Miscellaneous Metaphysical Musings
Several creation myths start with Kaos under one name or another. Genesis describes the earth as formless and void. In a very personal way we are each of us like tiny islands in a sea of unknowing. As we grow and age, we extend our lands and share them with out kith and peers, but the vast amount we will never know or experience dwarves the pittance we call our lives.
In Sophie's World, Jostein Gardener uses the image of a white rabbit's fur, itself a nod to Alice In Wonderland. Most of us , he says, prefer to snuggle down safe in the depths of the warm fur, and lead uncomplicated lives. A few, the philosophers, climb to the furthest extent of the fur and reach out to the unknown.
During our lives we build link density, and as part of this we usually adapt patterns of activity or inactivity – habits. These limit us. In fact ageing can be seen as increasing inflexibility, of mind, body or both. Death in this case can be seen as a release from the burden of accumulated patterns.
As noted previously, we expend part of our attention on maintaining existing links. As part of this, everything we posses demands a part of our attention. This could be why Christ instructed his disciples to leave everything and indeed everyone behind and follow him. Several Eastern religions also advocate poverty. Both Buddhism and Hinduism have a tradition of Holy Men or Women that posses very little more than the clothes that they wear.
Both this observation and the above on death suggest that life is geared to long term change. If successive generations did not die then all resources would quickly be consumed and continuation of the species stifled. The 'aim' of this change, if it has one, seems to be ongoing improvement and refinement.
Once whilst in a literature class, I took exception the the lecturers obvious contempt for and ignorance of alchemy. In fact I don't know a whole lot about it even now, and knew a lot less then. The common view of alchemy, if someone has even heard of it these days, is that it is concerned with turning lead into gold and that it was practised by charlatans and misguided magicians. This description is only partly accurate and leaves out such a lot.
Alchemy has existed in many cultures alongside divers religions. Turning base metals into gold was seen as hastening a natural process whereby all things approach perfection over time. Naturally this was extended to the practitioner, and part of the work of any competent alchemist could be devoted to refining themselves. Side benefits included the overcoming of disease, and another well known goal which was the attainment of immortality.
To me alchemy seems to be an iterative process of continuing refinement. Significantly the stages involved include both breakdown and build up. Viewed in terms of link density, and referring to my speculation that life is geared to continuous change and refinement, alchemy does seem to be in sympathy with the rest of nature. The idea that immortality involves continual change and refinement makes sense. Imagine trying to live in this age according to the mores and rules of the Elizabethan age for example, it would be an exercise doomed to failure.
Having said that for all levels the 'good' of link density is acquiring more links to so increase link density, it struck me that I had then suggested that death is a release from the links, and further that religious giants including Christ and Buddha had advocated giving away ones possessions and leaving ones old life behind to follow in their footsteps.. These two notions may seem to be in conflict with one another. Are we supposed to increase link density or not?
The resolution of this I think lies in the quintessence – the fifth level. The good of the spiritual level is to link to all. I suggest that this linkage is not possessive. To illustrate this, if I seek to link up to 'my God' then my link will be to a narrow node of my own making. To describe God is to limit it and how can one limit the limitless? I think the link to all I am clumsily describing might be termed love, but that word itself has many meanings, so this may not be helpful. The work one undertakes in the quintessence involves a release of ones preconceptions, ones ideas and finally oneself. Religion teaches us that it is not possible to look upon the face of God and live. This might translate that it is impossible to approach God and retain ones self. Every I is All. To Know God one must become selfless, one must become eternity undivided.