We ended our last sit down together reflecting on the thought that there are definite echo's between the Physicists vision of the underlying energy of the Universe, and the Chinese conception of Chi.
So where do we go from here, we have some very tempting options. I think though I would ask, what if anything can we know about the Chi, other than that it appears to underline what we commonly perceive as reality. It is certainly true that mystics all over the world have wrestled with this vision, and have reported to us that what they have perceived is Ineffable, Unspeakable, transpersonal and beyond language. I for one am open to taking them at there word, but I dont believe we have quite reached a stone wall.
If anything can be said of the Chi, it is I would venture that it is conscious. It seems to me that consciousness is as Ubiquitous as life itself. Raise your hand to swat a fly, and it perceives the threat and seeks its own safety. Rub your dogs head or belly, and he will treat you to a loving display of pure glee. Even plants sense the presence of the sun, and turn to bask in Uttu's life giving rays. Yes the universe surely displays consciousness.
Or does it? Its one of the standard exercises of any freshman Philosophy Class to demonstrate to the assembled students, how, we cannot actually KNOW what an animal is experiencing. The Beagle whose belly you rub, may simply be displaying blissful behaviors, but you cant actually KNOW he is experiencing bliss. Likewise if you drive a railroad spike to a cats tail, and nail it to the floor, you dont know the animal is in agony. It might simply be manifesting "Pain Behaviors." of course the county is not likely to applaud your Philosophical detachment from the animals apparent suffering, and is more likely to fine you for Animal Cruelty.
It is true in the dialectic of Pure Reason that we cannot KNOW the beagle is experiencing bliss, but does this speak to a real limitation on our knowledge, or a limitation on what Pure Reason can inform us. Its simply true that anyone with an once of empathy can see the bliss in the Beagles face as he gets his belly rubbed, or the obvious indications of consciousness, in the beautiful wonder that lights a baby's eyes as she rubs our little beagle, and it is also true that outside of the Philosophy class room we would wonder about the damaged humanity of anyone who could not see these things. Returning to the report of our senses, we see, the bliss of the Beagle, we share the wonder of the child, and if our humanity is intact, we feel in our own bosom, an energy that rises to meet with, share in, and celebrate their joy.
Every where we turn our gaze in the world our senses report that vexation of Modern Science, consciousness, and it is a vexation. One of the most glaring indications that something is tragically wrong with the Scientific Paradigm is that it has no explanation what ever for consciousness. Where this most Ubiquitous of life's attributes is concerned Science can only say that it is some secondary quality, arising, (perhaps) from a critical mass of brain size, but not of any ultimate concern anyhow. As an aside I think this is the root of the institutional hostility of science to view anything not human as potentially conscious. Human consciousness is embarrassment enough to the scientific Paradigm. Its bad enough that their beautiful theory must wince daily at the parade of some 6 billion anomalies, its just beyond the pale to ask science to consider that Gorilla's, Beagles, Dolphins, and the Mantis, might all to a greater or lesser degree share in consciousness.
If however we do not view consciousness as an embarrassing anomaly, but as fundamental, we find ourselves again aligned to the great wisdom traditions of the world.
In the Beginning was the Word,
and the Word Was with God,
and the Word was God.
When John penned these words, he was echoing centuries old traditions. The Rabbinical tradition of the Kabbala, that believed all creation began with the vibration A (Ahhhh), the Hindu Aum (Om) symbolizing the infinite Brahman is strong echo of the same vision. For the Brahman sound had an inherent sacred quality, put another way, there is a power in the vibration of the sound, outside the intention of the speaker. Simply by chanting the Aum, even if I am a total agnostic, I cannot help but invoke, and bring myself closer to the Atman (the Consciousness of God.) This is a position that John would have recognized, because he would have been familiar with Pythagoras , and his vision that number, but more specifically vibration, was sacred, and each number and its corresponding vibration had certain inherent qualities, which are still today the foundation of numerology and sacred geometry.
When we make Consciousness a first principle we open a door, and God/dess walks through it.
For me, this has always been the heart of my personal interpretation of the book of Genesis, where the Gods, the Elohim made man in their own image, it was not in terms of physical form, it was in terms of Mind. The Gods gave us a consciousness in the image of their own, IMHO.
But you might wonder, how we went from the singular consciousness of the Aum-Brahman-Atman, to The Elohim, the pre-monotheistic gods. At its simplest, I would say, if we look at the world, and we have come to this conclusion that we are all part of this great energy field called the Chi by the Chinese, and that we can envision this energy as conscious, because we ourselves are conscious, and the consciousness of the parts, surely at least implies the consciousness of the whole, no?
It seems to me that if I am conscious, and you are conscious, and the Beagle is conscious, then it is no great stretch to add a few more consciousness to the 6 Billion that we freely admit are part of the super-consciousness of the Chi. The fact the we might name these consciousnesses things like, Innana, Krishna, Sophia, Ki, or Yahweh, is no great matter. Innana, and Krishna, like ourselves are simply other ways by which the Atman expresses, and explores, the infinite possibilities of its divine consciousness.
This is not simply my own speculation, but something Krishna tells us directly in the Bhagavad Gita. Now one can question the extent to which the Poet used Krishna to give voice and authority to his own vision, and to what extent the Poem was a gift from the Lord of Yoga himself. I will say, having received a few small gifts in mediation myself, I see the Gita as a great gift, given to a deep master of the discipline of mediation, but that's just my personal intuition. ;)
I think perhaps that's enough for tonight, your thoughts?
Ama tu ANKI, BB.