I would like to share a worldview that has shaped my life. It is a bit of a journey to fully paint the picture of the view, but I’ll do my best. The world of consciousness is a world bound by causation and the limitations of the physical universe. At the same time, there is an unconditioned uncreated reality beyond consciousness. Humans are at the middle point between both of these realities. The unconditioned works through humans changing the threads of causation in the physical universe. This process is at the core of all of the great religious teachings. Humans have been in a struggle between the force of instinctual egoism and the force of awakening for over 12,000 years – ever since humans started living in hierarchical societies. These two forces have been washing over humanity in a tug of war and penetrating into all of our lives. The drama of our age is the uncertainty of mankind’s continual existence – if our instinctual hunger for resources and power will result in our own destruction.
Foundationally, we as humans perceive all things to have causes in the physical world. The very brain perceiving is part of the physical world and is subject to all of the limitations of the physical world. The perception and cognition of a consciousness is entirely the result of the previous configuration of the environment. If you were magically transported into someone else’s body, you could not help but to be exactly them because all of the genetic, hereditary and environmental conditioning would be the same.
Essentially humans are biological robots that are behaving based on their programming. Information travels like a virus between people and infects one consciousness after another altering each brain it encounters. This in turn changes behavior which feeds into more information and further behavioral changes creating cyclic loops of actions that draw people in like gravity. Even though individual people are born and die, the patterns that control each human continues unabated despite the death of any one or all people.
Some of these feedback loops result in wars where biological robot kills biological robot. In these events, every last illusion of humans being the most rational of animals falls away as humans behave like lizards. Masses of people are caught in the hypnotic trance of propaganda which influence their behavior as predictably as a computer program. Caught under this spell, they can’t see that the human in front of them was once a pure baby like themselves. They only see a conceptual object, so they bash the object’s brain in.
If the above description was the whole story, things would truly be hopeless. The good news is that materialism is incorrect because humans have the capacity for experiencing something that is functionally unconditioned. This unconditioned experience breaks the chain of causation and sets it on a new path. Some call this experience the God experience, awakening, enlightenment, gnosis or seeing into one’s true nature. The capability for experiencing something altogether different from the form we experience in consciousness is recognized in every single culture, yet no one knows what it is because it is by definition unknowable.
Fundamentally, this experience is beyond consciousness and hence beyond the reach of the imagination because if it was not it would be subject to the same mechanical laws of causation as the brain. This is why being connected to this reality is so important. It allows for true freedom by transcending the limited illusion of self.
When a connection to the unconditioned is open, the chains of causation in the material world can be altered by some other force other than the egos subject to causation. This other force works through people. People become the conduits for bringing about change in the physical world and thus in the social and psychological realities. It is like humans are the bridge between the unconditioned and the conditioned. When they open themselves to the unconditioned, it can flow through them right into the physical world. In this way, we humans have the capacity to spiritualize physical existence.
It is by this act of being a conduit, that the great teachers of all of the religions altered the trajectory of humanity. Each teacher brought in a unique manifestation of the unconditioned into the world which transformed countless lives leading up until the present time. The unconditioned worked through the great teachers to create images and forms which spread from biological robot to biological robot in a predictable way.
However, unlike the typical memes that are spread, the images originate with the great teachers are of values and practices that create a map to the unconditioned. When people fully internalize the values and practices received from those great traditions, they become part of a chain of transmission. That chain connects each person as part of a link in a great work to undo the effects of the trance-like state afflicting most of humanity. The transmission points to the unconditioned which gives freedom which in turn begets more freedom.
Humans are subjected to two opposing forces. One force is the unconsciousness that is pulling humans towards a mammalian or even reptile existence where we behave like biological robots entirely subject to our environment. The other force is the unconditioned reality beyond form that pulls humans towards participating as co-creators in the material world. The great teachers’ role has been to bring new images into the world in order to change the software of the mind. Both forces’ energy radiates through the mental facilities of people through images.
Each teacher brought in a unique esoteric vision for how humanity can connect with the unconditioned. The particular manifestation of each vision differs but the origin being the unconditioned remains constant. For many of the followers of the great traditions, the vision of their tradition may never come into view, yet it will nonetheless transform their life. Examining a few of the traditions, we can see a beautiful prism of love entering into the world from beyond.
In many ways the religions of the world are irreconcilable in terms of their doctrines. There is no way to mash them all together and say all of them are right. Yet, if the religions are viewed as vehicles for the unconditioned to work through people and give them a path to awakening, then there is a common thread among all of the great teachings. Most often the path shown is one of values as it is the path most relatable to the population at large. The path of values is a truly transformative path when engaged in earnestly, but it is slow without the practices of mysticism. Each religion has a mystical teaching and practitioners of mysticism. How the values and the practices of mysticism manifest varies greatly, but the reality in which they lead people is fundamentally the same.
Zoroaster brought the world the message that all humans have the innate capability to experience the truth and distinguish it from the lies. Buddha birthed the image of the way of healing with equanimity and spiritual rigor. Christ showed the world how we are crucified – losing connection with the unconditioned and how we can be reborn into a life of revolutionary action using love. Muhammad birthed a new image of how a society could be structured around worshiping God (the unconditioned).
Only a small percentage of people (mystics) are inclined to transcend the religious images and to connect with the reality behind the image. For the vast majority of humanity, positive images are the only thing that keeps together society and they can’t afford to throw them away. For each religious value when followed to its source leads to the unconditioned because there is no self in any of the values. All values point to something beyond consciousness and act as a call to action in the material world.
The teachings of each one of the great teachers continue to live in people today. Each follower channels the particular manifestation of their religion into the world in as much as they have integrated into the unconditioned. When the Christian mystic imitates Jesus’s love, they are able to access the unconditioned via the interface of the image in their consciousness of Jesus. They see and imagine Jesus and if it isn’t a cheap imitation, then they channel the love from Jesus into the world thereby transforming the world, themselves and others. Jesus is the mystic and the mystic is Jesus. There is an unconditioned revelation flowing into the world from a point beyond consciousness that allows all of this to be possible.
The question I pose to myself and to all others who walk the path of the mystic is – what role does your life play in spiritualizing the trajectory of humanity? What image of a new way of life can you offer the world? Humans are going to go extinct if they continue on their current trajectory of unconscious behavior as biological robots. What can we do to change it? Better put – how can we open ourselves to the unconditioned such that the change can work through us?