Conscious Multiverse

Walking along my favorite stretch of the canal near Dawanglu, I came upon a King of Diamonds lying face up on the path in front of me. Of course I assumed it was meant for me. Through the years I have encountered nearly whole decks discarded on the streets of Beijing, the casualty no doubt of a lost or damaged card in the deck that seemingly warranted scattering the remaining cards to the wind. There are certainly plenty of people playing cards in the city, often gathering huge crowds, in a similar fashion to the Chinese chess matches that get small groups of onlookers very excited on occasion. So, it is not surprising then to encounter single cards, or small groups of cards as fate and the winds may blow them. It occurred to me a few years back when I came across a favorable card that perhaps I could take it as a good omen. Since that time, whenever I chance upon some cards dealt by the hand of fate, I don my divination cap and do a quick interpretation.

The King of Diamonds symbolizes the King of Pentacles, Disks or Coins, depending on your preference. Depending on your school of thought the exact meaning may vary, and one can never remove the context from the situation. As this card just popped up “out of nowhere” I went with a general indicator of the thoughts I hold most regularly and intently in my head. This is usually related to my goals of establishing an Ecovillage in China, the financing and realization of which is one of the primary drivers for my life in Beijing, but could also be related to any of a half dozen projects I’ve got boiling away. The King of Diamonds usually signifies a rich, powerful and successful man, often indicating that someone of that description is going to arrive on the scene. Nice! Maybe a new mentor? An investor?

I walked a bit further and eventually found the Ace of Diamonds, apparent sole surviving kin to the King out of the whole deck. This was a pleasant development, as the Ace represents the beginning of a new profitable venture, often at the culmination of a previous cycle (as the ten becomes a one). Taken with the first card, this appears to be a very good omen. Easy to go along with it when the cards are good! Of course, this isn’t always the case - I have come across a five of coins before, which really pissed me off at the time because I was going through financially tough times at the moment and didn’t wish to be reminded of it. For some reason, I do seem to come a across a lot more good cards though. Regardless of the future they portend, I enjoy passing time with the tarot of happenstance. Reddit Slashdot Digg Facebook Technorati Google StumbleUpon Furl Yahoo Ask Mister Wong China Newsvine Simpy Spurl Wink Rawsugar Squidoo Fark

is one of my favorite thinkers. In his book, , he describes how matter dreams. He summed it up in an interview one time and also managed to give a succinct argument for the idealist philosophy, where consciousness maintains primacy over materialsim.

The basic reasoning is simply this: we know dreams exist. We know dreams occur and that things dream. We know that every mammal, with the exception of two, dreams. The mammalian species that don’t dream are the spiny anteater, or echidna, and the whales and dolphins they don’t dream, which is that they don’t show Rapid Eye Movement, which is indicative of the existence of a dream stage in consciousness. So, when I say, “Matter dreams,” it is following a logical chain based on materialistic philosophy. The argument goes like this:

The universe is made of matter, and matter interacting with matter creates all the different physical phenomena that can be observed. Life and consciousness are ultimately physical phenomena that can be observed. So anything that is associated with life has got to be associated with material objects banging together, interacting. Therefore, it must be that the dream state and all conscious awareness must be something arising from interacting matter. So therefore one draws the conclusion that matter dreams. That’s the logical conclusion of the materialistic pointof-view.

It isn’t necessarily the conclusion I’ve come to, because I think that materialism itself is subject to some flaws as a base for understanding science. It seems that it’s overly reductionistic. And I don’t mind the reductionism so much as I mind the base on which the reductionism stands: the base is matter. I no longer believe that matter can be the base for the world. Matter itself must be a secondary quality. There must be a more primal quality before matter. In the same sense that there must be an implicate order, as physicist David Bohm would say, out of which consciousness and awareness arises, one would also say that there has to be some order, which is not directly perceivable, out of which matter and space and time arise. Reddit Slashdot Digg Facebook Technorati Google StumbleUpon Furl Yahoo Ask Mister Wong China Newsvine Simpy Spurl Wink Rawsugar Squidoo Fark

I’m sure you’ve heard people refer to someone as an “old .” After all, those who somehow manage to maintain composure while all hell is breaking loose around them often seem to have been around the block a few times. Of course, this brings up the question of which block and what exactly entails one circumnavigation of said block. Inevitably, we consider past lives.

I know it’s a question of semantics, but I prefer to think of them as alternate or parallel lives, as I believe we are living each of them, past, present and future, simultaneously. Decisions, thoughts, beliefs and actions in one life affect all others. The interesting thing is that if you trace the connections on “upward” you get to the point where you find assemblage points of what appear to be larger organisms of which we are mere parts. Even these “” out which all of we individuated ego-constructs form are mere divisions of yet larger pools of consciousness. Continue on up the chain and you reach the inevitable point where all is one. At least as far as we are capable of perceiving.

My take on “old souls” and “new souls” is that its a question of complexity rather than age. Each of us, in our earthborn forms, is a unique combination of traits. We are endowed with gifts and laden with burdens, which are actually gifts in disguise, though it may be hard to view them as such while you’re lugging them around. A brash, “young” soul may lack the sophisication and foresight of an “older” soul but it is also free of the liablities associated with a more complex system, such as fearfulness and rigidity, and will most likely posses far fewer neuroses. Where one might look down upon the simpletons who go about satisfying their carnal whims and fanices without ever giving thought to life’s mysteries, one also, no doubt, envies them their freedom to do so.

We are individuals. That fact alone is truly remarkable. But, just the fact that there are 400 channels on your TV doesn’t make them all watchable. In fact, many of them are quite boring. Except, perhaps, to the people who can relate. One man’s boring documentary is another’s riveting saga of heroism and adventure. Such are our lives.

Now, if you are going to fracture a large entity, namely an oversoul, or Oversoul, if you prefer, into many small entities in order to experience what it is like to be god* from every possible angle, any one of these viewpoints will likely make a god feel trapped in a frightfully limited form. Some roles are going to appear, on the surface, to have decided advantages over the others and others will appear to have all the cards stacked against them. We are all living the drama that is our lives. Who can say that any one life is less valuable input toward the totality of human experience? You obviously need it all or there would be no whole. Ordinary people are capable of the most extraordinary things. Even the people you detest most for their abominable behavior are just another you and are doing their best to live as gods in their tiny, limited worlds.

Yet, what of those “old souls?” How is that they seem to have found the answers this time around? I believe the balance lies in all of the horrific lives that have been led in our “past”, are currently being led and will, I pray to a lesser extent, be led in the future. Mind you, this is only my view and there are plenty of people who believe in a single soul which incarnates over and over again in a linear fashion. I don’t think my view is really that different except that it eliminates time, which I feel is an illusory construct of the physical universe, or rather a fundamental component without which the physical universe could not exist in its present state.

I think the problem is that it is very hard to avoid linear thinking when using a human brain to think with. It’s easy to look at the “bottom” of the scale and the “top.” In fact, we enjoy doing this so much, our lives are replete with dualities. Our tendency is to line things up, create scales and then measure where we lie along the axis. The way experience time is a marvelous example of our gravititaion toward such behavior. If you remove the limitation that all events must be played out in a linear fashion, however, you can appreciate how perfectly everything fits together to form the whole. You experience the totality of your existence, not merely the little lo res video clip you are currently viewing. From that perspective, it’s hard to think in terms of evolution, because everything just simply is. All of the gaps must be filled with something, however, and there is no space unoccupied. Now, zoom in on any single point and keep zoomimg. Keep zooming. Ah! There you are!

*My god is not your God, so don’t expect him/her/it/them/us to comform to your expectations. Reddit Slashdot Digg Facebook Technorati Google StumbleUpon Furl Yahoo Ask Mister Wong China Newsvine Simpy Spurl Wink Rawsugar Squidoo Fark

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