Subject: A Different View of the World
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 01:15:26 -0800
To the thinkers.........................
> > If we could shrink the Earth's population to a village of precisely 100
> > people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look
> > like this:
> > There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the
> > Western Hemisphere (both North and South America) and 8 Africans.
> > 51 would be female; 49 would be male.
> > 70 would be non-white; 30 white.
> > 70 would be non-Christian; 30 Christian.
> > 50% of the entire world's wealth would be in the hands
> > of only 6 people and all 6 would be citizens of the United States.
> > 80 would live in substandard housing.
> > 70 would be unable to read.
> > 50 would suffer from malnutrition.
> > 1 would be near death, 1 would be near birth.
> > Only 1 would have a college education; and no one would
> > own a computer.
> > When one considers our world from such an incredibly
> > compressed perspective, the need for both tolerance and
> > understanding becomes glaringly apparent...
This is the objective, measurable world on planet Earth today.
Does it match the subjective picture you have in your mind? Here's one more....
Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the Banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water.
After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result-all the apes are sprayed with cold water.
Turn off the cold water.
If, later, another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.
Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one.
The New ape sees the banana and
wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other apes attack
him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb
the stairs, he will be
Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a New one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.
The previous Newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well.
Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced.
Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs. Why not?
"Because that's the way it's always been around here."
I caught this very thought-provoking talk about a week ago at the Whole Life Expo on navigating ecstasy and the ethno-pharmacology of spiritual transformation. The speaker was Terence McKenna, author of _Food of the Gods_ and _The Evolutionary Mind_. He also recommended _The Art of Seeing_ by Huxley and _Permutation City_, by Greg Eagan. Here's a quote, by someone who you know, which goes along with this sort of thing and the two items above:
A human being is part of the
whole called by us 'Universe,'
a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.
This delusion of consciousness is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free
ourselves from this prison
by widening our circle of compassion to embrace
all living creatures
and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Breaking through this increasingly complicated "optical delusion of consciousness" fostered by the programming of our increasingly complicated society, is what shamans and Terence McKenna refer to as "rupturing the mundane plane of reality." He used the analogy of society as the programming/software which runs on the hardware of a human being...and, as most of you know, software always limits/restricts the potential of the raw hardware. (Don't even get me started on Microsoft!) So, most of the time what we accept and cling to so tenaciously as being real, is not...and we limit our human potential in the process. McKenna gives very specific instructions on how anyone can break through these illusions, if only they have the courage and open-mindedness. I'll attach a couple of things which he said which stuck with me enough jot down at the end of this message.
My aunt introduced me to this guy, Ralph Strauch, several years ago when she was living down in LA. We had dinner together and he gave me his book, _The Reality Illusion_. It's out of print now, but you can borrow my (signed!) copy if you're interested. Also, he put a couple of the basic concepts on his web page. Check out:
http://www.somatic.com/real_illus.html#book (and click on Summary), or go to:
http://www.somatic.com/create.exp.html (for some rhetoric on how you create your own experience)
Anyone remember the Styx song, "The Grand Illusion" (especially the lyrics)?
There's this other book I read a long time ago, _The Crack in the Cosmic Egg_, by Joseph Chilton Pearce, which was pretty mind-blowing when I read it. I still have it and would be happy to loan that one out as well. If you're skeptical about this stuff and think that you understand reality, call me up: I have a couple of direct experiences which I'd like explained. ;-) Or, if you've experienced a crack or two in your own cosmic egg and have figured out something, please share it with me. I've really just scratched the surface in my attempts to reach some sort of non-subjective understanding of reality. Obviously, one's understanding of reality will dictate how he lives his life.
Wishing you well in whatever world