The Quest for Enlightenment
From Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
"Though biologically and psychically nature has been his womb and mother, spiritually, man harkens from a different source. His identity is not to be found in nature alone, but within himself in relationship to that Source. It is one of the traditions of the esoteric wisdoms that humanity needed to be separate from the powerful forces of instinctive, unconscious energies of nature and that the mechanism used to this end was the promotion of the experience of selfhood."
--The Findhorn Garden
A Universe Aware of Itself
Our preconscious ancestors were fused with the natural world in such a way that they were not aware they existed. They were part of nature and lived their lives as automatically as a colony of ants, following an evolved script of behaviors that worked, going through the motions of living without being aware of their own existence. They were not merely in the Garden of Eden; they were part of the ecosystem like any other plant or animal.
With the rise of the Stone Age, people lived in a bubble of first-person individuality, aware of their wants and needs, but not fully capable of connecting with the wants and needs of other people. It was a symbolic, magical, and often hypnotic world, where any bird that flew by could be a sign of something important, and any event could be considered the work of magic. Music and chanting helped people return to a hypnotic state much of the time, especially while processing food, going to war, or dancing around the fire.
Over time our ancestors learned to detach from their personal identities enough to shift into second person, to see the world through the eyes of other people of similar backgrounds. It became a mythical world, where honoring the gods helped to ensure rain and fertility for the crops. However, it was also a black-and-white world where the people of a culture stood united in a single worldview against other cultures. It became a world of conquest, with people driven to convert or eliminate people who were different.
As the world became increasingly complex and new technologies evolved, foreign cultures begin to mingle and meld together. People met foreigners with strange beliefs, made friends anyway, and learned to detach from their own cultural identities enough to shift into third person and compare backgrounds and beliefs, revealing that these foreigners were not so strange or wrong after all, just different. It became a sequential world, where everything was driven by linear cause and effect and everything had an answer, although such answers often proved to be shortsighted. This sequential processing became part of the cultural wisdom that is mimicked and passed down from generation to generation and is still integrating into the collective consciousness.
The world is changing again, becoming increasingly complex, increasingly interconnected, where linear solutions are no longer adequate to resolve social or technological problems, nor sufficient to stay competitive in business. It is becoming a world of systems, where even a small business might include employees in multiple countries creatively tackling complex issues from every angle via teleconferencing. It is becoming a world where the mind and body are viewed as systems, where we can detach from our personal identity and reshape it at will. It is the mark of sentience, the ability to consciously act, instead of merely reacting to the world around us.
But even systems thinking is unable to tackle our biggest problems in the world today, problems like desertification, global warming, and worldwide poverty. These are problems that require a greater level of detachment, the ability to step back and see ourselves holistically as part of the greater web of life, where everything comes full circle. Every action impacts everything else and ultimately comes back to affect ourselves and future generations. Only by seeing the bigger picture can we learn to prosper on this planet without destroying it and ultimately ourselves.
When we learn to live in harmony with our world and each other, then we can focus directly on the spiritual journey to see that we are not merely part of nature, but that we are nature. When we dissolve our identities we acquire a mystical worldview, free to identify with any rock or tree or bird or the entire planet, connecting with them as fully as if we were looking at ourselves in a mirror. We begin to focus on the roadmap, seeking a view of reality without the distortions of mimicked cultural beliefs about the nature of the universe.
As we continue to correct for distortions in our view of reality, we learn to see the physical world not as solid matter, but as largely empty space and fields of energy, more holographic than physical. We learn to detach from our preconceptions about reality at the most basic levels, discovering that reality isn't merely something we are faced with; it is something we, as observers, help create. It is a world where we hold the power of creation, and yet it is a world that is still distorted, confined by false perceptions of time.
However, if we detach from our preconceived notions of time then we realize that time is neither fixed nor unidirectional. We learn to see time as nonlinear, something that both does and does not exist, where events in the past and the future potentially merge to cause each other, and paradox is the norm rather than the exception. It is a universe where our past and future history both have and have not happened.
It is at this instant that we must reconsider the nature of the universe. Upon closer examination we discover that matter is even more illusionary than we thought: everything in the universe was formed from absolutely nothing. In the words if physicist Stephen Hawking, "particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero." According to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the energy of a gravitational field is negative, while the energy of matter is positive. Observations and calculations totaling all gravity and matter within the observable universe indicate that the two values are precisely counter-balanced. Based on this mathematical accounting, the universe could come from nothing because the opposite values cancel each other.
The bottom line is that the universe materialized itself into existence from nothing at all 13.7 billion years ago. Yet, from a perspective outside of time, there is no distinction between the past and present. The entire past and future history of the universe exists as a wave of possibilities simultaneously being collapsed into existence. There is only one vast, continuous "now," and from that perspective, there is no distinction between the Big Bang and our own burst into universal consciousness. If we transcend our cultural beliefs, dissolve our personal identities, and revise our notions of matter and time, then we can identify with the entire universe across all time. From the beginning to the end of time, the universe is us, and we are the universe. As we let go of the mind and look around we find that we are the soil, we are the sky, we are the litter blowing down the road; we are the dinosaurs, the solar system, the stardust, and all stars that have ever existed. We are one with everything. We are the universe becoming aware of itself.
1. The Findhorn Community. The Findhorn Garden. Harper Colophon Books/Harper & Row Publishers: New York. 1975. Page 145.
2. Stephen Hawking. A Brief History of Time. Bantam Books: New York. 1988. Page 129.
3. Brad Lemley. "Guth's Grand Guess." Discover. April 2002. Volume 204, Number 2. Pages 32 - 38.
4. Bob Berman. "What's the Antimatter?" Discover. October 2005. Volume 26, Number 10. Page 22.
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Dear T. Elpel,
I wanted to write you to let you know how much I'm enjoying your book, Roadmap to Reality. My experience has been a growing awareness of a different way of living/perceiving. While I'm not usually a library goer, I happened to be at a local library, and your book seemed to leap off the shelf and into my hands. I've not picked up a book related to the topic of changing or universal consciousness, but have been coming across a great deal of information about the subject via the internet. Suddenly, this book came into my world and put so many other things into perspective. You articulate your ideas well and provide really useful background information for those who are on this journey of expanded consciousness. Thank you so much for this book. This type of information needs to flood this tired, negative world so that people recognize that there are other ways of being.
All the best to you and yours,