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Perhpas the most mysterious thing about the world is the amazing degree to which we have been able to understand and manipulate it with our science and technology. We have come a long way from the primordial muck that is supposed to be our point of origin. How did we ever manage to get to the point where we can even wonder about these larger questions? How much futher might we progress in spiritual or material evolution? Is there anything special about the world that makes life and consciousness possible? When physicists ask themselves these questions, the best they can do is to posit an Anthropic Principle.
But the truth is that physicists do not get paid to ask such questions, no one does. Asking questions for which a given culture does not have adequate answers is a threat to the continuation of that culture. If an unanswerable question cannot be ridiculed, then it may signal the end of the culture that spawned it.
These larger questions are ridiculously easy to answer, if we only allow oursleves the freedom and confidence to do so. These are states of mind which most cultures, especially in their terminal phase, will find suspicious if not actually subversive. The upshot is that even before you can ask a serious question about ourselves or the world, you must be willing to entertain some of the notions of eschatology.
You must be willing to undergo an enlightenment that will appear apocalyptic from a cultural perspective. To maintain a state of gnosis or knowingness will surely cast you into a terminal struggle with the homeys in the 'hood. You become a prophet, or you go back to pumping gas. I cannot recommend either alternative.
Mercifully, knowledge is limited to whatever is essential in the given context. We know that the world is a product and reflection of intelligence and so are we. There is a meaning and purpose to all of this, that is revealed at the end, or to those who put themselves at the end of the world, like right here chez Dan.
Being located in space and time is a temporary and necessary illusion, if you will. This is not to say the the world is unreal, but only that it is not an ultimate reality. Ultimate reality is from where we come, and to which we return, that is our only certainty in existence. Only when we experience ultimate reality will we comprehend the present degree of our unconsciousness.
In order for us to be lost in space and time, as we are, we must temporarily forget our true natures. We are given to remember only when there is a need.
Waking up is all a question of timing, and so, of course, is the end of the world. When you awaken, you can only wonder when the rest of the world will follow. Are you and I just isolated incidents, or part of a final preparation? The only way to find out is to see how other people respond when confronted with apocalytic information. The Web surrounding Dan's Place certainly provides a new type of venue for acting out the end of the world.
If everything derives from a great spirit or cosmic mind, is it illegitimate to wonder where that spirit comes from? Only partly so. Spirit exists beyond space and time, so to speaking of beginnings is only metaphorical.
Think of the primordial chaos, but not as an objective chaos as in science or in the Bible. This is a subjective, experiential chaos, where all possible experience happens at once, in some virtual manner. (This is similar to the quantum vacuum state in physics.) Out of this chaos emerges an ordering principle, not unlike love, which serves as a virtual, hyperdimensional attractor in the manifold of all experience.
The experiences that coalesce around the attractor become the experiences of spirits in worlds. As these spirits learn to 'conspire,' the attractor becomes the great spirit or cosmic mind that we call God. All lesser spirits come from and eventaully become this greater spirit. There is a constant cycling and renewal as with the yin and yang within the Tao.
Our world constituted of human history and consciousness is one a many 'bootstraps' which in turn constitute the self-recreation of the great spirit. So much for our cosmogony.
The prime directive comes from Star Trek, or so I am told. It is a statement of a cosmic policy of non-interference between worlds that are at different stages of their history. This is the approach of the anthropologist in studying an alien culture. It is not the approach of the missionary.
Open communication between worlds occurs only when both parties are willing and ready to participate. All other communication is either illicit or occurs in a fashion that is sufficiently ambiguous so as to preserve the directive. The communications that allegedly constitute the origins of most religions would be in the latter category, presumably. The various paranormal experiences of individuals could be in either category.
The natural result of such a directive would be that besides the comunicating groups of 'advanced' worlds, there would also be a collection of less 'developed' worlds, such as our own, under varying degrees of quarantine. Each of these worlds represents an essential element in the cosmic cycle of creation and recreation, and so each has its own destiny to fulfill. Nonetheless, matriculation into cosmic communication is likely to be the most dramatic point in the history of any world. After that point, the concepts of history and of space and time take on very different meanings.
This public opening to cosmic communication and consciousness would be an essential component of the apocalypse that is our impending eschaton.