Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spiritual fetishism

There are two primary pitfalls with being involved with anything spiritual. One is spiritual reductionism, which I will discuss at another time. The other is what I call spiritual fetishism. This is where we objectify something whose spiritual essence far exceeds the physical. For example, a guru can become a substitute for the realization of higher consciousness within oneself. He may have started out as a doorway, but he becomes a roadbock.

Another thing that can become a fetish is the container of consciousness itself. A state of consciousness is the result of a delicate balance between pure consciousness, ego, intellect, feelings, senses, and the objects of perception that make up one's world. The resulting personal reality needs to have a certain inner and outer coherence, and a systemic structure and dynamic, in order to have enough stability to serve for any length of time as a platform of awareness. Naturally we get very attached to that stable "personality," but as spiritual evolutionaries we are simultaneously advocates of change and growth. That means the "state of consciousness" we are in, which is a median integral quotient of the strength and amplitude of our consciousness field, is a fetish container for its own metadescription.

Any state of consciousness can become a fetish. If we are in football consciousness, we have made the football a fetish. If we are in cosmic consciousness, we have made a fetish of the state of pure awareness as an ever-present reality along with relative awareness. If we are in unity consciousness, we have made a fetish of the merger of subject and object of perception. Let's face it: as long as we keep evolving to higher states, we are always going to find it irresistible to objectify our own subjectivity.

There is an alternative, though. Maybe we'll pop out of our consciousness fetish one of these days, like a Jack-in-the-box. We'll crack the cosmic egg of our own enlightenment. And when we do, it'll probably scare the hell out of God.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sun stand thou not still

As we know, the sun revolves around the earth. Or at least we would know that, because of the obvious perception of the sun rising and setting, unless someone had told us otherwise and we believed them. Which of course they did. This is one of the triumphs of education: to prove to us that because we don't understand the simplest facts, we need them to tell us how all things really are.

Maybe we don't deep down believe them though. Why else do we still say "sunrise" and "sunset"? Clearly those words refer to a perception, not a reality. A perception is, however, a kind of reality. In this case it reflects a desire to revert to our original sense of reality about how the universe works. It revolves around us, that's what we want to believe. And maybe we were right to begin with about that, before they started brainwashing us to the contrary. My question is, what have we lost by abandoning the "lower" truth for the "higher" one? What truth does the new paradigm shut out? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that we used to know we had a place in the universe because of our centrality. From the seventeenth century on, we've lost that sense of center and thus are bereft of a confident reference point from which to evaluate our true place in the cosmos.

That true place is not one of a miniscule speck. Yes, we feel small looking at the transcendent heavens, the painterly whorls and explosions of stars and galaxies in the night sky. But we also feel expanded, as if our selves had ascended and become absorbed into the cosmic level of being. That is the truth that archaic peoples knew. And if they happened to think that they were the center of the universe, who are we tiny-brained moderns to gainsay them?