Encounters and Dialogues
“East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet” — Rudyard Kipling
What a sea-change has occurred in our world since Kipling, the poet of Empire and “the White Man’s burden”, penned those words as being “the common sense”! Kipling held that a kind of Iron Curtain separated the consciousness of the West and the consciousness of the East — logic against mysticism.
But not only do we have meetings of East and West today, but also (and largely only since the Brandt Report of 1980) a North-South dialogue. The consciousness of a Rudyard Kipling already seems to us quaint and antiquated, if not simple-minded. E.M. Forster’s 1924 novel A Passage to India and later Hermann Hesse’s Journey to the East (1932) were already beginning to see the breakdown of that “Iron Curtain”, significantly after the First World War.
As I’ve stated before, the planet has assumed the shape of a mandala, and with that also our consciousness is assuming the shape of a mandala. East and West, North and South are not simply geographic cardinal points, but orientations of our consciousness — portals, as it were, to the variations of human types. As such, they are also “spiritual” realities, if we may put it in those terms — pointers to different systems of values or, if you like, different “species of consciousness” or facets of ourselves, the elements of our own autobiography.
A comment by LittleBigMan to an earlier post (“Seth and Probable Worlds Theory“) reminded me that there are, contra Kipling, quite a few meetings of East and West occurring today, and I wanted to mention these as a resource for the curious, as they are a quite meaningful encounter between the “logical” and the “mystical”, if we can put it in those terms. In broader terms, the global dialogue is really an encounter between the thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuitive aspects of the fourfold human.
The Krishnamurti-Bohm dialogues (as well as David Bohm’s dialogues with the Dalai Lama) are a classic. There is even a website devoted to the dialogues called The Bohm-Krishnamurti Project. The dialogues have been preserved on videotape and also preserved in a book entitled The Future of Humanity.
The Quantum and the Lotus by Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan is in the nature of a dialogue between a Buddhist monk and an astrophysicist, and highly recommended by me.
Arthur I. Miller’s Deciphering the Cosmic Number: The Strange Friendship of Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli is another which I have mentioned in past posts. Although not formally an encounter between East and West, it has the same import.
Familiarising yourselves with these three works will go a long way in answering some of the questions about the state of consciousness at our “end of history”. The mental-rational consciousness (the “logical”), having reached the end of its tether, is now opening itself up to an essential transformation — a new willingness to expand and incorporate the hitherto “unconscious knowledge” (previously dismissed as “occult” or “mystical”) that it so urgently requires if it is to avoid complete disintegration and nihilism.
In the broader sense, the meeting of East and West is the meeting and dialogue of the ego consciousness with the intuitive self — the attempt at a new integration and reconstitution of the whole consciousness. The East-West dialogue, and the North-South dialogue are simply the forms this new integration is attempting to follow. In this sense, “globalism” is the attempted, objective realisation of the re-integration of consciousness in its four aspects or facets as thinking, feeling, sensate, and intuitive expressions.
These are, of course, Blake’s “Four Zoas” of disintegrate Primordial Man, Albion, and the “clash of civilisations” is the continuing conflict of the Zoas, the conflict of the disintegrate human form. The implicit meaning of the East-West dialogue and the North-South dialogue in terms of “globalism” is the re-integration of the human form.
The three works I mention above are exemplary of that, which is why I think you will find of them of great value. It may not seem at all that human spiritual reality is breaking through the encrusted and stagnant consciousness of our time, or “irrupting” as Jean Gebser describes it, but that is exactly what these events signify, and that is the meaning of “apocalyptic”. Marshall McLuhan’s “Global Village” is actually the human form itself. You yourself are this “Global Village”. In effect, the “Global Soul” and the “Global Village” are one and the same thing.