Getting Back To Paradise, part 1: Purification First
“It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.” Black Elk
In the quiet stillness of these times, I will continue sharing my current stream of thought around the theme of “Paradise Remembered.” In this post I revisit Richard Heinberg’s MEMORIES and VISIONS of PARADISE to start bringing this series to a positive finale, starting with this promising passage:
A new Paradise awaits, but humanity must first undergo a cathartic cleansing. Few prophets have looked beyond the day of Purification to describe the events of the restored Golden Age, for the world to come will be inconceivable in terms of the present one. With the return of Paradise, history — as a chronicle of wars and intrigue, of plots and villains — will be finished. Humanity and Nature, Heaven and Earth will once more be joined in peace and harmony as a new Creation-Time begins.
PURIFICATION OF THE HEART
In the biblical story of the Fall, an angel with a flaming sword was placed at the entrance to Eden guarding the way to the Tree of Life, lest fallen Man partake of its fruit and live forever in his fallen state. The angel represents the ONE I AM; the sword represents TRUTH; the fire represents the purifying SPIRIT OF LOVE. The story, of course, is a metaphor indicating that in order to return to Eden, we must pass through the fire of purification and prove that we can be true to the Truth of Love, true to our true Self.
The first order of business is the cleansing of the heart, especially of immune-crippling fear and shame. Buried deeply in the heart of humanity are fearful memories of a cataclysmic past in which the human race and all living things were nearly and literally wiped off the face of the earth, such as what occurred in the days of Noah with the Deluge. We carry shame in our hearts for having brought this calamity, and all those that followed, upon our own heads by forgetting to live by the Law of One, and fear that calamity will happen again. It was said, however, that the Creator would not destroy the world again by water, and that this generation is “reserved unto fire.” What are some of the implications of this prophecy, and by what possible means would such a fiery cleansing take place?
THE CREATING PROCESS
In addressing these questions, I turn to a consideration of the Creative Process in which matter is drawn together for a season and then undone and recycled for future creative purposes. Integration is an equal partner to dis-integration in this process—and their cycles run concurrently, only integration tends to be a bit more subtle, and dis-integration tends to gain a lot more attention.
As examples: devastating forest fires make news headlines, while new growth in their wake receives little if any media coverage. Plagues, like the current pandemic, devastate our sense of security, along with the human population — although to little extent compared to the 1.4% current population growth rate — and the daily death toll makes leading story for the morning news. On the other end of the population spectrum, we’re less likely to see announcements of new births in our daily newspaper as we see obituaries.
Ironically, while we all celebrate new births with congratulatory sentiment, we may harbor reservations about the wisdom of bringing a child into this turbulent and overpopulated world. We are, after all, leaving our children a mess to clean up. My concern for our grandchildren is that they will suffer painful hardship in the collapse of this un-civilized world—and I don’t think there’s any doubt remaining that this will come to pass, if not in our lifetime, in theirs.
On our walk a few days ago we met up with a young friend who, with his wife, have agreed not to have children and bring more human beings into this world. Such conscious thinking and wisdom are exemplary.
As a species, we do need to curb population growth, and the starting place is with individuals. Family-planning is essential, with conception-and-birth control taking precedence over abortion. For those who do not wish to bring more children into the world, adoption is a beautiful way to fulfill a couple’s desire to have children and a family. If we the people do not take this matter into our hands, the powers that be, that manipulate the masses for profit, will do it in ways that are ungodly and do irreversible damage to the genetics of our species.
Dan Brown’s INFERNO may be fiction, but the reduction of the human population by means of a viral epidemic, or vaccinations, has been conceived in human consciousness, the matrix in which the patterns of human civilization are set, and out of which our world is born. That said, let us not energize that conception by focusing our mental judgments on it, nor on those “evil-doers out there,” lest the conceived possibility take on a life of its own and become our-worst-fears-realized.
The creating processes of integration and disintegration are unfolding continually. The question I pose is this: “Is there a ‘critical mass’ in place on earth sufficient to move the Creating Process in a more dominantly integrative direction?” I sense that we’re getting there, if we’re not there already.
FOUR WORLD AGES COME AND GO
Historically, ages end with cataclysmic events. According to the Ancients, there have been four Ages in our history. Richard Heinberg cites them:
If the magical landscape fixes Paradise in space, its position in time is defined by its placement at the beginning of a series of world ages. We have already noted the Greek and Hindu conceptions of the ages or yugas of the world, respectively; there are also close parallels among other cultures. The Iranians, for example, knew four cosmic ages that, in a lost Mazdaean book, the Sudkar~nask, are referred to as the ages of gold, silver, steel, and “mixed with iron.” In the Iranian conception, as in the Greek and Hindu, each age is a step in the world’s deterioration, a process that is leading to a final apocalyptic cleansing.”
The Mayans counted their world ages as consecutive Suns — Water Sun, Earthquake Sun, Hurricane Sun, and Fire Sun — according to the nature of the catastrophe that closed the epoch. The Hopi also spoke of four worlds — Tokpela, Tokpa, Kuskurza, and Tuwaquchi — the first of which is described in paradisal terms. Following their creation in the Tokpela world, the first people went their directions, were happy, and began to multiply. With the pristine wisdom granted them, they understood that the earth was a living entity like themselves. She was their mother; they were made from her flesh …. In their wisdom they also knew their father in two aspects. He was the Sun, the solar god of their universe …. Yet his was but the face through which looked Taiowa, their creator …. These universal entities were their real parents, their human parents being but the instruments through which their power was made manifest . . . . .
THE END OF A WORLD AGE
We are the generation to see the end of the “mixed-with-iron” age and the beginning of the “Information Age”– the age of “Artificial Intelligence” or “AI.” That has such a foreboding sound to it. Are we actually relegating our intelligence to the computer? Sounds like a final step downward in the devolution of our species — from spiritual beings who had access to all knowledge — past, present and future — down to the level of these animal bodies with brains that have limited vision, and down further yet to the mineral kingdom where we hand over our “intelligence” to a computer silicon chip in which our vision and view of reality is determined by “data” rather than spiritual discernment.
Returning to the question I posed earlier, by what possible means will this generation be cleansed by fire? Heinberg speaks to this question in the final chapters of his book. I will conclude with these excerpts in two or three posts.
To Get Back to the Garden
EDENIC CONSCIOUSNESS MAY BE RECOVERABLE by individuals in rare moments of spiritual insight. Perhaps nearly everyone glimpses Paradise at some instant during his or her lifetime. But is it also possible for all of us together to live in the Garden once again — to return and stay? This final chapter will offer two reasons for thinking that it is possible. We will see, moreover, how signs of strain and disintegration in the foundations of our present civilization, together with some intriguing developments at the growing tips of society, suggest that a new Golden Age may already be struggling to be born.
The Attainability of Paradise
The evidence of anthropology and archaeology may not prove (though it certainly does not deny) the former existence of a Golden Age — that is, of a unitary culture in which people were universally and continually telepathic, lived close to Nature, and possessed miraculous powers. But, as we saw in chapter 8, anthropological and archaeological discoveries have shown, almost beyond a doubt, that two of the most destructive aspects of civilization (the use and justification of violence as a means of social change, and the desire for dominance over other human beings and over Nature) were acquired only recently. The findings of archaeologists show that in the past human beings did live — and therefore in principle are capable of living — in peace and harmony both among themselves and with Nature.
Moreover, the evidence of psychology suggests not only that a subjective condition of oneness, peace, and innocence is attainable, but also that it is the natural and healthy mode of human consciousness. If the human body functions best in the absence of the ego-states of blame, fear, and resentment (as medical experiments show that it does), then the fact that we are living in an ego-based world, in which Paradise is the exceptional experience, must therefore be an unusual and temporary state of affairs.
If we were able to live in Paradise once, we ought to be able to do so again. And if the most natural and healthy way of life available to human beings is defined by the expression of the essential paradisal qualities of character and the subsequent experience of universal harmony, then what is natural should in principle also be attainable. In short, we may be designed to live in Paradise.
Why, then, do we routinely assume that Paradise is beyond our reach? Perhaps it is partly because we have an unrealistic concept of what that state is or should be. We tend to think of Paradise as a place or time in which all human desires are satisfied; since people’s desires tend to conflict, we therefore assume that Paradise could never actually exist. But the Paradise of myth and vision is not a state in which conflicting personal desires are somehow all fulfilled. Rather, it is one in which all human desires and motives are completely subsumed within a larger creative purpose. If individual desires are satisfied in Paradise, this is only because it is the overwhelming desire of all individuals that the consummate accord of Nature and Cosmos be nourished and maintained.
The inhabitants of Paradise — whether in myths of the First Age or in near-death visions — are universally characterized by their expression of specific values and qualities of character. And, as Aldous Huxley (among others) has shown, a comparative study of the religions of the world reveals that these values and qualities — honesty, compassion, and love — are universal and innate. Whether it was a historical reality or not, Paradise exists in the eternal present as an image expressing our deepest sense of what is right and true about ourselves.
Looked at in this way, Paradise may be seen as serving a specific function, as a design for living embedded in the circuitry of human consciousness. All biological organisms, including human beings, contain elements of design. We know, for example, that the pattern of the DNA molecules in our cells governs the basic design of our physical bodies. Perhaps we also contain within us a neurological or psychic program for the optimal design of social and spiritual relations between ourselves, the Cosmos, and Nature — a design of telepathic oneness and interspecies communion that represents the goal toward which our individual and collective experience would naturally tend to unfold.
Provided there are no significant interferences, the design inherent in the DNA molecules in our cells is expressed automatically and accurately in the formation of our physical bodies. Perhaps the same is potentially true of the neurological design of Paradise: provided its expression is not blocked, the pattern of oneness with the universal currents of life, as well as of miraculous abilities, should be automatically and accurately reflected in our ordinary experience.
At present, however, it is not. As we have seen, nearly all of the world’s spiritual traditions agree that the innate paradisal design is being thwarted in its expression by certain now-universal patterns of attitude, thought, and behavior.
Could it be that simple? Could Paradise be, as Scott Peck imaged, A World Waiting To Be Born ? Awaiting our expression of it? Of its Spirit? Is the “fire” unto which this generation is reserved the fire of Spirit in expression through us? The spirit of love, of truth and of life? Energetically, cosmic conditions are just right for the birth of a new world and a new human race, with our conscious participation as “spiritual midwives,” as we travel with the planet and solar system, at breakneck speed, into uncharted waters in space. Our once clouded vision is clarifying and expanding to encompass the image of a Golden Age coming down from God out of a New Heaven manifesting a New Earth. Let us welcome it with joy and celebration.
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. . . . Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices. (Song of Solomon)
The Teacher taught that fear is cast out of the heart by “perfect love”— unconditional love consistently expressed in living. Shame is cleansed by forgiveness. That’s one means of purifying the heart of humanity. Another way is by the fire of nuclear fission. But then there would be no flesh left with which to start over, as in the days of Noah and his family. Let us opt for the fire of Love — and grant God his wish that none should perish but that all should come to enjoy life eternal in Paradise restored — for, as Black Elk encouraged, “It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.”
Until my next post,
Be love. Be loved.