by Philip Viens, Circkles contributing writer.
Our experience, our – perception of life is three-dimensional: length, width, and height. To conceive of dimensions beyond these three requires imagination and mathematics. As perceived three-dimensional creatures, most of us seldom bother to ponder our three-dimensionality, let alone explore dimensions beyond them unless we look out into space on a clear night and even then, our minds will attempt to understand what we are witnessing, through our three-dimensions; fewer still, the poet, the ascetic, the scientist will ponder, and grasp the truth that life is not constrained by dimensionality and they touch the finger of God and can awaken in us this truth.
Once awakened, there are those who remain awake and will navigate, in the deepest darkness, by the stars, guiding us to this truth – that our destiny, as it were, is in our own hands.
They tell the story of discovery and the hero through allegories, lore, myth, religious themes, and characters, through proverbs and prophets, not to have us conform to the rigidity of our three-dimensional understanding but to free us from our unconscious state and if we are to avoid the cataclysm of annihilation, of all kinds, of any kind, by a million cuts, of climate, environment, starvation, savageness, indignity, at my life at the expense of yours, an evolutionary jump will have to be made as some of the twentieth century evolutionists support who insist that each species is an entity with an abrupt origin and an abrupt end and that evolution proceeds in short bursts of turmoil followed by long periods of idleness, as observed by Bruce Chatwin in his book The Songlines.
As a species, for us to consider ourselves more advanced than other species, to be more advanced than our ancestors, it is necessary for us to grasp the difference between consciousness and unconsciousness and while this comparison reeks of new-age, thinking, so much of it absent of substance and designed more for the talk show or the magazine rack next to the chewing gum and candy bars, it’s reach is evolutionary. It is also not new, not religiously based and not beyond the grasp of the human mind.
As the young Blaise Pascal wrote: “All of humanities problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
The human being is unconscious, is unaware of what it does or more precisely, why it does. Unconscious, it functions in duality; life and death – and everything is shaped around this belief – good and bad, love and hatred, ups and downs and if challenged to think beyond this, will either struggle and fail, dismiss, curtly or violently or rarely, succeed but to succeed is neither a linear experience nor can it be defined by the unconscious mind in which most of humanity is enslaved.
To be conscious is to be aware of our thinking; to treat the mind as if it were its own being or, a tool that we can wield or one that will consume us. The mind, unchecked is greed and fear incarnate. It is nothing else. Its role is survival – at all costs.
Any experience in life, distilled through the unchecked mind is considered a threat to its existence; the physical threats are often clear enough; a blow, a pointed weapon, encroachment of space but in society, some physical threats can be more subtle; cutting in line, encounters in automobiles, words; still other psychological threats can cue the unchecked mind; rejection, ostracism, social status, indignities all are cues to the unchecked mind to fight or flee and once triggered, cascade across the planet, from one to another, from nation to nation.
As I mentioned earlier, consciousness is not a destination, it is not achieved and certainly not linearly. It is a state of being, a state of – presence. It is understood outside of the three-dimensional mind’s propensity for quantifying which, itself is a characteristic of the three-dimensional mind’s need to define linearly. The resistance of the three-dimensional mind to consciousness is that the unchecked, three-dimensional mind can only focus on linearity; past, present and future and of the three, it is best at past and future for this is where greed and fear are cultivated.
Our experience of life enslaved to the unchecked mind is the experience of happiness and sadness and every iteration of each and everything in between, at the individual level and at nation levels. Even in the United States our forefathers based the declaration of independence on, among other things, “…the pursuit of happiness…” but even this concept was perceived by the white – men who wrote it. The very experience of happiness must, by definition have its opposite, sadness or, at the very least the absence of happiness to be understood. This is because the human species is largely, unconscious. It is shepherded by the mind unchecked and unless an adversity, so great, compels it to consciousness, it generally remains unconscious and defends it right to so indulge.
Enough discovery has been made, enough evidence is available to support not only the reality that the human species is largely unconscious. The physical manifestations cannot be ignored even if we focus on our current state; political upheaval on a global scale, human beings allowing other human beings to be slaughtered or starved, manifest destiny run amok. But in spite of this, voices still speak out, encouraging a rise to our next level – without, perhaps for the first time in human history, massive loss of all life.
In his definitive work on communism, To The Finland Station, Edmund Wilson observed:
“Here…we see the fogs that obscure the horizons of the remote reaches of time recede, the cloud-shapes of legends lift. In the shadows there are fewer monsters; the heroes and the gods float away. What we see now are men as we know them alone on the earth we know. The myths that have made us wonder are projections of a human imagination like our own and, if we look for the key inside ourselves and learn how to read them correctly, they will supply us with a record, inaccessible up to now, of the adventures of men like ourselves.
And a record of something more than mere adventures. Human history had hitherto always been written as a series of biographies of great men or as a chronicle of remarkable happenings or as a pageant directed by God. But now we can see that the developments of societies have been affected by their sources, their environments; and that like individual human beings they have passed through regular phases of growth. “The facts of known history” Vico writes, are to be “referred to their primitive origins, divorced from which they have seemed hitherto to possess neither a common basis, nor continuity nor coherence.” And: “The nature of things is nothing other than that they come into being at certain times and in certain ways. Whatever the same circumstances are present, the same phenomena arise and no others.” And: in that dark night which shrouds from our eyes the most remote antiquity, a light appears which cannot lead us astray; I speak of this incontestable truth: the social world is certainly the work of men; and it follows that one can and should find its principles in the modifications of the human intelligence itself.” And: “Governments must be comfortable to the nature of the governed; governments are even a result of that nature.”
Only through the presence of mind, the conscious mind does the clarity of thought illuminate. Thoughts of “Making America Great Again” are the harbingers of a mind enslaved to unconsciousness, appealing to the unconscious who live lives of hope that they will be happy again – somehow, at the hands of someone else who thinks they know best how to make someone else happy when they are enslaved to the unchecked mind. If ever there were evidence of the blind leading the blind these days, our world is rubbing our noses in it.
To evolve without catastrophe, we must take control of the instrument we have – our minds. We must cease to indulge in the thoughts of judgment greed and fear for as long as we do, we will never be free thinkers and enslaved thinkers are eternally obsessed with one thing, their enslavement.
 To the Finland Station 1940: Edmund Wilson, Chapter 1. Michelet Discovers Vico
© Copyright, All Rights Reserved – Philip W. Viens, 23 April 2016