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THE EXPERIENCE OF COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE LIFE THAT OVERCOMES DEATH by Bill Trusiewicz How does one approach such a lofty experience as that of cosmic consciousness? We have all heard stories of others who have had such an experience. We may have heard about Bucke or Buddha, Arthur Koestleri or Emerson,ii Walt Whitman, Rumi, Rilke, Rudolf Steiner or Walter Russell. All of these are great individuals who have had mountain top experiences – experiences that may seem like a distant possibility for many of us -- if not a veritable impossibility. I would like to offer a different view by presenting cosmic consciousness from a close-to-home perspective that is both infinitely challenging and positively attainable. I believe that most people like the readers of The Cosmic Light hold a secret connection to this experience in their hearts -- a treasured relationship to the infinite that has been largely unexpressed and little understood. Hearing about the mountain top experiences of others helps us recognize the mysterious movements of the infinite in ourselves, but such sublime experiences are, at first, next to impossible to speak of without jeopardizing our inner sense of their validity. Words can be exceedingly weak vessels. The strong but delicate feelings connected with supersensible knowledge must be treated with a supreme attentiveness in order to be communicated with the artifice appropriate to their lofty nature – or else we feel injured and indeed are injured thereby. The saying ‘as above so below’ in this context means that our earthly expression for the heavenly experience must be accurate or it is better not to be clothed in words at all. This should not to be taken as a deterrent to expression, which is essential for our unfoldment and that of our fellow man, but as a reminder of our responsibility to allow the experience itself to guide us to an adequate expression. Already in the paragraph above we have approached the gate of Cosmic Consciousness -- the first paradox of the supersensible which is expressed with stunning clarity in Saying One of the Tao Te Ching: The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The wonderful paradox that underlies the whole of our earthly existence is expressed in these words. Attention to this fact can keep us in a healthy state of awe and amazement as we realize that the manifest world stands before our very eyes each moment as the unfoldment of the unmanifest. Our attentiveness to this fact lets us observe the nameless, invisible cause of all things within and behind the manifest world ‘holding it up’ as it were, like a mask -- for our senses to experience. We can realize thus, that the nameless, the eternal and invisible, the incomprehensible One has done the impossible in a sense, by suspending his/her infinite nature, by expressing outwardly in the visible world of creation, the manifold beauty of the invisible divine inwardness. Out of the unspeakable, something has been spoken -- the creation itself. For this we can truly stand in awe. This is the first clue to the paradox of those who are called to the experience of Cosmic Consciousness. Someone has called the human being “the symbolic animal” recognizing the amazing capacity in humans of speech; the ability to symbolically represent the experience of the visible and the imaginal worlds. As such, those of us who have a conscious sense of the infinite have the responsibility to bring forth, to bring the infinite into manifestation – to bring that which is not, ‘ex nihlo,’ out of nothing, to bring forth that which has not yet been spoken into existence, that which in a sense cannot be spoken. We must strive, and it is our joy to do so -- to give shape and form to the Tao, to bring ‘below’ what is ‘above.’ We might say that we are called to continue the work of creation, are we not? By expressing the fruits of our unique relation to the cosmos? That being the case, we can see that it is in keeping with the cosmic imperative to speak (or otherwise represent) with all presence of mind, with keen watchfulness -- for when we speak, in a sense, we join the gods in creation. So let us speak then, not hastily out of our throats, but by letting the ineffable speak, 'from our heels'iii as the Chinese say, and our sublime experiences will move us forward in true knowledge. Walter Russell reworked and reworded his experience of the cosmic until the end of his life: others such as Rudolf Steiner waited decades for a proper vehicle for expression. As much as it is a struggle for all of us to express our inner experiences of Cosmic Consciousness, we notice that each thought so derived stimulates our imagination, activates hope in us, renewing our faith and kindling a feeling for fresh possibilities. In contrast to this uplifting of our hopes and aspirations, we necessarily also share a sense of the lack of reality, lack of truth and beauty in the man made world -- the world not only of things man has made, but more especially the world of his thoughts. This, as I hope to be able to demonstrate, is a very important aspect of our experience. We have been immersed since our birth in a climate created by the present world view, a paradigm which we have not chosen -- one which has been handed down to us. The poet in us, the artist, the lover, the budding scientist or philosopher has been maligned by our hyper-rationalistic culture. Innately we recognize this truth -- we feel the nagging lack of meaning and purpose which is the result of the non-holistic paradigm of our time. We yearn for a new levels of health, of vitality, of sanity. We, along with the whole of creation, "groan"iv awaiting the revelation of cosmic consciousness. Thankfully, this yearning for wholeness, this divine unrest is the perfect soil for the experience of cosmic consciousness to grow. This most lofty experience does not grow anywhere but in the humble sod of our yearnings for it -- our feelings of
incompleteness and inadequacy. Our dis-eases of body and mind somehow engender a deep desire for fulfillment; they are the fertile soil for the seeds of cosmic awareness. If we are aware of the lack, the void and emptiness in our lives, we are prime candidates for the experience of cosmic consciousness. We are reminded of the sermon on the mount – “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God.” Let the so-called 'strong' parrot the most cutting edge theories of CC – but it is the humble who will be the bearers of the true experience of the cosmic. There is a Zen saying: "The subtlest and the most pervasive [energy] is the most powerful." Taoists say that true strength is more akin to waterv than to brute force. To experience the subtle and powerful, the 'water' which constantly seeks under-standing, one must be abased -- emptied of self, humbled to the point of radical receptivity. And our daily life itself is the perfect school for such humility. We all have ample opportunity to submit to the humiliation that fate so lavishly offers us in order to gain the understanding that is the only adequate foundation for ascendance to cosmic heights. There is a verse in the Song of Songs that beautifully illustrates the way to approach this strength born of subtlety. A brief examination of this passage at this juncture, to savor the delicate spiritual mood it evokes, will serve us well. The lofty tale told in the Song of Songs explores through rich symbolic language the relationship between the seeker for truth and the personified ideal of truth – God. Solomon, the great king of Israel, whose wisdom is legendary in the Judaic tradition, is the author of this most poetic chapter in the Old Testament. He depicts the Lord God as a shepherd king who is courting a beautiful Shulamite maiden – a seeker after truth, who appears among her maiden friends. The Shulamite lover counsels her friends as to the manner appropriate to win the favor of the shepherd king. She admonishes the other maidens who also seek a Lover, to practice a singular watchfulness -- a poised vigilance when approaching Him. In the story, she councils her friends on the proper mood required for a tryst with ‘the beloved.’ She compares this mood to that evoked while observing deer feeding in the meadows at twilight. The Shulamite speaks: "I charge you by the hinds and the roes [male and female deer] of the field that you stir not up nor awaken my love until he please."vi It is impossible to induce the experience of cosmic consciousness in any manner we might expect with our conditioned thinking. All effort of this sort is guaranteed to chase away the subtle, delicate entreaties of the unconditioned One. The analog of the deer is a compelling one. While observing deer, one is aware of their beauty and dignity, their nobility -- they inevitably inspire us with awe. As one watches them with inner stillness it is difficult not to be aware that concealed behind their fleet and shy nature, is a high secret which cannot abide the mundane curiosity of casual onlookers -- their presence almost demands reverence. Such graceful beauty is eloquent evidence of a connection with loftier spheres of existence; it is as if they are saying -- 'we the humble who tread lightly upon the earth; sure footed creatures who scale the heights of precipitous peaks with uncanny ease -- are poised and ready for His appearing in the twilight -- in the place where the two worlds meet -- where the waking world of light succumbs to the life of dreams.' The mood of the trysting place, as suggested by the above admonition, evokes an indescribable, palpable tension between blissful serenity
and a crystalline, almost painful alertness. Only such a state is truly adequate to fully entertain cosmic consciousness. Such sacred writings as the Song of Songs evoke the necessary void and stillness -- the uncluttered, un-self-important mood of soul that is the beginning point of any real 'meeting' with cosmic mind. Although most seekers find scriptures of one sort or another helpful, the delicate spiritual mood expressed above is only a thoughtful experience of a not so uncommon occurrence (at least for country folk). The mature possessor of CC is one who can evoke these moods in everyday life. Nature provides infinite opportunity for this. We need only supply our supreme attentiveness. Even the changing moods of love, as experienced for our family and friends and especially for a lover, if examined perspicuously for its soul characteristics can yield untold secrets to the seeker. (A fact attested to by the Troubadours) Cultivating an atmosphere of reverence for life is the gateway to the secrets of the cosmos.vii One only need be attentive, supremely attentive, bringing all one's faculties to the task -- mind, emotions and will, to unlock unfathomed secrets. Another way to approach the still center that is the focal point of all cosmic revelation is through the knowledge of another foundational fact. A particularly deep truth -- a truth that was well known to the initiates of old is the next one I would like to probe to garner its essential knowledge. To begin with, I have chosen a poem by Tennyson that utilizes a stark contrast -- another paradox to illuminate this deep riddle of existence. Life is not as idle ore But as iron dug from central gloom Heated hot with burning fears Dipped in baths of hissing tears Battered with the shocks of doom To shape and use. Hidden in these verses lies a central aspect of cosmic consciousness. To get a feeling for the truth we are probing here, I invite you to ask yourself a few questions related to the text with your own experience in mind. What bears it out to the edge of doom? What endures the grueling ordeals of gloom, fear and disillusionment? In the place of ‘doom’ we could exchange ‘death,’ and the question would be. What resists death? Or better. What overcomes death? By answering these questions we can begin to elevate our thinking about life. Notice how the life referred to in the poem takes on a special meaning, a higher meaning, a capital meaning -- Life. When one baptizes anything in death, it is raised to a higher power, to use a mathematical expression. This truth inevitably sounds absurd to the uninitiated, but to those who will own cosmic consciousness it is nothing less than the wellspring of Life. All of us have suffered to some degree ‘a meeting with death,’ that is; deathlike tests to our faith and inner strength. If we have not succumbed to cynicism, to fear and doubt as a result of such; if we have not lost faith in ourselves and our fellow man, we have had at least a taste of the higher life -- our faith, our inner strength has been refined in the fires of life, so to speak. We
have become aware of a ‘life’ that has conquered death in whatever measure we have experienced it. I mentioned the initiates of old, and it will be good to remember what they endured to cultivate and preserve what is to become an everyday fact for those who aspire to the cosmic consciousness of the age that lies immediately before us. The meeting with death was no trite expression to the initiate: it was a crowning and definitive event in the life of the student of the mysteries. The initiand was schooled for many years in the strictest manner to ensure his/her success in the culminating event of the initiatory process -- the temple sleep. The student, by secret practices, was put into a death-like state for three and a half days, a state which virtually canceled the effects of the bodily operations and senses so that the student could mirror within his soul certain cosmic processes and events – a dangerous practice if engaged in outside of the well guarded community of the mystery schools. To reveal this and other secrets to those unschooled in the rigorous disciplines of the mystai was punishable by death. The knowledge that was acquired in this manner was not like what we so superficially call knowledge today. This knowledge was absolutely transforming to the individual who received it. It became power, the power by which the world of that day was ruled, out of secret chambers. The path to the experience of cosmic consciousness was not something for dabblers or the fainthearted. The student became very clear about the difference between faintheartedness and humility. They discovered that it takes infinite courage to live the cosmic directive. The initiates actually used death as a means to procure a higher cosmic life for themselves and their disciples: death to the lower impulses and passions, death to the uncontrolled senses and death to a fevered imagination inflamed with fantasy. They used death in the way that it is meant to be used, like the last line of Tennyson's poem-- “to mold and shape...to [good] use.” In order to better understand the consciousness of the initiates I would like to diverge a bit and give some historical context to our subject. Let us imagine the way our ancestors of early and prehistoric times were guided -by a kind of instinctual intuition which flashed up into their consciousness. Rudolf Steiner refers to these capacities of consciousness in early humans as ‘clairvoyance.’ Animals exhibit cosmic guidance in their various amazing capacities -- I think the most obvious of which is homing; and is evident in many species besides birds and fish. The type of guidance from cosmic sources which animals experience was active in humans also but in men it rose up in flashes of insight to a semi-conscious level. Men of old were quite dependent on these capacities which today are rare. By this guidance the ancient wisdom about the medicinal properties of the plant kingdom as well as other realms of life was acquired in a way completely different from the methods of modern science. This cosmic guidance was natural to early man, actually a common human experience in the earliest periods of human history -- before abstract thinking was possible for most humans.viii By it early mankind built mighty civilizations with technology which we are only beginning to re-imagine in our day. The technology of this time was not created out of the ordinary abstract thinking we take for granted today, but out of a sort of living dreamy intuition bestowed by higher spiritual forces which has long since evaporated from the consciousness of humankind.
There existed truly great wisdom in ancient times which was in the possession of a rather elite caste of humans who concealed it from the masses for very sound reasons. The cosmic wisdom that the brotherhoods shared was disseminated as deemed appropriate for the societies in which they participated. Such secrecy is, in most cases, both not appropriate today and also not necessary. It is important also to mention that the somewhat ideal state in the keeping of the mysteries, to which I am referring gradually fell into decadence. The mysteries fell into the hands of greedy and vain men whose only interest in cosmic wisdom was to advance their own selfish ambitions. As we all know, a very important aspect of the movement toward cosmic consciousness in our day is the renewed sense of the relevance of ancient wisdom. In the early twentieth century, we see a proliferation of interest in the life and practices of ancient and primitive cultures in contrast to the early centuries following the 'Age of Reason,' during which an intellectual snobbery developed that regarded the sum of knowledge that preceded it as superstition. That is not to say that there was no superstition or barbarism in earlier times, but a close and unprejudiced look at history will show that it was not so much the beliefs of our ancestors which were wrong, as it was the moral degeneracy of those who held various beliefs which led to superstition and barbarism. The most outstanding example being the pure barbarism seen in the calculated brutality and murder of thousands of its enemies by those who professed the religion of Christianity, a religion whose essential message was supposed to have far surpassed in its requirements the moral authority of the ten commandments. Consequently, the idea of the ‘noble savage’ gained credibility through the work of anthropologists, artists and other creative thinkers of the early twentieth century. Artists such as Gauguin are especially noted for their depictions of archaic societies and primitive peoples. The conviction that archaic societies are "sacred, exemplary and significant,"ix has been brought to light by a number of mythologists who have contributed to making myth respectable. It is not commonly understood even today with the help of truly great mythologists such as Kerenyi, Graves, Eliade and Campbell, that the myths were actually created originally by initiates as a sort of primer/picture-book to disseminate mystery knowledge to the masses. It was an effort to provide a popular, exoteric education in a form that was appropriate to the everyday consciousness of the general public to satisfy the human need to understand conditions in the soul and spiritual world -- though actually distorted from a pure mystery tradition perspective. The esoteric mythological studies of Rudolf Steiner clearly demonstrates this in such works as Egyptian Myths and Mysteries, and others.x The serious work of mythology carried on by the more main stream individuals above, though not explicitly aware of this fact, implicitly yet, out of an intuition of the significance of the myths themselves, with the help of modern depth psychology such as Jung’s ideas of the collective unconscious and archetypal memory, has given us a rich ground out of which many significant ideas have been carried over into an otherwise mostly meaning-desolate academia to be experienced by the general reading public. It might be noted here that there is wisdom in avoiding the adolescent attitude which looks down on the past -- seeking to bolster a world view at the expense of a parent culture. Such was the arrogance that developed virally as a result of the intoxicating successes of the Age of Reason and the Industrial Revolution. It was a
hyper-rationalism, an intellectual elitismxi that is blind to the wisdom inherent in myths and primitive cultures or even contemporary cultures with other valid (and even perhaps superior) scientific paradigms such as the traditional Chinesexii. In contrast to this arrogance, the true luminaries of the coming cosmic age will be marked by a humble magnanimity, a breadth and depth of understanding which make it possible to take up all the threads of the past and see how they weave together into a sound background out of which will be fashioned the tapestry of the future. A reverence for one’s ancestors is a mark of a mature cosmology. A practice itself exemplified in archaic cultures. The early civilizations I have referred to fell with Atlantis and a new level of cosmic intelligence began gradually to be infused into man’s very nature, which, in contrast to the former instinctual form, involved a substantially greater measure of human participation to procure. In other words the wisdom of the cultures which followed was not so much given, as it was acquired by individuals or ‘self-bestowed’ to use a Russellian term. The civilizations of the third cultural epoch after Atlantis, which has been designated by Rudolf Steiner as the Egypto-Chaldean epoch gave rise to a clearly more intellectual form of guidance, while the old instinctual wisdom began to wane. This new form of cosmic consciousness was fundamental to the great civilizations that arose at that time. Ancient Egypt was one of those great civilizations. In Egypt, the principle of 'divine right of kings' was operative in government during this period as well as in almost all known cultures of the time. It must be understood that this dual political/spiritual role of kings was not in any way similar to the Holy Roman Empire or the political posturing of the Moral Majority (at least not in the beginning). The priest/kings of the epoch of which we are speaking were initiates of high rank -- not just officially, but in actual fact. They were rigorously discipled in mystery schools to achieve a high level of what could be called god/manhood. Their level of consciousness was based on two factors. Firstly, independent of the physical organism of the human body, the cosmos revealed itself to the subtle bodies which could be impressedxiii by certain supersensible entities, embodiments of the great cosmic forces guiding mankind. The initiates who rose to this level of initiation became conscious of and in communication with beings and forces which normal humanity was only barely aware of as distant entities. One can get a hint of these great beings in the memory pictures of ancient mythology -- Osiris, Isis and Horus, for example. These divine personages were the ancient representations of real entities of the cosmos, who play a major role in human guidance. The method of contact with these beings involved, as described above, allowing the human body to enter a death-like sleep, freed from distracting physiological and psychological influences connected with normal waking consciousness. In such a state, guided by a heirophant and other initiates, the initiand could experience other dimensions of existence beyond time and space. (This process was not wholly unlike the altered states produced by some of the sensory deprivation experiments being done today.) The second factor leading to the god-like capacities prerequisite to priest/kinghood was training in abstract thinking. Mathematics, which is often called the mother of the sciences, was actually taught at this time only in the secret brotherhoods of the initiated.xiv The capacity to calculate and to think in the pure, ethereal un-subjectivity of numbers and geometry was indispensable for rulers. In fact the name ruler itself
retains something of the idea of calculation which was associated with Kingship. Interestingly enough, this capacity, in stark contrast to the one already mentioned was almost wholly dependent on the physiological apparatus-- the brain to be precise.xv Such attention was given to this matter in some esoteric schools, that practices were developed over generations which actually led to substantially increased growth of the cranium in individuals destined to be rulers -- a fact which seems to be confirmed in some archeological depictions.xvi The student of higher knowledge will notice that cosmic consciousness always has a balanced dual aspect. It always unites divergent elements -- the future and the past, the new and the old, the heavens and the earth. We can see how the past and old forces were connected with nature and the earth. These find expression in man’s will and feeling nature which is primarily represented in the limbs and the lower body and which allows for the effective posture of participant in nature and society. On the other hand, there is an in-streaming of future forces that are connected with the spirit and higher worlds and work primarily in the upper body from the head down to the heart.xvii These forces bestow the capacity for abstract thinking -- that is the effective posture of observer of the external world which is active in determining one’s individuality and one's ecstatic or extra-cultural, that is ‘genius’ capacities. These upper and lower forces must be balanced in the human heart’s rhythmic interchange systemxviii expressed in a systolic and diastolic pulsation between a balanced point of stillness. So we begin to see from a cosmically integrated perspective the importance of balancing thinking and feelingxix, spirit and nature, the new and the old. Cosmic consciousness always engenders balancing of polarities and leads to a holistic, sane approach to life. The next stage in the development of cosmic guidance brought the intellectual element even more deeply into the human organism. At the time when the mystery schools were falling into a more or less decadent phase, philosophy was born. In the forth epoch after Atlantis, the Greek civilization as typified in the mythological figure of Theseus, killed the beast (Minotaur) of the lower passions, and rose to the heights of intellectual prowess giving birth to philosophy -- literally the 'love of wisdom.' I would like to present a very basic sketch of three of the most prominent figures from the Golden Age of Greece who are so vitally connected with our western heritage. Without going into a lengthy discussion of Greek philosophy, to begin with one could simply say that it was a rebirth of the mysteries on a more abstract conceptual level. In other words, much of what could not previously be transmitted through language but was learned by dramatic enactments and through a sort of magical vocal transmission which by-passed the normal forces of intellection, now took the form of enlightened teachings which sought to unite unconscious, atavistic wisdom with everyday language. Therefore we see for instance the Greek word for truth 'alethea' which is a combination of 'a' or 'un' and 'lethea' or 'forget' – which yields -- 'un-forget,' or 'remember.' For the Greeks, the truth was something to be remembered. In fact, the Father of Philosophy, Socrates’ whole method of teaching was based on this principle which operates by asking the student the correct questions so that he can 'remember the truth,' and thus acquire wisdom -- what became known as The Socratic Dialogue. In Plato, we have a synthesis and elaboration of Socrates' teaching. The students of Plato were steeped in an atmosphere of wisdom which was engendered in the
experience of the difficulties of putting into words the unspeakable nature of mystical experience. In Socrates' discourses on immortality we have an example in which he, being condemned to death, is comforting his disciples out of his own grounding in the utter certainty of a Life that transcends human mortality. It is as if eternal truth itself is speaking through him, not only with arguments to satisfy the discursive intellect, which would fail to bring any real comfort, but out of an experiential reality which makes the temporal world of appearances seem to dissolve into vapor by comparison with it. In fact he turns human concerns completely upside-down. For example he states: "The true disciple of philosophy is likely to be misunderstood by other men; they do not perceive that he is ever pursuing death and dying."xx In this statement alone one can begin to see how the stream of the mysteries led into the whole of philosophy at this time, pointing as it did to a life that is reborn through death. So this method -- through the most pure reasoning and questioning -- led the students, by deeply stirring exercises of thought, into a process of initiation which brought something to life within them, of which they were previously quite unaware. Now from the realm of the ideas and ideals of philosophy we move into what Greek civilization had to offer in the realm of observing and understanding the physical world. It was Plato's student Aristotle who was destined to alter radically the way we approach the sensible world. Aristotle took the reasoned, clear manner of thinking of Socrates and Plato and applied it to knowledge of the outer world in general. He offered methods of definition and proof and other methods of identifying and categorizing specific areas of knowledge which form the basis for the terminology and methodology which modern science uses today. Without this analytic approach to the physical world, the necessary mastery to develop the technological achievements of today, would have been impossible. It is common knowledge that Greek and Roman cultures from pre-Christian times formed the basis of what we know today as Western Civilization. Our modern world was literally born in the ideation of these people. There is hardly anything present in the modern world which does not have a direct connection to a seed planted in this period. From ideas of democracy, to jurisprudence, to freedom or rights of the individual, to male dominance, to atheism and materialism, to philosophy, to science, to religion, all can be traced back to Greece and Rome. In the two examples of Plato and Aristotle in particular we see in Greek thinking the roots of the paradigm which is embraced by most of western civilization today. The major difference between our culture and that of the Greeks and Romans, aside from modern technology -- is mythical -- if I may use such an expression. Greek and in fact Roman culture was under-girded by a deep mysticism based in its myths. Faith was alive in these cultures by virtue of an enthusiasm owing to the mythological structure of their thinking. Gods and goddesses, spirits and demons, religious festivals and rites abounded in the lives of these people. It was not mere profession of religion -- it was a way of being that worked profoundly in the experience of every individual -- and as such, it provided a tremendously cohesive structure that held people together in their life of feeling and unified them in their thinking and doing as well. It served as an organic unifying world view that wrought and wove together in a living way the divergent elements of man, nature and the cosmos in a way practically unimaginable to modern thinking.
Today, no such cohesive force exists on a scale that could bring health back to modern culture. The reason being that Plato and Aristotle were so successful in promoting -- on the one hand a philosophy or manner of thinking which was 'idealistic,' and therefore dualistic; separating what exists in the realm of ideas from the facts of everyday life (Plato): and on the other hand a manner of thinking which is 'mechanistic' and sees reality as consisting of so many parts to be identified and categorized ad infinitum (Aristotle) -- which led to a world of specialization without cohesive general principles of understanding adequate to make sense of the whole or to regulate or coordinate the various fields of specialization.xxi We can't fault our fathers for this impulse which originally and for centuries afterward was a vital and strengthening influence in a very different environment of knowledge; but we must see that our recent forebears and our contemporaries failed to embrace a balancing position to the abstractions of materialistic thinking and left us with a 'rattling skeleton' of useful ideas devoid of the esthetic and ethical dimensions of life. The modern world has reached, through its overemphasis on abstract, analytical reasoning abilities, an advanced stage of decadence. As Deepak Chopra has said “scientific materialism is the mythology of our day.” The thing that was once the very crown of western civilization has become its nemesis. Our approach to life today is fragmented into so many distinct, unconnected disciplines, that in human experience normalcy is closer to schizophrenia than to wholeness (thus the popularity of holistics). Science, art, and religion (or spirituality) are wholly divergent fields of human endeavor with almost completely different vocabularies -- each one either asserting its independence (often forcibly) or striving (for the most part pathetically) to patch up or ameliorate differences between them. Modern cosmologies have tended to lie either in the purely scientific or the purely spiritual categories -- though it is heartening to see many recent attempts to bridge the chasm between the two. Within the artistic stream we only rarely approach an adequate cosmological imagination and then it is only discernible to a few. It is the job of possessors of CC to engage their boundless creativity to recognize the contributions of others toward the goal of uniting disciplines to construct an adequate cosmology. Commensurate with the demands of CC, the thinking capacity of Modern humanity must be both a highly individual intellectual experience and a directly mystical experience to be able to discover the new mythological structure (cosmology) of the paradigm of the future -- the cosmic conscious age. Without the freedom to think morally (moral thinking is individual thinking) and the ability to tap the secret nature of the cosmos intuitively -- that is by direct first hand experience; we are destined to remain servants of the old dying paradigm. By virtue of their cosmic connection, the leaders of the cosmic conscious age will be expert 'generalists.' They will have forged out of the fires of their own experience living tools to bring together the disparate elements of our societies, nations and the world. In the midst of the Greek and Roman worlds as they existed side by side and mingled to a certain extent, a tremendously momentous event occurred -- an event which had been foreseen for millennia in the mystery schools, especially in the Hibernian and Greek Great Mysteries xxii for instance, and was clearly prefigured by numerous avatars, gods and heroes of ‘the light’ extant within nearly every culture in the world. The culminating moment, which had been the sacred rite of passage to higher knowledge for
every initiate in the secret halls of the mystai was enacted in broad daylight on the stage of world history. The secret of the ages was revealed in the fact of the death and three days later, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was the central and universal mystery of human history. The transcendent nature of God that dwelt in Jesus Christ shone clearly through his human form as he lived an exalted, humble existence as a man and then in death as he first transcended and then embraced human mortality and rose again to cosmic heights. The effect of this infusion of the divine into the human through Christ -and the fact that the Spirit remained in the earth sphere afterwards -- made it possible for every man, woman or child to experience the effects of initiation by contact with the living Spirit. This was the same great Spirit that had schooled all the worlds initiates and religious leaders, granting them enlightenment in various ways in accordance with their cultural context -- the same spirit who had never descended so far as to fully incarnate in human form before. Thus we read: “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.xxiii” Since the time of Christ the ‘veil has been torn’ -- that is to say -- that which was hidden in human flesh, namely the human spirit; by being in contact with the Christ Spirit is so enlivened as to flash forth with a brightness from the cosmos which can no longer be concealed. It became unnecessary from this point forward to quiet the body in the 'temple sleep' for three days or endure years of rigorous training to acquire cosmic guidance. The Spirit him/herself thereafter became the trainer and the guide to all knowledge for each individual who is receptive to it. So it is written: "you have received an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things." and again: "...the anointing which you have received abides in you and you need not have any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him."xxiv (italics mine) This being the central, efficacious fact of Christ's work, it is not difficult to see that Christianity by and large has fallen far short of bringing the cosmic directive to any kind of fulfillment. Primarily through the church's inability to see the Christ event as a crowning gesture for all ‘religions of the light’ and also as a result of the church's inability to bridge the gap between science, art and religion; Christianity for the most part has exchanged its power in universality to become so many sterile, innocuous sects. To encapsulate this brief consideration of the experience of cosmic consciousness and the life that overcomes death, I would say that the work of CC leads inevitably to a synthesis of the disparate elements in our culture. We must understand what is responsible for the breakdown of the human on a scale unknown until our day. Our Western penchant for analysis (literally 'to break up'), has in fact 'torn our world apart.' But there are countless ways to bring things back together -- as many ways as there are people who have been made whole to help. First we must recognize that our lives are daily challenged in the face of death and that even (and especially) in our weakness we have the power to win through, for by our own deaths and passings to new life we conquer the greater death, not the mere death of our physical body, but the death of our eternal spirit. Once this lesson has taken root, anything is possible. Then, as we ‘rise from the dead’ -- by what manner we rise, we will help our neighbor. This simple formula can change the world. The cosmic community is made up of those who have suffered and
have risen again to unfold the cosmic light within themselves for the collective healing of our world. Bill Trusiewicz bases his writing on the numerous mystical experiences he has had since his childhood, to which he brings more than thirty years of research into both the frontiers of human thought and the world’s ancient esoteric traditions. Bill lives with his wife Arla and his daughter Emilie in the lovely hills of Northwestern Connecticut.
i Refer to: Arthur Koestler, Arrow in the Blue, 1952; The Invisible Writing, 1954 ii Refer to: Richard Geldard, The Esoteric Emerson, Lindisfarne Press, Hudson NY, 1993; and Emerson’s Awakening to the Infinite,
1995? iii Refer to: Bruce Holbrook, Stone Monkey: An Alternative Chinese Scientific Reality, William and Morrow and Co. Inc., 1981 iv The New Testament, Romans 8:22 v Refer to: Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching, Number Seventy Eight vi The Old Testament, Song of Solomon, 2:7, 3:5 vii Refer to Rudolf Steiner, How to Know Higher Worlds, Anthroposophic Press Inc., Hudson, NY, 1994 viii Refer to: Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, Tutankhamen, Bell Pub. Co. NY, 1923, p. 114 ix Elaine Murdaugh, Joseph and His Brothers: Myth, Historical Consciousness, and God Emerging, p. 241 from: Thomas Mann: Modern Critical Views, Edited by Harold Bloom x Refer to: Christainity as Mystical Fact; Wonders of the World; Ancient Myths and the New Isis Mysteries; Ancient Myths:Their Meaning and Connection with Evolution. All by Rudolf Steiner available from Anthroposophic Press. xi Refer to: Arianna Stassinopolos, After Reason, Stein and Day Pub. NY, 1978 xii Refer to: Bruce Holbrook, Stone Monkey: An Alternative Chinese Scientific Reality, William Morrow and Co. Inc., 1981 xiii Refer to: John Lash, The Seeker’s Handbook, Harmony Books, NY, 1990, p. 294 (Imprinting) xiv Refer to: Rudolf Steiner, The Universal Human, Anthroposophic Press Inc., Hudson, NY, 1990, p. 36 xv ibid. xvi Refer to: Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, Tutankhamen, Bell Pub. Co. NY, p. 75 xvii Refer to: Numerous works on Anthroposophical Medicine by Rudolf Steiner and others. xviii Refer to: Rudolf Steiner, Michaelmas and the Soul-Forces of Man, Anthroposophic Press Inc., Spring Valley, NY, 1982 p. 44 xix Refer to: Rudolf Steiner, Polarities in the Evolution of Mankind, Anthroposophic Press Inc., Hudson, NY 1987, p. 159 xx Plato, Phaedo, 64 xxi Refer to: J. Anderson Winn, The Pale of Words, Yale University Press, 1999, pp. 109-110 xxii Refer to: Rudolf Steiner, Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centers, Rudolf Steiner Press Pub. Co. London, 1997, p. 175 xxiii The New Testament, Gospel of John, 1:14 xxiv The New Testament, 1 John, 2:20, 27
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