About two thousand years ago, Pantanjali (The Yoga Sutras) wrote in rather cookbook terms that if you sit down and quiet the mind and dedicate yourself to this practice, you will eventually gain supernormal powers (siddhis). – Ellis Nelson
‘The deeper we delve into the atomic world, the more we see that there is no solid; there are only relationships between energies. All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, everything you think of as the material world dissolves on the sub atomic levels. Literally reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent illusion.’ - Albert Einstein.
There are two concepts that have fascinated me for most of my life. The first is infinity, which I can remember as a kid keeping me awake wondering what was out there beyond the wall of existence; and the second came from year 10 physics and is explained by Einstein in the quote above - the fact being that most atoms are 99.9999999999996% space.
Infinity was postulated (circa 466 B.C.) by ‘the inventor of the dialectic’ - Zeno of Elea, and his concept of the opposite of finiteness was studied by most philosophers of the time. Even Aristotle wondered whether infinity could exist in a seemingly finite physical world.
Strangely enough the finite world is exemplified in the perfect geometry of the circle, the shape that our Suns and planets take; and yet the circle has a constant called Pi which, while being used practically to calculate areas and volumes, is an infinite number. So if the circle is perfection and it involves an infinite number then it should follow that perfection is infinite and ongoing – ‘never reaching the end’ – a reminder of the infinite nature of love and ‘nights in white satin’ for those old enough to remember that classic.
The other concept of matter being more an energy field than something solid, is shown by the curious fact, mentioned above, that the hydrogen atom which constitutes 75% of the mass of the Universe is 99.9999999999996% space. So the logical thinker would realize that if you squeezed all the space out of every human being on Earth, mankind would be no bigger than a sugar cube.
Given that the essence of humanity could fit in a sugar cube, I think it’s fair to say that the finite world is a perceptual reality defined by the energy fields of our sensory organs which include not only the five basic ones of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch; but also the sensory receivers for movement, balance, pain, heat, hunger, thirst, itchiness and the timing of toilet stops.
Then there are the less obvious senses: the passing of time (what time is it now?), the spacial arrangement of things (close your eyes and touch your nose), the detection of magnetic fields (which way's North?) and ultimately the Pantanjali superpowers of telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Maybe we all have superpowers but they’re just latent, and as any good wine taster knows, it just a matter of practice - or bullshit; as in the ‘someone’s looking at me’ sense which activates the ‘gaze detection system’ and lights up particular brain cells.
We can practice this one by making sure we maintain a sharp focus on the objects of our attention – as noted in courting ritual etiquette : ‘maintain eye contact’. This will give you more presence; but if you want anonymity then just focus half way between you and the subject – apparently the brain knows exactly where you’re looking.
The development of sense organs will depend on what we are born with big ears, and what your growth environment trips you up with. So how do we know our own strengths and potentials?
If you’ve got a few hours to spare gaining an understanding of the way your brain works then take a test and find out whether you’re a psychopath, or whether your an emotional sponge or if you’re tuned into your senses, classically dumb, etc, etc.
The website Psychology Today provides the following tests, along with many more (and I’m not owning up to how I did on the ‘Flirting Personality Test for Men’):
· How are your spacial arrangement skills? (I liked this one)
I covered this topic in a previous essay on the reality of global warming: ‘The ‘right’ equates happiness with material values and pursues dominion through the power of material mastery; while the ‘left’ relates happiness to harmonious social interaction and pursues command through the communication of knowledge and the organization of social structures.’
The ego prevails on the ‘right’ where you find the ‘self made man’, while the collective unconscious contributes to lefty thinking - and as I previously observed: ‘Throughout human evolution the ‘left’ has ruled when cooperation is a survival necessity while in more stable, prosperous times, power slides to the ‘right’ as we kick back and direct attention towards our own interests.’
Most people want jobs for their kids, refuge
for the homeless, protection for our ecosystems, non-polluting energy systems and democratic governments that actually bring
about changes. But it’s not happening! In this dishevelled 21st Century it would seem that the warnings of impending ecological
and humanitarian disaster are not yet at the panic button stage on either the left or the right of politics.
On occasions we dress up, get into social mode and party. The dress and behaviour attracts interest, but is there compatibility? Most don’t care, but those who see the songs of their own longings in full flight soon get hooked, and in our day it ended in marriage.
The conscious self creates its own dominion through the roles we play in life. The ego continuing to glory in itself until it gets
out of control and is censored by moral values that seep through the unconscious, or as Jung put it ‘...the Ego can only
be damped down by moral defeat’.
If a relationship is to last there has to be time set aside for meditative communion in personal and joint endeavours since this is the place where moral values can be heard over the 'look at me' demands of ego.
Compatibility contains the surface attraction of ego but more importantly it has within it the innermost feeling of 'this is meant to be' which waxes and wanes with time and circumstance. The individual understands the surface attraction presented in the dressage of daily rituals but as Jung noted, most people do not understand: '...the real psychic facts which are for the most part hidden from them.'
'Most people confuse “self knowledge” with knowledge of their conscious ego personalities. Anyone who has ego consciousness at all takes it for granted that he knows himself. But the ego knows only its own contents, not the unconscious and its contents.' - Jung
There must be something else preventing collective opinion from being turned into action and it would seem that the tactical approach of industry as given in the ‘Powell Manifesto’ of 1971 is still working today, as noted by Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics,Paul Krugman: ‘... the subtle exploitation by movement conservatives of racial and cultural resentments through small-government rhetoric, and of national-security fears, were key in the movement's ability to win national elections—even though its policies, concentrating wealth at the top, should be deeply unpopular.’
(Sept 17th – Sept 28th, 2015)
What is fascinating about Jung’s concept of the ‘unconscious’ is that it consists not only of the personal unconscious but also the ‘collective unconscious’, which includes an ancestry that predates human existence. Jung believed that the unconscious was the source of our most powerful ideas.
Jung’s conscious self is termed ‘ego’ and if you want to know which predominates in your reality then do the test above ‘Are you self-centred or compassionate’; the self is the ego and is self centred, while the feeling for others comes from the unconscious self. Both are equally important but even though Jung reckons the 'unconscious self' is the source of great works the ego is the boss since its regulates our finite reality.
Most of our opinions originate from the changing priorities we give to our egos or to our unconscious selves so let’s have a look at one of the most common dichotomies.
I had a crack at most of the above tests and they threw up a few nuggets; and no I didn’t make it as a psychopath (is that a double negative?). I guess if I did them again in another ten years time my reality might be different as my evolving self continues the integration process of ‘ego’ with ‘unconscious self’ as per the understanding of Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology.