I was reading a post this morning on “alchemical healing” and was a little puzzled by it.
I believe in the scientific concept of “emergence”. Namely that the sum is greater than its constituents parts. I believe that great complexity has arisen from a few simple rules of nature and that as time goes by science will reveal more to us. I believe that eventually intelligent life will become what our ancestors would have considered “gods”
We now know the aims of alchemists are achievable – we know that any one element can be turned into any other element given enough heat and pressure.
On “spirituality” we are coming to understand more about the mind and indeed I am interested in recent scientific research on qualia and the nature of consciousness.
But I believe one must distinguish such concepts as “art” on the one hand from “science” and the search for facts on the other.
My sense of spirituality is to sit in a Norman Church in the English countryside and read the book of Psalms. Not because I believe in a god or gods but because it puts my mind at ease. I do not believe my experience is “mystical” in any sense; I believe rather that the space and peace, the beauty and the language give my tired mind the ability to rest and to contemplate my “weltanschauung” in tranquility.
I believe that the world is a miraculous enough place as it is without the necessity for belief in anything other than what is there, than what we can prove by experiment.
I love the idea of pixies and goblins; I have been an avid fan of Tolkien, CS Lewis and fantasy all my life.
But I am very aware that I must not confuse fantasy and fiction with reality.
Beauty and escape in art, literature, music and theatre are essential to me. But when I want to know about healing I look to science. I may be inspired by Ents and Gandalf but if I want to know how the world works I look to CERN or Roger Penrose rather than Ursula le Guin.
You really know how to get the cerebral juices flowing… Thanks!
Ditto what Ron Aylor writes above, Anthony!
As for me, I’m particularly interested in your interest in “the nature of consciousness.”
Lately I seem to be getting ephiphanies about human ‘consciousness’ in fact being Reality – albeit still a very primitive part of Reality at this stage.
Has my penny dropped at last? The ‘insight’ feels so right …
I was recently looking at Phillip Goff’s views, which I find quite attractive. That consciousness is a law of nature. It just ‘is’, like gravity or electricity. Hence it can not be dismissed as not existent as the materialists try to do. Everything has a degree of consciousness. Down to atoms and electrons and the more sophisticated the collection of matter, the more it refelects this fundamental aspect of nature or physics. So, yes, perhaps you are right: ‘In the beginning was the word’.
To me “the word” of the Hebrew/Christian bible’s is a human interpretation signifying the experience of the mystical experience of Reality – the moment human consciousness was born. But I don’t understand how the use of “word” comes anywhere near to describing or explaining Reality. To us, “word” just describes a part of language.
An Internet search for the etymological meaning of the word just goes into its Greek/Latin derivation. (It would be interesting to know what meaning any Hebrew etymology can deliver).
Best, as ever,
The Logos to me represents the very essence of consciousness over matter, the primacy of the soul if you like. Yes, birth, the beginning of everything, the cosmos, the multiverse. Brought into being by word, by mind, consciousness. Imagine a place of infinite blackness and then a beautiful voice, the Logos. Singing perhaps or chanting. And as the chanting continues, the stars slowly start to shine, the waters rise, grass grows on the hills and mountainside and the first birds begin to sing in harmony with the voice.
Pure imagination, pure fantasy perhaps. But this is always the imagery summoned up in my mind when I hear those beautiful words in John.
No, I’m not arguing for belief in a Christian god. I’m just letting my meditation wander luxuriously in a wash of beautiful colour and sound and mysticism. I am imagining what might be. Hoping for a reality which exceeds even my deepest conjecture. A seeker who looks for a god, a super intelligence. Meaning, beauty, peace. Or, as you would say a reality. A magnificence beyond all we can possibly imagine.
Well, you know I am a poet at heart!
Yes Anthony, this way of feeling the human genesis is you in full poetic flight! It makes some mystic decriptions comparitively colourless!