Greetings from nowhere much really. This one will be a different sort of challenge for me to write than the previous ones: whereas they were surprisingly personal and intimate, and in fact allowed me to drag up a memory from approx 1 yr old which I didn’t know I possessed, this one will be completely impersonal, about the structures. Undoubtedly my system is crude, but it’s adequate to my current needs and it has the advantage of being easy to understand. It allows me to narrow down the essentially mysterious aspect of the mind/body problem and to show that ‘religion’ and ‘nationalism’ are functionally identical.
There is a continuum of raw or inchoate consciousness which is omnipresent. Its contents are indiscernible units of potential awareness, as yet unconnected to anything at all which might organize them into actual awareness. The four worlds of the kabbalah may be imagined as four boxes, one atop another, each containing living things that to varying extents attract this consciousness and give it form. Let us not even bother with their names. The lowest of the four worlds is inhabited by physical animals with physical brains. The type of consciousness associated with them is immediately perishable. It dissolves straight back into the continuum upon the death of the body.
A sufficiently complex animal brain possesses an incipient self-awareness, which attracts the raw consciousness from the continuum, which commences to condense around this brain, forming a ‘soul’, a unit of a higher level of awareness. The substance of this soul is immaterial, and will not be destroyed by the death of the body, but nothing in the argument so far guarantees that it will remain coherent as a ‘personality’ after the death of the body. It may just dissolve straight back into the continuum, exactly like the raw animal energy of the animal. I personally think it can survive, given some degree of self-training during life. We have to determine what sort of ‘personality’ is possessed by this soul, as distinct from the physical brain. When the brain dies, all data stored within it will be lost, including that defining the ‘personality’. So we must examine the incipient ‘soul’, to find out what it can do and what we can expect of it.
It’s not an easy job. Since we can’t help bringing with us at least some of what we were taught as children, wrong though it indubitably is, we can extract a few useful ideas from it. We can see that the shared imaginary of religion, the shared vision of the supposed god, will provide the base point for a condensation of the higher awareness exactly like that described above, but on a collective scale rather than just an individual one. Equally, the shared imaginary produced by nationalist myth-making and ceremonial. As long as the shared imaginary lasts, the corresponding condensation of the higher consciousness will be there, call it what you will. I don’t mean to imply that it will necessarily dissolve when the human population who imagined it, ceases to do so. It is not a mere will-less mirror image of our longing, it is real. Again, as with the ‘soul’ of the human individual, its survival depends on whether it has cognized itself, organized itself and equipped itself for continued coherence as an immaterial individual being within the continuum, even after its originators have passed on in some way, and no longer sit around in the shell world, “imagining” it – RB