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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Decoding Reality - From Chapter Six

The importance of the having the correct signal to unravel the abundant “data stream of reality” is the underlying truth of sixth-level dharma wisdom. This is reflected in our contemporary cultural fascination with codes – DaVinci or Matrix, genetic or security, and in the digital media tools of our age. The technologies of digital compression that reduce our music and video files to smaller and smaller sizes, all use hyper-fast signal processors to convert "real world" analog images (or in the case of audio, the sound), into numeric computer codes. These codes are in turn reduced in complexity, and sent on to control the manufacturing of an “acceptable proxy” of the original captured image. Digital “instruction-set” transmission is much more efficient and error-free than analog representation. Sending the recipe, not the cake, is what makes language more efficient than grunts and growls, written alphabets better than pictograms, and DNA able to perpetuate every living species.

Sixth-level digital dharma asks us to recognize that we are always processing codes of consensual reality, and pay attention to where we put our attention. Doing practices that open one to this stage of awareness is a form of “esoteric signal decompression,” allowing one to look beneath surface identities to decode richer and subtler dimensions. Without preloaded (habitual) coding schemes, the fully aware brain takes in each new signal with fresh wonder as a sacred surprise; each sensory stimulus is decoded in the immediacy of the Now, without reference to old memory patterns. At its best, unclouded sixth-level vision brings one closer to experiencing the unity of creation, seeing the underlying continuity and hearing the hidden harmonies behind humanity’s often painful apparent differences.

Long-zoom consciousness – reflected by our digital capability to “zoom out” from the scale of DNA through Google Earth’s satellite maps to the enormity of the cosmos – is emerging as contemporary culture’s defining way of seeing. It has created a new view of space – interconnected and multi-layered – that is as disruptive to our old ways of seeing as the earlier revolutions of Newton and Einstein.

Deeper-seeing is the core metaphor of sixth-level digital dharma; it encapsulates the wisdom taught by contemporary philosophers of consciousness and by the esoteric practices of many ancient traditions. It is from this “big picture” place of compassion, beyond the world of form, that one can watch the consensual codes of the “causal realm” unfold and become “real” in the ever-forming Now. From this viewpoint, our world is not a Matrix-like evil dream, but a constantly redefined universal Wikpedia – the sum total of our belief systems. In a few years our analog television sets will go dark unless we upgrade them to receive the new digital transmissions. I believe that this technology shift out in the Infosphere is also suggesting that it is now time for us to switch to a higher-definition way of seeing.


7/20/07 - The idea of holding "dual consciousness" -- of our individuality and of the group (or mass) consciousness, is referenced by NY Times columnist David Brooks, when he writes:"In the information age, it seems that we see people bonded by communication... a vast web of information -- some contained in genes, some in brain structure, some in the flow of dinner conversation -- that joins us to our ancestors..."

8/9/07 - Many "residents" of Second Life are busy constructing and decorating homes, shopping for furniture and electronics; all by manipulating the codes... See, Seth Kugel, "A House that's Just Unreal. "


Steven said...

I just read a wonderful description of 6th-level "seeing the pixels" in Sudhir Kakar's novel about an Indian holy man, "Ecstasy" [Overlook Press,2002].

"Gopal could see these small points of light, some of them moving in playful spirals, shimmering throughout the heavens of his body whose outline was rapidly fading. This time when he returned to his body and opened his eyes the vision persisted even as it changed its form. He did not see the familiar landscape of the garden but rows and rows of minute particles of light stacked on top of each other, an unmoving wall made of glowing dots... (p. 167).

Steven said...

So much of today's cultural shifts center around "finding the codes." Whether for paternity (where we are finding 10-15% of kids are not sired by who they are told is their "dad), ancestry (where we are seeing how everyone is really related, e.g., the Spanish Catholic settlers of the southwest have significant DNA from their Jewish ancestors who were threatened with death or expulsion unless they converted).

Steven said...


re Dr James Watson's discovery that, after making negative comments about the intelligence of black Africans, he has, "16 times the number of genes considered to be of African origin than the average white European does..."

Steven said...

Another mystics's description of "going beyond the codes" is from the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson:

"... you must dig deeper... Deeper, until you reach the primordial essence of the soul, beyond Emanation, beyond Light -- even beyond the unbounded light of pre-creation. Where there is nothing but the seminal thought that inspired all that is and was and will come to be.

And what was that thought?

It was the thought of you here and now, in your struggle with this world, and the delicious taste of your victory."

[From, "Bringing Heaven Down to Earth: 365 Meditations from the Wisdom of the Rebbe Menachem M. Scheerson," (Class One Press, 1997), cited in "What is Enlightenment" (March 2006).]

This theme is the same in so many mystical traditions!