Truth or Lies
October 25, 2003: As some of our readers know, we spent a week in Marseilles earlier this month - sort of out of touch with the "real world." That is to say, during that week, I had to get my news from the television. I have to say that if the mass media was the only access I had to what is going on here on the BBM, I'd probably still be a soccer and ballet mom, firing up the ole barbecue on Saturday afternoon and worrying whether my Christmas Club account was gonna cover the kids' wish lists.
But it's way too late for that in my life.
I suspected something was wrong with the "facts of life" as they were presented to me when I was a kid. Sure, I then spent a little over thirty years trying to be "normal" and make that square peg fit the round hole, "looking for a reason to believe." But then there was a memorable day when I finally grew up and admitted that maybe - just maybe - the Emperor was naked. And here it is, over twenty years later, and now - well, now I know that not only is something rotten in Denmark, I also know there is a dead elephant in the middle of the collective global living room and I can never NOT see it again.
During that twenty plus years of uncovering that huge, dead critter that occupies a central place in our reality, I was driven by the idea that I just wanted to know what was REALLY going on in this strange world I lived in where, on the one hand, science was moving so fast that we would soon be able to destroy our planet, while on the other hand, the varied religions were telling us not to worry, God was probably gonna destroy it for us and we had better believe in the "right god" or we were toast.
How can a person live in a world where "the End of the World" is being predicted every minute? That's crazy!
But darned if that isn't what just about every religion on the planet talks about!
You go to church, get scared to death in an hour and a half, warned about hellfire and damnation, and then they pass the plate so that you can pay the high priests to put in a good word for you with God so that maybe you won't suffer as much as that jerk down the street who goes to a different church! And even if you do suffer here on earth, if you believe hard enough, and prove it by putting your money where your faith is, at least you'll get your reward in paradise.
This was back in 1982 when I had three small children. As a mother, I wanted to know what to teach my children. I knew that what I had been taught to believe was frightening. I had grown up in a time when children were regularly taught what to do in case of an atomic bomb attack - Cuba was only 90 miles from Florida where I was born - and at the same time, the standard religious teaching of my family - mainstream Protestants - promoted the "suffer on Earth to get rewarded in Heaven" routine.
I knew I had certainly suffered from the state of the world and the teachings of my faith. I really, REALLY wanted to know if this was something that I should pass on to my children.
When I held my babies and rocked them or looked into their sweet, innocent faces - untroubled by the concerns of the world around, certain that Mother would make them safe - I had to ask myself "How can I tell them these things? How can I "break it to them" that this world into which they have been born is so frightening and uncertain and full of traps that not only are their lives in constant danger, their very souls may be in peril?"
How could I tell that to my children???
If it was true, I HAD to tell them.
But what if it wasn't true?
WHAT IF IT WASN'T TRUE?
I knew one thing and one thing only: I wanted more than anything in the world to tell my children the truth, to prepare them for whatever might lie ahead of them in their lives. And the question burned inside me: What if I told those little beings who I loved more than my own life a LIE? What kind of a mother would I be? What kind of "Mother Love" is that?
The End of the World is an idea, which has fascinated man for all recorded history and perhaps beyond. In every religion, philosophy, and mystery teaching, there are hints, allusions or outright claims to knowledge of this purported end to man's current status on the earth.
Some teachings say that the earth itself will cease to exist. Others proclaim that man will cease to exist in material form; still others claim a great judgment day in which the wicked are wiped from the face of the planet while the "saved" are rescued in some miraculous fashion to return and inhabit a new, heaven-like "City of God". The persistence of these ideas and their prevalence is centered around the idea that man began somewhere, sometime, somehow, and will therefore come to an end somewhere, sometime, somehow.
This assumption is born of the conscious mind's tendency to think in linear terms. Scientific materialism has carried this tendency to the ultimate heights -- "The world must have been born, therefore, it must die." And scientific materialism claims nothingness before birth and nothingness after death. Scientific philosophies refer to the "accidental mechanicalness" of the universe and teach us that the only meaning to life is no meaning at all. "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may die" and then -- oblivion.
Scientifically speaking, for a long time matter and motion were accepted as the basis of reality and, to a great extent, continue to be. Yet, in actual fact, matter and motion are unknown quantities x and y, and are always defined by means of one another. It is an absurdity to define one unknown by means of another! What this means is that science defines matter as that which moves and motion as changes in matter. The "Big Bang" or Cosmic Firecracker theory is explained in these terms. A primal atom, (matter), of incredible density "exploded" into motion. (Where the primal atom came from, how the space it exploded into came into being, and where the impetus for this event originated, are still on the drawing board.) And from this event, our universe and the life within it just sort of "accidentally" happened. Man is the "amoral end of a deadly biological evolution." The mind and soul are inexplicable byproducts of the struggle for survival.
To the average person, a table, a chair, an orange, is a real object. They have dimension -- three, to be exact - they are real. But are they? The physicist (and the knowledgeable layperson) knows that the object is composed of atoms. And there lies the rub! The dissected atom (quantum particles) often displays some very disturbing properties. Who has really seen matter or force? We think we see matter in motion, but physics has shown us that what we see is an illusion. When we try to focus on it, a quantum particle/wave is an infinite-dimensional entity incapable of being perceived, in that instant, as a three-dimensional body moving through space. When we look away, the quantum particle/wave acts like a wave of pure energy - invisible force.
So, just what is matter? What is this estate in which we find our existence? Does the physical run out when it becomes invisible? Obviously not as we cannot see electricity and other forces in the universe measurable only by their effect upon "matter". Do these forces run out when they become undetectable by our senses or by our instruments? Do the things we detect with the subtle mechanisms of our mind and emotions not exist simply because we cannot see or measure them?
Science hands those questions over to religion and basically, we are told to "believe what you like" in that area because science isn't in the business of describing things it cannot materially weigh or measure. There is a not-so-subtle implication in such a view that it really doesn't matter what a person believes anyway because, as Danish physicist Niels Bohr put it "there is no deep reality!"
So, for those people who have the idea that there is something "deeper," some "meaning" to life, if you want to put it that way, there is really only one place to go for answers: religion, of which there are three major ones in the world today, all of them "Monotheistic" and based, essentially, on a single religion, Judaism
The Bible says, "In the Beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." Neither the Bible nor science has much to say about what happened before the beginning. St. Augustine was once asked the question: "What was God doing before He created the world?" The Bishop's rejoinder: "Creating Hell for those who ask that question!" put a period to such inquiries. Few have asked it since.
There are, of course, various "interpretations" of the teachings of Monotheism that exist inside and outside of the "orthodox" explanations. Some interpreters say that the only meaning to life is in spiritual self-improvement and creating a better future in the afterlife or in future lives. Other interpreters say that the meaning to life lies in working to dissolve the ego into nothingness. Among the more recent variations is the idea that the true purpose of life is to align our "self-created realities" so that they become as one, and thereby we may achieve a unified race, which will either "ascend" or will survive beyond predicted cataclysms for a thousand years before things wind down a bit into the usual state of decay. Naturally this effect can only be initiated and maintained by a group effort at consciousness raising. There are other ideas and combinations of ideas similar to these -- all leading where?
Are we, in fact, an accident of evolution in an accidental universe, on a race to nowhere except oblivion? Or, worse still, are our very minds -- our belief in and desire for knowledge of higher things -- our greatest flaw? Are we damned by our religion for asking such questions, or ridiculed by science for thinking that they even ought to be asked? The choice seems to be between a sick joke and a mistake.
Yet, the question must be asked: why do we live in a world in which material extinction is a real possibility? Are we truly on the edge of an abyss, losing our balance, preparing to fall into a hole so deep and dark that we shall never come out of it?
There are two main theories of the future - that of a predestined future and that of a free future. The theory of predestination asserts that every future event is the result of past events and if we know all the past then we could know all the future.
The idea of a free future is based on quantum "probabilities". The future is either only partially determined or undetermined because of the varied interactions possible at any given point. This idea of "free will" says that quite deliberate volitional acts may bring about a subsequent change in events. Those who support predestination say that so-called "voluntary" actions are, in fact, not but are rather the results of incompletely understood causes which have made them imperative acts -- in short, nothing is accidental.
On the one hand we have "cold predestination" come what may, nothing can be changed -- on the other hand we have a reality which is only a point on some sort of needle named the present surrounded on all sides by the Gulf of Nonexistence -- a world which is born and dies every moment.
During those early days of asking questions outside of my "standard religious faith," I came across an idea put forth by P.D. Ouspensky in his book Tertium Organum:
In other words, there was the possibility - just a suggestion, mind you - that human beings might be able to choose something different than the future that was obviously developing all around us. It was clear to me that such a choice could only be made if one made an effort to "predict" the future. In other words, the only way to know the right choice of the moment was to have some idea of the consequences.
Of course, the "standard religions" all around us are suggesting something of that sort all the time: their solution is that the only change human beings can make is to "choose the right god" and believe in him strongly enough that this god will step in and fix things right up either by miraculously intervening in reality, or at least hauling the good people out of the soup at some future time when they have proved themselves AND, at the same time, making all those nasty people who bet on the wrong horse suffer!
It was at this point that I decided that I really ought to check out all the various religions and their "track records," so to say in order to determine which was the "right god." After all, since there exists such diversity of beliefs around the globe, the assumption is that either somebody is right, excluding all others, or that nobody is right, including all.
With the world in an obvious mess, with every preacher in just about every church across America passionately declaring that "The End is Nigh," I decided that I had better get moving on this project. After all, I had these small beings in my care and above ALL things, I wanted to tell my children the Truth as far as I was able to determine it. And that certainly meant that I should put forth all efforts to determine what that truth was before I gave it to them. After all, if your child asks for bread, will you give him a stone? If he asks for fish, will you give him a serpent? I wanted to give my children the very best I could, and that was, at the foundation, the primary motivation for my search for the truth: Love for my children.
You could say that Love for my babies gave me the courage to begin to look at my own faith in a critical way, and then to search for the answers to their questions.
And so it still is.
What this amounted to was to apply the scientific method to the study of religion and "deeper realities" - things that went beyond the physics of materialism.
I discovered that I wasn't the first one who had thought about doing this and so there was certainly a large body of material to go through. And I have been doing it in a concentrated and systematic way for over 20 years now.
The Cassiopaean Communication was only a part of this process. Looking back on this experiment in accessing "higher consciousness" which, at that point, I only theorized might exist, there is a lot to be said for the idea that most of what has come "from the C's" could very well have come from my own subconscious. After all, I had spent nearly my whole life reading everything from history to psychology. The phenomenon of the scientist working on a difficult problem who then, after he has examined all the parameters, dreams of a novel way to put the different parts together that solves the problem is well known in the history of science. The discovery of the benzene ring is a case in point. So it isn't too much of a stretch to say that the material that came "from the C's," who clearly stated "we are YOU in the future," was merely a similar process.
The attentive reader may notice that most of the C's material has to do with history and the hidden motivations for the events in our world. These were certainly the things that concerned me - events and choices of action and being that could lead to a positive future or a negative future - and so, perhaps my vast reading was sorted and assembled in novel ways by my own subconscious mind.
Be that as it may, it does not, in my opinion, at all detract from the usefulness of the material. The discovery of the benzene ring came from a dream and led to a breakthrough in science. And so it has seemed that the concerted effort to examine all the parameters of reality, and then to "allow" it to sort itself and "come out" in a novel process of reassembly, has proven very fruitful in many respects.
Ark discussed the essential nature of this approach recently in an exchange with Robin Amis, the editor and commentator of Boris Mouravieff's Gnosis:
Ark to Robin Amis:
You stated that:
1) Scientific method has its limitations.
2) Knowledge should be understood in broader terms so as to include, for instance "noetic knowledge". In particular:
a) there is a true form of knowledge that is normally associated with religion
3) That you - Praxis - teach this other form of knowledge, and the conditions under which it can be understood.
4) The reason that Praxis (and other religions) depends on a suspension of judgment is "that newcomers studying this material, despite quickly getting confirmation of its reality, will not understand it deeply enough."
I will try to address and expand the above points and, perhaps, try to add some new ideas, if only for the future discussion.
Point 1) I agree. I agree completely. In fact it takes a scientist to truly know the limitation and the weaknesses of science, as many of the tricks and games and even lies are known only to the insiders - scientists.
Point 2) I agree that there is such a knowledge; I agree that is important and, in fact, is crucial. And it is because of this fact that we stress on our Website and in our publications the importance of "knowledge", not just "science" or facts. It depends on whether you start with a fact and follow the clues to real knowledge, or whether you start with an assumption, and interpret all facts based on what may, at the very beginning, be a lie.
a) Whether this "true knowledge" is, was, or should be "associated with religion" is disputable.
Point 3) Here of course you are assuming that Praxis is already in possession of such a knowledge. Perhaps this is the case or, perhaps, Praxis has only "fragments of unknown teachings", and not the complete picture.
Being a scientist I am always careful and I would never state that I have the full and complete "knowledge" of something. I may know about tools, theories, formal structures, data etc. But one day, all my tools, data, theories and formal structures may prove to be wrong or useless with the uncovering of a single datum that shifts the entire structure. A true scientist MUST be open to this. What is important in science is being always open to surprises, to new paradigm shifts etc.
So, I think, you - Praxis - are teaching what you BELIEVE to be, at the present moment, "the true knowledge", and you may have very good reasons for such a belief. You may have very important pieces of knowledge - as we think based on research - but, perhaps, you are still lacking some of other important pieces - which we also think, based on research.
How can we know in advance where the next unexpected discovery will lead us?
And here I would like to make some constructive - or so I think - comments.
Looking at the history of "our civilization", religion seems to have been in existence much longer than "science." And yet we see that religion has failed. In spite of its teachings people are still constantly at war with each other. Human beings have not become better, and they are often much worse than animals. Gurdjieff described seeing the truth of our condition - the condition of our reality in general - as the "terror of the situation." It is terrible because, when you really SEE it, you realize how great a failure religion or the "powers" of the various versions of God really are.
Science, which came later and has exploded in the last millennium, has failed too. It has brought mankind to the edge of self-destruction. Advances in mathematical, physical and computer sciences have brought about "applied game theory", where "wars" are called "games", and to "win the game" is to kill as many people as possible with as little cost as possible.
Is there any hope at all? And if there is, then where?
Perhaps it is time to try something new? Perhaps a "marriage of science and mysticism" has a chance?
Why not take what is good from science and what is good from religion, and discard what is wrong?
What is the best thing about religion?
Religion teaches us to be open minded and accepting of possibilities which are far from being "rational". Religions teaches us to pay attention to singular events, miracles, phenomena that are fragile and hardly repeatable. Finally religion teaches us to look inside as much as outside: know thyself.
The strengths of the approach of religion just happen to be the weak points in science.
Science is often narrow-minded and conservative restricting everything to what is material and rigidly repeatable. Science teaches us that what is "out there" is not connected to what is "in here," that it must be captured, weighed, measured and manipulated. That is why new paradigms are so painful when they come - but they DO come in science, and they seldom come in religion which is "fixed" and dogmatic and not open to discussion.
What is the best thing about science?
Science is open to criticism and discussion. Even if many forces on the earth try to make a sort of religion of science, in general, scientific theories must be published and publicly discussed. We can find an error in Einstein's papers because these, as well as other papers, are publicly available. Everyone can learn mathematics, as advanced as you wish, from reading monographs, articles, going to conferences, and discussing with other scientists.
The strength of science just happens to be the weakness of religion. Religions are always "secret" in one respect or another - even if that secrecy is only the declaration that no changes can be made, no questions asked, because the ultimate truth about God is a "mystery," a "secret." That is why the teachings of religion are so easily distorted and misunderstood. It is so easy for the central "authority" to achieve the "pinnacle" of the religion and declare to the followers the correct interpretation and that no other is permitted.
Point 4) What you say about students not being able to judge for a long time is certainly true. But whether discouraging them from such judgments is the only solution - I am not sure.
Certainly that was the way it was done in the past. Groups were usually small, whether exoteric or esoteric. Travel and communication possibilities were severely restricted. But today a qualitative change has occurred: we are now in the era of networking and instant communication on a planetary scale.
Therefore a different approach is possible: instead of having few students and "teach them even when they are not yet ready", we can address ourselves to those who are ready.
This was not so easy to do in the past when teachers communicated, at best, to merely hundreds of potential students. But it is possible now, when we can communicate with millions.
Whoever is not yet ready for the next stage, let him stay where he is or go back where he was. Those who ARE ready, will find you - if you take care and NETWORK efficiently.
So, I would not discourage students from making early judgments and discussing subjects that they are not prepared for. If they come to the wrong conclusions and go away or attack you, that is their free will. Let them go where their minds and their hearts lead them.
That is, at least, our approach in QFS. Perhaps we are making a mistake here, but it is always good to try different methods - if available.
So it is, we seek to combine science and mysticism for the few who are colinear with this approach. And this was uppermost in our minds - to convey this effectively - when planning the look and emphases of the new and revised Cassiopaea Website. We understood clearly that there are many "seekers" in the "New Age" milieu who would be turned off to this approach. They are seeking a guru, to be underwritten in their choices, a messiah. As Ark has written: those who are not ready for this stage of Becoming Free, let them stay where they are or go back to where they were. And if readers form conclusions based on their illusions, that is their free will and we have no quarrel with that. Each individual should be where their minds and hearts lead them.
Of course, there are still some items that the C's have come up with that obviously could NOT come from a "reordering" of the masses of material available to my subconscious from years of reading. In that respect, due to the novel way in which the material was obtained as a "group effort," perhaps some of the material was extracted from the subconscious databanks of the other participants? And perhaps some of the data was nonsense - my own and others? These are all questions we consider when we analyze the material and subject it to verification or testing.
There is still another category of material - that which later proves to be insightful in ways that simply could not come from the subconscious data of ANY of the participants.
Or could it?
Perhaps an awareness of what is going on politically and socially can be "sorted and reassembled" in the subconscious the same way the information that led to the discovery of the Benzene Ring was? Perhaps probabilities are calculated in the subconscious mind based on vast collections of data that we don't even realize we have? Perhaps lifetimes of observations of the world "out there" consisting of billions of databits can be stored in our subconscious and lead to very complex "data sorting" and "probability estimation?"
Perhaps there is, after all, a completely scientific and material explanation for the Cassiopaean Material?
Except for just a few items that I am certain were NOT part of the conscious or subconscious data of any of the participants - items that were known to only a few people on the planet and which we had to dig deep to verify.
But then, that is only evidence of an ability to access information that may be in the databanks of unknown others at a distance...
But, isn't that the point? That we search for that tiny clue that there IS a reality beyond that which the materialist scientific view accepts as measurable?
Just as certain mechanical aids can augment the perception of certain ranges of light such as infra-red, ultra-violet, x-rays, and radio waves, so might our so-called psychic perceptions be similarly augmented. This was my theory at the beginning of the Cassiopaean Experiment though I never thought it would evolve into a dialogue with "myself in the future."
The brain is an instrument devised to focus reality in mathematical constructs -- interpreting waveforms as material objects. What I had in mind from the beginning was a process of not only being able to perceive those ranges of energies that are normally beyond the range of 3 dimensional perception, but to be able to do so in a repeatable way with practical applications. By developing such a process, the implication is that we can not only perceive the effects of myriads of waveforms, but also, depending upon the amplitudes and energies, predict the outcomes of certain motions, even, perhaps, in very precise terms.
Of course, it seems that the descriptions of the greater reality beyond 3 dimensional space and time must be, in an essential way, difficult to describe except metaphorically. So, I think we can assume that the finite nature of our minds is self-limiting in a certain sense. It seems that all the instruments we can create and build are probably incapable of penetrating into such realms because of the simple fact that they are three-dimensional. The only material way we may be able to go beyond our reality is through mathematics, which seems to transcend time and space.
There is, indeed, a lot of research in physics that sounds provocatively like ancient mystical teachings yet the possibility is that the true nature of the reality behind our world is beyond quantum mechanics and theory.
Ark: As Wheeler so succinctly points it out:
Popper makes these important observations:
And then he adds:
We may find that much truth was known by the peoples of the past and that they did, in fact, express deep, mysterious, realities in their poetic and obscure messages. Mystics and seers - even in terms of communicating with "myself in the future" - seem to perceive quantum states, which are demonstrably difficult to translate into language.
The experience of viewing simultaneous, cause/effect reality is extremely difficult to maintain when one is constantly being bombarded by three-dimensional interpretation.
Imagine the difficulty of explaining to a snail the expanse of an acre of ground?! Mystics and Seers have attempted to do just that for millennia with the result that the vast majority of mankind have absolutely and totally misunderstood these concepts. And, there is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.
And it seems that the greatest lies are the dark and evil systems of religion created by those who do not understand.
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