Saturday, February 4, 2012

Grand Lines of Nature

"For nature, as we know, is at once within and without us. Art is the mirror at the interface. So too is ritual, so also myth. These, too, bring out 'the grand lines of nature,' and in doing so, re-establish us in our own deep truth, which is one with that of all being."………Joseph Campbell, “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space”, p. 132

When reading these lines one is transported to the very question that now plagues science and philosophy; what is reality? Joseph Campbell wrote those lines just before his passing in 1987. In the two decades which has elapsed since this writing we are somewhat closer to the realization that what determines reality is the limited faculty of our mind and absolute reality eludes us the more we probe nature with higher amplification microscopes and larger magnification telescopes.

The collective consciousness of the human mind determines the nature of reality. This is the result of many layers of conditioned thinking and modifications of these thoughts in subjective influences in the social, economical and cultural dimensions. The greater truth is that we as individuals project these conditioned images from within a collective consciousness framework as reality and as nature.
We carry from birth our evolutionary consciousness which is continuously modified and shaped by our sensory inputs. Though nature appears to be outside of us in reality it is our inner perception that appears as an outer projection. This is a virtual reality concretised by our four dimensional space-time sensory imprint in our individual consciousness validated by a collective consciousness consensus.

If this is so are we doomed to be prisoners of this conditioned perceptions? The picture that is presented to us appears as though we have access to only a set of conditioned images, precepts and concepts. This is not so. What we operate through in our waking consciousness is only the tip of the iceberg and below this level lies a vast treasure trove of universal unconsciousness (to use a Jungian term).

Art, ritual and myths are the expressions that are available to the psyche and which emanates from the this interface what lies without and what lies within. When Joseph Campbell uses the term ‘without’ and ‘within’ he is not referring to physical space but to imagery that are resultant from sensory conditioned imagery and the formless essence which is available to the intuitive process to grasp deeper reality. There is a beautiful saying of Novalis, the great German author and philosopher, “The seat of the soul is there where the outer and the inner worlds meet”

This realization leads us to move away from a highly individualistic approach to our evolving thoughts and look for a more holistic and deeper understanding.
I would like to close this short article with one of my own experience.

I was once travelling out in the open country road when as the sun was setting the light got reflected from a jetliner travelling probably well over 35,000 feet above the ground. My immediate thought was of course appreciate the streaking light in the sky, a daylight meteor at slow speed.
But immediately my mind was on another track. Like this great shining object which would have gone unnoticed but for the setting sun, how many individuals are shining beacons in society because they reflect the light of the spirit.

To witness these life empowering messengers, we need to develop the intuitive perception of the icons, rituals and myths of all religious traditions.

Love to you all.

No comments :

Post a Comment