We’re all collectively bumbling along in our individually clumsy ways… and blindly. But we tend to be unaware, or disbelieve, or won’t admit, that we’re blind. We think we understand the nature of the universe – that we see clearly – but we don’t. Our lack of knowledge is profound and vast. I think this is because such understanding is unknowable to us because do not have the necessary faculties to see beyond our limitations. Science cannot give us any real and meaningful answers, though it arrogantly believes it can. This is because it can only tell us about things we have the capacity to perceive from one perspective (the human perspective), which is limited. Religion and spirituality cannot give us any real and meaningful answers, though it arrogantly believes it can. This is because religion is a bunch of unsubstantiated stories. Both science and religion tell us mesmerising stories, and though religion (but not science) offers emotional comfort, neither can help us transcend our ignorance.
William Blake: “When the doors of perception are cleansed everything will appear to man as it is: infinite.” Altered states of consciousness are fun and enlightening in the sense that they show us alternative perceptions, but not enlightening in the sense of showing us the nature of the universe. So, though I think Bill is right, I think it’s unrealistic to believe we can achieve such a thing.
So, we are ignorant because of our lack of knowledge, and arrogant because we believe we do actually know what’s what and – what’s more – that our version is the right one! Add to that the fact that we’ve been taught to believe that if the society of right-thinkers and right-doers wasn’t infected with the disease of the wrong-thinkers and the wrong-doers, heavenly utopia would be the natural state of things. What does this make us? Intolerant.
And in the midst of our ignorance, arrogance and intolerance, we accuse others of being ignorant, arrogant and intolerant. And that makes us… hypocrites.
This is who we are, folks. Suck it up.
We have lofty ideas of saintly goodness, but we can’t live up to them no matter how hard we try.
Eckhart Tolle: “If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion, peace.”
The secular world tells us to hang our head in shame for our ‘wrong’ doings. Secular society expects us to be saints. Most spiritual worlds tell us it’s okay to hold our head up because we are all loved (aka ‘accepted’, flaws and all) as children of the universe, no matter what we’ve done in the manifestation of our ignorance, arrogance, intolerance, hypocrisy, fear, panic and shame. Forgiveness is a given, and it’s unconditional, and we aren’t expected to be saints.
The spiritual guides of old – and new – understand this and offer comfort. We in the secular, materialistic, science-obsessed West have been taught to turn away from spirituality. But bit by bit, people seem to be turning towards the succour it offers. So what if it’s just a bunch of unsubstantiated stories? You don’t have to believe the stories are actual, real life, honest-to-goodness truths in order to receive the benefits of the comfort on offer.
(Sorry, don’t know who to credit artwork to. Let me know if you know.)