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(Important(Important note regarding the mind set from which this series
is written and from how it is intended to be read)

Part 5

The Dominating Influence Of
Closed Consciousness Paradigms

In Part 4, we looked at world views associated with both open and closed consciousness. In the course of doing that, I introduced the idea of metaphysical spirituality as a perspective that incorporates open consciousness. Let me reemphasize before proceeding, that metaphysical spirituality (let's also use "ms" for the convenience of brevity) is a phrase - not a thought system or school of thought or a wisdom tradition. It is a phrase that refers to a platform from which open consciousness can be appreciated and practiced.

A fundamental presumption of this series is that the problems, greed and violence of the world are related to the limited, ego driven perspective of mass consciousness, and that the mass consciousness is not very open. The mass consciousness is consumed by conventional wisdom and preference for doctrine, creeds, rules, circumscription of ideas, etc.

When we come to understand that the dominating world views are dominating precisely because they are a manifestation of the mass consciousness, then we are at the door of some meaningful insights. If we consider Einstein's idea that problems cannot be solved from the same level that they exist, it becomes all the more clear why the stubborn, restrictive and fixed ideas of the dominating paradigms can only be changed at the level of consciousness. That is to say, that the problems of limited and restrictive world views cannot be changed or resolved at the level of taking a hammer to the world views. They can only be changed by increasing love and decreasing ego. That, essentially, is a good definition of a rise in consciousness.

An example of the sort of approach of attacking the "problem" at the same level of the "problem" is the Christian Conservative declaration of a culture war. More dramatic examples would be any radical movements, whether religious or ideological, to convert or change societies or the world through force and violence. In both of these cases (though to different degrees) the intention is to impose the rules and moral standards of the ideology or religion upon the society at large. It is the expression of group ego to make others conform to its reality.

While the actions of both of the examples just cited reflect the level of consciousness from which they come (as is, in fact, the case with every action and every effect in the universe), they are not acting at the level of consciousness as we mean the phrase. Neither comes from a stance of open consciousness nor is the intention of their actions to raise or open consciousness. The intention is to limit or restrict, thereby revealing that the paradigm from which they are acting is one of closed consciousness. Such intentions come from a point within the spectrum of consciousness where one cannot really conceive of affecting change at the level of consciousness. That's because ego fixation is simply characteristic of that point of consciousness. And in ego consciousness, attacking at the level of the problem seems the only possible way.

Our quest here is to discover why closed consciousness is so persistently dominating and so clinging to closed world views. There is a sort of circular pattern here: closed consciousness brings about and supports closed world views, and then the closed world views, in their embrace of dogma and maintaining tradition and conventional wisdom, causes a persistence of closed consciousness.

To bring to your attention what I mean about closed world views being dominant, consider that when it comes to matters of transcendence -- that whole category of life that we might call the "ultimate issues" which includes ideas about god and spirituality -- it is always framed in a dichotomy of belief in god or no belief in god. It is always religion vs. atheists. Both sides of this dichotomy are striking examples of closed consciousness.

As a current example of how this dichotomy plays out, consider some present day goings on in the world of ideas that is drawing a fair amount of attention. You may be aware that there are a number of controversial but bestselling books that have been published within the last couple of years on the subject at hand: Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion; Sam Harris' The End of Faith, and most recently, Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great. There are others as well. These books are essentially critical of religion and make the case for the atheistic view.

I mention the controversy these books have spawned because it points out so glaringly the dominating influence of the dichotomy I am speaking of. The current closed world views are so overshadowing that the whole debate is limited exclusively to a contest of religion vs. atheism - god or no god. Totally neglected in the shadow of that dichotomy is a far more important question, "what is the nature of that referred to as god". This is the significant question from the perspective of metaphysical spirituality, and one that is perfectly fitting with the posture of open consciousness.

The domination is such that any perspective like the concept of metaphysical spirituality is so far below the awareness level of most people that in discussions of the ultimate issues it is not even considered as one of the possible portrayals of what the Universe is about. You see, the question is NOT whether or not god exists. Our open consciousness question presumes an Infinite Intelligence, but it turns the discussion to the nature of the Infinite Oneness. And the thing we can say up front, and unequivocally so, is that the portrayal is not a personification, it is not one of an emotion fueled supreme authoritarian separate from and above us. On the other hand, the dichotomy argument - god or no god -- presumes that particular perspective of god as described in religious scriptures. Realize that even the atheistic argument against god is about that god of religion.

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