The universe goes infinitely in and infinitely out. We are a part of this. We are this and it is us. Jung said the movements of the heavens are reflected in the movements in the depths of our unconscious. Everything is connected. Everything is everything. Everything is. We are. It is.
Tarnas says the modern mind as we know it today can be seen as beginning with Copernicus. He revealed the Earth was not at the centre of the universe. This was a total mindfuck. It is inconceivable to us as a mindfuck now but it was.
The primal self saw (sees) no division between the world / universe / nature and us / humans. There are symbols, communication from the waves, the trees, two eagles in flight in the sky just as there are symbols, communication within us.
The modern self sees an impersonal, indifferent universe with all meaning contained in the self and falsely, unempirically projected from the self onto that universe.
I am not that far through Tarnas’ work yet but I agree with all of this. This all seems true.
The Enlightenment freed us from false religions, false rules, false threats and fears and rewards. Man put his faith in the empirical (the testable and provable), in the world of science.
This enabled (and enables) huge technical progress but a by-product of this is that we lose the feeling that we as humans are connected to the universe. In fact we are of the universe. We are part of it thus we are it. The universe is us.
Modern alienation. A feeling that the universe is indifferent. Why is the universe indifferent if we are it and we are not? We are not separate from it. We are of it. We are it. We are not all of it. But we are of it. We have heart, soul, love, lust, passion, hunger, joy etc so so does it.
I’m riffing on Tarnas’ ideas here but it does seem that we are trapped by a view of the universe as indifferent which makes us feel hopeless.
But religion is us. Made by us. We invented it for many reasons but part of it is hope. Without hope, life is not good. We need hope.
‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ Unanswerable. We are still in a universe that is mysterious to us. Even though some answers are found, we already know that all answers cannot be found. The most atheistic, secular explanation for the start of all existence is the big bang – a totally abstract, magical, mindblowing, mysterious concept that we can be too quick to dismiss as physics and therefore unspiritual. It is humans reaching an end to our science and our language and confronted with the unknown.
The mystery goes on within and without us in a myriad of combinations we can only feel and experience. I personally hold that language can act as a barrier to experience. Language is a set of rules like a religion or an ideology.
To see the self as isolated and insignificant is to miss the oneness of everything.
Tarnas discusses two modern world views – one sees modernity as pure progress, the other as pure destruction. Both are right and wrong.
We always talk in terms of being on a road or a path. We are always going somewhere. We are never just here. Here is where we are meant to be. Here is where we can change. All we know about the universe and humankind suggests hope, joy, sympathy, love. Be.