"Myth is the natural and indispensable intermediate stage between unconscious and conscious cognition." -C.G. Jung
In my post entitled "Questions, No Answers" I posed a series of questions concerning the soul, its' nature, and the central proposition of whether it was something that was truly believable or not. It may have seemed a bit psuedo-mystical or too cute by half, but my primary aim was to try to slap enough questions together concerning the soul to jolt the reader into truly thinking about his spiritual self; not as some philisophical parlor game, but as a real force within, an essential part of our selves that by its' nebulous nature is often ignored or not even considered to be real.
I can remember the first time I felt "aware" of something within me that I later came to regard as my soul. It also happens to be the first peak experience I can recall. I was around six or so, playing alone in the back yard of our old family home on a fine autumn day. It was cold and windy, but the sun was shining brightly in a blue sky. I was wearing a red fuzzy sweater which kept me quite cozy, and lying on the tin roof of a homemade doghouse, watching the amber leaves blow around against the blue sky, full of expectation of a trip to some relative's house that we were going to undertake later that day. I felt a huge welling of joy at the beauty, the promise, and the security of the moment , and I thought to myself, "I will always remember this moment of this day." And of course I have. I have felt all of those emotions at various times before and since that moment, but that moment was so unique because I felt a one-ness and some kind of cosmic approbation that I have only felt on rare occassions since.
These are the moments where we glimpse something of the infinite, when our "higher consciousness" speaks to us. Colin Wilson is a very interesting and provacative author who has synthesized much of the thinking of the philosophers, artists, and mystics who have grappled with the "Big Questions" of humankind, and he posits a very interesting theory about conciousness. In essence, it is this: There are three aspects to our conciousness; the conscious, our thinking, left-brain, everyday awareness that you consider you; your subconcious, that primal, right brain , involuntary area that can only communicate to you in dreams, symbols, and hypnogogic states, and what you might call a superconscious, the higher force that is considered your soul, the spirit that incarnates the flesh and bone machine of your body, and perhaps the immortal fragment of the infinite spirit that comprises the universe.
Absurd Good News is the way the regular consciousness momentarily grasps some notion of the superconsciousness, all the aspects of our "self" align like some astrological event and we feel ourselves in our full potential. I feel our spirit and our relationship with it are the starting point of any quest for "enlightenment", because only if we are in tune with that part of ourselves can we begin to examine our spiritual relationship with God.
On the subjects of God and religion I hope to explore in depth as this blog unfolds, but for now I would just like to say a word on belief, because this is key when discussing matters of the spirit. In our scientific rationalistic world there has been a great schism that has occurred because so much of the content in the great religious works clearly could never have factually happened as recorded. A confusion has occurred that has done a great disservice to spirituality. Much of what is contained in spiritual literature is the Truth, even if it never happened. Material that was meant to instruct in that deep, symbolic language that works on different levels of conciousness has been either fanatically accepted as factual , or discarded as superstious bosh; both of which throw the baby out with the bath water. I will often quote things that I have found to be true from different faiths; this doesn't mean I have endorsed all the dogma of that faith; it means that I believe in Truth when I hear it. No particular faith is true, but all faiths are a path to Truth. I don't think that it is so important what you believe ,as it is important that you believe. As regards the soul, a big positive "yes" of belief knocks down all the barriers and greenlights progression much better than the halting "maybe" of a coy dabbler , waiting to be wooed into acceptance.
The question becomes: if we know that peak moments are our best moments of communion with our spirits, what can we do to have more of them? Is there a way, or do we just have to take them as they come? Where do we turn to? Inward, through meditation, maybe? Or outward, through consulting the mystical wisdom of all the pilgrims who came before us? Perhaps go right to the souce: prayer...Or all of the above?
We'll take a look in future posts...