Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Undreaming Chronicles by Alex Marchand

Most of us come to the Course with some background in formal religion of one sort or another, Christianity, Islam, Judaism are the most prominent, but scientific agnosticism is certainly one of them. Or, as the late Kenneth Wapnick used to joke, Marx was right that religion is opium for the people, but he ignored the fact that communism (a form of scientific materialism) was a religion too. On and on.
Many of us are motivated to take up A Course in Miracles, because we sense very quickly that it untangles some of the seemingly unsatisfactory issues that have come with our previous conditioning. Typically, in a religious context, those tend to be the 'mysteries of the faith,' where we were told that certain things were off-limits, or it was even dressed up as here was where 'faith' came in. In the materialistic/scientific world view these unresolved issues typically manifest as problems that have not been solved yet, and where conflicting hypotheses are being entertained, and we are supposed to (here come the 'mysteries of the faith' again) have faith in the method, and that ultimately these questions will all be answered. If our background and conditioning is more psychological/social, we are stuck with the dawning of contradictions around the real human motivations and talents, from the ridiculous to the sublime, of self-destructive and aggressive behaviors, where we come no further than survival of the fittest, and why everyone ultimately thinks the world revolves around them, and everyone else is dispensable - the Hitler within all of us, something again we never like to look at.

But then we stumble on to A Course in Miracles, or perhaps some other non-dualistic teaching, and gradually it becomes evident that all the seeming contradictions, the annoying 'mysteries of the faith,' are really the result of applying a dualistic interpretation to a non-dualistic reality (teaching), and suddenly all of the seeming contradictions in the teachings of Jesus disappear like snow before the sun, once we realize that he was teaching non-dualism. The theologians who made a Christian out of Jesus, starting with Peter and Paul, really busied themselves perverting the original non-dualistic teaching into a dualistic religion, and exploited the unexplained that resulted from their twisted interpretation as the 'mysteries of the faith,' that could bind believers to the emerging church. This is always the moment when specific teachers become lionized, just like Jesus was 'promoted' to being the only Son of God, completely contrary to what he taught. Within the Christian context, it was perhaps the re-discovery of the Thomas gospel which was the catalyst for returning to the non-dualistic teaching of Jesus. Gary Renard's trilogy (The Disappearance of the Universe, Your Immortal Reality, and Love Has Forgotten No One) deals with this extenstively, and my own Closing the Circle: Pursah's Gospel of Thomas and A Course in Miracles  explores the historical dimensions in depth, and demonstrates how via Thomas we come back to Jesus before he was a Christian, and who sounds remarkably like the author of A Course in Miracles.

It would appear that Ken Wapnick's magnum opus on Freud will be lost in the mists of time, as he was unable to finish it, but we should note that Joe R. Jesseph, Ph. D., a psychiatrist who was on the staff of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles for a long time, and who worked closely with Ken on this project, has already given us A Primer of Psychology According to A Course in Miracles, which really does for psychology what I described above about religion, which is to demonstrate rigorously how the whole of psychology collapses into a simple framework, once the non-dualistic framework is even beginning to be understood by us. Simply put, the key insight is that 'consciousness' so-called is a paranoid schizophrenic phenomenon which is designed to keep us from experiencing reality, so that all theories, psychological or otherwise, that are built on the gratuitous and erroneous assumption that 'consciousness' is the norm and the foundation, must shatter when confronted with reality, which in turn results in the experience of many conflicting theories. In this case the 'mysteries of the faith' simply are revealed as the stubborn belief that the individual reality is a valid starting point, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, and that somehow the whole of  'psychology' will get us anywhere, in spite of all the many contradictions.

Where it will get us is one day to wake up, and begin looking for another way, if we don't buy the story any longer, for it simply does not add up...

In terms of the scientific tradition, the 'mysteries of the faith' are again the many contradictory, not to mention sometimes mutually exclusive theories and hypotheses that never add up to a unified theory of everything, for the simple reason that they rest on the dogma of material reality, which is as irrational as the belief in the reality of the individual, and individual reality. Individual reality is what the sophists wanted, and which Plato rightfully ridiculed them for. After all, there cannot be many truths, as that is a contradiction in terms, and completely undoes the concept of truth in the first place.

Along comes Alex Marchand, a talented graphic artist, who delighted Course students some time ago with his wonderful graphic novel, and one of the best introductions to the Course you could find: The Universe is a Dream: The Secrets of Existence Revealed. Since then he has been up to no good (LOL), and has started to publish a series of books, The Undreaming Chronicles, of which so far books 1 and 2 have appeared, respectively subtitled Revelations from the Holy Planet, and The Library of Time. (Highly recommended to get them in paper form, not in e-book format, or at least get both.). In this new series of books, Alex systematically develops the same vision of how all of the seemingly unresolved issues in the scientific framework disappear like snow before the sun once we shift to a non-dualistic understanding as a point of departure, instead of positing the hapless physical world as the foundation of anything. In short, Alex's contribution resolves the 'mysteries of the faith,' in the materialistic (and Newtonian) religion of science, by offering us a larger, non-dualistic framework, which suddenly resolves all the seeming contradictions, and reveals in full glory how and why 'evolution' and 'creationism' are at loggerheads--because they both are religious myths, which are ways of explaining something that only obfuscate the truth if they are mistaken for the real thing. Alex builds on the work of Thomas Campbell (www.my-big-toe.com), and Brian Whitworth, representatives of a new notion, called "digital physics," which offers a Theory of Everything, and a coherent way of seeing the world as an expression of an idea, not as reality. This is delightful and enjoyable material. Stay tuned.
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