And in my darkest moment, fetal and weeping
The moon tells me a secret – my confidant
As full and bright as I am
This light is not my own and
A million light reflections pass over me
Its source is bright and endless
She resuscitates the hopeless
Without her, we are lifeless satellites drifting
And as I pull my head out I am without one doubt
Don’t wanna be down here feeding my narcissism.
I must crucify the ego before it’s far too late
I pray the light lifts me out
Before I pine away.
So is our world a duality?
This assumption has been part of our cultural heritage for so long that some may find it difficult to even ponder another alternative. If you are unwilling to do so, then stop right here, because I have nothing to offer you.
However, if you find the question interesting, then let me ask another: What do you do when you have an experience that you cannot explain? Do you dismiss it as an error in perception? Do you ascribe it to the supernatural? Or do you allow it live on in your mind as an experience that you do not understand?
This third option is what I have termed organic monism. Organic in the sense that thought, experience and understanding develops organically, as opposed to being biological; and monism in the sense that our sensual perception of the world is valid and complete, as opposed to being concerned with substance.
Within the world view that is organic monism, there are several key assumptions:
- There is no separation of ‘real’ and ‘not-real’. Dreams and visions are just as real as day to day life, they are simply another way that we experience the world. This does not mean that we mistake dreams and day to day life, nor that we treat them as the same, it simply means that all experience is of this world, all experience is explainable (even if we cannot currently explain it), and all experience is useful.
- The world is a very complex place. Just because we find something inexplicable, does not mean that it will always be so, nor does it mean that we cannot understand it: it only means that we cannot, currently explain how it works.
- Science is a fabulous tool for learning and understanding our world. Unfortunately, it is also limiting. Science, by its very nature is reductionistic. This is fine for analyzing simple, linear problems, however, most of our world is composed of complex, non-linear systems.
- We are capable of understanding far more than our conscious mind can explain. Intuition, dreams, visions, ‘Blink’ moments: these are all ways that we gain understanding even when we do not consciously know. To ignore these intuitive leaps is to forsake one of the greatest adaptations our big brains provide.
If we allow ourselves to use both scientific and intuitive thinking, we are able to fully embrace the true wonder, beauty and complexity of our world.
- Metaphorical thinking and communication reinforces organic monism by encouraging us to think in terms of relationships and patterns rather than absolute values and direct causation. At the same time, once we start thinking of the world in terms of relationships, it becomes quite clear that we are just one more player amongst many. To posit ourselves as ‘Rulers’, ‘Masters’ or otherwise ‘above’ the rest of creation becomes patently absurd.
In todays world, we have a growing divide between the religious and the secular. No amount of philosophizing, debate or preaching will ever be able to bring those two extremes together. However, there is an opportunity to provide an altogether different interpretation of the world that may appeal to some on both sides of the line as well as those comfortable ambivalent in the middle.
My question to you:
How do you feel about Organic Monism?
Tomorrow, I will fantasize a little: What would planet earth look like if this were a shared world view?
(Originally Posted September 12, 2006)