Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mythic Consciousness and the Cultural Contamination of Realism

In line with my previous post of view I wanted to expand my thoughts on that and discuss what I call mythic consciousness.

Every one (well at least maybe some of us) remember what our minds were like as children. We were open in some ways, open to the realm of fairy, open to the realm of magic. The laws of the adult world didn't apply to us so much. Perhaps we even saw and talked to beings that our parents called "imaginary".
Everything was usually "ok", sometimes even quite expanded and great.
Of course some as children did not have this luxury, were thrust into the world of the rational much quicker. They might have a harder time understanding this discussion.

I have been contemplating these things more since visiting the Natural History museum in Albuquerque, looking up the legs of dinosaurs the size of a 3 or 4 story house that lived an unbelievably long time ago.
When you contemplate how long the humanoid ancestors of ours have been around, just a small fraction of that time at 3 to 4 million years and then contemplate that the time of our historical records of only maybe 6 thousand years at the most is just an even tinier fraction of this time, you wonder perhaps at how our minds functioned for most of this period.

I believe that with the coming of the written word, agriculture, the rise of cities, the spread of humanity across the planet, came the development of the rational consciousness, the pushing forward of our minds into more and more fixed constructs. Our view became more rational. We became more stuck in only that realm that we could see and touch. This greater "evolution" of humankind in a way parallels our "development" as human beings over the course of our lifespan.

I have contemplated in the past few years the return to "innocence" or what I would call mythic consciousness. Why mythic consciousness? Because it is here that our minds access the old myths, the stories that we were told as children, the deeper well of consciousness that accesses the much deeper vaster mental lands of our ancestors.

Have we really come so far with the development of "rational consciousness"? Do we truly even see or feel anymore?
I know personally for myself that when I spend time in this rational consciousness, I find myself subject to fear, depression, hopelessness. One only has to open the newspaper. Get too caught up in paying the bills, living the race, moving forward, working for a life that is an utter fabrication, one that is influenced by the vast cultural movement that is sweeping us all forward.

How do we visit the realm of our deep ancestors? How do we "go back to innocence". How do we see more clearly the realms that escape our ordinary eyes?

We have to first see the creation of what is in front of us. That we are responsible for its creation. Seeing it clearly we can then learn to relax this view. As the greater view of "rationalism" disappears, new vistas, much older vistas open before our eyes.

We discover for ourselves lands that have been long untapped. They are still here. Right in front of us. They have been all along. This landscape is even larger, with much more potency for transformation and change than the walls of the rational landscape.

It is here that we can learn many things, much of which is pre-mental. Pre-rational. Much of it is beyond even our vocabulary. If you read between the lines in the old stories you will find descriptions though.

And you have to be careful as it is easy to get lost here. It requires a balancing act. It is vast territory and as I explained in the previous post, vast view requires extra care.

But in my opinion it is vital if we are to move forward as a species. The wisdom to be found in this space predates even the wisdom of the Vedas, the Bible, the great texts and sages. It is a space that sustained us for vast millenia.

And if you look at the "progress" we've made in the last few thousand years you might agree that the "rational view" is perhaps even leading us to extinction.

Spend some time with the Shambhavi mudra. Learn to see. Learn to let go of constructed view. Take a visit to the land of your deep ancestors and see the broad horizons that they visited.

It is a wondrous land.