This is an essay i wrote for the Contextual and Critical Studies part of my cause, notice the pun oh oh oh ha…
Third Eye; Alex Gray
The heart of our consciousness has been the quest of many of the great thinkers, intellectuals and practitioners of history. From the first gods and deities to modern physic and psychology humanity has always tried to conceive reasonable explanations, excepted through belief systems or scientific observation, as to how we are able to exists consciously. What has fascinated me, from a purely agnostic opinion (I feel I must outline this thoroughly), is that within many of the opposing convictions are mediatory theories, that is many come to congruent conclusions. I do not wish to try and explain why there is this synchronicity, to coin the discordian phrase, as I feel that would be too imposing, but rather to examine the hypotheses and their similarities which are present on both sides, that is if we take the opinion that science and belief are antithetical of each other, and how these ideas have been influential to understanding of our own consciousness. I also intend to explore how many new scientists are studying models closer and closer to that of belief systems, and why these are contradictory to all the standard models modern science is centered around.
It is generally thought that creationist theories and Darwinian evolution are of opposing convictions, that each represents one end of the scale, and for obvious reasons one can easily sympathizes with this opinion. Yet the Big Bang theory could be said to sound a little creationist? First there was nothing then abruptly (for no evident reason) there was a huge chemical explosion, or two particles collided, from which all matter was created. But what caused the explosion if nothing existed before it, at least nothing we can explain using the standard model of physics. “Science and religion agree that in the beginning the cosmos moved from a state of nothingness to the existence of matter.” I find the only distinctive difference between belief and science is the intervention of the deity, the higher being of anthropomorphic stature. It seems a reasonable way for early man to consider the power of nature to be under the watchful eye of a humanoid figure, for it is the easiest way for us to envision higher beings or systems out of our control, how could they be of other origin than man the most successful, that is aware, creature on earth. The Bible holds one of the most plain versions of this, ‘Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.’
With this separation you can easily understand why many religions oppose Darwin’s theory of evolution, though there is sufficient evidence that the deities worshipped today are adapted, or even evolved, form of gods worshipped for centuries. Take for instance the Mother Goddess, or Mother Nature, a well known deity throughout world religions has embodied many forms from the Hindu Kali Ma to the Greek Gaia, but in all cases is represented as a god of fertility, the power to give life, and can be dated back to the Pre-Indo-Neolithic Matriarchies. Overall this figure is the creator, the child bearer, but is always confronted with a binary icon, that of the conventional Death or Grim Reaper who holds the power to take life. Often linked to Saturn, or Satan as we have all come to know him, this suggesting that the Judo-Christian’s God could be, and most likely is, in fact a subversive form of the Mother Goddess adapted for the customs of the epoch in which it was written.
Yet it was only when the destroyer is formed that free will can be considered to exist. Like in Genesis 1:26 to 5:5 the tale of Adam and Eve’s encounter with opposition of God and Satan the serpent where for the first time humanity is given a choice, the ability to consider ones own actions, and consequently the ability for conscious thought. It is only through the existence of these two deities, and their polarity, is consciousness possible. “What Saturn’s intervention introduced into creation was the potential for individual objects to exists – and therefore the transformation of formlessness into form.” This idea correlates highly with the Big Bang theory, that two forces of indescribable power collided to create the universe. Deities throughout religions have eveolved in this sense, their symbols converted to fit within the societies they are adapted for, implying that they all have a common ancestor, their all part of the same species, each new faith is just a sub-species of mans attempts to explain consciousness, why we are here.
It is interesting to know that there is also evidence that Egyptian priests believed that Man evolved form in a style not so dis-similar to the Darwinian theory. When Herodotus the Greek writer, who is often called the ‘father of history,’ visited Memphis, Egypt in 485 BC, he was show an underground passage filled with rows of carved statues of the former pharos and kings. It is said that Herodotus was “walking with priests along the rows [where] he came to a series of 345 colossal wooden carvings of beings who had reigned before Menes, their first human king. These beings, said the priests, were ‘born one from the other’, that is to say without need of sexual partner, by plant-like method of parthenogenesis.”So if the Egyptian did believe in a form evolution, even if it was slightly differing from Darwinian evolution, “the wooden monuments were a record of the long lost era of the vegetable life of human kind.”
Creationism is the Mind Over Matter interpretation of how the universe came to be, science the Matter Over Mind. But is it entirely surprising, considering what we have already discussed, that science is now beginning to look back towards the more esoteric possibilities of a Mind Over Matter universe?
Robert Pepperell’s ‘The Post Human Condition’ has plenty theories that correspond with the mind over matter framework of many belief systems, arguing that it is only because of the complexity of our consciousness, our internal pathways, that the world can exist, and that the world we exist in is largely determined by how or what we perceive to be reality. “Does consciousness reside in the brain? Are human beings confined to the boundaries of their skin?” Eastern religions and culture are fully adept to this idea, with many beliefs like Hindu Karma and Buddhist Om (or Aum) suggesting that the human soul, or as the West has come to know it consciousness, lives beyond the confines of the physical self. One reason for this divided perception from East to West is the scientific model that the Brian is the single organ responsible for consciousness, that “all mental phenomena whether conscious or unconscious, visual or auditory, pains, tickles, itches, thoughts, indeed all our mental life, are caused by processes going on in the brain.”
Pepperell’s theory presents the idea that “our bodies consist in a complex matrix of senses that perpetually respond to the stimuli and demands of our environment” and only through an experience of these ‘stimuli’ can we asses the fact that we are conscious, because without them we would not be able to explain or prove our conscious actions (at least in a way we would consider to be real). This is in harmony with Om, the Buddhist belief that all conscious life exists as a single vibration or entity known as Om, and that the reality we experience as ‘life’ is just the physical demotion of our existence, that “you cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself,” or “all that we are is the result of all that we have thought,” to quote the Buddha’s teachings.
More of Pepperell’s theory is on par with Buddhist teachings, like the presence of the Chakra’s that are meant to represent the different housings of the human emotional spectrum. Pepperell observes that human emotions are purely understood by physical attributes, that we can tell someone is happy when they smile, or that when someone is nervous because they often fidget (have a nervous reaction), and that we feel these emotions physically as well, like feeling ill when scared or light headed when excited. The chakras are spread throughout the body, and the emotions attached to their meaning are generally ones that westerners, speaking stereotypically, would instinctively associate with those parts of the body.
All these beliefs and ideas come to coincidental conclusions, even tough being of dogmatic views, that we can only define what our own experience of consciousness is by the physical stimuli we encounter, and that our consciousness is in fact both the experience of these moments and the moment itself. But is it really a surprise that the opposing ends of human beliefs synchronize in this way considering that they both have the same root. Us.
Spirit Quests & Spaced-Out Professors
Both religion and science try to achieve, or explain, a higher state of being, that is one becomes more, or completely, conscious of the purpose of human existence, or can at least explain why we are here. One way in which both have attempted this is through altered states of consciousness, i.e. natural or chemical imbalances, hallucinations.
It is well known that many religions began from tribes who discovered hallucinogenic substances, often psilocybin or mescaline (magic mushrooms and peyote cactus), and had no other practical way of explaining their experiences than the intervention of some form of deity or supernatural being, a higher intelligence. Science has proven this to be only chemical imbalances created within the brain when the substance is consumed, but both have discovered ways to use the ‘trips’ to alter ones sober perceptions, and ultimately change ones state of consciousness.
Back in the late 1950’s to the 1960’s the infamous Dr. Timothy Leary began his research into the, new back then, drug LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide). At the time Leary was at the center of a huge debate on whether he himself was responsible for brainwashing an entire generation with a powerful hallucinogenic, or for discovering “how to free the mind of humanity from culturally conditioned limitations.” Leary’s research was into how LSD, and other hallucinogenic drugs, could be used to ‘reprogram’ the human psyche, to form new neurological pathways, which would allow the receiver to say overcome a phobia or change a racist upbringing they personally felt obstructed by. Leary’s theory was that “LSD takes you out of the space-time ego”, (much like meditations from multiple religions) allowing one to view the world from a clear, unconditioned perspective, as Leary puts it “the space game comes to an end, the time game comes to an end, and then the Timothy Leary [the ego] game comes to an end” and with the patients (a term Leary strongly opposed, preferring to call them ‘research assistant’) consent and fresh neurological imprint can be made at this ‘peak’, and the new consciousness is reached.
Though extremely controversial, Leary’s theory had bee shown to work, maybe not under scientific observation (mainly because of LSD’s illegalization world wide in 1971 under the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances), but with tribes from all the continents. Many shamans use hallucinogenic plants and roots to achieve higher states of being where they can ‘talk to the gods’ and find new paths on which to lead their tribe. I’m not speculating that these shamans actually ‘talked to the gods’, but instead managed to achieve Leary’s neurological reprogramming, and reform the rational brain with new imprints, new consciousnesses.
Leary had a theory also about the stages in human consciousness, of which be believed there was eight. Each ‘circuit’ in Leary’s theory is meant to represent both a stage in the general state of consciousness on planet earth (in tune with Darwinian evolution), along with the different periods in a human’s life. It broke down like this:
Circuit I Infant bio-survival Uni-cellular life
Circuit II ‘Toddler’ emotional Vertebrate life, territoriality,
politics (Ego) hierarchy
Circuit III Student mind Hominid languages and tool-
Circuit VI Post-pubescent Urbanizes civilization
Circuit V Neurosomatic Free-fall (extraterrestrial
Circuit VI Neuroelectric Increased intelligence
Circuit VII Neurogenetic Immortality
Circuit VIII Satori Cosmic Union
According to Leary’s theory we sit somewhere between circuit VI and V, insisting that we Homo-sapiens are not yet fully evolved, that when we reach VIII Satori we will in a sense become gods, linking very nicely into the trend of everything we have discussed, that science again here is correlating with it predecessor religion.
The idea of a system based on eight, too is a common finding all over science, with the periodic table broken down into eight elemental families, first achieved by the English chemist John Newland, and was thus:
- Nobel Gases
Pythagoras’s theory on Occidental music was also based on system of eight, there being eight octaves in any musical scale, and this is still the foundation of most audio-based sciences. Nikola Telsa then form this hypothesized the Law of Octaves that governs the energy patterns in the universe on this system of eights, which he proved with his famous Telsa Coil. Yet again though there is repletion of this system, of which so many sciences are based, within religions as well. Chinese Taoism has a cosmology based on the involvement of yin (negative) and yang (positive), much like the forces discussed in chapter one when looking at the Big Bang theory, that create the eight trigrams of the I Ching. Both Toasim and Pythagoras are cotemporary of each other, time wise, so it is interesting to see two very different forms of beliefs corresponding in their findings, again.
Carl Gustav Jung is famous for his strange and often completely misunderstood psychology, mainly because of his highly Christian beliefs, and people have been often quoted to say that he in fact had spoken and or experienced god, but that’s down to subjectivity if we take the posthuman condition. One; this is interesting because here is a man of both convictions, a mediator if you will, and two; Jung did not believe directly in the existence of god but rather that “religion is a definition of which emphasizes individual submission to and dependence on numinous experience, which has its source in the unconscious,” focusing on the fact that these ‘religious’ experiences sit somewhere within our sub-consciousness, and what the practical value of religious experiences in the advancement of psychology. What Jung was fascinated by was the fact that “in the end such [feeling-toned] complexes-presumably in proportion to their distance from consciousness-assume, by self-amplification, an archaic and mythological character and hence a certain numinosity,” this again relates to our earlier look into the anthropomorphism of nature to explain its powers.
“Religion, as the Latin word denotes, is a careful and scrupulous observation of what Rudolf Otto aptly termed the numinosum, that is, a dynamic agency or effect not caused by an arbitrary act of will. On the contrary, it seizes and controls the human subject, who is always rather its victim than its creator. The numinosum-whatever its cause may be-is an experience of the subject independent of his will…. It causes a peculiar alteration of consciousness.”
The above-mentioned Rudolf Otto was a great influence on Jung’s reasoning and had a system in which to brake down religious experiences. He split the involvement people have with ‘god’ into three categories, and pointed out why these are valuable to the viewer, it went like this:
Tremendum – The experience of ‘god’ related with negative emotions, when the aspect of the deity brings fear to the viewer, leading to feeling of nothingness or insignificancy.
Fascinosum – In opposition to tremendum, these experiences are generally related to an overwhelming feeling of bliss, happiness and love, when the viewer is attracted to the deity.
Mysterium – This is when the experience is stupefying, that is when the viewer is so overwhelmed they are unable to make coherent sense of what they have experienced.
What I find synchronis about these descriptions, in relation to the ideas, prophecies and observations previously discussed, in that again ‘we’ can only describe these outer-body experiences as orthodox or divine, that any experience of a numinous object is “beyond our apprehension and comprehension, [and is] only because our knowledge has certain irremovable limits.” This suggest, if it is not to pompous for me to say, that any religious experience is in fact purely an experience of the higher consciousnesses present within the human spirit, a momentary slip into somewhere between the VI to VIII circuits of Leary’s consciousness theory.
So if most religious encounters are merely experiences of our sub-conscious selves is it possible for us to become godlike, that is not to say all-powerful beings, but rather do we in fact hold the symbology, prophecies and knowledge of religious teaching sub-consciously and therefore are bound to evolve to higher conscious beings? If so it is completely surprising that science is again looking backwards, that our knowledge of the world I limited by our knowledge of ourselves?
Everything discussed within this essay, though often esoteric or uncanny, has had a common resonance throughout history, that society is in a constant state of consciousness-change, and that our experience of the world is hugely subjective being wholly dependant on the stimuli that we surround ourselves with. This for me hints at a possible answer to the age old why are we here question, though not at all definite, that conscious thought is only possible because matter exists and we are here to witness it, but this is really a how rather than a why.
Jung had one final theory on consciousness, that there is in fact a ‘collective conscious,’ that everyone is interwoven into an energy which directly affects the world as a whole, anon we have another synchronicity, remember Om? As Jung himself put it “in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.”
But we just don’t know…
 Ryce-Menuhin, Joel – Jung and the Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – New York – First Edition 1994 – P.21
 Jung, Carl Gustav – Collected Works 11 – Princeton – University Press – 1973 – P.65
 Ryce-Menuhin, Joel – Jung and the Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – New York – First Edition 1994 – P.25
 Jung, Carl Gustav – The Archetypes And The Collective Unconscious – London – Routledge – Second Edition 1991
 Wilson, Robert Anton – Cosmic Trigger V.1; Final Secret Of The Illuminati – Tempe – New Falcon Publications Reprint 1987 – P. 115
 Ibid. P. 117
 Ibid. P. 119
 Ibid. P. 122
 Pepperell, Robert – The Posthuman Condition; Consciousness Beyond The Brain – Bristol – Intellect – First Edition 2003 – P. 98
 Searle, John – Minds, Brains And Science – New York – Harvard University Press – 1984 – P. 76
 Pepperell, Robert – The Posthuman Condition; Consciousness Beyond The Brain – Bristol – Intellect – First Edition 2003 – P. 101
 Hagen, Steve – Buddhism Plain and Simple – London – Penguin – New Edition 1999 – P. 126
 Ibid. P.56
 Pepperell, Robert – The Posthuman Condition; Consciousness Beyond The Brain – Bristol – Intellect – First Edition 2003 – P.102
 Black, Jonathan – The Secret History Of The World – London – Quercus – First Edition 2008 – P. 6
 Black, Jonathan – The Secret History Of The World – London – Quercus – First Edition 2008 – P. 68-69
 Ibid. P. 69
 Ibid. P. 69
 Black, Jonathan – The Secret History Of The World – London – Quercus – First Edition 2008 – P. 69