Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Yesterday I received some feedback encouraging me to attempt to "convince the organism that it's really one thing."
By "organism" my friend meant the Earth as seen through James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis, by way of the deep ecologists and the Wiccan folk. Peter Russell's vision of a global brain is another source of the idea, that the Earth is a discrete, living organism complete with an evolving consciousness comprised of all the minds on the planet taken together.
I used to be really enamored of the global brain idea, and I believe it still holds water when you're using it to look at the internet's effects on society. A scientist might scoff, but it's hard not to see how societal structures are developing in the context of internet-mediated communications, and that these structures are somewhat analogous to structures found in some form in the human mind.
But the idea that we're all part of a larger global being is not the same brand of "oneness" as the truth pointed to by the nondual philosophies. Put another way, our being "one" has nothing to do with us being parts of anything. We are whole, each unto ourselves, and that wholeness is shared by all. In the context of this brand of "oneness", nothing exists apart from it. It is all, and yet it is only itself. Everything we know as the world is contained by this oneness, but this oneness is blind to all the world's kaleidoscopic affairs.
Oneness only has eyes for oneness.
The commotion we call life is like the Eveready bunny. It got started way back when and it will keep going until well past whenever. Oneness has been the bunny's marching grounds, but the ground doesn't pay attention to the bunny, and the bunny doesn't give the ground a second thought.
In Hindu shaktism (worship of the Divine Mother) this is illustrated by the pairing of Shiva with Shakti as the composite deity known as Ma Kali. To Her devotees, Kali is the entire manifest universe, our bunny. But Kali stands on an immobile Shiva, prone beneath Her feet and seemingly unconsciousness. He isn't. Shiva represents the oneness that knows only itself and Kali represents being in its form as everything else. They are eternal lovers that never get a chance to see one another.
Except when they together take the form of an individual person.
From Kali's perspective, each person is a puppet which She manipulates though their life by being them and their lives. Shiva lives as the light in each person's heart, providing the core of being upon which that person's existence rests. Most of the time the person never knows themselves as 'this' which lives in their heart. But sometimes this understanding is revealed in the context of a person's life. Only then does Kali look down from Her completely insane activities and gaze into the eyes of a Shiva who is now fully awake.