This book is dedicated to you who are reading it. Its purpose is to help us understand how to apply the principles of life so as to experience greater wisdom, happiness, and peace. Its message in one sentence is that we are eternal and divine beings learning how to become responsible creators by means of interacting experiences. Thus our lives are a continual process of education with the Earth as our school and everyone and everything functioning as our teachers, fellow students, and lessons. Using spiritual principles can facilitate our learning and guide us to fulfill our inherent divinity.
As the writer of these words I ask for divine guidance and enlightenment so that I will communicate as clearly as I am capable. As a fallible human being I take responsibility for any errors and inaccuracies. I also ask that you, the reader, receive divine Light to guide you to the truth beyond the shortcomings of my verbal expressions. May we use the words as stepping stones in our journey through the universal mind; while they provide a path for our feet to tread, let us look and listen and feel and understand the meaning for our own lives. I will do my best to acknowledge to the readers when I am uncertain or speculating and which values I am applying when I recommend an approach or a policy.
This book is primarily the work of a generalist, and in every aspect and subject field there surely are specialists with more precise knowledge. The major effort here is to achieve an overall synthesis and holistic integrity by applying the divine unity of spiritual values in various aspects of life. Thus this work is only a broad outline that can be filled out and extended by study, investigation, and experience. I encourage readers to question, doubt, and think for yourselves about these ideas. I am not claiming that I have proven anything. I write from my own experience and observation of life, and I suggest to the readers that you apply these principles and ideas to your own experience to see how they will work for you.
Although I have spent many years studying and educating myself in preparation for writing this treatise, my method here is philosophical rather than scholarly. I am attempting to synthesize and integrate what I perceive to be the truth about life directly and concisely without being concerned about whose ideas originated or contributed to the concepts described. Thus there are no footnotes nor even a bibliography.
I believe that the current historical circumstances are ripe for a bold new attempt at a grand synthesis. The megacrisis facing us has been described as political, economic, technological, and ecological, but I believe it is also spiritual, philosophical, ethical, psychological, and social. The immensity of our problems are stimulating people to search for new answers and firm values that can help us through this world crisis.
Philosophically the systems of the past have been broken down and scattered by modern criticism, materialistic positivism, logical analysis, and pessimistic existentialism. Academic philosophy has narrowed its focus by specialization so much that it has become irrelevant to most people.
Revolutionary new paradigms, which challenged traditional dogma, have disillusioned people whose faith was based on false and simplistic premises. The Copernican, Darwinian, Marxist, and Freudian revelations each shattered false images of human self-concept. Copernicus showed that the Earth is not the center about which the universe revolves. Darwin demonstrated that the human species descended from lower animals and therefore was not created by God in an instant in the present form. Marx exposed the exploitation inherent in a capitalist society, which therefore is not just or stable but subject to revolution by the lower classes. Freud uncovered the sexual instincts of the subconscious which impinge themselves on personality and behavior without even being consciously recognized.
Each of these blows to the dignity of the human ego and its cosmic, religious, socio-economic, and psychological security generally has been interpreted in pessimistic ways. Yet from a spiritual viewpoint each of these revolutions can be seen optimistically as an expansive revelation. If Copernicus made the Earth seem small and insignificant, he revealed a universe much larger and grander. By means of astrological symbolism we can realize that the soul (sun) is the center of our being, not the body (Earth). Darwin looked back at the animal past, but evolution implies improvement through time. Thus we can look forward to a future even better than the present conditions. Marx criticized current injustices but held that future amelioration is inevitable. Although Freud explored the lower aspects of the unconscious mind, Jung and others have revealed universal and superconscious aspects as well.
In the last century while academic philosophy has tended to specialize as a tool of language analysis, a new age of spiritual philosophy has been dawning from the discovery of Eastern philosophy, mysticism, and the occult. Generally unrecognized by academics, the insights of yogis, Buddhists, Taoists, Sufis, clairvoyants, Kabbalists, astrologers, Theosophists, Anthroposophists, Christian Scientists, and mystics of various colors and backgrounds have quietly popularized their versions of what Alduous Huxley described as the perennial philosophy. Most of these efforts have been geared toward psychological self-help rather than formal and systematic philosophy. A new, yet eternal and ancient, worldview is emerging.
A common attitude holds that these mystical trends are unscientific according to the popular conception of modern science as materialistic. This schizophrenia regarding science and religion is the basis of many ethical problems and inconsistencies. Yet ironically, modern physics, which is supposed to be the most materialistic of all the sciences, has discovered a new paradigm from the patterns in subatomic matter and energy which greatly resembles and coheres with the teachings of mystics. As Thomas Kuhn pointed out in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, there tends to be a cultural lag in recognizing a new scientific paradigm. The history of the Copernican, Darwinian, Marxist, and Freudian discoveries shows that new ideas can be resisted vehemently by traditional institutions.
We are now in a cosmic period of transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age. Two thousand years ago a similar transition occurred from the Aries Age to the Piscean. During the Hellenistic period that followed the conquests of Alexander the Great, there was a similar intermingling of western and eastern cultures and a burgeoning of mystical cults. A new dispensation of spiritual teachings was brought forward for the Piscean Age of faith and salvation by Jesus the Christ and Mahayana Buddhism. Now we are moving from the emotional belief of watery Pisces to the mental knowledge of airy Aquarius. Science must be applied to all of reality and experience so that we can know who and what we are. In the last age religion was dominant; in the new age psychology and science will be more important.
I will attempt to be objectively scientific as well as holistically intuitive. Recent experiments have indicated that it is impossible to separate the experimenter from the experiment because the observer affects the observed. Thus self-knowledge of our subjective reality must be understood in relation to the objectivity of our observations.
My method here is holistic and empirical in the broadest sense so as to include intuition and reason as well as sensory perception. I will describe the experiences of reality as I understand them as clearly as I can so that readers can correlate them with your experience. The major medium of communication is the English language, and I will do my best to use commonsense terms and explain the meaning of any words that I use in an unusual way. Even more important though, is the inner communication between souls and the universal mind. Again, I encourage readers to tune in on the realities described and examine them in relation to your own experience. The purpose is to understand the meaning of universal relationships. Without getting lost in the scholarly exercise of comparing the propositions of various “isms,” I am attempting to synthesize a coherent system with clear and precise terms that everyone can understand. Although much of what I describe may seem obvious to readers, I do not mean to insult your intelligence. These simple but essential parts enable us to see a whole picture with greater comprehension. I ask for your patience and understanding.
I do not believe that the philosophy and psychology of the new age will be formulated by any one person or group or tradition, but rather universal principles will emerge from many sources. This work is merely one attempt to clarify the meaning of some of those principles with some degree of philosophical precision, to raise questions about the practical application of these principles, and to elucidate a broad outline that could be filled out and extended by further investigation.
The work is organized into three parts—The Universe, The Individual, and Society. By universe I refer to the one total reality of being, not merely the physical galaxies of this domain of space-time. The first part discusses metaphysics—theology, ontology, and cosmology to clarify the philosophical principles for epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics that will be applied in the rest of the work. The second part on the individual is essentially psychology. The third part on society applies the philosophical principles and psychological awareness to personal relationships, politics, economics, science, technology, art, recreation, religion, and education.
LIFE AS A WHOLE:
II. The Individual