About this time, someone will say, “It doesn’t matter what you call it, God, the Tao, LifeOS or the Great Spirit, they are all the same.” Well it does matter, they are not the same. There are certainly some similarities, but many differences between the concepts besides just their labels. One major difference is, that the concept of god is firmly established as an entity, whereas the latter three are processes. The distinction is critical to our discussion.
Back in Shared Myths, i wrote about science and religion sharing the illusion that the universe is structured like a pyramid, with either god or the human brain at the apex. This is the conceptual structure favored by western civilization. It is closely aligned with the materialist mind set that “sees” reality as a linear path to some sort of singularity or super entity. Religion and science make extensive use of this conceptual structure to describe the physical universe for us. This static model defines objects quite well, but ignores the dynamic flow of information that manages the processes involved. That flow follows the rules of networks growing in complex systems. These rules are highly sophisticated fractal “algorithms”, involving conditional response(making choices) to optimize dynamic network traffic. This is best described as intelligent action. This is what goes on in the spiritual realm.
This informational/intelligent/spiritual “virtual reality” is an intricate web of relationships that exceeds the level of complexity seen in the physical universe, by several degrees of magnitude. This is both the history of the universe, (the memory of the total process) and its potential for growth. This is not an area that can be reduced to a iconic label and minimized, although science has attempted to do so.
One God, One Source?
Monotheism and evolution are both products of the same masculine, linear, rational and logical world view. Although the religious view of the All Mighty has morphed away from the bearded old man in the clouds, it is still based on an entity that is fundamentally separate from the system we are discussing. In the evolutionary view, there is no god, but the human being is supreme, and also seen as separate from the system.
The System is not an entity, but a super, nonlinear process. The concept of an “eternal entity” is an illusion. There are only nested and overlapping subsystems that temporarily perform functions as if they were independent units, but flow on in waves, like the weather. The System is eternal; entities, even galaxies, are temporary.
You can’t talk to the System, only entities. The System is the communications network and medium, providing the system for all entities, but not in the business of user relations. Information comes from entities within the system, but not the System itself. It’s like trying to talk to the internet, you can talk to other entities using the system, not the system itself.
Monotheism was a political expedient. Combining all the religions within the Roman Empire into a One Supreme Being(a Trinity really) was political genius. A world that worshipped enumerable deities, demons, gods and angels, could be ruled by one supreme representative, that just happened to reside in the capital city. This effectively removed religion from the life of the individual and replaced it with a state sponsored dogma.
You can ask anyone from a culture that converses directly with their environment and they will tell you that there are many entities that communicate with human beings. It is like the airwaves, the internet and your cellphone, all rolled into one. The System is a communications network that manages all living interactions. All entities use the system. Any entity that claims to be the one and only is pulling your leg.
You and i are part of that grand network, and therefore have access. Your entry portal is through your subconscious.
Beware of Introspection?
Both science and religion are in the business of inserting themselves between the individual and the System, by blocking off the subconscious as forbidden territory, too dangerous for common folk to mess with. They say our behavior should be left to the experts who interpret the “laws” of god and nature for us. They both attempt to define reality for us, with the intent of managing our behavior for their benefit. The concepts of deity and/or human superiority are their most effective management tools.
The concept of a holistic information processing system puts the responsibility for behavior right where it belongs: on the shoulders of the individual. If you accept the “rules of behavior” given to you by your religion, your education and/or your government, you will, sooner or later, find yourself at odds with the Environmental System. Your culture has sold you out, using your behavior to increase the wealth and power those at the top of the cultural pyramid. The environment is a self-organizing, self-correcting system with a long history of success. It didn’t last this long by letting species run amuck. We will grasp our true relationship with that Environmental System, or perish.