PERESTROIKA AND GLASNOST
It always takes courage to take up the subject of restructuring—whether it involves just the personal life, or our very society. Openness takes even more courage…and humility. We are talking about the state and the individual and the relationship between. Well, structuring, in general, is a big question which involves the relationship of what we might call the “without” to the “within”… and how that might remain always alive and fluid.
How to go to the core of principle and then think outward to application is a big task indeed, and obviously (in the temporal and the spiritual world) the structures we build eventually come apart and have to be rethought/rebuilt, I follow the news and I wonder if this is indeed what we are doing now? Is that what we are doing in this country—in the whole world?
I remember the huge tent villages my children used to create in our living room during the hot desert summers. I just watched with utter fascination and admiration as I saw those encampments grow bigger and bigger, taking up the walking space so that we had to tiptoe along the walls to get across the room at all, but I certainly had not the heart to interrupt their process. Eventually, and this would happen several times throughout a summer, the structures would come apart, as the quilts, fastened onto card tables by encyclopedias and other improvised objects, would begin to slip from their alignments. The disarray would spread across the entire ‘village’ and then when it got too unmanageable for them, they would take it all down and begin again. It was an amazing process to watch. They all just worked together, the three of them, and no one seemed to be the “boss.”
This really big and deep macro question of how to bring about the optimum development of society and the individual, at the same time, has been with me since I was fairly young. I might mention here Sophocles’ Antigone (rights of the individual vis-à-vis the state), and the work of Edward Deming (in his development of group work practices) in helping Japan rebuild after WWII. For my personal spiritual journey, in their contemplation of evolution, Loren Eiseley (evolving out of the tidepools) and Teilhard de Chardin (radial energy), have helped me along the way to come to some comforting thoughts within myself. I treat of this more specifically and at some length in our book Conscious Evolution: The Dance of Intuition and Intellect in the section entitled “Unity: Drawing Together from the Within”…from Chapter Five, I share this excerpt here below:
Unity: Drawing Together from the Within
When we speak of the “within”—what are we meaning? Sri Aurobindo often said that, even in our very cells, we are lit by God Light at the core. We are lit by god light…what does that mean?
Richard Grossinger, contemplates this phenomenon we call light in his book The Night Sky. In his chapter on occult astronomy he discusses with a characteristic look at the writings of others [especially Pierre Teilhard de Chardin--who wrote so much about the "within"] and then makes his own intuitive mystical synthesis:
"So we can look at the sky as a screen of hydrogen fires, or we can look at the same light as the divine component of creation transmitted eternally. The sun is the local embodiment of this material, and the Earth is constructed of solar material. When we imagine the primordial seas with their millennial rains and steam, the upheaval of the molten core, the emergence of bare rock, and the clinging life mantle, we can intuit an inside to this process so that the astral is transmitted through the elemental.
" … We are encouraged to look anew into the night sky, and it is a hive of cells and souls traversed by divine light and the archetypal data of creation. In Gurdjieff’s system, light carries information from higher worlds into lower ones, information which can be transformed by physical nourishment and breath back into astral thought." (Richard Grossinger in The Night Sky, pp.49-50) (77:49-50)
“When we imagine the primordial seas…” Can we then be like the ancient small creatures (as so eloquent described by Loren Eiseley in The Immense Journey) learning to survive in the residual tide pools as the oceans receded and withdrew from the land. These small creatures internalized the seawater—that which had been their supporting environment—and developed the circulatory system. Through individuation, having internalized the supporting environment, the codes and mores of our evolving social institutions, we can draw together by using the force of radial energy from the heart. We might think of this radial energy as ‘entropised’ energy which has built up our ‘within’—rather than having been dissipated throughout the aeons—radial energy now makes a rich conserve within the heart of humanity. Radial energy allows for the drawing together from within rather than being pushed together from without—thus allowing the optimum development of the individual as well as, and simultaneously with the whole, the collective, the community, the society.
It is basic to an evolving consciousness to understand that, to a more or less degree depending on circumstances, all persons are bound together in ties of consciousness. We are unified from our initial creation as a spiritual being. Our energy source is shared, thus enabling us to communicate without verbal speech. Reality extends beyond time and space.
Spiritually, we know that we must transcend the i of singularity and appreciate the ties to all life. By transcending the small i we begin to fully appreciate the spiritual bonds uniting us. This is a turning point in our lives, in our very consciousness. We finally know ourselves in togetherness. The isolation of the i has led to greed, aggression and war. Togetherness corrects those ills and accounts for so much more. Relating as companions for the journey, we can move the world forward to an entirely new dimension of being. Of this we are sure, a simple awareness exists within nature, evolving into higher forms as the spiral ascends. We have moved from that simple awareness to a human consciousness that, at this time on earth, must evolve into a higher consciousness of oneness with all that there is, if we are to fulfill our destiny and evolve humanity from the darkness of our age. Aggression, greed, self-centeredness, and war can now be seen in the light of horrible negativity and immaturity. Our evolving consciousness ushers in a new era of maturity and life.
We believe that the unity we seek can begin to be found if we first establish a dialogical connection with the expanded consciousness of what we call “the inner dimensions.” This direct knowledge of unity can be experienced and lived. It is our inner and our outer which together form our authentic essence. Understanding and experiencing this requires an openness filled with courage to change and transcend, to evolve and mature. To be locked into previous immature beliefs is to live within a cage of past shadows.
Again, we come back to the discussion of meditative practice for access to the “within.” The source of this experience is not physical. It is far greater than that. This knowledge, awaiting to be found, now gained by experience, is attained by a leap beyond our physical body, utilizing deep contemplation and/or meditation in order to pierce false blinders and limitations.
By having the courage to go beyond the traditional, the very core of our awareness is expanded. We can learn to live, even for brief moments, in a higher more integrated state of consciousness. Veils are pierced as a greater degree of knowing is lived. The gateway to reality is found as we encounter and go beyond the human made web of appearances and hurdles.
We all have come into the physical dimension for individual, positive goals. We don’t know of any and we can’t seek a supposed God’s plan by e-mail. No such plan has ever been known. It would be the height of folly to suppose that we can find one. We are not slaves, even to God, and can only conceive of individual plans, developed deep within ourselves and with help from our guides, hinted at in mystical experiences. These plans are always developed for our greater good and the good of humankind.
Our goal and that which leads us to a human unity is an internal, intuitional knowing, through individual experience at a higher level, that we are all part of the family of living beings. We can and must make our unique contributions to that in our own unique way. The grand goal is the fulfillment of our individual missions in that grand togetherness—the blending of our temporary world of appearances with that of the everlasting Reality. When we, on this planet, commit to the fulfillment we can begin, step by step, project by project, relationship by relationship, to finally move forward on a beauty path that is a winning one for each inhabitant, and for our individual and collective existence on this Earth. When that inner knowing, accelerated by contemplation and meditation is experienced, the march forward will be one with the hurdles overcome. As we move along the path we slowly gain deeper appreciation and understanding, leaving behind the commitment to a narrow world view.
Emersion and total commitment to a specific institution or world view, although helpful and even necessary in providing early scaffolding, structure and support, if allowed to monitor or censure our thoughts, can also be a barrier. Such entanglements must be cast aside if we are to go forward with complete freedom of unrestricted thinking.
The above recommendation may be viewed as suspicious by those who are afraid of thinking itself. Ralph Waldo Emerson provided a profound response to that thought years ago. He suggested that if we are all meditating on the same source we will achieve answers appropriate for each individual and always moving us toward the common unity where it all began. Meditation can overcome differences in intellectual reasoning since it can take us beyond a school or book or belief driven interpretation of encounter.
If a new self is to be found there must be courage and love in the attempt to ascend the ladder. We have often said that we must go “naked” toward the spiritual domain in meditation. We clearly meant that we go with an open mind, free from all intellectual persuasions or biases. All who have succeeded in meditation would support that recommendation. It is foolish to draw strict parameters if one is seeking a truth beyond the human. That experience is one of an intimacy with our birthright, that final awakening of our expanded consciousness, the experience of inner, loving relationships with all levels of creation, including the Divine. It is the majestic experience of loving knowledge that binds together the unity of humankind and the spiritual where false subjectivity has no home. There, only love and harmony are to be found. Now, here, that time has come.— (Sheldon Stoff and Barbara Smith Stoff are also authors of a new book—The Akashic Field: It Makes Every Place in the Universe Part of the Neighborhood)