We have much information on how humans evolved and what their shortcomings are. People need better grasp of how they are in the world individually as well as in groups, collectively. How do we relate to our bodies? Do we have souls or spirits? Is nature produced by supernature? Are we connected to each other or to the earth? Political extremists are seldom so connected. Far left or right may imagine they own coherent philosophies. Instead, they are owned by notions, preferences and strongly emotional attitudes. They are not aware of true relation to themselves or much of anything else.
We have no apt word or phrase by which to name or discuss the basis except, perhaps, “self-source.” “Basis” seems to serve that need well enough. No other term classifies or describes it. It is outside our common cultural and liguistic frames. To call the basis “spirit” mislocates it, so to speak, into a shabby suit-pocket. To call it “ding-an-sich” rolls it into a pocket of the old, metaphysical pool-table. To call it the Grand Unifying Term drops into an abstract swamp of named things, elemental as chalk dust. Some people resolve the issue for themselves by saying mind and body are one thing, one and the same. That looks like they try to rescue their position from brain damaging thought blockage by invoking the principle or doctrine of Emergence, in which one says “Wholes exceed the sum of their structural parts, dynamic processes and behavioral routines” and “Behavior of living organisms cannot be fully predicted from, or understood in terms of, the expected proclivities or potentials of their components.”
Suppose we say, mind and body are one thing. (“Thing “is too much.) Mind and body are like two distinct, opposite ends of a stick. You may say this is only metaphoric, but it is more useful than first apparent and certainly not trivial. You cannot deny that this stick has two ends. (We are not talking about a dead branch with several twigs.) The two ends belong to one thing which includes both, but neither one of the ends IS the stick, nor are both ends of the stick together EQUAL to the stick. There is still an Undivided Middle. Mind and body, like two ends of the one stick, are “things perceived by us,” but without basis they cannot be perceived by us nor can we exist, any more than the ends of a stick can be seen if the stick is not present. Nor can the stick exist for us without producing the features and qualities we perceive, including the ends and middle. We do not perceive our bodies with our minds, we do not embody our minds by our perceiving. Minds and bodies are manifested by each person’s respective basis, each of which is imperceptible. In no way do we sense or perceive that which is doing our sensing and perceiving while projecting experiences into or upon awareness. All we sense is the perceiving in process and the resulting perceptions remembered later. We sense our mental awareness as we feel our bodily presence, but not our own Undivided Middle.
This requires a leap of insight, but not into non-sequitur. It is no greater a leap and requires no blind act of faith greater than to understand the fusion of mindbody were it without basis. If we say the bodymind suffices without basis, we drown in Neaderthal nescience, and that may unjustly darken our view of Neanderthalers. One can never know the basis directly because IT is what knows. It does the knowing. Mind does not know. Body does not know. They contribute to knowing. Our minds and bodies are approximate knowns, partly accessed, always moving, changing, developing or devolving. It should be obvious that neither mind nor body is anyone’s basis. Basis is an Unknowable Unknown. Much of mind and body, as mindbody/process-entity plus differentials of structure and dynamics, may just now be unknown but knowable, and may become better known. Of course, we will not know what can never be known.
We can only “join it”, accept it, this unknown basis, our immediate source. In some flatly un-mysterious way, we can BE it, like one end of a stick IS OF the stuff of the stick. If you call the basis unverifiable verbiage, you engage equally in unverifiable verbiage. It’s bounds are, for us, indefinite. One sees sticks but never one’s own basis, not the stick’s basis nor the basis each has in common with all things. We can grasp its necessity or accept as permanently unsurpassable those irrationally shattered, incomplete concepts of self and universe that rejecting it entails. Stay on your knees at the altar, keep on imagining divinity is outside, somewhere above, beyond you. You are fallen and apart. Go on thinking either that you are a cosmic error or that you are part of a great design with an ideal purpose behind every part that is not known to you. It can neither be proven nor disproven. You can stay dependent on being upside down, up in the air.
“Basis” is the unity of mind and body, but MORE than mind and body. Allah, Jehovah, Yaweh, Baal and the Elohim divide, they do not unite. Pagan and primitive gods neither collectively nor separately integrate self and world, appearance and reality. They always evidence wide separation, alienation and difference. Just examine the unjust minds of many who believe and worship them—alienated, incomplete, partial, hence unjust. Division between divinity and the mundane is a primitive split, a wound healed and unified only by recognizing their abstractness. They exist only in the minds of people who do not know better. They came to us as part of a cultural package-deal that people were unable to inspect before it warped minds that uncritically accepted it.
Like bodymind or selfbasis, unitive reality cures the nature-supernature split. These unreal “bifurcations” exist only in the ways we conceptualize and verbalize about them. Spirit and matter are unreal distinctions. Just as energy, mass and space-time have been integrated by modern physics, our old idea of matter is now spiritualized and spirit has become materialized. Basis stands in the role of spirit or soul, but is concretely real compared to most notions of spirit as airy-fairy, non-material entity. Since Physics is abstract, basis is more physical than Physics. In fact, your basis is your body, but not the body you think you know. It is the bio-processing, Unknown Knower that projects into your awareness all your experience from start to finish. It does your knowing and thinks all you think, thinking it is you! You need to know better. You and nothing are a joint event. Experience your deep self by thinking and sensing nothing whatsoever. That is your sole path to objective honesty. It is called centerless meditation. Through it we can awaken the “fair observer” in ourselves.
No matter how the religiosi and their apologists deny it, religions require sacrificial victims. The first victim is freedom; the minds of children and converts must conform. Next comes the coerced, unwilling sacrifice of many bodies or substitute gifts. For cults to maintain themselves and grow, they must stand against something or someone. Our religions began as cults though not invariably aggressive. Cults and religions nurture and encourage as well as discipline their inmates, but humans should never really need them. They are scams. They are crutches offered in lieu of good education, full personal development and parenting by fully developed persons. They short-circuit us in default of human wholeness intuited by Shakespeare. Only incomplete persons need them. Cults require ignorance and dysfunction in order to arise, survive and grow. [Does cult describe the clique that ruled our country for eight years, imperious, idea-driven, self-justified, rationalizing, fanatical, aggressive, deaf to others, willing to lie and break laws like the Mafia to get whatever it wanted?]
The basis can be characterized as the Philosophers’ Stone or Universal Solvent against negativities of religion. Awareness of the concept catalyzes creativity. Basis is keystone in the arch of reason. It grounds our lives. It places deity in the realm of fantasy where it belongs. It affords us an indefinable X through which to appeal to our deepest self, a semblant other to address, a mystery into which to retreat. It returns us from realms of rhetoric to essential philosophy. If this seems troublesome, research again the verb, “to exist”; its origin, history, derivatives and alternatives. Look up also the word, “agape.” It is an enlightened state one may encounter on emerging from true meditation.