Monday, August 24, 2009

Copyright E. A. Benjamins aka Jaņdžs
22 Terror and Awe

Every child is born expecting love and a breast full of milk. As we grow up, we discover that we do not cease expecting easy access to the breast, because it has come to represent—love. We also learn that love does not come easy, especially after we grow old enough to have to look out for our food and shelter. Some call it “scratching out a living”. We meet others, some of whom may look on us as of another species. If our teachers are without breadth and depth, we may learn to become the same. What started with a positive outlook may turn into a life with a minus (­– 1).

In spite of the fact that we grow old and know that we have given back to the world little of what we expect from it, we do not cease to expect it—love. We wish to leave love behind us (as per Jesus’-John’s famous “love one another”), and have love to welcome us back to whence we came, through the door of the Big Zero into the world of -1.

The quantum jump or leap that we make when we make the transit from +1 and go through the Big Zero to –1 may seem like a mystery, but in approximate terms, it involves but

· – 1 + sexual contact between a man and a woman = passage
0 (a seesaw) through the hole of the Big Zero to possible conception;
· + 1 = conception, living as a fish within the womb of the mother;
· + 2 = emerging from the womb into the world of air;
· + 3 = discovering the mirror, memory;
· + 4 = beginning to walk and talk;
· + 5 = learning to live with others through reflecting;
· + 6 = learning to live our own story;
· + 7 = helping to maintain a community;
· + 8 = preparing for death and survival of death through cloning;
· + 9 = a return to – 1 (perhaps to what the Tibetans call Bardo ), and reconstruct from Nothing-Something (–) a Something-Nothing (+).
· +10 = it is probable that reconstructions from out of Nothing-Something differ from each other, because the ultimate goal of Isness is to reach self-awareness, not a different hairdo.

However, mothers experience their child’s “quantum jump” into life rather differently. Whatever the pleasures of the sexual act, many mothers have died in childbirth or experienced terrifying traumas because of the risks involved in giving birth. Of course, for those who survived giving birth to a child, it was a joyful and awesome experience. Few women even today face childbirth without fear or terror. [For near-death birth experience For near death experience (scroll to p. 217ff) ] These examples prove that terror is not necessarily the result of overt violent attacks, but comes with consciousness and begs us to accept the limits of the act of creation. John [Brown] moldering in his grave can only take us to the entry point; the rest has to come from our contribution in carrying the ball of creation forward.

How demoralized the consciousness that allows one to wrap one’s self in dynamite sticks and annihilate everyone around one. How demoralized the moral environment of those who fight such terrorists by vying among themselves over who kills more of them . This is what a Something-Nothing on the plus (+) side looks like. The moral degradation of the haves who hire such soldiers-terrorists makes it easier for us to see the polarization that military acts create. We begin to understand how violent terror delays the development of humankind from negation to Something, which accepts self-sacrifice as essential.

Self-sacrifice is essential if a community wishes to remain self-aware in body and spirit. If one sacrifices one’s self in the world of Nothing-Something or Bardo, one gives birth to awe, i.e., life. This is how Genesis 2:2 tells its “…and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” One may say, without contradicting Genesis, that after “he” had done creating, God died. Such was the assumption of ancient myths. We, the created, are in awe of Creation, whether by God or by evolution.

In whichever direction we pass through the 0, whether to – 1 or + 1, it involves sacrifice. From + 1 to – 1 means to die, like it or not. The body must succumb to the limits of matter. From – 1 to + 1 also means to take on the risk of death, but this time less by the time-traveler than the bearer of the traveler, the mother. The birth canal is the only tunnel with a light at the end of it.

When sacred kings died, they were like a mother giving birth. They were full of anxiety before the experience that they had committed themselves to, especially when the hour of delivery drew near. Unlike the common man, the king died conscious. This was leadership by deed (example). A slow death before a public eye, say, by not taking food , allows the witnesses (embodied by people coming to say good bye) to wonder over man’s (actually their own) will.

Unlike the common man, the sacred kings (Johns) stood before the altar in terror, but also in intellectual awe that their sacrifice—self-sacrifice under ideal conditions—maintains and at the same time repeats the act of creation of society. After they died with no one to witness whether they actually made it through the 0, the people, nevertheless, could only speak of the act with awe. As witnesses, they stand bonded to what they have seen. Strangely (to us, but perhaps not to the sacred kings), the witnesses went away certain that if their community ever needed their lives, they would take strength from the sacred king and join him in a like deeds.

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