Consciousness and Reality
We will now examine a theory that provides a possible explanation for the existence of the collective unconscious as well as helping to understand the origin of this thing we call religion, but a digression is necessary in order to lay the foundations of the argument.
The explosion of scientific investigation in this century has led researchers into some rather obscure corners of their respective disciplines that are little appreciated by much of the general public. One of the outgrowths of the interest in the workings of the mind has been research in parapsychology that has demonstrated the reality of psychokinesis, telepathy and other generally undeveloped powers of the mind. Studies have been conducted on people who can pierce their skin or ingest virulent poisons or walk on glowing on coals with no apparent effect, suspending natural law as currently defined. Researchers have established that the common factor in all these cases is the ability to enter into an altered reality. In the case of the celebrated firewalkers, it is very specifically intense ritual that allows this to take place.
Equally strange things have been happening to physicists and mathematicians working in the very abstract realms of particle physics, quantum theory and relativity. The first hint of something strange going on appeared many years ago with Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Principle," which stated that the act of observing changed what was being observed. But that was only the beginning of the collapse of rigid structure in the scientific community.
As scientists developed increasingly complex theories, theories that frequently required the existence of new subatomic particles, those particles invariably appeared. This has proceeded to the point that the ultimate foundation of matter could now be said to be imaginary bundles of potential energy. It has become exceedingly difficult for scientists to deny that the only explanation for certain observed characteristics of our universe is to acknowledge that the space/time continuum is influenced by consciousness.
So, we have parapsychologists demonstrating that belief systems can alter the workings of natural law and physicists and mathematicians acknowledging that consciousness affects the space/time continuum itself. Let us imagine the following, then: We have an organism with a fragmented consciousness being highly controlled by inexplicable fears and compulsions. This consciousness spends much of its existence in a state of terror and broadcasts this highly charged state out onto the continuum of its existence. Consciousness helps to shape space/time, which is essentially an energy matrix, so at some subtle level the continuum responds and is ever so slightly modified.
Here is a crude analogy to the process. In 1982 the Voyager 2 spacecraft completed its mission to Saturn, and one of the scientists involved commented that its mass had affected Saturn's movement through gravitational attraction so that Saturn would travel one foot less over a trillion years. Not very significant. But if we sent a million, or a billion, such objects the change would become noticeable. Perhaps Saturn's rotation would be affected, perhaps its orbit modified; some of its moons might lose their orbital positions. The planet probably would not be destroyed, but it would have been changed and perhaps damaged.
This is what happened to Man. Millions and millions of humans with deep psychic scars from the destruction of Atlantis warped, over thousands of years, the subtle levels of consciousness in our space/time continuum and created a substratum of terror as the underpinning of human existence. The process was long, subtle and very complex, but at some point a pattern appeared in this maelstrom of terror -- perhaps like a harmonic resonance, or standing wave -- that somehow reflected the semblance of order appearing in human society.
Remember that this process began while humanity was still quite traumatized by the events in Atlantis and dealing with its attempts to regain full consciousness. This state of psychic dis-ease was reflected in the natures of the god-figures that frequently evolved and may explain the ease with which guilt and fear could be used to manipulate humanity and slow its growth to full consciousness. But however distorted and inadequate they may have been, the re-emergence of archetypal patterns and the associated images that transmitted their energy must have been a source of comfort andinspiration for humanity as an entire pantheon of archetypes was quickly established.
The full range of archetypes were probably constellated as the developing consciousness shattered the enveloping Great Mother. Jung has argued that early Man functioned so closely to the collective unconscious that he would have found it much easier to tap the energy of the unconscious than is true for modern Man. Assuming that this is true, the constellating of the archetypes would have provided him with a number of different sources that he might contact; and our ancestors must have been very much in awe of the ideas, images and symbols that seemed to come into their minds from "nowhere."
This, I believe, is the origin of the "gods" that Man has worshipped for most of this cycle of history. And here, also, we have found the key to understanding the way in which Man's religions were the outward reflection of his struggle to restructure his psyche and recapture the intellectual capacity that had been lost with the shattering of Atlantis.
The Greeks of the late classical period were perhaps the first to see clearly what was at work and to openly recognize that the "gods" were but reflections of the inner workings of the human psyche. They acknowledged that Man was the model by which all things were to be understood; and this view might have prevailed but for the rise of the great monotheistic religions.
I suspect that monotheism arose through a vision that transcended the pattern of the archetypal energy vortices and gave a glimpse of the whole. Jung maintained that the Self -- the totality of the conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind -- could not by definition be incorporated into the conscious mind, although it could be encountered and appreciated. Even with all our modern understanding of the mind it is a rare individual that rises to glimpse that totality. How staggering it must have been for an unsophisticated mind to face that blinding energy -- here indeed was a God greater than all others!
It is tragic that a revelation of the Self that might have been combined with Greek understanding of the archetypes to forge an incredible perception of human consciousness served instead to lay the foundations of a religious tradition that has done everything possibly to stifle human freedom and the human imagination.
If there is, indeed, to be a New Age it must begin with the systematic rejection of all the irrational assumptions we have inherited from
our fear-driven ancestors. We must restore the respect of the natural forces of our world as a first step toward spiritual wholeness.
We must reclaim our right to live as happy, healthy, whole human beings.
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