I STAND CORRECTED!… OR DO I?

50 some years ago I came up with the basic idea of spiritual evolution, but it took me another 10 years to refine the philosophy to where I could name it. Obviously I named it Spiritual Evolution. There was no Internet in those days, no way to check to see if the idea was my own, or whether others had predated me. Just this morning I found out others had; it seems it has been around for a few centuries at least. There are so many names associated with it, I am not even going to try to list them. Wikipedia has a page dedicated to it at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_evolution. Please check it out.

So, at first I was heartbroken. My idea was not a new one after all. But the more I read on the page, the more I became aware that maybe I have taken it to a new place, or sent it in a new direction, so-to-speak. Not everything, but almost everything on that page discusses two main tenets: spiritual evolution is human-centric, and God-centric. Only humans are evolved enough to be self-aware enough to the point of being able to know they are evolved; and the evolution of the spirit seems to always have a knowable purpose, and that purpose is either to evolve into God, or to lead humans to God in some way. Maybe not everyone uses that term, God, but they certainly have a similarity of godliness and god-directed morality.

Now, I have to admit that I started out with similar ideas. The very name rawgod began as the idea I was training myself to become one with God, or, after a while as my atheism took hold, to create a god where no god existed yet. Big goals, assuredly, but not too big for the person I was becoming.

And then, one day, I realized, I did not want to be any kind of god! I did not want to rule the universe, or anyone in it. To even try to do so would be the height of arrogance. So I started examining myself, and the spirit I knew to be inside of me. Things were not making sense to me anymore. Something had to give. And that is when I changed my focus from wanting to change the focus from become one with God to wanting to just live in this universe to the best of my abilities. If I wanted to be part of anything, I wanted to be part of life. The universe was what it was, it needed no changing, it was already perfect. And, decidedly, humans were nowhere close to perfect. In fact, humans are very much imperfect.

Still, the goal of my brand of spiritual evolution, if there could be said to be one, was to aim for perfection. That meant being a part of life, all forms of life. Every form of life. Life was taking on a new meaning. Life was no longer just the condition of being alive, life was a being all on its own in a manner of speaking. And every living being was a representative of life. Each of us, from single-celled plants and animals right up to quadrillion-celled plants and animals, are equal partners in life. While our physical bodies are definitely the result of physical evolution–check out your DNA as compared to the DNA of any living being, you will see the similarities–so too are our spirits the result of a different form of evolution, Spiritual Evolution.

So, while my original thesis had changed, still it kept the original base idea, we, all living beings, are moving in a particular direction. We are, generally-speaking, trying to become better people, where all living beings are people in their own ways–we all share the condition of life.

As usual, I have digressed from my original intent for this post. It is a very bad habit of mine. All it takes is a word here and a different word there, and my micro purpose is redirected from my macro purpose. My mind goes where it wants to go, or rather, where my spirit wants it to go. So, for now, I am going to leave this idea here. I suspect it will require more…

Author: rawgod

A man with a lot of strange experiences in my life. Haven't traveled that much per se, but have lived in a lot of different areas. English is the only language I have mastered, and the older I get, the more of it I lose. Seniorhood gives me more time to self-reflect, but since time seems to go much faster, it feels like I don't have as much time for living as my younger selves did. I believe in spiritual atheism and responsible anarchy. These do not have to be oxymorons. Imagination is an incredible tool. I can imagine a lot of things.

20 thoughts on “I STAND CORRECTED!… OR DO I?”

  1. The universe was … already perfect.. Actually no, the universe is not “perfect.” At least in the way humans define the word. It has things going on all the time that disrupt and throw into disorder the elements of its “nature.”

    And since we are the products of its genesis, none of us are perfect either.

    To “connect” with your existence is what I think you may be striving for. Something that I think many (if not all) of us work towards. And the course we follow to accomplish this end goal often tends to be very, very different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am talking about the physical universe here, which I seldom do. From what our scientists can tell us, the laws of gravity, etc., work the same everywhere. Maybe I should have said the universe works perfectly. Everything revolves around something bigger than itself. Gravity keeps worlds from falling apart, etc. In that way it is perfect.
      But add life, especially human life, and all that perfection falls apart.
      No, I do not think I am striving to connect with my existence, I do that every day of my life now. I am not “striving to do” anything. I would say, if anything, I am “striving to be” the best person I can be. I am “striving to understand life, and how it works.” It does not work well, right now, as you noted above, but if we all work together we can make it work better. The thing is, as you mentioned above, not all of us want
      the same “better”.

      Like

    1. That was the purpose of the blog from the beginning, but it took a while to figure out how to get there. Then I ran into a bunch of nuts who could not fathom how deep it really went. I lost my faith in humanity, and had to take a vacation.
      Glad you like it. I got at least one more post in the works. From there, who knows…

      Like

  2. I agree the universe is perfect. But so too is everything in it, including human beings. Including me. Including you.

    You’re not a castaway in the cosmos, exiled from blissful eternity by divine whim or your own sin.
    You’re not some struggling lifeform hanging desperately onto your eyeblink of existence amid the infinity of oblivion.
    You’re not here to achieve some great thing that will absolve you of all the suffering you inflict upon yourself and others.
    You’re not an embryonic deity, a brain attached to sensory input or a program in the matrix.

    You imply the universe. The universe implies you. You exist in complete and perfect embrace with all there is.
    You are One with the Cosmos.

    It’s only the ego that creates the illusion of the individual. The karma of pushing against an imperfect fate and fate pushing back, equal and opposite. The conceit that anything is or ever could be less than perfect. And you wanna know something? That’s perfect too.

    I’m sure you meditate. Try it now. Focus on the breath in your nostrils. Follow it inwards towards contemplation and stillness.
    What is not perfect?

    Or if the weather is nice, go and sit outside. Close your eyes. Feel the sun on your skin. Follow it outwards towards worship and awe.
    What is not perfect?

    Now talk to me about spiritual evolution.
    From where? To where?
    Where else is there to be but here and now?
    Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I am not perfect. If I was I could not exist in this world we now live in. But I fear you are speaking on a different plane. I do not exist on that plane either. And I appreciate your list of what I am not. But “I Am.” I am that which I am. I cannot be more. I cannot be less. Yes, I have an ego, but it is not in charge. It takes care of only my existence in the physical plane, and I have placed limits on what it can do there. Yes, I gave a mind that is not bound by the physical world around me. But even my mind is ephemeral. It too shall pass. I am Spirit. Not in being a ghost, or some kind of deity, that was a phase on my journey from there to here. Here, in the physical plane, I can only be individual. But beyond this plane, I can only be Spirit. And Spirit is One. But not in the way most people think that. There is no karma. Karma suggests control at some level. There is no control in my understanding of the cosmos. There is only learning. We live to learn, as we learn to live. Anything else is pure fluff.
      No, I do not meditate. I live…

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      1. No, I am not perfect.

        How can you say that?
        In order to sit in judgement over yourself you’d have to be somehow above yourself; more than you are.
        If you think you’re imperfect you’re comparing yourself to an imaginary you that doesn’t exist using the (presumably also imperfect) value system of the real you. Doesn’t make much sense to me. But hey, even nonsense can be perfect nonsense.

        Personally I am perfect. The perfect fit for the hole in space-time and cause-effect that would exist were I not here to fill it. I’m the perfect me. Lucky I am too. Ain’t no-one else gonna do it.

        I am that which I am.

        You’re Popeye? Wow!

        More seriously, if you am what you am what sort of Platonic Ideal are you trying to compare yourself with to conclude you’re not perfect?

        It sound a bit like you’re still caught up in the Abrahamic notion of being fallen. A sinner. Something that can only be redeemed from the fallibility of flesh, bones and desire in death. If you’re free of gods, what do you sin against?

        I have placed limits on what it can do there

        You don’t see the ego at work in that statement?
        Perhaps you meant to say your ego has placed limits on your ego.
        Maybe we’ve hit the limits of language here but a lot of what you say seems to go in logical circles to me. Perfect circles of course ;).

        Another way Christianity continues to contaminate post-Enlightenment thinking is in what Foucault called ‘Panopticonism’. We replace an external omniscient god with an externalised notion of self that constantly observes and judges us. But really you can only judge self against self. And guess what? It’s a perfect fit.

        But even my mind is ephemeral. It too shall pass.

        We’re of one mind on that at least.

        Spirit is One. But not in the way most people think that.

        We sort of agree there too, though I remain agnostic about it. If there’s anything of me that can survive the eventual destruction of my physical body I suspect it can only be pure, non-individuated consciousness, free of subject or object. The Hindus call it turiya.

        Pretend we’re dead

        But I don’t have to be dead to be One. I just have to let go of my ego and exist purely in the moment. Sometimes it happens spontaneously. Sometimes I induce it with meditation. But the first is a gift and the second the product of decades of practice.

        However there’s another method available to most people. Heroic doses of LSD. 600 mcg usually does the trick. But you need to be somewhere you feel perfectly secure. It’s a good idea to have a trusted friend who can sit with you for the 8-10 hours duration, especially an experienced tripper. You can expect the hour leading to the peak to be pretty traumatic but when you finally experience ego death your fears will disappear and you’ll realise perfect Oneness and bliss. Don’t try this if you’re prone to paranoia though. Unless you’re happy to spend the rest of your life bombed on antipsychotics or bouncing off a padded wall.

        When it wears off you’ll be dumped back into your mundane, dualistic existence and the amazing insights you experienced will gradually fade away. They’re real though. Let me know if you try it and want to retain some of them, because there are ways. You just can’t reduce them to symbolic or linear logic and hold them in narrative memory. They’re bigger than that.

        Meditation is better because you can easily flip back and forwards between egoless non-dualism and egotistic dualism and that helps to ‘set’ the insights. But unless you’re prepared to put in years of diligent practice you ain’t gonna be doing that. Unless you’re a natural mystic.

        There is no karma. Karma suggests control at some level.

        That’s California karma, which is also contaminated with Christian concepts of cosmic judgement.

        Karma (or more correctly ‘karma-vipaka’) is just cause and effect. It’s no more ‘control’ than the force of gravity. Nor is there good karma and bad karma, any more than good gravity keeps us from flying off into space and bad gravity makes us fall down stairs.

        If you push against reality – what is and what you are – then reality pushes back. If you push hard enough you’re gonna get hurt. Metaphorically, karma is the stored energy of previous pushes waiting to whack back at you with a dose of vipaka. If you pay attention you can see it working in your life all the time. You don’t even need to believe in reincarnation. I don’t.

        There is only learning. We live to learn, as we learn to live.

        Well we sure won’t be keeping that after the smoke from our neurons goes up the crematorium chimney. So life has no purpose. We might as well say we live to make money and he who dies with the most wins.

        About nine years ago I realised both my knowledge and my morality – upon which rested so much of my self-esteem – were conceits. Best thing that ever happened to me. And yeah, I was meditating. Spent the next three or four days in a state of satori. Great feeling, but it sure is hard to get stuff done.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. cabrogal, I “liked” your comment primarily because you offered several insights into your personal outlook on “life” — and how it might differ from rawgod’s.

          I find it rather interesting the number of discussions taking place on blogs related to this subject. I guess we’re always searching for meaning to this life, as well as an answer to the eternal “Why?”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. To elucidate on the question ‘Why?’, that’s the unbounded question really, isn’t it?

            Generally we’re about five years old when we first learn we can drive adults crazy with it.

            “It’s time to go to bed.”
            “Why?”
            “Because you have to go to school tomorrow.”
            “Why?”
            “So you can learn things.”
            “Why?”
            “So some day you’ll get a good job.”
            “Why?”
            “JUST SHUT UP AND GO TO BED THIS INSTANT!”
            “But wh … OUCH!”

            By the time we’re adolescents we’re driving ourselves crazy with it instead.

            Everything is intimately connected to and reflected by everything else. Language and logic is linear, but the answer to ‘why?’ isn’t. Cause and effect spray out infinitely in all directions, only converging back at the Big Bang and forwards to the entropic death of the universe. And ‘why’ time, anyway?

            It’s Indra’s Net out there. In here too.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Dear Cabrogal,
          You are you. Please give me the respect of me being me. You say I cannot judge myself, yet you judge me. You think I see myself as fallen. How can I fall when I have never been higher than I am? What you call morals I have none. I am the judge of if I am living as best I can or not, no one else.
          I see a kindred spirit in you, yet we live at angles to each other.
          But what does it mean to be perfect? We obviously define that word differently. If I am perfect, as you suggest, in my understanding I would have no use to be alive. Perfection is the highest possible achievement of being, but I am not there. Perfection is not needing to learn. I need to learn. What I need to learn are not book facts, or science facts, or any physical things, not even mathematics which I am told is a spiritual experience for some. No, I need to learn to be a better person. My spirit needs to learn to be a better spirit.
          You are looking at me through three-dimensional eyes, which I cannot fault you for. We exist at present in what we call the third dimension, and we are communicating with a third-dimension language which cannot express a spiritual communication. If we both knew Sanskrit as intimately as we know English, maybe we could actually communicate. In English this is not possible.
          But you mention LSD. Little you know, LSD is what opened the doors of my mind, and took me to the place of Spirit, the home of Life. 52 years ago I had two out-of-world out-of-body out-of-mind experiences that led me to who I am today. That was not the refined LSD of today, nor did I have anyone with me. I was alone with my self, for hours on end, twice in ten days, and my mind’s eyes were opened to my spirit. This is where I am coming from today. It does not involve ego, but while on earth it allows for ego. Ego is no longer an enemy, but a friend. It keeps me–my body–safe while I pursue other destinations, other levels of understanding. I have no idea how old you are, but from the comments I have read I would put you at under 30. I also know it is cliché for a senior to say you have a lot to learn, but you do still have a lot to learn, more than you can know right now. You are unique, yes. But you are still coloured by your youth, whatever your age. You speak as if you know capital T Truth. Yup, I know, I was there once. What I know now is only my truth. Capital T Truth doesn’t exist in spirit. Truth is ever-changing. It cannot be tied down. Truth is not perfect.
          You want to be perfect, that is up to you. How you see yourself is how you see you. Please, do not look at me as like unto you. I am only like unto me, And I can see the need for improvement. I am not perfect. As long as there is life, there can be no perfection in my understanding of the cosmos. Perfection nullifies the need for life. This has been a long comment, but it is nowhere near complete, it is imperfect, to continue that trope. But I need to go back to proofread. And then I need to go to the bathroom. That is proof of my imperfection. If I was perfect I would have made no typos, and I would not have to go to the bathroom. I could write till I had no more to say. I always have more to say…

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          1. from the comments I have read I would put you at under 30

            I told you I was one year old during the Cuban Missile Crisis. You may not meditate or have a Masters degree in philosophy, but surely you can do basic math.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. You think I see myself as fallen.

            Whether fallen from a past perfection once attained or from a future one you strive for you surely see yourself as fallen, or you wouldn’t be driven to try to lift yourself to some sort of perfection you think you lack.

            You are obviously living the best you can. How can things be what they are not? As you said, you are you. It’s not like you’ve got a choice in the matter. And no matter how long you live, physically or spiritually, you will still be you and that will reflect all you are, were and will be. If you’re not perfect now how can you ever be perfect with an imperfect past? Do you think you can excise it from what you are? That you will ever cease to be a product of it?

            Perfection isn’t something to attain. It’s something to realise. You already have it. You don’t have to learn it.

            I don’t ‘want’ to be perfect. I’ve never striven to be perfect. But through no fault or virtue of my own I realised it. An act of grace, though I had no Goddess when it happened. But in realising it I also realised that I’d always been perfect. And that in some sense I’d always known that, though never as a conscious thought. If I’d had such a thought I’d have thought it ridiculous. Until it wasn’t.

            You speak as if you know capital T Truth.

            Have you really read what I’ve written? The only ‘capital T Truth’ I hold is that my knowledge is an irrelevant conceit in the face of what is. Infinite mystery beyond any hope of comprehension. I don’t need to know. I don’t need to learn. Nor do I need to find meaning, purpose or some kind of goal. I just need to be, and I’ve got no choice about that. Perfect.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. As I said, another difference in how we use language. English does not work, but it is all I have. So let’s agree to disagree and move on from there if we can. I am not actively seeking perfection, I’m not even actively seeking betterment. But I am letting life happen, and observing even while I am acting. Life is a very long road. I have already lived over 4 billion years that I know of, possibly more. I have a billion billion years ahead of me. I want to take me time, and get it right, whatever right is. I am still imperfect in that there is room for improvement. I’ll stick to my way of thinking as you will stick to yours.

              Liked by 1 person

          3. If we both knew Sanskrit as intimately as we know English, maybe we could actually communicate. In English this is not possible.

            Actually I do know a bit of Sanskrit. Not enough to communicate in it but enough to know it’s just as inadequate as English to the task of describing non-dualistic concepts.

            The Hindus are painfully aware of that too. They’ve developed a kind of negative theology to define the boundaries of what can be conveyed with something as limited as language. The best known expression of that is neti, neti …. Not this, not this … But it gets a lot more comprehensive than that.

            I think it was that mode of thinking that enabled Indians to become the first people in the world to develop the concept of zero.

            One of my philosophy lecturers once pointed out the way Hindu philosophers get into describing what something isn’t in a manner that seems full of redundancies to someone from the dualistic Greek tradition showed that they hadn’t discovered the law of the excluded middle. The ignoramus.

            I first struck the tendency of Western philosophers to chauvinistically dismiss highly sophisticated Eastern traditions as primitive and simple-minded in Pirsig’s Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, but my philosophy textbooks were full of it too.

            If you only consciously think in words your conceptions become very culture-bound by your language(s). It also prevents you from realising mystical insights (or those attained during an acid trip). It also leads you to think of your life as some kind of linear narrative with a beginning, middle and end, when really it’s something that simultaneously occupies the entire perceptual universe in the here and now, dissolving dualistic distinctions like spirit and body, subject and object, self and other. Pity you can’t communicate that. Well, not with anything I’ve ever discovered. Zen koans are supposed to be able to do it by overloading your capacity to make such distinctions, but the technique has always eluded me.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Somewhere in the present
              Lies a vision of the future
              Understood from the past
              Lost, in the eternity
              Of now.

              Now is all there is, but that does not preclude that there were other times, or that there will be even more. But all we have is the now, and so it is eternal. Linear time is but a construct, like so many other human things. Yet it has its uses in communication. Especially when we write, because what we write becomes written in stone, no matter that we changed after we wrote it. We can look back and say, that was me then, but it is not who I am now. But yet, others cannot see that, they believe who we were is who we still are. That is quite problematic.

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