A new Way of Unity

… that the YOU right here sitting now is the same YOU that undertakes gastrulation.

But why stop there?

Rudolf Otto was the Joesph Campbell of mystical experience and succeeded in reducing all particular mystical (here defined as subject–object fusional or self–universe combining) experience to two purely formal types—the Inward Way and the Way of Unity. The Inward Way is self-reducing—it moves consciousness from normal to zero. The Way of Unity is self-expanding—it moves consciousness from normal to infinity.

The Inward Way works by cessation or nirvana of compulsive serial identification with particular contents. This thought? Nope—it passes. This sensation (or emotion)? Nope—it passes. And over time the compulsive layers peel away and the Void underlying (and so unifying) all things comes into view, and self is revealed to be a mask covering the infinite empty spatial under-structure or Chaos from which all particular manifestations manifest.

The most advanced and comprehensive system of the Inward Way is the Buddha’s list of stages that he copied, and then superseded, from his meditation teachers Arada Kalama and Udraka Ramaputra. Here they are for review:

The Eight Jhanas

Buddhism lists eight levels of being-peeled-away (from the pain-making situation of panicked grasping for permanence inside the bewitchment of counter-subjectivity, or space):

  1. Awareness of universal understructure (consciousness) as Pleasant Sensations
  2. Awareness of under-consciousness as Joy
  3. Awareness of under-consciousness as Contentment
  4. Awareness of under-consciousness as Utter Peacefulness
  5. Awareness of under-consciousness as Infinity of Space
  6. Awareness of under-consciousness as Infinity of Consciousness
  7. Awareness of under-consciousness as No-thingness
  8. Awareness of under-consciousness as Neither perception nor non-perception

… and the Ninth Jhana is Cessation, or liberation of local under-consciousness from all enmeshment and compulsion.

The Way of Unity works by affirming and absorbing more and more content into the field of consciousness not only in breadth but also in depth, until self and infinity become somatically coextensive.

I would like to propose applying the Way of Unity to our meditation on evolutionary psychology. Inclusion and illumination has been an intervention since before Freud—open your awareness to more and more shadow region and you’ll become brighter and stronger. Freud’s focus was childhood. Then Stan Grof (and LRH) included time in the womb.

But why stop there?

The “you” that is the physical process of the present traces back also to the biological movements prior to conception—the swimming sperm and the eventually self-breeching (or self-yielding) egg that decided that the fateful mix would come from this batch rather than that batch of male-side DNA. So you are also the physically separate elements egg and sperm cell. The unitary “I” was original a spatially separate duo of gamete.

But why stop there?

The “you” that is the physical process of the present (but which self-identifies only as The Voice in the left cerebral cortex) traces back also to the prior acts of the testicles that made those sperm cells. And what of the machinations of the ovaries that produces human females with 1.5 million eggs when they are born? The unitary “I” was original a spatially separate duo of reproductive organs.

But why stop there?

YOU, the puny voice-in-the-head, emerged from The Total Post-Big Bang process. If things were otherwise, there would be no YOU.

But why stop there? Because the Big Bang was itself the outcome of conditions in the frothing multiverse in which it is currently bubbling.

YOU, the automated voice, grounds all the way down to the Urgrund.