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Will the Apocalypse Ever Come?

Apocalyptic thinking has been in the noosphere lately. I don’t mean headlines about the potentially devastating effects of climate change or another economic collapse. In the past week, I’ve seen a couple of blogs and articles online that take a very critical look at the extreme ways that we often tend to view the future: either naively utopian or cynically apocalyptic, and suggest that we need to find a more mature way to approach both the challenges and potentials facing humanity today. Right on!

First, I was very happy to see that the article “2013: Or, What to Do When the Apocalypse Doesn’t Arrive” by Gary Lachman—one of my all-time favorite EnlightenNext pieces—was featured on the hugely popular blog Boing Boing last week. Boing Boing co-editor David Pescovitz posted an excerpt from the article, including some of his own commentary, and a very funny picture (above). The piece, which was written for an issue we did in 2009 about the future, is all about the history of apocalyptic thinking—namely that the idea that humanity is approaching some kind of dramatic shift, towards utopia or disaster, has accompanied humanity since the beginning of time. And not one of these dire predictions has yet come true (think Jesus’ Second Coming, Y2K, or the Harmonic Convergence of 1987). Lachman makes the point that this kind of juvenile thinking actually lets us off the hook from having to take responsibility for the complex challenge of cultural evolution. It’s one of the more sophisticated and mature perspectives I’ve encountered on our collective trajectory.

The post has generated quite a thread of interesting comments, including stories from people who grew up as Jehovah’s Witnesses and remember being constantly reminded of the impending end times, commentary from people about Hale Bopp and Y2K, and even a link to a very funny cartoon about the perpetually impending date for the second coming of Christ. There’s also been a lot of traffic on Twitter, including one tweet that includes my favorite quote from the article: “No one rejects ideals more vigorously than a bruised romantic.”

Interestingly enough, a very similar article was recently posted on the site Big Questions Online called “The Power of Realistic Thinking: How can we avoid the pitfalls of too much optimism and too much pessimism?” by Sharon Astyk. In it, Astyk criticizes the tendency to view the future in terms too extreme, either naively positive or cynically pessimistic, making the argument that we need a more sober, mature middle path. Here’s an excerpt:

“This division between techno-utopia and apocalypse — a clash of extreme optimism with radical pessimism — is one of the most fundamental difficulties we face as a society. If there’s one thing opposing sides share, it’s a near-absolute faith that their opponents are utter fools who cannot be trusted, and who ought to be ignored. The problem with this either-or scenario is that it posits an all-or-nothing false choice, both of which are disempowering because they undermine our ability to deal realistically with the challenges before us. Without a language to speak of middle grounds, grey areas and real difficulties, we find ourselves struggling to make prudent, sensible adjustments in our way of life.”

Amen! It’s great to see big questions like this being tackled so thoughtfully in such popular forums. And it’s refreshing to hear some clear, rational arguments against the perils of apocalyptic thinking.

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Filed Under: EnlightenNext Editors’ BlogNewsPhilosophyPoliticsPostmodernismSpiritualityTechnology

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About the Author

Joel Pitney is an Associate Editor for EnlightenNext magazine. Follow him on Twitter @JoelPitney.

Comments (43)

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  1. Ed says:

    No, never, this myth has been in circulation for thousands of years. Just another silly superstition.

  2. Box Brown says:

    Hey thanks for the link to my comic :)

  3. InfiniteWarrior says:

    apocalypse — a clash of extreme optimism with radical pessimism

    Give me a break. Would you like to avoid such a clash? Stop promoting misunderstanding of the word, “apocalypse”. That kind of stuff is for propagandists. The word means “unveiling” and one doesn’t have to be “Christian” or even one of “those religious people” to understand it.

    But what, one may ask, is eternally in the process of being “unveiled”? Truth, for one — something most people have apparently grown unable to intuit and value for the avalanche of arbitrary facts constantly shoved in their faces. Love/Compassion, for another. Need I go on?

    If there is anything that aggravates me about the “Integral” project, it’s this inordinate emphasis on REASON. “Thought” occupies one corner of Rosenstock‘s “Cross of Reality”:

    [L]anguage [is] more fundamental than either philosophy or religion (<– "secular" or "religious")…. '[Antrhopocentric/Egocentric ideology]…is unjust against nature and the human spirit'; while philosophy is blind to 'the time-endowing forces'….

    [The] key to human freedom is the capacity both to found the new and draw upon the powers encapsulated in bodies of time past which enable us to live in a present in which we feel blessed by the future.

    • IntegralJeerleader says:

      I had the same thought regarding the root meaning of the word apocalypse being a revelation or disclosure. Of course this can be seen from the perspective of a shift from one order of consciousness to another, rather than specific information being revealed. While I certainly agree that responsibility is called for, the way a lower order of consciousness sees responsibility is obviously very different from the perspective of a higher order of consciousness. Pointing to the extremes of optimism and pessimism addresses nothing, and a call for rationality and realism does not qualify for the perspective and order of consciousness that the current predicament is viewed from. Frankly, it seems that this piece says nothing that people in a community such as this does not already know.

  4. Great post Joel! The main point that I took away was that “this kind of juvenile thinking actually lets us off the hook from having to take responsibility for the complex challenge of cultural evolution.” More of us need to take on and be thankful for this challenge of having to consciously create a more sophisticated culture based on higher values and ideals. That’s the only way to get us out of this immature thinking (and almost hope…) that the end is near.

  5. Frank Luke says:

    I’ve been posting before how the Apocalypse may not be what is traditionally thought of, fire and brimstone from the heavens destroying life on earth.

    What may happen as things progress with the competition of nations for natural resources and with the nuclear capability humankind posseses, what I see as a plausible scenario is international trade wars that escalate into nuclear holocausts that will devolve into that foreseen Apocalype.

    It would be a kind of cosmic black joke where humanity and Earth would return to our origin as stardust, stars in space once more. In our beginning will be our end and vice versa.

  6. john shim says:

    The difficulty with your position is that the apocalypse is already here, visible to those capable of seeing it. And for those who can’t, well…..it won’t matter.

    • Frank Luke says:

      Hi John,

      All respects, do you walk around seeing total destruction of the planet? Isn’t that what apocalyse usually means, in the biblical sense? It may seem on bad days that the world is headed that way. Do you have another way of defining it?

      • john shim says:

        Apocalypse in its original or primary meaning is to unveil, to reveal. The second meaning, based largely on the predictions of John of Patmos in the Book of Revelations, which has become the popular meaning, is one of a great destruction and tribulation. In fact both are occurring, as I said, visible to those capable of seeing them. There is the beginning of a great shift in consciousness which is little understood, as well as the beginning of a large destruction, a large elimination of life forms and ways of existence on the planet. Both are part of a larger play of forces, a larger evolution of which most of the world is unaware or denies.

  7. Aliya says:

    What will certainly come for each and every human being is the revelation (the apocalypse)of the being’s innermost reality, of the center of the being, which is also the center of existence. This revelation is apocalyptic in the sense that in it the old man, the old personnality is bound to die and a new man, a new being will be reborn.
    Why am I so sure that this apocalypse is so certain a destiny for human beings? Because we are it already, and for how long can we keep hiding from our true nature and escaping our innermost reality?! One day or another we will have to wake up and see IT.

    • Frank Luke says:

      Hi Aliya,

      I’m a bit confused re: how you mean (apocalyse).

      Here’s how onelook.com defines it: noun: the last book of the New Testament; contains visionary descriptions of heaven and of conflicts between good and evil and of the end of the world; attributed to Saint John the apostle

      How are you defining the word?

      • Frank Luke says:

        Further thought on (apocalypse):

        Maybe your use of the word is OK, though for me unusual. An event you describe certainly has an effect of ending life up to then and then a renewal, like a Spiritual Awakening event.

        I believe the term “Born Again” is often used. Is this what you may be talking about?

      • Aliya says:

        Hi, Frank,

        I leave the definitions of the words to the dictionnaries.
        I am talking about the religious experiencing of apocalypse, which in no way is a mere noun, but the deepest ever transformation man is going through. Apocalypse is a matamorphosis of the man so that a new man is born. For this new birth to happen the old man has to die. And yes, there will be many “conflicts between good and evil” in man, between his mind ego (the evil) and his true inner being (the good) and yes, it will be “the end of man’s old world”, because the new man will have new eyes, the inner eyes..

      • InfiniteWarrior says:

        Well said, Aliya. Rather than merely waking up and “seeing” it, however, I’d say the The Point of Existence is to real-ize “Essence”.

        Frank, do you allow the onelook.com dictionary (or any other) and/or “exegeses” and/or other people to define everything for you or do you recognize the innate capacities within yourself to “see” for yourself, re-cognizing your own faculties of perception, discernment and understanding to determine true meaning?

        • Aliya says:

          Dear Infinite Warrior,

          The experience of Apocalypse is so intimate and the deepest possible, that I hope you do not mind each and every human being to use his/her own words to describe it.
          On the other hand, what ever words you may use, they will be shadowy expression of the inexpressible.
          The experiencing of the truth unveiled or apocalypse is far beyond any language. How can the Infinite and Indeterminable be determined into words?!
          And yet enlightened beings like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad,Mahavir, Osho, kept trying describing it – not only with words, but also with the silence in between the words.

          • InfiniteWarrior says:

            Dearest Aliya,

            I’m sure we’re all aware by now of your superior understanding of the Ineffable. I’m equally certain most of us, at least, are aware that any expression of “Essence” (by whatever name) is real-ization. It probably goes without saying for most of us that, while inner silence is imperative to spiritual practice, when it comes to understanding each other, bridging and/or healing the obvious divisions among us, silence is hardly the best means of communication unless, perhaps, the language in use is visual art, music or perhaps some version of Sign Language.

            You see, I don’t think reality is quite as far from our thinking as you theorize and further suggest it is to Peter while simultaneously conflating “mind” with “ego”.

            It occurs to me (which is, perhaps, the way thought actually flows despite the cogito’s notions about and/or attempts to imprison it) that my comment to Peter below on the subject of the ‘Tower of Babble’ being very much present among us (rather than existing in some distant past) was intended for you. I can assure you it wasn’t. The reality is that my comments to both Frank and Peter were posted before yours (and yours and Frank’s prior) were approved. Ergo, I hadn’t had an opportunity to read them. If there’s anything I’ve learned about Internet forums and commenting systems, it is that they are wholly inadequate to the purpose of crystal clear communication regarding any subject, but especially subjects as complex as this. In fact, I’m quite certain at this point that they’re a complete waste of time and energy.

            • Aliya says:

              Understanding or truth is neither superior nor inferior, it is neither mine nor yours. It simply IS.
              Ego is a product of the human mind and it should be understood. Ego is your mind illusion of being separate from Existence, while your innermost being knows the true reality of oneness.

            • Frank Luke says:

              Hello, IW!

              I sometimes also feel blogging is a personal waste of time that feels like talking to myself or to the wind. But I see also the positive side of it, that it’s a manifestation of humanity in a burgeoning democratic and techy age. It’s a testament to humanity’s need to express feelings and opinions. Would that every post were well thought out and considered before posting but we’re only human with all it’s wonder and faults, no?

              Best regards, Frank Luke

              • InfiniteWarrior says:

                we’re only human

                Human, all too human.”

                Human-ness has proved a rather convenient excuse for us not to aspire to the Life Divine before now, hasn’t it? Perhaps it’s time we abandoned this excuse.

                I once employed it myself (in a self-deprecating kind of way). I must’ve thought I was making the point that “we’re all in this together”. Alas, I’ve learned since it’s still taken all too seriously (and centrically) as our being the measure of all things. (Anthropocentricity as all other “-centricities” is remarkably alive and well, though that appears to be slowly changing.)

                Looking out upon the world as it is, I can’t help but think of John Conner’s remark to the Terminator on locating the keys to a vehicle in their most obvious hiding place: “Are we learning yet?” :)

                we all put our own spin on info

                We do? Propagandists do, certainly, but surely we’re not all propagandists.

                Some might say that “between” all those arbitrary facts lies the truth, “reading between the lines” to locate them. I know I certainly have in the past, but have since learned to put it more accurately in terms of reading through the words.

                I think Aliya is quite correct that we are the “Way, the Truth and the Life” (though not solely “we”). Otherwise, truth wouldn’t “resonate” with us in a vibratory (some might say “quantum”) capacity. We “spin” to our chagrin.

        • Frank Luke says:

          Re: dictionaries’ definitions

          I respect them as a way of putting those who consult them on the same page with the danger of collective brain-washing though there is a usefulness in starting out with a congruence of reference, no?

          Of course we all put our own spin on info but to stray too far afield to idiosycratic reads on agreed meanings may put you too much in left field, IMO.

  8. Peter says:

    Apocalypse = “lifting of the veil” or “revelation” = decode
    Calypsis = “act of covering, concealing, hiding, or veiling” = encode

    Applying information theory to what is going on the word makes sense. If you have a truth that would burn everyone that is not willed to accept it, but you know that humans are not ready for it, then it will be encoded till to the time until enough people will be ready to accept the truth.

    One of the first steps towards encoding was the confusion of the one language into many during the time of Babel when Nimrod lived.

    The apocalypse is the unveiling of the truth and this will for sure be hurtful for most people that are unwilled to accept it. But for all which loves the Truth it will be a fascinating time.

    • Aliya says:

      Dear Peter,

      It is an interesting idea what you have suggested. However, reality is far away from our human thinking in ideas and logical theories.
      Truth IS and there is no one to encode/decode the truth for us. Truth is our inner reality and has always been.
      It has been our choice to entangle ourselves with the outer world, on which our mind can easily project. It has been our choice to create the language/the many languages as it has been our choice to perceive ourselves as separate from Existence. That is what mind is good for – separations, differentiations. More we have got ourselves identified with our minds, more we separated from each other and from Existence. This is how many languages, many nations, many flags, many armies, many governments came into existence. Otherwise, Existence knows no boundaries, no limitations. They are all man mind products. As ephemeral as all mind stuff. One breath from Existence is enough for them to disappear:)

      • Frank Luke says:

        Hello Aliya, re: “Truth IS and there is no one to encode/decode the truth for us. Truth is our inner reality and has always been.”

        If I may discuss this further, I question the absoluteness of “Truth” and would almost entertain that truth IS a construct of humans collectively, even though faulty and continues to be thought out and modified. A majority rules in accepting the truth of any matter, even when handed down from on high. Truth originated and receivers and believers concurred but it did begin from somewhere. If you were present to have received that Truth in its original state, tell us.

        • Aliya says:

          Dear Frank,

          The Absolute Truth, or call it Tao, or God, or Emptinness, or Nothingness, can never be collective, because there is no such a thing as a collective Being. Haven’t you noticed that being is always individual. Crowds do not have soul on their own, no Being. Collective can only be your thinking and your mind conditionning for collective, society convenience. Moreover, Truth can never be “faulty and continues to be thought out and modified”, because then what kind of a truth would it be? Then truth would be transformed in a commodity for the majority, in a social convenience for vested interests.
          In addition, Truth can never be told to you, you have to experience it yourself. And why your insistence on Truth been told to you? Do you hanker for hearing others talking about the truth first, so that you make sure it is safe enough to look further for it? Are you not courageous enough to encounter It ourself?

          • Aliya says:

            P.S. In the TALMUD is said, one of the most beautiful sentences ever uttered: “One man outweighs all creation.” Not only collectivity, society, not only this earth, but,’One man outweighs ALL creation.’ This is true, because one man can become a vehicle for the divine. One man can become the opportunity for God to exist, to be present, for God to express Himself. One man can become the flowering of the ultimate. The society is utilitarian; one man outweighs all creation.

            There is another sentence in the TALMUD: “Wherever you come across a footprint of man, God stands before you: bow down.” Wherever you come across a footprint, God stands before you — the possibility. Society is just a structure with no soul. The soul is of the individual. One individual outweighs all societies. And, one individual’s revolution outweighs all revolutions in the whole of history, because one man can become the womb for God to be reborn.

            • InfiniteWarrior says:

              Society is just a structure with no soul. The soul is of the individual.

              “We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within…is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE (in the Many and the Many in the One). And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul.” ~ Emerson

              From World Soul to World Machine.

              We certainly enjoy confounding ourselves, don’t we? The “Global Soul” nonetheless recognizes “individual” egos about as well and often as Nature recognizes nations, which is to say, not at all.

              • Aliya says:

                Dear Infinite Warrior,

                There are a few things to be understood referrring to “Global” soul and individual soul.Emmerson goes exactly to the point by saying: ” the subject and the object, are one”.
                However, note, Emmerson never uses the word “global” – instead he calls It “the soul of the whole; the wise silence”. You may also call it God, Tao, The Absolute. But it never is Global, Collective, Society; it is never the sum arithmetic of all the particles. It is infinitely more than any mind imagination and mere arithmetics.
                And at one point you are right – the soul never recognizes the ego. How can the real recognize the false? The soul, the being is the only and ultimate reality. Ego simply is not, it is not existential.

                • InfiniteWarrior says:

                  Emerson never uses the word “global”

                  I never said he did.

                  it is never the sum arithmetic of all the particles

                  I never said it was.

                  But that’s why conversations with preachers such as yourself are pointless and fruitless. You’d rather be right than be Love.

                  • Nada says:

                    Infinite Warrior, our friend Aliya likes to disidentify Spirit with ego, or false/separate self, where again she contradicts herself and says “we are already it.”

                    SPIRIT IS birth of the body, the breath and heart, brain and mind, the stages of development from preverbal, verbal to trans-verbal, the ego/rational mind unfolding to soul, whether its “individual,global,universal,kosmic, etc.,etc.,etc.,…Spirit is ALL there is, including this website where we share the Spirit that we are.

                    SPIRIT IS PRIOR to anything you and I can feel or say or do, and therefore all that we can think we are or not- are, THAT IS SPIRIT…even the dear, poor beat-up ego, so lonely and separate IS SPIRIT.

                    Thanks for contributing your wisdom…I enjoy your comments muchly:}

                  • Aliya says:

                    Dear Infinite Warrior,

                    I have never said you said.

                  • InfiniteWarrior says:

                    our friend Aliya likes to disidentify Spirit with ego, or false/separate self

                    The ego is illusory and, indeed, not “existential”. It’s a fine distinction, but accurate. Western philosophers have equated “soul” or “spirit” with ego for some ungodly reason. ;) At the same time, there is no “individual” soul.

                    A friend was noting just the other day all the terms that have crept into our vocabulary in the West that are representative of the “Newtonian” faith, which is to say, the Western “faith” practiced “since God was reconceived as the Great Engineer and Architect” at the beginning of the Enlightenment.

                    “Individual” is atomistic and particular as is the term “masses” for what is properly the “public”. “Revolution” is also derived from the “God, the clockmaker” paradigm.

                    I disagree with Aliya in that “Being is all there is”, however. As Rumi put it…

                    Being is not what it seems.
                    Nor non-being.
                    The world’s existence is not in the world.

                    I, too, have enjoyed all the comments. Very enlightening.

                    Namaste.

                  • Nada says:

                    Infinite Warrior, Do you not, then, “believe” in reincarnation and the Karmic propensities carried forward by a consciousness-principle/soul-matrix? So the claims of generations of “Tulkus” are false? Nothing in us remains past death of the body? Should we not be concerned with contributing to consciousness, to developing awareness, what we can in this lifetime?…is it a waste of time to talk about it, meditate,pray,contemplate,serve?

                    ???????????

                  • InfiniteWarrior says:

                    –1 of 2–

                    Do you not, then, “believe” in reincarnation and the Karmic propensities carried forward by a consciousness-principle/soul-matrix…? Nothing in us remains past death of the body? Should we not be concerned with contributing to consciousness, to developing awareness, what we can in this lifetime?…is it a waste of time to talk about it, meditate, pray, contemplate, serve?

                    Apologies for the delayed response. I hadn’t planned on checking back on this thread.

                    Re: Nothing in us remains past death of the body?

                    I honestly don’t know and, further, don’t trust those who say they do know what we might expect “past death of the body”. All religious concepts of “life after death” act-ually apply in present life, imho, as they pertain to “ego-death” or “self-sacrifice” in the sense of “letting go” of the notion of an “individual” self. When not interpreted this way, I pay no attention to notions of “life after death”.

                    Re: Should we not be concerned with contributing to consciousness, to developing awareness, what we can in this lifetime?

                    I don’t think awareness need be “developed” given that well-focused, intentional awareness is our natural state in my understanding. A distracted, scattered awareness, on the other hand, is best avoided. I agree with Jean Gebser on the point that awareness is already “integral” and always has been. “Consciousness” obviously isn’t, so I would agree that conscious development of integrality both within one’s “self” and community is a worthy focus.

                  • InfiniteWarrior says:

                    –2 of 2–

                    is it a waste of time to talk about it, meditate,pray,contemplate,serve?

                    “Prayer” (of the silent, medatative variety) and “contemplatation” I don’t think wastes of time at all, though I am of the conviction that it is a complete waste of time to “talk about it”. As Rumi put it:

                    There is a way between voice and presence
                    where information flows.
                    In disciplined silence it opens.
                    With wandering talk it closes.

                    I can’t say I have much use for the term, “serve”, either. I suspect it was originally intended to represent subjugation of egoic processes to our “true (integral, creative) self” — “(W)holy Spirit” or “soul” — but this concept obviously has been and is all-too-easily hijacked, both historically and presently.

                    Thanks so much for a truly interesting conversation.

                  • Nada says:

                    Thank you,too,for your very well-conveyed thoughts.I hope you return once again to this further inquiry;I was compelled to dive into your stating,”there is no ‘individual’ soul” hence my 1st response. I was wondering how you can be so definitive on that point?, when the sages/mystics of all times and places are very implicit with their knowledge that Spirit “individualizes” in us,as us,which is Why the One and the Many are Not-Two..Andrew Cohen states that the Soul is the Deepest part of the Individual Self concurring with Aurobindo who talks at length about the Soul as the capacity of evolution in us;Ramana says a “ripe” Soul, meaning an Evolved Individual Soul,will seek and find Union in a single lifetime by residing in its true nature – not other than the Divine. I’m very interested in this particular conversation because, as you said, the Soul/Spirit HAS been equated with personal development or Ego,and,yes,while that is very important to CONTINUING,(all this has been compiled in Integral Theory),most stay exclusively identified with the Body/Mind/Ego, feeling they have arrived with solid philosophies “about life”,happiness,etc.The Soul is a psychic/subtle mind/will capacity, and a *level* of development beyond Ego within any individual,and so, remains “individual” until Ego is transcended enough to directly engage these capacities which seek Union with the Creator God/dess then perhaps into the Unmanifest Causal, then emergence as a Nondual/Enlightened Soul/Self. The Individual Soul is Immanent, already enfolded PRIOR to manifestation. I don’t use life-after-death as a term, but prefer to speak of the Soul as a Continuation..how could it simply cease to BE when it is a Spark of the Divine? When its capacity for remembering itself is the very stuff we are?LOL (;}

                • InfiniteWarrior says:

                  Spirit “individualizes” in us…. Aurobindo who talks at length about the Soul as the capacity of evolution in us… residing in its true nature – not other than the Divine

                  For my part, that last alone is true. As I see it, our essential nature is none other than that of pure Awareness, “God” or “the Divine”, which I’m fairly certain “continues” after what we might call “physical” death.

                  I can’t say I much care for Ramana’s term, “individual soul”. The egoic “I” definitely thinks itself “an individual” — separate and apart — but at no point in time is this true. While Western philosophers have produced a deeply ingrained belief in mind- or “spirit”-body dualism, this dualism is itself false and makes it that much harder to shake the egoic conditioning we undergo from birth that, if given reign, can make us feel a false sense of “aloneness”. This “false self” must be deconstructed, which I think the purpose of the Internal Arts.

                  While I appreciate the term, “divine spark”, persons don’t “contain” their own little “spark” of the Divine in my understanding. (Hefty word, “own”.) “I am THAT” means we (and all other “life-forms”) are THAT creative capacity/power/energy, most strongly manifest when the illusory, little egoic “I” is out of the Way, so to speak. This, to me, is Rumi’s meaning in the stanza prior: “Being is not what it seems. Nor non-being (i.e. non-existence). The world’s existence is not in the world.”

                  Namaste.

                  • Nada says:

                    Hi Infinite Warrior, Ramana actually calls the “Self” which you are referring to, the “I-I,” the Pure Subject, with no object. This could be called the highest or deepest part of the Soul.

                    “Consciousness” is best thought of as the empty container in which phenomena arise. “Awareness” is the level of clarity(or lack thereof)of phenomena you,I and everyone functions with -we call this “our awareness” of this,or that thing or concept. In other words, “objects” arise in our awareness; we recognize it, or not, we accept it, or not. Phenomena at its “lowest” or greatest density is called matter -the gross material world -not self-aware. At its “highest” or least dense, called the subtle, it is called Clarity or Pure Awareness.The body/mind/ego identifies mainly with the gross world and the contents of mind; thoughts/feelings/concepts/images,etc -all phenomena. In between, and within, the body/mind/ego and the Self, or Pure Awareness, psychic and subtle phenomena abound;the bridge is the level of the Soul.It is the capacity capable of navigating that particular inner terrain, creating Union with the creator God/dess, which then has the potential of dissolving into Pure Self, or the Causal Ground, revealing the already present Nondual Reality of all things.
                    I’m sure you know,”Divine Spark” is metaphor, and shouldn’t be “literalized.” The Ego feels itself to be omnipotent and takes on “defences” against its separation and inherent lack of awareness, like sophisticated philosophies, or spritual translations or quite sadly,”there is no god.” What I’m talking about is a stable, ongoing clarity of Self-awareness, which takes development thru these levels of phenomena. Do you sense what I’m talking about?

                    Thanks for entertaining this dialog,
                    LOL (;}

          • Frank Luke says:

            Hi Aliya, re: “The Absolute Truth, or call it Tao, or God, or Emptinness, or Nothingness, can never be collective, because there is no such a thing as a collective Being. Haven’t you noticed that being is always individual. Crowds do not have soul on their own, no Being.”

            If I understand your comment, I wonder if you are dismissing the whole premise of this blog and Andrew’s message that the interconnectedness of the human race is in fact a 21st century development in the evolution of human understanding of spirituality?

            Whereas traditional spirituality was concerned with individualistic realization of personal enlightenment, I believe the concept of interconnectivity and collective wisdom is realized and recognized is increasingly becoming embraced as a spiritual consciousness that encompasses all humanity and through this collectiveness, appealing in its democratic expression, is the future path of spirituality.

            All the comments you offer seem to contradict this, insisting and speaking on the traditional concept. I expect you will continue to do so but I submit you seem to be out of step with this new concept.

    • InfiniteWarrior says:

      One of the first steps towards encoding was the confusion of the one language into many during the time of Babel when Nimrod lived.

      When Nimrod lived? I’m not quite sure how best to put this, but….

      Being of the understanding that sacred texts are sensible only when read figuratively in terms of present life and human experience, I’ve come to translate “Babel” as “Babble” in conversations with Christians and/or conversations that deny Christians entry from the outset as I think the term fairly accurately describes the vast majority of the “Global Dialogue” at present. Babble, babble, babble….

      Much like the beginnings of new relationships (as well as Eras), it’s characterized largely by a good bit of stuttering and stammering, fits and starts. (I should know. I’m as good at that as anyone.) If we need a reason for it, I’d imagine it’s because none of us speak every language in existence, especially at any given time.

      Regardless, whether the language in use is so-called “secular” or “religious”, Truth (always has been and) is (now) One in my estimation and what’s consistently over-looked in the “Global Dialogue” for the most part is the One in the Many and the Many in the One, which is better phrased, I think, as the simultaneous oneness and diversity inherent in “[our being] participants in a [co-originating and co-arising] universe“, i.e. The Ever-Present Origin.

  9. Sam says:

    My word – a lot few people with a few words. Interesting someone said that blogging was like talking to themselves. You know already don’t you that that is all any of this is. It’s you experiencing yourself and to talk to other is just talking to another aspect of self.

    As we are all the universe experienceing itself, all points become as valid as the next. Earth or no earth equals no difference at a cosmic level.

  10. Aliya says:

    Thank you, Infinite Warrior for bringing Rumi in here!

    “Being is not what it seems.
    Nor non-being.
    The world’s existence is not in the world.”

    So true – Rumi just points out that your perception of being is not what it seems to you, neither the world is what it seems to you. There is the Ultimate Reality or God which is”all there is”. Everything else is your misinterpretation.
    And the door to this Ultimate Reality is not your “Being all there is”, as you wrongly misinterprete me, but your Being Now and Here, NowHere.
    Once again Rumi says it so beautifully:
    “Live in that nowhere that you came from,

    even though you have an address here.”