From what I’m reading in “The Wayward Mind” one of the essential Kabbalistic tenets is, at least, as old as Pythagoras. The essential worldview is all there. But what caught my attention at an intuitive level was the following passage:

Well before Plato’s famous metaphor of the shadows on the cave wall, it was Pythagoras who turned the world, and especially the person, upside down and inside out. That which was visible and tangible was to be disdained, and that which was merely an idea was to be taken as the only true worthwhile reality.

Behind murky, complicated, changeable appearance lurked, if one could only understand it well enough, The divine, pristine, eternal forms that were the only things on which one could truly rely […]

The intuition is about how all these attempts to explain the human soul essentially circle the truth, and the truth can justify and explain all of them. I’m coming to this right from Scott Bakker’s own cynical perspective, so based entirely on the evidence of science and neuroscience.

From the center to the periphery. If consciousness is truly just a marginal event with no concrete hold on “choice” and intent, then, intuitively, this new model revolutionizes what we think about ourselves. Bakker broadly divides the progress of science in three big movements/revolutions: the discovery of the earth orbiting around the sun, the evolutionary theory, and finally the third movement about to happen, the discovery of the peripheral role of consciousness in the brain processes. All three built on top of intuitive assumptions (earth at the center of the universe, man at the center of creation, consciousness at the center of the soul) only to be consequently and forcefully dislodged by science. All three met with a whole lot of resistance, even if at least the first has been completely “surrendered” in modern times.

Yet, the “human” being, as we consider it, IS a thing of consciousness. This is why this isn’t one of the themes one can talk about. This is THE frame. It represents the whole encapsulation of experience. As human beings we live and exist within “culture”. As some philosophers would say, our world is entirely made of language. If it is culture then it is made of language, and if it’s made of language it can be codified. We think, therefore we’re language, because there is no thought without language. We live of symbols and stories. Through which we make sense of life, and self-describe.

Now, it’s this whole level to go into a crisis. It’s the whole of consciousness, and so, of perception. Everything we know that is not consciousness, say the physical feelings and the inanimate world, is still something we know through consciousness. We exist in a realm and look outside its window, but we know of what’s outside of the window because of what arrives to us. So we perceive ourselves as “separate”. That’s why identity and consciousness cease to be almost entirely in a dream. Consciousness is asleep, we surrender the pretence of control, and hope everything will be alright when we wake up again. That the world will be still out there.

So there is this big gap between “us”, the perception of what’s an human being, and what’s truly the human being, the body and all its functions. We’re merely trapped “in there”. If we turn off the light of consciousness then EVERYTHING ceases to be. For you. I mean for you as a conscious being. As that specific, omnipresent feeling you have of being yourself. It is your whole world to be at stake.

I’m talking of perception. I’m now thinking and writing, and, to me, this “feels” happening into consciousness. Whatever sits out, is for me dark. Invisible. If something passes through and “appears”, a good or a bad feeling, then it is surfacing on consciousness. In fact we believe we can go through surgery and bypass the pain, as long our consciousness is “shut down”. A momentary lapse. We can cease to be, we can stop existing, because we are only a small part of ourselves: a consciousness.

Now consider again the quote above. If consciousness is peripheral then it’s true that all we hold dearly is essentially vain and empty. And it is true that the mystery of what’s out there (out of consciousness, so including the parts of us excluded from it), call it “divine, pristine, eternal forms” for the lack of better terms, is what’s actually “real”.

Our journey as a species seems a journey of knowledge, and surrender. More than two thousands years spent to figure out ourselves, as narcissistic constructs. Eventually we’re finding out. Maybe someone can even see a sense of harmony into this, if not something consolatory. We had a beginning and we will have our end. This place, right here, right now, in the whole universe, belongs to me. I’m worth no more and no less. Seems like the message at the end is similar to the one in LOST. “Let go”.

We’re locked in some sort of passive observation. It seems like in the end we’ll have to break the loop we’re caught in. It’s the entire encapsulation that is either there or it is lost. If we’re truly agnostic then we have no claims on the world, and we only have our illusory perception. We can be SURE of being illusions. Transient dreams. Wakeful states of passive observation. And we can be CERTAIN that something out there is “real”, whatever it is. Whatever it is excludes us, is antithetic. So, in order to go there, we’ll have to surrender consciousness itself.

The more you stay radical and scientific, the more you surrender to metaphysics. Science is way too radical to be walled into a story, or by consciousness. The story we make of science is merely one stop, on the way to knowledge. A place where to catch breath, to then move again. All stories, philosophy, all the books written, the scientific progress, the metaphysics and esoteric beliefs, all pivot around a gravity center. The gravity center is the human being and the human soul. We wrote stories so that we could fill the gaps in all we couldn’t know. Within consciousness and language we created a world we could live in, that could bear us.

But consciousness is artificial, it is faked. It’s a trick that served whatever purpose. Our whole history, of events, of thoughts, is just the music that followed us. It’s a glorious story that had a beginning, and will have an end.

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