Homo sapiens is an experiment in consciousness that is failing. Why are we failing, and what would it mean to succeed as a species?
Not only the diversity of life on Earth, but the viability of all life is imperiled by man's rapaciousness. The vaunted victory of capitalism has enshrined selfishness and greed on a global scale.
The individual matters, not as the fundamental unit of capitalism and consumerism, or even so-called democracy, but because the freedom and creative potential of the individual is sine qua non of humanity.
Unlike words like "unpack" and "problematic," two philosophical terms that have become commonplace to the point of meaninglessness, this Latin term is not likely become a commonplace-sine qua non. It literally means 'without which, not.' That is, "an essential condition; a thing that is absolutely necessary."
Speaking personally, there are three distinct aspects of one's nature---contemplative, philosophical and political.
I've found a balance between the inner life and the intellectual life, but the political side remains...problematic.
Essentially, I've been working to combine vita contemplativa and vita activa (the contemplative life and the active life) within myself in a harmonious way. I've been failing.
Is it possible for a human being to live and grow as a human being in this culture? America and the West, indeed the world, continue to plunge toward the abyss, but I only know one other person who still gives a damn.
I feel the original and ongoing 'sin' (that is, mistake) is the psychologically infinite regress of thought and self. The domination of thought and self in human life is what separates us from the Earth, each other, and immanence.
A friend asked, "Are you talking about a state where the brain reaches a place of total superiority in which it acts and thinks without the conscious presence of the 'observer' or person?"
It's not a matter of 'superiority' of the brain. And when the psychological construct of the separate observer and self ends, if only temporarily, the person is still there, fully present.
So there is a state in which the fictitious observer yields to awareness, and the brain is simply observing, without the filter and operating program of the observer/self choosing and interpreting.
Though intellectuals and most philosophers deny it, when the observer ends, the brain simply observes things as they are in the moment. Our brains are in disorder because psychological separation and the tribalism of nationalism still rule us. Why that is so, and why does nature make awakening, much less illumination, such a high bar?
Mouthpieces of darkness moronically propose more of the disease as cure, uttering such treasonous trash against humanity as: "All we have to do is live up to this privilege of being American, because a million immigrant ancestors left it for us by suffering for it, by dying for the American Creed."
That's the sound of an ideology in its death throes. For those who are serious about meeting the human crisis, ending of the observer is the place to begin. One has to diligently do one's own spadework every day.
Observing without the observer is not too difficult. A person just has to take half hour a day to passively watch the movement of their thoughts and emotions, seeing them as a single movement without choice and choosing.
This caliber of watchfulness allows awareness to grow quicker than the infinite regress of the observer. Unwilled, undirected attention ends the observer.
Make the space and allow awareness to grow quicker than the ancient habit of the self-centered activity, which arises from the millisecond splitting off of the observer from what the brain is observing. It needs to be taught and shown by example to children. Then they will not become conditioned as Americans or any other divisive thing.
My friend asks, "I'm curious to know what the benefits of this would provide as opposed to not reaching this state?"
That's a strange question to my mind! Look how humans are destroying the earth and each other through division, conflict, greed and fragmentation. The ultimate source of man's disorder is the observer/self that separates and thinks first and last of itself.
Therefore the negation in methodless meditation of psychological separation is essential to heal the individual, and change the disastrous course of humankind.
I realize it is paradox, though hopefully not a contradiction, to attempt to convey in words that which is only possible when one lets go of words completely. Playfully experiment with observation!
Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
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