“Why, with a history so rich in noble ideals and lofty philosophies that reach for the transcendent, do we exhibit such abominable behaviors? Our violence toward ourselves and the planet is an issue that overshadows and makes a mockery of all our high aspirations. Sat Prem, a French writer transplanted to India following World War II, recently asked this question: “Why, after thousands of years and meditation, has human nature not changed one iota?” In the same vein, this book asks why, after two thousand years of Bible quoting, proselytizing, praying, hymn singing, cathedral building, witch burning, and missionizing has civilization grown more violent and efficient in mass murder?”
Joseph Chilton Pearce,
The Biology of Transcendence
“We think the crisis is out there, in the world. The crisis is really inward, and we are unwilling to face this.”
“We don’t really understand the nature of our thought process; we’re not aware of how it works, how it is disrupting not only our society and our individual lives but also the way the brain and nervous system operate, making us unhealthy or perhaps even damaging the system.”
David Bohm with Michael Mendizza
“Many things on which our future health and prosperity depend are in dire jeopardy: climate stability, the resilience and productivity of natural systems, the beauty of the natural world, and bio logical diversity. This is not the work of ignorant people. Rather, it is largely the results of work by people with BAs, BSs, LLBs, MBAs, and PhDs. More of the same kind of education will only compound our problems. It is not education, but education of a certain kind, that will save us.”
David Orr, With Earth in Mind
“His Holiness sets the stage for discovering the reality behind appearances. Our tacit acceptance of things as they seem is called ignorance, which is not just a lack of knowledge about how people and things actually exist but an active mistaking of their fundamental nature. True self-knowledge involves exposing and facing misconceptions about ourselves… Our skewed perceptions of body and mind lead to disastrous mistakes, ranging from lust at the one extreme to raging hatred at the other so that we are consistently being led into trouble as if pulled by a ring in our nose. By developing insight into this process, we can free ourselves, and those around us, from these endless scenarios of pain. [He] describes how to harness the power of meditative concentration with insight to achieve immersion in our own ultimate nature… to develop in us a clear sense of what it means to exist without misconception. And the way this profound state of being enhances love by revealing how unnecessary destructive emotions and suffering actually are.”
His Holiness The Dalai Lama/Jeffery Hopkins, PhD.,
How to See Yourself as You Really Are, A Practical Guide to Self-Knowledge
Imagine what it means to exist without misconception. Misconceptions about what? What distorts our perception in ways that inevitably lead to our misperceptions and their disastrous consequences?
sin (n.) Old English synn is; moral wrongdoing, injury, mischief, crime, an offense against God (God being our true nature, which is nature, in Taoist terms, ‘the way’).
The word in Hebrew translated as sin in the Bible is chatta’ah; missing the mark, a wrong turn, going against what one knows is right or accidentally going against the divine order. The second common word for sin in the Old Testament is pasha, translated as trespass, breaking a rule, deviating from the natural order. A third word avon is implies perversion or depravity. For example, in Isaiah 59:2, “Your iniquities (false assumptions) have separated you from your God (your true nature); your sins (false assumptions) have hidden God’s face, (your true nature), from you so that he (the natural order) will not hear (respond).”
One characteristic of sin is concealment. As David Bohm notes, false assumptions are hidden. This fundamental self-deception is personified by Christ’s alleged last words; “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” What use is it to be angry speaking to a person who is blind? Contrary to a vengeful deity imposing his or her wrath, our punishment is simultaneous. It is done unto us as we believe, as we do. “We reap what we sow.” Sowing is a metaphor for one’s actions. The antidote, of course, is the Golden Rule; “treat others, including all of nature, as you need to be treated,” which Taoist call ‘the way.’ Gee, that’s pretty simple. What prevents this?
What is the origin of our calamitous and even suicidal “missing the mark,” our Original Sin, and our false or mistaken assumptions about self, others, and reality? For years I interpreted the Garden of Eve myth to be the emergence of the neocortex and its astonishing capacity to create abstract mental images, with the Apple and the Tree of Knowledge representing Adam or humanity being confused and overwhelmed by this new and novel capacity.
What is imagined by the thinking brain is many times more enchanting than sensory, emotional, and other forms of ‘resonate representations,’ or mental images, so much so that we unconsciously shifted our self-world-view from direct embodied experiences to abstracted images of self and implicitly God in the Sky. But, wait, we are not what we imagine. Nature created humanity in nature’s image. We are our true nature, which is nature or God, creation, and so is everything else. Imagining an abstract God in the Sky, or believing we are separate egos, blinds us to this fundamental insight, this blindness being the origin of sin, the source of all other false assumptions about who and what we actually are, and upon this fundamental self-deception, indeed, we reap what we sow.
Emanating from the first Deadly Sin is a second, “reification,” falsely treating our mental images as independent realities. Because we ‘know not what we do,’ we deceive ourselves into believing that the images we imagine don’t come from us, rather each represents a ‘real’ independent thing. Ego and nationalism are prime examples, as are nationalism, organized religions, racism, money, egos, and all the wars these reified assumptions spawn. We forget that we are God incarnate, along with the rest of the universe. Instead, we falsely believe we are separate egos; jealous, envious, deceitful, selfish, all the primal emotions Greek myths warn must be transcended. Reification is self-deception at its core.
As eminence, the experience of the divine, shifted from nature, the feminine, and paganism, to abstracted mental images of personal ego and “God in the Sky,” a Third Deadly Sin emerged; the need to displace the natural superiority of women, embodied nature as Ashley Montagu describes in his book by that title, by abstract, intellectual concepts. We can generalize; civilization being a meme, a shared mental image, demanded that embodied nature and the feminine be inferior to emergent intellect. Obvious examples are the three-hundred-year Spanish Inquisition, witch hunts, and similar betrayals of transpersonal rationality. These were required and still are, to negate egalitarian equality which was humanities’ norm for 99% of our evolution.
Pearce describes how the modern extension of this Third Deadly Sin, male-machine domination of women during childbirth, inhibits embodied bonding in mothers as the driving force that preserves the species.
“Every time we have intellectually interfered with an ancient biological process, that intellectual interference has been paid for with a bitter price. And intellect never learns. We also make money off of it, so immediately anything goes.”
Joseph Chilton Pearce
Becoming a mother is a transforming experience. New capacities, states of relationship, and modes of being, not needed before, suddenly blossom, if allowed, are nurtured and supported. Intellectual-technological intervention displaces primal intelligences with cultural counterfeits. ‘No living model, no opening of that capacity,’ Pearce calls ’The Model Imperative.’ Medical-Technological birth replaces nature with intellect and machines and with that, diminishes humanity's primal preservation force, bonding, and implicit nurturing.
More recently came a Forth Dehumanizing Sin. We invented a lifeless, mechanical screen technology as a counterfeit of perhaps nature’s most complex achievement, symbolic and metaphoric imagination. Pictures, being visual, are processed by the ancient sensory brain. Symbols are processed by centers that evolved much later. Picture-based technologies bypass, and therefore starve these more evolved brain centers. Television transformed storytelling into a music box. Every picture negates all those descriptive words, and the brain’s capacity to convert metaphor into meaning.
This sin intensifies. As the brain develops, the more we experience an improvised lexicon, plus a more stimulating visual delivery system, the less that brain can absorb, manage and distill meaning from complex abstract symbols and concepts, and the more addicted that brain becomes to the easy-peasy visual presentation. This creates a perfect storm for unbonded predators to exploit and manipulate the global population with sensational or frightening propaganda, delivered 24/7 by mobile digital displays. See Jane Healy, ‘Endangered Minds, Why Our Children Can’t Think,’ Jerry Mander, ‘The Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television,’ John Taylor Gatto, ‘Dumbing Us Down,’ Joseph Chilton Pearce, “Evolution’s End,” and others. Equally frightening, this dumbing-down is concealed. The latest generation hasn’t a clue what they are missing. As Jerry Mander describes; the ability to skillfully manipulate a dumbed-down, media-addicted population, and conceal what is happening escalates exponentially.
In addition to breeding a less critical and creative global population, therefore far easier to predict and control, also diminished is the capacity for focused, rational imagination, united with complete attention and passion. This combination, described by The Dalai Lama above, is causal, that is, “life and nature changing.” This active-creative ontological force of consciousness is the true foundation for Tantra, authentic magic, which is not illusion, what alchemy symbolized, and much more. As Pearce describes; “a change in the worldview changes the world viewed.” (See Robert Lanza, Biocentrism, how consciousness creates the universe rather than the other way around.)
Joseph Chilton Pearce experienced this causal capacity of consciousness directly when an internal mental state created a “crack” in his self-world-view, negating fire burning his skin. Joe spent the next fifty years exploring and writing about “our astonishing capacities and self-inflicted limitations.” Failing to fully develop, mature, and distilled imagination, coupled with the inability to gather and focus complete attention, the fragmented ‘attention-deficits’ media induce, deny access to these ‘astonishing capacities,’ leaving only our self-inflicted limitations.
The culmination of these compounding and dehumanizing sins is an increasingly callous disregard for nature and natural processes, including our own true nature, beginning with the intellectual betrayal of the feminine, and today with brain-machine-surveillance implants in every human designed to replace critical and creative imagination with preprogrammed virtual realities. At least, that is the intent.
Once established, machines have a long history of taking over. Recall HAL in Arthur Clark’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” As Emerson described in the mid-1880s, “the weaver becomes the web.” Do we really believe this will not happen with artificial intelligence, virtual reality technologies, surveillance implants, and the exponential growth of technology? Deadly sins, indeed.
There is a parachute, a simple, clear, and obvious alternative, yet concealed to most; stop sinning. This implies growing up, evolving beyond the fixed states of mind that humanity has been stuck in for centuries, the self-realization that we are far more than what we think and imagine. Evolving beyond thought as the default state of consciousness implies the direct perception of another state, what David Bohm called “infinite potential.”
With this insight, we discover that giving complete attention to this present moment reveals and opens states of direct perception that are not thought, not memory or imagined. Rather, a vast, sensitive, dynamic, an original quality of mind that is aware, deeply empathic, and intelligent. With insight, this intelligence drives the bus, drawing upon our conditioning as a useful tool, rather than blind and mechanical obedience to our limited conditioning.
We experience directly that the mental images our brain creates are not independent “things.” Images are images, mental graphic metaphors, tools for play, and nothing more, including the images we have about ourselves, others, and culture. On the instant, we understand that we are not those images. Like awakening from an identity dream, everything appears as it is, not what we imagine.
Humanities' core identity shifts from thought-induced images, to dynamic, reciprocal, and empathic states of bonded entanglement with everyone and everything. Not as a concept. As direct experience. The clarity of this direct experience or ‘insight’ breaks the spell, the enchantment our original sins have induced for fifty-thousand years. We grow up and stop behaving as the dangerous, self-absorbed, daydreaming, violent children we have been. The grip of Transhumanism that our enchantment invites, the merging of machine and thought, disappears. Awake, with all the energy and attention that was wasted in our dream is suddenly free and available to create a new, truly sustainable future. “Behold, I make all things new.”
“We think the crisis is out there, in the world. The crisis is really inward,” and it is far past due that we face this.