1. Holistic Vision
This book is an attempt to play with certain big thoughts and ideas. Play, indeed, light-heartedly the heart filled with light, to dance with great Ideas, before the Lord. The ideas are powerful and serious, but need not be pompous or heavy. Have courage to think big thoughts. Our present world demands it of us.
And this in a world full of despair and gloom. How easy it is to be discouraged! Courage can seep away through our boots when we look at the prospects and listen to the ‘media’. Violence, cruelty, breakdown of social structure and order; and behind all, the frightful and almost unimaginable prospect of nuclear disaster.
A mad, bad world indeed! We need encouragement.
This is our starting point. The situation facing us is in many ways so grim that we may even seem to be approaching the brink of catastrophe. Mankind is at the crossroads.
Unless there is some momentous change in human thinking, some great step forward into sanity, some turn about in the very centre of our consciousness, then we are faced with calamity. This is glaringly obvious.
Therefore surely we are justified in trying to Think Big Thoughts.
We don’t need to have an academic degree in philosophy. We can all lift and extend our thinking and try to look at our overwhelming problems from a cosmic view point. Look down on our beautiful planet from above in space. See it like the photographs on television shining blue and silver and turning marvellously in the seas of space. Then realize, as Edgar Mitchell did in his ‘peak experience’ as he came out from behind the Moon, that the Universe is a great continuum of consciousness and thought. It works as a great Oneness in celestial harmony. Our delicate beautiful planet moves in its dance with its fellows around the source of our life, the radiant Sun.
Then realize that in all that harmonious movement and pattern there is one area deviating from the Divine Law, thrown into confusion and darkness. This is the human kingdom of emotion, desire and will. Planet Earth is darkened and confused and unhappy. But we should know and experience that in our time a turn-about in thinking is actually taking place. A wholly different worldview is emerging, spreading and leavening our materialistic culture. We have inherited from our grandfathers a picture of man and the universe which admittedly swept away much old dogma, but landed us into the present materialistic world picture.
‘Reductionist’ it was called a belief that the whole was no more than the sum of all its parts. We could thus by scientific investigation gradually explain every aspect of the workings of life until we had reduced it to a mechanism. When all was thus accounted for, we should see that there was no room for God that He was no more than the word we gave to that which we had not yet explained.
Thus the marvellous human body came to be treated as a machine for which a spare parts service can be developed. Man was seen as essentially an accident of evolution, a chance concatenation of atoms brought together by natural selection. We discover a universe so huge and so old and apparently so completely indifferent to puny man that his life can have little meaning. And by a strange paradox, having (so he thought) discovered his total unimportance in a mechanistic universe, he feels himself fully justified in exploiting the planet for his own advantage and desire. What does it matter that we use up the Earth’s resources? The Earth is surely dead mineral and can’t feel.
And anyway death is the end, so ‘Let us eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’.
Now a great change in world view is emerging, which, if we grasp it, can lift and lighten our hearts with hope and even joy.
This is being called the holistic world view. That wonderful word ‘holistic’, first invented by General Smuts, links in derivation ‘wholeness’, ‘holiness’ and ‘healing’.
The Whole is Holy. Healing is a restoring to Wholeness. We enter gropingly into a vast vision of the Oneness of All Life, and it is breath-taking. It is an in-flooding of an understanding which will lift us right out of and beyond the materialistic, reductionist view of life. This is not to say that the previous thinking was wrong as such. Thought is a great structure. It may be likened to a wall.
The upper tiers of brick or stone rest on the foundation and all the intermediary tiers. Freud and Darwin brought about a revolution in thinking which swept away much outdated dogma and on a certain level revealed great truth. But no truth is final and absolute. We are called on perpetually to move forward. The earlier tiers or terraces are steps on which we can build ever greater structures. So we extend the viewpoint, to see beyond what our great predecessors gave us.
To quote a fine passage from Earl Balfour:
Our highest truths are but half-truths;
Think not to settle down forever in any truth.
Make use of it as a tent in which to pass a summer’s night,
But build no house of it, or it will be your tomb.
When you first have an inkling of its insufficiency
And begin to descry a dim counter-truth looming up beyond,
Then weep not, but give thanks:
It is the Lord’s voice whispering,
‘Take up thy bed and walk’.
So the Idea with which we are now engaged is the Oneness picture, the holistic world view which recognizes the sacredness of all life and sees that the whole is very much more than the mere sum of its parts.
‘But I don’t believe in God. If there’s a God, how can he allow so much suffering and cruelty in his world? Since I can’t see the spiritual world, how can I prove it exists?’ How easily and justifiably can this attitude be taken in our agnostic society? How lightly can we say that, as sensible practical men and women, let us get on with our problems and not waste time in speculation about imponderables. And yet, and yet… It is true enough that the Divine world cannot be proved to the cold rational intellect alone, but other ways to knowledge are emerging.
Let us make it quite clear from the first that what is written here is no dogma or doctrine which you are asked to believe. None of the great spiritual researchers has asked for belief. Rather they have invited thought. If you like these ideas, learn to hold them in your heart and mind without believing or disbelieving. Look at life in the light of them, meantime reserving judgement. If they are true they will draw to themselves an inner certainty as the days go by. If not, they will fall away and fade. Take this as a simple but very significant technique for exploring into realms where Truth cannot be weighed and measured and ‘proved’. For Truth never constrains. It leaves you free to accept or reject. Yet recognize that we all have a power of apprehending an idea for its very beauty.
We can grasp it out of the ether and take possession of it. ‘Oh, how lovely. That explains life. It must be true.’ Not very scientific, and cold reason can all too easily come with its damping and discouragement. But know that this experience is a first step in the developing of the faculties of higher perception of a realm of ideas which cannot be immediately proven.
We do not need to try to disprove these things by argument.
Most argument is a rather debased form of human exchange involving the attempt to shoot down the other fellow when he leaves a loophole with which we can disagree.
The great spiritual ideas are in a mysterious sense alive. To take them and dissect them by argument is like taking a flower or a butterfly and pulling it to bits. Imagine that an idea is a living creature, a being which can be loved and cherished. You are approaching a facet of the vast complex crystal of Truth and you have seen it glint. Do not smash the crystal. Look and listen.
True conversation is a most wonderful thing, very different from argument and even discussion, in which the logical intellect is used to dissect and analyse. But ‘conversation’, a ‘turning about together’, is an almost magical process. Notice it. It is a condition of human exchange between two or three or more of us, in which each is helping the others to grasp and see facets of the hovering crystal of Truth which has, almost like the Grail, descended from some higher realm to float over us, half perceived. The real ‘conversations’ come unbidden, of their own accord, and withdraw when they so decide. We cannot hold them. They are an event, which we must observe and respect. They leave us with a sense of melting in the heart, as if a Presence had been with us. We are more closely united with others because we have been over-lighted by the great Being of Truth. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them’.
Here truly we can dance with ideas, breath in the light-filled air of intuition and imagination. We are learning to explore into the realm of the imponderables. Logical intellect alone, great though its achievements are, cannot enter this higher world of life. It is the more sensitive feminine faculties of intuition that are called for and must be awakened.
Come back to our first point the outer world is so cruel, so dangerous, so altogether ugly in many of its aspects, that we are fully justified in turning inwards to discover the magic gateway into the greater spiritual realms. By no means is this mere ‘escapism’. It will turn out to be an essential process of lifting thinking and vision so that we may see our problems from a higher outlook-point, setting them in the context of a cosmic consciousness. Then our present troubles are seen as an aspect of a profound change, coming upon us to cleanse our polluted planet and bring renewal. The prospect brings supreme hope. It may even be that our present global problems are insoluble unless we achieve this widening of consciousness. Let us look at it, play with it, dance with it.
Let us begin by briefly stating the holistic world view. Remember; don’t treat this as dogma to be believed. Keep thinking flexible; stand back and look at the Whole of which we are part.
This world picture is only new in the sense that it supersedes a materialist outlook, to which it is alien, and by which it has simply been forgotten and overlooked. It is as old as human thinking and flows through the great religions and cultures of the past. The development of acute intellectual self-consciousness has lost it to us. The reason for this loss is simple the price we have had to pay for the developing of intellect, so essential for analyzing and controlling the physical world in a scientific age, is the atrophying of the organs of perception which enabled our ancestors to perceive the spiritual worlds and the realms of the elemental beings and nature spirits. Now, while retaining the clarity of intellectual observation, it becomes possible to expand consciousness into the Whole and so to blend thinking with the Oneness of the world process.
This is the beginning of a true science of the spirit.
Earth is experienced as indeed a living creature, an organism with, in a real sense, its own breathing, blood-stream, heart-beat and glands, its skeleton and muscle, its life and thought. Mankind is integrally part of this living organism and is indeed an aspect of the thinking of the planet. The body is a sensitized point of earth; the mind is a bridging point that can reach up into the Cosmos.
Mankind, the bearer of consciousness, the crowning point of evolution, is thus clearly seen as the steward of the planet. And what have we done with our stewardship?
You do not get a living organism in the midst of dead mechanism. We must feel for the tremendous conception of organism within greater organism. All is Life. Everything is in some sense imbued with life. All is thought in a vast continuum of consciousness. The human mind, in Rupert Brooke’s phrase, is ‘a pulse of the eternal Mind, no less’. Thus Earth, a living creature, is integrally part of the spiritual organism of the Solar System, and that of the galaxy and so on, ad infinitum.
Thus the Whole is Holy. God is the name we give to the ineffable, unknowable First Cause, the Source. It, He/She, can no longer be left out from our world-picture. The attempt by reductionist thinking to exclude the Creator can never satisfy the depths of human longing. As Pope put it in his Essay on Man:
All are but parts of one stupendous Whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.
Teilhard de Chardin as scientist and mystic has given us the beautiful concept of ‘complexification’. It appears that atoms and cells have within them an inbuilt urge to complexify, thus evolving ever more complex organisms and with each onward step is achieved a heightening of consciousness. Evolution reaches an intensely great complexity in the human brain which is thus the bearer of self-consciousness on earth. He argues from this that the human monad, as an individual cell of the noosphere, must come together in yet greater complexification in closer grouping with others in an ultra-human blending, resulting in the inevitable upward step from individual self-consciousness. He writes: ‘We have glimpsed the marvels of a common soul.’ Here is the goal and purpose of the age-long experiment of creation. Indeed Teilhard sees this built-in urge within the cell as a proof of a purposive drive working through evolution.
To quote Pope again:
Mere atoms casually together hurled
Could ne’er produce so beautiful a world.
For Man is a being,
God begotten, God companioned
Forever Godward striving.
Such a world view is of course not new. It is a fresh expression, suitable for our age, of the oldest truths held by all the great religions. Here are a few expressions from ancient scripture.
There is a Spirit which was before the heavens and the earth were. It is the One dwelling in silence, beyond earthly forms, never-changing, omnipresent, inexhaustible.
I do not know its name: but if I have to give it a name I call it Tao, I call it the Supreme.
To go to the Supreme is a wandering, a wandering afar, and this wandering afar is a returning.
Man on earth is under the law of earth. The earth is under the law of heaven. Heaven is under the law of Tao. Tao is under its own law.
Lao Tzu. 600 B.C.
There is a Light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens . . . This is the light that shines in our heart.
All the universe is in truth Brahman. He is the beginning and end and life of all. As such, in silence, give unto Him adoration. There is a spirit that is mind and life, light and truth and vast spaces. He enfolds the whole universe and in silence is loving all.
This is the Spirit that is in my heart, smaller than a grain of mustard seed, greater than the earth, greater than the heavens, greater than all these worlds.
He contains all works and desires, all perfumes and tastes.
This is the Spirit in my heart, this is Brahman.
To Him I shall come when I go beyond this life.
And to Him will come he who has faith and doubts not.
Chandogya Upanishad. 800 B.C.
Rouse thyself by thy Self, thy Spirit: train thyself by thy Self.
Thus under the shelter of thy Self and ever watchful, thou shalt live in supreme joy.
If a man conquer in battle a thousand and a thousand more, and another man conquer himself, this would be the greater warrior: because the greatest of victories is the victory over one’s self.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said Let there be Light: and there was Light.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was Life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.
The universe looks less and less like a great machine and more like a great thought.
If the universe is a universe of thought, then its creation must have been an act of thought. Indeed the finiteness of time and space almost compel us, of themselves, to picture creation as an act of thought. Modern scientific theory compels us to think of the Creator as working outside time and space, which is his creation, just as an artist is outside his canvas.
Sir James Jeans.
And now we may read Dr Fritjof Kapra’s remarkable book The Tao of Physics to realize that the most advanced physicists are now speaking essentially the same language as the mystics in revealing that all matter is energy and all energy ultimately a manifestation of a universe of consciousness.
To the eye of the mind emerges a world within and behind the forms. From Divine Thinking these myriad forms have emerged.
As they fade and die, the Being or Spirit within them is released again to return to its source. So behind the outer world is an inner world, and the possibility of mind moving within and within, to expand through into a realm beyond substance, a world of infinity and eternity.
In Blake’s words the task is:
To open the Eternal Worlds, to open the
Immortal Eyes Of Man inwards into the
Worlds of Thought; into Eternity
Ever expanding in the
Bosom of God,
The Human Imagination.
Thus the human being provides the ‘bridging point’ between the physical and ethereal world, between the field of gravity and its polar opposite which should be called levity.
Mind within us is one with Universal Mind. In our thinking we can be one with the Ocean of Thought; in our feeling the Ocean of Love can play through us; in our willing an Ocean of Living Will can operate in the world of substance. There is an Ocean of Life which is God in Action. The essence of each of us, that which can say T to itself, is a droplet of this ocean, a spark of the Divine Fire.
Since Life is inextinguishable, that spark of Being must be immortal and imperishable . . . (Don’t believe, but take that idea into the heart and live as if you believed it.)
Shakespeare writes of ‘proud man . . . Most ignorant of what he’s most assured, His glassy essence . . .’ (Measure for Measure).
For the Essence, there is no death, its survival is most assured. The outer forms when they have done their service can break down, dissolve, be metamorphosed. And indeed the ‘dying’ of the sheath is an essential process in the cycle of life. As Goethe wrote:
Nature invented death that there might be more life.
We grasp first the concept of the Oceans of Creative Life and Thought, there from the primal beginning yet weaving through all substance on a vibratory rate far higher than the dense vibrations of earth. With the creation of solid substance inevitably comes time as we know it; one thing must begin to happen after another. But in the beginning was Life, and ‘the Life was the Light of man’. It is not the right question to ask: ‘When did Life begin?’ Life always was. From the condensing of thought into substance comes the secondary condition of hardening we call death. The world of free spirit dips down into the fascinatingly beautiful realm of matter, in order there to sojourn and operate, for the gaining of experience in a condition of temporary separation from the Source. Human birth is therefore to be seen as a kind of death, a descent into the prison or tomb of the body and personality and the five senses. This is a drastic limitation of a free-ranging spirit. ‘Death’ must then in reality be more of a birth, a release from limitation back into the realms from which we came and to which we really belong. We are called on to take the step which reunites us with the Source. We are each the Prodigal Son, eating the husks with the swine until we ‘come to ourselves’ and say ‘I will go back to my Father’. And the Father sees us afar off and comes out with joy to meet us. This is the way home.
The materialistic outlook inevitably leads many people to a loss of the sense of meaning to life. What is it all about? With the holistic world-picture we rediscover that, in a real sense, Man is the central purpose of it all. He appears as the great experiment of God. The Earth is the chosen training ground of the soul. We are here to experience separation from the Divine Will and thus to develop self-consciousness, ego-consciousness and the beginnings of freewill in creative action. This inevitably allowed the right to err and deviate from the Law. Hence egoism and evil, which the last centuries have seen so strongly in the West. With egoism and desire come greed, rivalry, fear, hate and war a deadly cycle.
This is the fall of man. Next must come his redemption so that creative freewill can be used to the glory of God. The beginning of this process is now being experienced. One soul after another begins to recover the lost vision. We awaken, aghast, to what we have done to the planet through our neglected stewardship. We learn to see that we are each ambassadors of God, who have forgotten the Lord to whom we are responsible. Mankind has been called the Tenth Hierarchy, ‘a little lower than the angels’.
In George Griffiths’ words:
Man, as nexus of two worlds
stands poised at this mid-between
on razor’s edge
gifted beyond angels
benizoned in light
and cast in the major role
could he but know it.
Certain high level communications received by sensitives from spiritual sources have clearly stated that so long as man insists on trying to deal with his self-created problems on the assumption that the Earth is a dead mineral body in a mechanistic universe, he will never overcome and solve his difficulties. Human self-sufficiency is inadequate and the damage already too great. But if he can learn to see the Wholeness and attune to the Powers of the Living Oneness of which he is part, then nothing is insoluble. Here is the ignored factor in all our ecological, economic and political efforts. Are we not to call on these forgotten allies for our salvation and redemption?
Though invisible, this power is positive and operative. It is going into action and the results of this will become increasingly apparent. We must wake up to the part we have got to play in this drama, in invoking and channelling the coming Light. This approach restores a sense of meaning to life and awakens in us a sense of urgency and of the dramatic nature of the time we live in. And it brings with it the supreme hope that after the tribulation will come a great renewal.
LOOK UP FOR YOUR SALVATION DRAWETH NIGH.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published March 2012
Size: 229 x 152 mm