Spiritually speaking, there are no answers. There are only questions. Even enlightened human beings don’t have the answers. Indeed, they are continuously questioning, except when in a state of complete stillness and silence.
First, does the immanent intelligence (what some call “Divine Mystery”) of the universe care about the fate of humanity, or is the cosmos indifferent to the fate of creatures such as man?
Second, can the work of human transmutation, which appears to be in the hands of the gods, now be taken into the hands of human beings, so that it can flower and humanity change its disastrous course?
For me, the answer to these articles of faith is a tentative, and often tenuous yes. The only thing I’m certain of is the truth in the phrase “be still and know that I am God.”
That means, to my heart and mind, that in total attention the mind-as-thought falls silent, the undirected movement of negation is initiated, and the silent brain comes into contact and communion with the intelligence within and beyond nature and the universe.
All fear dissolves in awareness without thought, even the fear of death. Indeed, the living actuality of death is palpably felt as the ground of life. The cycles of birth and death arise from deathless death, and are as close as one’s inhalations and exhalations. (I don’t watch my breath, and the awareness of death as the ground only comes when one is completely still and empty.)
It may sound strange to feel certain of God, but uncertain that God gives a damn. But God to my mind is not an entity as a ‘Supreme Being,’ does not in any way stand apart from nature and the cosmos, and did not will the universe into existence.
This immanent God is within everything and inextricable from nature and the universe. The only creature that is separate from God on this planet is man. Of course that’s a complete inversion of Christian theology, which continues to egoistically put man at the center of creation.
Therefore the basic assumption that man matters most, or even that man matters at all, goes out the window. The capacity for consciousness (what we normally experience as consciousness is a state of semi-consciousness) is not random, but the evolution of creatures capable of consciousness is random.
The first question can be reframed as: Is there a cosmic mind that cares about the universe’s experiments in consciousness, or is she totally impassive?
If there is an intrinsic intent in cosmic evolution to evolve brains capable of awareness of Mind, then it stands to reason that there is an immanent intelligence that cares about even such misguided creatures as man.
The second question is even more difficult. Given what the world is and has become, it seems absurd to think that there may be such a thing as ‘the work to bring about the transmutation of man,’ much less that it’s in the hands of incorporeal gods.
Physicists now say that fully 95% of the matter and energy of the universe is unseen and unexplained. Projecting our own darkness upon that vast content because they can’t detect and measure it with present technology, they call it ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy.’ There hasn’t been a single photon observed from the collision with a single atom’s nucleus, so there is as yet no known interaction between 95% of the universe and the %5 we see and study.
You see where I’m going with this. The only explanation is that there are entire dimensions of energy and matter that underlie the known universe, about which we have absolutely no idea. Pardon the pun, but God only knows what exists in those dimensions.
The point is that without reverting to supernatural beliefs, there are more than enough unknowns about the universe to leave room for faith, and to test it.
Irrespective of whether there are beings in other dimensions however, the work here on earth of transforming ourselves from earth-killing humans into imperfectly harmonious human beings is obviously very old, and has had very little success.
The best line Brad Pitt ever uttered in a movie is: “The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed.” (“Troy”)
Are we doomed? Frankly, as an emerging human being, I don’t care about the gods. Perhaps that’s the only attitude by which we can grow into one of them.
In any case, the work of human transmutation has to be in our hands, if it is to happen.