Archive | February 2020

Truth: Ultimate and Relative

It’s quite simple, in a way. Buddhism, like early Christianity, makes a distinction between “Ultimate Truth” and the domain of “Relative Truth”, which is the domain we call “fact”. In Christianity, what Buddhism calls “Ultimate Truth” was called “the truth that sets free”.

The domain of Relative Truth is everything we might say, correctly and factually, about the world and our experience. But here lies the trap that we call “delusion” and “delusive mind”. The domain of Relative Truth is mistaken as being the primary realm when it is actually only the secondary, and then it mistakes “Ultimate Truth” as something derived and dependent upon Relative Truth rather than vice versa. This is “the veil of Maya”.

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The Teachings of the Four Directions

If a man has a why, he can endure any how — Nietzsche

What is it that allowed the early Christians to persevere and triumph despite the persecutions, repressions, and martyrdoms of the Romans? They had the symbol of the cross as shield, and also their own teachings of the four directions — Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John by name.

What allowed William Blake to endure the humiliations and indignities of his contemporaries? He had his fourfold vision and his intimate knowledge of the four Zoas as being “our Energies”.

Similarly, what will aid the indigenous to endure, persevere and eventually triumph over the Megamachine and the racist morons of “Single Vision” that threaten to roll over them? It is their own Sacred Hoop and teachings of the Four Directions — (the Megamachine being the realised form of “Single Vision”).

What imparts new potency and vigour to Gebser’s “integral consciousness”? Again, it is another version of the teachings of the four directions, only called “archaic”, “magical”, “mythical”. and “mental-rational” modes of consciousness.

There are lessons in these issues for understanding the full meaning of “fourfold vision” and the meaning of the mandala.

The Social Volcano

“The end of the Master Narrative” and what Jean Gebser calls “chaotic emotion” are correlated issues. Likewise, the “death of God” and the “return of the repressed” are optional ways of describing the same unfolding process. The end of the Grand Narrative is also the death of God, and chaotic emotion (the “New Normal”) is also the “return of the repressed”.

This “return of the repressed” is also the meaning of what Gebser calls “the irruption” or a mutation of the present consciousness structure. This term “irruption” is apt, for it corresponds in significance to what Rosenstock-Huessy also described as “the social volcano”. And the metaphor of the volcanic is, as we see today, very appropriate.

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