You wrote, “As a product of Consciousness, all people of all ages have access to this primary Source. All are capable of discerning its behavior and its relation to the realm of matter. The author of Genesis was no exception.” Are you saying you agree with the Bible’s account of creation?
I do not agree with the particulars of either creation story found in Genesis 1 or 2. I do agree with the author of the first chapter (composed some 400 years later than chapter 2) with his opening, “In the beginning God …” I am in greatest agreement with John’s account of creation. It goes into no detail about how creation unfolded, only that it began with the Word. These ancient writers obviously had little or no scientific background, at least as we understand science today. The strength of modern science is its ability to explain material processes. Its weakness is in its inability to acknowledge underlying Consciousness as the source out of which the visible world appears.
This inability has caused science to overlook some profound truths concerning the human condition. For example, an article from the New York Times states:
Over the past two decades, the use of antidepressants has skyrocketed. One in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication; among women in their 40s and 50s, the figure is one in four.
Experts have offered various reasons for this but it is safe to assume that none of these reasons will be found in the Bible. Yet the primary reason that people suffer is clearly illustrated in the early allegories of the Bible. Humankind turned its attention away from its spiritual source in favor of following senses-based information as its basis of reality. The Garden of Eden is the soul. The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is the senses-based self-image. Though we live in one of the most prosperous countries on the planet, our belief that our status and identity can be drawn from possessions and accomplishments in the material realm has made us feel quite naked. We are attempting to live a happy life consciously severed from our spiritual source. We try to compensate for this by clothing ourselves in the “skins” of materialism and antidepressants whose side effects are often so numerous there is not enough room on the label to print them legibly.
I once counseled a suicidal woman who was on 21 prescription drugs. She had become a walking nuclear reactor. Doctors treated her as a machine that could be medicated to a reasonable level of self-worth. She told me that one day she decided to flush all her medications down the toilet. This was the day she marked as the beginning of her return to the sanity of her own inner Garden. This does not mean that everyone should follow her lead, for medicines have their place. But these ancient writers had a spiritual insight into the human condition that material science, which includes medicine, could learn a great deal.
The Bible does not take into account the fossil record which clearly shows an evolution of living forms. The earliest known fossils (3.7 billion years) are simple celled bacterial forms. If God is behind it all, why did it take so long to come up with a human being?
The universe is obviously in no hurry. A notable point made by biologist Robert Lanza, who Time Magazine ranked among its 100 most influential people in the world, is that there are several hundred conditions in our universe that must be exactly correct to sustain life. A degree’s difference here or there would render it impotent. Lanza, like a growing number of other scientists, holds that consciousness is the key to understanding reality, that the universe is made by and for life, not the other way around.
What story would science tell if it started with the premise that consciousness predates matter and all those biological forms that have left evidence of their existence in stone? As I have already suggested, this story still might include something like a big bang, but with intention. It would not likely include an old man in the sky amusing himself with an unlimited supply of modeling clay. It could hold as intentional the action of the invisible exerting its influence on the visible, not unlike the artist who uses paint and canvas to express an otherwise abstract vision.
This new science would not have us looking billions of years into the past. That which ignited matter with life and its first wiggling organisms is very much at work still. There would be no reason for religion to continue recoiling under the threat of Darwinism. How refreshing it would be to move from the endless battle between science and religion to the science of religion. What an exciting partnership that would be.
In your first post, you wrote, “We long for freedom as a spiritual birthright. The soul that is our very basis of existence has known nothing but freedom.” Would you mind elaborating?
The desire for freedom is universal. Behind every single dream you have, you find the desire for greater freedom. Our desire for freedom at the level of the self-image is triggered by the fact that the soul is already free. We are simply echoing what is true at the core of our being. All living things share this desire and react to confinement with the single purpose of escaping.
A ground squirrel made its home beneath a ground-level deck that holds our hot tub. Rodents, being what they are, love to chew things in their spare time. The plastic insulation on wiring is particularly attractive to many of them. Knowing this, I decided to capture the squirrel in a live-trap and take him out to his natural habitat in the desert. His reaction to this momentary incarceration was predictable. He did not like it and he did everything within his power to end his captivity as quickly as possible.
Another way to trap a wild animal is with the enticement of food. Feed them enough and they will become dependent on you, willingly domesticated, a subject I explore in my novella, The Way of the Bighorn. Soon, the greatest punishment you could render is to set them free to fend for themselves. The desire to be free is still present, but it now translates into the assurance of a full stomach.
This would describe the self-image. At this level, our desire to be free is translated as a full stomach; i.e., a life filled with people, accomplishments and things. We measure our worth and our freedom by what we keep in the pantry. We still respond to this desire for freedom, but we miss the mark in its fulfillment. The soul is the bullseye. Shooting for anything less does not satisfy with the reward of freedom.
“The greatest irony of all is that we look at the door of our cell and see that it stands open. There are, in fact, no natural barriers between where we sit and where we intuitively know we can be.”
You say there are no natural barriers that stand between ourselves and our conscious connection with the soul. Because the majority of people are barred entry into conscious union with the soul, could we not consider the the self-image a natural barrier?
We should not confuse the terms normal and natural. The self-image is the product of the senses-based, intellectually driven imagination. As I point out in The Complete Soul, the imagination has the dual intellectual and intuitive functions. Intuitively, it acts in much the same way as the lens of our digital camera. The lens is the intake of raw light (intuition). Through the camera’s processor, an image shows up on the viewfinder, the intellectual, picture forming aspect of the imagination. Our intuition opens to the soul and feeds its information to the intellect.
This is the mystery of the Virgin Birth, where the “Son of God” is conceived and born through a virgin, Mary (intuition). Joseph, the intellect, is not involved in this awakening but plays the supporting role of bringing this child into the world of expression. In the development of the self-image, Mary is quietly put away. At most she becomes a house servant offering a few tidbits of guidance through the maze of materialism, adding a hunch here and a strong feeling there. Joseph is in charge. Even if he does respond to one of Mary’s promptings, he still takes credit for it. This describes our intellectually-based scientific and academic communities. Mary plays no part and has no place in the curriculum.
We turn out towering self-images left to fend for themselves as they move through their lives and careers in a desperate search to fill in the missing piece that is the soul. A few do, but most don’t. Mary is a scientific and academic anomaly that is either explained away or dismissed altogether. Our so-called great intellectuals have heads brimming with information but hearts often so empty that prozac becomes a viable piece of the success puzzle.
So while the self-image is not a natural barrier to an experience of the soul, it is certainly a normal, widely accepted barrier. When we place more value on an experience of the soul than we do on continually fortifying the self-image, we find that nothing stands in our way.