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The Spiral Progression: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis

Repost: December 2, 2011; Author: Carl Golden

The Way of the Dragon is ancient and evergreen -- perennially emerging within the spiraling evolutionary progression of life and culture. Although the Way is primordial, it is likely that it was first given cultural expression in ancient Animism.

The Animistic worldview, which is the original thesis of human culture, is profoundly respectful of Nature because Animists worshipped the powerful numinous in Nature. The world was deeply spiritual and personal. All of our distant ancestors walked and talked with the gods, goddesses, and fellow creatures of land, sea, and sky. They revered the Dragon, and Life was enchanted and beautiful. However, there was much ignorance, superstition, brutality, and fear of our environs, too, that created much suffering.

As human knowledge and technology advanced, most societies around the globe progressively abandoned -- more or less -- the Animistic paradigm, which had become overly burdened with superstitions, and embraced more rational explanations of reality. The epitome of the rational explanation is the scientific paradigm, which is the antithesis of the animistic view because it has historically viewed reality in merely materialistic terms. The rational paradigm radically changed the world through scientifically generated knowledge and technology that gave us more control over our environments and enriched our lives in many ways: materially, economically, socially, artistically, intellectually, etc.

Today, however, we have begun to realize that we threw the baby out with the bath water, which is to say we threw enchantment out with superstition. The rational, materialistic worldview is too reductionistic to appreciate the Sacred, which is essential to our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and ecological health. Rational materialism is prone to reducing trees to board feet and people to units of production. This worldview fundamentally alienates us from the roots of our humanity. Indeed, it is sickening our souls, eroding our political and social discourse, and destroying the Web of Life.

Consequentially, more and more people are hungering for a deeper, spiritual way to live -- a way that feeds the soul, nurtures the heart, inspires the mind, and respects the precious communion that is the Web of Life. The way forward must be a transcendantal synthesis of sacred enchantment and rational science. Ironically, science has recently begun to discover phenomena that reveal fundamental and universal principles of consciousness, interiority, and communion, which are hallmarks of ancient Animism. We are beginning to understand at the subatomic level that the creative genius of the Cosmos is implicated in the self-emerging Cosmic order itself. As the Animists knew intuitively, the Rationalists are discovering empirically: the material is spiritual. Nature is the body of the divine.

Natural Philosophy and Spiritual Praxis Re-envisioned

Repost: December 2, 2011; Author: Carl Golden

Over the last 35 years, I sought experiences, insight, knowledge, and wisdom to aid me in my own journey of maturation and discovery. Consequentially, my life became a gestation of religious, spiritual, psychological, ecological, evolutionary, social, political and cultural information. Now, this long gestation is giving birth to a new synthesis of natural philosophy and spiritual praxis.

This new synthesis recognizes that Nature and Psyche are correllates -- as goes one, so goes the other. Ugly, hostile people will produce ugly, hostile environments, and vice versa. So, it is important that we align ourselves with truth, beauty, and goodness, which arise as basic functional patterns of health and wisdom.

Indeed, functional patterns are reiterated throughout the Cosmos with primordial congruency. For instance, the viabilityof an atom is sustained by energetic forces, which constitute boundaries that define appropriate relations with other atoms and space itself. Such is the case for molecules, cells, organelles, organisms, species, societies, ecosystems, biomes, the biosphere, solar systems, galaxies, and our psyches, too. There are numerous other correlating patterns, and understanding these patterns and honoring their respective and related functions is important, especially in fostering health and wisdom.

These patterns and systems of patterns are local and temporal forms of consciousness. Atoms are atomic consciousness. Molecules are molecular consciousness. Cells are cellular consciousness. Humans are human consciousness. Everything is aware because everything is an expression of, a participant in, and related through an absolute ground or field of pure being-energy-awareness, which is commonly referred to as God.

This view has enormous implications for natural philosphy and spiritual praxis, especially in regard to evolution, which can no longer be understood only in terms of natural history. Evolution is sacred story, as well. It is the modern myth of creation and of divine incarnation. It is the story of how Spirit is having Cosmic experiences, and how the Cosmos is spiritually awakening.