All I’m saying is that if you turn the lens around, this is what it looks like; it started out as and continues to be a philosophical endeavor, not a scientific hypothesis to be disproven. And if there is definitive proof that consciousness is not a force of energy, then I’ll lay down my gun. Scientific consensus on the matter doesn’t matter for squat either. I know what I know what I know. That’s all I know.
This is not the time to go into anybody’s personal history of experiences of consciousness, but to reply to a question about Richard Bucke’s age of cosmic consciousness (if not by age 33, then not at all). I personally believe it is a developmental stage one either goes through, or not. In THE UNCHANGED MIND, author John A. McKinnon MD speaks of landmark points in social development, and how some children don’t make the landmark, and are left to lag behind socially at every further stage of development, isolating them socially. I suppose Bucke’s point is that, in spiritual development, incorporating the spiritual experience rather than discounting it leads to radically different belief systems, upon which intuitive information is based; you only receive information that agrees with what already exists there, by and large. However, you do not only seek to shore up the pre-existing belief system, that would be conservatism; new experiences and new information can be incorporated or it will undermine the belief system and work to ultimately replace it.
The one truth is you can’t “unknow” what you know. You can ignore it – you have choice as a basic function of mind, after all. – and encounter the Oprah “rock upside the head” effect, which, effectively, is, you get these impulses, not to action, necessarily, but to knowledge perhaps, you get a little psychological ‘tap on the shoulder’. “Hey, look here.” You ignore it, the tap on the shoulder becomes a slightly harder shove, “It’s over here.” You ignore that, the shove becomes a hit to the side of the head and next a facepalm. If you’re still choosing ignorance, sometimes the reminder will become so large as to be a rock to the noggin before you pay attention to what’s been going on since the initial nudge. By which time, you not only have the original mess to clean up but the collateral damage and aftereffects of neglect and willful ignorance.
But you can’t base a belief system on something you don’t know; if you haven’t been thrust through the door a time or two in your life by the time you reach spiritual maturity, If you haven’t had the experience, you can’t ‘get’ the aftermath, and you resort to what you’ve always known, or been told you know. I’m not doubting the scientist’s sincere belief, but I’m not recanting my own. This does seem to be the Wisdom Mystery; it solves a lot of questions the scientists would deny are even valid.
“The soul has a no-return policy. Once we cross a certain point in our expansion, we can’t go back. As we honor our calling, we grant it more space inside of us. Light begets light—at a certain point, there is no way to escape the inner beacon. Our calling begins to soak every aspect of our lives, whatever the cost or inconvenience. We cannot live without our call because our call has become us. Path decisions then come straight from the heart of true-path, and we move only when our soul motor tells us to. Turn on your karmic engine…”
Something interesting the scientist said to me, “I was where you were at about forty years ago…”, which would be before the age of spiritual maturity, so he’d already adopted the belief upon which he based that conclusion before then. Acceptable. Not wrong, nor even incorrect.
This is pure philosophy, then, the opposite side of the coin completely from science. I’m not presenting a hypothesis, I’m saying, “Look at it this way. What does it look like to you?” My answer is, this is what it looks like to me, and it produces what sounds an awful lot like wisdom, so I keep listening. You may listen along, and join the conversation, but nay-sayers can keep their belief systems to themselves. (Oh, harsh!)
The developmental landmark of spirituality
Q & A,
There is a sort of inward “judge of truth” that agrees with the things you say. I say this because when you speak of a collective consciousness, or at least a connection between them, you give wording to an unction or an abstract concept within me. Also, the way you speak of spirituality and exploring it is much the same as I do. That being said, I find it all the more interesting because I haven’t been exposed to the same resources as you have (as far as I can tell). This makes it seem as if their is some force or Being guiding a person universally in this direction. What is your opinion on this?
I have not read Eckhart Tolle or Richard Bucke, but will be sure to check there stuff out. As soon as I’m done with the books I’m busy with now.
I am 20, so it would seem I’m well beneath the 33 year line. Without having to read the book by Bucke, could you tell me why 33 is such a significant age?
Thanks for allowing me to pick your brain. I am very curious about it all.
What Bucke describes, or what I understand from what I got from Bucke, is that there is a developmental stage at which we reach two choices for our further spiritual development – acquiescence or denial; either it exists or it doesn’t exist. This is our BluePill/RedPill moment. If we choose the scientific worldview, our belief system remains out-side oriented. If we choose the spiritual worldview, we are taken behind the curtain from Framework I to Framework II from which to operate. They are not only diametrically opposed, the are mutually exclusive.
I’ve been thinking about your question, and it’s basically the same as “why does puberty occur when it does?” It’s the way the biological clock is set; beyond that, if there is a ‘why’, we’re not privy to it. The 33-year mark is the moment as we mature from puberty to young adulthood when we decide, are we spiritual beings having a physical experience, or are we physical beings having a spiritual experience – one includes both options, one excludes half of experience; I’ll go with the more inclusive option, myself.
Developmental psychology and physiology have traced a number of different developmental tracks in human development; Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development, Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development, the physiological stage of development from puberty to maturity; there is little reason to doubt there are stages of spiritual development mankind has followed, thus available for humankind to follow, on a personal level. This Buckean stage of spiritual development designates the moment when we choose to remain dreamers of material existence or to wake up to a different framework for reality and understanding.
In part, Bucke chose the “mystic age” of 33 because of its reference to the age of Jesus when he died to humanity and attained spirituality. He took that more as a spiritual hint, I believe, but if I’m not mistaken, he used a list of human chronology at one point in the book to back up his assertion – so-and-so at this age… – but that’s just MORE research I’m going to have to do, more books – or ebooks – I’m going to have to purchase. He certainly had more to back up his assertion, but since the age of 21, I’ve never doubted it for a minute.
I am busy researching and contemplating a concept very similar to this, in an attempt to try and explain to myself and others why and how I have had experiences I find no logical or rational explanation for. In other words, I have had ‘spiritual’ experiences, that are just as real to me as anything physical, if not more real. For more on this you can check out my blogWhat is your standing on religions and their mystic experiences of their deities? Do you believe it to be another form of consciousness existing outside of the physical, rational consciousness?
If so what do you think of people using rational arguments or ontological arguments to try and prove or disprove a higher being?
The Red Guitar
2014/03/13 at 2:58 am
One of the first things I had learned before the age of 22 was the difference between spiritual experience and spiritual development, that experience happens, they come to us, we set them up and our experiences are a result of our thoughts and intentions, and sometimes even in contradiction to our thoughts and intentions, as lessons about life. Spiritual experiences of moments of connection on the deepest level to the unity of the universe. It’s a knowing that the universe itself is as alive as you are, within it. They have been known to come to us unbidden as well as sought after, but they are moments of enlightenment, not enlightenment itself.
Spiritual development is a choice, has to be a choice; you incorporate actions that focus spiritual energies, or you don’t; if you don’t, the experiences become memories, something for your rational mind to file away for future reference, instead of an experience with life still in it, that you return to to repeat and advance. Consciousness exists, awareness exists, awareness of self exists completely independently of awareness of the connection to the rest of consciousness. Existence doesn’t depend on individual awareness of its underlying connection to the rest of existence, except that existence is dependent on consciousness, in a “tree falls in a forest” kind of way – does existence continue without awareness inherent in it? Would it matter, would knowing an answer matter, because the question really is would ALL existence cease if ALL awareness were withdrawn? And the paradoxes mount up. But these are questions purposely and intentionally beyond the scope of the system of thought being built up here; it doesn’t matter if all existence ceases if all awareness is withdrawn, because there will be no noticing it, there will be nothing to know, and nothing to know it. I will merely point down that rabbit hole and say, “That is exactly the kind of trap we’re looking to avoid while exploring the terrain “above ground.