I’ve had lunch a couple of times with my friend, Marty Glass, a philosopher of some note (aka Grandpa Marty), to talk about Planetary Philosophy. During these conversations, Marty asked me a couple of questions that got me thinking.
Why Critique Science?
First, he asked why I had spent so much time discussing the philosophy of science in Planetary Philosophy and showing how the mechanistic, deterministic/probabilistic model of explanation can’t get rid of consciousness. Why bother? He asked.
Well, it’s true that the Eastern traditions just accept that humans are conscious and so is the universe. From this perspective, the way to expand knowledge is to pay attention to our consciousness and make it more coherent and stronger so we can access the deeper levels of the conscious universe around us.
However, I believe that there are some good reasons to make the effort of explicitly pointing out the obvious—that science requires consciousness. In fact, everything that any of us experience and know comes through our consciousness.
One reason is that I don’t believe that science will ever solve some of the problems it’s facing without acknowledging consciousness. When science is forced to say that 95% of the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy—unknown substances that have never been experienced in any way—it’s a serious problem that probably requires a new point of departure to solve. People who have visited and explored the deeper levels of the conscious universe may well have a lot to tell us about dark energy and dark matter.
Another reason to take on the outmoded philosophy of science is that a large number of people just accept the mechanistic, probabilistic/deterministic philosophy underlying science uncritically, leaving them stuck in a worldview in which the universe is some sort of machine that somehow, by random chance, made itself. It’s much harder to find meaning and strong connections with other people and with the natural world if you believe in such a worldview.
What’s the Authority for Planetary Philosophy?
As his second question, Marty wanted to know what gave me the wisdom to try to formulate Planetary Philosophy. He suggested that I needed to choose one tradition, commit to it, and plunge deeply into it in order to come into union with the conscious universe, that is all joy and all wondrous and that underlies us all.
I replied that, over my life, I have followed a number of different traditions—Christian, Scientific, Yogic, Rosicrucian, Taoist, Gurdjieffian, and Shamanistic—getting what I believe to be true transmissions from each of them. And I have followed the discipline of meditation over many years to penetrate to glimpses of the unity that is behind them all.
Based on these experiences, I have tried to formulate a philosophy with the smallest number possible of self-evident principles that can unify us, regardless of which tradition we come from, and guide us in acting wisely and powerfully enough to bring us through the crisis our species faces now here on this Earth. Hence, One Planet, One People, One Purpose.
In the end, however, the authority for Planetary Philosophy comes from whether it works in helping us make sense out of our situation at this time in history and from whether it helps us guide our actions more effectively.
Marty was skeptical, but, at that point, he let me off the hook for the moment.
However, the conversation led me to recognize that Planetary Philosophy really has a fourth principle that has been implicit and should be made explicit. In addition to One Planet, One People, and One Purpose, we should add One Consciousness.
At the quantum level, physicists now explain reality as a field with ripples moving through it that coalesce for some period of time as particles and then dissolve back into the field.
It’s a similar reality for us as human beings. We exist in a space/time/consciousness field with many different vibration rates. Our individual consciousnesses exist as semi-separate nodes within that field.
Weaker consciousnesses barely emerge out of the underlying field, but, when they do, they usually focus on their separateness from the field. Stronger, more trained, consciousnesses can maintain themselves as coherent patterns in that field, experiencing their connections out through the field, and even sometimes shifting their awareness to experience the unity of the field directly at the higher vibration levels.
People who have worked on themselves to evolve stronger consciousnesses often can be more effective in leading their lives and contributing to our One Purpose—completing the great transformation that is needed now and that may ultimately manifest in a new Planetary Consciousness that we can all share.
So let’s say that, entwined with the three original principles of Planetary Philosophy, there is a fourth. We inhabit One Planet. We are One People. We have One Purpose. And underlying them all, we share One Consciousness.