Essays There Must be Some Way Out of Here

Part 1

In "A Working Definition of Religion" I tried to think through some ideas. When I finished, I realized there was a contradiction: at one point I concluded that our everyday world, and the deeper reality that we seek actually represent different and unconnected worlds. Later I said that finding this (non-existent) connection was the main thing I was writing about as well as "the real task." Oops.

After noticing that, I wrote about four more pieces trying to find my way out of that mess. They were all complicated, convoluted, and boring - signs that I had not really dealt with the issue. So this time I'm trying something else. Instead of thinking of the two different aspects of reality as separate realms (our everyday world, and deeper reality,) I would like to think of them as different modes of being or perceiving. (I'm not sure which it is or if there is a difference.)

This yields several insights right away: First, it implies what the connection is between the two, the connection that is the heart of the contradiction that I want to resolve. We are, ourselves, the connection: we can exist or perceive in either mode. Second, it shifts my question from how to move into the realm of essential reality to how to shift modes of being or perceiving. And third, it makes it easier to see why these distinct modes are mutually exclusive - they are different possible modes of the same being.

Now I want to look at what being in each of these modes is like. Over a number of years, I came up with a list of various aspects of reality and how they appear in each mode. There is no real organization or order here - just things that I have noticed.

Quality/Aspect Outer Inner
Place specific, localized non-specific, non-local, interpenetrating
Event connections cause and effect coincidence, synchronicity
Consciousness discrete perceptions unbounded awareness
Understanding through knowledge, accumulation of facts, subject knowing object intuitive grasp of the whole - immediate; known 'from inside'; intersubjective = subject knowing subject
Communication language, linear accumulation of words, signs telepathy, clairvoyance, mind-to-mind
Quantity - measure definite, limited infinite, unbounded, enough for all, [increases through being given away]
Value - meaning limited; material; consensus based; justified from others self-evident, self-manifesting; self-validating; radiant
Language specific; almost boring dramatic; hieratic
Event stability can record events and work with history; events repeat spontaneous, responsive to situation - one-time use; no history - dissipate like mist
Mode of exchange seizing and imposing accepting and offering
How things increase gather, accumulate empty out, offer, give away
How things decrease to empty, to give away, to lose, to use (up) to hoard, to not-use
How people interact from within boundaries (it's a problem when boundaries fail) transparency - no limits - complete connection
Access/point of entry exterior (surrounding world ) interior - look within self or mind

[To be continued...]
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