Archive for May, 2014

Captain Ahab



Shaking my head as I shuffle through Nod

And wander through darkness on scabrous old feet

Where the fruits are forbidden, and might I add strictly

But the knowledge is ever so sweet


I’m Under the Influence of sir Malcolm L

And M. L. von Franz has me under her spell

Seeking the change that I wish I could be

While my dear inner Ahab I struggle to quell


To search by escaping through tropics and trenches

Determined to make every ocean my home

My singular purpose: the potion that quenches

Still I drink that I could theme alone


In this watering hole will I bury my hatchets

A sickness that’s cured is an ailment forgotten

So choke every sorrow and drown your regrets

A soul that remembers is cursed to go rotten


With penalties and interest forever compounded

I’m astounded to watch how my recollection grows

The proverbial wisdom that’s also called madness

Is purchased on credit and paid for with woes


Drifting asea to steer clear of collectors

Engulfed instead by tempests my own

Echoing voices demanding comeuppance

From the depth comes a cry that disturbs every bone


These howling reminders are issued below

From under the surface by more than a beast

My pirates on deck keep me bound to the mast

Always in earshot and never released


Mostly a head but with hardly a face

My nemesis, massive, can scarcely be seen

Not to be measured through time or in space

From his cousins’ cadavers our data we glean


Less than a man, I stomp on my stump

And promise to silence the primitive brute

Guided by starlight, unable to sleep

Harpoon at the ready and eager to shoot


Damn the torpedos and to hell with the crew

Set sail at once for the wide open blue

Don’t be seduced by this monster in white

His message is wicked, no less than it’s true


He feeds on your anger, you’re never too old

To listen instead of exerting your tongue

Or shaking the hinges of Davy Jones’ locker

On the floor of the ocean where Melville met Jung





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Salvation Through Negation


Life is painful, joy is short-lived, and there are times when abject despair forces us to cry out for divine benevolence. Through fair weather we might be marginal skeptics or even die-hard atheists, but when the excrement hits the fan, the atheists turn agnostic and the agnostics become believers. Not everybody is comfortable with the existence of a higher intelligence, but when things go wrong we all want a scapegoat and we’re perfectly willing to be bailed out by some supernatural interloper. If the knight in shining armor happens to come storming in on the back of a purple unicorn, who among us will refuse his charity?


So long as we can depend on it for safety and security, there’s no need even to reflect on the meaning of this supernatural presence, just as long as it can rescue us from our predicament and allow us to carry on with our ordinary lives. But if and when we, the doubters and foul-weather believers, finally do stop to consider the genuine ontology of this divine ally, it seems that there may actually be less salvation to be gained in its existence than in its non-existence. Certainly for me, more of life’s riddles and mysteries can be solved by the deity who remains purely fictitious than the one who has his own biography and personality and purports to play an active role in our lives.


Let us begin by considering the grand mysteries that lead us to go searching for this divine order in the first place. Indeed, since the seventeenth century and with the Age of Enlightenment, the overwhelming preponderance of issues in our material lives have been and continue to be explained and illuminated simply by understanding a few scientific fundamentals and by accepting the fact that human behavior is by and large pretty unpredictable. Of course, every scientific answer will point to a dozen new questions, but that’s simply the nature of acquiring knowledge and exploring our physical universe, particularly as we plunge ever deeper into the microscopic and macroscopic worlds. A god, however, that just fills in the gaps that our scientific models have yet to resolve is little more than a hole patcher.


The truly profound questions do not deal with things like the structure and formation of the vastly complex human eye, but with the fundamentally inexplicable nature of phenomena like human insight. Regardless of the grand order of the universe, what really matters, deep down, is how we as sentient beings experience this universe. And the fact is, we each experience the universe entirely through our own unique consciousness. Our tainted perceptions and our waking thoughts contain the alpha and omega of everything we know about the physical universe. But what exactly is the relationship between our bodies, as part of the physical universe, and our minds, which seem to operate somehow independently of the physical dimension, with no actual location in time or space?


How do mind and body work in concert to produce the unique identities that we think of as our Selves? And how does this process of generating an endless stream of transient thoughts and ideas actually function?  There is no doubt that if your mind and body were magically separated and paired up with a different mind and a different body, you would feel much more yourself with your mind occupying an other body than with your body containing an other mind. Not only can we quite easily think of these two entities and separate and distinct, as this thought experiment shows; but clearly, we, as conscious beings, value our minds, in all their unearthly intangibility, much more highly than our corporeal, down-to-earth bodies. Furthermore, we also share the deeply held feeling —or instinct — that, for some reason, the trivial knowledge that occupies our impalpable minds is of far greater importance than the instinctive knowledge contained in our bodies, the innate knowledge that enables us to perform the most essential tasks: to eat, breathe, sleep and produce offspring.


Ascribing a deeper attachment and a higher value to our bodiless spirits than to our flesh  and blood is a matter of no small consequence. With its greater value, the intangible naturally attracts a higher demand. Indeed, the human race has always craved an expansion of consciousness and longed for a higher intelligence. The age-old quest for god is evidence enough. Our hunger for earthly gain is plain to see, but in the long history of our species, material greed is something of a novelty in comparison to our spiritual appetite. When push comes to shove, even the Gordon Gekkos have to admit that the reptilian rapacity of their worldly appetites are of an inferior nature to the needs and desires of their hearts and souls.


Consciousness, like one of the more popular mythic figures of the last 2000 years, is a slippery fish. The harder we try to grasp its nature, the more it slips away. It endows us with a capacity for reason, but cannot be apprehended by reason itself. We can speak of a mental sphere or a spiritual realm, but what we are really saying is that we aren’t sure what it is, except that it is non-physical and somehow superior. It is this non-material domain that we can categorically refer to as the Kingdom of God. Though it remains a point of debate among physicists, we can say that physical universe has boundaries, or at least it has laws and limitations. The non-physical world, however, hasn’t any of these things, for it exceeds all such categories of human apprehension.


In the East and the West, there is a long tradition of what they call negative theology, and this is just the tip of that empyreal iceberg. Writing in the fifth century, and pseudonymously for reasonable fear of persecution and even execution, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite took one of the most assertive positions in this manner of comprehending God. Essentially, this theological approach attempts to define God indirectly, by saying what God is not, rather than trying in vain to pin down what exactly God is.


“He is neither number nor order; nor greatness nor smallness; nor equality nor inequality; nor similarity nor dissimilarity; neither is He still, nor moving, nor at rest; neither has He power nor is power, nor is light; neither does He live nor is He life; neither is He essence, nor eternity nor time; nor is He subject to intelligible contact; nor is He science nor truth, nor a king, nor wisdom; neither one nor oneness, nor godhead nor goodness; nor is He spirit according to our understanding, nor a son, nor a father; nor anything else known to us or to any other of the beings or creatures that are or are not.”  [from Mystical Theology]


Four centuries later, the Irish theologian John Scotus Erigena (c. 815-877) worked hard to revive this mystic approach to philosophy. “We do not know what God is,” said Erigina. “God Himself does not know what He is because He is not anything. Literally God is not, because He transcends being.”


I find it strange that this sort of philosophy has not gained greater currency in the wake of the Enlightenment and the general decline of traditional religion. Admittedly, the ideas themselves appear somewhat obtuse and even self-contradictory on the surface, but for me they forge an effective and attractive bridge between monotheism and atheism, what I glibly call non-theism. Negative theology succeeds because it really captures and conveys the great mystery of God, and Mystery, after all, is what it’s all about. If we want to understand the origins of consciousness and what happens to the mind —our thoughts and our spirit — after we die, then we have no choice but to surrender ourselves to Mystery.


These are the most fascinating questions about the human condition, because they are ultimately unknowable, and so they require a god that likewise defies our comprehension. Like the mind (or the soul, if you prefer), which exists somehow independently of the body, outside of time and space, God acts as an expression of the non-physical, the non-material, the un-knowable and the un-conscious. Does God hold the key to un-lock these secrets, or the Rosetta Stone to un-scramble the messages from our unconscious? Not exactly, but in his otherworldly state of non-being, he can help us come face to face with those things that are absolutely unknowable, and to embrace the mystery for the sake of mystery.


(Note: I keep referring to God as “he” or “him” only out of tradition, as a sea vessel is figuratively called “she.” But this personification should never be taken literally, and I apologize for the personal pronouns when they do produce that effect. In time, I think it’s something we need to move away from, but for now I just can’t get over the awkward sound of using “it”.)


The negative theology has an older and deeper, if not subtler, tradition in the East, in Buddhism and Taoism, which I think has much to do with their appeal to western intellects and new age thinkers in the past several decades. Certainly the impersonal deity is a welcome alternative for those who grew up under constant threat of brimstone and fire and an omniscient god of Orwellian proportions. Still, the negating elements in Taoism and the Buddhist notion of emptiness (Sunyata, which we don’t have the time or space to cover here) remain the most elusive aspects of Eastern religion for most occidental thinkers.


“The Tao which can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao; the name which can be uttered is not its eternal name. Without a name, it is the Beginning of Heaven and Earth; with a name, it is the Mother of all things. Only one who is eternally free from earthly passions can apprehend its spiritual essence; he who is ever clogged by passions can see no more than its outer form. These two things, the spiritual and the material, though we call them by different names, in their origin are one and the same. This sameness is a mystery,–the mystery of mysteries. It is the gate of all spirituality.”  [Tao Te Ching]


These lines which open the classic text of Taoism echo in the ideas and sentiments of Pseudo-Dionysius quoted above, although he was almost certainly unfamiliar with this Chinese work from the sixth century B.C.E. This passage addresses explicitly the troublesome relationship between body and mind, between the physical and the non-physical spheres, which I consider to be at the core of all religious pursuit. Moreover, the Tao, rather than issuing answers, concedes to mystery and the ultimate unknowability of this relationship.


I could spend a lifetime contemplating the wisdom of the Tao, but then again, there are times when its litany of paradoxical maxims seem to compromise its accessibility for the casual reader. Much to my own surprise, I’ve found a more authentic experience, more in tune with my roots, by returning to and further exploring the western myths I grew up, but engaging them more creatively with the aid of Carl Jung, Pseudo-Dionysius and other philosophers who my Sunday school teachers failed to mention.


On that note, let us consider, if possible, a quick via negativa (the Way of Negation) account of the New Testament. God has ventured out of his holy domain and into the mundane world to experience life as a mortal human, and in doing so he must endure suffering. Recall the first noble truth of Buddhism: life is suffering. After a string of good deeds and unjust persecution, Christ is sentenced to death. Crucifixion alone brings a dramatic end to God’s suffering, and a return to the divine state. This is described as a return to the Heavenly Father, which we can think of not simply as death, but rather as non-life and non-suffering. This is the sacred promise of eternal life and salvation from suffering. The end of earthly, human life marks the end of everything we know and the beginning of the utterly unknowable, in other words, the realm of God. In this way we do become one with the ineffable God after death, much as we were before birth.


The God of the New Testament and the timeless eternity are one and the same. This relegation of the eternal to the Kingdom of heaven is made in the very first chapter of the Book of John. “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.” (1 John 1:2) The Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov also described the immeasurable void of the afterlife with typical eloquence in his classic memoir, Speak, Memory: “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”


Again and again, these descriptions point to something beyond rational human understanding, and into the incomprehensible sphere we call the divine. Every effort to put this territory into words inevitably falls short, so we resort to imagery and personification. Eternity is merely the name we give to that dimension outside of time as we know it, the dimension shared by immortal gods and immaterial consciousness. Likewise, infinity is that nebulous dimension outside of space, absent the physical boundaries and limitations that define our existence. It is the non-place in non-time which our bodiless souls escape to after life, and from which they emerged before Creation, when “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep.” (Genesis 1:2)


I realize that many self-identifying Christians may find this exegesis less than satisfactory. Of course, the feeling is mutual. Theists of all stripes tend to regard this conceptualization of god — defining him through negative rather than affirmative statements — to be inadequate or even heretical.


What I find appealing is how this alternative theology questions the existence of god, or at least casts it in much a different light, without simply rejecting it outright. As I see it, ordinary things exist. You and I exist, and this table exists. The pain in my thumb where I cut it preparing dinner exists. These things all exist; but God, in the extraordinary category of his own, does not exist. He does something altogether different, and we don’t even have the language to say what that is. But whatever that is, it’s the only thing comparable to what we do before and after we exist in this short stretch of time we call life. Furthermore, I think the Way of Negation actually raises God even higher than traditional theism, by placing him beyond our reach and conceding that he transcends any attempt at a straightforward definition in ordinary affirmative terms, regardless of how many superlatives are sprinkled in.


This may not be the kind of god you can call upon when you want your football team to have a better season, or you wish the girl at the cafe would come home with you. But I think it is the kind of god that can help you come to terms with the deepest mysteries within your own field of conscious experience. And perhaps, once you’ve done that, you may begin to exude something inexpressible that will make that girl in the cafe just slightly more likely to notice the fact that you, unlike God, actually exist. Maybe just don’t try and bring up Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite on the first date.


Stay tuned next week when I decide whether or not to make up my mind.

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Jedi training

Better Living With Star Wars

There are two types of people in the world: those who just enjoy watching the original Star Wars trilogy, and those who recognize it as the monumental religious foundation that it is. You could guess that I’m a member of the second group, and you would be right. I am a true believer. When I say that Star Wars is a religion, I mean that in the very best sense of the word. Like the holiest scriptures of yore, the modern sci-fi epic performs all the highest functions of a sacred text — providing moral instruction, metaphysical exposition, psychological examination, and social cohesion — while steering clear of the faults and transgressions that have in recent times sullied the reputation of organized religions almost beyond the point of forgiveness.


Let us begin by considering the virtues of Star Wars mythology that distinguish it from the kinds of religious doctrines that we are probably more familiar with in the contemporary western world. Unlike the forms of Levantine monotheism that have come to dominate our cultural heritage over the past couple thousand years, the legends of Jedi heroics do not lend themselves to a dogmatic interpretation. From the opening words, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”, we are directed to think of this as the distant past, yet the outer space setting is decidedly futuristic. In the first few seconds we confront our first paradox: we are in the future, we are in the past. Thus we depart from the temporal and the mundane, and we enter the fantastic and transcendent, where time is eternal and ahistorical.


Moreover, here in dreamland, there is no confusing the intergalactic adventures for an actual account of ancient civilizations. There is no attachment to one tribe or ethnicity, no true ancestors to whom we can trace some royal or divine lineage, and no cause for anxiety about geological or historical findings that could compromise the literal authenticity of our narrative. This detachment allows us to plunge the depths of space worry-free, and as we do so it becomes increasingly obvious that what we are really exploring is not outer space, but inner space.


In addition to freeing our imagination from the confines of physical laws and historical facts, the fantasy setting opens our mind to the pluralism of wonder. There is no indoctrination into a creed of with-us-or-against-us exclusivity; this is a saga through many worlds and welcoming to many world views. The ways of the Force do not proclaim exclusive access to a higher power reserved for a select nation or sect. Many followers of Christ and Mohammed also manage to maintain an inclusive faith, believing that everyone who worships a single god, be it Yahweh or Allah or someone else, is really worshipping the same One god. Others are even more open-minded, respecting all forms of reverence to all forms of godliness. But too many monotheists, and certainly all those who make the news headlines, seem convinced that the path of truth is theirs and theirs alone.


Certain Christians, for example, like to cite the Book of John (14:6) in which Jesus is quoted as saying, “I am the way, the truth and the light; no one comes to God but through me.” They would have you believe that this means the only path to spiritual elevation is through the teaching of Christ, and that every other so-called teacher is a mouthpiece for Satan. The Jedi, however, understands that the path to enlightenment is one of personal development, that all growth takes place “through me,” and that a maxim like “I am the light” is a mantra for self-realization rather than a beacon of outside authority.


Consider Yoda’s advice to Luke upon entering a foreboding cavern, reminding his student to shift his attention inward: “You will find only what you bring in.” The light we crave resides within each of us, and unfortunately, so does the darkness we dread. “You will know,” says Yoda, “when you are calm, at peace.”  Such Jedi wisdom is worth bearing in mind through any period of crisis or indecision, encouraging us to cultivate the positive through self-reliance and to weed out the negative through self-discipline.


It is, of course, Yoda who preaches the religion of Star Wars most explicitly. He has been training his apprentices in the ways of the Force for over 800 years, and yet the Force remains a mystery, too often misunderstood, too easily misused. Obi Wan Kenobi gives our clearest and earliest definition of the Force in A New Hope, explaining it to young Luke as, “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us… penetrates us… and binds the galaxy together.” In less than 20 words, Obi Wan has made a tremendous theological proposition. Han Solo accurately calls the Force a religion (albeit a “hokey” one), but it clearly differs from the personal deity that we would call God. It is not a force that exercises a will of its own or exerts an influence in our daily lives. It does not demand worship or offering. Instead, it sounds more comparable to a force like gravity, but operating in the spiritual as well as the physical realm. And interestingly, this Force is no demiurge. It played no part in the creation of the universe; on the contrary, nature created it.


I like to think of the Force as something akin to cosmic consciousness. As our physical brains mysteriously generate what we experience as consciousness, the physical universe mysteriously generates this field of energy. Still, this energy remains difficult to pin down, and can really only be described through analogies and metaphors. Because it exceeds our simple human understanding, it comes as no surprise that people might try and domesticate it with personal characterizations, anthropomorphize it in other words. Once we’ve given it a name and a personality, it’s so much easier to relate to it. The trouble is that, over time, we come to forget that this personalization was only a tool, a shortcut to grasping some slippery metaphysics, and we form attachments to these divine personages.


When we just think of it as the Force, however, it stays in that fuzzy category with gravity and electromagnetism— always present, very powerful, and still invisible — but with no mind of its own. Sages have offered similar philosophies, including Buddhism. But people always seem so intent on deifying something, so they name it after Buddha and end up worshipping statues of his likeness. Perhaps Taoism is the only religion, if it can even be called that, which retains the impersonal, ineffable quality of the Force. The Tao, typically translated as the Way, is not so far from the Force, and in fact, people are probably more likely to worship Yoda than Lao-Tzu. But ultimately, the Force is not about having an entity to worship and exalt, but rather an energy to ponder and absorb.


“The Tao that can be spoken,” it is said, “is not the true Tao.” It can indeed make an awkward topic for conversation, because it encompasses so much paradox, a better subject for deep meditation than for roundtable discussion. The longer you think about the Force or the Tao, the more you end up describing it by what it’s not: non-doctrinal, non-dogmatic, non-evangelizing, non-theistic. This via negativa approach — defining the divine by what it isn’t — has one of its earliest and most influential proponents in the 5th century Christian theologian Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, and I have heard no description of God that comes as close as his to conveying the elusive nature of the Force:

He is neither number nor order; nor greatness nor smallness; nor equality nor inequality; nor similarity nor dissimilarity; neither is He still, nor moving, nor at rest; neither has He power nor is power, nor is light; neither does He live nor is He life; neither is He essence, nor eternity nor time; nor is He subject to intelligible contact; nor is He science nor truth, nor a king, nor wisdom; neither one nor oneness, nor godhead nor goodness; nor is He spirit according to our understanding, nor a son, nor a father; nor anything else known to us or to any other of the beings or creatures that are or are not.  [Mystical Theology]

Small wonder that the writings of old Pseudo-Dionysius never quite captured the imagination of your garden variety church-goer. This is precisely why we resort to symbolic story telling. Such mind-bending paradoxes may appeal to the hermetic philosophers inclined to spending decades in solitary contemplation, but for the rest of us, the mythic dramas provide a far more accessible avenue for engaging our minds and souls. It’s through these supernatural, interstellar fantasies that we can better recognize our own greatest hopes and fears.


Any American who grew up in the 1970s knows what it means to share in this repository of George Lucasian myth. Much as the Bible continues to serve as a unifying gel for one very large global community, the adventures of Luke Skywalker and the menace of Darth Vader  contributed to our early psychic development and remain a visceral part of our childhood. This collective participation forms the tribal bond of our subculture, bringing a sense of social cohesion founded on common experience, shared ideology and a mutual cinematic obsession.


Like drawing on a powerful story from scripture, we invoke scenes and characters knowing that they carry a certain emotional charge. When, for example, in a time of need, we turn to a friend and implore them, “Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope,” we know they won’t let us down. Or when they in turn remind us, “Don’t give in to the dark side,” then we know it’s time to pause and reset our own moral compass.


We might find a lot of fun and games on the surface of Jedi knighthood, agile swordplay and nimble acrobatics, a refreshing absence of tedious liturgy, longwinded scripture and ominous hellfire; but “Excitement… adventure… a Jedi craves not these things,” so Yoda counsels us. The Force is no joke. It addresses the gravest questions of good and evil, the deepest nature of our Selves, and the very fabric of the cosmos. And in the course of these essays, I hope to make its genuine value clear to anyone who shares my thirst for the sweet nectar that flows from the cup of wisdom.



Stay tuned next week, when I sharpen my light saber against the coarse edge of my own shadow.

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Word of God

Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Word of God

Following in the galaxy-galloping footsteps of the late Carl Sagan, astrophysicist extraordinaire Neil deGrass Tyson is now bringing the miracles of the universe to a new generation of science lovers and life-long learners, but these days it’s hard to unmask the grand mysteries of geology and biology without ruffling a few feathers. If we can believe the news reports from Mother Jones and the Huffington Post, legions of Christian creationists are up in arms over the “Cosmos” host’s one-sided presentation of evolution and total disregard for the Genesis version of our species’ recent emergence ex nihilo

Now I love a good Bible story as much as anyone, but the idea that an astrophysicist should be reading passages from the Old Testament on a program devoted to clarifying topics as potentially off-putting as the patterns of molecular biology, the forces of planetary motion, and the methodology of astronomical spectroscopy, to name just a few, makes for some pretty sad commentary about the pitiful state of education in this country and only underscores the need for more programs like “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”  And I’m not only lamenting the collective ignorance in the fields of astronomy and paleobiology; there’s also been a preposterous perversion of some timeless religious teachings and some particularly devastating distortions to the instructive dialect of scripture.


No doubt, opinions about the Bible vary widely, but alongside the epics of Homer it stands as one of the two or three oldest pieces of literature in the canon of western civilization, and shrugging it off as outdated and obsolete would be no less recklessly ignorant than casting aside the works of Isaac Newton or William Shakespeare. Truth be told, the Bible really has nothing whatsoever to say about the veracity of evolution or the Big Bang, and anyone who makes that claim is only publicizing their embarrassing inability to understand the text they call sacred.


When these pious pundits insist that Creation be taught alongside scientific explanations for the origins of earth and the ancestry of man, they base their argument on the notion that the Bible is the Word of God, unquestionable, unchanging and absolute. The beautiful thing about the Word of God, however, which these zealots tragically fail to grasp, is how it is conveyed in the Language of God. One cannot decipher the content until he learns the language, and that language is not our ordinary everyday-speak, but the idiom of metaphor.


As Joseph Campbell plainly puts it, “Mythology is psychology, misread as cosmology, history, and biography.” The story of Creation, in other words, is not a story conceived by bad scientists or incompetent historians, but a parable fashioned by highly gifted poets and master scrutineers of human nature, speaking in their native tongue and embellishing with the images handed down by their forefathers. Holy scripture should not read the way we would read the Principia Mathematica or the New York Times, but instead should be studied carefully and analyzed like a literary masterpiece from Melville or Dostoyevsky. Similarly, we would never take the events in a play like Macbeth at face value they way we might read a biography from Arthur Schlesinger.


The language of myth was once upon a time as familiar as the vulgar vernacular, but since the age of Enlightenment, it his withered away. The logical language of reason and mathematical formulae has given us many keys for unlocking the patterns and processes of the physical world, but at the same time it has allowed us to misplace the keys we once used to unscramble the mysteries of our deep inner galaxies. Yet, difficult as it may be for many modern opinion-holders to understand, the two are not irreconcilable.


As the long lost legacy of Greek philosophers was rediscovered in the Middle Ages to spark the European Renaissance and the Enlightenment which followed, it’s time we relearned this picturesque language from our ancient past and recaptured the timeless wisdom of myths, to carry humankind into the next era of consciousness. Once we overcome this contentious language barrier, there is no reason the fruits of the cosmos, both physical and metaphysical, cannot be enjoyed by believers and skeptics alike.



Stay tuned next week when I share my family recipe for primordial soup.





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