RadhaKrishna-a

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Archetype of God/Goddess

This archetype arises out of the paradox of human existence. If an ancient human being saw a modern adult step out of a helicopter, talk to distant people using a small decorated ‘stone’ (mobile phone) they held in their hand, and produced images immediately using a digital camera or video, they would believe the person to be a god. The paradox is that what the ancient man or woman see as a god is a fulfilment or projection of their own potential. They are the ancestor of this modern person.

A fundamental process of what we call the mind or consciousness is to give form or words to abstract experiences or things sensed. When we dream this becomes amazingly obvious. The emotions, conflicts, sexual urges we feel are put into imagery and drama in our dreams. If we strip away the images we are left with raw feelings insights and urges. The dream imagery makes it all so much more memorable and clear. If we experience fear while we sleep that might be memorable. But if we dream of being chased by a two headed monster like a snake, that sticks with our waking awareness with greater intensity.

The point being made is that even the most subtle things we sense – out of the corner of our eye as it were – can be dramatically represented in imagery either while awake or asleep. While awake such realisations are called visions, but are expressions of the same dream, process breaking through into waking. See: hallucinations and hallucinogens.

The development of self awareness presented the human animal with an enormous and perhaps traumatic change. Prior to having any sense of being a person, the early human being was constantly directed either by instincts or learned behaviour  common to the group. They didn’t have to make decisions or think about what to do. Millions of years of experience had etched instinctive responses into them. Also, tens of thousands, or even millions of years of collective learned behaviour was passed on in the same way non-human mammals pass on skill to their young. As an example of this, a wonderful study of the African wild dogs showed the power of this. The dogs had been wiped out in a large area and attempts were being made to reintroduce them. A documentary film showed two packs of dogs. The one pack were established, and had arisen from an unbroken line of descent and social relationship for thousands of years. The second pack had been reared in captivity and released in the wild with some support. The descended pack showed enormous social skills in acknowledging and supporting each other’s rank, in working together to hunt, in feeding the pups and mutually caring for them, and in sharing food with those who stayed to care for the young. See The Conjuring Trick

 The released pack didn’t have any of those skills. The information was not being passed on to them from a previous generation. They couldn’t work together. They fought amongst themselves instead of respecting leadership. They didn’t share food but fought over it. They all quickly died. The unspoken wisdom of generations had not been passed to them. They had no survival skills. Perhaps this reminds us of some people in our society today, whose parents pass on terrible or anti social survival skills, and points to possible causes.

The arising of self awareness was like a massive new input impinging on this ready made wisdom early human beings lived with. When the split came and the new self awareness became more dominant there was a great sense of loss, and what had been an everyday part of them was now felt as distant or exterior to them. Because the instinctive or unconscious survival wisdom had been everything to them, their dream process of giving form to such an intangible, showed it as a great parental figure. It was the great Mother/Father out of which they had emerged. In fact becoming self aware was akin to being born, to emerging from an immense and ancient womb. This is clearly stated in story form in Genesis. It says, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden. And Jehovah God called unto the man, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

If we take Jehovah here to mean the enormous ocean of mind, instincts and behaviour early humans were guided by, and the awakening to the arising of self awareness, then the fear is that of being swallowed up, of losing their new and vulnerable identity in that ocean of creative life. They were truly naked of the instinctive knowledge that had previously guided and supported. Ancient races such as the Kalahari Bushmen in fact say their great fear is the loss of soul – identity – by being swallowed up again in unconsciousness. i.e. in loss of self awareness.

Obviously this is conjecture, but it is conjecture based on anthropological studies, on the exploration of the deep unconscious in modern people, and in recovered experience from depth psychology. The outcome in ancient and modern humans is that there is still a sense, an ‘out of the corner of the eye’ awareness of the enormous depths of mind within us shading right back to pre-consciousness and even cellular life within. We sense this as the creative matrix out of which we have arisen. We sense it as having enormous potential. After all, if we have evolved from pre-conscious human animals, and they from ape like forms, a human could emerge from us that would be as god like to us as we would appear to an ancient predecessor. Therefore the god archetype is an expression of what we sense as our own potential and of the enormity of life and cosmic processes out of which we have existence.

The archetype itself, or what lies behind it, is beyond any one definition. But being what we are, and considering that we constantly try to define and give substance to such important processes, past cultures have given many forms and attributes to their expression of god or God. They have even at times defined aspects of what they experienced as the underlying forces of life and personal awareness, and we therefore have the goddesses and gods.

This archetype has a very powerful influence in everybody’s life simply because it is about our own fundamental potential and origins. How you relate to it shows the level of connection or conflict you have with your own resources and origins. It also shows how far you have come in your mature understanding of how your inner life functions. In some ways the difficulties and stages we go through in our relationship with our mother and father are similar to the acceptance, rejection, killing of, or deep dependence we have in relationship with what is called God. We may of course relate to this archetypal power in us like a child frightened of a parent; like an obedient child who wants to conform; like a rebellious child who seeks their own independence; like an angry or confused person who denies any link with their origins; like someone who has lost their memory, and so has not recognition of their ancestry; like an adult who has come to terms with their origins and has integrated into their own processes of mind and emotions, the matrix of strengths and weaknesses inherited.

None of us can escape the source of our own existence. We can, however, relate to it in many different ways. These ways are depicted in the New Testament as the manner in which people related to Christ. Taking Christ as a symbol of the cosmic web of sentient life, people can love it, wash their hands of it, crucify it, ignore it, be healed by it, lie about it, offer themselves to it, worship it – and so on and on. The stance we take in our relationship with this larger life we are an integral part of, is the basic stuff of how we live, and the quality of our life.

I witnessed a man talking to a woman he was confronting, “Religion;” he said, “that’s surely a direction for failures and people who can’t really cope with facing reality.”

And the woman he was accusing of this inability to face reality said, “You poor man! Is your mind or awareness so tiny that you have never realised the forces and processes of your own body are beyond anything you understand? Can’t you see that your very existence is brought about by things so far beyond your knowledge that it is only a statement of your impoverishment to suggest an awareness of God is an expression of some sort of smallness and failure. Have you never understood that? Have you not seen that religion is not only an acknowledgement of what we fail to understand and yet depend upon, but it is also an opening to it, a willingness to relate to it? It can also be something far more even than that. It can be an active loving relationship with what gives you life. And such love is an exchange, a sharing, and a way of merging one with another. It is an exchange – a sharing of bodily fluids – the very substance of life.

Imagine that; a glorious love affair with the very spirit of life! A love affair with the invisible and forever indefinable. Is that something you are afraid of?”

Here is an example of a man exploring expanded consciousness and God.

Example: A major point is however, that these different forms of cognition are not in themselves ‘truth’. They are simply ways we can organise experience and information.

At this point there arose a question about what the ‘mind space’ is. It didn’t arise in those words, but was certainly about what the space is that one appears to inhabit as expanded awareness. It feels as if one is exterior to ones body, filling space and yet without form. So does mind exist outside of the body?

My sense at that moment was that in fact there are no real spaces in the universe. Everything is connected. Nothing can occur without some link or influence upon or from something else. Everything works because it has developed a relatedness or relationship with everything else, according to its size and place. Therefore the planets do what they do because of their relationship to the sun, their size and nature. This led on to a view or feeling that at death the personal awareness can exist, but not in a void. It does so within the organic ‘space’ of living human beings. It does so out of relatedness.

I then slipped into an immense experience of the universe as God. Unfortunately the tape recorder battery ran out at this point, so what I said is not recorded, but I have memory of the overall experience, though the details are gone.

As I experienced it our known universe is a huge integrated ‘body’. In its totality this is what we call God. The universe, or God, is not all there is. What we know as God is only one being among other realities. In other words, the being of God came about because in a period before our universe it gradually evolved into total relationship with reality. In doing so it created what I have called its body, our universe. The universe is a particular sort of organism that can exist in a special way because it relates to the wider reality in which it has its life. There are other such beings creating different ‘realities’ within the greater reality. I felt several times with much emotion, how much pain the being had faced to move through all the change it had to be capable of being God.

Our universe is set up so there is the possibility of life occurring. Although God is a being of an order we cannot really comprehend, it still has a relationship with us. The relationship is strangely paradoxical. It is at one level completely impersonal. This has to be so otherwise there is not an open arena for development to take place. But God cannot help but be personally involved as well wherever someone opens to this relationship. After all, the very nature of the universe as I saw it earlier is relatedness. So there is an active love, like a flashing touch here and there, invisible in general. I saw it as something causing minute parts of our body or world to flash with energy for a moment, then move on to cause other patterns of energy to touch the world. Perhaps this is similar to the way the brain works, where patterns of activity or energetic process occurs – but this is speculation.

One cannot help but be a part of this immense being, yet one can, in ones life, be at odds with it, be unsympathetic to it. This causes a condition of stress within oneself, and within ones relationship with it. But I felt that if one completely accepts ones place in this being, even though one is a minute and seemingly insignificant part of it, then one is aligned with its huge universal life and purpose. Then one become part of its ‘circulation’ more fully and is revivified is some way.

My personal consciousness is the limited area of God that I have made my own through millennia of conditioning and learned response. But the huge ocean of awareness that is this larger being’s life and consciousness is ours to share. It is at once the thing that remains permanent, and yet it is the very substance of change too.

I gave myself to God as fully as I was able, and in this state of awareness of the larger life, looked at my own life and future. I felt that the future lay in moving around the world a bit, as if we are evolving into a free floating population that is emerging in the world. I felt almost as if I knew where I was going to be born next time around. It would be south of Japan on one of the pacific islands. The mixture of high grade Anglo Saxon with Chinese oriental and South Pacific I felt was something I needed. The Chinese awareness of the inner life and ease with it; the Anglo Saxon acute rational mind, and the Polynesian sensuality. I particularly need to warm up in the sense of my sensual side being a bit undeveloped.

had a very real sense of God being incredible near at hand. This was strange because I had been brought up to believe that one had to be very special to get near and know God. Yet God is everywhere and everything. If I can’t find God, it is only because I keep my eyes and soul closed. Or else I am so busy feeling I have to be holy and spiritual I miss the meeting.

I spent some time wondering what one was supposed to do having ‘found’ God. I had thought one would be imbued with some sort of zeal to go out and teach, as with the Christian enthusiasm. But I could find nothing of this. I saw that everybody is in that presence, so it is ridiculous to think everyone must rush out and tell everyone else they have found God. But my RC background, I could see, had planted so many misconceptions about hell and damnation, about threats of excommunication and being pushed out of God’s presence.

 

Useful Questions and Hints:

Can I recognise that fundamentally my existence depends upon the creative processes of the universe, and that I am at base the potential of life?

How do I relate to that mystery of the divine or wondrous at the core of myself?

Am I taking responsibility for my own potential, or do I project it outwards as a god figure, or deny it all together?

See Enlightenment - Jesse Watkins Enlightenment - Philosophy From The Edgar Cayce Readings

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