Not to be explainers and conquerors, but conscious participants in the universe.
Posted on 29 January 2014, 12:32
In my previous blog I discussed the limits to which we can be certain in science, and the trustworthiness of accounts of exceptional human experiences provided in White Crow Books. I suggested that those books may well convince that these experiences are real and that the realm of spirit must also be real. But that still leaves us in doubt about the nature of physical reality. If we refer to the kind of books published by White Crow and similar firms, we will get seemingly contradictory interpretations. For instance, my Afterlife Teaching from Stephen the Martyr, claims to have the historical Stephen as the teacher, Conversations with God has God in that role, A Course in Miracles is said to have Jesus Christ as the author.
All three alleged teachers ascribe reality to the eternal realm of spirit, and see the physical universe as illusory, yet we find on the one hand that “Stephen” and “God” see God in all, through all, and above all, while “Jesus Christ” sees God the Absolute as entirely separate, with the physical universe a kind of self-creating mistake.
When we turn to science we find similar disagreement, with the non-materialist QM physicists seeing the physical universe as a kind of projection from the eternal, with the materialist ones seeing everything as the result of purposeless meaningless chance. And if we should wish to pin our faith in the Bible, we will need to choose between the sometimes wrathful God of Israel, or the God in whom we participate, as pictured by Jesus and Paul.
Plainly then, we can be way more certain about some of the well attested cases histories provided through White Crow, than, strangely, the various interpretations scientific or otherwise, of the everyday world that you and I live in.
I think it was the philosopher Jacob Needleman who said we were not to be “explainers and conquerors, but rather conscious participants in the universe.” If it is true that a deeper timeless realm creates the physical world and the lives we live in it, what then? If some universal mind creates the physical, will we ever be able to scientifically explain that mind? Probably not. But how very much we often want to!
A case in point: From time to time I have experienced extraordinary waves of meaningful coincidences, so striking that I am forced to admit there must be something “fishy” underlying the apparent “normalcy” of the everyday; but what produces that “fishiness” I can only guess. The synchronicities are so powerful and often life changing, so somehow reassuring that my life is “on track” that I long for explanations. Especially when a sceptic gets to hear about them, pooh-poohs them as nothing but reading meaning into chance occurrence, where no meaning exists. But bother the sceptic! The experience is deep and I know it is real.
The more powerful and complex synchronicities appear to bear witness to the fact that each of us are inextricably part of an indivisible spiritual/physical Whole, that sometimes presents itself as the activity of a greater but unknowable Mind. They bear witness to the primary fact that we are aspects of and participants in that Mind, even though we cannot explain it. We sometimes like to think that we are separate people, each with our separate stories. But it takes little thought to remind ourselves that this cannot entirely be so.
When we aspire too much to be explainers, and attempt to apply science where science cannot be applied, our spiritual nature and our ability to love is hindered, and we can feel separated from other people, alienated from both the physical and spiritual realms. People don’t agree with us, we feel attacked, relationships are harmed.
Even if we put aside thought of the spiritual, and think only of the physical, we cannot truly see ourselves as separate. All that is, is completely dependent on all that is. That I exist is dependent on the unions of countless millions of couples over the millennia, it was dependent on my parents’ care, it was dependent on the infinite complexities of human cooperation. Think for instance how many thousands of people may have been involved in the final production of that loaf of bread we buy from the supermarket. It is dependent on our education system, our culture, on the world’s ecosystems.
Psychic research in turn suggests bewildering further complexities.
Take Conversations with Ghosts by Alex Tanous and Callum E. Cooper:
“Spirit or soul, personality or individuality, ghost or apparition, here-and-now or past events appearing in the here-and-now? It’s all very confusing to those thinking in linear time and with terrestrial words and their limitations, but makes at least a little sense if we can somehow rise above linear time and recognize that celestial matters do not easily lend themselves to terrestrial thinking and logic. Tanous admitted that he found it all very confusing, commenting that he had come to no definite conclusion. “I do feel that apparitions are some kind of consciousness which makes itself visible and are more perfect than we are,” he offered. “In other words, the higher consciousness can make itself visible to the lower consciousness.’ “
Synchronicities, apparitions, and then add to that all that we have learned about the afterlife, through mediums, NDEs, OBEs, reincarnation, creativity, memory, the Akashic records and anything else one can think of: they are bespeak an indivisible Whole.
“Not explainers and conquerors, but conscious participants in the universe” – such words describe the attitude of the spiritual person. Without diminishing the importance of psychic research in the slightest, we will grow spiritually when we acknowledge and truly feel that we a “members of Christ” or participants in the universe. I have just been playing the accompaniment to a congregation singing, “Fill thou my life, O Lord my God, in every part with praise, that my whole being may proclaim your being and your ways.” That is a very good way of putting it. Many words could be written to fill out the meaning of these lines, words like love and service of neighbour, non-judgement, acceptance, humility, submission to the will of God, and so on. But they point in the right direction.
End of Blog.
Poem on this theme by NZ poet Joyce Cowley:
We are standing on sacred ground.
Let our hearts take off our shoes
And come bare, trembling with awe,
Into the Presence which burns too bright
And too close for ordinary vision.
Only a naked heart can see
That all around us, each clump of grass,
Every leaf, twig, stone and flower
Is a blazing torch, incandescent
With the only fire that has no name
Except “I am.”
And only the naked heart can know
That it too, is a burning bush,
All of us caught in the one fire,
“We are” burning into “I am.”
Brighter than a galaxy of suns.
Words cannot contain the moment,
But let us take with us,
The feeling of awe and wonder.
Tomorrow’s path might be dark.
Difficult and sharp with stones,
But in this sacred place we feel
We may never wear shoes again.
Michael Cocks edits the journal, Ground of Faith.
Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr by Michael Cocks is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.
His forthcoming book, Into the Wider Dream: Synchronicity and the Fates will be published summer 2014 by White Crow Books.
Needleman discusses consciousness in responding to questions about his book, An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth
“The element that distinguishes a human being from all other creatures is the possibility of awakened consciousness.”
Norman Kjome, Thu 30 Jan, 16:56
This is a most worthy subject and nicely put. We are clearly ‘conscious participants’, but when it comes to explanation we are confused. True. Perhaps that confusion arises from unclear definitions, and where God is concerned, we only have to look at our dictionary definitions of ‘God’, ‘Goddess’, ‘Pantheon’ and ‘Pantheism’ to illustrate the point! We must guard against personification, assigning gender, and pluralizing. Such attributes belong to the created material space-time of which we as human beings are privileged to be a part.
I have had the good fortune to have discussed these matters with extraterrestrial sentient beings of several different planets (also part of this created space-time) who have evolved beyond the level of present day humans. Their words for God are: ‘Creative Principle’, ‘Creative Force’ and ‘The Core’. I feel especially comfortable with ‘Creative Principle’, that has created all, much more than just this Planet Earth, the planet of our first knowing. But the material space-time, as we all know, is only a small part of the creation; there is also the non-material part. The ongoing souls and soul aspects are more fundamental than the material beings but of course inextricably connect. Jesus, Mary, Buddha, St Stephen etc are of this part and further evolved than majority. It is a blessing that they have been able to help guide.
The point that I endeavor to make is that with attention to definitions we can produce a much clearer picture of ‘truth of existence’.
George E Moss, Thu 30 Jan, 11:58
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