newly pasted here from a file on soul
The spiritual metaphysics in these teachings does not stand in opposition to a reasonable ecological and organic theory of natural evolution. Natural evolution is not strictly determined by God, as some theologies maintain. However, there is a divine influence in nature. Yet in natural evolution there are degrees of freedom and uncertainty. The general principles and inner seeds of nature are divinely caused, but the specifics in the process of natural evolution are not strictly determined by a divine Authority or Power. Nature works out its ways in an exploratory and experimental fashion. Things evolve towards greater novelty as well as towards greater unity. Creation is continually branching off in novel ways, which adds to the overall diversity of form, while at the same time some forms of nature simply die out when they cease to integrate sufficiently in a wider ecosystem.
Also to avoid is the false belief that all things of nature are perfect or that nature is always harmonious. For in nature there are some forms that are harmful to an overall ecology and un-serving to an overall harmony and goodness, and these inharmonious forms will either transform-mature into a better harmony or else they will eventually die out.
So the overall evolutionary process is an ongoing experimental diversification (novelty), within an overall struggle to be integrative with other forms sharing the same ecological field. This is an organic process, meaning that experimental actions take place from individual-particular perspectives, not from some kind of higher omniscient perspective, nor strictly determined by a higher power. Higher Power and Intelligence is intrinsically involved in the organic evolutionary process, but only in a general, non-specific way – as in general principles and motivations. So there is still Divine Influence within nature and natural processes, but it is general and not strictly specific in its governance, and thus there are degrees of creative freedom within each particular creature.
So let us take this understanding of natural evolution and apply it also to human evolution (afterall, humans are also natural), whereby human evolution is also an organic, experimental process of simultaneously increasing novelty and integrative unity. The main difference with humans is our more vast potentials and capacities for creative novelty and complex unity. Thus the novelty is greatly expanded, as well as the complexity of the integrative unity. This complexity means greater degrees and diversification of relational connections within an integrated web. A main difference is also our greater potential for individualized freedom. For with humans, the Divine Influence is much more general, allowing, and non-specific.
True metaphysics involves two opposite, yet complementary, movements (or aspects) in the becoming of life. One movement is descending and the other is ascending. One is an ontology of differentiation and relations from the One Spirit/Being, while the other is an ontological emergence from differentiation and relations. Spiritual metaphysics is a term we can use for the Descending metaphysics, and Organic metaphysics is the ascending opposite.
Spiritual metaphysics begins from the Oneness of Being, in fact the Oneness of Consciousness, which then differentiates into Qualities, then into relationships, and finally into individualized expressions. All of these Levels emerge from the very Substance or Essence of Being. The One Being is the Source of everything and is also the Greater Field in which everything exists. All life is dependent on this Absolute Source – which provides all Potentials – including all of the most mysterious Qualities such as consciousness, intelligence, love, and will. Qualities and Patterns and Purposes emerge from the One Source, One Being, which influence the ‘levels below’. Thus, this is called the Descending Force (from the ‘Highest’) and life here is its recipient; though of course whatever we imagine about this will be limited, just as any explanational model is limited. So realize that much of an explanation is metaphoric.
Organic Metaphysics is from a different angle. Simply, it is the science of things, or the actual movement of things, from the ground up. What we need to realize is that Both metaphysics, Spiritual and Organic, are interactive and produce this life. One could even think of these as our Father and Mother.
Organic metaphysics is more closely about physical and biological science. But we need to be careful about what we accept as true science, because every scientific theory has intrinsic presuppositions and an underlying paradigm (model) which sets the stage for its ways of description, its concepts and pictures.
For example, two classical scientific paradigms are atomism and mechanics; whereby life, the world, the universe are composed of discrete, separate things – each with distinct boundaries – and each thing mechanically bouncing into other things. This can also be called object theory or perhaps particle theory, since everything is reducible to objects or particles, while the effects of these objects and their interactions are what makes up the universe and all events. Separated things are interacting, while each thing is always distinct from the others. In human terms, I am interacting with you, and we may have exchanges, but each of us remain distinct from the other, both before and after our interactive exchange. I might produce changes in you, or you makes changes in me, but our identity is also distinct and separate. Thus, the idea of who one is is reducible to this distinct physical body, composed of separate atoms which only interact in a mechanical manner.
These are ideas common to much of science, but new models are challenging these old models. We need not completely abandon object metaphysics; for in fact, this is useful in describing everyday experience. But it is not the complete picture.
Energy field theory, is a new model. Particle physics cannot fully explain the sub-atomic reality, so physics has to also include an energy-wave or vibrational explanation, and this has to involve Fields of vibrational energy – whereby there is an internal synchronicity and interdependence within each field of space. This pulls the plug on most of the atomistic-mechanical assumptions, since there is no longer a “some-thing” moving in space to bounce into a “some-thing” else in order to produce change in the overall space. Instead, the holistic field of space simultaneously and synchronistically transforms as a unified and undivided energy vibrational field. Additionally, each field of dynamic vibrational energy has an interactive influential effect on the relational fields surrounding it; while the fields surrounding it in turn influence it. Thus, there are multiply expansive fields within fields, all of them involved in a dynamic energy interaction with one another – yet happening simultaneously since they are not bouncing particles.
Field metaphysics shows the order of phenomena and events determined by a unitive energy field. Each part of space is part of a larger energy-vibrational field. There are fields within fields, from the most localized to more expansive fields, and the larger fields enfold what appears to be discrete and separated objects in space. Thus, there is nothing that is not within a larger energy field of space.
These fields of space bring to the objects in them a unitive and integrating force. Each field has a resonating unitive, synchronizing vibration, which provides a certain degree of unifying order within that field of space, though its “governing” power is not absolute – so allows for freedom1 and creative indeterminacy in that space.
Each field is itself like a group; for to merge together the two metaphysical models, a Field enfolds a certain grouping of objects/particles/bodies that are within its vibrational space. In cases of greater organization a certain group (united in its particular field) will functionally work with a united purpose – to serve as a functional part within a larger group (or whole). Thus, there is a possible building up of functional parts within larger functional parts, etc, each level of group acting as a functional system in itself while also serving some use within a larger functioning system. Each group, at any level, acts in itself as a self-organizing system (to some extent) – autonomously in charge, as it were, of its own field-group wholeness, yet also adaptively serving a larger whole, having a function within that larger whole, and also being unitively influenced by the larger energy field (the larger unity or whole) in which it exists.
Thus, we have a metaphysical picture of groups within groups of working systems, infolded and enfolded within one another, implicated and implicit within one another, in a complex web of inter and intra relations.
In the more ideal or perfected orders, the parts work together well – with symbiotic mutualism, with ideal benefit to all members and parts, as well as providing useful functionality and sustaining the greater whole. Whereas in less well-organized groups, there is more conflict and antagonistic behavior, with less cooperative functionality and less beneficial mutualism. Using a principle of evolutionary biology (which can also be applied to astrophysics), if the parts in any group/system are too conflicting, or too destructive to one another, and also insufficiently adaptive within its larger group, then this particular group will sooner than later die out, or not be able to sustain itself, or perhaps destroy itself. So, what we find in present existence are systems that are at least working in a not-completely destructive way and thus at least maintaining some stability.
We need to see by a different kind of model. Instead of seeing things as separate entities interacting just externally by bouncing off one another with an overall randomness, see things as functioning parts of a Larger Whole. And this Larger Whole has an integrating intelligence.
This now brings us to an ecological picture to explain metaphysics. This ecological model can be applied to astrophysics and the universe as a whole, but it will be easier at this point to picture the earth and its ecology for our explanations, and then we could extrapolate the principles of this to the whole universe. Also, we will want to extend the principles of Energy Field Metaphysics into our understanding of Ecological Metaphysics.
First of all, there are a multiplicity of living things throughout the whole planet. These interact and interrelate. There are also interdependencies, whereby the very existence of certain lives are directly or indirectly dependent on certain other lives and certain kinds of physical environment. So the very existence of some things are dependent on the existence of other things. In fact, there is really nothing that is completely independent; no-thing has an existence just on its own, separate from everything else. Now it is true that a particular life or thing will not be directly dependent on everything else in the whole world; that is, its sphere of dependency is limited both by its particular food needs and by its environmental needs. These direct dependent relationships are exemplified in food chains and in necessary biotic conditions. Yet each direct dependent relationship has ties to other relationships; so in fact there is a complete Web of relationship throughout the planet. No thing and no area of the planet is completely separate or isolated from this vast interconnective Web. All life, all things, are in this same Web.
The Web connects and relates everything together, so this Web is the Unitive Wholeness.
This is also called Ecology.
There are still external relations between discrete things. We are not abandoning the descriptive importance of distinct things, even separate things, nor are we abandoning the concepts of things causing or effecting other things in a direct external manner. But we are suggesting that this classical view is not the complete picture. It may be the most obvious view of this world reality, but it is not inclusive of life’s underlying structure and system of relations – which is the Ecological relational structure. In a sense, then, we are attempting see into a less obvious layer of the whole picture of reality.
And what we find are internal relations, not merely external relations. In other words, we can find relatedness throughout the whole picture; not merely pieces of relatedness, like this or that family, or this or that community, but an actual Wholistic relatedness, whereby everyone and everything is related in some way with everything else, in one Unified Web of Life. Even the very meaning of being, as in someone or something being, can no longer be simplified into absolutely separate beings, like billiard balls on a table, or like monadic atoms bouncing into and off one another. Rather, the very meaning of each of us, of who we are as being, is relational with everyone else; thus, the conceptual understanding of all things here in this Web is also internally related conceptually.
So what we have here is an Ecological Unity, a Unitive Web, of interrelated parts, interrelated existences. Thus, everything/everyone is ultimately dependent on the Whole Web. This doesn’t mean that the Web has to necessarily be in this or any particular way. This does not mean that the Web or the Whole is “perfect” or “the best of all possible worlds.” It also does not mean that nothing in the vast Web should ever change. It simply means that individual lives are necessarily dependent on Webness, on Wholeness, on the needed fact of being within a Greater Unity. This planetary whole as it now is happens to be our particular Web.
This Whole, this whole Web of Life, is a comprehensive Being in Itself.
It has a comprehensive Intelligence – the Intelligence of its internal relationships. It also has a Unitive Integrating Energy Field, as we bring into understanding the Field metaphysics.
(comprehensive Being ----- (perhaps add this right into the paragraph) -- has its own purposeful and directive intelligence – analogous to how the parts make up the body, yet the body then develops its own purposeful and directive intelligence. Using the human body as an example, – this is also related to emergence from simpler systems into more complex (higher order of) organization. This higher organized body is not merely the sum of its composite functionally related parts, because a higher order of purpose also emerges into being, such that this higher organized body (emergent from the organization of its functional parts) has its own unique concerns, goals, needs, and functional capacities. In brief, this emergent body, developed from the intelligent functioning of its organized components, has a set of completely novel capacities and goals, than can be found in any or all of its constituting parts.
?? Additionally, these component parts could not possibly have organized themselves, or become organized by themselves, except on the possibility of random accident. It is more plausible that a higher order of intelligence has some guidance in this. ???
Relational parts are not produced from harmony;
-- In other words, harmony of the Whole does not precede the organic harmonizing process of the parts.
The whole is not necessarily all harmonious in an ideal sense. The whole, the Web, has some degree of relational stability – for otherwise it would not sustain its existence – but relational stability should not be confused with harmony (in our usual common language use). Yet the whole Web is in process towards finer harmony – in the sense of developing more cooperative beneficial relations within the Web and greater synergy of common values. Moreover, harmony is not a perfected quality or Form (in the Platonic sense) that is given to the web of creation from the Whole. This is an outdated idea. Rather, the larger Whole, or System/Web as a Whole, provides a harmonization energy – a kind of urge towards cooperation, harmony and unity – that is felt internally in each creature/ or organism as its will-to-harmony.
The whole Field is Itself is vibrating/emanating an integrating, unifying, harmonizing energy-force. Yet this does not work in the realm of external relations and causes. Instead, it works as an internal force or urge, which is experienced as a will-to harmony or will-to-unity, and also experienced as a sense of purpose and values.
These parts are developing harmony among themselves – harmony meaning that they are developing mutually beneficial relations, mutual adaptation, as well as a cooperative adaptation and benefit to the Larger System/Web. This is all occurring organically, with long-term trial and error, and with a developing organic intelligence that is learning how to adapt, cooperate, and become sustainable in the Larger System/Web. Over time and creative experiment, more and more complex webs of relationship are developed, and thus the Larger System/Web becomes more organized and self-sustaining itself.
Yet as this organization is all developing organically, from the ground up, the whole organized System/Web Itself is developing its own Holistic Intelligence and even Holistic Purposes, all of which is not merely contained in the sum of its parts. In addition, the Holistic System/Web is developing its own Will – which is its Directing and Self-organizing Ego (as it were)… with its own Purposes/Goals. This then acts as a Higher Power, providing Higher Purpose, Direction, Guidance, and Influence in the organizing process of its parts.
God is emanating its Qualities of Being, YET the vehicles can be distorting it
God is emanating its Qualities of Being as Vibrational Waves, from its Transcendence into universal space. This doesn’t come from any specific place in the universe. It’s not like it’s coming from over there to here2. Rather, it is simultaneously pervading all universal space. This Divine Vibration is not actually going anywhere. It is not like an energy wave moving through space, from one place in the universe to another. Rather, the Divine Vibrational Wave is simultaneous and synchronistic everywhere. Think of it as an Underlaying Vibration, vibrating everywhere at the same time in the same rhythm. Think of the universe as contained in a saucer bowl, then imagine clinging the bottom so that all contained in that bowl will vibrate. This analogy is flawed, though, because it would involve a vibration moving through distance. But the Divine Vibration is simultaneous and synchronistic to all areas of the universe. So there is no wave movement as such, yet in varying descriptions of the Divine relating in the world we might still speak about movement as such.
Divine Being vibrates. The Beingness of God vibrates. That is, it has its own Vibration, which emanates. Therefore, the Divine vibrationally emanates its Qualities into the universe. This makes all Divine Qualities everpresent and available, in relation to our manifest world.
A question often posed in metaphysics, when there is a proposition that the Spiritual and material are not exactly the same yet related, is how the two can possibly relate. In other words, how can the Spiritual come into the material, if the Spiritual is not itself material? The same kind of question occurs in mental-physical relations, if the one is not simply reducible to the other. An answer is that the material/physical universe comes forth from the Spiritual, so the relation is from the very beginning. As well, the Spiritual, as the Ontological Source or Parent of this material universe, is and always has been material in that it is Vibrational Energy, which vibrates throughout the universe. The Spiritual Vibration of Being did not suddenly begin vibrating into the material universe at some point in time. Neither, did it at one time exist in its own domain and then make a movement to enter into the material domain. This is the false premise which makes the very problem of breaching the divide between Spiritual and material. You see, there never was a divide. The material universe comes into being from the Vibration of Divine Being, and the Divine Vibration is everpresent from the very beginning and equally vibrating through the whole universe.
Pure Divine Intelligence, Love, and Will are always in the vibrational atmosphere of potential here in our world. These are always available and seeking expression through us. But these Divine Qualities must express/manifest through the living vehicles that are here. So in each person the Divine must move through their three lower vehicles, which is the only possible way for the Divine to be expressed/ manifested in that person. Moreover, the only way for the Divine to express/manifest in the world is through the vehicles already manifest. In fact, the only way for God’s Will to express/manifest in the world is through the vehicles of people or other lives or through the properties of material substances.
Once we understand this very simple and even logical truth, it is then easier to understand why this world is not perfect, or why the Divine Qualities are not so evident in their best possible form. The pure Divine Qualities or highest Divine Energies, as purely emanating from God the Transcendental Being, must enter through these often underdeveloped beings and vehicles, which can result in immature or distorted forms of expression and activity.
Consider the example of a human being. And remember that human beings are the most active causes of events in our world, such that what we find in the world and what happens in the world is most often the result of human expression/activity.
The Pure Divine Qualities will have to go through the person’s three vehicles – mind, emotions, and physical body. Yet these are not pure, and they are not transparent. So the Divine Qualities will be distorted in their expression, just as any medium of light will somewhat distort the light moving through it. That is, whatever qualities these vehicles already have, in pattern or as habit, will distort the Divine Light and its Qualities in that distinctive way. In other words, the Divine Qualities of Light are vibrationally everpresent, right now and for us at this very time. The Divine is right here, right now. It is here for us and intentional to be expressive through us. But as it vibrates through us, or moves through us, it is conditioned by the pattern of our present being. It is conditioned by the state of our three layers of being – mind, emotion, and body.
Now, because these vehicles are not yet mature and not yet wise and not yet free from various negative influences of the world, they will not express the entering Divine Light in the purity that it truly is. It will become somewhat conditioned and distorted as it moves through and seeks to express through our mind, emotions and body. This explains why the Divine is not manifestly expressive in each moment and through each being. It has to move through a conditioned vehicle that has not yet matured or perfected.
But then, how will the Divine ever be expressed and manifested in its finest forms? It will be as the vehicles evolve into becoming more divine – having more and finer Divine Qualities built in oneself. Yet how will this be possible if the Divine is continually conditioned by the vehicles? It is possible because each moment the Divine is allowed in, even if just a bit, the vehicle is transformed just a bit, so that gradually there is process of vehicle evolution.
1NOTE on freedom (within holistic influence) – mostly what we call freedom is the degree of absence of governing power Over something. Things within a system nonetheless are within a web of external causes. YET, each center or nucleus, which we will call individuality, has its own degree of internal conation – its internal will, effort or struggle – with its own internal capacity of intelligence (used to “choose” its action, direction, or adaptive experiment).
2One could metaphysically theorize that the Divine Energies or Vibrations are actually coming from a “Central Place” in the universe, or perhaps from the place of the original Big Bang; but this is not true.