Monday, November 1, 2021

Chopped Liver or Human Being?

     “Albert Einstein called the intuitive or metaphoric mind a sacred gift. He added that the rational mind was a faithful servant. It is paradoxical that in the context of modern life we have begun to worship the servant and defile the divine.”
     Bob Samples. “The Metaphoric Mind: A Celebration of Creative Consciousness.” Jalmar, 1976.

     Einstein was pointing out how our society is becoming increasingly materialistic & hyper-rational. As a result, for many, the only satisfaction in life is: "The one who dies with the most toys wins." Our current dominant worldview, whether we fully realize it or not, is that of "scientific materialism" or "physicalism," according to which, life & consciousness is purely accidental & our life has no meaning!

     This dangerously unbalanced, nihilistic worldview has been around before our own increasingly troubled civilization, leading to the collapse of the Greek & Roman civilizations. Iain McGilchrist, former professor of literature at Oxford University, psychiatrist & author, worries that our civilization is also speeding towards demise - watch the excellent (49min) video interview at the bottom of this blog.


      Below, a brief transcription from a recent conversation about why there are those who firmly believe that consciousness ends with physical death; while many firmly believe, based on far more than wishful thinking, that consciousness continues beyond death:

     Rick Archer (RA), host of “In my own experience, and I’m really not just making this up like I’m hanging onto beliefs, but I just feel it so viscerally & so intuitively, that life is such a continuum, and it far exceeds the life span of this body. And whether this body dies tomorrow or thirty years from now, it’s obviously not in my hands, but I really trust in the sort of divine wisdom of things, the divine orchestration, and I fully feel that I’ll continue. What was that song from “Titanic” – “my heart will carry on” or something like that. I’ve interviewed so many people, I’ve read so many books and so on about near-death experiences, and I just feel that life is a continuum that just goes on and on and on. I guess the reason it’s worth dwelling on this that, although we don’t want to make too much of a fuss about beliefs, it seems to me that if a person has the orientation that I’ve just described versus the orientation that this is me, and when this dies, that’s the end of me, it seems to me that that would make a big difference in how they’d view their life, and what they felt about death. It would be a very different orientation, don’t you think?
     Connie Zweig (CZ): “Yah! It is a different orientation. I have a psychologist stepson who’s a scientist, and there’s only the material world for him. That’s all there is. And I look at it as a level of consciousness. That is a stage of development. Where there is nothing beyond the material world – that is a stage. And many people go through that stage. Some people get stuck there. But rather than sort of devalue it, I look at it as a stage.
     RA: I wouldn’t necessarily say that he’s at a lower level of consciousness than somebody who believes that there’s life after death. It’s really hard to judge levels of consciousness.
     CZ: No, it’s not beliefs, it’s experience.
     RA: I see, right, he hasn’t experienced a lot of transcendence**.
     CZ: Right, or any.
     RA: I guess that’s why you and I feel the way we do. If you add it all up, we’ve spent years sitting in the transcendent, over the past fifty. I know I’ve calculated it’s been at least six or seven years for me sitting there with my eyes closed. And that definitely grounds you in something. that you can’t shake – that you wouldn’t want to shake.
     CZ: Yah! And people who haven’t had that experience have no idea what we’re talking about. They’ve no idea. It’s like, ‘Have you eaten curry?’ You’ve eaten curry or you haven’t eaten curry. You can’t imagine it if you haven’t eaten it
believe that a lot of the craziness we’re seeing in the culture right now is about consciousness. In some ways it’s a regressed stage that’s happening now. It’s an earlier, more primitive stage of consciousness that Trump elicited. We don’t know what’s going to happen as a result of that. But it’s all out of the closet now."
very short part of an excellent (1hr 55min) interview:

      **Transcendence refers to going beyond what we commonly admit to being able to think & clearly describe in words. The most deeply meaningful aspects of life - such as love & mystical experiences - which we can directly experience fit this category!

     Directly related to this, I highly recommend: Mark Gober. “An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life.” Waterside Press, 2018.




1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading this post and particularly opening quote by Einstein.