Sunday, December 27, 2015

associated consciousness wars...,

realitysandwich |  The esoteric, Hermetic tradition, forced underground by the rise of material, mechanical science, has suffered, I believe, a full scale, no holds barred assault by the left brain and the deficient mode of the mental-rational structure. Its right brain worldview, with its sense of a living, intelligent universe with which we can participate through our imagination, was targeted for attack by its left brain antagonist. It is not the case, as it is generally accepted, that the Hermetic/esoteric view, anchored in what it erroneously believed was a profound “ancient wisdom,” was, with the rise of reason, rationality and the Enlightenment, simply superseded by a more correct view. It was not simply a case of “superstition” giving way to “science,” or of dogma dissolving in the face of free thought. That “more correct view,” informed by the proselytizing zeal of a competing form of consciousness, seems to have purposely and ruthlessly set out to consciously obliterate its rival. This was, indeed, a real war, one carried out on the fields of consciousness.

In the early stages of its campaign, the anti-esoteric view enjoyed many victories, and it eventually established itself as the sole arbiter of what is true, and what is “real” knowledge and what is not. But now, some four hundred years after Hermes Trismegistus the thrice great sage of magic and the ancient wisdom was dethroned, his usurper’s position seems threatened – or at least the foundations on which it established its supremacy seem somewhat less secure. In our time, the deficient mode of Gebser’s mental-rational consciousness structure has reached its peak, as it were. Developments like “deconstructionism” and “post-modernism” suggest that the western intellectual tradition has begun to take itself apart, with the left brain’s obsession with analysis turning on itself. Even earlier than these, the rise of the “new physics” of quantum theory and related fields in the early part of the last century has shown that the neat nineteenth-century vision of a perfectly explainable mechanical universe is no longer tenable. But there are more pressing concerns. We’ve seen that Gebser in his last days believed that we were heading toward a “global catastrophe,” and the various crises – ecological, environmental, economic, social, political, religious, and cultural – that fill our daily news reports suggest he was not far wrong. Our era has had no shortage of Cassandras, and it would be easy to lump Gebser’s concerns together with other, less eloquent — not to mention researched — jeremiads. But there is a tension, an anxiety about our time that somehow seems to suggest that something will happen, that some dike will burst, and that we will have a flood. As the philosopher Richard Tarnas remarked, “late modern man”– that is, ourselves — is “the incongruously sensitive denizen of an implacable vastness devoid of meaning,” living in a world in which “gigantism and turmoil, excessive noise, speed and complexity dominate the human environment.” Things, many believe, cannot stay this way much longer. As Yeats said long ago, “the center cannot hold.”