Because the world is round...
It occurs to me that we are now actually in a new wave of spiritual revival... Boom de yada.
It occurs to me that we are now actually in a new wave of spiritual revival, actually and not just wishful-thinkingly. I think I’ll pick the sudden appearance of the TV show ‘Sensing Murder’ here in NZ this last two years as a marker. It’s the first time I think I’ve ever seen credible non-fictional psychics doing readings on mainstream TV, repeatedly, pragmatically and with a minimum of fuss. There’s still a ‘woo woo’ showbiz aura to the whole proceedings, but it doesn’t come from the psychics themselves; they’re the practical ones. We’ve moved from the paranormal paranoia of the X-Files ’90s onto the doorstep of a quietly mind blowing sense of at-home-with-the-paranormal normality and we’ve not yet quite stepped over the threshold, and that first step is going to be a doozy. But we’re actually there. We’ve somehow moved from denial to awareness-with-fear to acceptance-with-trust and the next steps are understanding and exploration and practice. It’s a moment I never thought I’d see (and more importantly, didn’t think I *wanted* to see for a long time). It’s a small moment, but it’s the start of a wind shift. Hang onto your socks. It’s going to be a big one.
This revival is going to be real, it’s going to be permanent, it’s going to be an actual paradigm shift and not just a set of words, and it’s going to overturn a lot of our expectations about what is and is not physically and cognitively possible. When the world stops shifting it is going to be something we can’t yet imagine. And it’s going to be *good*.
And how we are going to navigate the transition is not going to be clear-cut at all, but somehow I think we’ll get through okay.
There’s a reason why so many people are looking back at the steampunk era with nostalgia. I’m thinking particularly of the ‘psychic boom years’ from say 1850-1930, but also of the UFO and free energy hackers and the remote viewers and the many homebrewed alternative ‘ether theories’ of physics which are slowly looming out of the murk on the ‘net, and the recent sudden flurry of books on ESP, ‘The Field’, peace, social justice, compassion, kindness, whole-systems views, environmental awareness, altruism, community, responsibility, ‘Oneness’, and most especially all the ones of a mystical character, and most most especially all the *practical* mystics.
There’s like this vortex drawing our eyes back to the 1960s, the 1950s, even the 1930s and beyond back to the nineteenth century. All at once, not picking a single era to focus on, but just a general sense of ‘look around, look back, think again, end of the line, this is the wrong way, there is another future, perhaps you can think differently and cross over to it’. A sense of lost things, rediscovery, old surprising treasures.
When a wave of retro happens I think it’s because there’s something there in the past that we have forgotten and that we need; but the reason we realise we need it is that we’re *already* looking in that direction again.
This isn’t just retro and it isn’t just nostalgia. It’s pieces of a jigsaw puzzle which have been lost for nearly a century starting to come together and slide around and go *click*. New fundamental ideas about human cognition and the nature of basic physics. The potential for absolutely exhilarating, unprecedented new discoveries, not just tweaking the current status quo. Science and religion giving birth to experimental theology.
And no, I’m not talking about religion as a retreat from knowledge into a new dark age. That’s religion’s bad cousin who you’re right to have a creepy feeling about when he comes round. I’m talking about religion as an understanding of where old pre-modern concepts like ‘God’ and ‘the soul’ fit into the total map of human knowledge, and things long held to be inexpressible mysteries or really silly freshman logic mistakes suddenly starting to make sense and turn out to be tangible and actually just kind of ordinary.
Like if you’ve lived all your life believing the sun to be a myth, and suddenly the sky opens and above the grey fluffy mass of Heaven there appears this weird blue thing and a white ball that stabs and burns you in the eyes. So the ancient legends were true! It isn’t really yellow and made of crayon and doesn’t really have little lines coming down from it and a smiley face, but you can see that you’re looking at the original of the crumpled drawing you had that was handed down. Your ancestors *did* know something you’ve never seen and they *were* telling the truth as far as they could convey it, and here it is right in front of you.
And that impossible sun rises and you realise that other than that now you can see a lot better, life goes on much as before. There are struggles and confusions and cheques to be paid and sometimes it still hurts really bad. But you still remember the years of darkness and every time you see that big ball of fire steaming over the horizon you just have to giggle inside.
Because it’s there, and you thought it was lost forever, and it’s all true.
There *is* a way to gain the world without losing anyone’s soul in the process.
We didn’t think it was possible, all our equations told us that misery+happiness == zero. That the cosmic scales had to balance and the wages of carbon-based life were eternal death.
But the universe isn’t zero-sum after all. The vacuum is alive. It’s made of mind. It likes us. That’s a whole lot more than we were counting on.
What’s going to happen next is anyone’s guess, but whatever it is, it’s *already* happening.
Boom de yada.