According to Dr. Deepak Chopra (and much corroborates his view) each of us is an activity of the whole universe, or cosmos. “If it takes the whole brain to produce one thought, it takes the whole universe to perform a single action.” It may look like you or I do it, but that merely shows ego-reference. “Like a neuron, electrons and atoms seem to be independent, yet a change of electron spin at one extreme of the universe will be mirrored, instantly and without sending signals, by a paired electron [perhaps as much as] billions of light years away.” Brain cells work in totally predictable ways “ involving exchanges of electrical charge between sodium and potassium atoms and simple oscillations between positive and negative electrical impulses. Somehow that mechanical stability produces free, creative, unpredictable thought forms.” [See his Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, Harmony Books, 2006.]
Without subscribing to his Vedic theory of karma, or assuming any need for life after death, his fusion of spirituality with physicality and the interrelatedness of all life have become clear to many as valid insights. Opening the doors of perception to expand one’s mental world threatens conventional outlook and traditional mind-set. The old guard, conservative defenders of status quo fear it, abjure it and strive to outlaw any artificial means of reaching it, such as LSD, peyote and other stronger means including opiates and cocaine, though these last two are, like alcohol, more elevating than expansively liberating. Personally, I never needed chemical help. As a poet I found that conceptual operations with language and the rhythmic interplay of sound and breath could reach most any effect or state one wished, it takes only concentrated effort. I do recommend caution. Work up gently in practice and persevere if you begin.
Clingers to conventional ideas and cultural habit grow uneasy at prospects of change. They avoid opportunities for self-transformation, fearing loss of control in altered boundaries. To pass an old limit seems a step into the unknown even though one stays not only fully present but becomes more present than ever. They shudder and retreat.
Replying to my recent essay, “Great value is in the joy of work itself,” a good friend wrote: “It is not lack of understanding that makes the rich unsympathetic to unions. It is the desire to degrade and crush the middle class, to maintain a labor force just above the level of slavery (they would aim lower if they thought they could get away with it), the determination to minimize the power of all but the rich, and to move every penny in the pockets of those less well-off than themselves into their own pockets. You are too sympathetic. I have previously suggested that you do not believe in evil. You disagreed. I suggest it again.”
Yes, endemic guilt and the anxiety of vulnerable height work in the unconscious of the wealthiest people, many of whom resist sensing that personal merit, virtue and hard work did not really earn them their status and power. They like their situation and want to retain it at all cost. Others become irrelevant unless subservient and agreeable. They turn from productive works to status preservation, self-aggrandisement and, as a last default into human failure, class war. Evil is not metaphysical but it eats people.