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.



5 responses to “Encounters and Dialogues”

  1. abdulmonem says :

    Thank you Scott for all your constructive contributions to humanity. Life is a chain of processes of encounters and dialogues in both the time frame and space frame.The oneness of humanity is a truth that has been denied throughout history and not a vision. How much I have liked to go along with you, on the death of the Kipling mentality, but when one watches the western actions, one notices that Kipling mentality is still prevalent.The mystical west is far better than the mystical east.Goodness in cells is no goodness. true goodness is in the street and that is exactly what Luther did when he released the monks from their confinement to exercise their goodness in the streets. Mysticism in the east is secluded oases.God wants people to get involved after they gain their realization,not to built their personal empire as is the present despicable situation. Christians are better Moslem than the so- called Moslem. Away from labels the divine criteria for a good being is truth,justice and honesty period, and there is more of these in the west than in the east.The east is a slave to the ugly part of the west and is deprived from the beautiful part, a quick glance on the eastern scene will tell a lot. When the divine is amiss all types of corruption,pollution and oppression are possible, Good people are anchor for the earth,like mountains from above, once they vanish ,that is no longer exercise their goodness in the earth ,the earth quivers and prone to die with its people.it is sad but is the truthful fate that overtook all previous oppressive regimes.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I’m certainly not denying that the Kiplingesque mentality is still here. That’s the nature of the reactionary mentality I’ve been writing about for some time. But it is, in some ways, global. It shares this in common with the Islamic State (ISIS) — a hatred of multiculturalism, pluralism, and diversity. There is no difference whatsoever between a fanatic like Anders Behring Breivik and a fanatic like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

      Fanaticism is one of the symptoms of the breakdown of reason — of the mental-rational consciousness. Other symptoms of the disintegration of the “ratio” in rationality besides fanaticism — paranoia, delirium, incoherence, loss of perspective in the sense of a disproportionate response to things and events. Since the “ratio” in rationality means proportionate or measured, the very principle of justice in the sense of the balance, the disintegration of the ratio would manifest as loss of balance, loss of proportionality, loss of any sense of justice.

      These are the symptoms we look for when we speak of the disintegration of the mental-rational structure of consciousness — the dissolution of the “ratio” that informs its principle of rationality. And up till recently, that “ratio” was a perspectivist construct represented by the pyramid of power — length, breadth, depth — a threefold construct or balance or ordering.

      With the disclosure of the fourth (the “dimension of time”) the perspectivist ratio is thrown into disarray, and in the global era the new ratio is fourfold not threefold or even twofold. So, this is that “double-movement” I’ve been talking about — one movement (the reactionary) straining backwards to a pre-globalist consciousness, another movement straining forwards (the revolutionary) towards a planetary consciousness. As such, these are very turbulent times.

      Many different historical traditions and identifies feel they must defend themselves against encroachment by other traditions and identities that is the inevitable process of globalisation, so even as traditionalists and nationalists in the East violently react to what they perceive as “westernisation”, traditionalists and nationalists in the West react just as violently to what they perceive as “Islamisation” of the West. This is the nature of the dialectics — the deeper the West gets involved in the East, the more the East becomes involved in the West. That’s the irony of it all. Some people (reactionaries through and through) find it intolerable that Rumi is the most popular poet in the West, or that Buddhism or Sufism are so appealing to those who can no longer, in good conscience, subscribe to the dogmas of the Christian Church.

      My point is, however, that these are not “alien” or “foreign” influences at all. East, West, North, South represent aspects of the fourfold human. This was Blake’s vision, as such, that the planet has a human shape, that human shape being the “Universal Adam” or Adam Kadmon. What Swedenborg called “the Grand Man of the Heavens” is, today, that astronaut who experiences the “overview effect”, and who realises that the boundaries between human beings are superficial and artificial. He acquires a planetary consciousness. He or she becomes “a global soul”. But the global soul is fourfold, and that fourfold soul is the conjunction or meeting of East, West, North, South.

      So, blind dialectics must become conscious dialogics. This shift from blind dialectics to conscious dialogics is the essence of Rosenstock-Huessy’s method of “synchronisation of antagonistic distemporaries”, and why his “cross of reality” model is a fourfold structure, not a threefold structure. This mandala-form is the new “ratio”, the new ratio that corresponds to our shared planetary reality. Dialogics must replace dialectics, in that sense, and that means a new emphasis on speaking and listening rather than on abstract logic.

  2. LittleBigMan says :

    The synergy between Krishnamurti and Bohm in these dialogues is unique and very absorbing.

    From the video that is currently being featured at the “Krishnamurti-Bohm dialogues,” there are a few excerpts that I found too irresistible not to mention:

    Minute 11:51 – 11:58: “Physically if I don’t react, I’m paralyzed. But to be reacting continuously is also a form of paralyses.”

    That’s brilliant. And not only it is true that to be reacting continuously is a form of paralysis, it is one way of going through hell in this life.

    At about minutes 31:00 – 32:20: Bohm and Krishnamurti are looking for an appropriate word or phrase for the “absolute” or that which has no limitation but projects itself onto all things – namely “God.” This happens again after minute 49. It was almost certain that neither one had read or even heard of “The Ever-Present Origin” at the time of the dialogue. The Ever-Present Origin was the phrase both were looking for.

    This dialogical method of the encounters of the sort that took place between Bohm and Krishnamurti needs to be brought to public schools. New and upcoming generations need to be taught to sift through all the crap that’s on the web, find these jewels, and build on the wisdom that is already there.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Krishnamurti was convinced the human race was going to destroy itself and that there was nothing to be done about it. He almost has me convinced.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        That’s good to know. As you have pointed out before, Seth warned of the same thing if humanity maintains its current course.

        If the macrocosm out there is anything similar to the exceedingly self-centered 40-mile radius microcosm in which I live, I don’t see how humanity can avoid a collapse of its socio-economic and elitist political systems. My only optimism is that after the rubber band breaks, what’s left of humanity will have a much better awareness of the Blakean vision.

        Mankind has shrunk himself down to a pebble and is not aware of what he has done.

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