Saturday, December 13, 2008
Shakti Cosmology in the Kali Yuga
Elizabeth: We only exist for a brief moment in time so brief that it is not measurable yet that brief moment exists indeed. We live and die at every brief moment again and again not because it is karma, but because we recognise the "distractions" that the light of fire, water and air make on our visual and sensory receptors. When distracted we "stick around" to see what else there is and then the imagination "creates" with desires and the available light/water/air. If we lose sight of the "distractions" we end up dead in the physical sense where others no longer see us as living, yet in reality we step through the pin hole in the universe into the next cycle.
Dhushara: We exist for this incarnation and have a responsibility not just to flit in and out of existence and non-existence but to redeem and reflower the living planet for the generations to follow. This is the duty of the avatar without which all is futility hubris and corruption that will never further.
The pinhole to the next cycle is a mind sky patriarchal view of the cosmos put there by cultural 'avatars' like Krishna to try to divert attention from the physical reality of the feminine aspect of the totality - Kali, Shakti, Gaia, or Mother Nature. The idea that the physical world around us is a collection of distractions which we could or should pop through in our cycle of reincarnation is a dangerous male deception.
We are entering the Kali Yuga - this is the age of science and apocalypse. Life is perennial, but we are damaging the Earth to the extent that our own survival prospects are being seriously undermined. We invent nuclear weapons and chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, we are devastating our natural ecosystems, causing a mass extinction of biodiversity and disrupting the climatic stability of the planet semi-permanently. This is criminal religious and selfish folly based on male views of nature as subservient, evil or a grist to be exploited.
A major reason for this are the very patriarchal religions that espouse this mind-sky view of the physical as distraction and in the case of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions of the idea that a desert God may scorch the Earth to triage of every living thing in the tumult of an apocalyptic end game which is really a product of our own folly.
Science has lost her soul because we moved from a scorched Earth God to an age of reductionistic materialism with no ethical idea of how to synthesize and refertilize a sustainable world.
The Universe IS the embodiment of Kali. Kali is - kal 'time' - it is the process of creation and destruction lived out in real time as opposed to the timeless eternal of the space-time envelope.
This has deep resonances with the idea of Kali as creatrix, and yet destructress of the material realm, so that the history and future of the universe is the Kali Yuga in its full blown nemesis:
Such in outline, but even more purposeless, more devoid of meaning is the world which science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave, that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspirations, all the noon-day brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins - all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy that rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built. ... Brief and powerless is man's life, on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark ... (Bertrand Russell)
The ultimate birth and fate of the universe are entirely destructive to life, but this is not a tragedy because life is resplendent on the cosmic equator - the tropic of Gaia. Indeed the big bang alpha and omega death are essential to create the complex universe with forces of nature making tissues and life possible at all, so we have to settle for the Kali condition as the best of all possible worlds even though the cosmic design may have her eating us all alive in the heat death. Science is feminine, as Shakti and Kali is feminine, because it is the description of the embodiment of the existential condition, complete with its wild sexuality leading to individual mortality, and creation and destruction of life, through the passage of the generations, and the ultimate annihilation of all life in the heath death or cosmic crunch and the awesome details of the scientific description, from the forces of nature to the genetic code.
This is not to suggest that the universe is ruled by a vengeful neolithic Goddess, or that the physical universe is permeated by a vital feminine 'holy ghost' but that our existential description of reality, our respect for the physical and nature as sacred, rather than inert materials to be exploited, lacks the integrating view which makes sense of how all this awesome cosmological description leads to a verdant overflowing of sustainable natural life or a sense of the 'sap and dew' of human destiny to bring about the joyous perennial cosmology of living paradise on the cosmic equator.
The analytic aspects of good deductive science do not require a vitalistic myth to complete them but rather a new appreciation of the role we as sentient beings must needs play, since we are mortal and cannot carry our baggage with us when we go to do the one and only thing in this transient life that makes any sense at all - to leave the planet and on a wider scale the sentient universe in amore complete and better state than it was before we came along.
This is partly 'feminine' in aspect, just as the females of the species make the living flesh and blood covenant with the life process by giving birth to live young. It is also essential to a complete description of the cosmic Tao that the patriarchal view of reality involved in traditional religious thought and the analytic reductionistic mechanistic view of the scientific description be complemented by the feminine synthesizing aspects of the description arising from non-linear dynamics, the paradoxes of uncertainty and the wave-particle relationship, the nature of quantum entanglement, the emergent properties of quantum molecular systems, and the synthetic integrative properties of molecular biology, from molecular complexes and organelles, through cells, to tissues, organisms and ecosystems.
It is the tragedy of human history that men, in their fear of their own mortality, not giving birth to living beings themselves, have seized control of culture, and developed scorched Earth religions of fire and retribution, leading to an idea of a vengeful God acting in history that brings us to our own tumult and near destruction and a view of the physical universe as a kind of Newtonian clockwork mechanism freely available for human exploitation, or worse still nature as sexual evil and the slime of mortal imperfection.Karma is not a predetermined, or moral destiny. Karma is the active quantum entanglement of uncertainty leading to the coincidences we find in the living world around us, which indicate the universe may be more consciously alive than we may think.