the first blink

an essay in the series views from the mountains expanding on ONE,
with further thoughts in ONE – looking deeper

first: May 12, 2019, last: December 7, 2019 leave a comment

We directly perceive and understand only a minute part of our world. Larger parts become accessible only through learning: the knowledge of their very existence, their integration into our current understanding, and concepts about their functioning. Such learning comes along perspectives, often organized in schools through which it is handed down and developed, from generation to generation.

Old mystics offer one such perspective on our World. This eventually spawned diverse religions. Natural sciences offer another and much younger perspective. They spawned technology. Both perspectives are largely consistent within, and both have been elaborated by generations of outstanding and deep personalities. And yet, they are clearly different, often contradictory, and so are the schools, cultures, and approaches to the World that emanate from them.

I cannot imagine this World as many, however, I can only imagine it as ONE, beyond our dualities of science and spirituality, of good and bad, of black and white, beyond all our further categories, yet encompassing them all. All our perspectives on the World are thus fundamentally incomplete. The World is larger.

ONE is the primordial mystical cloud.

This ONE – the World at large and our attempts to comprehend it with all our hearts and minds, ourselves being part of that very World – is the primordial mystical cloud.

Following our current scientific understanding as well as old learning, I envisage this ONE as having emerged, out of Emptiness, and as continuing to unfold. Within it, humankind currently is a forerunner, probably just a local one, and certainly just for some time. Our time.

Envisaging an unfolding World naturally leads to recognizing an origin, a transition from nothing to something. The mystery of all mysteries.

The continuing unfolding of our world, we are the first to observe it directly within our lifetime. Our time has also brought a much deeper appreciation for our world’s marvel. Mystics of the old, contemplating the stars at night, voyaging their imagination, and open for their finer perceptions, they already did recognize the world’s unfathomable vastness and the cloud of unknowing it is wrapped in. It is only our time, though, that turned this inkling into common understanding, that revealed the unimaginable depth of even just our physical world, from atoms to the universe, that put myself into place, with all my being, thinking, and dreaming, as just an truly minuscule part of the larger World, of the ONE.

Recognizing even only the nature and unfolding of our physical world leaves understanding ONE as an eternal longing,

an eternal longing for the mystical unification, for the ultimate recognition of being ONE.

Yet, there is more. Our world unfolds not just right in front of us but right because we are, because life is. We are created and creators. Journey into the Unformed, into the Void, forming the Way, eventually just remaining as a stage on the Way.

not esoteric, or is it?

Esoteric refers to something that can only be understood by a small group of initiated people. As such, almost all the knowledge of our culture is esoteric. Or would you know how to build a car, also just its front window for that matter? Could you explain the basics of quantum mechanics, of the biomolecular machinery that underlies all life on Earth, of the biochemical basis of our mind? Would you summarize the speculations on the source of spiritual experiences?

Esoteric is also often understood as esotericism, however. It then refers to a wide field of concepts that are largely outside of science and also outside of orthodox religions. Many of these concepts do have deep roots in our culture as is exemplified by the work of C. G. Jung – Psychology and Religion or Psychology and Alchemy – and of many others.

In contrast, some popular parts of esotericism have a more shallow rooting, with claims alluding to old sources but projections going far beyond. The World as an undivided whole is such an instance of an old concept, and it would appear to be readily acceptable. In contrast, one of the speculations – that this whole is self-conscious, has existed unchanged for all times, and will continue to do so for eternity – does not go down easily with all.

It appears prudent to abstain from exotic extensions and to rely either on deep-rooted concepts that have been scrutinized by generations of sincere searchers or, conversely, on the lightning of immediate understanding. Specifically, the ONE we envisage and attempt to approach here does follow the old concept of an undivided whole. It is not an eternally unchanging and self-conscious World, however, but it emerged, and it continues to unfold, all autonomously out of its own.

secret teachings

At times, a romantic notion of secret teachings is entertained, particularly with lighter forms of esotericism. Supposedly, such teachings, once discovered, will turn a page and I will be able to do wondrous things. Such secret teaching does not exist and there is nothing actually hidden, apart from the recipe to brew Coca Cola.

Still, there apparently is knowledge that is not widely available and corresponding teachings that are not readily accessible. They are not hidden per se, however, but by the long and arduous path it takes to reach them from ordinary life. This path may include learning of a language – Chinese, mathematics, music, meditation,… – to communicate about the realities of interest, often also to access them.

In our ordinary life, we learned some languages already, our spoken natural language or our culturally determined body language. At the lowest level, these are directly linked to material manifestations – objects and relations or actions between them – that we tag with words, the elements of the respective language.

In situations that are too complicated to be pointed at with a finger, an ecosystem for instance, or that are not even accessible to our senses, tagging is no longer easy because words are but tokens with no inherent meaning. Associating them with meaning is that long and arduous path to the “hidden” knowledge.

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