Friday 1 May 2020

Consciousness of the flowing direction of creation

Dualism is essential to human functioning; because even self-described monists are actually dualists, with their duality being reality versus illusion.

However, the monist type of dualism is paralysing, because there is no guide for thinking or acting - any potential thought or action is equally valid (or illusory); all is equally beautiful (or vile), all is equally virtuous (or wicked), all is true (or false).

The tendency is towards inert contemplation and yearning - mortal, incarnated life on earth is seen as intrincially illusory, and therefore ultimately meaningless, purposeless, a waste of time ('time' also being illusory).

So we need to take care in picking our dualism! These fundamental assumptions have implication for the everyday. Indeed, one primary aspect is whether our dualism is a static or dynamic dualism - whether we assume that reality is developing or just-is, whether time is real or just an appearance?

Assuming we have chosen a 'dynamic dualism': What then should I do - here and now?

I need to become aware of the flow of creation - feel its direction and get into harmony with that direction, by aligning my own will with that of The Creator. This may happen only through loving The Creator - it is love that harmonises my wishes with the potential direction of on-going creation.

I need to know (to experience) where creation (that bit of it relevant) has come-from and is going-to. I also need to know my-self and how my thinking, scting, creating can be included in that on-going creating.  So I need both love and intuitive knowing.

Intuition is being-aware-of ongoing creating; and its meaning and implications for me - here, now

The key insight is that there is creation, and that creation is not everything; there is also that which is outwith creation - we could call it chaos.

Creation is made-from chaos - through time; in an on-going process. 

The intended direction of creation is towards greater consciousness on the part of beings such as you and me; greater awareness both of creation and of our own place in it: awareness of on-going creating and our own sub-creating within it.

This mortal life is therefore intended for increased consciousness - or else, if unawareness were equally desirable, there would be no need for bodily incarnation (we could instead be spirits); there would be no need for agency (since we could behave automatically, determined as a dependent part of creation); there would be no change/ decay/ disease/ death (because we would just exist in static harmony with creation).

Or, if consciousness did not matter; we need not exist at all; since our existence would then add nothing substantive to creation).

So, with an imperative of greater consciousness; there is always something for each of us to do: At any time or place or situation, we each need to be more aware of on-going creation and our own part in it.


William Wildblood said...

I really like this, Bruce. As you know, this subject has been one of my preoccupations, probably because of an early interest in Eastern religion, but I think you have, as they say, nailed it here. There is no escaping the fact of dualism unless we retreat into a kind of anaesthetised spiritual stupor. That doesn't negate the basic oneness of life but this oneness is only half the story.

Bruce Charlton said...

Thanks William! There is so much 'one-ness' propaganda - I feel the need to push an alternative.

I don't know if you would agree; but I think that dualism (or, more exactly polarity) is where we always seem to end-up; whether we start by trying to explain creation on the basis of one, or more-than-two.

I mean, there are lots more than two 'beings'! but when trying to explain 'functionally', I feel that trinities (or more than three) always in practice reduce to a dualism - this applies to the Holy Trinity as well.

Christians can say the formulae, but the vagueness about the Holy Ghost, the way the HG is so often 'forgotten', suggest that in reality people are thinking in terms of the Father and the Son dualistically - and the HG is 'known' as secondary.

William Wildblood said...

I think that for there to be something there must be two things. Like God and Nature, spirit and matter or subject and object. Perfect oneness would really be indistinguishable from nothingness.

I've never understood what the Holy Ghost is meant to be and I've never seen a good explanation of it. I don't deny it because it may be a great mystery that we can only understand when we are fully grown in Christ. I can see how it might be interpreted as a holy flame of inner inspiration, an energy of God, but it doesn't have the concrete fact quality of God the Father or Christ for me so I will just wait until later for that.

Bruce Charlton said...

As I argued in Lazarus Writes - the Fourth Gospel seems to be telling us that the Holy Ghost is the spirit of Jesus; which he was not able to 'send' until after he had ascended. Jesus told his disciples that it would be better for them when he had ascended, because then he could send the Comforter - implying (I think) the disciples would not need to rely on the physical presence of Jesus.

My understanding therefore is that the Holy Ghost is the universal spirit of the ascended Christ - spirit in form so that he is able to 'speak'-with and guide all those who love and follow him (when needed), in all places and situations.

William Wildblood said...

That makes sense and would fit in with my belief that the spirit of Christ spread over the whole world after his ascension, to be responded to by anyone spiritually attuned enough to be sensitive to it. Whereas Jesus as an historical person is an outer thing, this goes further being an inner reality that transforms from within.

Epimetheus said...

Good post! Lots of synchronicity these days!

I've been thinking that Creation proceeds moment-to-moment as music from God and Heaven, and it flows past us constantly as you say. What we call the laws of nature & causality are rigid musical cadences, made simple so we can easily learn. The predictability, simplicity, and reliability of say, gravity, can be grasped by very small children; learning the laws of nature seems to be the first learning task in human life. This would suggest that harmonizing with the laws of nature is the first level of spiritual development - thus we find our spiritually-degenerating civilization reverting backward from basic understanding of reality.

Higher spiritual development requires a finer "ear" for the music, whatever it is, and we are intended to play our melody in harmony with it. Our instrument is our whole psycho-spiritual being, utterly unique to us. Naturally - as in a musical jamming session - there are innumerable creative ways to play in complete harmony with the ensemble.

Bruce Charlton said...

@A - Music makes a pretty good metaphor, doesn't it!

Stephen Macdonald said...

The Trinity is echoed most deeply for us in the man-woman-baby sacred triad. The necessary third is the result of loving creation between the two.