A line drawn between the Spheres.

Tag: Philosophy

On Sacrifice and Evolution.

Humanity has reached a state of evolution that allows the individual to lay down his own life and personal interests purposefully for the good of others. This is not just some mindless self-sacrifice as an ant may do for the colony or a mother animal may do for her offspring. Certainly we understand those sacrifices.

This is something else; an intentional sacrifice that may not produce any apparent positive result but regardless is still made. This is the self-sacrifice made by a humanitarian who spends decades in some war-torn country in the empty hope that positive change may eventually come. This is the self-sacrifice of peaceful revolutionaries who stand firmly against a violent and oppressive regime. This is the self-sacrifice of a saintly figure who proudly accepts death at the hands of those who fear truth and change. This is even the self-sacrifice of someone who gives blood regularly, or volunteers at a soup kitchen, or makes anonymous donations to a cause in which they believe. It is the self-sacrifice to give with no intention of receiving something in return.

There are those who’ve made the point that such self-sacrifice in unnatural, that it may be symptomatic of some deeply buried selfishness. Ayn Rand believed it is best for the individual to “exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself”. I do not totally disagree nor do I belittle the mind of such a powerful philosopher but still, I feel she missed some key element of what it means to be human. The problem with such a statement is that it supposes each individual exists inside a vacuum, a personal sphere that can be made completely self-sufficient and autonomous. This concept at best should be questioned and at worst is impossible.

Humans are social creatures, as can be seen even now in the rise of our social-media connections even as our physical connections break down.

Humanity has no choice but to interact with humanity. The individual will inevitable make a choice to facilitate growth. Either the individual will fuel their own growth from the energy of others or will fuel the growth of others from their own energy.      There is a third option, or rather a middle ground, and that is to pursue an equilibrium where all individuals cooperate, each providing their own personal skill-sets in coordination with others so that society as a whole may grow through the personal growth of each individual.

Of course this is an ideal and one that seems impossible but in such impossibility is where the self-sacrificing individual hears a call to act. If there are those who will unfairly take from the effort of others there must be those who will give to others of their own effort so that balance may be achieved. Sacrifice must exist because a debt exists. As long as debt is created sacrifice must come behind.

It is worth mentioning the Christ Figure here simply because at the very heart of such a figure is the concept of complete sacrifice for the erasure of all debt. If there ever was such a figure those who follow his ideal must live as he did, not because his sacrifice failed to erase such debt but because such sacrifice put into motion the final stages of a never-ending cosmic plan to destroy debt at its root, that of greed and arrogance.

I recognize such a point requires belief and faith, two things that cannot be forced upon anyone and so I will briefly approach the concept of sacrifice one other way, that of apparent kindness and cooperation between different species of animals. A certain nature video comes to mind where a young gazelle is wounded by crocodiles in a river. This video can be found on YouTube I believe if you are interested.

The pitiful gazelle flounders in the muddy water in a desperate attempt to reach shore. Just as the reptiles close in for the kill a huge hippopotamus rises from the water to frighten the carnivores away. Hippopotamus are exceptionally dangerous animals and are cause of more human deaths than any other large African animal and in this particular video it seems at first the hippo is simply claiming the gazelle for its own meal. Just as the horror of such a prospect takes hold we witness an incredible turn of events. The hippo carefully pushes the gazelles to shore and up onto the bank where the massive animal simply waits and watches over the gazelle.

Sadly the injuries suffered by the juvenile are too much to bear and it eventually passes but in its final moments it is comforted by the hippo who even continues to watch over its body after death.

Do we not feel some pride and joy rise up within us when we see some animal lend aid to another? Do we not feel the rise of love and admiration when we witness kindness that is not human in origin? How much more should we feel when humanity lends aid to humanity?

It may not be natural for one animal to help another in need but it is good! While we argue whether or not our desire to lend humanitarian aid is foolish socialism or our duty as conscious beings we miss the point that such actions make the world a better place for us all.

It is true that Society is only as strong as its weakest member and yet must be better than its best. This paradox is integral to our reality as humanity. Without these qualities there can be no real hope for progress.

What I find odd is that while we as individuals may make such a sacrificial choice for the good of others we as a species have created systems of supply, something that should exist for the aid all, which refuse to lay themselves down for the good of humanity.

Two of our most precious systems for care, our medical and food systems, are slave to our monetary system while we allow our monetary system to be so grossly inflated as to burst when we need it most, separating us from our access to health. We allow bureaucratic red tape to stall new developments and inventions far beyond the time of our need for them while we allow the continued subsidization of inferior technology. We are worried about war and so we fuel the machine of war.  We continue to support governmental systems that have no interest in our benefit while arguing over the meager scraps they throw to us.

These systems which are meant to benefit us have ceased to do so and instead been engineered to benefit a hierarchy whose pinnacle is kept out of sight for the majority of humanity.

Our systems are parasites upon us. We’ve created an evolving form that is opposed to our own good. Are we not smart enough to reverse this? Have we engineered our own extinction? Or will we find some new mode of supply and support that might bring us closer as a species to the ideal of cooperative societal growth?

I do not know what such systems may look like but I do know the first step must be to question these parasitic systems we currently suffer under. This is not about us versus them or the 99% against the 1%. This is about the good of the whole of mankind and how mankind might throw off these self-forged shackles of a system that has no interest in our continued growth as a species.

Why should we consciously support some entity that siphons off our hard work and endless effort? Why should we continue to feed some ravenous man-made creature when it does not serve us any benefit? Certainly we were not first aware of what we created but now that it is fully formed and draining us we must recognize our mistake and take responsibility for our actions.

We at least must seriously begin to ponder our situation and how we might find freedom once more because we are not free now.


It is human not to Know.

Unknowing comes from both Darkness and Light. In this present realm at least Unknowing is not a sign of Evil but instead is a sign of the Divine Unknowable. A resistance to the Unknown is fear and is a sign of the Void. The Void is where Evil dwells because it cannot stand to abide where mystery abides and so Evil hides away its unknowing, not in darkness but in the absence of darkness and light.

The Light is nothing but full. Sometimes there is so much to see in light that to see it all is to be blinded.

Likewise the Darkness is not empty nor does it pretend to be. Indeed, it fills itself with all the mystery it can muster.

Only the Void pretends to hold nothing and be nothing.

Only the Void closes its doors and sits with a stony face saying,

“No. There is nothing here.”

The sad fact is that the longer a Void postures so the truer his words become.

Once, Light and Dark were one and did not oppose one another but did their own complimentary works. It was then that certain knowledge was introduced to our understanding, the knowledge to split the spheres and remove ourselves from the original order.

The Knowledge of Good and Evil is this; one is not capable of evil till one recognizes the capacity for evil. With the capacity of evil comes the actuality of evil. One is not evil till the moment one knows oneself to be evil.

The fact is this; we cannot continue to operate within the concept of light and dark as right and wrong. It is simply that there will be facts we cannot know and we are not meant to know. We are not wrong for our unknowing. Nor are we wrong for our desire to know. The checkerboard floor is unavoidable. We must always make choices and we will never fully know the impact of those choices we make. But this should not stop our movement. It is not one path across the floor we must all follow and any mortal who claims to know such a path is not to be trusted. Neither is it that we must give up our right for choice to some pragmatic leader promising perfect guidance. I get ahead of myself.

The lie is this; our choices will never keep us from evil and so to accomplish anything we must neglect our sense of good and evil (disguised as the disparity between Light and Dark) and give our actions over to the impulses of some earthly (or even some seemingly other-worldly) master who claims to know the path.

Such a leader will strip away our choices while convincing us our choices lead us astray. Such an absence of choice will turn us to slaves against our will once will has been vilified.

There is a path; the straight and narrow we’ve heard so much about. What is this narrow path? How do we find it? I tell you; it is not one of feet but of faith.

The lie is so close to the truth I can hardly differentiate between the two. There must be some Master who exists beyond the Cosmos to guide us to the Truth. This Master is the Divine Will who guides us even as we feel unguided. This is the Divine Unknown and Unknowable for whom we have always and will always diligently search.

Even with this knowledge I find my faith tested but I must remember all is made possible with faith.

Once more I realize I know nothing about the nature of the universe nor the nature of humanity. However, I no longer fear to admit my ignorance. How else will I learn more of the Truth I seek?

I for one will not abandon what it is to be human even if I must experience the full force of the unknown.

When we erect our own ashram poles we fail to see the forest for the ‘trees’.

Everyone needs a god, something they can look up to, model themselves after, pray toward. A god is a direction toward which we cast our collected cosmic energy. We all need them because without them we might realize we are clods of mud on a hunk of rock floating in dark space. A god acts as gravity to plant our feet and our hearts. A god acts as sun and water to help us grow.

Now, do not misinterpret my words. These gods are not the whole of the Divine Nature, they are not the Unnamable and Unnamed G_D. They are simply our imperfect replacement of that Divine Ideal Will. Once a human has this realization either consciously or instinctually s/he looks down at the self and begins to pick out individual and personal gods. This is a most dangerous and difficult process but one that will naturally occur. These gods become our own personal biases and ideals, our dreams and our hopes (a suitable term for these personal deities would be concept-gods).

When we see them within ourselves we see them in others. When we embrace them in ourselves we love others for them. When we try to move past them in ourselves we hate them in others.

The creation of an internalized personal deity initially provides power for its creator to achieve a firm grasp on some aspect of life. It is the condensation and internalization of some desire and is much akin to the theory of attraction and intentionality. It is through this manner that self-fulfilling prophecies are made. Such prophecies are dangerous indeed.

It is very easy to become trapped by these created deities. I look at the minor gods of world-myth and see how each one might have been used first as an idea to limit the uncontrolled power of nature. A god of fire might have helped a human overcome his natural fear of fire so that he could take up a lit torch against the darkness of night and the hungry creatures that inhabited such darkness. A god of the sea might have helped another human overcome his fear of the power of the waves and wind and dark depths where aquatic beasts lurk. A god of love might have convinced a man he loved a woman so strongly as to go through all obstacles to win her affection. This is not to say the concept of a god dispelled all danger from these natural forces. In fact, these concept-gods would have impressed a human wielder with a greater understanding and respect for the inherent dangers. A human could utilize these powers because he knew the danger firsthand. I mean to say he internalized the danger and thus could function despite it.

Now we encounter a deeper danger inherent in a concept-god. It is no longer the simple bodily danger involved. Once a concept-god has been internalized it becomes a natural inclination to internalize the power of the god. However, once this concept of power-internalization begins hubris follows close behind and proves to the wielder that he does not truly hold the power over fire, or water, or love within him. He is still affected by externalized forces. Mistakes can still be made, mistakes that may even cost him his life.

The next step in the process is to transfer the internalized concept of power over the element to the internalized concept-god itself. This acts to move any blame of failure from the human to the concept-god. Once the power has been given over to the concept-god a human must entreat the deity for the power. Once the human makes such entreaties he has entered into servitude for a creation of his own mind. He has enslaved himself to a construct that was built initially to instill him with power over nature. This is why the Israelites were admonished to reject the worship of graven images, images of gods that were claimed to hold a power over natural elements, a power that never existed for humanity to begin with (not considering the almighty power of the Unnamable and Unnamed G_D who does not serve us but whom we cannot help but serve).

It becomes a very short step from concept-god to idol, perhaps no step at all. An idol is a personal limitation. It is some perceived and internalized force to make offering toward. This is the case whether or not that offering reaches its intended target.

Beware every outpouring of personal energy. That energy is real and does touch the fabric of the universe. Every movement you make is an offering. You had better know for sure where goes your offering of energy. By our careless movements we feed our limitations; so much worse when we make our movements intentionally with the recognition of our addictions to such limitations.

We may no longer make offerings to gods of fire or water or love but still our energy pours out from us. Still we believe in our own power over the elements. Still we have faith in our own creations.

What comes to your mind when you stop to consider your own outpourings of energy? What offerings do you make and for whom do you make these offerings?

I say this only because it will first take recognition of these personal gods to then find a way to abandon them. We must move through enemy territory to find the other side. Our concept-gods, imbued with our own power, do not wish to be cast aside. They live within us because of the energy and power we give up to them. Like all living entities they do not wish to die and will fight to live within our minds and within our societies.

Perhaps they would have us fight each other to distract us from their existence. Chances are my own personal gods are not your own and that difference will divide and conquer us if perceived negatively. We humans must find a way embrace our own differences and those of our neighbor if we are to survive. It is not enough to be so soft as to allow all possibilities. Neither is it enough to be so rigid as to allow no possibility but your own. There must be a middle ground. We will not find that space until we begin to give up our personal biases and set out in search of real Truth. It is out there even if we are destined to spend our entire existence following its tracks.

Let us take the first step, cease the sacrifices to our personal god, and instead make sacrifices of our gods themselves.

A Brief Thank You and Welcome.

It has taken not a few years to collect myself into a package tight enough as to offer myself back to the society that so long has fostered my growth but now that I recognize certain grace-given skills, interests and principles within myself I find I can do nothing but fully commit myself to you all as you have always done for me.

If perhaps you are at all as I am you wake morning after morning, motivate yourself for the day ahead, drink your coffee, read your news source, worry ever so slightly over bills and prospects, wonder at the state of our country and our world, ponder over or ignore whatever new developments occurred during the night, and then proceed outward to handle the inevitable business of daily life. All the while there sits some unnamed nagging in the back of your mind or your heart.

I myself wonder what it will take to reverse the trends of governmental impotence, economic instability, corporate negligence, and societal erosion. These are not issues far removed from our daily reality; or perhaps they are too removed. They certainly have influence upon our day-to-day even as we cannot qualify or quantify how they do so.

More and more do we find we can no longer ignore what we cannot completely see or understand. A gap widens and continues to widen between what any one person can integrate into daily life and what actually has impact upon their daily life. This is not as it was in the past. This is not due to the natural complexity of the universe we have always found ourselves within. That complexity has and always will be handled by what we call “G_D” or the Divine Nature.

This gap we find ourselves straddling now is entirely upon our own heads and due in large part to the machinations of our minds and wills. It is we who have created the system that now threatens to tear us apart. We have created the concepts of money, state, prestige and globalization. We have created concepts that are too grand, too heavy for any one of us to operate effectively. We have becomes slaves to our own concepts of how the world should be.

Perhaps it is in the DNA of mankind to make his self slave to his creations. We created the myth of the lesser gods to grant ourselves power over the elements but then forgot the nature of our creations only to spend countless generations in subservience to them. Now I ask; have we done so again?

If I desire any one thing for humanity I desire that we again take responsibility for ourselves. I desire to have a hand dismantling the walls between our parts that have been erected over the ages.

As the wall of Berlin fell, as the Iron Curtain tore, as the Bamboo Curtain splintered, as the barbed wire of concentration camps across Europe (and here at home in the US of A for the American Japanese) rolled back, as the hundreds of miles of concrete, chain link and Semitic prejudice should now crumble between the beleaguered Palestinians and their Israeli neighbors and brothers so too do I wish to see the walls fall that stand between our bodies, our minds, our hearts, and our souls. And not only between our parts but from between our whole beings and this vast world around us; that which we have created and that which we have not.

I must add that mutually respected boundaries are good and necessary. We exist as both humanity and as human individuals. These two modes of being, while different, are inseparable. I do not wish to dispel these natural boundaries but rather to uncover the artifices that keep us isolated, afraid and defensive. This is the difference between the concepts of sacred and profane space (a discussion for a later entry).

I have placed a long and arduous project before us and it is one I perhaps will see little progress toward within my lifetime. Perhaps it is a project that is impossible before the ends of time and space but still, I dream of free communication and cooperation. I dream of the end to greed and tyranny and fear and so I must do my small part toward that end.

It is with that goal in mind that I take a first step forward with this blog. I intend it to be a discussion of the interplay between spirituality (the workings of the soul), philosophy (the workings of the mind), and politics (the workings of the body). I intend to find the lines between these spheres; that which defines them as they are and that which unifies them as conceptual realities.

It is for you I do this and without you I cannot hope to accomplish a single thing. I welcome comments, suggestions and opposing view points. I cannot hope to know more without knowing you. I do hope there will be no subject we cannot breach and I plan to assemble as much information and as many ideas as I can upon these digital pages.

Thank you again for your contribution to this life we live. I am excited to see what will come to pass.


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