Answering James Joyce: If You Meet Zoe Christ on the Road
Irish author, James Joyce, has influenced my life. My felt-connection with him has to do with Irish Roman Catholic questions with which we both struggled. I’ve only come to truly read his work in the last 10 years, but I am happy that I had time to find my own answers to our shared dilemmas.
Find below the lyrics of my song, Broken God. The song represents a public smashing of the icons of my Catholic youth. This was my way of expressing what Joyce called his war with Catholicism.
I made my church in the streets
In muddy holes, I set the seats
A ruined child, I transfixed
upon my crucifix
I took the blood of a poisoned whore,
smeared it up across the door.
All the filth, I raised up
into a communion cup
God of pollution
O God of waste
God of suicidal grace
God of Chaos
God of Loss
O Broken God upon the cross
Broken God upon the cross
He struggled with the impact that the faith had on Irish originality and sacred sexuality. In July, 1992, at the Festival of Archetypal Psychology in Honor of James Hillman, I sang Broken God during a talk by Eugene Monick entitled, Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine and The Gulf War.
The song unexpectedly triggered a psychic opening in me that I understand as a shamanic calling. By shamanic calling, I mean an experience drawn from suffering the ills of our culture and finding powers to heal them. At first, there were 3 main messages:
Help to heal your culture’s sacred connection to Earth.
Help to heal your culture’s sacred connection to the Ancestors.
Help the stars to touch the Earth again.
In October, 2018. I went Vietnam to assist in the healing ceremonies for American veterans with the group, Warriors Journey Home. It was during that time that a new layer of understanding came clear to me. War is the deeper cause that splits us from the sacred of Earth, Ancestors and stars.
As I learned more about James Joyce’s life and work, I found in him a brother-in-arts. I feel joined in time and intention with his war on Catholicism by taking on my part in a larger work for peace on Earth. One thing I can do, due to my family’s 900 years or so living inside its doctrine, is directly address Catholic and Protestant Christianity’s God of War.
IF YOU MEET ZOE CHRIST ON THE ROAD…
There is a Zen saying that if we should meet the Buddha on the road, we should kill him. That has always seemed over to top to me. I realize that the message is that the Buddha we all seek is within our own experience and not to be met second-hand from authoritarian others.
There are unexpected insights that open up when we translate the Zen saying into a Christianized version:
If you meet the Christ on the Road….
My song, Orphan Soul, is based on having a conversation between two Christs who meet each other. There are advantages in a choice not to kill each other.
Here are the opening lines from Orphan Soul. It is an invitation to follow along in our ongoing (James Joyce/Christopher Reynolds) conversation. I can state up front that our mutual goal is a new realization of inborn universal worth and gratitude for life.
When you meet the Orphan Soul
May you talk all night because the time is full
May you know the growing edge of you
The secret questions, what your dreams told you.
Where did you wake up in this world?
These are the meanings, the signs and science I explored.
Feel your words grow thick, the synchronistic clues.
Feel the golden chills for the beautiful and true
Minds from all times visit our time.
Minds from all times are visiting our time.
I think one of the central messages of Joyce’s Ulysses is that the Christ we seek is to be brought forth from within ourselves and in relationship. Communities where that level of expectation for each person’s potential is where the Second Coming is.
Here is a passage from Ulysses:
THE GRAMOPHONE: Jerusalem! Open your gates and sing Hosanna…
(A rocket rushes up the sky and bursts. A white star falls from it, proclaiming the consummation of all things and second coming of Elijah. Along an infinite invisible tightrope taut from zenith to nadir the End of the World, a twoheaded octopus in gillie’s kilts, busby and tartan filibegs, whirls through the murk, head over heels, in the form of the Three Legs of Man.)
THE END OF THE WORLD: (with a Scotch accent) Wha’ll dance the keel row, the keel row, the keel row?
(Over the possing drift and choking breathcoughs, Elijah’s voice, harsh as a corncrake’s, jars on high. Perspiring in a loose lawn surplice with funnel sleeves he is seen, vergerfaced, above a rostrum about which the banner of old glory is draped. He thumps the parapet.)
ELIJAH: No yapping, if you please, in this booth. Jake Crane, Creole Sue, Dove Campbell, Abe Kirschner, do your coughing with your mouths shut. Say, I am operating all this trunk line. Boys, do it now. God’s time is 12.25. Tell mother you’ll be there. Rush your order and you play a slick ace. Join on right here. Book through to eternity junction, the nonstop run. Just one word more. Are you a god or a doggone clod? If the second advent came to Coney Island are we ready? Florry Christ, Stephen Christ, Zoe Christ, Bloom Christ, Kitty Christ, Lynch Christ, it’s up to you to sense that cosmic force. Have we cold feet about the cosmos? No. Be on the side of the angels. Be a prism. You have that something within, the higher self. You can rub shoulders with a Jesus, a Gautama, an Ingersoll. Are you all in this vibration? I say you are. You once nobble that, congregation, and a buck joyride to heaven becomes a back number. You got me? It’s a lifebrightener, sure. The hottest stuff ever was. It’s the whole pie with jam in. It’s just the cutest snappiest line out. It is immense, supersumptuous. It restores. It vibrates. I know and I am some vibrator. Joking apart and, getting down to bedrock, A. J.
Christ Dowie and the harmonial philosophy, have you got that? O. K. Seventyseven west sixtyninth street. Got me? That’s it. You call me up by sunphone any old time. Bumboosers, save your stamps. (He shouts) Now then our glory song. All join heartily in the singing. Encore! (He sings)… [Ulysses, 1922]
O, so many Christs!
Zoe Christ, Bloom Christ, Lynch Christ… In his way, he introduced a pattern to take in: (Your Name Here)-Christ This pattern, it turns out, is trans-Christian.
(Your Name Here)-CHRIST AND THE CHRIST PATTERN
In his book, Pipe and Christ, Fr. John Stolzman wrote that he kept asking the shamans if the Lakota Spirits knew Christ.
They kept telling him to ask the Lakota Spirits himself! When he did ask the Spirits in a Yuwipi ceremony, they replied,
Mahpiya ekta na maka sitomni.
which means, roughly, “Into heaven (cloud) and throughout the Earth, Spirit who travels and helps the people.”
Stolzman interpreted the answer with colonial Catholic prejudice because he had trouble putting the Lakota Spirits on the same footing as his own Holy Spirit. However, the answer he received is worth further consideration as an indication of how an already existing tradition integrated the (Your Name Here)-Christ. The Lakota Spirits and culture have managed to integrate the archetype — even as they remained Lakota Spirits. In alignment with Joyce’s proclamation in Ulysses, Indigenous wisdom, too, demonstrates that the Christ-message was not an All-controlling God of War’s foundation of a new religious empire, but a message of blessing meant to be integrated into already existing sacred ways. All human beings are (Your Name Here)-Christ.
Orphan Soul, continued:
When you meet the Orphan Soul,
Talk of erotic love, the Southern and the Northern Poles
As philosophers held out their mirror,
Again you know yourself, together the mind is clearer.
Once in painted caves, all the Spirit rooms
Across the wide oceans, along the rivers and roads
Know each other by laughter and heart
By the passion for your Work and your Art…
ASTROLOGICAL CODES IN GREEK CHRISTIANITY FOR (Your Name Here)-Christ
Because its value was borne out by decades of personal experience, there were sound reasons for C. G. Jung to write:
Astrology represents the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.
To describe astrology as “the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity” is to recognize astrology as Western Indigenous Wisdom. Using the idea from above, that the Christ-message was meant to be integrated into already-existing cultural traditions, it should also be in astrology as a Western Indigenous Wisdom that we find our own cultural version of Christian message.
Failure to carry forward our wisdom tradition appears in Bart Erhman’s 2014 book: How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. and in Dara Malloy’s 2009 book, The Globalisation of God: Celtic Christianity’s Nemesis.
In both books, there is a description of the centuries-long process of transforming an enlightened human person into an “all-knowing,” “all-good,” God who during the Second Coming will wage Holy War against the powers of evil and bring a New Heaven and New Earth.
Jesus who brings peace into the world because all persons are capable of the same enlightenment and Jesus, an Almighty I AM who imposes imperial rule by war, globalization, colonization, and ultimate control of the entire planet, are not the same guy.
(It is this second Jesus who is the God of War in Broken God. Jesus, in this view, is a spiritual fascist whose rules cut off our sacred connections to Nature and Ancestors. His empire beneath impotent stars no longer able to touch the Earth invokes the word, disaster. Disaster, in English, is derived from dis – “split from” and aster – “star.” For 500 years, we have been split from feeling at home on a living planet, in a living galaxy, in an ever-expanding 14,82 billion years old living cosmos.)
There is a helpful invitation to reconnect to Christianity as a development out of ancient Western cosmology in David Fideler’s, Jesus Christ, Sun of God: Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism.
Fideler demonstrates how the Christos or Annointed was integrated into the Alexandrian Greek, Egyptian and Hebrew traditions. He drives home how the New Testament is mostly in Greek and that Christianity is essentially a Greek mystery religion with roots in long-developed planetary archetypal knowing.
Through the use of Gematria, sacred writing in which letters are also numbers, (most probably learned from the Hebrew tradition) scholars created, IHSOUS, which is a mis-spelling of Yeshua or Joshua. They did that so that the name could be included in the numbers associated with the celestial archetype of the sun.
The celestial archetype of the sun is one of the seven celestial powers of our ancestors: Sun, Moon, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter. Handed down over the millennia along with those sky powers are a series of magic squares that were associated with the number patterns of the powers above. How exactly they were created is lost to history. I think it’s safe to assume that they were received in dreams, visions, and moments of awe.
The magic squares were developed as understanding geometry, astronomy, music, the motions of the zodiac and the synchronicities (The stars are like letters. Everything breathes together) expanded. As archetypes, magic squares they can be recognized as examples of Western cultural understanding of the root patterns of meaning. If Pythagoras famously said, All is number, then there must be particular numbers that are connected to particular planetary themes you find in the All.
The symbolism of the magic squares was used with gematria to create the dimensions of temples, art, amulets, prayers, curses, and songs. The number-letters associated with the divinities were imagined as a way to have architecture and life resonate with the divinity in question – as a means to invite powers in the sky down to Earth and to anchor them with numerical musical beauty as the lure.
A temple to Artemis, Goddess of the moon, would use “lunar numbers.” A temple to Venus would use the number/letters/timing associated Venus. A temple to Mars would be created in the same way.
With gratitude to David Fideler’s scholarship, here are the magic squares and some temples associated with divine numbers derived from those squares:
Sun: Temple of Apollo in Delphi:
Why would the name, Jesus, be associated with the celestial archetype of the sun? Here are some other “solar numbers” derived from its magic square using gematria:
37, 74, 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777,
Over the years, I’ve heard a number of stories of persons repeatedly seeing sets of numbers in threes. One of my old friends used to call these, “angel numbers”
An old version of the magic square of the Sun:
The letters for the name, Jesus, in this Greek rendering, add up to the “solar” number, 888
With gratitude to the math, geometry, architecture, music, and cosmology, in Sun of God, I would like to add a fundamental message that carried within the astrology of our ancestors.
I AM WHO AM
Using the information from Jesus Christ, Sun of God, it becomes possible to look at an astrological birth chart where the symbolism is:
sun = identity, the center of the personality.
In the depths of this “natal sun” is what Joseph Campbell referred to as, the inborn, sealed-in soul or “intelligible character” of the individual at birth.
Birthchart of James Joyce.
When integrated into the psychological knowledge handed down from antiquity, the Christian message reads that carried within each human soul is an unexpected potential Christ. You can find the sun in James Joyce’s birth chart next to the symbol of Aquarius – his birth sign or sun sign. This is a cosmological writing of the name, James Christ.
This idea concerning the sacredness of individual identity informs author Steven Forrest’s 6th principle of evolutionary astrology from his book, Yesterday’s Sky: Astrology and Reincarnation:
Astrology recognizes only 2 absolutes: the irreducible mystery of life, and the uniqueness of each individual viewpoint on that mystery.
Forrest invoked the sun as identity and moon as soul in his saying:
The sun is the secret of sanity.
The moon is the secret of happiness.
As an evolutionary astrologer, he is referring both to true Identity (sun’s secret) as well as the relational, evolutionary soul-freedom of psychological awareness (moon’s secret) that nourishes and is nourished by that knowing.
This way of understanding within the Western tradition mirrors the Lakota. Jesus Christ is not an Only Son sitting on the right of a Sky-Father who controls the entire universe, but a sacred compassionate, merciful person to integrate into your awareness when you are truly yourself and to also acknowledge in all others.
Participate with humanity, See and Be (Your Name Here)-Christ. In the same way that all the planets are in the birth-chart, so all the Gods and Goddesses psychologically inform each person in a one-of-kind manner.
Just as the Lakota Spirits told the Catholic Jesuit using their cultural sacred vocabulary in the Yupwipi ceremony: Mahpiya ekta na maka sitomni.
INDIGENOUS VIRTUE OF THE WEST
The same in-born dignity of identity and soul is in Rupert Sander’s film, Ghost in the Shell. In the film, Aramaki reminds Major that she is not a weapon, but a sacred human being:
You are more than a weapon.
You have a soul, a ghost.
When we see our uniqueness as a virtue,
only then do we find peace.
When we can see through Aramaki’s words and recognize the soul-respect he is living, then we, too, are Christian in the indigenous sense of the term. All human beings are capable of this awareness, though for some it comes easier and for some it comes harder. There is no honest way to measure which is which.
The Gift of sovereign individuality in soul that comes from all these centuries is one of the better aspects of patriarchy. Ideally, a gift of the West to the planet is a cosmically expressed fundamental worthiness of each human being, regardless of class, caste, nationality, faith, gender.
The end of patriarchy is to know that there is no goddamned boundary between one human culture and another – any jealous God now is an abusive Father in a world where all beings are worthy and deserve recognition. All traditions can learn to see through themselves into the sacredness of the others and all life. Be on the side of the angels. Be a prism. You have that something within, the higher self. You can rub shoulders with a Jesus, a Gautama, an Ingersoll. Are you all in this vibration? I say you are!
HANDS ACROSS THE WATER, HEADS ACROSS THE SKY
The burden on Western persons seems more to do with how we regard others, all others, including all of the life of Earth and Earth as well, than has to do with claims about ourselves. In mythic thought, to eat and digest is to become. To follow this developing line of reasoning, it does not seem like such a stretch to imagine that the Eucharist is eaten in the Christian mythology because the message is not to worship the Christ who will come down from the beyond to save unworthy you. The message is — become a Christ yourself, accept help from other beings and help all other beings become the I AM WHO AM who they are.
Is it an even greater stretch to imagine at Christmastide how the lowly unexpected location, neglected by the many and lost out in no man’s land, is human identity. Secreted away within each soulMary is a new and unexpected Christ who goes by your name? Share this and ingest it in community in an atmosphere of Mercy. Live in the world in this way – from the darkness of every round year, a Second Coming.
Here again is Joseph Campbell at the close of Creative Mythology:
God’s initiative is represented by the inborn, sealed-in soul or “intelligible character” of the individual at birth; and the initiative, the freedom to act, must thereafter be one’s own, guided not by what other people say, have done, or may tell one is God’s will, but by one’s own interior voice; for indeed (continuing to speak mythologically) it is in one’s sealed-in soul, its hidden, God-given difference from all others that “God’s will” has been secreted, and to be found and shown, like an Easter egg: and not by retreat into a bed of rapture, either in darkness or in light, but through action here in this mixed world (why otherwise be born?), where nothing is foul, nothing pure, but all, like a magpie’s plumage, mixed.
James Joyce, saying the same thing in his Irish lyrical madness:
Florry Christ, Stephen Christ, Zoe Christ, Bloom Christ, Kitty Christ, Lynch Christ, it’s up to you to sense that cosmic force. Have we cold feet about the cosmos? No. Be on the side of the angels. Be a prism. You have that something within, the higher self. You can rub shoulders with a Jesus, a Gautama, an Ingersoll. Are you all in this vibration? I say you are. You once nobble that, congregation, and a buck joyride to heaven becomes a back number. You got me? It’s a lifebrightener, sure.
(Your-Name-Here)-CHRIST AS AN ATMOSPHERE OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING
Rabbi Chaim Vital (1543-1620) taught and wrote that all humans are worthy of participating in G-d. From his book, The Gates of Holiness:
Part 3 Gate 7: On attaining Ruach Hakodesh (holy spirit) in our times
After our warnings in the previous gate of all the types of attaining (supernatural revelations/powers and the dangers), one should not despair (due to the difficulties involved). Because on the verse “And Devorah, was a woman prophet…”, (there is a commentary from) Tana D’Bei Eliyahu: “(says G-d) I testify on Myself heaven and earth, whether man or woman, whether gentile or Jew, whether slaveman or slavewoman, everyone according to his actions, the Ruach Hakodesh will dwell on him”. (i.e. anyone can reach Ruach HaKodesh even women, slaves, or non-Jews).
In the Hindu ways, the doctrine of the divine human, (Your-Name-Here)-Christ pattern, is called, Narayana.
In his book, Kali’s Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrisha, Kripal elaborates, affirming Joyce’s view:
“…for Ramakrishna’s teaching on the divine nature of every human being is unconcerned with the moral worth of the person in question. God plays every role in the play of the world. Thus, after he watched a play about the life of Krishna, for example, Ramakrishna declares: “I saw clearly that she herself had become everything, I see that whoever was dressed up [in a female role] was the Blissful Mother herself! Those who were dressed as cowherds in Golaka I saw as Narayana himself. He himself has become everything!” The world is a play in which the god and the goddess play all the parts.” (p. 228)
The Sufi’s are a mystical branch of Islam. It’s not a big leap to hear the (Your Name Here)-Christ/divine human with a part to play in the words of Rumi about the sacred individuality of each soul that has its hidden reasons for coming into being in this life:
There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do
There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.
It’s as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human being come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don’t do it, it’s as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It’s a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It’s like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on.
You say, “But look, I’m using the dagger. It’s not lying idle.” Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that. You say, “But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and the rest.” But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself.
Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don’t, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You’ll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.
BECOMING CONSCIOUS OF THE FORGOTTEN SPLIT
At the beginning of the use of magic squares was the realization of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the path of the sun, moon and planets across the sky.
The sun is at the center with Earth and Earth’s orbit in Tau’olunga’s image above. Due to the tilt of our planet and its orbit, the sun, moon and planets appear to follow the circle drawn in red that passes through the 12 constellations of the zodiac – the ecliptic. The light-blue circle in this drawing is called the celestial equator. Notice how the red and blue circles create a flattened “X” where they cross.
The moon in its orbit around the Earth is not drawn in Tau’olunga’s ecliptic image. The movement of the moon along the ecliptic is more nuanced. Here is Michael McCoy on Astronomy.com:
The Moon follows generally the same path, but with some important differences. The Moon’s orbit is tilted 5.1° relative to the ecliptic. So, the Moon can appear anywhere in a band extending 5.1° north (above) and south (below) of the ecliptic.
Each month, the Moon twice crosses the ecliptic on opposite sides of Earth. These intersections are called the nodes of the Moon’s orbit.
The nodal points also wander along the ecliptic. An imaginary line connecting the nodes through Earth’s center rotates around the planet every 18.6 years. When the Moon lies on a node, Earth, the Sun, and the Moon lie in the same plane. Rarely do the nodes line up exactly, but when they do — and if the Moon happens to be at new or full phase — total solar or lunar eclipses occur. However, due to the 5.1° tilt, eclipses do not occur every month. The 18.6-year period is called the Saros cycle, and it is used to help determine the periodic repetition of eclipses.
One result of the Moon’s orbital tilt is that when the Moon’s orbit is oriented such that it passes farthest north of the ecliptic in Gemini — which is the northernmost point of the ecliptic — the Moon stands much higher in the sky than usual. At the opposite side of the sky during the same lunar cycle — roughly 29.5 days — the Moon lies farthest south of the ecliptic; on these occasions, the Moon appears lowest in our sky. Such extremes are reflected also in the Moon’s rising and setting points, which then occur farther north and south than usual.
The Moon’s rising and setting points wander back and forth between the extremes, but not over an annual cycle like the Sun. Instead, the Moon performs this cycle every month (overlaid on a slow 18.6-year cycle as well), and with a swing relative to the Sun that can reach plus or minus 5.1°. When the line of nodes aligns with the solstices, the tilt of the Moon’s orbit causes the Moon to pass either 5.1° above or below the ecliptic at the nodes’ northern and southern extremes.
Knowledge of the ecliptic, of 18.6 year Saros cycle along with literacy, numeracy, and knowledge of the north and south nodes of the moon gave any person, priesthood, family, or people with that knowledge immense numinous influence over illiterate persons without that knowing. It was like harnessing the power of a sky dragon and using it.
(To this day, the north and south nodes of the moon on a birthchart retain their early symbolic shapes and names in a birth chart as head and tail of the dragon. If you look at Joyce’s birthchart, you can find his north and south nodes of the moon.)
Our Greek and Biblical texts still carry inherited vestiges of this split-off power above. In Plato’s Timaeus and in the Book of Job, there remains an assumption that the reader knows about the existence of the ecliptic. The Hebrew word, Mazzaroth, is the name of the ecliptic in their tradition.
Next, he cleft the structure so formed lengthwise into two halves, and laying the two so as to meet in the center in the shape of the letter, X, he bent them in a circle and caused them to meet themselves and each other at a point opposite to that of their original contact: and he comprehended them in the motion that revolves uniformly on the same axis, and one of the circles he made exterior and one interior.
Book of Job 38:
31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
I traveled with my cousin, Penny, to watch the 2017 total eclipse of the sun in Princeton, Kentucky. During minutes of its totality, all human life around me stopped. I walked out into the middle of Main Street. A total solar eclipse was the single-most-powerful sky-sign I have ever witnessed. Even for me, a 21st century American, the eclipse was numinous. There was a man down the street with his church community nearly shouting as he read aloud from the Bible to proclaim the awesome power of the God on High:
Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
As I noted above, it is clear that any human beings who figured out how to predict solar eclipses could claim to know the superior mind of a power on high. In this, the 3 current forms of monotheism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have contentiously appropriated a way of the split sky that began in Sumer around 2350 BCE, according to Joseph Campbell.
In his Oriental Mythology, Campbell notes:
The world was no longer to be known as a mere showing in time of the paradigms of eternity, but as a field of cosmic conflict between two powers, one light and one dark.
The earliest prophet of this mythology of cosmic restoration was, apparently, the Persian Zoraster…The system associated with his name is based on the ideas between the wise lord, Ahura Mazda, “first father of the Righteous Order, who gave to the sun and stars their path,” and an independent evil principle, Angra Mainyu, the Deceiver, principle of the lie, who, when all had been excellently made, entered into it in every particle. The world, consequently, is a compound wherein good and evil, light and dark, wisdom and violence are contending for a victory. And the privilege and duty of each man–who himself, as part of creation, is a compound of good and evil–is to elect, voluntarily, to engage in the battle in the interest of the light..
It is obvious that a potent mythical formula for the reorientation of the human spirit is here supplied–pitching it forward along the way of time, summoning man to an assumption of autonomous responsibility for the renovation of the universe in God’s name, and thus, fostering a new, potentially political (not finally contemplative) philosophy of holy war. (p.8)
I think there is line of continuity from 2350 BCE in Sumer to the fortress of Khor Rori in Oman. I visited the fortress of Khor Rori with my son, Isaac, in 2016. It was there that a people, ancestors of the Hadrumat people, whose name means, Death has come, established a port and stole the lucrative frankincense trade by war in the name of Sin, the Divinity of the Moon, around 100 BCE
I think it’s reasonable to consider that human authority by relationship with a War God Above began with the consciousness of the ecliptic. Monotheism, as we experience it today, look a lot like elaborations over the centuries of ever higher and higher God the Most Highs chronically aspiring to destroy and replace each other.
LET THE CURSES BE UNBOUND
With a recollection of the developments that brought us here, it becomes possible to unbind ourselves, our relationships, our way of life from what is a cultural weaponization of soul. Humanity’s creation of nuclear armaments puts an extra burden on Americans. Since July of 1945, it has been our responsibility as citizens to become conscious of any leftover prejudice for the “saved” due to the ecliptic, numeracy, literacy, based on the Bible and its flat-earth cosmology.
There is a now-dying way of life that has landed in our laps that began some 4370 years ago. Its collective mental habit has assumed that the direction upward is the heavenly best and downward is the hellish worst. We are the inheritors of a way of life that has believed that the Earth is renewed at the end of time by force of will through an Almighty Power who is victorious in a battleground of good against evil after which the past, Memory, is forever forgotten in a brave New World.
Not all of Earth’s cultures share the rather recent battlefield concept. There are Indigenous peoples who continue to thrive after 10,000 years or more. For them, the world is renewed when human beings honor oral traditions, songs, dreams, visions, and participate with Creation in the co-creation of the future together. To live in right relationship with the planet, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually with all our relations calls for a balanced, yet dynamic merging of Memory and Will. In the enduring view, the world is healed when human beings remember who they are and choose to be the best form of themselves in service to the happiness of all beings.
I think James Joyce’s war on Catholicism and my struggles with Christianity’s God of War can now find a path forward. Joyce’s war can be imagined as against a Jesus Christ portrayed as a reboot of the Sumerian cosmic force of good in the battleground of the universe. This Son of the Father Almighty has been Catholic since 325 with the Nicene Creed. His proposal of Florry Christ, Stephen Christ, Zoe Christ, Bloom Christ, Kitty Christ, Lynch Christ, (Your-Name-Here)-Christ, represents a Gaelic integration of a divine human identity into Irish literature. In this, I agree with him and going forward, exclusionary, elitist, colonial, continuing memberships in ways of any Highest Gods are best checked for hidden hatred, racism, and if the Bible is involved, anti-semitism.
It is the Second Coming where my life experience can offer an affirmation that Earth is renewed by participation with deep reverence, communication and courageous human love in peace-making and not by militaristic moral discipline preparing for the end of time in cosmic war. I’ve enjoyed the unique experience of knowing both forms of the end of the world and a new beginning.
From 1980-1982, I lived through an apocalyptic group understanding of Christianity It was triggered by the death of one of my best friends, Dale “Butch” Fisher. My end-times mentality did not materialize out of nowhere. Growing up, my grandmother and her religious community were convinced the End was coming soon. In high school, a number of my friends and I were inspired by Black Sabbath’s song, War Pigs, and fervent believing adults around us, to become enamored with the Book of Revelation and its prophecies. Lastly, from the womb onward, as a Catholic, I was bathed in the Church’s ritual words – to wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Weeks after Dale’s passing in late August, 1980, during a prayer service, I suddenly became certain that we were in the Final Days. As pristine as in ancient Sumer some 4000 years before, the idea of my sacrifice for the good guys in a soul-saving cosmic war between good and evil possessed me as much as I possessed it. I can share that within this mindset, as an individual, you assume you are in the hands of a power beyond yourself. The best thing you can do is to pray together for the end, do good things for other people to store up treasures in the afterlife, and convert as many persons as possible to Christianity.
My family’s, friends’ and religious community’s Apocalyptic potential also did not materialize out of nowhere. In the 1980’s there were surprising numbers of fellow Ohioans and Americans who had the same certainty. Stretches of years in American history, from the Puritans onward, have always featured leaders, literature and ideas that foster an atmosphere of Apocalyptic expectation.
Here is a brief list of dates for the Final Days:
It turns out that American culture at large in August, 1980, was in one of those Doomsday periods. In 1970, Hal Lindsey and C. C. Carlson predicted that the end was near with the book, The Late Great Planet Earth.
The Late Great Planet Earth predicted that the Rapture would take place in 1981 and after 7 years of persecution by the Antichrist, the battle of Armageddon and Second Coming would be in 1988.
By November 1980, the book reached into the White House through the minds of Ronald Reagan and members of his inner circle. In Jonathan Kirsch’s, A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization, Kirsch notes:
To hear Lindsay himself tell it, Reagan was eager to win over the American military establishment to apocalyptic true belief. With the president’s blessings, Lindsey asserts, he was invited to brief Pentagon war planners on the divine implications of nuclear combat with the Soviet Union. And Reagan invited televangelist, Jerry Falwell, another prominent and outspoken apocalyptic preacher, to attend briefings of the National Security Council and deliver the same message. (p. 225)
Moving through the fever of End-times mindset into a post-Apocalyptic time in my case, came in four steps. The first step came through dreaming in which I was shown in a dream, in very direct language, that preparing for the End and saving up treasures for the afterlife were parasites on my life.
The second step came with a loving kiss to the center of my chest. When Paula, whom I would later marry and have children, pressed her warm lips up against my skin, my entire awareness dropped in from above me. It was as if, up until that point and all of my life before, my self-awareness had been living about one foot above and behind my body, up in the air and to the right. I woke up inside myself and outside any sense that the Earth was going to die.
The third step was reading Elaine Pagel’s book, The Gnostic Gospels. Her book gave me language for the direct knowing of the sacred of my dreaming and of my embodied loving — gnosis.
The fourth was watching Carl Sagan’s, Cosmos, on PBS.
I think my journey through the End-times mentality into a participatory Earth-centered future by dreaming, embodied loving, gnosis and into cosmos was a lot like Joyce’s path with Nora Barnacle. It was my path forward from 1982 onward until July of 1992 when the God of War broke me open into my Calling.
My 2018 trip to Vietnam confirmed for me how healing of God of War requires not only a personal, family approach. War is a collective experience. Surely, it is a gift to find how to heal from the collective. Unfortunately, to face Christianity’s God of War requires discovering strategies that heal the collective by finding way to participate with the collective to heal. American culture has never had this, nor have there ever been any Christian rituals nor Catholic sacraments to heal the faith from its own supremacy.
By an incredible miracle of my life, I was invited to my first Sun Dance ceremony at Pine Ridge, South Dakota by a friend whom I consider to be my big sister – ma grande soeur Lakota – I call her. It was there that I learned that the community of the world and humanity beings can be renewed through loving participation in Earth-based ritual. Sun Dance is one of them.
The Lakota themselves are “post-Apocalyptic” in their ways. Their hopes for a new world were destroyed along with the Ghost Dance Movement on December 29, 1890, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. It would not be until 1978 that their traditions would be de-criminalized. What few people know is that during the years when it was a felony to pray, a small number of elders kept the Sun Dance Tree alive. I did not know this was true until I saw the Sacred Tree coming over the hill. I wept when I saw it. A woman standing next to me said, “They kept it alive when it was against the law.”
With tears in my eyes, I responded, “The Tree never died?”
“No, The Sacred Tree Lives!” — she exclaimed.
Sun Dance is a ceremony whose intention is to restore the balance of the people and all life of the Earth, including enemies. It was not difficult for me to notice the many similarities between the mythology of Sun Dance and the mythology of the Second Coming. The central theme they share is the renewal of the Earth. It also shone clear as the sun in the sky the many ways that dancing, loving, healing, singing, sharing, and praying together for the good of all for the world to come, as in the coming year, was so much more generous than praying, working, and saving the chosen for Final Days not far off. A world to come that is a long-awaited home cut off from condemned billions of people and many ecosystems and a world to come that is a flourishing of the many human lives now participating with a healthy planet Earth are markedly different.
During that first Dance in 2010, I felt a healing of those energies of my being, those deepest intentions, that were so unexpectedly overloaded during my 3 years in the American Christian End-times mentality. It came clear to me how every individual human consciousness appears to feature within an innermost, an axis mundi, that has the potential of self/cultural/world renewal or destruction, depending on how we engage it.
It came clear to me how the Final Days mythology birthed with the ecliptic, whether called, a split structure so formed lengthwise into two halves, and laying the two so as to meet in the center in the shape of the letter, X, or Mazzaroth, weaponized the entire cosmos and all the life in in it that is, that was, that is to come. The Earth was no longer imagined as a self-healing wise being. Saving the Earth was imagined as coming from Beyond. As Campbell noted, this shift also placed the burden on human beings. I know from being inside this mentality that it has a domesticating effect. You are no longer able to remember why you were born or feel your connection to your own loved ones — both your Ancestors in the Spiritworld as well as the sacred beings of your bioregion. It is a twisting-off of our life’s nuclear core, eventually mirrored by nuclear weapons. Inner worth seems derived from beyond and above, in service to the Purest Good and moral rules.
At the end of my first Sun Dance, I felt a seamless continuity between my being, the other people, and with the intricate varied beauty of the ecosystem, landscape, and sky. I felt proud to be a human being for the first time in my life
At the end of their prayers, the Lakota say, All my relations. This is a lived experience. Pride in being human came because I felt we did our part together to take care of the beauty of the world that is ours for which to care. I did not feel a pride like some kind of pharaoh in dominion, but simple, humble and fully human. I consider myself to be one among many post-Apocalyptic Americans.
I know that this innermost, or axis mundi, is an archetype that has the potential of self/cultural/world renewal or destruction, depending on how we engage it. That potential lived collectively can be a well-spring of life renewal. When ritually engaged in Earth-based, embodied ways, the well-spring beautifully and fiercely sustains human cultures.
It is now long past due for us to recognize the very real life-transforming psychological potential of each human being. It is wise now to become aware of how groups of people imagine, consider, and make plans for making a sustainable culture. For almost 5000 years in Western ways, the mental split that brought about by the sky-shattering realization of the patterns of the ecliptic, the sun, moon, and planets, appears to have personally split apart the inner worth of everyone. We have accepted the domestication of the archetype of world renewal and have struggled in the confrontation with the draft into service for the “good” side in a ruined universe.
It is time for us to consciously be able to get in touch with those who imagine that renewal of the world comes by actively participating in caring relationship with the self-renewing planet. It is time for us to kindly invite into new possibilities those who continue to imagine a ruined world redeemed by total cosmic war.
C. G. Jung wrote:
Indeed, it is becoming ever more obvious that it is not famine, not earthquakes, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is man’s greatest danger to man, for the simple reason that there is no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes.
The supreme danger which threatens individuals as well as whole nations is a psychic danger. Reason has proved itself completely powerless, precisely because its arguments have an effect only on the conscious mind and not on the unconscious.
The greatest danger of all comes from the masses, in whom the effects of the unconscious pile up cumulatively and the reasonableness of the conscious mind is stifled. Every mass organization is a latent danger just as much as a heap of dynamite is. It lets loose effects which no man wants and no man can stop.
It is therefore in the highest degree desirable that a knowledge of psychology should spread so that men can understand the source of the supreme dangers that threaten them. Not by arming to the teeth, each for itself, can the nations defend themselves in the long run from the frightful catastrophes of modern war. The heaping up of arms is itself a call to war. Rather must they recognize those psychic conditions under which the unconscious [tsunami-like] bursts the dykes of consciousness and overwhelms it.
It has been a great gift of my life to know how it feels to be in the grips and be freed from a psychic epidemic brought on by the End-times mythology that believes life is renewed by annihilation of evil. I think it is this same kind of psychic epidemic is what drove so many millions to murder each other in the 20th century. Ruin of life, nation against nation, taken up enthusiastically by millions of people, ironically, happens when all those millions feel they are doing the right thing.
However, I also have learned that it is not enough to step away from masses of people who use those ideas and who encourage that mentality because I, as an individual, am healthier if I get to live in a way that I can participate at the Turning Point of my being in the renewal of life and the birth of the future. I have learned that to heal not only Christianity’s, but monotheism’s and scientific materialism’s God of War is participation in Earth-based rituals that place me in right relationship with the atmosphere of the planet, with others, and with my own inner Reason for being.
I don’t think each person needs a Sun Dance. I do think each person can feel better about life and the future of the planet in some collective ritual that is in sync with the symbolism of the season of the year in whatever ecosystem you may find yourself.
You will know those gatherings by the way you witness others and yourself coming to their senses.
My first sweat lodge teacher was a Vietnam veteran. He was sick for 10 years after the war. All the strategies of the VA and ways of self-medication did not work. He received 2 life-changing healings during his first two sweats. Later, he was invited to be a Sun Dancer at a Veteran’s Sun Dance. He passed away a number of years ago. I am sharing one of his sacred stories in a good way:
He chose to pierce during the round (one of 8 periods during a day) before the children’s healing round. To pierce means to be connected to a small harness attached to rope that is connected to the Tree by 2 wooden pegs. Each peg is slipped beneath a thin layer of your skin on either side of your chest, (In a Sun Dance, the Dancers offer a bit of themselves, feed the Tree, in order for those who come to have healing in the healing round after the piercing round.)
During the piercing round, there is a time when you pray and dance with the others who have pierced with you. Around the Tree in the center, there is the circle of Dancers who have pierced. Around the pierced Dancers, there is a larger circle the rest of the Dancers who did not pierce. Around them is the great circle of the people who pray and dance just outside the Sun Dance Altar. On the south side of that outer circle, there are the Singers.
After praying and dancing, the Sun Dance Chief will call the Dancers to approach the Tree 4 times in preparation to break free from their piercings. On the fourth time, my mentor described his experience as broke free:
When I broke, my Spirit was pulled up and out of my body. I flew upward over the Tree and went straight into the inside of the middle of the sun.
He did not share more, but he knew that I knew that he described how he experienced the deepest healing moment of his life. He did not go to be a Sun Dancer for his solar knowing. He was only told that, as a veteran, if he went to Dance for others, chances were favorable that he, himself, would experience a healing. He was not dancing for himself when he broke. He was dancing for the children and the future generations to have a good life. He was dancing so maybe he could take some of their pain and sorrow from them.
I share his story now as a example that brings all the above into a more peaceful way forward. A Western Christian can participate in a renewal of the Earth in a way that includes the Christ-message, but chooses to leave Apocalypse and the first father of the Righteous Order, who gave to the sun and stars their path, to a bygone, but never-forgotten, Era.
The same transformation, of liberating a human being who learned how to participate in divinity from a man of War and Apocalypse has already happened in the book, The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say, by an international group of schools called, The Jesus Seminar.
In their study, they offer the following:
Scholars are agreed that Jesus spoke frequently abut God’s imperial rule, or, in traditional language, about the kingdom of God. Does this phrase refer to God’s direct intervention in the future, something connected with the end of the world and the last judgement, or did Jesus employ the phrase to indicate something already present and of more-elusive nature.
The first of these options is usually termed apocalyptic, a view fully expressed in the book of Revelation. which is an apocalypse….One thing is clear, John the Baptist and the early Christian community espoused this first view: they believed the age was about to come to an abrupt end. Did Jesus share this view, or was his vision more subtle, less bombastic and threatening?
The Fellows of the Jesus Seminar are inclined to the second option: Jesus conceived of God’s rule as all around him but difficult to discern. God was so real for him that he could not distinguish God’s present activity from any future activity. He had a poetic sense of time in which the future and the present merged, simply melted together, in the intensity of his vision. But Jesus’ uncommon views were obfuscated by the more pedestrian conceptions of John, on the one side, and by the equally pedestrian views of the early Christian community, on the other. (p. 137)
Finally, I think we can deliver a post-Apocalyptic Jesus by recalling that the Earth as already gone through one Battle of Armageddon. It took place during the First War War from September 19 to September 26, 1918. The Allied victory was the reason that Field Marshall Allenby was given the name, Allenby of Armageddon. Here’s a short excerpt from Wikipedia with a link if you want more:
The Battle of Megiddo also known in Turkish as the Nablus Hezimeti (“Rout of Nablus”), or the Nablus Yarması (“Breakthrough at Nablus”) was fought between 19 and 25 September 1918, on the Plain of Sharon, in front of Tulkarm, Tabsor, and Arara in the Judean Hills as well as on the Esdralon Plain at Nazareth, Afulah, Beisan, Jenin and Samakh. Its name, which has been described as “perhaps misleading” since very limited fighting took place near Tel Megiddo was chosen by Allenby for its biblical and symbolic resonance.
In his book, The Great and Holy War: How World War 1 Became a Religious Crusade, Philip Jenkins makes the case for how both the Allied leaderships use of biblical Apocalypse to boost enthusiasm for the war and what appears to be the public’s psychic epidemic brought on by the End-times mythology made for a literal playing out of the script in the Bible’s last book.
COMING TO OUR SENSES
This image is a hybrid that expands the diagram below found in Richard Tarnas’ book, Cosmos and Psyche. The words that accompany the image are:
In the Western religious world view that emerged between the primal and the modern, forming a link between them, the human self bears a unique relationship to a transcendent divinity that is separate from and sovereign over the created world, a world that is increasingly perceived as devoid of meaning and purpose other than that associated with the human self.
I think Tarnas is describing the impact that awareness of the ecliptic had on Western culture, the impact that is comes down to us through the Bible’s Mazzaroth in the Book of Job and in Plato’s Timaeus.
Earlier in Cosmos and Psyche, he shared an image to represent the primal world view of the Indigenous and to contrast the primal world view with the modern world view. The words for the image of the primal world view are important here:
In the primal world view, intelligence and soul pervade all of nature and the cosmos, and a permeable human self directly participates in that larger matrix of meaning and purpose in which it is fully embedded
After years of participating in and leading sweat lodges, I offer this elaboration of Tarnas’ 2 circles and his shaded area of a larger matrix of meaning and purpose:
This drawing is the union of the red, black, white and yellow circle of the 4 Directions of the Medicine Wheel with the wholeness of a sweat lodge.
The 4 Directions represent many teachings: the cardinal directions of North, East, South, and West, the seasons of the year, the periods of a person’s lifetime and the 4 parts of the human being–mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual, are just a few of its lessons.
A traditional sweat lodge is imagined as a sphere with human beings sitting in the middle of all that is. The ‘dome’ above represents objective experiences of realities outside yourself. The ‘bowl’ below represents subjective experiences of realities that you experience by becoming them.
The Medicine Wheel, the Four Directions, the Lodge and its architecture are descriptions of all of life and all that lives. They certainly are meant to be experienced in the sweat lodge itself, but more importantly, they are realities that are always present to us whether we are conscious of them or unconscious.
The first layer of the lodge is our embodied relationship with the beauty that inspires and sustains life.
The second layer symbolizes our relationships with the dead, especially those we love and whose presence we feel as warmth, love, surprise, humor, and guidance.
The third layer represents our relationship with the love, warmth, surprise, humor and guidance of beings who are impersonal. Whereas a second layer experience would be one of my personal grandfather in the Spiritworld, this more encompassing layer is of experience is of grandfathers who are present, yet anonymous. as guides, messengers, healers, helpers, protectors, teachers etc. In my Catholic upbringing, these beings are angels, archangels, and saints. In the primal world view, they are animal beings, lights, orbs, elements, like Bear, Eagle, Wolf, the Thunders, Four Winds, Sun, etc.
The 4-layered experience, in our culture, has recently been named, an akashic experience by Irvin Laszlo. Here is his description. I have both the above and below in the image above to stress the wholeness of being experiencers describe:
The Akashic experience comes in many sizes, forms, and flavors to all kinds of people, and all its varieties convey information on the real world — the world beyond the brain and the body. The experience ranges from artistic visualizations and creative insights to non-local healings, near-death experiences, after-death communications, and personal past life recollections. Notwithstanding the great variety in which it occurs, the Akashic experience has strikingly uniform features. Whatever else it may contain, the Akashic experience conveys that the experiencing subject is not separate from the objects of his or her experience — the sense that “I, the experiencing subject, am linked in subtle but real ways to other people and to nature.” In deeper experiences of this kind, there is a sense that the cosmos and I are one.
The simplest way to know the subjective level or underworld, is to remember your dreams. The first level below is the beauty of dreaming that inspires and sustains life.
The second layer below is one of dreaming of or becoming one of your departed loved ones– Ancestors. It is an experience of turning into another person who you love, participating in their being together. This is being a medium where you merge with another human individuality.
The third layer beneath mirrors the third layer above. It is to become or dream of impersonal, beyond human powers, the archetypal beings, gods, goddesses, animals, angels…
The conscious, waking, visionary time of akashic experience has its mirror in what Jung called the Self which appeared in mandalic forms that expressed the wholeness and numinous presence of the Imago Dei, God expressed and known in dream image.
The extreme flattening of human experience can be seen quite clearly when you start with the wholeness of the primal world view:
Contrast it with first the modern world view, which Tarnas describes as:
In the modern world view, all qualities associated with purposeful intelligence and soul are exclusively characteristic of the human subject, which is radically distinct from the objective nonhuman world.
The modern world view does not consider dreaming, becoming, any subjective experiences of powers below to be valid. It does honor the physical body and material world, not for its beauty and meaning, but for its usefulness. There are no Ancestors, no higher powers, no akashic experience. There remains a definition of God above in modern sensibilities, but it us detached, above, beyond, outside, unknowable in life.
The late-modern world view finds meaning only in the material world. The individual personality, too, ends with the finality of death. Tarnas writes of the late-modern world view:
In the late-modern post-Copernican, post Nietzschean cosmos, the human self exists as an infinitesimal island of meaning and spiritual aspiration in a vast purposeless universe signifying nothing but what the human self creates.
Here they are together. These images offer a way to imagine the flattening and narrowing mindsets that form an atmosphere that John E. Mack called, ontological tyranny, by which he meant our collective severe limitation of what is socially allowed to be real in human experience.
I offer you the image below as a way to imagine what it looks like to re-unite the primal world view with the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity. Here is a way for us to restore the Ancient Mother and Father, the Goddess and the God, to balance Western culture with the rest of the planet using the glue of the zodiac:
I’ve been approaching my own soul-life using the union of birthchart, zodiac, Hermeticism, alchemy, and stars, our own Indigenous Western tradition, in union with the sweat lodge.
At the end of his life, he would never reconcile the Ireland he envisioned, the Ireland he was embodying, with the nation as it was during his lifetime. For that reason, he is buried with his wife and son in Zurich, Switzerland:
For me, he got his death right. It has stood as a soul-marker in the sense that, his death-stone in the Zurich of Jung has been a doorway threshold to me, to my own family, and an affirmation of the importance of our continuing work.
WALKING THE TALK – EMERALD TABLET
It’s important to temper what I have been suggesting. Though all who live have come here with the potential to bring forth an awakened soul in relation to all that is, the Hermetic tradition also says that it does not come for free. You are called to participate in your own educational process.
Fully aware of the historical baggage that comes with teachings called the Emerald Tablet, I wish to close with what I think is the Indigenous tradition of the West as regards educare of the soul. Because it closes with the words, operation of the sun, I think what we are looking at is the operation of awakening of individual human identity to the realization of _(your name here)-Christ.
There are many more versions to be found on the web. This one is just to get it down:
Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing
And as all things have been & arose from one by the meditation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother, the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it descends to the earth & receives the force of things superior & inferior.
By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world & thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
Its force is above all force. For it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.
So was the world created.
From this are & do come admirable adaptations whereof the means (or process) is here in this. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.
Connected to this Hermetic root, it becomes possible to note the evolutionary transformation of human identity over time in the West. Here is Sir Oliver Lodge with an update from his 1908, Man and the Universe:
A discovery once made by the human race is permanent: it fades no more and its influence grows from age to age. We are now beginning to realize a further step in the process of atonement. We are rising to the conviction that we are part of nature, and so, a part of God, that the whole creation — the One and the Many and All-One – is working together towards some great end: and that now, after ages of development, we have at last become conscious portions of the great scheme and can co-operate in it with knowledge and with joy. We are no aliens in a foreign universe governed by an outside God: we are parts of a developing whole, all enfolded in an embracing and interpenetrating love, of which we too, each to other, sometimes experience the joy too deep for words. And this strengthening vision, this sense of union with Divinity, thus, and not anything artificial or legal or commercial, is what science one day will tell us is the inner meaning of the Redemption of Man. (p. 234)
Consider now too how Ervin Laszlo’s 2017 Credo , reflects the growing edge of science (and consciousness) Lodge prophesied:
- I am part of the world. The world is not outside of me, and I am not outside of the world. The world is in me, and I am in the world.
- I am more than a skin-and-bone material organism: my body, and its cells and organs are manifestations of what is truly me: a self-sustaining, self-evolving dynamic system arising, persisting and developing in interaction with other such systems and with the world around me.
- I am one of the highest, most evolved manifestations of the drive toward coherence and wholeness in the world. My essence is this cosmic drive. It is the same essence that is inherent in all the systems that arise and evolve in the universe.
- There are no absolute boundaries and divisions among the systems that arise and evolve in the universe, only transition points where one set of relations yields prevalence to another. In me, in this self-maintaining and self-evolving coherence- and wholeness-oriented system, the relations that integrate the cells and organs of my body are prevalent. Beyond my body other relations gain prevalence: those that drive toward coherence and wholeness in humanity, nature, and throughout the universe.
- The separate identity I attach to my fellow humans is a convenient convention to facilitate my interaction with them. My family and my community are just as much “me” as the cells and organs of my body.
There are only gradients of intensity in the relations that distinguishing individuals from each other and from the world, no absolute divisions and boundaries. There are no “others” in the world: we are all dynamic, coherence and wholeness oriented systems in the world and we are part of the world and so part of each other.
- Collaboration, not competition, is the royal road to the wholeness and coherence that hallmarks healthy systems in the world. Collaboration calls for trust, empathy and solidarity. Comprehension, conciliation, and forgiveness are not signs of weakness but signs of courage. Harming others, even under the banner of patriotism and national or corporate interest is a mistaken intention. I am part of whoever I harm, and so I harm myself.
- “The good” for me, and for everyone in my world, is not the possession and accumulation of wealth. Wealth, whether in money or in a material resource, is but a means for maintaining myself in my environment. As exclusively mine, it commandeers a part of the resources that all living beings on the planet need to share if they are to live and thrive. Exclusive wealth is a threat to everyone in the community of life on the planet, and because I as well as the holders of wealth are part of this community, it is a threat to the wealthy, and to me.
- A healthy person has pleasure in giving: it is a higher pleasure than having. I am healthy and whole when I value giving over having. The true measure of accomplishment and excellence is my readiness to give, whatever I can give without harming myself, my family and those in my care. A community that values giving over having is a community of healthy persons, thriving through solidarity and love. Sharing enhances the community, while possessing and accumulating creates demarcation, invites competition and fuels envy. The share-society is the norm for all communities of life on the planet; the have-society is an aberration.
- Only life and its development have intrinsic value as ends in themselves. All other things have value only insofar as they add to or enhance life and its development. Material things, and the energies and substances they need or generate, have value only insofar they contribute to the development of life in the community of all beings on the planet.
- I recognize my responsibility for evolving my consciousness, and through my example for helping the evolution of consciousness in others. We have been part of the aberration of human consciousness in the modern world, and we need to be part of the evolution that overcomes that aberration. Living and working toward this goal is my duty, as a conscious member of a conscious species in a conscious cosmos.
Orphan Soul, continued…
When you meet the Orphan Soul
Talk of your loved ones from the young to the Invisible
Share this ritual, bless the human kind
With a Mysterious Heart that is in love with time…