I was standing at a buckling countertop, facing three coffee machines of varying fullness and laughing out of control. My usually domineering sense of propriety was grateful that no other teachers were in the work lounge of the public high school where I was subbing to see me standing under the fluorescent lights, travel mug in hand, convulsing with incontrollable and unusually high pitched laughter. For a week I had been wrestling with two ideas that had seemed to be completely unrelated to each other and which had resolved suddenly into a single idea so shocking to me that I could only stand and laugh.
After teaching at the college level for two years and as a result of sudden governmental budget-cuts, I had been forced to move back to my home state and begin pursuing certification as a high school teacher. While the complex process slowly gears up, I am forced to make what I can as a substitute in the cement block dungeon of the modern educational system. I was fortunate enough to have been put into a private high school when my family moved to Baltimore and then another when we moved to Florida two years later. I remember my public middle school experience well, though, and the endless, monotone cement block corridors lit only by fluorescent lights.
For decades I have thought that it was the teachers who were at fault for the boredom, the triviality and the incessant sensation of imprisonment. Then, after beginning my graduate work, I decided that it was the centralized, federally dictated system that imposed an unrealistic and delusional curriculum on students and teachers alike. Now, having filled in for History, English, Chemistry and several others, I have come to the conclusion that the entire system is failing, inside and out, not because of the failing of one group — teachers, students or the supporting infrastructure — but because all involved have lost the joy that ought to be at the foundation of learning.
We are wizards and alchemists: a society of artisan sorcerers that have the ability to bend time, warp space and govern every facet of our material world. Our history is millennia of esoteric exploration and epistemological acrobatics: revelations of divine wisdom and apocalypses of spiritual transformation. How can this not be readily apparent to students who are damned instead by their apathy? How can our teachers not be fired by the marvels of every human endeavor, but who are damned instead by their inability to express the wonder of their subjects? How can our institutions not provide the much needed resources and support for either teacher or student, but are damned instead by their blind adherence to vapid and soul-killing bureaucracy? Each blames the other for their own failings and sinks into a vague and somnambulant cloud of ignorance, malaise and ultimate impotence.
While suffering my reintroduction to the public educational system, I was also using the opportunity to make observations on both the nature of awareness, particularly as connected with our ability to learn, and what our awareness might be after we as a species achieve the kind of transcendent thought some see coming in 2012 with the end of the Mayan Long-count. In a nutshell, the Mayan Long-count or Long Cycle is a period of some 5,000+ years that began on August 11, 3114 BC (about the time when Bronze-working and writing were fully developed) and will end on December 21, 2012. Guys like Daniel Pinchbeck and Jose Argüelles see this as the point when we will move from our current state of awareness that experiences the world spatially into one that perceives connection and mind the way we perceive space now (look up “noosphere” on Wikipedia and see what happens).
Now, honestly, I can see it coming. It’s going to happen. And, honestly, it’s a load of hooey. Nothing’s going to happen.
See, this was the thing that hit me in front of those three damned coffee-pots: truth is an onion growing on an apple tree. That didn’t come out right. Let’s try it again. Truth is an ocean shaped like a mountain range. Hm. That’s a little better, but isn’t very helpful either.
At the time, I wrote this in my journal:
We cannot help but live in truth.
All beliefs are correct and, if accepted as such, the resultant confusion is the confusion of a sheltered child stepping out into the vastness of the world with its infinite variety. I quiver and shake with fear. The abyss yawns around me.
For the entire history of mankind, logic and reason have seemed to succeed because we have understood ourselves, or perhaps more correctly our awarenesses, as occupants of a realm of finite dimension. This is to say that spatiality has a limited extent — a statement very different from that which holds space to be finite. I am now convinced that space itself, like time, is finite. There was a first moment and there will be an end moment for this reality of ours, but there was neither any real beginning nor will there be any real end. There is space beyond space, but it can be no space at all. There is time beyond time, but it is instantaneous and eternal. Spatiality, however, is only one or rather three (maybe four), aspects of our reality, but our awareness has yet to focus enough to perceive and subsequently realize this.
As a result, our habitual patterns of thinking demand all things to operate as if they shared in the states, phases and quantities of the world we now perceive to be other than our inner selves, even though our thoughts and ideas are in no way spatial. Even more frightening, our sense of inner and outer is itself illusory; a simplistic mode of perception necessary for our furthering development but nonetheless as far removed from the truth as the assumption that the world is flat. Now that we are on the verge of moving beyond our present limits, we face the difficult step of admitting that our assumption that the world is either flat or round is itself illusory as well.
So long as we “UNDERstand” ideas, implying that we look up at them from below, “comprehend” concepts, implying that our mind somehow absorbs them, or “get” someone’s “point”, implying that we again obtain a spatially present projection of some thing within another person’s mind, we will be chained to a limited awareness that does not allow for all the possibilities inherent to our true nature as individual emergent consciousnesses. Logic must be rewritten. Our very assumptions concerning the operation of mind and spirit must be unraveled and manifested anew, abandoning the urge to produce the endless paradigms of our epistemic youth, the false models and faux-false gods of our pseudo-scientific adolescence.
I have no conclusion to this piece that brings me back to this kind of online journal. I only have the expectation of great things that cannot be imagined but only felt, like the pressure of an impending storm.