven underground.
The thing I find most wonderful about this new/old understanding, is that it is arrived at independently by those who reject received reality, and set out to discover it for themselves. These are people who refuse to believe anything just because somebody (or everybody) else says it is so. And yet, they all come to the same realisations. This is the nature of Gnosis, that it is discovered rather than learned. It makes use of any tradition or none. The printing press of the Renaissance finds it's reflection in the Internet of today. So, for the first time in centuries, we have a model of existence derived from reality instead of imposed upon it.
For this reason, it has natural coherence, which the old paradigm lacks. Coherence is an amplifying factor. Because of this, the Perennial Philosophy will soon become more powerful than the imposed beliefs of the control system. The control system had coherence of a sort, but it was an artificial coherence. It has required a great deal of energy to maintain and, as it's instability increases, it will need much more. The new paradigm has been selected by evolution since it will allow humanity to thrive and grow, whereas the old can lead only to extinction.
I know this is happening because I can feel it. The tipping point has already been reached. The sense of anxiety that was present only six months ago has gone and been replaced by joyful anticipation. Many others have sensed this as well. In the words of John Lennon, "You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Welcome To The Real World

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one." - Albert Einstein
One of the major flaws in old paradigm thought is it's literalness. This gives rise to the fantasy of the "real world". There is no such thing. To borrow Aleister Crowley's metaphor, it is "as if some one had seriously maintained that a cat was a creature constructed by placing the letters C.A.T. in that order". This is analogous to the mistake of imagining the physical world to be reality itself.
What we actually experience is a symbolic representation of a transcendent reality. This reality has no solid form, but it does have meaningful information. The illusion of physicality exists for illustrative purposes. The details of how we represent that information to ourselves may vary without changing the meaningful content. For example, it is an energetic fact that human beings serve as the food of a vampirising force. This force has been experienced as extraterrestrial reptilians, the ego, the demiurge, the Illuminati, Satan, the R-system of the brain, archons, fliers, etc. The old paradigm would insist that these can't all be right. Within the new paradigm, they can and are.
We cannot hope to understand reality while confusing symbols with their meaning. We already apply this realisation to the dream state. Few people take their dreams literally. The forms of the dream are understood to be symbolic even though they seem quite real and solid to the dreaming self. The exception to this is the lucid dream. Sometimes, we become aware of dreaming while in the dream. The last time this happened to me, I'd been having a lovely dream in which I was running. I did not notice a cliff edge that was hidden by long grass and I ran right over the edge. I fell a long way down and I fully expected to die when I hit the ground. Instead, I landed softly on the sand of a beach and was completely unharmed. The shock of this caused me to become lucid. I suspect that most lucid dreams start this way, with some shockingly anomalous occurrence that compels the dreamer to question the reality of the dream.
There are direct parallels of these invitations to lucidity in waking life. UFOs, miracles, synchronicity, fire-walking, the 11:11, and crop circles (see Neil Kramer's post on The Cleaver "The Beautiful Paradox") all fall into this category of phenomena. As Neil Kramer rightly points out, to focus on the physical aspects and causes of these things is to miss the point. These are wake-up calls. I have very recently been delighted to discover a field of knowledge called Synchromysticism that is based in this view of reality. This term, coined by Jake Kotze, is defined by him as "the art of realising meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance". It is possible to interpret the "real world" as though it were a dream, with the same illuminating result.
The inherent insanity of literalness is most obvious in religious fundamentalism. It doesn't matter what religion it is. Those of us who are relatively sane would feel sorry for these people if they weren't so destructive. Fundamentalism not only misses the message, but usually reverses it completely. Ironically, science, that megalithic bastion of literalism, is being overturned by it's own findings. Open-minded physicists and biologists are beginning to twig to the fact that matter is a projection of consciousness, a fractal hologram.
Brain science is helpful in understanding the error in perception. We have become overly dependent on left-brain thinking. The left-brain is just like a computer. It's job is to receive, store and manipulate data. It lacks the ability to understand anything. The task of interpreting the data belongs to the right-brain which employs symbol, myth and metaphor to create meaning. This is the reason that spiritual teachers so often use parable and poetry to present their knowledge. These speak directly to the right-brain, assuming it is functional. The ability of the right-brain to do it's job has been impaired by our education system's obsessive focus on data collection and retrieval.
Fortunately, Infinite Awareness has it's own agenda. I doubt if we could screw it up, even if we wanted to. It will accomplish it's purpose as us and through us. It has already begun.
I came across this the other day: Timothy Freke Bath 2005 Absolutely One-derful!