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Co-Developing the Noosphere
to make our human Collective
Painting at Lascaux, France (Homo sapiens sapiens Cro-Magnon, ca. 25.000 BC)
by Beatrix Murrell, 12 August 2002
As George Leonard put it:
Spiritual realization has always involved its own eliciting environments,
going back to Paleolithic times, to shamanism.
Think of the shaman's inductions that we have seen in surviving Stone Age cultures
--drums, chants, dances, fasting, psychotropic substances.
Then there were the Mystery Schools
of ancient Greece, Syria, Persia, and Egypt
with their elaborate religious dramas and rites of spiritual transformation.
The Vedic culture in India further elaborated
what I'm calling the eliciting environment
to new beauty and sophistication through yogic practice,
the poetry of sacred texts, and the teachings of great spiritual masters.
We can continue through
Taoism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam,
and other adaptations, each of them, at best,
developing ways of eliciting the latent spiritual potential
that exists in each of us.
This is in line with the ideas of the nineteenth-century German idealists
such as Schelling and Hegel and the Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo in this last century,
who felt that spirit or divinity has involved itself
in the universe from the very beginning
and that it is gradually and sometimes fitfully manifesting itself
through a process we call evolution...
This is that Great Continuum of which I speak.
This great Spark, or Spirit, or Imago (that we mentally perceive)
that has lurked in the corners of our life since the Cro-Magnon drew in their caves.
This Imago has been expressed in so many different ways, over and over.
And as our consciousness evolves, so does the Imago.
As for the Christ Imago, it's there in spite of religion's failings.
Why? It's there because the level of a small few of Humanity's consciousness
is reaching toward a Christ-Life.
This Christ Imago is one of our more advanced interpretations
of the Mystery that has dogged us throughout our existence.
But this Christ Imago is a two-way street,
different from much of the god-imagery come before.
It's not only about believing,
but it's about living-out the Imago.
In the past we placed this Imago in places,
on totem poles, in trees, in magic birds, in arks, in temples, in churches.
We placed this Imago always outside of ourselves.
With the Christ Imago we have finally the Mystery living Within us.
Now this Within-ness is significant,
I believe, for any kind of evolutionary advance of which Teilhard dreams.
There's Teilhard Within,
but it's not just a Cosmic Plenum that stands alone,
seperate from the varied aspects of Creation.
This Within is spread through and through,
right into our very own bodies and minds.
The challenge is Awareness.
Yet, I have felt quite down about this challenge, alas!
However, a listening friend notes:
But your "alas" is, for my feeling, too pessimistic.
I've the impression that we form here a virtual community
somewhat comparable with that of the first Christians,
of the gnostics of Thomas's time.
I would agree to some extent.
I've poked around the Internet for well over a decade now,
and it would seem the great spiritual discussions of Humanity
are being carried forth via this great global Communications Tool
--rather than at institutional levels, in churches, etc.
I've been down perhaps
because I have been looking in the wrong places for this Awareness.
I feel bad,
not just because I haven't found it in churches
--in my own places of worship--
but because a lot of the good folk I have come to know there
simply are not aware of this special Within-ness.
It's not only frustrating, but strange
--in that oft their religion actually points to this Within-ness.
It's just that the focus is so exoteric, so dull really.
And if there is a small outcropping of this Within-ness in these evironments,
the level of awareness there usually borders more on magic
than on anything approaching evolutionary consciousness.
It's a shame,
because whole segments of people in our world simply have not arrived.
This non-arrival in much of our institutional religious systems
unfortunately has a negative impact on those souls
who are indeed becoming more aware.
Perhaps I am just being impatient.
It's just that I have felt so isolated in my various religious communities
whether the Benedictine community where I have long been an oblate.
It's all about rituals, potlucks, lady's bazaars, or scapulars,
monk's robes, how to bow correctly, etc.
Maybe there's a real need for all this exoteric activity, a need for greater socialization.
I suspect so,
because our species is deadly when it isn't properly socialized.
But, alas, all this does reflect on the slowness of our evolutionary progress.
Not very far along in terms of Teilhardian thinking.
John Heron: Moon Temple at Night
Groups like ours reflect a new Awareness.
It's just that all these similar groups on the Internet,
becoming more aware through honest and sometimes difficult discussions,
seemingly are standing on unsteady ground.
Many of these Net groups have very flimsy anchors,
little stability where one may come and go as they please.
Also many I have encountered on the Net
--trying to become more aware--
are woefully ignorant of Humanity's spiritual history.
It's a shame, because we need the strong catapult of our spiritual history.
Otherwise we flounder around re-discovering the archaic
and oft interpret it as the "New Age."
And many retreat back into the archaic forms of consciousness,
rather than building upon it to leap forward into ever greater,
more sophisticated forms of conscious Awareness.
Maybe I might be wandering into dangerous territory.
But I feel also that so many of us cannot tap into this Within-ness,
mainly because we have not learned how to walk in our own inner world.
It's a whole new universe we face,
when we encounter this inner world that lives within us.
More than often we swim in its seas mostly unconscious,
rather than learning how to tap into its bountiful resources.
It's just sad, really.
So maybe I'm a little depressed as well as impatient.
I'm somewhat frightened as well.
We live in a technologically advanced world,
whereas our consciousness remains a sleepy-head.
It shows! And it's shameful,
what with all the killing and deranged actions of this past century
--that even now are seeping into this new millennium.
Advancing on a technological level,
yet refusing to become more conscious
has made for a far more dangerous world.
And, yes, we are building a noosphere of sorts,
but thus far it's quite dysfunctional and somewhat deranged upon occasion.
This is not yet the evolutionary advance
that we could hope to call Teilhardian!
Still--we must go on, keep trying, and work hard.
Even today there are great souls toiling
to make our human Collective more conscious,
more aware of the sacredness of Creation,
of the sacredness of which we are all a part.
May Providence remain tolerant, as we stumble
Beatrix Murrell <> [email protected]
Stoa del Sol: Science.Systems.Spirit
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