Cosmic Soul, Sacred Mind, Spirit


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Cosmic Soul, Sacred Mind and Spirit

The Voice, Cecil Collins 1938,
Oil on Canvas, 48" x 60"

Consciousness is the ground of all being and our self-consciousness is That consciousness.

Amit Goswami, The Self-Aware Universe

One of the most exciting aspects of the new vision is a radical change in the Judeo-Christian concept of God. For over two thousand years, God has been worshipped as a male deity transcendent to creation, not as a vast cosmic field of energy in which our material dimension is embedded. Now this is changing. Science does not at present accept the hypothesis that the universe is conscious or that our own consciousness participates and originates in that deeper ground or field. But new discoveries and the subjective experiences of pioneering individuals suggest that this is so. I am certain that in the not too distant future, this hypothesis will become scientifically proven fact. In this section, I am including passages from the work of people who stand at the threshold of this new vision. Anne Baring

from Dark Night, Early Dawn by Christopher Bache

"In order to awaken to our true and essential condition, we must let fall from us everything that we thought we were or thought we needed in the most fundamental sense. In order to reach this naked condition, one must go through a transformational process that Christian tradition calls the "dark night of the soul." The dark night is an arduous stage of spiritual purification in which the aspirant endures a variety of physical and psychological purifications, eventually undergoing a profound spiritual death and rebirth." page 15

"Just when Western culture had convinced itself that the entire universe was a machine, that it moves with a machine's precision and a machine's blindness, the ability to experience the inner life of the universe is being given back to us…The entire human endeavor has been emptied of existential purpose and significance because it has been judged to be a product of blind chance. When one gains access to the inner experience of the universe, however, one learns that, far from being an accident, our conscious presence here is the result of a supreme and heroic effort. Far from living our lives unnoticed in a distant corner of an insentient universe, we are everywhere surrounded by orders of intelligence beyond reckoning." page 4

"In a century which gave us relativity theory, quantum theory, superstring theory and chaos theory, is it preposterous to think that there are major surprises also waiting for us in the human mind? When mathematicians are debating whether there are seven, eleven, or thirteen dimensions to our universe, when astrophysicists are considering whether black holes might be portals to other dimensions and quantum physicists are mapping particles that pop in and out of physical existence, coming from and returning to we know not where, is it really…absurd…to consider the possibility that our minds may not be restricted to the simple four-dimensional spacetime world we can touch with our fingers and toes?" pages 38-9

"Taken as a whole, Western thought has committed itself to a vision of reality that is based almost entirely on the daylight world of ordinary states of consciousness while systematically ignoring the knowledge that can be gained from the night-time sky of nonordinary states…Trapped within the horizon of the near-at-hand mind, our culture creates myths about the unreliability and irrelevance of nonordinary states." page 5

"Our strong Western conviction has been that mind is generated by brain and therefore comes "after" brain, both historically and ontologically. Psychedelic experience, however, endorses the perennial perspective that mind precedes brain, and that the miracle of evolution is the miracle of a self-organizing universe that is creating the physical structures that allow a pre-existing awareness to penetrate realms previously insensitive to its presence. From a transpersonal perspective, superconscient awareness already exists, and everywhere surrounds us. It has painstakingly created the organic form that finally has the capacity to support an increased measure of this awareness in the physical sphere, but we have not yet fully actualized this potential because of the mental habits formed during our earlier stages of evolutionary and cultural development. Everywhere this superordinate awareness presses in upon us, looking for points of entry, trying to reach us in our dreams, our meditations, and our moments of undistracted selflessness." page 210

"The seminal insight being articulated is the discovery that parts cannot be meaningfully isolated from the systems in which they exist. In the subatomic world of quantum mechanics and the macro-world modeled by non-linear mathematics, all individual, particulate existence shows itself to be inseparable from its corresponding fields. Individual pieces of life cannot be realistically isolated from their surrounding matrix. ..Our challenge at this point is to …grasp the fact that what is true of the living systems that surround us is also true of ourselves in the deepest possible sense." page 156

"As my experience of this seamless universe progressed, I came to discover that I was not exploring a universe "out there," but a universe that "I" in some essential way already was. Somehow these experiences of cosmic order led me step by step into a deeper embrace of my own reality. I was exploring the universe as a dimension of my own existence, slowly remembering aspects of my being that I had lost contact with. This exploration seemed to answer a cosmic need not only to know but to be known." p. 74

"If we assume for the moment that the dynamics of this species-mind parallel the dynamics of the personal psyche to some degree, we can speculate that just as problematic experiences can collect and block the healthy functioning of the individual, similar blockages might also occur at the collective level. This suggests that the unresolved anguish of human history might still be active in the memory of the species-mind, burdening its life just as our individual unresolved anguish burdens ours. Continuing the parallel, if conscious engagement of previously unresolved pain brings therapeutic release at the personal level, the same might also occur at the species-level." page 80

"Lifetime by lifetime, the scope of our care broadens as the full range of our nature expresses itself more completely. Eventually, the developments that have been fermenting within and around us for millennia begin to break into our conscious awareness. The true dimensions of our life simply cannot hide themselves any longer. When this happens we begin to awaken. Sometimes suddenly, sometimes slowly, a veil lifts and we glimpse the true scope of the being that we already are. Nature reveals her handiwork - a being unbound by time or space and yet focused in a specific time and place. The work has already been done; there is nothing to add or take away. There is only the harvest." page 211

"Transpersonal experience shows us that beneath the levels of consciousness where our minds are separate and distinct are depths where they begin to interpenetrate until they eventually are enfolded with the undivided Sacred Mind itself." page 185

"Sacred Mind is not a distant reality that surfaces only in nonordinary state of consciousness but the inner lining of everyday life. It is the unbounded awareness within which all individualized experience occurs, the living matrix within which minds meet and engage. The dynamics of Sacred Mind, therefore, are hidden" in plain sight, but we fail to recognize them for two reasons. First, we habitually restrict our experience of mind to the nearby territory of ego and, second, our culture has not taught us to recognize the presence of this broader mental field, let alone how it functions. Because we are constantly taught that only individual beings have minds, we fail to recognize instances of transindividual mental functioning operating in our everyday life….Awakening inside Sacred Mind slowly sensitizes one to the fact that this Mind permeates every aspect of life. It is the medium within which we all exist, the mental field within which all minds meet." page 183

"Nature is concerned not only with individual incarnations but with souls, and not only with souls but with the human species as a whole, and not only with humanity but with the evolutionary project in its entirety. Each individual is cherished beyond measure, and yet our private efforts flow into a realization centred both within us and beyond us simultaneously. It is the awakening of humanity as a whole that is the current project of history; nothing less will satisfy the Creative Principle." page 181

"I believe that this divine marriage of Individuality and Essential Ground, of the Masculine and Feminine, of samsara and nirvana is the dawn that humanity's dark night is driving toward. This is the dawn that, if successfully navigated, will unite humankind and elevate us into a form that has never before walked this Earth: a humanity healed of the scars of history, its ancient partitions reabsorbed; a people with new capacities born in the chaos of near-extinction. Only when we have made this pivot, when our long labor has birthed this future Child, only then will we fully understand what we have accomplished. And when this moment finally comes, I deeply believe that, like all mothers before us, we will count our pain a small price. This birth is our gift to the Creator." pages 277-8

The following passages in italics are taken from session notes made during the experience of nonordinary (psychedelic) states of consciousness.

"After some intervening experience, I was brought to an encounter with a unified energy field underlying all physical existence. I was confronting an enormous field of blindingly bright, incredibly intense energy...This energy was the single energy that comprised all existence. All things that existed were but varied aspects of its comprehensive existence." page 67

"What stood out for me in the early stages was the interconnectedness of everything to form a seamless whole. The entire universe is an undivided, totally unified, organic phenomenon. I saw various breakthroughs - quantum theory, Bell's theorem, morphogenetic fields, holographic theory, systems theory, the grand unified theory and so on - as but the early phases of the scientific discovery of this wholeness. I knew that these discoveries would continue to mount until it would become impossible for us not to recognize the universe for what it was - a unified organism of extraordinary design reflecting a massive Creative Intelligence. The intelligence and love that was responsible for what I was seeing kept overwhelming me and filling me with reverential awe.
The unified field underlying physical existence completely dissolved all boundaries. As I moved deeper into it, all borders fell away, all appearances of division were ultimately illusory. No boundaries between incarnations, between human beings, between species, even between matter and spirit. The world of individuated existence was not collapsing into an amorphous mass, as it might sound, but rather was revealing itself to be an exquisitely diversified manifestation of a single entity.
page 74

"Though these experiences were extraordinary in their own right, the most poignant aspect of today's session was not the discovered dimensions of the universe themselves but what my seeing and understanding them meant to the Consciousness I was with. It seemed so pleased to have someone to show Its work to. I felt that it had been waiting for billions of years for embodied consciousness to evolve to the point where we could at long last begin to see, understand and appreciate what had been accomplished. I felt the loneliness of this Intelligence having created such a masterpiece and having no one to appreciate Its work, and I wept. I wept for its isolation and in awe of the profound love which had accepted this isolation as part of a larger plan. Behind creation lies a Love of extraordinary proportions, and all of existence is an expression of this love. The intelligence of the universe's design is equally matched by the depth of love that inspired it." page 70

"I saw humanity climbing out of a valley and just ahead, on the other side of the mountain peak and beyond our present sight, was a brilliant, sun-drenched world that was about to break over us. The time frame was enormous. After millions of years of struggle and ascent, we were poised on the brink of a sunrise that would forever change the conditions of life on this planet. All current structures would quickly become irrelevant. All truths would quickly be rendered passé. Truly a new epoch was dawning. The lives of everyone living on the edge of this pivotal time in history had been helping to bring about this global shift. page 220

From this perspective I saw that our culture's scientific "knowledge" about the origin of life was profoundly incomplete in two respects. First, our materialistic understanding of the actual mechanism of evolution is pitifully incomplete, and second, we have been basing our interpretations on what has emerged just up to this point in time, ignoring the obvious fact that we have seen only the early scenes of a much larger play…The depth of our ignorance is measured by our conviction that our universe has been assembled by accident. In being given glimpses of the future, in touching the edges of the Creator's intent, I saw that evolution was indeed no accident but a creative act of supreme brilliance and that humanity was being taken across a threshold that would change it forever." page 221

"The great difficulty I have is describing the enormity of what is being birthed. The true focus of this creative process is not individuals but all humanity. It is actually trying to reawaken the entire species. What is emerging is a consciousness of unprecedented proportions, the entire human species integrated into a unified field of awareness. The species reconnected with its Fundamental Nature. Our thoughts tuned to Source Consciousness. Having moved beyond linear time into "deep time," I experienced this both as a projected destiny and also as a realized actuality. It was simultaneously something to be accomplished and something already accomplished. This quantum jump in our evolutionary status precipitated a wholesale reorganization of global culture. It signaled a turning point that would forever divide the human story into the before and after of THE GREAT AWAKENING." page 220

These extracts from Dark Night, Early Dawn, are reproduced here with the permission of Christopher Bache. His book is published by State university of New York Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7914-4606.

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Creativity, Consciousness and Civilisation

From The Face of Glory: Creativity, Consciousness and Civilisation by William Anderson

"Through the practice of meditation more and more people are having experience of states of awareness and unveilings of consciousness that are affecting their lives and the lives of those connected with them or influenced by them. One of the effects of this is that in religion they are beginning to trust experience rather than the magisterium or the traditional dogmas of their inherited faiths. They do not need authority in the way their fathers did. Another effect is upon the new subjects science is having to take into account, especially the nature of consciousness.
----- Implicit in the practice of meditation is an ideal of humanity, an ideal less glamorous perhaps than some of the ideals of former civilizations, such as the uomo universale of the Renaissance. In meditation the meditator is the audience of one in relation to the universal consciousness of God. The ideal is that he or she in meditating becomes the perfect and absorbed listener of the ultimate silence and the perfect enjoyer of the bliss of the present moment, taking the experience of calm and happiness into whatever are the activities of the daily life of that meditator. It is an ideal that goes beyond the limitations of our current religious and social boundaries and, if it seems to mean a withdrawal from what is called real life, it is a temporary withdrawal towards the source of life, the momentary experience of the ever-present trust of the Golden Age, the fountain of renewal in the forest glade of the mind, the peace of the mountaintop which is the place of propitiation, only in order that life should be engaged and lived more fully. I predict that in this ideal - which many people are now putting into practice - lie the solutions to what we will make of the mass of information, images and memories from the past with which we are overwhelmed today. Through realizing that ideal we may learn the necessary simplicity of what to keep and what to discard, how to interpret and how to manage our creative and imaginative powers. We may also become a new kind of audience with tastes refined into longing for new forms of participatory art and science.
----- Creativity is an outward impulse. In Christian terms it is the procession of the Word, resounding in space, manifesting in time and incarnate in matter. Thus a movement in the spirit is incarnated as music, uttered thought, a poem, a demonstration of the laws of nature, an artefact or painting and, in the cycle of creativity, it is returned to the spirit of the spectator and the audience. It is the outward embrace of love.
----- Also implicit in the practice of meditation is the premiss that the consciousness to which it aspires is universal consciousness. As a summary of how creativity may be understood under the same premiss, I recapitulate themes that have been expressed earlier and bring them together in what follows.
----- Within the universal consciousness desires arise. The desires create an unmanifested world, the divine imagination. The divine imagination contains all the possible ways in which the desires could be manifested. Within it is a principle of discrimination which decides which of the possible ways the manifestation will take. It could see that the fulfilling of the desire will separate it from the full consciousness but we need not see it in that way.
-----With the help of the divine imagination of which our own imaginations are shadows, we can think of creation and non-separation in the following way:
-----Creation begins and continues as a single sound.
-----That sound includes all ideas, meanings and all expressions of meaning and all possible languages. It is universal consciousness letting itself be known as the Word. That sound holds within itself all rhythms, melodies, chords and all the possibilities of music. It is universal consciousness letting itself be known as song. That sound resonates in eternity and its resonances create voids and spaces and a diversity of experiences of time, the time experience of a galaxy, a tree, a man, a mayfly. It still holds within itself all lights and darknesses and all possible variety of colours. It also holds all natural laws and the principles of life and intelligent life. It creates beings capable of consciousness themselves who are the spectators and the audiences of its creation. It is universal consciousness letting itself be known as glory.
----- We, the human race, are the creation of that sound and, as we are made conscious by its light and will, so we share in its creative possibilities. Where we think we invent, we discover; where we suppose we originate, we are supplied from the true origins. In our ultimate essence, our true individuality, we are that sound and through our existence we are ears to hear that sound and mouths to utter that sound." pages 336-7

The Face of Glory was published by Bloomsbury, London 1996. ISBN 0-7475-2006-2. This extract is reproduced here with the permission of Mrs. Jennifer Anderson.

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