Thursday, November 8, 2012

Metabolism I - The Structure of Consciousness

As magicians we know our subject merges with the principles of science.  As magicians we know that science as we know it today emerged from our alchemy, and the sacrifices those alchemists made.  We see the connections between the modern notion of atoms and our own ideas on how emptiness provides substance, between the modern notion of genes and our own ideas on an immortal life principle that we all share.  The doublestranded helix of DNA we find particularly compelling as it resembles the Caduceus and the Ankh, its swirling reminiscent of the Yin Yang.

As a student of Biochemisty and Genetics I studied Kabbalah and the esoteric sciences alongside it, often notes of one subject spilling into the margins of my notes on the other.  As I progressed in both it became clear to me that the structure of the cell shared similarities with the structure of the mind.  Not simply the psychology of our individual selves but the larger structure of a consciousness we all shared.

We all exist in our minds.  Its the only reality we know really.  We believe in the existence of a physical world beyond our mind but the only way we have of gathering data about that world is through the mind - we cannot know one without the other.  Most people life their life in the fallacy that they see through their eyes to the world, as opposed to 'at their eyes' from somewhere else in their mind. They believe that the structures and people they see around them are the physical objects themselves and not the representation of those objects within the mind.  The light that lights up the room we assume is physical light, but we actually only see the mental light.  Look into a bright light and look away - the fuzzy blob of colours provoked on the retina is not actually there in the world even though we see it.  Its made of mental light.  So is all other perception.  Sound is mental sound.  Taste is mental taste.

There is a big difference between knowing this truth and living it.  Once you accept the primary nature of your existence is mental rather than physical various possibilities being to open up, consciousness indeed begins to open up.  What follows is an explanation of the structure of consciousness or at least a model of that consciousness through the use of diagrams.


This is Feelix.  This is the mental object that exists at the centre of the sphere of the consciousness - it is the consciousness of your body as you sit in the chair, or look at your hands.  Not only is it consciousness of the brains, blood and tissue that make you up, although you can limit it to this and many do, - it is also the consciousness of the genes that sing that body into existence, the genes that go back in an unbroken lineage for untold epochs.  When properly understood the consciousness of your body allows you to explore this ancestry.








This is Feelix within his physical limits - the stretch of his arms, and legs, the reach of his neck.  From this confine, Feelix operates the various tools of the world and wields its influence. Similarly the genes are contained within a nucleus and their 'physical' powers - the ordering and manufacturing of proteins and other cellular structures occuring within it and at its limits.








This is Feelix within his perceptual limits - the limits set on vision and hearing by walls and other blocks, and in the final analysis the distance at which the eyes and ears fail.  Like the perceptual limits of consciousness which typically define a sphere or oval, the nucleus of the cell is in turn surrounded by the environment of the cell, the cytoplasm.  This cytoplasm is the environment the genes percieve, it contains a bewildering mixture of objects all for which fulfil the function of the metabolism of the cell, like the tools, furniture, food etc of our perceived environment fulfil the function of the metabolism of our mind.






This is Feelix within his mental limit - the confine of his mind.  Once we accept the original idea that the reality we experience is entirely mental, we see that all of our perceptions and experience of our physicality are actually composed of thought.  This final boundary is like the membrane of the cell, which separates it from other cells and the blood that feeds them all.  All kinds of objects and food are passed around the 'blood of society' and end up in the perceived environment of our mental cell.







This structure of consciousness, the awareness of our insides, our blood and organs, our genes and memories; the physical awareness of the reach of our limbs; the perceptual awareness of the limit of our senses; and finally the mental awareness that this entire experience happens in consciousness - is a structure that all human beings share.  Meditating on this structure can bring us closer to our universal ancestor  - the caduceus, the Ankh, the Tree of Life - and let us share of its fruit.






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