A Kick in the Head, Glimpse the One

a painting by William Blake

I was knocked unconscious in a car crash when I was in high school. It happened in 1971, a few days after the announcement of the death of Jim Morrison in Paris. I was barreling down a dirt road in the hills of Missouri. A pig darted in front of the speeding truck, I slammed on the breaks, and the spinning truck rolled down the hill. 

I regained consciousness in Elysium, or was it Eden? For a precious few moments I was nothing but an Eye, hovering in a world that was glowing green. The green Earth was Peace. Conscious, but not yet aware of who or where I was. Was it a glimpse of the One?

Bernardo Kastrup got me started on all this last month with his new book on Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer’s Will is reality, all that is. It is the one consciousness, the primordial Mind. The problem is that Schopenhauer characterized it as a seething Id, endlessly churning with desires. His solution: 19th century European Buddhism. End suffering by losing oneself in art. 

Surely the One Mind is more than a blind mass of desire that we need to suppress or escape from. But how can we find out? Why bother?

This unhappy world needs healing. Somehow.

John Dewey once wrote that emotions and imagination are more potent in shaping public sentiment than information and reason. These are mobilized by having values that we all share and prize. He spoke of this mobilization as the common faith of mankind. 

Finding a common faith seems impossible these days. Our increasingly virtual lives vaporize our commonalities, splitting us into isolated atoms. 

As I write this, people are fleeing New York City. The subways are still empty, as are the office buildings. People, if they can afford it, are fleeing to the hills, that is, the suburbs. Thus we mask our snug and lonely fragmentation by Zoom. Fire consumes California, the golden state.

Dr. Larry Dossey, in his book One Mind, relates a speech given by Vaclav Havel in 1994 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, entitled “The Need for Transcendence”:

In today’s multicultural world, the truly reliable path to coexistence and creative cooperation, must start from what is the root of all cultures and what lies infinitely deeper in human hearts and minds than political opinion…it must be rooted in transcendence…Transcendence as a deeply and joyously experienced need to be in harmony even with what we are ourselves are not, what we do not understand…but with which we are nevertheless mysteriously linked because…all this constitutes a single world. Transcendence as the only real alternative to extinction.

Back to Bernardo. In his paper published in Scientific American, he writes about the correlation “mechanisms of brain function impairment and self-transcendence.” He defines self transcendence as a “broadening of one’s sense of self through a step function enrichment of one’s subjective inner life.” The article discusses the effects of cerebral hypoxia, near death experiences, trance, chemical impairment (drugs), and so on. Kastrup cites the experience of neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor after a stroke damaged her left hemisphere:

I felt like a genie liberated from its bottle. The energy of my spirit seemed to flow like a great whale gliding through a sea of silent euphoria

The scientific suggestion proposed by Kastrup is that the neocortex acts as a kind of reducing valve, locking us into our ordinary spatiotemporal world. Knocking this out, even temporarily, allows us to connect with the One Mind.

Very dangerous indeed. Transcendence has never been cheap. Just ask St. Paul on the way to Damascus. Just ask any of the spiritual athletes seriously practicing pranayama. Think the introduction of LSD into the US during the Sixties as a way of inducing mass experiences of transcendence. I’ll leave it up to the reader to frame their own opinion.

So how do we introduce transcendence, a living connection to the One, the Source of all, as a common faith for mankind? I don’t know. 

3 thoughts on “A Kick in the Head, Glimpse the One

  1. Hey Broadie.I took a break from your writing because i feel as though your deceptive claiming your a christian but in all actuality you believe like Oprah Winfrey ALL ROADS lead to Heaven.The bible doesnt teach that.You teach things that are anti christ.Anti Christ is anything that is against Christ & His Word,His Scriptures,His ways.You even encourage in your writing for people to experience orgies,fornication&whoredom?What the heck?Wheres your mind at?I guess thats why you gets so mad with me if I don’t think like you.I guess to each his own in this world.Theres the Law you dont like hearing about working for you in this country.The freedom of religion.You want to take acid aka LSD because you believe it will make you some how closer to the Lord,so be it.It hurt my heart that your encouraging the world to do it because my sister thought she would follow people with your same thinking doing acid aka LSD.It led her to not speak for 7yrs.It gave her Paranoia Schizophrenia an in an out of mental homes.She had to be put on medication just so she wouldnt lose her mind from taking LSD.

    1. Thanks for calling me an anti=Christ. I didn’t anticipate that my writing would leave you with that impression. It is true that I do not take the Bible literally. I also don’t think blind adherence to a moral code is Pharisaic at best. Sin is separation, and it’s a matter of the heart. I do think that religion, real religion, operates both on and below the surface mind, pointing to a deeper reality. That deeper reality cannot be formulated in verbal propositions, like music.

  2. Broadie.Your a Omnist.Your into Omnism.All ways are right in your eyes.All roads an religion’s lead to Jesus an Heaven.You believe in all gods an it’s alright to follow them all good or bad even if they are false gods.This is deceptive.This can lead many astray.People who follow you are like as a ox going to the slaughter house.This is like what Babylonian Bankers who worship the #9 are like,your just like them.9 numbers on the front of your social security card=9.1 letter on the back of your social security card followed by 8 letters=9.5 zip code numbers,followed by a dash an 4 numbers =9.The Vatican an bankers who rule the world believe in all religions like you do.You think like them,talk like them.I bet you even write like them?The Vatican owns the rights of cursive going back 8,500yrs to the beginning of man.They bought the rights from Egypt.It is the language of the dead.The false god of Horus=the dog head an face.They taught you an everyone in the world how to sign your name an curse everything above your name.Why because thats what cursive means I’VE CURSED everything above me.Why do they do that?It comes from black magic.It’s what warlocks an witches do.They’re into word casting.Why word casting?It’s there way of casting spells.When you speak of The Lord it actually leads people off the path of finding Him.Your teachings all leads back to the Babylonians an Egyptian Merchants,Bankers who taught sleight of hand through Black Magic by using interest on the PEOPLE of God,USERY.Jesus was against this.It’s also against the Torah an the Jewish ways.The Rothchilds are different Jews.Their Babylonian Jews that believe in all religions like you,philosophy an vain deciet,false gods an black magic.

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