Religion, Mental Proprioception, and the Implicate Order.
JMG has repeatedly pointed out that a religious impulse is always at work. There are many avenues for this impulse to work through. There are many places it can hide in plain sight, as it does in civic religions. As it does in our belief in science/technology, distinct from the practice of science.
There are also epochal tides that flow through the religious impulse.
These have tenuous beginnings at the fringes of culture. They can dominate the expression of belief for thousands of years, establishing a ground. Their fundamental assumptions stand until they are overthrown by another order working through a new religious impulse. These orders not only show themselves in dominant forms of worship. They channel all forms of opposition onto pathways that remain embedded in that epoch's underlying impulse. We see this today in the way all contemporary movements – the whole idea of movements and ideological organization included – are dominated by a religious impulse based on external salvation and placing the eternal some-where-else. The Trekkie, the Islamist, the Neo-Liberal, the Tea-Partier; all share in these fundamental assumptions. Believers and atheists tied together by the same underlying impulse. Contemporary religions and scientific technology expressing the same impulse in opposition.
Greer has also pointed out that a new religious impulse is appearing. He does not specify this overtly, but I would say that people to do come to this new impulse,or any previous impulse, by conversion. People are born into it. Or, in some way, the impulse they hold in them forms as they develop.
This is how I would describe my own experience. On such questions I am not convinced or swayed to take up a view. I may find recognition and clarification in someone else's experience, but what is nurtured was already there. Is this "nature/nurture?" I would say it is an example of how this sort of reductive approach is worse than useless. It is a growing. The development of being.
It is also very close to what I understand of David Bohm's Implicate Order. The holographic nature of the universe… Not in the science fiction laser-holographic-image, literal sense; but that everything is holographic in its original meaning: akin to an autograph. Where each part of a signature is a part of the whole as it holds the meaning of the whole in every part. If we can recognize an identity looking at the form of a letter, or the turn of a flourish. That part is already enough to imply the meaning of the whole.
The Implicate Order is holographic in every sense. Even as seen from the perspective of this essay. It grounds the sense of a new religious impulse at the same time as it gives a rich implication of what that impulse means.
We leave assumptions of separation behind. Both the need for salvation, and the positing of eternity as some-where-else, are firmly embedded in an impulse to separate. The "necessity" – that which cannot yield – for salvation, looking elsewhere for eternity, as well as, the anxiety these positions unleash even as they purport to relieve tem; are all rooted in separation. In a violence done to what is whole.
If we fail to see the existence of the religious impulse behind all forms of religion and anti-religion, we are continuing to force separation. Cross-pollinating JMG's insights with K & B, we come to a deeper understanding.
The Implicate Order grew out of a scientific investigation. It would be easy to take this as "ammunition" in a battle between science and religion. Nothing could be easier, especially in this time when the mania for bi-polar division is rampant. It was clear that the Implicate Order held beyond Physics from the moment Bohm recognized a confluence of his work with Krishnamurti's. This is a cosmology. And not merely the sort of Gee Whiz! cosmologies we find in Scientific American. Those cranked out by the legions of Imbeciles with High IQs.
Central to K & B's approach has been a recognition of how violence operates. Its connection with incoherence. How a lack of mental proprioception condemns us to remain within incoherence, striving through violent means to remove our selves from suffering. Unaware that the entire process is a result of a deep misunderstanding of the implications of coherence.
From within an incoherent, violent, unaware view the prospect of finding proprioception and a landscape in which we might recognize coherence seems an impossible task. It must require an immense striving to achieve such a goal. It takes on the character of another Utopia. Our incoherent conditioning folding the notion of such a thing back into its own incoherent position. Justifying stasis and rationalizing why it can never be broken.
But reality intrudes. Systems of behavior based on fundamental incoherence will always lose connection with the reality in which they are immersed. The violence unleashed by this incoherence will escalate until a breaking point is reached. This process is akin to what Jung describes when he says that "Whatever is unexamined of the shadow must then become manifest in Fate." We see this all around and within us.
A moment of clarity. Failure providing clarity. Incoherence as the road to coherence. All signs of the Gift we receive out of the enormity of the calamities we face.
In Krishnamurti's late appearances there is a weight on him apparent in his very demeanor. We could assume it was pain from his illness. His own words give a different cause. He was vehement that his work not become the basis for a Religion.
Sadly we could say this is exactly what has happened. Not a public Religion with masses of followers. A private, exclusive club sort of religion. The same has happened with Bohm. Schisms have now separated the incredible and deeply felt collaboration, the unity of their work, into distinct factions that do not communicate.
When someone like Peter Kajtar embarks on a work based in large part on K & B, he is rebuffed and chastised. No one is allowed to disturb a body of dogma that has been excreted by followers of those who refused to be leaders.
I've had my own taste of this. Expecting to find encouragement form a known participant in dialogue who found it impossible to continue in conversation since I was so obviously clueless on the catechism we all must follow.
Serendipity has recently brought me to The Bohm-Krishnamurti Project. These three individuals bring a welcome fresh air into any attempt to learn more of what these two were about. Reading there. Watching interviews and dialogues in their archives, has allowed a new look at their work. Has brought a greater subtlety to my views of what they were doing and how it might move forward.
I've also been experiencing the results of having combined an awakening of awareness into mental proprioception with a practice of Qi Gong.
Qi Gong holds us in an awareness of physical proprioception. Its physical aspects are directly analogous with Bohm's descriptions of mental proprioception. Both Qi Gong and mental proprioception have to do with replacing our expectation that psychological time is an unchanging reality. Both work to embody what it is to move without – outside of – an Ego-self and a tick-tock psychological time frame.
As with someone who after many failed attempts has discovered they are no longer trying to ride a bike but actually riding it. I have discovered a level of proprioception occurring. Not simply as an imagined future state, but as a way of being now.
This strikes with a matter-of-factness far removed from the tremulous thrill I had on first encountering K & B's work.
Bohm talked of how if proprioception is to occur, it must be as an immediate awareness. That unless we break the cycle that takes immediate perception and filters it unawares through thought which then shapes our further perceptions immediately, we are stuck in our misunderstanding of thought.
He spoke as if this were an hypothesis for him. I suspect it was his humility, his modesty. His actions reveal a level of mental proprioception that made what he did possible. Not only his patience in talks about his work. His dialogues. Even in the way he placed himself as an "everyman" in his dialogues with Krishnamurti. I do not doubt he was operating with mental proprioception.
He took on questions of the difficulties in achieving proprioception with a gentleness towards the incomprehension of his listeners. His ability to navigate through dialogue and creativity, the compassion embedded and embodied in his actions, all signs of proprioception in fact, not in hope or hypothesis.
This brings us to this point. There is an implication in connecting the dots between JMG's religious impulse and mental proprioception and the Implicate Order.
Recognizing the fact of religious impulse outside of the content of particular historical religions does not lead to separation.
Recognizing that K & B's concerns with meaning align directly with the religious impulse in its broadest sense is not a misunderstanding of coherence and its place in our attention.
Recognizing that mental proprioception is not a goal. Not the subject of yet another form of striving from within an incoherent view. That proprioception and its immediacy is tacit once the resistance to it is removed by insight coupled with sensitive practice.
Recognizing that such a practice is not an attempt to transcend our organic reality into some Utopian dream projected onto K & B's insights. There is no incoherence in recognizing how our organisms function. That habit and conditioning, as is some level of Ego-self itself, are not demons to be expunged.
Subtlety. Bohm describes subtle as ineffable. The core of the Implicate Order is in its subtle approach to the ineffable.
In the subtle is wisdom. Wisdom cannot be extracted from the matrix of experiencing.
From within our present incoherence this all appears so difficult.
This appearance is a symptom of our condition, not its underlying necessity.
It projects itself as necessary so long as we remain unaware of how thought operates.
It yields to tacit understanding as soon as we break the grip of acting without proprioception.
There is a turning and re-turning to these movements. Movements not in the ideological sense. Movements of thought. The movement in the moment Bohm distinguishes as thinking not thought. As feeling, not felts.
This turning, the inextricable nature of these interconnecting insights are a sign of their holographic nature. Of coherence manifesting itself.
Nourishment. Physical nourishment is an undeniable necessity of life. Diets, we now see, are a perversion of this necessity. A fetishistic imprisonment of an impulse into a form that is unhealthy. A form that destroys the body it purports to support. It is an incoherent reaction to an actual necessity.
Religion, as we assume it to be, may have a similar dynamic at play. The religious impulse is a necessity of conscious life. We require meaning. We require that meaning show significance. Hold value. And support purpose. These necessities cannot be ignored without doing violence to coherence. Facing these needs is a basis for coherent action. Looking at incoherence as "the road to coherence, " as Bohm characterized it, fulfills our religious impulse directly.
In fact, it is all questions. This mode of approaching the religious impulse holds us gently and firmly within questioning without the urgency to jump to conclusions, find means to ends. All the clap-trap of striving.
What takes their place is vitality. A vitality willing to express itself within uncertainty without seeking ends.