[For a year or so around 2005 Michael Lerner had been inviting me to write a piece for Tikkun on science, religion, and politics. On my end I have been sending him selections from my three most recent books in hopes that he could excerpt something appropriate. The material reinforced his original impulse to interest me in writing something on embryology just for Tikkun. The way he put it was “more commentary, less poetry.” I wouldn’t call it poetry, but my prose is literary insofar as it is influenced by aesthetic as well as topical concerns. Tikkun rejected it.]
An Inquiry on Science and Religion
Over the last twenty-eight years I have written a number of books on scientific perspectives from simultaneously anthropological, spiritual, and political viewpoints. I have explored primarily three arenas: medicine-healing, astronomy-cosmology-physics, and embryology-biology-genetics. In this brief essay I will draw on material from the latter topic on which I have put together three books comprising about 1700 pages, written mostly since 1996: Embryogenesis: Species, Gender, and Identity (2000); Embryos, Galaxies, and Sentient Beings: How the Universe Makes Life (2004); and On the Integration of Nature: Post-9-11 Biopolitical Notes (2005).
On one side, there is progressive atheistic science; on the other, conservative theistic religion. The latter upholds the sacred fetus; the former, a woman’s right to choose if that fetus will be brought to life term in her body. On the “science” side sit technocrats, gene splicers, stem-cell experimenters, and evolutionists; on the “religious side,” the clergy and their faithful. There are spiritual, psychospiritual, and metaphysical folks on both sides. The pure secular nihilists believe that life is raw matter arranged by an algorithm, whereas all spiritual traditions presume that matter has another dimension and frequency from which it draws its consciousness.
The extremists are equally disingenuous: life and spirit are real, even in embryonic form, but every phase of life and death, conception and predation, being and responsibility are equal and congruent. You can’t be pro-life in fetal form and against ecology, protection of species, social services, art, and the divine in the flesh. Environment and society are merely extensions of the womb, and the womb is the first environment, the first society.
While a contrariety exists on the surface, it is not sustained at any level of depth. The formulaic ideological positions and their sloganeering are inconsistent on both sides, and (in addition) the real universe involves issues far more intricate and paradoxical than these simple dualities (before birth/after birth) or oppositions (pro-life/pro-choice) can address. One must go beneath the surface, first of all simply to discover what position anyone actually holds in his or her heart; secondly, to identify the actual universe we all share.
If, in the coming years, the secular liberals and moral conservatives could gradually converge on a working interpretation of our place in the universe, then they might bring their respective energy, zeal, strengths to the very real crises facing us—and I promise you, it is not pro-life versus pro-choice even when it is, because the real “life” and the real “choice” are entirely different from the rhetorical postures. Imagine what radical and creative changes could occur if the sincere fervor and commitment to service of most religious conservatives could be fused with the depth of analysis and tools of progressive science. We have already seen how much damage can be done when science and religion mix diabolically (9-11 was a recent vivid performance). What if jihadist and other fundamentalist movements devoted themselves to the inner jihad, to shamanic warriorship and planetary healing instead of planetary cleansing?
Science exists on two levels. There is the ancient inquiry into nature (sciens = knowing), and there is the ideology arising from that inquiry in the modern materialized phase of history. Pure science has given us astonishing, even zen insight into atoms, molecules, cells, stars, the lives of animals, other worlds, etc. It has provided the baseline physical laws by which things work.
There is no point is challenging the accuracy of these disclosures and images: they are honest, hard-earned descriptions of the amazing universe in which we find ourselves through senses that universe has given us.
On the other hand, there is an ideology of science, somewhat unfairly identified as Darwinism (because Darwin himself wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole), which argues self-servingly and intransigently that matter and life forms must have come about randomly and accidentally, that consciousness is only a molecular artifact, and that (of course) there are no innate meanings, values, or morals in the universe. This set of presumptions pervades the professional scientific establishment as a proud emblem of membership.
Science is godless because there is no need for God and no God has been found. It is not only godless but triumphantly and arrogantly so, perhaps because former authoritarian gods—actually human beings with agendas that they deviously assigned to gods—ruled much of society and bound it in superstititions and narcissistic religious institutions. Only by overthrowing universal theocracy could objective science (and humanity) emerge and breathe. But the God that was overthrown was not the real God.
Now we are free to achieve our biological destiny. To let religion (religio) get in the way again would be to abdicate responsibility for our own actions as well as be in denial of our stark placement in creation. It is a virtual mantra of the professional skeptics that to let in even a glimmer of vitalism or transdimensionalism is to return to the dark ages; thus, they battle not only religion but all sciences and practices of so-called paranormal phenomena that do not fit into a narrow definition of scientific law, thereby discouraging even mainstream science from exploring real anomalies in nature through which it might expand its domain and discover new paradigms.
Pure science left free to investigate all phenomena, especially those that intersect with consciousness (an aspect of the universe too, duh!), would almost certainly converge with pure religion in such a way that physics and biology would arrive at interpretations of creation compatible with mystical Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Then we might begin to see some presently daunting political and environmental problems with fresh eyes.
There is of course also an entrenched ideology of religion, with a legacy of inquisitions as unbending as that of the scientistic skeptics. In fact, at a deeper level, they are all the same inquisitions and the same inquisitioners, separated only by the camouflage that one group is doing religion, the other science. They are both separate from the sheer visionary event of being alive and the epiphany of a vast transcendent universe, entrapping adherents in formal or sanctioned revelations and transmissions and cultural rules and mores. Masquerading as divine imperative, Islamic fundamentalism proclaims martial theocracy; Christian fundamentalism launches new crusades; Jewish fundamentalism demotes God to a real-estate agent.
True science does not clash with true primal vision: God does not clash with nature. The conflict is between ideologists of science (i.e., fundamentalists) and ideologues of religion (also, fundamentalists). Fundamentalist science is another Judaeo-Christian religion—prostrating before a flow of molecules—a belief system that generates and enforces codes of behavior. At its most limited, fundamentalist science imposes a rigid spiritual emptiness on people in order to sponsor a particular materialist, capitalist agenda, which then furthers (at least subconsciously) the goals of elitist and progressive scientists. The religious Right in the United States is on to this like white on rice and, though they may be bigoted and critical for the “wrong” reasons, that does not change the relevance of their critique of science. They get it: the imposition of aggressive nihilism is not simply neutral, impartial physics or biology. The bland killing of the fetus and the coronation of the even the science of the chaos theory of weather are power grabs. I may think that they have social and ecological value and meaning, but don’t for a minute be fooled that these “science” people don’t have other agendas too, agendas involved in driving spirits and divine entities from concourse with humans on this planet. Until we recognize the full totemic and cultural meanings of these viewpoint and their ideological imperatives, we cannot begin to address global warming, species genocide, or planetary toxification.
Science says: We are conscious not because consciousness is a frequency of intelligence and meaning in the universe but because ganglia capture and order data in order run more effective consuming machines. Those that could interpolate environmental information in networks survived. Chemicals go only where gravity and heat draw them; they are “happier” that way, and they have no choice. Consciousness is a chemico-cinematic illusion, conducting unfounded impulses along mere trunklines of protoplasm.
The materialistic view leaves us devoid of any reason to exist other than to metabolize, except that (inconveniently) we are and know that we are. Even materialism knows that it is. How to explain that?
Able to launch telescopes and split atoms, we are simultaneously running from the implications of the mechanisms we have discovered. We do not grasp or even see the world we think we have conquered. As we colonize space and supervise matter, we retain an inner sense of smallness and restriction. We do not know how to make space in ourselves for our actual experiences. Afraid of who we are, trapped claustrophobically in little mechanical deeds and inflated tautologies, we have no expanse for the real universe, having projected it into an illusion of things and names; into labor-intensive machines and capital imbroglios; into melodramas, schemes, and entitlements that arise from the unconscious, yet seem like free will.
The real mystery will never be engaged, let alone solved, by such science—no matter how much energy and matter we dissect, how near we project to the hypothetical Big Bang.
Physics and biology must address who we are, where we come from, and where we are going.
How does any of this play out in the present American political arena? Let’s go back to the fetus—that is, the embryo. Science presents us with an albeit complex formula whereby matter in the universe, obeying absolute laws of thermodynamics and gravity, gets turned into information; information self-organizes biologically; and biological activity synergizes into neural synapsing and consciousness. At no point in this progression does spirit or divine force intercede. It is a cut-and-dry algorithm playing itself out to no end (except the binding, loading, and releasing of free energy in entropic space). Thus, on the science side, to abort embryonic development is a personal or social matter only. It has nothing to do with divine law or edict.
From the standpoint of Christian belief systems, however, the embryo is an extension of a holy force, a writ in flesh. To abort its development is to impede the work of God, is a sacrilege against God. When anti-abortion activists risk life in prison or worse, one must assume that they feel strongly about divine intention on this matter and take them at the conviction of their own word. The only other plausible explanation is the kind of irrational fanatic hatred that hooligan sports fans cultivate for the players and fans of opposing teams.
At one level, it is right to be appalled and outraged by the act of abortion. The embryological process is magical and inexplicable in ways far too profound and complex to be explained by mere successions of trial-and-error algorithms and the translation of thermodynamics into the metabolism of living tissue. It is not neutral and value-less. Under the rowdy conditions of the universe, molecules should not tend to seek sustained order.
But it is not necessary to pose a linear divine intercession in life and consciousness for us to recognize that the biophysical reduction of life to thermodynamics-plus-information is an oversimplification. Within the codex of scientific paradigms, life and embryoization of matter does not hold water. Something else is needed. For instance, in his book Investigations chaotecian Stuart Kaufman proposes a fourth law of thermodynamics (to be added to the recognized three) in order to explain organisms.
Genes are almost certainly not the sole or even the initial organizing agency of matter into cells and tissues. At very least, there are other cohesion-generating, strongly geometric dynamic forces in the environment. But, even as we handicap these (gravity, centripetality, surface tension, boundary, shear force, emergent properties, etc.) , something is still missing from the equation. After all, there is hardly a significant difference between the genome of a mouse and that of a human being, and yet the morphological, psychological, and existential differences between these bionts are enormous. What contributes the requisite quanta to the mix?
There is no denying that science gives us profound and true insight into a process that is well beyond the range of present science to describe; yet it poses itself as an absolute authority on the topic while dismissing any scintilla of a vital or internal aspect to matter in the universe. This then provides a cover for an ideologically hedonistic society in which spiritual aspirations are denigrated as illusions or opiate for the masses or as death-denying delusions. As we condemn ourselves in advance to being mere irrelevant specks in a vast, antipathetic cosmos, we create a society to mirror that.
The authoritarian reaction of conservative Christianity as well as Islam and other authoritarian faiths to this secularized global civilization is merely its other face, a miserly and neurotic anti-hedonism. While science has become a religion interpreting its own incomplete data in such a way as to impose a pseudo-spiritual anti-spiritual practice of nihilism on the masses in the context of a valueless society, fundamentalist religion has become its pseudo-science or science fiction in which a extraterrestrial entity governs humanity from a kingdom and throne out beyond the galaxies according to axioms set down in a pietistic script.
It is no wonder that conservative cultural tropes battle to the death with liberal humanitarian ones across the modern landscape, and creative imagination, playful intelligence, and real vision and compassion are left on the sidelines or, even worse, persecuted and assassinated.
The current attempt of educated moralist Christians to replace atheistic evolution in the schools with the biology of Intelligent Design is ludicrous. There is no such biology. Ideologically substituting one stale doctrine for another accomplishes nothing but a change in tyrants, and anyway Darwinism is not a stale doctrine, it is a living scientific vision of the deep material and karmic modes of creations. It is a true seeing; its problem is solely that it has been universalized to one size fits all. Attacking Darwinism on speciously false grounds, ID advocates seek not to inquire into the mystery of creation and life, not really at all; not even to find God; but to assign Creation to an ideologically restrictive biblical framework.
Certainly the evolutionary model is full of gaps, paradoxes, and false steps, but the supposedly flawed elements chosen by ID advocates to pull down the house represent either naive misunderstandings of the theory and logic of natural selection or intentional and propagandistic misinterpretations of it.
The agenda of ID is not to look into the real miracle of life, because that has pagan elements, but to ideologize the fetus in such a way as to demonstrate that their anthropomorphized God is the one running the show. Not even their God but their politicians and inquisitioners.
A fully compassionate and cognizant “right to life” position would recognize the quality of life of all human—and in fact all sentient—beings. It would take into account the environmental and social degradation brought about in the developing world by the distinctly ungodly alliance of Christian and capitalist values; it would take into the slaughter of innocents in facilely imposed preemptions and wars, the vast incarceration and execution Prison Industrial Complex in their US of Red, White and Blue, the poisoning of the Earth for present and future generations, the spread of weapons under Second Amendment advocacies, and other attitudes and actions either packaged along with “Right to Life” and ID or the result of Right Wing political philosophies espoused by the same people. Even more telling is the cavalier disregard of the treatment of animals in factory farms, even the encouragement of animal abuse by biblical citation. It takes a particularly narrow-minded or creatively slanted perspective to split hairs over the difference between one life form and another. The developing embryo of a pig or chicken and that of a human are so alike and so obviously share an origin that only a perverse and legalistic God would assert that one adult form can be brutally executed at will without any rights and the other fetus should not be harmed under any condition.
The human embryo can be viewed as a unique form of spiritualized matter without having to impose a Christian creator with a Republican political agenda on it. The organization of matter into conscious life is a spiritual, but not a restricted Christian process. The embryo is a self-organizing event through which the essential profundity of the universe emerges. It is something to explore in its entire and full potential. It is not something to be used disingenuously to defend one or another set of ethnic values or authoritarian rules. Only by honoring what is intrinsically spiritual in matter, beyond ideology, beyond certainty, beyond agenda, as it is emerging through us, can we serve creation and become whole ourselves. This is something that neither ideologized science nor ideologized religion offers, but on which pure science and pure visionary experience converge without even trying.
Some quotes from books:
Embryogenesis: Species, Gender, and Identity
“Most scientists ignore the gap between a sense of being alive in a mysterious world and their own doctrinal explanations for it. Perhaps they fear the shadows collecting just outside the veil of law and its cavalcade of sanctioned reality…. The illusion is that biology is dealing with something established and proven, but the molecular, cellular phenomena behind embryogenesis are so latent and old that there is no thread at all by which to get at them and their true agency. Only the outer edge of their mechanism is exposed, like frazzles of yarn; the rest has been subsumed in the transformational process itself. Biology’s pictures of life are ludicrous oversimplifications of an occasion denser than a neutron star. Over unimaginable epochs the infinite and cosmic has buried itself in the infinitesimal. Evolution has taken something as big and complex as the universe—in fact has taken the universe itself…and, over billions of years, stuffed it…into something as tiny as the nucleus of a cell.”
“…it is…incomprehensible that this gossamer world of microtubules and mantras, of Sigmund Freud, Joan Miro, and Samuel Beckett, came into being through a thermodynamic accident and the happenstance properties of molecules and amino acids. Though nearly every scientist rotely professes belief in this epistemology, none of them behave as though they are mere jumbles of chemical concatenations. They act like official spokesmen for the gods.
“On the one hand, it is the only reasonable explanation; on the other hand, it is utterly ludicrous. Everyone knows that it is the only reasonable explanation; yet, everyone also knows that it is utterly ludicrous.
“The modern sensibility has come to its natural end in absurdity.”
“The embryo is the subtlest, most incomprehensible shape that nature has to offer. It is in the embryo that quantum mechanics and uncertainty principles are blatantly exhibited in a live thing. It is in the embryo that molecular hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, magnesium, and the like (for there is nothing else among its ingredients) are turned into full-fledged jungles with birds. It is in the embryo that “an impersonal power, manifesting as limitless energy, radiates to the planets of world-systems without number, streaming to them from their respective suns” (Paul Foster Case)…. It is in the embryo that junk becomes tissue and tissue develops consciousness…. It is in the embryo alone that the merciless universe—the stuff exploding in stars and riding on meteors—develops eyes and ears.
“The events exhibited by this wriggling, deepening… heap lead to everything we know and are, to everything we can say about it or (for that matter) about anything else. Look at it and you are looking at the only bridge between nothing and everything. You are looking at how nature organizes its heart and core, how the breath of Yahweh animates marl, how meaning moves and births itself, how original pagan stone carves an alphabet and writes text.
“This is not an automaton or device. It is not a tactic of sperm and egg (or cell clones), for no piece of the embryo knows where it is, what it is, or what it is becoming, until it happens, micron by micron and millisecond by millisecond, each time again, anew….
“…embryogenesis is the handiwork of the divine, literally funneling spirit into matter. Its invaginating, layering dance is how spirit looks when it enters matter; it is how matter looks receiving spirit. But, since there is one cosmos, visible and recondite, this is the same thing…. Ontogenesis is spirit’s exact signature in mass….
“The body is the soul; it is the soul’s replication in flesh and blood…. It is the only shape the soul can make under these conditions…. It is spirit writing itself in amino acids and cells.
“Look not to holy scripture, which contains mere human injunctions in ideograms, but to the event which breaks through thermodynamics without language, which transmits not in phonemes and graphemes but existence. It is the Word of God.”
Embryos, Galaxies, and Sentient Beings: How the Universe Makes Life
“The embryo is the universe writing itself on its own body…. If the universe couldn’t make embryos, it would be an entirely different universe and would mean a different thing…. I am convinced that life could not exist unless it was intrinsic in matter, unless it preceded even subatomic particles.”
“[The Intelligent Design people] are…disingenuous in: 1) claiming that science’s recent discovery of the greater complexity of cells and proteins confirms ID and makes it impossible for molecular biology to delve any further into ineluctable phenomena—when it actually more dramatically confirms complexity theory and opens microbiological experimentation to a new, dimensionless universe of research through further parsing the previously irreducible (and sacrosanct); 2) playing “Gotcha!” by overblowing mistakes one or another Ider fakes having discovered in scientific textbook, errors that are minor, incidental, and have already been widely acknowledged or corrected; 3) taking advantage of a large number of well-meaning, scientifically illiterate citizens who can be swayed to support creationism after being confronted with the seeming paradox of highly designed life forms with minds confabulated by random assortments of atoms and molecules (what could be more absurd?); 4) appropriating stature they have not earned within the scientific community or by peer-reviewed work but which comes solely from political pressure generated by extracurricular publicity—which has the deleterious effect of making it look as though aggressive p.r. is more gainful that good science; 5) using funding from the religious Right to foist their writings on textbook adoption committees, if not as required reading then as supplementary volumes—they make demands on the basis that including both sides of the debate is only fair despite confusion caused among students by blatantly biased and unscientific misinformation…and 6) drumming it into public awareness that evolution has not been experimentally proven when obviously no one can conduct an experiment by time machine or over hundreds of thousands of generations.”
“Materialistic science offers a grimly jaundiced view of the universe, one that is based on a fundamental objection to spirit. Everything, both inanimate and alive, is subdivided and pigeonholes, robbed of essence. Every possibility (other than technological) is subjected to cautionary arguments of ‘this will only lead to that,’ so every trail out of nihilism is as fatal as the condition itself—or even worse, for wasting hope.
“We are so afraid of ourselves that we have expended centuries of monumental labor trying to prove in theorems and laboratories beyond a doubt that we don’t exist, the meaning is not meaning, life is not really life….
“You don’t get kids to stop shooting heroin and aborting fetuses by imposing a joyless, despotic figurehead on them, by telling them, ‘Christ died for you, and you are nothing and you better know it.’ They see right through that, and they can find plenty of other gods and voodoo masters to support acts of sacred disobedience.
“You must encourage them to find their own magic. After all, Christ died so that people would be as he was, find their origin in God as he did, not so that they would feel terrible because he died for them.”
“When anti-abortionists rage over the murder of unborn souls, they miss the complexity of embodiment. All embodiment is at risk, at stake, all the time. We can’t know the problematic circumstances or hidden destiny of any individual sperm, egg, embryo, unused zygote, in vitro ovum, or discarded genetic material.
“We can’t abort life. We only abort matter.”
“In order for science to work, for technology to take us where we are truly going, able to go, it must find where consciousness meets matter, where thoughts themselves converge with atoms, where cells convene on reality. Otherwise, it is not simply that we won’t solve the riddle of nature or make our grand unified field theory; it is that our machines won’t work, won’t be good enough or run long and powerfully enough. We will be helpless against fundamental crises of resource depletion, industrial pollution, energy itself, and human violence. We will fail. We will fail without ever meeting ourselves. We will fail without ever turning on the light.”
“Embryos are the sheerest, most acrobatic molecular processes that allow nature to get at itself, at its primal atoms, to ‘think’ its own existence, to seep into space-time, to undergo metamorphoses. These will never by unraveled by science because they are both inside and outside physical effects….
Modes of morphogenesis—big mind assembling vessels for itself out of its own matter—matriculate everywhere that thoughts meld climes of atoms suitable for bodies to inhabit. All life processes are thought working on and partially solving its own conundrums, making designs that allow it to explore the realms of its own existentiality. The universe needs bionts on planets to become whole….
“Put it this way: If thought wants to swim in Jovian oceans, life will be there, breathing ammonia, not only because Darwin insists upon its, but because mind incarnates it. Likewise, if thought wants to infest the hot sulphurous clouds of Venus or boiling muds beneath its surface, airborne microbes and underground tendrils will spring forth, molecule by molecule, chewing metal.”
On the Integration of Nature: Post-9-11 Biopolitical Notes
The big question of the universe is how did it get from only thermodynamics and gravity to information (given thermodynamic constraints), from mere information to embodiment, from embodiment to consciousness? That is our question, science’s question, and there isn’t any rivaling it. To the subquestion of “What is consciousness?” I would reverse arrow of inquiry and say (paradoxical though it seems), “Consciousness is matter in another form, while matter arises solely from consciousness sublimated.”
The primal state of consciousness from which matter originated would not look like consciousness to us, as we are far removed from its scintillation, its lucidity, deep inside its density. Yet from mind’s archetypal seed state arose matter and then, through molecular activity, habitable shapes evolved.
Leaving its original form as substanceless transphysical seed, consciousness passes through stages of atomicity into a nervous system (its own expression anyway at another level) and then into mind. Yes, matter is consciousness in another form, even as consciousness is matter returned to its primordium, viewing its origin nostalgically and vastly altered—like a gorgeous sunrise—from across the entire universe.
The way that creature embryos matriculate on all worlds provides a morphological map roughly resembling the itinerary out of pure mind through tissue structure to minded consciousness. That is what an embryo is—an exquisite four-dimensional flowing sculpture of the consciousness/matter transformation in the universe. The devious subtleties and complexities of this unfolding are especially evident on cellular and biomolecular levels.
Matter reenacts the seminal event of its relationship to consciousness each time a new life form is conceived. The spirit personality shoots from some sort of hyperzone to fuse with a crude lump traveling in self-organizing biomolecular space under counter-entropic dynamics. Once hexed, once present design is captured by the organismal field of atavistic prerequisite, the homunculus unravels from bacterial precursors into autopoietic hydrozoan and saurian molds through marsupial and simian matrices to meet the face of an angel in the temple of the mammalian womb. This is the divine investiture, the transposition of consciousness into matter.
To attempt to assign physical/spiritual development merely to the intersection of heat, mass, information (as genes), entropy, and the statistics of natural selection is to miss the profound kinetic/telekinetic force pouring shape and energy into the blastula and its successors.
Magic without science is stagnant and terrifying and puts humanity in a nostalgic thrall: anything can happen; anything can change into anything else—and did for millennia. Witches and conjurors ruled the streets. Those who control “magic” control the “trance” and so fashion nightmare after nightmare, sacrifice upon sacrifice, witchcraft trial after witchcraft trial, evil eye for evil eye, only a fraction of them real, the rest projections and scams, gauntlets and reprisals. Thus, finally even magic and its transformative power are lost.
Enter the present gestalt of science everlasting. As the electron microscope is shined on the “real” agencies of phenomena, magic is unmasked as flimflam, spurious agency, its practitioners shoved to the fringes of civilization. But science without magic is sterile. It delivers a universe of robots and orcs. In a scientocracy humanity doesn’t participate, merely enacts a travesty of “being”—a pragmatic demonstration of what it might be like if things were real. Existence becomes artificial, a series of considerations, a momentary illusion of having won a cosmic lottery. And then, at the end of it, snuffo!—a savage beast consumes body and mind and any memory of “being” as though nothing ever really happened or mattered. Fierceness avoided is what is left to confront, after the big tent closes down and morning no longer follows night, in alien lands ruled by death.
But science is necessary for progress, especially when it honors experimental empiricism over materialist ideology or academic makeovers. The unbiased human mind probing objectively into the matter in which it is clothed, asking the single unwavering question: What are you and what am I?— is different from science serving rank or greed.
Magic after science has some hope of recovering the core of our nature. But unless it is truly post-scientific, we will be catapulted back to the Middle Ages or voodooland, we will trade reason for superstition. If we run enough reproducible experiments deep enough into nature to topple the corrupt priests and conjurors, the fake astrologers, the devouring witches, if we can keep them from regaining their stranglehold on society, then we can begin to claim, one by one, the real treasures of our psyche, the operating energies, the premonitions, and quiet epiphanies by which we may (in the right circumstances) transform even cells, even molecules.
To practice energetic healing in place of HMOs and corporate medicine; to read cards and stars and sacred alphabets without losing the paradigmatic order or forgetting how to run the machine; to restore the soil and water biodynamically and alchemically, by transmutations and infusions we can’t begin to parse, are the only hope of salvation in a scientistic time, are the only reprieve for our shimmering bodies, the only path to deepening the texture of existence, becoming whole and complete and individualized in a universe which was and is yet our birthright.
Creatures who perish at death never existed at all. Either we are elaborate multigangliate, bi-appendaged jellyfish pulsing with phantasma of an imaginary world, or the thoughts that define this existence are rooted in something utter and real, denser and more singular even than the thimble of matter from which this universe ignited and spread itself.
We cannot feel or examine the root, but it is the focal point, the base luminosity, the original wakefulness from which we cull apperception of existence. Without its deathless solidity to grasp at, its mantle to brace against, its inmost yogic puff to fill the night sky bottomlessly with worlds, its core pulsing unlocatably at our core, we would flutter vacantly and nonexistently through an even more imaginary sea.
People don’t realize what is happening. In a time of unprecedented biological destruction, weaponization, corporate exploitation, materialism, Rapturemania, and spiritual cynicism—anomalies abound: telepathy, telekinesis, precognition, remote viewing, faith-healing, crop circles of increasingly complex and subtle design, biological transmutation, free energy, transduction of infinitesimal doses of matter, activation of cells by light palpation and projection of intention, glimmerings of hyperspace. None of these can be scientifically demonstrated, consistently repeated, or institutionalized—the UFO never lands on the White House lawn—but they happen and provide clues to a future polity, not only alternative modes of agriculture, medicine, and the transfer of goods and information, but radically different ways of organizing economies, societies, and meaning itself.
The powers-that-be won’t let go of the reigning paradigm; their vested interests run far deeper than they realize. Not only that, but the universe won’t let us move to the next stage before we understand this one and the consequences of our actions. So the universe and the authorities are two faces of the same coin.
All manner of entities are trying to contact us: extraterrestrials, spirits, angels, ancestors, ascended avatars, Christ and Babaji in their multiple forms and guises—but we are seriously not listening. From our vantage and at this distance and tilt from the main action, all sources and communiqués are more or less the same, which guarantees duality: embattled liturgies and faiths, alienation and confusion. There isn’t a real distinction between an alien and a fairy, a ghost and a shape of the Virgin Mary, a crop circle and a scientific breakthrough arising from a dream. Information is trying to get through, any way it can, in any configuration that conditions will allow, but there is a lot of static, resistance, and disinformation, so it is effectively scattered and expurgated.
The dead are talking to us, mending the breach between their realm and ours, showing us where our life status and locale truly sit. Through various channel mediums, electronic and cybernetic devices, ouija boards, apparitions, and synchronicities, they are doing the best they can to be explicit. But in a circumstance wherein explicitness is more opaque and misleading than innuendo, the implicit is the most explicit mode of transmission available, even though it is cryptic, intermittent, and easily dismissable.
What do you think the esoteric meaning of 9-11 and suicide attacks is? We see only political violence, propaganda, and vengeance. There is another meaning. The living are trying to speak to the dead. The dead are reaching out to the living. At this point it is baby talk, growling, flailing and lurching, bumbling against the ancient barrier, a threshold that is barely perceptible. Ontologically it is equivalent to crude stone tools: mortar and pestle, bludgeon and blade. But we are inching our way there. Today’s self-immolating terrorist is tomorrow’s courier. He will meet himself where he least expects, 180 degrees across the cosmic wheel, coming from the opposite direction. He will do his work gently and get back from the other side with an answer.
What else would you expect; we are illiterate clods trying to initiate a fundamental change in the relationship of energy to matter, life to death, mind to reality? There are bound to be fulminations and catastrophes. Yet that revolution is as inevitable as the one leading to this civilization was.