Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A metaphysical wakeup! What if it happened?

There are many aspects to a metaphysical wakeup - such a wakeup being the sudden realization of being self-trapped by deeply held assumptions concerning the nature of reality, the sloughing-off of such assumptions; and the sudden recognition and adoption of alternative possible assumptions.

For example, The Animistic Wakeup.

That would be the recognition that we are killing ourselves (first spiritually, then physically) by our inbuilt assumption that almost everything in the universe is dead (in the sense of unliving, passive, non-conscious, lacking in any purpose) - discarding this assumption - and adopting instead the assumption that everything is alive and (I various ways and to widely varying degrees) conscious and purposive.

Try it as you sit now and look about you - or as you walk somewhere: the effect is utterly remarkable: the world is changed! It is not necessarily a change that will make you happy (that depends on the situation you are in) but it is a change when suddenly life becomes meaning-full and purpose-full and you are no longer lonely but at the centre of a web of uncountable relationships.


Such a wakeup could happen to you, it could happen en masse.

Many people have the potential for such a wake-up - for example the tens of millions who have been deeply moved and permanently affected by Tolkien, Narnia, Harry Potter and other good fantasy books - these people have this potential latent.

What might make it happen?

Well, part of this metaphysical paradigm shift is the recognition that there are multiple influences that are imperceptible - communications that may affect us at the level of the imagination, but of whose origin we are unaware.

HOWEVER - any such realization must be accepted. And at present when someone has such a realization - it is rejected (nearly always, and en masse).


IF such a thing happened - to a lot of people, enough people - it would be a cataclysm; one way or another. Things would never be the same again.

There would be (metaphorically) a stepping out of the shadows of (self-) deception and an experience of blinding illumination.

If, r once, this happens, the end of things would commence - because if it was accepted, everything would change; but if it was rejected then this would be a full, aware and conscious choice to embrace despair as Good.

Because this would be nothing less than a realization of our own sins against the light. We would suddenly find ourselves poised upon a knife-edge - with the choice of repenting (which is to say acknowledging the nature and reality of) our sins; or else denying our sins and relabeling them a Good.


As I say: things would never be the same again: for better, or for (much) worse.


David said...

Yes. Ironically, even the most cynical and hardened flat-world middle-management atheistic type would tell you "Assumption is the mother of all..."

The trouble is in a world of self - proclaimed "free thinkers" comprised of countless millions of the aforementioned carefully *educated* type, none of them, at present can escape the 'group think' and break away from the herd. Instead they follow the herd off the spiritual cliff because, well, even when you are wrong, it feels safer in numbers!

The Crow said...

Everything is alive, in that everything is part of the One Living Thing.
Humans see nothing, know nothing, are nothing, until, possibly, they wake up.
Having woken up, it is no longer possible to ever inhabit that unwaking state again.

Nicholas Fulford said...

What happens when a metaphysical axiom changes?

Sounds like the basis of a speculative fiction or fantasy novel to me. It is worth thinking about.

Let's use your animistic metaphysical assumption, and see what might fall out of it.

One thing that probably doesn't change is how we treat those life forms that are further down the chain. Unless, the new metaphysical axiom brings with it a powerful and involuntary empathy for other lifeforms , people would still continue to treat "lower" lifeforms as instrumental. However, if a visceral and involuntary empathy followed with it, human behaviour would change tremendously due to the immediate feedback. I am thinking in a very Philip K. Dick fashion of something like the effect of the mood organ in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" The thing is, you wouldn't get to dial it in, but rather experience it with regard to the state of other lifeforms. I imagine how the flowers would feel as the morning sun hit them. But how would a rock feel upon being smashed, or would it be at such a low level that the life it had would be detectable as almost a background hum? How about mycelia? That has potential since it is a colony life and is so far removed from what we are as to be very alien. Would hydrogen atoms oxidizing into water sing an emotional tone? Would we experience a symphony or a horrible discord of the emotions or both?

Thanks for the stimulating idea Bruce.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Nicholas - It seems that Tolkien dreamed of what it was like to be 'a rock', and wrote about it in the unpublished Notion Club Papers


I don't experience any diffuclty with (approximately) imagining life and consciousness at all the different levels of reality - what I do find impossible is to imagine that there is a sharp cut-off in life or consciousness, such that some things are alive/ conscious - but most things are not-at-all.

I find that in trying to define part of the universe as utterly dead and unconscious, becuase I cannot draw a line between alive and not-alive, I end-up defining *myself* (and other humans - and of course apes, elephants, dolphins and dogs) as dead and unconscious.

In practice I think it is 'all or nothing' - either everything is qualitatively alive and conscious (but in very different quantitative ways and degrees) - or nothing is.

Nathaniel said...

My understanding is that Mormon belief accepts animism (e.g. identities), and it seems a wakeup could occur within protestant Christianity as it is already, in a sense, independent of a strict hierarchy - do you think the Catholic and Orthodox churches could accept such a revelation, or find it within tradition?

If I accept your framework, Christ's miracles do appear readily comprehensible. Biblically, everything seemed more alive anyway.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Nathaniel - When I talk about revival, I am considering the possibility of a mass awakening - and I don't think any of the mainstream churches could or would be involved - and the smaller, more devout and gowing churches are relatively tiny and highly selective. The role of such churches would be mainly in spiritual leadership, I think. And that depends on teh quality of the church leadership - wich is a big problem (I mean that most leaders appear to be fifth column Leftist inflitrators, merely pretending to be Christian).