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Don’t Fear the Future (MOVIE REFLECTIONS on “Lucy”)

Sometimes I fear for the future. Not necessarily because I am concerned about some pending apocalypse or am worried about the moral decay of our younger generations. I think it is mainly a fear of the vast, dark unknown. 

See, I have two young children. At the exponential growth rate of life-changing technologies, what will life be like for them in 20 years? 40 years? Suffice to say there is almost no way of knowing. This year virtual reality has finally gone mainstream with consumer models projected for the fourth quarter. Internet headlines warn of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Google is working on the cure for aging. 

Will our humanity dry up as we become more technologically advanced, as we become more… god-like? Will we destroy ourselves before that happens with weapons of mass destruction, society-crushing EMPs or SkyNet android wars? Or is this the inevitable evolution cycle from Unity to fractured matter to crude biology to non-corporeal consciousness and back to Unity?

This weekend, my wife and I got around to watching “Lucy (2014),” wherein a young woman (through a series of unfortunate events) increases the usage of her brain from 10% to 100%.  All of the science fiction and action sequences aside, this is a profoundly deep film that deals with the nature of human potential, time, evolution and consciousness. And though it is a fictional account, it actually helped alleviate some of my anxieties on these matters.

Two things, in particular, stood out. (POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD)

First, I noticed that the more Lucy came into her fullness, the more her “humanity” - as we know it - seemed to dissipate. Human life and survival wasn’t as desperately CLUNG TO as it was previously. Interestingly, that manifested as a lack of empathy toward other humans, an indifference to pain and a nonchalance about death. 

Pierre Del Rio: [During the high-speed car ride through Paris with Lucy driving] I'd rather be late than dead.

Lucy: We never really die.

Perhaps with a fully realized “cosmic consciousness” we understand that our individualized ego and body aren’t as real as we imagined, that the whole of the universe is connected and that there’s no point in clinging to our earthly life. Sound familiar? Ya, like every damn spiritual teacher since the dawn of civilization.

Secondly, there was this:

Lucy: Ignorance brings chaos, not knowledge.

Here we directly tackle my fears for the future. The more we uncover, the further we evolve, the more conscious we become, the less we actually have to be afraid of. Evolution is scary because it’s unfamiliar but that doesn’t mean that - for instance - I should be concerned about what my children’s lives will be like when they’re 50 years old.

Will it be unlike anything I can possibly imagine? You bet. Should I be concerned? Maybe… but at least for the moment, I’m going to trust that knowledge isn’t the harbinger of chaos and destruction - but rather unity, power, connectedness, and a more complete understanding of who we are and what we’re doing here.

With this in mind, I’m going to begin to be a little more optimistic about where we're headed and how we're evolving. There will certainly be hiccups along the way and this is not to say that all technological progress is positive or useful. But this is the direction we're headed no matter HOW we think of it - and it has the potential to not only be arbitrarily positive, but an intelligent consciousness' intentional culmination of billions of years of evolution.

By Trevor, The Edge of Spirit

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Fuck Purity

Transient

Nearly every spiritual tradition since the beginning of time has exalted PURITY as a requirement for being open to God. The suggestion is that our bodily purity, our moral purity and our mental purity somehow clears out hindrances and sets the stage for communion with a holy divinity in some way. To put it more plainly: some things are ok, other things are not.

Wash your hands before you worship. Don't eat meat. Don't smoke. Don't drink alcohol. Don't do drugs. Don't curse. Don't think impure thoughts. Don't be angry. Don't have lust in your heart. Don't have sex until the right time. Don't get carried away with desire for money. Don't harbor jealousy. Bring the monkey mind to stillness. Then you will be free to see God.

How did this begin? I understand that primitive cultures needed moral guidelines in order for societies to be fruitful and multiply (after all, how can a tribe propagate if its members are murdering one another or harming themselves?). But how that is still tied to one's spiritual experience today is beyond me.

I say that purity is exactly the denial of life. As a matter of fact, fuck purity. In order to shield ourselves from the fullest range of experiences that can be had, we settle into rules for ourselves and others that - while genuinely keeping us free from harm and ensuring our survival - can also stem from fear and keep us from doing what I believe is the reason we're here: to be the vessels by which the universe consciously experiences itself. 

Is the universe one or is it not? Is this all one reality or is it not? How can some of this be God and parts of it not? God is present in your depression and as your depression. The universe can be felt consciously and deeply while you're piss drunk on cheap tequila. You are just as near to the Source of life in a fit of rage as you are in Savasana.

Alright, so the apostle Paul in the Christian Bible says, "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial." I'm down with that - not everything serves the greater good or brings health to your body. And people that harm others need to be brought to justice for the preservation of our society. But singling out THIS as holy and THAT as impure is quite frankly a limited view on the reality we find ourselves living in.

I had the wonderful privilege of sitting face to face with [a Hindu guru] and the first thing he said to me was "Do you have a question?"... I said, "Yes, I have a question." I said, "Since in Hindu thinking all the universe is divine, a manifestation of divinity itself, how can we say no to anything in the world? How can we say no to brutality to stupidity to vulgarity to thoughtlessness?" And he said, "For you and me, you must say yes." [Joseph Campbell]

Ah, YES. The eternal YES. Campbell went on to say, "The warrior's approach is to say YES  to life. 'Yea' to it all." To abstain from something for the sake of purity is fragmentation of the One into many. Look, I'm all for self-discipline. Sometimes you have to choose your highest desire over your lesser desire. But this can be carried out without demonizing those lesser desires; you simply keep in mind that certain results must follow certain formulas.

The next time you see or experience something foul, impure, unclean or profane, see if you can strip the labels away and be with it fully. Is it too not an expression of this diverse, glorious and majestic wonderland in which we "live and move and have our being"? Even the heinous, awful darkness that we often witness (just turn on the news) - as difficult as it is to swallow - is no doubt part of the whole. How could it be any other way?

And suddenly the colloquial phrase, "It's all good," takes on a whole new meaning. Consider adopting it as your mantra for a week and see what you once shunned and proclaimed unholy in an entirely new light.

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