Written By: Jeff Behnke
I once asked myself a very basic question in my own attempt to improve my ability to understand the world around me: What made the Greeks so smart? Was it something in their water? Their diet? Was it some type of rays that came down from the sun, infusing their electromagnetic minds with an additional boost and sending them all into overdrive, spawning Socrates and Heraclitus and Aristotle and Plato and Pythagoras? Or was it something else?
In my studies to find an answer, I ended up discovering something that I felt was extremely profound, given the fact that so much of western philosophy is seen as the inspiration for scientific advancement—all of that knowledge was derived from mysticism, which is consistently ridiculed as the source of all stupidity in the world. Science is thus the equivalent of the whining son who’s complaining about how terrible his parents are for not seeing the bigger picture, when it is the son who is suffering from this malady.
Starting with the likes of Pythagoras, students were required to enter into the Mystery Schools and fulfill a number of ritualistic steps towards enlightenment. For 12 years-- one for each of the signs of the zodiac--they were taught the ways of the sages who meditated and thought about the world around them with no measuring devices at all. The grew universes in their brains for their students to explore, pitting opposites against each other, and stating things which discouraged the idealists who wanted all positives and no negatives, or all negatives and no positives. The dualistic aspect of nature was the main focus of their lessons of analogy, to teach their students the contradictory nature of the two which gives the universe a balance through imbalance. Students were forced to discover that opposites require each other to exist, regardless of the object or the subject. One must learn to transcend above these opposites, it was taught—that was the main focus of their lessons and ritual. That was enlightenment.
In opposition to the east, the western mindset in Greece were taught to use this knowledge, as opposed to just experiencing it, and that created the division between the two halves of the world’s religious beliefs—two halves reflective of the masculine and feminine. Western students wanted to manipulate what they found in nature—Eastern students wanted to just be one with nature. In that respect, the sword touting west sought to conquer the world, to use it for themselves—the family oriented east sought to just stay home.
Fundamentalist religions destroyed these Mystery Schools which plunged the world underneath their iron grip into the Dark Ages, where women were taught to be subservient to man, where conscious intent was master, and creative artistry, philosophical exploration, and ethics all took the backseat to swords and shields, to those who “knew what they were doing.” Mysticism died, their books burned. Plunder ruled —and all of the lessons of the mystics were integrated into a confusing patchwork of beliefs and outright fallacies as history was rewritten—the act of transcendence itself was rewritten to choose the ’light’ at the expense of the darkness by the crusaders and popes, destroying half of the context, throwing the scales out of balance to the point where the world decayed, and progress, like a spinning wheel which must travel in two directions at once, ceased. When science ridicules the sages and mystics, they are thus ridiculing in error, for it is not the sages who manipulated through superstitions and false beliefs, it was those who burned the sages and mystics at the stake for “dabbling in the darkness” and accusing them of creating a "demon haunted world." From a sage’s perspective, the darkness gives light its context—to the crusader and the scientist, darkness is the devil, and the devil must be destroyed.
The sages taught to organize the world through the looking glass of analogy, and in order to have proper depth perception, one must use the left and the right eye together, the negative and the positive. Combined, the two give birth to the three dimensional picture of a holographic world which constantly changes shape, influencing and molding those with the capability of perceiving it, leading the perceiver by the nose with its false promises of truth as society is led softly down a path only the hologram knows. The Renaissance seemingly reclaimed this mystical process of understanding for the west, possibly through the likes of such figures as John Dee and Francis Bacon who were not afraid to use both halves of their brain instead of lopping off one at the altar of the Pope and the other upon the battlefield of the king. Mathematical discipline combined with the likes of Alchemy as the quest for gold and fortune returned western man to its mystical roots of formulas, recipes, equations, and understanding. Enlightenment was thus not a return to science but a return to mysticism.
Mysticism is an approximation of sorts, as analogies can only graph themselves upon the material world so much—science tests how much. The analogy sets the stage, and the rational mind is used to define the actors who are playing their roles upon that stage, clumsily or otherwise. When students mistake the analogy for reality, they fail every time to truly understand since the material world is only one universe in which an immaterial universe is colliding. “Reality isn’t like a goddamn egg,” claims the idealistic student, believing he is being rational. “And reality isn’t like a goddamn not-egg,” states the mystic, hoping the student will sense the deeper meaning. But those mystics are few and far between these days, if they exist at all.
Mystics use both halves of their minds with the resources available to them at the time of their birth, with a slight emphasis on one or the other depending if he is from the west or east. The intuitive moments one experiences is when a new analogy stretches its tentacles and infuses itself into the substance of the universe. When Einstein witnessed gravity as a fabric, he was experiencing one of these mystical moments in which all scientists live for that cements his ego into the history books—the equations he created were dramatically masculine, explaining how such a fabric could exist in context of all other analogies. His Eureka moments, however, came in his mystical states as his rational mind took the backseat and rested from the hunt, letting his intuitive mind cook up something utilizing what his hunter self had gathered.
Our rational mind uses dualism in the form of the equation without knowing why it works, and there is seemingly no one around in our schools with the ability to explain it. Missing “pieces of the whole” are identified as mystery variables in our equations, yet no one knows why those mystery variables are there or why they keep appearing as we progress. The rational mind knows the sides must somehow become equal to be correct—the trick is to fill them with a proper amount to get them there. These missing pieces are mystery constants, and those constants can only be more deeply understood through intuition. The creation of equations are thus founded upon mysticism since they seek balance in dueling opposites, but because of the crusaders, because of the purity of science, such knowledge has been lost. We know not why it works nor why we should respect it because we have burned the mystics, so here we continue forth, moving blindly, slowly, painfully. We know no other way.
Our intuitive mind, on the other hand, experiences that dualism specified by equations, feels it, as opposed to using it in any way. Equations imply use—recipes of intuition, however, imply experience. This intuition seeks a balance between opposing forces and finds expression in such things as food, architecture, photography, fashion. In food, equal parts sour and sweet are added to give some dishes a pleasant flavor. In architecture, sharp, contrasting edges of a building may be contrasted by the smooth borders of the yard and its plant life. In photography, opposing elements are used to draw out what someone is “really trying to say” which is that opposites attract internally and repel externally, or vice versa as one perceives a figure standing out from the ground. We know not why it works nor why we should respect it because we have burned the mystics, so again here, we continue forth, moving blindly, slowly, painfully. We know no other way.
Without mysticism, we have forgotten how to think and live. Without mysticism to teach people about the mysteries of opposing elements and show how they are not really opposing at all, how they actually require the other, we carry out the functions of our brains as zombies without souls. “Life does not come with a manual,” my mother used to say to me. The strange thing is, it used to come with a manual—the crusaders and, ironically science, just decided to burn them all, and then set the teachers on fire.
A mystic would have a deep respect for science and a deep respect for holistic spirituality. The malady is an inability to see beyond the opposites one is attempting to represent internally through self-consistency. A mystic would show that, just as science has magic pill equations to help cure the world of ignorance, spirituality has recipes to help enjoy the recovery. Self-consistency forces a choice one does not have to make. The mystic never chooses a side for he needs both to transcend. Both are approximates. Both are correct.
The world has changed, and with it, so must the mystics and their analogies of opposing forces. What once was called an archetype is now called a stereotype. The west attempts to pit stereotypes against one another in order to create balance, pleasing no one—the east uses nothing, as they know archetypes contain only germs of approximate truth—something which scientists will attest to concerning their equations. The two combined make the world as it is—exactly as it should be. The hologram is in control of this world. What you fail to rectify, something else will come along that will. This is as good as it gets, my friends, and that is good enough for me.