Affinity can be defined as a natural personal attraction. In the context of this article we can benefit from considering whether we as an evolved animal have a natural and personal affinity for the good, the true and the beautiful or an affinity for self-destruction. Not surprisingly, philosophers have also found this a fertile field for planting.
Socrates’ view of the good, the true and the beautiful has been called rationalistic moral philosophy. “It is, as Socrates himself says, the claim that to know the good is to do the good.” In the content of the Simple Reality Project we have revealed that we do not have faith in “the creature that reasons” that Socrates had. Our synthesis of the wisdom of the ages has revealed homo-sapiens to be not only the non-rational animal but the unconscious species. “As for Freud and for contemporary psychiatry, the unconscious is understood as a “seething cauldron” of powerful desires against which reason is weak if not helpless.”
We have opened with the disciplines of philosophy and psychology and will later add science and literature as we shine the spotlight of human experience on the human condition in search of inner wisdom and our intuitive connection to something beyond the mundane.
It is the dualistic worldview that has determined the identity of humankind so far and which in turn has driven the behavior of the inhabitants of our planet, and it has always been so. Without a change in paradigm and identity we cannot expect significant changes in behavior. The influences of the false self and its survival strategy of pursuing pleasure, plenty and power; the influence of the collective unconscious; the personal unconscious with its repressed shadow; not to mention the unconscious influence of our instincts all combine to challenge the most optimistic of philosophers. The Roman poet Ovid expressed this universal human dilemma. “We know and approve the better course, but follow the worse.” Clearly, whatever affinities we have for healthy influences we had better seek them out and nurture them.
We continue with an examination of the content of our current story which we call P-B. We all have a narrative continually “running” in our mind. It is far from nurturing and healthy and mostly a chaotic and anxiety-producing narrative. All of Creation is made up of energy of course which includes the thought patterns of our mental story. Just suppose that each thought form had a wavelength which attracted other thoughtforms of similar wavelengths or thought forms with which it had an affinity. Psychologists use a techinique in therapy called “free association” based on a similar theory. In P-A (Oneness) all of this content in individual human minds is understood to be a single story in the Cosmic Mind of the Creator.
It is from these vibratory wavelengths or “thought forms” of infinite variety that Creation itself emerges. So if we know about the “better course” (response) but follow the worse (reaction) it is because we are finding the attraction of reactions stronger than wavelength energy of responses. Our only hope is that we come to understand that we are not evil but simply do not have sufficient awareness that we can make a choice and what such a choice would entail. Most of us have yet to “feel” the attraction, the energy of the “better course.”
“Consider the Judaic or Christian thought forms, for example. Every Christian ever born grows up under the potent influence of the Christian thought forms involving original sin, the nature of hell, and eternal damnation, among others. Every Jew is born under the light-obscuring cloud of thought forms involving such madness as the holocaust. However, feeding these paranoid and repressive thought forms will only perpetuate their potencies in the minds of humanity, and may in fact promote their recurrence. When you consider the crippling power of some of the ideas [the story] we impose upon our children from their moment of birth, is it any wonder the world struggles for a breath of free, fresh air?”
Those of you who consider yourselves “rationalists” might feel that we are going too far from the objective evidence in our attempts to establish affinities among the people who have inhabited the realms of philosophy, psychology, science and Simple Reality—oh you of little faith—behold. There is a brotherhood (and sisterhood too) of awakening mortals, or at least those who have had an affinity for entering the present moment.
This fraternity (and sorority) is not exactly hidden but certainly esoteric. Esoteric meaning “intended for or understood by only a particular group, known by a restricted number or not publicly disclosed and or confidential.” Unfortunately, the little known content of Simple Reality conforms to this definition but not by intention. Some examples of little known but insightful thinkers able to transcend conventional and limited thinking include Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest and anthropologist. In his book The Phenomenon of Man he writes:
“Without the slightest doubt there is something through which material and spiritual energy hold together and are complementary. In the last analysis, somehow or other, there must be a single energy operating in the world. And the first idea that occurs to us is that the ‘soul’ must be as it were a focal point of transformation at which all points of nature, the forces of bodies converge, to become interiorized and sublimated in beauty and truth.”
We often think of our scientists as the most rational and perhaps least mystical members of our communities. However, perhaps the most influential of the fathers of modern science, Sir Isaac Newton, was a devoted student of the esoteric. He “spent much time in the study of the works of the alchemists.”
And perhaps the greatest of the theoretical scientists, Albert Einstein, was also a mystic. “The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the source of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that which is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”
Speaking of “true religiousness,” C. G. Jung found a correspondence between the principles of Simple Reality and a true “religious outlook.” “During the past thirty years, people from all civilized countries on the earth have consulted me. Among all my patients in the second half of life—that is to say, over thirty-five—there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given to their followers, and none of them has been really healed who did not regain his religious outlook. This, of course, has nothing whatever to do with a particular creed or membership of a church.” Many of us recognize Jung’s “religious outlook” as Oneness.
What about those thinkers engaged in “applied science?” “It is interesting to note that Thomas Edison, the greatest inventor in recorded history, was also no stranger to esotericism. He became involved with H. P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society in New York in 1878 and was awarded a Diploma of Fellowship. He was also quite interested in psychic phenomena and conducted some experiments along this line, working with psychics.”
Psychoanalyst Eric Fromm supports the importance of a healthy narrative as a context for healing which also results in an empowered identity. “If a person has not succeeded in integrating his energies in the direction of his higher self, he canalizes them in the direction of lower goals; if he has no picture of the world and his position in it which approximates the truth he will create a picture which is illusory and cling to it.”
This is the human condition in a nutshell, lost in a delusional narrative directing most of our energies toward nourishing an identity determined to create unnecessary pain and suffering.
To see the world in a grain of sand,
heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm
of your hand,
And eternity in an hour. William Blake
Looking for authors for whom we have an affinity in the arena of belles lettres we focus on American writers except for our introductory poem by William Blake. Emerson is good place to start in that he had a profound connection to a worldview of Oneness and faith in human intuition. “‘Standing on bare ground,’ Emerson wrote, ‘—my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space—all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.’”
Realizing the pernicious influence of both a conventional societal context and the false self, Emerson advocated rejecting the beliefs, attitudes and values which permeated the new nation. “Emerson would confirm the complete freedom of the soul and of the mind, casting aside all conformity. [He] attacked all formal religion and championed intuitive spiritual experience.”
Emerson’s friend Thoreau also experienced the trap of the false self and the liberation awaiting those who could respond to the True self in the present moment. “‘A man is really rich,’ Thoreau observed, ‘only in proportion to the number of things he can afford to do without. Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys,’ he wrote, ‘which distract our attention from serious things. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate. As if the main object were to talk fast and not to talk sensibly. The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements [canals, roads, railways etc.], which, by the way, are all external and superficial.’”
When neighbors urged Thoreau to join the gold rush to California he replied, “I might sink a shaft down to the gold within me, and work that mine.” As for his opinion of the American intellect, Henry David felt that at Harvard, for example, they taught courses about all the branches of human knowledge “but none of the roots.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne realized that we all have a choice of responding or reacting to life. Here he uses the metaphor of a white pond-lily. “It is a marvel whence this perfect flower derives its loveliness and perfume, springing as it does from the black mud over which the river sleeps, and where lurk the slimy eel and speckled frog and the mud turtle, whom continual washing cannot cleanse. It is the very same black mud out of which the yellow lily sucks its obscene life and noisome odor. Thus we see too, in the world that some persons assimilate only what is ugly and evil from the same moral circumstances which supply good and beautiful results—the fragrances of celestial flowers—to the daily life of others.”
It is our natural affinity that we must awaken and then we will realize that we have been perfect, fragrant celestial flowers all along.
References and notes are available for this article.
Also find a much more in-depth discussion of Simple Reality
on this blog and in published books by Roy Charles Henry.