Saturday, December 29, 2012

Evolution of Belief: Crossover Event - Occupying Myself

WARNING: Occupying Myself blog entries may be triggering to some readers. At times I address the abuse in my childhood with humor, irony and sarcasm; this may offend many. Comments will be read and moderated. 

We've been having a lot of fun watching the dogs pray. So does your Westie pray to an object of reverence?

The most likely Original Deity of our species would have been an archetypical version of Mitochondrial Eve. But our Greatest Grandmother, the First Of Us All, is dead. She cannot hear or respond to requests. She does not require that anyone admire Her glorious qualities, or rehash their personal failings. Indeed, since She lived long before spoken language developed in our species, words are pretty much pointless. To revere Her is to be minus the luxury of Objective, Live, Listening Presence.

But, similar to the followers of the various sky-gods, I can frame myself in reference to a psychological projection. I can  compare my fortitude to the courage of a Woman entirely unique among Her people. She knew Aloneness more pure than any isolation felt since. She would have been acquainted, like we all are, with every physical discomfort and lack; every instinct and impulse; pleasure and disappointment.

I can see what there is of Her in Me. If that's prayer, then I do pray. And it feels more natural and safe to engage in these meditations without conversation.

As a child, any time I asked a sky-god for anything, as I had been coached to do, I received the opposite. When I found myself needing relief from unbearable circumstances, Conversational Prayer yielded...more circumstance.

Did a lack of positive response prove that sky-gods do not exist? Not exactly. But it was confusing, to say the least, that sincere, respectful prayer netted me red-hot, angry scorpions.* The great Masculinized Collective Psychological Projection seemed always in a mood to smack me back into the arms of bad people and painful circumstances. My wisest course of action lay in leaving off drawing attention to myself.

I sank into Silence. Watched my feelings, thoughts and wants arise, drift about and dissipate. Oppressive and painful circumstances revealed themselves to be in flux with beauty and aspiration. Everyone receives circumstances, rising or falling with them. Filtering random experiences through a cyclic, generative female body domesticated my terror and encouraged me to seek the meaning behind pain messages. It took many cycles to reunite with that awesome, circumstance-mangled body, my teacher. My home.

The Sheness of our origins ultimately exited me from the widely-accepted, abusive Way. Onto this narrow road where I move forward through circumstances one step at a time, all on my own.**

Some people employ prayer as a means of adhering to prescribed behavioral codes and prohibitions. Many use it as an affordable and ever-handy way of contacting archetypes and subtle ego projections (i.e., therapy). And some few slip in-and-out of tangible nothingness just long enough to verify the singularity of their journey. A metaphysical glance left and right to prevent them drifting into someone else's lane.

Be well - your Westie loves you!

 *Luke 11.1-13
**Matthew 7.13-14

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Evolution of Belief: Calling All Consciousness

Some time around 7000 B.C.E., mankind  began to deify thunder storms. To the modern mind, this seems strange and incomprehensible. Storms only possess the energy they passively acquire according to laws of physics. They neither create nor direct anything actively or sentiently. Yet people very quickly began to treat them as though they do, and continually tried opening reasonable dialog with these sky-gods.

I'd like to suggest that our relationship with wild and domesticated canids had a great deal to contribute to this conversation. These species may well have started the whole thing.

You see, animals live in a world where SOUND = LIFE. Something rustles in the thicket: it's either something stalking you as lunch, or it's something hiding from you, and worth pursuing as a potential meal.

When wolves are left by their parents for a period of time, the reply of their mother across the valley reassures them that She Still Lives. No reply to a midnight howl? Evidence that She may have ceased to be. When this evidence reaches a critical level, grief begins.

Domesticated dogs cry for their family members (if they learn the language as youngsters), and can hear sounds of insect life in the walls of their houses long before their human companions detect visible symptoms of infestation.

Here on the hillside, we have a few poopsies (notably, Followers) who talk back to the weather. All the while displaying ambivalence: is the approaching thunder something to hide from or defy (confront/attack)? They remain indifferent to lightening strikes, ignoring the visible (and actual) danger they pose. Animal consciousness finds its likeness through sound.

Did our Bronze Age ancestors, confused by their experience of global warming and atmospheric volatility, take a cue from dogs? If it makes a sound, it lives. If it lives, it has measurable power, is independently motivated, and can be engaged on its own terms.

In a very short time, historically speaking, we managed to ascribe infinite power to a select few sky-gods, dismissed the mind's right to question their motivations and have made no real progress as far as negotiations are concerned. Which may be to say: we've made no progress at all from the primordial declaration of BOOM-WOOF.

Did we domesticate wolves in an attempt to horn in on their cosmic chit-chat? I know we all feel fancier saying we wanted to use dogs as sentinels and garbage disposals, but I'm beginning to suspect that that is all a lie.