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Old 04-11-2012, 07:13 PM
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Default A Conscious Universe - by Jacob Needleman

A CONSCIOUS UNIVERSE

The scale of the universe is awesome. Our sun, which is more than a million times greater in volume than the earth, is, as everyone knows, only a tiny speck in the unimaginable vastness of the Milky Way. Hundreds of billions of such suns make up this galaxy, most of them far greater in size than our own. And the galaxy itself is but a tiny speck among countless billions of galaxies that occupy the cosmos that science perceives.

Each sun is an ocean of energy, one tiny fraction of which is enough to animate the life of our earth and everything that exists upon it.

Every second there pours forth from the Sun an amount of energy equal to four million tons of what we call matter. Since the planets of suns capture so little of this energy, all of outer space is in reality a plenum of force that is largely invisible to us, yet life giving.

To set our minds reeling, it is enough to contemplate the bare distances that astronomy has measured. Light, traveling at 186,000 miles a second takes eight minutes to reach us from the sun--but four years from the nearest star, 27,000 years from the center of the Milky Way, and 800,000 years from the galaxy Andromeda. Yet Andromeda is now considered a member of what is called the local cluster of galaxies, beyond which lie countless stars and groupings of stars thousands of times more distant from us than Andromeda.

It is no exaggeration to say that in this picture of the universe man is crushed. within cosmic time he is less than the blinking of an eye. In size he is not even a speck. And his continued existence is solely at the mercy of such colossal dimensions of force that the most minor momentary change in these forces would be enough to obliterate instantly the very memory of human life.

Ancient man's scale of the universe is awesome, too, but in an entirely different way, and with entirely different consequences for the mind that contemplates it. Here man stands before a universe which exceeds him in quality as well as quantity. The spheres which encompass the earth in the cosmological schemes of antiquity and the Middle Ages represents levels of conscious energy and purpose which "surround" the earth much as the physiological function of an organ such as the heart "surrounds" or permeates each of the separate tissues which comprise it, or as the captain's destination "encompasses" or "pervades" the life and activity of every crewman on his ship.

In this understanding, the earth is inextricably enmeshed in a network of purposes, a ladder or hierarchy of intentions. To the ancient mind, this is the very meaning of the concept of organization and order. A cosmos--and, of course, the cosmos--is an organism, not in the sense of an unusually complicated industrial machine, but in the sense of a hierarchy of purposeful energies.

Here it is important to note that even in terms of physical astronomy ancient man did not use the word "earth" in the way we do. Cosmic phenomena were described, and their laws were expressed in the language, or terminology, of myth, where each key word was at least as "dark" as the equations and convergent series by means of which our modern scientific grammar is built up...

What was the "earth"?

In the most general sense, the "earth" was the ideal plane laid through the ecliptic. The "dry earth," in a more specific sense, was the ideal plane going through the celestial equator...the words "flat earth" do not correspond in any way to the fancies of the flat-earth fanatics who still infest the fringes of our society and who in the guise of a few preacher-friars made life miserable for Columbus...(Moreover), the name "true earth" (or of "the inhabited world") did not in any way denote our physical geoid for the archaics. It apples to the band of the zodiac, two dozen degrees right and left of the ecliptic, to the tracks of the "true inhabitants" of this world, namely, the planets.

We have misunderstood these cosmological schemes of the past. What we call "geocentrism" was never meant to establish the earth merely as the spatial center of the great universe, but principally to communicate its place as an intersection of primary and secondary cosmic purposes and forces. The medieval mystic Meister Eckhart likens the earth to a station of cosmic reality through which there passes all the powers of Creation on their way to complete unfolding. "Earth...lies open to every celestial emanation. All the work and waste of heaven is caught midway in the sink of earth." (3)

In the Hermetic writings the hierarchical structure of the cosmos resembles that of an organism: cell in the service of tissue; tissue in the service of organ; organ in the service of the whole (governed by a supreme consciousness or intelligence). At each level of being there are "gods" or "angels" or, to use less uncomfortable language, "purposeful energies." From this point of view, the ancient spatial descriptions of the cosmos are meant to be understood symbolically.

Likewise, the word "sphere," used in describing the forces and purposes at different levels, is never meant merely to be taken literally. The very idea of the circularity of movement in "the heavens" can be understood to mean not only the encompassing nature of these progressively higher influences, but their eternal nature. The circle is, among many things, a symbol of that which "eternally recurs," that which is not subject to time and change as we know them.

Obviously, there is a great difference between contemplating a universe which exceeds me in size alone or in intricacy alone, and one which exceeds me in depth of purpose and intelligence. A universe of merely unimaginable size excludes man and crushes him. But a universe that is a manifestation of great consciousness and order places man, and therefore calls to him.

So much is obvious, for a conscious universe is the only reality that can include human consciousness. And only when I am completely included by something does the need arise for me to understand my relationship to it in all the aspects of my inner and outer life. Only a conscious universe is relevant to the whole of human life.

Undoubtedly, one contributing factor in our misunderstanding the cosmos of the ancient teachings is our habitual assumption that a conscious universe is somehow more comforting, a psychological crutch. Giorgio de Santillana also speaks to this in Hamlet's mill:

[MAN] is unable to fit himself into the concepts of today's astrophysics short of schizophrenia. Modern man is facing the nonconceivable. Archaic man, however, kept a firm grip on the conceivable by framing within his cosmos an order of time and an eschatology that made sense to him and reserved a fate for his soul. Yet it was a prodigiously vast theory, with no concessions to merely human sentiments. It, too, dilated the mind beyond the bearable, although without destroying man's role in the cosmos. It was a ruthless metaphysics.

"Ruthless" not in the sense of hostile to human hope, ... the universe of the traditional teachings, such as Hinduism and Judaism, is "ruthless" in that it is ruthlessly responsive to what man demands of it and of himself. For whatever man expects from external reality reflects what he asks or fails to ask of himself.

We must explore this thought further, for it can help us to see why the idea of a conscious universe appears to modern man as naive, as either a daydream or a nightmare. Science, as we know it, searches the universe for order and pattern. To pursue this search carefully, objectively, the scientist struggles to be free of his feelings, his inclinations to believe. He may follow hunches--what he calls "intuitions"--but in the final analysis he wishes for proofs that will compel the intellect, and only the intellect. The entire organization of modern science, the community of experimenters and researchers, the teaching of science in the schools, the training of specialists, is based on this ideal of proof that compels the mind.

Looked at in this way, we may conclude that the practice of modern science is based on a demand for human fragmentation, the division between thought and feeling. Searching for an outer unity, the scientist demands of himself an inner disunity. Perhaps "demands" is not the right word. We should simply say that in his practice the scientist endorses the division and inner fragmentation from which all of us suffer in our daily lives.

We now see why a conscious universe makes no sense to modern science. In the ancient teachings, higher mind or consciousness is never identified with thought associations, no matter how ingenious they may be. If these teachings speak of levels of reality higher than human thought, they are referring, among other things, to an order of intelligence that is inclusive of thought. Consciousness is another word for this power of active relationship or inclusion. Can the power to include ever be understood through a process of internal division and exclusion? Fascinated by the activity of thinking, and drawn to it to the extent of psychological lopsidedness, is it any wonder that we modern scientific men almost never directly experience in ourselves that quality of force which used to be called the Active Intellect, and which in the medieval cosmic scheme was symbolized by a great circle that included the entire created universe?

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"Its only 'here' that we lose perspective, out at the Cosmic Consciousness Level things get a lot clearer. For example, there is an actual star pattern that is traced in the shape of a Willow Tree, across the breadth of the Milky Way! And no wonder Indigenous peoples refer to the 'here after' as the Happy Hunting Grounds! Has it ever occured to anyone why the bioluminescence dots, on the Na'vi!"

Last edited by Mika; 04-11-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:53 PM
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Conscious Universe, eh... well you'll surely like this one! at least I think so...

I still don't know what exactly happened. But I'll describe it here:
I live in a house with a little garden & that means Many Ants In Summer. Every time i go to the kitchen I find at least half a dozen wandering around the sink (right in front of the window). We tried to find their ways & seal them but they always sneak in.

So one particular day in I go again - & find the ants again sniffing out for a dinner to grab. I guess I was inspired by Avatar, Don Juan's Teachings & what now about "everything is connected" (altho this ^^^is just a theory). Because out of blue I said, in my mind: "Dear Collective Consciousness of the Ants! Your people don't belong in my kitchen. Please take them away to their place, or else, I'll be forced to kill them". I don't like to kill anybody but I took an insecticide from a shelf to show that I was serious.

Suddenly! All the ants stopped, started moving their antennas as if capturing something... & then turned around & ran like there's no tomorrow to wherever they came from! (a tiny hole that I later sealed). I didn't even have time to open the insecticide. I said, mentally again: "Erm... Wow... Thank you dear Collective Consciousness of the Ants!"

Unfortunately this trick (? I don't know how to call it) didn't work again. Maybe I wasn't in the right wave, or in the right mood; maybe I was pushing - or doubting - thus interfereing with... I don't know what signal. But that occurrence was impressive!

Imagine to talk this way to mosquitoes & just make them go away? by ... thought power (?) Or something...
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Knowledge is a chimera for beyond any knowledge there ever lies other knowledge that renders the previous knowledge false. (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever Vol.II- Stephen Donaldson)

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I know only this:
Eywa has taken me on a ride...
... the one I don't want come back from
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