Essay no. 52 from a collection of essays entitled Beyond Religion I, by Stanislaw Kapuscinski (aka Stan I.S. Law)
It would seem that the evolution of consciousness as an individual entity, or self, is divided into three distinct phases: the kindergarten, the school and the university. Progressively, these phases serve to assert individuality, expand its range of awareness and ultimately pass beyond the inherently assumed limitations.
Phase one: THE KINDERGARTEN.
It begins when the rudimentary consciousness asserts its will to survive as an individual unit. An ameba, a virus, a bacterium. The mono-cellular entity becomes aware of the inside and the immediate outside of itself. It defines its territory, its boundaries. The primitive consciousness learns the laws of survival by re-embodying itself within ever more complex physical forms. Each re-embodiment is designed to increase the scope of its operations. The Sanskrit scriptures place the number of transmigrations of each ‘self’ (individualization of consciousness) at 8,400,000. Hopefully this number includes the second phase of our evolution, though I doubt it. Suffice to say that the primary stage of our existence consists exclusively of assuring physical survival and well-being.
The learning process in this phase relies on repetitive conditioning. The method is that of trial and error. The repetitions serve to develop a subconscious––a storehouse of information on which the primitive consciousness can draw to survive within its embodiment in ever changing environments. Its responses to challenges are reactive, i.e. automatic or instinctive. There is little evidence of free will or deductive reasoning, although the acquired experience is carefully stored in the genetic code of the biological constructs the entity produces to advance its evolution. At this stage, the individual consciousness is subject to the indomitable laws of nature. A mistake costs it its life.
Phase two: THE SCHOOL.
During this phase the entity develops advanced communication skills and becomes susceptible to the influences of theoretical knowledge. It learns to be selective in its relationship to the universal laws governing its environment. In the school, the teachers are responsible for the efficacy of imparting knowledge to their pupils. During this evolutionary phase, the units of consciousness are organized within a variety of classrooms. The purpose of this tendency towards aggregations is to extend the awareness of the self beyond its space/time confines, i.e.: beyond its physical enclosure. The classrooms consist of groups within which the self reaches out to include the allegiance to families, clans, villages, towns, religious congregations and national formations––with which the Self can identify. In order to facilitate control over the nascent units of consciousness, the teachers (those in authority), endeavour to maintain them in abject ignorance. We are taught that obedience––to those in power––is a virtue. Regrettably, with few exceptions, the teachers are also ignorant of True Reality. The rare avatars (invariably non-conformists and in direct opposition to the prevailing status quo) cast seeds of wisdom on the developing states of consciousness. The seeds seldom strike fertile soil. More often than not they meet an inflexible mindset bent on protecting rather than improving acquired knowledge. Other seeds reach receptive minds, but are stifled by the orthodox establishment in control. The few who break with traditions are ridiculed, often persecuted, sometimes killed. Free thought and individuality is strongly discouraged by those wielding power.
The last segment of this phase, is characterized by rebellion. We gradually lose faith in our teachers. We observe countless contradictions between their teaching and their behaviour pattern. This dichotomy is particularly in evidence within the sacerdotal and political ranks. We still obey, mostly due to inbred fear, but simultaneously begin to strike out on our own. This invariably leads to a period of apostasy that results in achieving a degree of freedom from previous conditioning. When we feel secure, we begin to compare the various teachings, each claiming absolute exclusivity over truth. We discover that if we eliminate ninety-nine percent of the miasma that our teachers (leaders, politicians, preachers, priests, parents, elders) have imposed on the original teachings, the residual essence is virtually the same. We suspect that if all the great avatars taught the same a priori knowledge, then there must be an original source from which they, the avatars, drew their wisdom.
We begin searching for the Source.
Phase three: THE UNIVERSITY.
(From Latin universitas, the whole (world), the universe).
We become students. We discover that our newly found freedom is commensurate with our acceptance of responsibility. We no longer hold teachers, preachers, priests, confessors, psychologists, politicians, mothers or fathers or even circumstances, responsible for our survival. In fact, our definition of survival is undergoing a fundamental change. The extension of our physical life is no longer our priority. Quality takes preference over quantity. We begin to suspect, then know that we are entities with an unimaginable potential. We learn from every quarter, from the past and the present, from nature, from the positive and negative traits still integral to our mental, emotional and physical embodiments. We learn the difference between reactive and causative action. We refuse to conform for the sake of the illusion of security we used to derive from the concept of belonging. We become individuals.
Tremulously, we step BEYOND RELIGION.
Since the preceding phases deal with survival within the constrains of time and space, they are also confined to specific duration. Our university, however, deals with that which has neither beginning nor end. It finds its reality outside the constrains of the space/time continuum. This realization empowers us to step outside our material constrains. Outside our physical bodies. From this new vantage point we observe the forces controlling our environment. We observe the rich becoming richer, the poor––poorer. The happy––increasing in their joy, the miserable sinking into depression. Regardless of circumstances. We became aware of the universal rule that unwittingly controlled us from the moment we became enwrapped in material reality:
WE ARE THE PRODUCT OF OUR CONTEMPLATION.
We note that every thought we entertain influences our environment. Every thought we energize with emotion––defines our future. We learn to control our thoughts. We become selective in the use and learn to control our emotions. We learn that to realize a dream, we must have a dream. To reach a goal, we must have a goal. To realize the impossible, we must believe that everything is possible. We become the conscious effect of the creative power of our beliefs. We perceive that at every instant of existence, we are the consequence of our past, the forerunners of our futures. We take control.
Growing we grow, maturing we mature, ever reaching for the eternally receding horizon. Slowly, so very slowly, it dawns on us that there are no horizons. We realize that we, ourselves, define the characteristics and the scope of our reality. We realize that we create the universe in which we find our being.
The lightening strikes. Time stops. We begin living in the present.
Ye are gods