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..:: Energy ::..


Alan Schneider


              Energy in some form or other is the necessary and causative agent responsible for all transition in the universe, including the “universe” of consciousness within humanity.  The vast array of observable internal and external events do not simply happen – they are driven into manifestation by energetic first principles.   In the external, physical sense, these are the fundamental forces of physics – gravity, electromagnetism, and the nuclear forces.  In the realm of psychology and consciousness, these are the basic physiological instincts, autonomic responses, wakeful mental processes, and the archetypes of the collective unconsciousness.  Regardless of whether we perceive the external world known through the physical senses as the most real one, or the observable world as experienced in those senses, there is no such thing as a causeless effect anywhere. 

            The situation of dualistic perception mentioned immediately above is customarily referred to as Psycho-Physical Dualism, or The Mind/Body Problem, and is well illustrated by Descartes’ classical example of the evident circumstance that, on one hand, we seem to have externally observable brains, and on the other, this observation is itself presumably occurring in the unperceived brain of the observer.  Is the brain or the observation more primary?  Logic would seem to dictate that both cannot simultaneously be true, but this is actually an indication of the need for a more expansive dialectic that represents the synthesis of these apparently conflicting viewpoints. Presumably, from a sufficiently expanded observational perspective, this matter is resolvable. What might this perspective be?  

            Western science (indeed, science anywhere) demonstrates many such quandaries,  including Heisenberg’s famous Uncertainty Principal, wherein it is not simultaneously possible to know or measure a particles position and velocity, and the well known wave-particle nature of light, in which light behaves like a wave largely until it is observed, at which point it assumes the characteristics of a particle, and there are many others.  All of these apparent conflicts are resolved when one underlying process is finally noticed and itself subjected to scrutiny – the focus of conscious thought – the ego.   

            With the examination of this subtly elusive background state present in the mind, an often extended series of subsequent revelations can occur, including the fact that its existence is primarily a social, acculturated phenomenon – without the ongoing reinforcement of social events (frequently with the added adjunct of alternative awareness techniques) it eventually disappears from consciousness.  Once “I” realize that “I” do not really exist in any literal sense, the gateway is opened for the consideration of what, if anything, does.  And, in fact, a great number of things “do” intrinsically exist within the field of consciousness, in an ascending order of presence and spiritual importance, culminating with the Self, mentioned so often in these essays.  Now, there are many “names” for this fundamental Presence – God, the Soul, the Atman, the Jivatman, Yahweh, the Buddha Mind, Jehovah, Allah, Ahura Mazda, the “I AM” Presence, the Godhead, the Brahman, the Great Spirit, Kether, the Supernal Triangle, the Tao, and many more – but the most scientifically “valid” term is simply the Self, in deference to C. G. Jung, its progenitor.  This in no way diminishes its potency or importance as the supreme spiritual concept – if anything, it affirms and increases it by rendering this identity of identities in terms that can be subject to rational, cross-cultural, and scientific discourse.  

            In postulating only the presence of the archetypes and archetypal symbols within the collective unconscious (and, although it most certainly is much more than simply there, the Self is just such a symbol), Jung honored “Occams Razor” – the principal that, given a number of theories concerning something, the simplest one that explains the data is the most preferable.  The Self enjoys special status among the archetypes, however, because it is the theoretical source of them all, indeed, of all consciousness whatsoever, hence its location at the center of the Sphere of the Psyche.  

            It is most important to note here that my experience of the Self is not the only one possible, nor has the perception described been the only one of the Self that I have had over the years.  The Self is above all a supremely mutable phenomenon, ever changing and yet fixed at the center of the Psyche – if Jung was correct, as I believe he was, then some version of this Presence exists at the core of every individual consciousness, the collective human group consciousness, and the Universal Mind (Psyche) as well.  It is the function that is most significant here, not the symbolic form, which remains subject to cultural interpretation, even at this ultimate level.  

            The Self represents, and consists of,  primal psychic energy – it is this energy that drives human consciousness into perceptual manifestation.   In my case, the energy was experienced as pure white Light and unconditional cosmic Love, but this may also have been the result of residual acculturated influences driven deep into my mind by rigorous conditioning.  One can only say that the Seers of history have often used similar terminology to describe the ultimate human experience of the Divine and Sublime – this much seems to be somewhat consistent across cultures and throughout history.  

            I have often referred to the Self through the lens of Chaos Theory, portraying it as the ultimate strange attractor, generating all subsequent experience from beyond the boundary of observation.   This may very well apply to both internal and external states, since no person can claim to be completely free of cultural influences.  These influences are very pervasive, and include our essential perceptions of the physicality of the body, the senses, the world, and universe, hence, we cannot say with certainty what is “out there” in existence, or even what is “in here” either.  The only conclusion that I have found to be personally satisfying is the one that views all of existence, whether internal or external, as a continuum of conscious expression – even rocks and other supposedly inert “objects” present in Creation assume a new dimension of insight when viewed as conscious constructs.  

            In this sense, the physical world may also be viewed as a complex expression of consciousness.  I prefer the term “Karma” as the descriptor of this condition of physical “intelligence”, and have concluded that it amounts a Divine “mirror” in which our personal consciousness is reflected.  If we have done much spiritual work, then the pure light of the Self  (or Soul, or Atman, if you prefer – Jung did not specify this distinction) can shine through in the mirror.  If not, then the spiritual identity which one does possess is reflected with equal fidelity, regardless of its personal content. The ultimate achievement within this system is the perceptual realization of the Self as the final expression of  all conscious identity, from the personal to the collective.  

            In considering the Self as an amalgam of primal psychic energy, we are following Jung’s example of conceptual conservancy.  Even though this energy may express in the differential forms of archetypes, archetypal symbols, and so forth, it remains concealed from primary observation as a strange attractor phenomenon.   All that can be said of it with certainty (if we even accept it as a real observation) is that it acts on global awareness by apparently creating that awareness en toto.   There may well be a universal continuum of energy that will eventually be understood as something like Theodore Reich’s Orgone energy – a root creative energy much like the Freudian libido or the Yogic Kundalini energy.   Certainly, the conception of a continuum of consciousness acting everywhere in creation is a step in this direction, although this does not explain the physical forces of nature already mentioned in this essay (e.g. gravity).  Perhaps these forces can be best understood as the results of the will of the Self acting on unexpressed existence to create enough order out of its own primordial chaos to sustain Karma and the universe, and both then subsequently observable by humanity – a kind of cosmic gift to the Soul from the Soul.   Even the cycle of birth and death is explainable in this rubric – the drive for as many human observational “expressions” as possible across time would necessitate this turnover to continue the process at optimal efficiency, and manifest the Self under conditions of optimal potency and Presence.  Of course, this all remains conjecture, but today’s dream is tomorrow’s reality!


                                                                                - With Love, Alan -

                                                              (Copyright 2009, by Alan Schneider)


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