When we come to a realization of a new reality, it is amazing how much that opens up and changes our lives. Think of when you got your driver’s license and got behind the wheel of your parent’s car for the first time alone! What freedom, what exhilaration, what a new world just opened up to you! You just made a huge levelling up on the independence scale! And after a few moments of this new found view of your world, you couldn’t imagine how you survived without that piece of paper in your wallet. It must be what a butterfly thinks as it’s remembering its life as a caterpillar: a complete metamorphosis. And this brave new world also comes with a caveat: once you’ve rung the bell, you can’t unring it. Once you know something that will change your point of view, your point of view is forever changed.
I’ve had such a world view changing experience this past week. I have been delving into the nature of consciousness and the human condition. Max Planck, a physicist and the father of quantum physics talks about consciousness as the matrix upon which matter finds its existence: a Universal Consciousness over all matter. From the simple single atom to a rock, to a one-cell amoeba, to a tiger and to a human being, all find their source in consciousness. Certainly we, as humans, have a self aware consciousness that is far above that of the amoeba, but how far below us might the whale or the great ape find itself, if below at all? And who is to say that we are at the apex of this Universal Consciousness. Upon further investigation, the deeper we peer into outer space, we will undoubtedly discover that there are beings or entities in the cosmos that are as far above us in consciousness and awareness as we are above a rock.
There is only one reality: Consciousness. Everything, absolutely everything, begins and ends here!
I suppose you could call Universal Consciousness ‘God’, but for me, that word carries far too much baggage. Say the word ‘God’ to ten different people from ten different areas in the world and you’ll get at least 20 different definitions of what it means, many of them contradictory, even when coming from the same person. I think of the word ‘God’ and I am immediately on my knees at church looking up at some Zeus-like being ready to judge me for my sins. I think it’s best for me at least to refer to it as Universal Consciousness or, as one writer called it, the Big ‘C’.
I am connected to all who have lived, on Earth, and on all planets!
Let’s carry this a little further into the theory of quantum physics. If all matter, which is built upon the framework of Consciousness, is twisted together in an intricate web of connection then it cannot be separated: quantum entanglement, then that means that all matter, whether here on earth or thousands of lightyears away, is One. And all Consciousness is also One: Universal. The space that is between you and me doesn’t separate us. It unites us into one, both in body (matter) and spirit consciousness. As well, the consciousness that each of us possess can be seen as part of the single Universal Consciousness. For me, this is a far more compelling concept of my relationship to the divine than an old man on a throne throwing thunderbolts: a concept that I could never go back to now that bell of Universal Consciousness has been rung.
But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can’t miss it. Alice Walker, The Color Purple
I sense that unity with all things, both seen and unseen. I feel like I have stepped out of the Platonic Cave and out of the shadows that I thought were reality and into a new light of being. I am part of the whole complexity of Universal Consciousness. And when we as human beings start to see how alike we are, the insignificant differences will fade away and we will work toward a better understanding of being a part of everything. Body and Soul. And when we have finally seen that, then perhaps we will begin to understand that which unites us with the rock, the animal, the planet, and the Universe. Matter and Consciousness are One.
I am intricately entangled with all life, all matter, everywhere!
This is one bell that can’t be unrung. And it is going to take some more time to fully unpack what it means.
Please share your ideas about this with me in the comments on this or any other article in Recovery River. Thank you.
One thought on “RINGING THE BELL”
Good thoughts raising provocative questions. The most I can affirm at age 72 is a sort of existential graciousness, benevolence or fecundity permitting everything and every thing. I struggle for words and even what I’ve tried to express is inadequate. It’s from this perspective that I read your reflection and understand “Universal Consciousness”. Stripped of all sentimentality and superstitious religiosity, the term I use to ruminate about the ground of all being is Love. This comes through in my fumbling affirmation above. It can be a really bumpy ride getting to and from, but as I increasingly consider my eventual demise, all I’m able to speculate upon is but a well considered hunch — we come from love and we return to love! More than that, I’m increasingly suspicious who posits anything more (certainly anything descriptive)!
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