Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sociology as Trope

Sociology as Trope

I want to spin out from here onto the strut of sociology and the most recent summation of where we are as a World Civilization: Tarnas’ The Passion of the Western Mind. In this extraordinary display of scholarship and synthesis Tarnas develops the thesis that we are experiencing the last gasps of Modern Man and entering the decline of Western Civilization. It is not my intent to summarize his carefully woven analysis of comparable civilizations and their experiences. Rather I want to build on his notion of the Nous or what he terms spirit. To do so I must also refer to John Ralston Saul’s Voltaire’s Bastards , equally as compelling, wherein he argues that the Nous is Mind and that as a function of Reason we have reached a point where our Reason and blind adherence to same has boxed us in to a corner with no apparent way out. I wish to run the thread of Epinoumenology through both texts and suggest that the Nous manifests first as Mind thence as Spirit. I believe this is consistent with Jung’s and Campbell’s explorations and delineations of the mind’s manifestations as it leads one on the personal and transpersonal towards the experience of the Noumen .

Lucid Dreaming as Trope

Lucid Dreaming as Trope

Lucid Dreaming, a pillar of Epinoumenology, represents another aspect of genetic meme trope at the psychological level. ‘Step these stones to the dream world; begin yet another truth.’ Before elaborating on the revelatory nature of dreams both a) as a launch pad to what the Greeks called Parrhesia or experience of the Godhead, and b) an ability to understand how a dramatic governing paradigm, i.e., the Book of Revelations, is testament to the spiritual centrality of Lucid Dreams. (And by extension Revelations is further proof of psycho-genic meme trope. Again, that is for later discussion. ) First, I wish to clarify what constitutes a lucid dream based on my own recorded experiences of the phenomenon.

I will begin by talking about consciousness in the waking state. We know that we are not dreaming because we can engage in dialogue with others, pinch ourselves and/or use any of the five senses to confirm that we are awake. Interestingly enough, this is also what happens as a lucid dreamer. You are as conscious within the structure of the dream as you are wherever or however you are reading this. In some instances, you can be a spectator watching events unfold much as you might, in the physical world, look at a passing parade of street walkers, joggers or cyclists. The experience can be expanded. For instance you can be involved as a member of the parade or you can even change the dream at will. For further input, you can even apply the five senses test. That is where it becomes interesting in terms of paradigm building and acceptance.

This can all be achieved without the use of psychedelic drugs. I’m sure however, that there are many of you reading this who can attest to the validity of walking through what Huxley and Leary made famous: The Doors of Perception under such stimulation. It is not my intention to develop a system for Lucid Dreaming at this point in the presentation. I raise the subject to explain Jung’s subsequent and deeply rooted commitment to mysticism after his lucid dream experiences. As he relates in one of his journals: "I awoke( within the dream ) and found myself walking down a beautiful country road. Off to my right was a church. I went in and noted that there were no pews nor even an altar. Instead the church was filled with flowers and where the altar should have been was a Yogi meditating. "At that point Jung maintained that he knew he was the dream of that Yogi and that when the Yogi finished his meditation Jung too would be finished as a conscious expression on this planet.( Marie Louise Franz )

In the section on cosmic trope I intend to elaborate on my own experiences on the Inner and what these may or may not mean as we strive to develop a New World Cosmogony. Consonant however with my earlier statement about genetic meme trope, Lucid Dreaming is but another indicator of meme trope as we awaken to a new river of Consciousness. Thus this poem, as part of my theme that Epinoumenology facilitates an examination of the convergence of Art, Science and Technology as metaphor, as symbol and as Trope.

La Rivière

I am on The River

I am the River

flowing slowly thence murderously

through your arteries,

cleansing, polluting

I know not which

but ... I am the River

I am your destiny

your sustenance

your growth

the pathway

of your tomorrow ...

Oh yes, I am the River

bordered by forests, canyons

ravines and meadows

cities, towns

villages , hamlets

estuaries and strangers

I present and present

as a guiding metaphor ...

Indeed! I think too

that You are The River ...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Paradigm Development

Paradigm Development

During the past twenty-five years I have been involved in research about the noumen not only as an intellectual exercise but as a lived experience. I didn’t know it then and it wasn’t until I read Ken Wilbur’s In The Mind’s Eye that I realized that what I was doing was learning first hand how a reigning paradigm was established. I ask Mr. Wilbur’s indulgence as I attempt a simple analogy as to how a reigning World Mind is convicted. Namely, if you tell me something is such and such, i.e., that an apple ( Please excuse the blatant satire!) is red or green and that it tastes good, I have one of two choices: 1) I can accept what you say and parrot it for others believing that you would have no good reason to deceive me ; or 2) I can test it for myself and decide first hand if your experience is the same as mine. Whatever the result, the majority who either accept on faith, or experience and join-- become convicted ( much like the Evangelicals currently enjoying notoriety ), invariably give rise to a paradigm. By extension, they give shape to the consciousness of the moment with respect to the shared experience, be it an apple, a theology (Judeo-Christianity) or a theory ( Relativity ).

As a researcher with an inquisitive mind, I have often wondered about this concept called God, manifesting-according to others of similar proclivities, as Spirit/Soul/Mind. Was it real? ( Buddha/Jesus/Mohammed/Sudar Singh/Kihail Kibran/ Mary Baker Eddy/ KrishnaMurti/ Rudolph Steiner Meher Baba/Maharishi Mahesh Yogi/Paul Twitchell) An imaginative construct? ( Marx/Lenin/Stalin/Mao/Castro,Ayn Rand) How did it manifest? ( WilliamJames/ Edmund Wilson )

As my experiential and intellectual experiences took shape and evolved, I thought I saw connectives, initially at least, as they related to the noumen as it was apprehended and written about by our epic poets and glorified by painters down through the mists of time. Eventually, as the arcane world of Physics was made understandable by people like Gary Zukal in The Dancing Wu Li Masters and Fritz Capra my sense of the pervasive growth of the noumen grew, as well as my apprehension (understanding) of the phenomenon.

It also seemed to me as a researcher that my experiences fell firmly within the strut of psychology. And spinning my Ariadnian thread further I found myself hanging firmly upon the struts/gridirons/paradigms of Philosophy and Mythology. In an attempt to connect circles and not redefine them let me suggest through this poem entitled ID (my one concession to the morpho-tropic deliberations of Freud on the subject of the unconscious) where I was led.

We approach on cat’s feet
The Guardians of the Outer Door
Finding dry roses
in dry cellars
leading to doors
cloaked in webs
of intricate design

It was through these doors that Dr. Jung went when he descended into the unconscious to confront both his own shadow and that which he termed the Shadow of the Collective Unconscious. Thankfully, he was able to make the return journey. In Modern Man In Search of Soul he advances the notion that the present ennui or deep-seated emptiness so characteristic in his world ( and more so now in ours ) can only be sated by confronting our own shadows which are, paradoxically, thrust closer and closer to the surface of consciousness as our individual spirit reaches for its physically expressing manifestation. This process begins in the dream state as we confront, assimilate and understand Archetypes - a prelude, I argue, to becoming a lucid dreamer and thereby expanding the known limits of consciousness.

Saturday, March 26, 2005