Posts Tagged anthropocentrism
“We Are then Simple Awareness, Simple Foci of Consciousness in the Vast Expanse of the Universe”: Matter as Metaphor, Part Seven: We Are Stars Are Us.
Because of the Impending Ecological Crises, “Man” Is No Longer the Center of the Universe. As With Primal Peoples, Nature Is Assuming Primacy in Consciousness.
Therefore the physical world cannot be anything but a manifestation of the psychic in its basic rootedness and concurrence with the psychic. It follows that the messages that one discovers in contemplating the phenomena, as “given,” of the physical world are endless. And they are messages both universal and personal, corresponding … exactly, one might guess … to the fact of there being shared physical realities as well as individual physical realities—that is, spaces which one sees in one’s unique way, or in which one has sole or near-sole dominion.
We Are Stars/ Stars Are Us
Now, as shown by Lawlor especially, this sort of perception of Reality is the common view of those peoples who we indicate with pejoratives such as “primitive,” “savage,” and “uncivilized.” Displaying our fear of our own primal roots in this way, we cut ourselves off from a perception which has been our birthright for possibly ninety-nine percent of our existence as a species. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, it is a viewpoint our science is beginning to give back to us.
As similarly pointed out, this is the common perspective of mystics — who we also commonly denigrate and even persecute, thereby displaying those same things about ourselves in relation to them.
We do these things on the basis of an extremely recent (in the grand scheme of things) Western hubris and anthropocentrism which began to reach a peak at the time of the Renaissance in Europe in the late Middle Ages. Placing ourselves on pedestals comprised of our ethnocentric beliefs in an overweening ego and of an all-powerful — a supreme and superior but unfortunately anthropocentric — “rationalism,” we presumed ourselves unto gods.
The symbol of this Renaissance “humanism” — from da Vinci’s sketch originally — is that of man, arms and legs wide, in the center of a circle. And while it is widely acknowledged that this symbol depicts humanism, it is totally unacknowledged that this is a perfect representation of anthropocentrism as well. For, in da Vinci’s symbol, “man” is placed in the center of the circle, thus, in the center of the Universe . . . the world revolves around “him.” This depiction is so much a part of our experience, so much a part of our pedagogy and culture, that it is only by looking to other cultures, with other perspectives, that we might by contrast see its significance.
In many parts of the world, the center of the cosmos, as depicted in a rendering of the center of a circle, would no doubt be a figure or symbol of Nature, or of the Divine. It might, for example, be a tree in the center of a circle — e.g., the “tree of life” — in a great many other, less-dissociated cultures, for example, the vast majority of the indigenous ones. For those cultures see Nature and the interconnectedness of Nature as the center of the Universe and themselves as a part of that larger whole.
Lawlor (1992) says of the Australian Aborigine, for example:
The subjugation and domestication of plants and animals and all other manipulation and exploitation of the natural world — the basis of Western civilization and “progress” — were antithetical to the sense of a common consciousness and origin shared by every creature and equally with the creators. To exploit this integrated world was to do the same to oneself. (p. 22)
By contrast, our Western symbol of humanism — and we see now, anthropocentrism — coincided with vast advances in technology and science . . . but also — we are only now finally acknowledging — it coincided with extermination of indigenous peoples (by these same, so-called, “renaissance” peoples) and with the beginnings of the rape of nature, which we are now seeing the fruits of in the global environmental crisis.
Nevertheless — no doubt because of the impending ecological crises — this is changing; and more and more this anthropocentrism/”humanism” is on the wane. The deep ecology movement is the perfect example of this, but the renewal of interest in primal, indigenous cultures and in their perspectives is also evidence of this change.
With this change, “man” is no longer the center of the circle, the center of the Universe. Instead, the Cosmos, or Nature, is returning to the center of the focus. God is once again becoming the focus of consciousness and “man’s” ego is taking a powder, so to speak, or, at the least, is stepping aside a bit.
This is the stage described in Buddhism as the waterdrop becoming one with the ocean (“the dewdrop slips into the shining sea”). It is expressed by Sathya Sai Baba as a stage when the individual disappears into God, or becomes one with God. And it is exemplified everywhere in Zen Buddhism, especially in Zen art, which likewise depicts naked Nature — i.e., a consciousness truly reflecting, in an undistorted way, that which is, or, one might say, the still lake that perfectly reflects the sky and moon. It is also wonderfully depicted in the ninth frame of the ten ox-herding symbols, where neither ox nor herder is visible, and all that is, is Nature Unsullied.
So it is in this sense, at this stage, that we see ourselves not as the center of the Universe, and not even as babes (our “inner child”-ren) in the Universe. But we have physically disappeared from the center of the circle (the center of consciousness). We are then simple awareness, simple foci of consciousness in the vast expanse of the Universe.
Furthermore, it is interesting that the evolution of this symbol — viz., from man in the center of the circle to the Universe in the center of the circle (or life force or consciousness in the center of the circle) — appears to have gone through the stage of “birthing into the Universe.” This is exemplified, for example, by the symbol at the conclusion of “2001” wherein the fetus is seen as suspended in the Cosmos, like a star.
Thus, at this stage — before we actually become one with the Universe . . . and become just foci of light in the vast universe of consciousness, i.e., become stars — we go through a process of focusing on our perinatal origins. In other words, we go through our personal, pain-driven reality constructions — a product of our earliest experiences in the womb and at birth — we place them in the center of the universe, the center of consciousness, and we clear them out. We do this so we might truly see the Universe as it is, not distorted by our personal psychic overlay.
Later, in the stages of evolution of our consciousness, we no longer are even “babes” (or fetuses) in the universe, but instead have transcended even that. In this stage the personal disappears . . . we disappear (in the symbol) . . . and then the Universe alone exists.
Continue with The Earth Is the True Bible, Matter Is a Language, The Universe Is a Book of Deity and Philosophy, Ever Teaching Us: Matter as Metaphor, Part Eight
Return to The Transformational Element of UFO Abductions and Its Blow to Materialism: We Are Being Booted Into a Higher Awareness and a Need to Save the Planet.
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