THE ASCENT CHAPTER SIX

Leave a Comment 221 views

  1. From the first novel in the ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE series: THE ASCENT

For more ELYSIUM’S PASSAGE Blog Posts, go to

https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/ep-blog-posts for links or https://digitalbloggers.com/articles/elysiumspassage for the host site 

___________________________________

CHAPTER SIX

SUMMIT UNIVERSITY

 

A man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who possess it.
One must learn from him who knows.

                                                Georges Gurdjieff

 

Mo and Eli arrived just as I was stepping down the stairs from my sleeping quarters in the loft. I wasn’t hungry, but as Mo began to cook breakfast on top of the blazing hot stove, I couldn’t resist. After learning about my shocking fall yesterday and the ensuing controversy regarding the state of my physical identity, I was in a surprisingly good mood this morning. Then, suddenly, our friendly morning repartee turned sombre as we later settled into our lounge area.

‘So, James,’ Mo said, ‘first order of business. Are you prepared to accept your scholarship to Summit U? We need an answer: yes or no!’

‘You mean to become a student again? Why would I? That’s hardly an option or a great career move, considering how I have a job to get back to. Besides, I already earned my doctorate, so this is the last thing I wish to do after a decade of studies without pay. Perhaps instead, I should be teaching you.’

‘And perhaps you will,’ he said. ‘Teaching is the best way to learn since we all learn what we teach. I’m sure there is much we could discover by teaching each other. However, our programme is not just about acquiring more information since I’m sure you’ve already had more than enough of that. At best, we’re facilitators to help show you the way. But we’re not the only ones; others may come along from time to time to teach you what we’re not able.’

‘Such as what?’

‘Whatever you need to learn,’ Eli said, ‘such as understanding the real essence of love; do you have any idea what that is?’ he laughed. ‘Not that it can be taught… but it can be shown.’

‘Now, you have me curious. So, does this mean you have female instructors? If so, where are they, or are these the mountain nymphs of my fantasies?’

‘I’m sure you will find Summit University to have a much different learning approach to an establishment you’ve ever experienced.’

‘Think of yourself as a protégé,’ Mo said. ‘Once you get past the basics, you may discover much about yourself from a few exotic encounters that take you to new heights far beyond this Summit.’

‘And where could that possibly be? We’re rather high here already; are we not?’

‘You’ll find out soon enough,’ he said. ‘Until your practicum begins, your classes will be conducted in this sitting area until you’re prepared for the remarkable field trips you will engage in. These will involve a diversified practicum extending throughout your world and even beyond, some of which you might regard as surreal adventures. By the time you graduate, you will have discovered more than your colleagues could ever comprehend after your return to London.’

     ‘I appreciate your laudable offer and intent,’ I said. ‘Most gracious of you, however, I require no further accreditation, and so there’s no reason for me to begin again, especially without qualified instructors to teach post-doctoral studies. I’ve acquired much erudite learning through the years, and so I’m confident I’m capable of continuing under my cognizance.

      ‘At times, you give the impression you know something about philosophy, and maybe you do. But really, are you philosophers? I would say not, most evidently, otherwise you wouldn’t be promulgating fantasies that you mistake for reality.’

‘Let me ask you, James,’ Mo said, ‘what does it mean to be a philosopher? What do you think the word means?’

‘Obviously, it’s the conjunction of love, being Philia, and wisdom, being Sophia.’ 

‘So, with this being the case, would you not say that wisdom has greater importance than learning?’ Mo asked.

‘That’s a rather foolish question,’ I said, ‘since wisdom is acquired through learning.’

‘I mean no disrespect to you,’ he said, ‘especially with regard to the impressive certificates that you have framed and hung on your wall. But do you even know what wisdom is? And if you don’t, how can you love it? What then does it mean to be a philosopher? Though you’ve gained admission into the fellowship of the world’s most sophisticated thinkers, I’m not sure if they understand the difference between learning and wisdom either.’

‘I’m sure my colleagues would take great offence at your remarks,’ I said.  

‘Only philosophers from the Flatlands would,’ Mo said continuing, ‘because, for them, it’s especially the case. Don’t get me wrong, though; I’m not judging the intellectual integrity of the learned gents you’ve studied under in your hallowed halls. I’m sure they make significant philosophical contributions in analyzing parts. After all, linguistic analysis has its place. They’re good at that since that’s how they’ve been trained. But it seems that’s about all they do these days.[1] So, it seems they have an inadequate appreciation of the implicit unit of wholeness.’

‘I’m not sure where you are going with this,’ I said, ‘but I’m rather certain we have an adequate appreciation of whatever you’re suggesting.’  

‘But do we?’ he asked, 'if only the whole can give definition and context to the part. The part, however, has no context or meaning when it’s separated from the whole. That should be obvious, but unfortunately, it isn’t in the Flatlands where they’re only interested in knowing about parts. And so, the land remains fragmented, not understanding the nature of the whole.

‘What is required is not just more advanced logarithms, but a comprehensive understanding of the spiritual principles that exist today just as they did on earth long before recorded history. Ultimately, it must be questioned what lasting benefit does science have if it can’t be applied to the art of living, both in the material domain and the spiritual domain beyond?

‘Mo, do you recognise the importance of rational analysis? It seems not.’

‘Yes, of course, analysis is necessary as a tool, especially when it’s rational, but it’s never sufficient onto itself. Philosophers must realise the difference between what is necessary and what is sufficient. Once they understand this, they will be able to inform their scientific colleagues what they’re missing. Parts are necessary, but only the whole is sufficient.’

‘Missing? That’s quite the dismissal. Our scholars are among the best in the world. Our reputations in the humanities and sciences remain irreproachable, even centuries after the Renaissance.’

‘I’m sure they are the very best at what they do,’ Mo said, ‘but how many of today’s scholars understand life as profoundly as the ancients? The expansive inter-dimensional nature of the Infiniverse requires macroscopic lenses to see beyond earth’s material limitations.

‘Many of these ancient writings understood the integration of mind and matter, but these teachings are practically incomprehensible to a world more interested in better cars, trucks and pesticides than better lives.’

‘In all fairness, technology has made our lives much better. I, for one, wouldn’t have been able to fly here in less than a day had science not discovered aerodynamics.’   

‘That’s evident,’ he said, ‘not to mention your flight back you don’t remember having on life-support. But what is life without the support of wisdom? Did anyone teach you, as a student of philosophy, anything contained in the venerable Vedas? Did any of your instructors read the Upanishads or the Chuang Tzu? Is there anyone in the Flatlands who understands the writings of the Sufis and Christian mystics? How many spoke of Pythagoras, or was his wisdom too arcane? Why do so few see value in these works of antiquity?

‘Some mystics exist in remote areas of the world who understand their meaning, but not many in the modern world are even aware of their existence. What was passed down through the ages in these works of ancient wisdom is beyond compare. Yet their meanings remain incomprehensible to the Flatlanders, if not irrelevant.’

It was apparent Mo felt very passionate about this, repeatedly rising to his feet while gesturing emphatically with his arms as he spoke.

‘A while back, you wanted to talk about Plato; well, there isn’t much to be found of lasting value inside his cave no matter how mesmerizing the shadows may seem as they shift about on the stone walls. Who are the real cavemen, the ones carrying bludgeons or those carrying briefcases stuffed with stock portfolios? Both dwell in the cave’s inner recesses of spiritual ignorance, refusing to be exposed to the sun’s divine illumination lest the light irritates their eyes.

‘As Plato so eloquently stated: Their truth would be nothing but the shadows of images.[2] But what could be flatter and more linear than minds that can’t understand the truths beyond the shadows of their understandings?

‘Since you’re the philosopher, James, can you tell me why Western philosophy remains o threatened by non-dualist teachings of unity and spiritual wholeness? Is it possible these views of divine union would have compromised ambitions to extract colonial power over those they considered separate?’

‘That’s simplistic,’ I said. ‘Western rationalism has led to a much better world of scientific enquiry and development. Repeating Om over and over again doesn’t invent more effective vaccines and cancer cures. Doesn’t this have something to do with, as you said, the art of living?’

‘But of course,’ Mo continued, ‘more pharmaceuticals, more chemicals, more gadgets, not to mention better war machines. Makes you wonder, how did the ancients get along without them? Imagine having to kill one being at a time.

‘The world now prides itself in knowing more and more. And I suppose it does, but it always seems to be about less and less! Who out there even tries to pull it together? Many seem to dislike the term holistic and so perfunctorily dismiss it. Fragmentation is the game today as it rips the soul into meaningless pieces. 

‘If I seem to overstate the insanity of your earth, it’s only to draw attention to the choices you will have to make. It must be difficult to remain caught in such a narrow world that knows so much about so little and yet knows so little about so much. That’s got to be confusing!’

‘To the contrary,’ I said, ‘I have acquired a broad spectrum of knowledge. As I’m sure you can appreciate, this was required to earn a PhD in philosophy and why I’ve come to understand a great deal about life.’

‘Have you, James, or does it only seem that way?’ he asked. ‘I’m sure once you compare what you think you know now to what you are to discover in this realm, it will reveal just how limited your education was. Not only is this dimension so much more expansive than anything you’ve known before, but considerably higher and deeper than what you can imagine.

     ‘In fact, it has no limits or end. We can only give you a fleeting glance at what’s behind the curtain. Once you look, you will become aware of earth’s fleeting shadows.’

‘I’m afraid you’re now moving from iconoclasm to condescension,’ I said.

‘Because we once lived on the earth’s plane of consciousness, we remember how dark and confusing it is in the bowels of the Cave. But we also know how bright things become when one steps out of the cave into the sunlight. It’s most unfortunate that so few choose to dwell in the light.

‘Yet, we understand that darkness serves a purpose by contrasting with the light that light might be known and chosen. Your benighted world provides everyone with an opportunity to be drawn to the light. Thereby it eventually comes into an awareness of the difference. Most look somewhere in between, as neither this nor that. But what one chooses to perceive, that does he become.

‘And so, James, as you ascended here, you rose above the clouds and fog that remain below and saw the sun in its fullness. This is how you came to see what you couldn’t see before. When the Lowlands no longer held back your vision, you left your hovel cave and ascended towards this realm of light. Now that you have reached this plane of existence, things may seem a bit irritating until your inward eyes adjust to the Light.

‘When that happens, the resplendence of everything will appear in its brilliance, and not just things, but in relationships. Only then will you understand all that you thought to be real was only a temporal shadow of the eternal reality that awaits you.’

‘Okay, Mo, thank you for your inspiring oratory. I’m sure Plato couldn’t have said it better, but I’m not so sure I want to be included in this allegory since I already seem to have enough metaphors going on in my dream.

‘Based on what you said, I suspect you know your way around philosophical concepts, as evidenced by your allusions to Plato’s Cave.[3] Still, I think that a greater emphasis on particulars as taught by his student Aristotle would be most helpful to give some balance to Plato’s universals.

‘Nevertheless, I won’t deny that what you have put forth might appeal to some mystics, but likely this is too abstract for a world increasingly preoccupied with economic achievement. However, should we meet in London some time, perhaps we could discuss more of Plato’s concepts and conjectures, including his more exotic musing about Atlantis, reincarnation, and other enchanting topics such as this Cave allegory.

‘I know of a few professors at Oxford who are scholars in Greek philosophy. I’m sure we could have a fascinating discussion over a few pints of bitter at the Child and Eagle in company with the ghosts of Lewis, Tolkien, Barfield, Williams and the other Inklings.[4]

‘To be honest, though, I’m inclined more towards Aristotelian perspectives since I find these considerably more practical than Plato’s abstractions. However, I’ve recently given some thought to certain Neo-Platonic concepts contained in Plotinus’ Enneads.[5] These I find more palatable, although they too are often disregarded as being too arcane for contemporary Western realism.’

‘You’re certainly right about that,’ Mo said. ‘It’s not easy to advocate the meaning of spiritual transcendence without being shouted down by the more militant advocates of flat determinism. As I alluded to earlier, Ludwig Wittgenstein, arguably the mastermind of modern rationalism, did not limit his views to humanism. He once stated: the whole modern conception of the world is founded on the illusion that so-called laws of nature are the explanation of all phenomena.

‘Only he could get away saying that because he was, well, Wittgenstein. Today, unfortunately, if anyone has ambitions of advancing into higher academic ranks, it’s best to keep such ideas on lock mode until tenure has been granted.’

‘Say what you will,’ I said, ‘but I still think you’re over-critical of contemporary Western philosophy.’

‘Am I?’ he asked. ‘Try and see what happens when you rock their boat. But then, you already did, and so you should know. Did you forget the sidelong glances you received when you submitted your dissertation? Though it may have been scholarly, it was not acceptable to them because you had spent too much time gazing out your window towards a Mountain which, according to them, didn’t exist.

‘You had become distracted, my friend, and it showed. They could read between the lines, and so they did. Only when you acquiesced to their weltanschauung[6] by flattening your thesis to conform to their predilections were you awarded your doctorate. Do you wonder why you’re always squeezed out of their tenure queue? Would it be because they suspect you’re not one of them?’

‘Possibly you are right about what goes on behind committee doors, but how could you know this about my department?’

‘I recall what it’s like in the Flatlands,’ Mo continued, ‘which is why I suspect it might be challenging for you after you return home when you recall all that is yet to happen here. If you were to tell anyone, few would take you seriously; much less understand you.

‘It will be difficult for you to pretend none of this happened. At first, you might dismiss whatever flashbacks come to you as just part of some dream. But then one day, much to your amazement, something shows up on your doorstep that convinces you of your time here with us.’

‘I’m not sure what you’re getting at. But your right, I wouldn’t want to say anything about our discourses here. Indeed, few would understand. Hell, I’m not even sure I do! As for the amnesia, why would I forget my stay here?

‘The return Mo is referring to is not just to London,’ Eli said, ‘but rather your return to the physical body in London. When it is ready to receive you, that is, your spirit, after it recovers, we’d like you to tell the world of your adventure here. Of course, your memory will first have to return, and that could take some time. But when it does, it will give us much pleasure to watch you rock their boat. The question is whether you have the ballocks to do this.’

‘After I return, I’m sure I’ll find better things to do with my ballocks.’

‘I’m sure you will,’ Eli said, laughing. ‘Be that as it may, we think that in time you will not only rock your colleague’s boat but capsize it into their sea of disapprobation. Don’t be too concerned about this since we’ll be sailing alongside to pull you out of these waters into our much larger boat that will sail you into the galaxies.

‘However, if you continue to cling only to boats laden with dense and heavy beliefs, you could drown when the ship goes under. Would it not be much better to sail with us on our cosmic voyage?’

‘What cosmic weed have you been smoking today, Eli? I doubt my ship will be going down anytime soon, to use your nautical metaphor. Once the winds begin to blow in my direction, I’m sure I’ll have smooth sailing. The system may not be perfect, but I’m sure I’ll find a way once my career is secured.’

‘Perhaps you will,’ Mo said. ‘If it seems I challenge Western philosophy too harshly, it’s because Eli and I want you to become aware of the contrast of where you’ve been and where you’re going. Like most who get caught up in the current zeitgeist, you might assume if you acquired enough information from those around you, you would have acquired wisdom.’

I didn’t respond, but it made me wonder if perhaps he was right. Had I only been taught unquestioned beliefs accumulated over centuries? On the other hand, I found many of the current belief fixations had little substance, all too often based on uncontested reactions towards more traditional belief systems. So where did the truth lie, I asked myself, in the past or the present?

‘Whatever presuppositions one may choose to believe,’ Mo said, ‘be they contemporary or historical interpretation, all must be questioned. What if they are all wrong? Too few students are aware of implicit assumptions, preferring to accept whatever their friends, leaders, and institutions tell them to accept. It’s easier and safer that way.

‘It’s not much different than when religions once used whatever means it had available to impose its dogmas on society. Perhaps even more concerning today are the false beliefs totalitarian governments continue to impose on their people

‘This is why one’s beliefs, and their proximity to truth, have such significant consequences. Likewise, what you believe about your current state of existence will have profound consequences for you now and when you return.

‘And not just for you, but everyone who hears about your experiences here. Trust us, as you move further in and higher up, you will find yourself lifted towards people, places and events you would never before have dreamed, so be prepared when it comes.’

‘Speaking of being lifted,’ I said, ‘I’d like to catch a helicopter ride back with you to Santiago. I understand there’s a festival there this weekend; perhaps we could do some partying before I catch a taxi to the airport the next morning.’

‘You’ve already had your helicopter ride,’ Eli said. ‘At least your body did when it departed this mountain. As for us, we have an even better mode of transportation to show you that doesn’t even require the trans part. But to participate, you will first need to open your mind to what’s possible. When it becomes a tabula rasa, and you have unlearned everything you thought you knew, then you will be able to go wherever you wish, not just down the mountain.’

‘Eli, why must you speak such nonsense? Do you have any idea of how ridiculous you sound? Excuse me for asking, but what might this portation device be, if not a helicopter?’

‘Something much more efficient,’ he said, ‘with far less clang, bang and bulk. There’s nothing to it.’

‘Well, if there’s nothing to it, what is it; a spaceship? Or just another riddle?’

‘As I said, James, it’s more of a mode than a device. I’m sorry, but if it seems we speak in riddles at times, it’s because you haven’t learned to go beyond the limitations of your learning. What you can’t learn, you must discover. And what you discover will be the reality you create.’

‘Even your replies to nonsensical questions are more nonsense, Eli.’  

‘Only when you comprehend the meaning of your questions will you understand the answers,’ Mo said. ‘We don’t think it is nonsense at all for you to ask about spaceships even if they’re not necessary. So why not go further and ask us why? You will never understand what you don’t know if you don’t first ask. Otherwise, you will never discover what you seek to understand. If you don’t first ask, you don’t receive. Isn’t that what philosophy is supposed to be about, asking constructive questions to find constructive answers?’

‘Yes, of course,’ I said, ‘but asking why we don’t need a spaceship is even more preposterous when we already know helicopters exist and spaceships don’t. Besides, a helicopter would do fine in getting us off this mountain.’

‘Perhaps it would do fine,’ Eli said, ‘but since you didn’t ask us the question, you still don’t know how we’re able to get around. You only assume you know.’

‘The only meaningful answers you ever receive,’ Mo said, ‘are a result of the questions you choose to ask. Eli is right; your questions could lead to bigger realities than just helicopters, UFOs and other modes of transportation. The problem is, too few philosophers bother to ask the important questions that matter, the questions that lead to an understanding of what lies beyond. Such negligence is especially true since the days of the Vienna Circle.’[7]

‘Pardon me: helicopters, UFOs and the Vienna Circle? That’s a jolly mix. What could they possibly have to do with each other?’

‘It’s subtle,’ he said, ‘except those helicopters and spaceship achieve liftoff and go somewhere. But I’m not sure that’s the case with linguistic analysis and syllogisms that keep everything grounded. Sometimes that’s good, but more often, it’s not. How can one transcend to higher planes when it’s assumed these realms don’t exist?

‘Of course, logical constructs can be useful in debating concerns of the limited earth plane. But these analytical tools don’t go very far with questions related to life, death, meaning and the source of consciousness. That’s why so few philosophers even bothered to ask these days.’

‘I think a lot of people already ask these questions,’ I said.      

‘Sometimes they do, but who is there to answer them?’ he asked. ‘Not many in your circles. That’s because philosophy put a lid on itself when it stopped enquiring about anything that didn’t relate to the world’s affairs. Many philosophers now regard any religious or metaphysical language to be empirically nonsensical, that being, without sense.

‘Therefore, as they will tell you, it’s nonsense. Consequently, any mention of God, Source, or any other name denoting deity is not deemed acceptable in their discourse. No more than UFOs, for that matter.’

‘That might be the case among certain reductionist philosophers,’ I said, ‘but not necessarily everyone.’ 

‘Nevertheless,’ Mo continued, ‘these prejudices are rooted in the intellectual moorings of the Flatlands, beginning as far back as the eighteenth century. In truth, that’s how the Flatlands got its name by imposing its flat, mechanistic interpretation on everything.

‘It’s because of this levelling that you still find it difficult to acknowledge what we tell you about the vertical dimension of reality, even though your heart understands what your mind resists. It knows what’s flat and narrow can never satisfy your soul’s deeper longings. Your problem is that you are not yet fully aware of your inward journey, the one that drew you into a new realm of existence beyond.’

 ‘Existence beyond what,’ I asked, ‘my sanity?’

‘Beyond the limits of what you consider sanity and today’s mode of rational enquiry. You’ll expand your understanding to new realms of infinite possibilities when you begin to ask the important questions. Perhaps then, when you return, you will be able to challenge the assumptions that no one wishes to question.’

‘Such as what?’  

‘Any question that already has the answer’s premises conveniently inserted into the question,’ he said. ‘Questions rigged with select presuppositions can’t help but yield answers that have been crafted for ideological ends. There’s plenty of this sleight of hand that occurs when special interest groups are funded to legitimize their agenda. Even the revered Scientific Method is based on prejudicial assumptions of what can and cannot be determined.’

‘Again, I ask, such as what?

‘Your methods can’t even investigate our spiritual presence on this plane,’ Eli said. ‘That’s because it had already been decided our state of existence doesn’t exist. That’s an assumption. That’s scientism. It’s what Wittgenstein detested, even though his methodology was conscripted in service to scientism.’ 

‘I don’t know which state you are referring to,’ I said, ‘but I used to ask many questionable questions when I was an undergraduate student, not that anyone particularly cared to listen. Finally, I stopped asking when it seemed they knew something I didn’t, though I wasn’t sure what that might be.’

‘Indeed, you did ask many inconvenient questions,’ Eli said. ‘But since you couldn’t get any satisfactory answers in the Flatlands, you were drawn to this Summit of understanding. It’s the higher Mountain plane you had envisioned. Now that you’re here, it’s up to you if you are ready to discover what can’t be discovered anywhere else.’

‘You’re referring to Summit U, are you?’

‘Yes, indeed. Generally, mainstream science and philosophy don’t wish to go anywhere near questions of a metaphysical nature such as life after death. That’s what you’re going to learn here. But first, you will need to discover what dimension you’ve fallen into in this crash course.’

‘Crash course? Most clever, Eli.’

‘Well, think about it,’ he said, ‘you literally crashed down the abyss to wake up into a new dimension that you might still deny as existing, even though it’s the spiritual substratum that undergirds the apparent world of surface appearances.

‘When you finally realise you’re no longer confined to the earth plane, you will understand what hitherto has remained difficult for you to accept. Be assured we’ll work with you until you realise that the narrow little box of reality you’ve been carrying with you doesn’t have nearly enough space to contain what you will be experiencing here.’

I found Eli’s comments somewhat presumptuous, as though he and Mo were gurus sitting on this Mountain, claiming to know more than anyone else. With their peculiar, unorthodox epistemologies, these amateur philosophers seemed too sure of themselves. I decided, however, to hear them out a while longer. If nothing else, their antics would make for some amusing stories I could later tell my students.

‘You say my box of reality is too small. Well, you know something, Eli, I would rather it be small than a large box stuffed full of rubbish.’

‘What we say may now sound like rubbish to you,’ Mo said, ‘but that’s because you only engaged your mind, not your heart. The mind without the heart is always confused. It’s always been that way, and so can never understand anything of lasting significance.

‘To come into a fuller understanding of existence, it is necessary for you to subordinate your mind to the heart’s inner wisdom. I don’t mean for you to displace your mind; just get it under control. The ego-mind is always externally focused, separating itself from the wisdom of the heart, the centre of your being. That’s why few intellects can see the implicit unity of the universe and why even fewer care.

‘Too many on earth hear only the meaningless clatter of whatever intrudes into their lives, never acting intentionally, but reacting to outward circumstances. It’s why the mind needs to remain united with the heart and its wisdom, or it loses itself to all the worthless distractions of the ego. As we’ve said before, and will keep saying, the heart is the spirit’s divine portal to higher consciousness. And so, the constraints of your past training will fall away as soon as you learn to reconcile your heart with your mind.

‘Why do you both feel it’s necessary to keep talking about the heart as being something more than it is?’ I asked. ‘Science shows that the heart is essentially a pump that circulates blood and nothing more. Isn’t there a better term you could use for your metaphor?’

‘Yes, of course,’ Eli said, ‘but it’s the best we can think of since the heart is not only the centre of your physical being but the centre of your spiritual being; that which is called the soul. We, therefore, refer to the heart as your divine receptacle to wisdom, love and light, much like the brain is a metaphor for the mind, though many believe this literally.

‘When you recognise that all physical appearances, including the heart, are vibratory interpretations of Source Energy, then you’ll begin to see the divine essence contained in all of existence. Furthermore, all spiritual reality has a corresponding form that manifests across the full spectrum of dimensions.[8] All appearances proceed from the thought patterns we co-create.’

‘I have no idea what that means,’ I said. ‘Vibratory interpretations? Sometimes, Eli, you sound like some sideshow shaman with an English accent. Mysticism is hardly my orientation, so I’m not sure how well I would have fit in with this crash course of yours. I hate to be the first to drop out at Summit U, but I have a job to get back to.’

‘You may go whenever you wish,’ Eli said. ‘No one is holding you back, but as we suggested, it may be rather lonely wandering the halls of your university by day and the streets of London by night, virtually lost and unknown to everyone. Maybe you’ve felt that way on a bad day, particularly after getting jilted. But as I said before, that’s nothing compared to how you would feel now.’

‘Really,’ I said, ‘so you’re telling me I’m fortunate to be up here without any women to call on. How lucky is that?’

‘More than you know,’ Mo said. ‘We’ve repeatedly told you this, but let me tell you why once more since you either keep forgetting or don’t understand.

‘So, let’s start from the beginning. Whether you choose to recognise it or not, you wished for something more than what the Lowlands had to offer. At some unconscious level, you wanted to find a new dwelling for your soul. Although you didn’t know what or where that could be, you realised you weren’t going to find what you were looking for while stuck in the bogs. All the parts of your fragmented reality weren’t adding to what you thought life should be like

‘And so, as your dream illustrated, you embarked one night on a journey towards the Mountain, albeit with a few wistful glances back to the Lowlands when scaling the more rugged precipices. Such apprehensions are to be expected. The journey can be challenging at times, so the temptation to turn back remained, at least until you were able to see the Lowland’s misty clouds below. That’s when you realised why you had never seen direct sunlight before and why you’re here to experience your new reality, even beyond your wildest dream.’

‘Here we go again, could we please talk about something other than that damned dream? It’s ridiculous that you expect me to believe I’m somehow living out a strange drama I dreamt last October. No, I didn’t ask for any of this; whatever this is, I’m experiencing here. And now, to top it all, you expect me to believe that my brain and I’ve parted company, and I at once currently reside on two different continents.’

‘Let me give you more clarity on your situation here,’ Mo said. ‘It might be a good idea, Eli, to pour James a stiff Scotch. He doesn’t need it, but he thinks he does when agitated, and so he probably does.’

‘I’m not agitated,’ I said, raising my voice, ‘just a bit irritated having my intelligence affronted by… oh, my… I must say, that’s delicious Scotch. Perhaps with enough shots, you might convince me of almost anything. Hell, I may even join you in your fantasy world, at least until I head back down.’

‘In reality, libations don’t work that way here,’ Eli said smiling, ‘unless, of course, you want them to by imagining you’re getting a buzz for old time’s sake. We prefer, however, that you remain lucid for the moment,’ as he refilled my glass.

‘So now James,’ Mo said, ‘I want you to take a few deep breaths and relax. This subtle body of yours is well-adapted to imbibe the ubiquitous prana more effectively than your physical body is able. This is the life force essence you may wish to think of as divine oxygen, or you might say, spiritual energy absorbed into your form. Be it here or the earth plane, it sustains and vivifies the frequencies of whatever body you manifest.’ 

I considered this to be more yoga schlock, but after a few swigs, I happily performed a series of deep breathing exercises as directed.

‘You know,’ I said, ‘this isn’t all new to me. I took some Hatha Yoga lessons in the past, in fact, the kind they do in ashrams.’

‘Just curious,’ Eli said, ‘but how did you get involved in yoga?’

‘I think it may have had something to do with meeting an instructor who was exceptionally apt in demonstrating her contortion skills. Once we got to know each other, we would practise more deep breathing exercises at her place, sometimes the whole night.’

‘So, with all that,’ he said, ‘and climbing this Mountain, you should have no problem taking another twenty breaths. This time slower and deeper, it’s all about the cadence.’

‘That’s what she used to say too.’

‘Focus, James,’ Mo said. ‘Be present and be present on your breath.’

‘Is this how you’re trying to convince me I’m out of my body; by getting me to hyperventilate and fall into some wild Sufi trance? If that doesn’t do it, what’s next, a little Dervish whirling? Scotch, breathing and whirling... something’s got to work. Before long, you might have me chasing after mountain nymphs dancing on the mountain peaks in the morning sun. You know, the ones I like to imagine up here.

‘Keep imagining, James,’ Eli said, ‘you never know where you might find them… or where they might find you.’

‘I’ll drink to that, I said, as I threw back the Scotch, having completed the last deep breaths.

‘Now, how does that feel?’ Mo asked.

‘Excellent! Most exceptional… authentically Scottish.’

‘No James, the breathing. How do you feel now after the last few deep breaths?’

‘As though I’m still in my body, not out of it as you might wish.’

‘And so you are,’ he said. ‘It’s just a matter of which body. Try doing a few more breaths, and I’m sure you’ll feel much lighter, with or without the Scotch.’

‘And yes, this brand is one of our best,’ Eli said, ‘a virtual version patterned after the old Dimple Pinch brand from Edinburgh.’

‘Virtual version, what’s that,’ I asked, ‘some knock-off like this version of reality you’re trying to convince me of? In any case, this is a real treat… goes down more smoothly and lusciously each time. Pinch is one of my favourites; too bad it’s so damned expensive.’

‘Cheers!’ Eli said as we shot back another.

‘I don’t know whether it’s my imagination or not,’ I said, ‘but I’m feeling considerably lighter after all these breathing and elbow tipping exercises. And yet, strangely, I don’t feel my awareness compromised except my mind feels a little airy.’

‘As we told you,’ Mo said, ‘it’s your beliefs that make it so. Now, I want you to continue to relax but don’t fall asleep. Listen carefully to what we have to say even though we know you’re getting tired of hearing us refer to your dream.’

I slouched back into my seat, glass in hand, put my feet up on the table and closed my eyes, feeling very relaxed. ‘Sure, whatever you have to say; as you can see, I’m listening most intently. So how much Pinch did you say is left in the bottle?

Ignoring my question, Mo went on to say, ‘the dream represents what you were unconsciously asking about, long before you set out to find the Mountain. At a deep subliminal level, you desired to know what lies beyond the shadows of the Lowlands. You wanted to see beyond the ruts, bogs, fog, thorns, thistles and gnarly shrubs of your daily routine.’

‘Yes, no doubt about it, lots of ruts, bogs, thorns and thistles. That’s my life. And don’t forget the snakes and mosquitoes when bogged down in bad relationships. I’ve had a few,’ I chuckled. ‘Not a jolly place to be when they bite and sting!’

 

‘No, I’m sure it’s not pleasant,’ he said, ‘but now that you’ve left those swamps and marshes behind to ascend to this Mountain. You are now high enough on vistas you could never have imagined before. The view is far more expansive than you can ever take in, far beyond the sierras.’

 

‘Even beyond the sierras? I’m not sure that’s possible with the earth being a sphere.’

 

‘You might be surprised. In fact, I’m sure you will be,’ Eli said, ‘which is why we’re going to show you only a little at a time, so you don’t get too overwhelmed with the resplendence up here. Though you may not be aware of it, these views are all around you, even while you remain on earth. Once you’re able to see it for yourself, believe us; nothing is going to remain as it was for you. It can’t be.’

 

‘That’s jolly well and good, but what if I don’t believe you. Don’t I get a choice in what I want to believe about reality? Besides, I hardly know what the bloody hell you’re talking about half the time with all your Peter Pan allusions and metaphors.’

 

‘Eventually, you will,’ Mo said. ‘And yes, you will always have a choice in what you believe. Remember, Summit U is a liberal arts university. You get to speak your mind just as they once did on campuses in the Western world. Here there is more than one acceptable way to think, unlike all the Groupthink[9] that has sadly gripped much of your world. Of course, you may choose to believe you don’t have a choice. These days, many choose to believe that in the Flatlands.’

 

‘Being a freethinker of sorts,’ I said, ‘I can’t imagine why anyone would want to remain caught in someone else’s dream.’

 

‘And yet, that’s a large part of human history, is it not? If you don’t see yourself as free and having a choice, then in effect, you aren’t, especially when you give your power away and let others decide your life for you.

 

‘However, when you become aware of what you are and what you want, you will always choose dignity over slavery, just as you choose light over darkness. And so, as you now ascend higher, you will observe how much more there is to your existence. You will soon find that you’re able to manifest anything that aligns with your new state of consciousness. The further in and higher you go; the more life becomes accessible to you.’

‘That’s splendid, but how about the perfect woman?’ I asked. ‘How do I access her?

‘That can only happen when you know what you want. More likely, she will find you. Women admire men who know what they want.’

‘There’s no mistake, women in my life know what I want.’

‘You may think you know, but you can’t until you know who you are. For much of your life, you have been caught between worlds, wedged in a passage between the earth and what lies beyond, without knowing what that was. This state has left you double-minded and uncertain of who you are or what you want.’

‘Not really, not even figuratively,’ I said defensively. ‘Most definitely, I’m not wedged in a passage. As you might have noticed, I’m high on a summit, and I know what I want.’

‘It may seem so, but do you? Once you recognise you’re wedged between what’s behind in the Lowlands, and what’s ahead on the Summit, you can then decide whether you wish to ascend higher or descent back to where you were.  

‘If you decide to move forward, it will become your Stargate as you launch out to discover more from the infinitude of what you may do and places you may go. Though you may have several attachments to earth’s plane of existence while you remain there, these may appear much differently in the future.’

‘I’m not sure what you’re going on about,’ I said. ‘Why would things appear differently? Isn’t a pretty young lassie still pretty?’

‘As you become inwardly prettier, they will appear even prettier,’ he said, chuckling. ‘Then you will perceive all reality much differently, not just lassies, based on who and what you have become within. Everything outward will seem more vibrant and multi-dimensional the further inward you proceed.

‘Whatever you choose to experience, I can assure you it will be far more engaging than anything you have experienced so far on the earth plane. All are custom designed to manifest as a vibratory match to the rarified desires and affections of your soul.

‘Not that this makes you special; no one possesses a more divine essence than anyone else, and yet we all are unique expressions of the Source, according to what light we choose and what light we resist. We become more of what we are with every decision we make and every relationship we enter.

‘Because you were interested in ascending to higher realms, you ventured further up and further in. Few choose to leave the Lowlands, and so few are chosen. In that sense, you are chosen.’

‘One of the chosen, am I? By whom, the Almighty? I’m not even religious… or Jewish, for that matter.’[10]

‘Because you have chosen, you are chosen!’ Mo said. ‘You had the courage to seek this Mountain, which is why you’re now on this Summit attending Summit U. As you know, the Lowlanders prefer to remain stuck in their boggy swamps rather than ascend to higher elevations. Most have chosen not to choose, which becomes a choice unto itself. But not you! You wanted more and so went on to make the most significant decision of your life. 

‘That’s why you have entered this new world far beyond the thorns, thistles and mire that had you stuck. You may not have been aware of it, but you’ve been seeking the truth for most of your life. That’s why you became a philosopher. Your soul has been trekking towards this Summit for much longer than you realise, albeit rather circuitously. Like gravity, the resistances in your ego-mind slowed you down and held you back, but you never gave up.

‘All the crevices and valleys were part of your journey; there were no wrong people or places; it only seemed that way. They all played a part in your conscious evolution, giving you what you didn’t want so you would discover what you did want.’

‘I can’t believe how much you are still stuck in my dream,’ I said. ‘I suspect these interpretations of yours are more poetry than fact. As far as I know, I came here to climb a Mountain. It’s that simple! It seems you’re trying to make my dream into some cosmological extravaganza.’

‘James,’ Mo said, ‘don’t spurn the gift you gave to you. This dream was a special revelation from yourself to yourself. Therefore, it’s all yours: your poetry, your reward, and your future. You earned it, my friend. That was no ordinary dream; it was a lucid dream, possibly the first one you’ve ever had.[11] Through it, you received the vision and inward guidance to find your way here. The directions didn’t come from your mind but your heart.’

‘Perhaps in some metaphorical sense, it was,’ I said, ‘I can agree with at least some of what you’re saying. Just making it up here was like a dream, so I guess you could say it was my big reward. There are always risks with such expeditions as these. And so, making it to the top of any Mountain is a reward unto itself. I suppose it might also be said; there’s a certain cadence to the rhythm of ascension that, in a sense seems poetic.

‘That’s why I’d love to climb Mount Aconcagua should I ever return to the Andes for another expedition. I’m sure it would feel like poetry in motion to climb the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere.[12] From what I can tell, it’s probably only about forty or fifty miles northeast from here on the Argentine side.’

‘Definitely, we should do that,’ Eli said, ‘you may be surprised that it’s not as challenging to climb as you might think. Though it’s not as steep as Everest still, the altitude has killed a lot of climbers. But then, the reward isn’t explicitly about a literal ascent up this or any other mountain such as Aconcagua.’

‘I would prefer to live my life literally,’ I said, ‘rather than figuratively.’

‘The longer you’re here,’ Mo said, ‘the more you will come to realise what seems literal is never just literal but inextricably linked to what’s figurative. Whether Logos or mythos, life is a dynamic expression of both. As you often hear us say, as within, so without. Whatever you outwardly manifest is derived from the thoughts you have created within. That’s why your outward ascent is only as challenging or rewarding as your inward ascent.

‘Unlike Sisyphus, who struggled to roll his heavy boulder up the Mountain, there will be less toil the higher you ascend until only your lightness of being remains. Have you ever noticed how the word light refers to both illumination and weight?’ Eli asked. ‘When illuminated by the Light of the Spirit, the weight of your burdens becomes so lightened that they eventually cease to exist.’

‘I suppose,’ I said, ‘it’s always easier to lighten up when you see some light at the end of the tunnel. Or on top of a mountain… especially if it happens to be an orb,’ I chuckled.

‘It is easier, indeed,’ Mo said. ‘That’s why you will come to find that this Summit is only a base camp for even more spectacular Summits to come, should you wish to ascend further up. While you are with us, you will experience Summits you would never have known of in a million years while occupying your dense earth body!

‘Though you may feel you are in an unfamiliar dimension of reality, you aren’t. It’s a higher octave that has always remained ensconced within your being, as one with your soul. It surfaces as intuition at times or as a vision of the Mountain.

‘Whenever a person sheds their physical body, the immortal body can manifest in the higher vibratory form of the soul. As it’s said: This mortal shall have put on immortality.[13] The immortal body you now see is an outward expression of the soul’s immortal spiritual essence. But the version of your body in London is far from immortal; in fact, it’s barely hanging on to its mortality. What you’re experiencing now is for keeps, formed and sustained by divine light. It’s always there with or without the mortal shell.’

‘All metaphors aside, are you trying to tell me I appear as a ghost? This is not Halloween, you know.’

‘Do we appear as ghosts to you, whatever you conceive a ghost to be?’ Eli asked. ‘Rather, what you’re experiencing is your glorious incorruptible body, not the human sheath. That’s why you don’t seem disembodied, because you’re not, no more than when you occupy your biological body. It’s more a case of your third-dimensional body dispirited while vacated by your soul. It’s what happens when that body dies.

‘As for you, not your body, it’s impossible to die since the soul knows no such thing as death, except for the illusion of how it may seem for those who chose darkness over light. But we’ll talk about that later. Time and space are not the same limiting factors in this dimension; there is no obstruction to your spirit body’s agility when teleporting or engaging in other modes of spiritual experience.’

‘Is this what you meant earlier by portation – teleporting? You’re joking, right? Please tell me you are. If not, how can I take anything you say seriously. Even Superman can’t do that,’ I laughed.

‘Remember, this immortal body of yours is not limited to the earth plane,’ Mo said. ‘Did you know there are several exotic names for the spirit body that have emerged in various cultures over the centuries?’

‘Such as spook?’ I asked, with a tinge of sarcasm, still not buying anything they were saying.

‘Is that the best you can come up with to explain spirit?’ Eli asked. ‘The depth of understanding in the West, or lack thereof, is often revealed in its language.

‘The fact is, everyone has a divinely created spirit body – that much doesn’t change, regardless of bodily manifestation. Within, you will always remain an individuated expression of Source essence in form, much like good, in its essence, gives unique expression to truth in whatever form it may take.’

‘It’s evident that religions often claim to possess truth even as they lay waste to their opponents,’ I said. ‘Where’s the loving expression of truth in all that.’  

‘Where, indeed? What truth you see on the outside is an expression of what goodness exists on the inside. That’s what should be self-evident. Is it a religion of love or a religion of triumphalism? Where there is little goodness, there is little truth. Since they are inextricably linked, form must express what’s within. Be it individually or collectively, what we do and say tells what’s within.’

‘I’m not so sure about that,’ I said. ‘As I see it, most battles have been fought because each side felt their good and righteous cause was the truth.’

‘Yes, they certainly feel that way, don’t they? And yet, goodness, in its essence, can only take form in truth, which is why in Genesis, on the seventh day, God pronounced creation as good. It follows that you too, James, would be one such expression of this goodness. It’s why we say you have god essence and therefore you are a child of God, as affirmed in the Christian scriptures.’[14]

‘Provided you believe in all that,’ I said.

‘Truth is truth, regardless of what you or anyone else believes,’ Eli said. ‘You may rest assured your spirit body bears no relation to what you may imagine as an amorphous spook. The truth is just the opposite. Which body is more authentic, which body is more substantial, which body lasts? That which is temporal or that which is an expression of immortal spirit? If we had no bodily form, how would we be able to communicate our essence to other souls if there was no individuated appearance of locality?

‘In case you were wondering, however, I can’t tell you how ascended spirits manifest since they, in their rarified form, are much closer to the Source, far beyond my perception. Nevertheless, they can transduce to lower frequencies such as on earth and even denser realms.’

‘To be honest, Eli, I wasn’t wondering, nor am I particularly interested in whatever you’re going on about. All this talk about frequencies, spirits, planes and realms just sounds like a bunch of psycho-babble to me.’

‘But you soon will be,’ he said, ‘just wait. If you were to go to London now and ask some chap on the street about your present form, he would likely have a different opinion than yours. If you were able to speak to him, he’d likely say you have no body, then run the bloody hell in the other direction to get away from the voice in the air. You shouldn’t be offended, though, because you do have a body, just not the way he sees or doesn’t see it.

‘Remember this if you go home now, and some-body jilts you. Don’t feel like a no-body just because every-body ignores you because you don’t have any-body. Just like when you were trying to hook up with somebody’s body that night at the local pub, only for different reasons.’

‘More word plays, Eli? I’m sure you can do better if you try.’

‘As dubious as Eli’s word plays might seem,’ Mo said, ‘he made an excellent point. English terms, such as somebody, nobody, everybody and anybody, illustrate how humans identify themselves as bodies rather than souls. Ever notice that before?

‘I’m sure; however, your clairvoyant girlfriend would agree there’s more to you than what the average person on the street sees. Next time you’re in London, drop by to visit her; perhaps she will acknowledge you for who you are. If she sees you as a spirit body, then at least you’ll know you’ve probably been getting your money’s worth from her.’

‘Although, I’m sure she would prefer to see your carnal body,’ Eli said with a chuckle. ‘Rest assured you will always remain an individuated form offering your unique expression of divine essence. Just because someone can’t see your present form in another dimension doesn’t mean you don’t exist.’ 

‘Though some call the spirit body an astral body,’ Mo said, ‘it’s called a lot of different things by various cultures throughout the world. It doesn’t matter; call it whatever you wish; names aren’t important. Yet, there are more rarified planes of bodily manifestation than we can explain to you at this time. You only need to know your body is an extended form of your soul’s light manifesting in accord with what appearance you have associated with.’

‘You mean like shapeshifters?’ I laughed. ‘I remember fantasy comic books on that sort of thing when I was a boy.’

‘What if this phenomenon is not just a fantasy of your past but your subtle reality? The body you now experience may be understood as a read-out emanating from a higher frequency rather than the lower frequency of your body residing in London. Since you’re dwelling within a higher spectrum of light, your vibratory spirit form can re-enter your earthly vessel. However, your human vessel, with its lower material frequencies, could never enter your spirit vessel. And so, it ends up as dust or ashes when it, as they say, gives up the ghost.’

‘Even your physical eyes,' Mo said, 'as incredible as they may be, can only provide a crude read-out of the electromagnetic configurations contained in the third dimension. When you get right down to it, the atom’s supposed physicality doesn’t exist when it’s ultimately seen to be nothing more than a schedule of probability pointer readings on a chart.[15]

‘You may say all that is physical, including your temporal body, is an illusion because it is temporal. Only what lasts is real. We might say that things aren't what they appear, just as Einstein and other physicists have affirmed. Everything we think we see, even the smallest microtubule in the body, is in a state of shifting energy patterns without any underlying solidity. Only the divine Source is constant, though never static, extending divine essence through creation’s eternal expansion.’[16]

‘What you seem to be saying, I must concede, sounds much like Alford North Whitehead’s Process Philosophy,' I said. ‘Although I don't understand much of his abstruse esoterica, and I'm not sure many do, I remember once attending a lecture series on this topic by an eminent Whitehead scholar.[17] The concepts are very complicated, even for professional philosophers.’

‘Indeed, they are,’ Mo said, ‘but I'll see what I can do to scrounge up one of his books should you wish to brush up on his unique cosmological blend of theology and philosophy. In simple terms, what Whitehead attempts to express is how God’s thoughts are continually in the process of evolving into an infinite manifestation of forms through co-creation. That would include all the individuated consciousness that manifests in the Infiniverse, or as we said earlier: the Multiverse. That’s why there can be no other reality or substance other than divine essence, even with what we may call inert matter, which may, at best, be described as crystallized energy.’

‘What I learned at the Whitehead lectures,’ I said, ‘is that there was much support for such concepts from certain physicists such as David Bohm.[18] He considered matter to be the manifestation of explicate reality; a virtual kaleidoscope of variegated energy forms enfolded in what he described as the implicate order.’ 

‘I believe Bohm was on to something,’ Eli said, ‘in suggesting there’s an inward implicate universe that’s reflected in the explicate universe we experience. Again, as we keep saying, ad infinitum, as within, so without; it’s the same thing.  Though that may be a good place to start, physics can only go so far in comprehending the true nature of the universe.’

‘But do we want to reduce our understanding of infinite Source to just the concept of energy?’ Mo asked. ‘The kind of thing you generate from wind turbines or pump out of the ground as fossil fuel? Or, as many like to say: The Universe. To me, that sounds like a massive accumulation of objects and giving it a name as material as the other.

‘Depending on what is meant by that term, it might lead to a regrettable pantheistic ad absurdum, as if God is a composite of parts created by God. A tad tautological, wouldn’t you say? Besides, where’s the love in that since that’s what God is?’

‘I don’t know,’ I said, ‘but even from my agnostic perspective, the term universe seems rather facile. However, it seems many who loath the word God prefer this when speaking of whatever they consider ultimate.'

‘This is where,’ Mo said, ‘the concept of the Ray of Creation can help shed light on the subject. Provided, however, it’s understood that the Ray is a metaphor of how the effluence of divinity proceeds outward from the Source. Of course, there are no words that can begin to adequately describe what’s transcendent. But at least Whitehead gave it an admirable shot. 

‘When we come into the world, we are all swathed and shrouded in progressively refined sheathes of energy that exists adjacent to, yet intermingled with, the base frequency of the earth's denser physical body. Since the soul isn’t inextricably tied to the biological body, it’s free to leave at any time, which it often does during periods of deep sleep. Or, in your case, a very deep sleep! That’s how you, as a soul, managed to be released. And yet, you remain connected as long as your body remains alive on earth.[19] Think of these sheathes as higher octaves of divine thought-forms emanating from the Ray of Creation.’

‘Divine thought-forms, eh? Such as what?’

‘Such as Eli, such as me and of course… such as you.’

‘Oh really, and how about this divine Scotch I'm holding?’

‘That Scotch,’ he said, ‘didn't actually come from Scotland, only the thought did. But a most divine thought it is, wouldn’t you say?’

 

 ENDNOTES

 
[1] I'm not sure if Eli was fair in this assessment, yet Wittgenstein's Linguistic Analysis has had a considerable influence on the direction and occupation of philosophical enquiry over the last century. As indicated earlier, Wittgenstein was not entirely happy about this.
[2] The Republic, by Plato, Book VII.
[3] See in The Republic, Allegory of the Cave; written by Plato 380 BC.
[4] The Child and Eagle is a pub on Giles’ Street in Oxford where these authors, sometimes referred to as the Inklings, once frequented for several years.
[5] Plotinus (204-270 AD) wrote his Six Enneads primarily as a clarification of Plato’s philosophy. His writings have influenced Christian, Islamic, Gnostic, Pagan and mystical thought through the centuries.
[6] Weltanschauung is a German word meaning world view/perception. It’s often used in philosophy since there doesn’t seem to be a suitable equivalent in the English language. It seemed my whole purpose there was to acquire a new weltanschauung. 
[7] The Vienna Circle of logical empiricism was a movement in the 1920s to 1930s comprised of philosophers who sifted out metaphysical elements in philosophy to achieve what they considered would be a purified logic of science. It’s interesting to note this movement was formulated about the time the spooky discoveries of subatomic physics were first being observed. 
[8] I found this statement to be most intriguing, so was interested to learn that the doctrine of correspondences was foundational to the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. (See Appendix B)[9] Groupthink was a term from George Orwell’s novel 1984, published in 1949, meaning obsequious group thought. Individual thinking that threatens the conformist/collectivist trends were regarded as offensive or criminal, as on many university campuses in the West these days. Orwell also caricaturized other forms of social psychosis with terms such as Newspeak and Doublethink. 
[10] According to Jewish scripture and tradition, Jews were said to be God’s chosen people. This is supposedly why they, of all peoples, were given the Ten Commandments.
[11] Lucid dreams are understood to be conscious participation in one’s dreams while the body remains asleep.
[12] Mount Aconcagua is 6,961 metres high (22,838 ft.) about 15 kilometres east of the Chilean border.
[13] 1 Corinthians 15:54
[14] In my research recently, I noted the text Mo was referring to: Jesus replied, is it not written in your Law, “I have said you are gods” John 10:34, (NIV). Here Jesus was quoting Psalms 82:6. The subject of gods came up several times as you will find in these narratives. Also, the term sons of God is often employed.
[15] Physicist Sir Arthur Eddington (1882–1944) once stated it this way, Science has nothing to say as to the intrinsic nature of the atom. The physical atom is, like everything else in physics, a schedule of pointer readings.
[16] In traditional religion, it would more likely be said, the Father extends His divine essence...  However, neither Mo nor Eli used overtly religious terms very often. Perhaps out of deference to me, or possibly they weren’t comfortable with certain words and expression they considered archaic or misleading.
[17] While attending university many years ago, I once attended a lecture by preeminent Whitehead scholar, John B Cobb, who is a philosopher/theologian and founder of the Centre for Process Studies in California. After the lecture, I thought that someday I may delve into Whitehead’s barely comprehensible Process and Reality.  But to this point, I never had.
[18] British Physicist 1917-1992, Fellow of the Royal Society. (See Appendix ‘A’ for a variety of quotes.)
[19] What I understood is that consciousness, being non-local, remains infused in the biological body for as long as it lives, ensuring each cell remains animated with life. Likely this is what the ancient reference of silver cord is alluding to Remember Him before the silver cord is severed. Ecclesiastes 12:6 (NIV)

_________________________________________________________

 

Links to other posted chapters in The Ascent


Prologue to the Series
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/prologue 

Chapter One
https://digitalbloggers.com/.../Elysiums-Passage-Chapter-One  

Chapter Two
https://digitalbloggers.com/.../Elysiums-Passage-Chapter-Two  

Chapter Three
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and.../chapter-three  

Chapter Four
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and.../chapter-four 

Chapter Five
https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/the-ascent-chapter-five