Howard Switzer: materialism vs. consciousness

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Richard Moore

Oct 11, 2009, 6:39:23 PM10/11/09
From a cyberjournal subscriber:
The Great Teeter Totter 
by Howard Switzer
We certainly live in interesting times.  In a hurry to punish ACORN, a non-profit agency helping poor people with survival issues, food, housing etc., recently caught on tape helping a couple posing as a poor prostitute and pimp, Congress recently passed a law to pull the funding of any organization found using government funds for illegal activities.  I was delighted they passed such a law because while it was intended to de-fund ACORN, an organization who helped poor people, it can now easily be applied as well to the big corporations such as the major defense contractors, major banks, major pharmaceutical companies, the big HMOs and health insurance companies and a good many more.  That is because while ACORN over the last 18 years has gotten somewhere around $53 million in funding, these big corporations, all of them convicted felons, have illegally taken US taxpayers for trillions of dollars over the same time period.  Yet we hear no uproar about it in the media at all. 
Unfortunately US laws are selectively enforced, especially since those same large companies, controlled by about 25 families, pretty much own Congress.  ACORN, busy using its funds to help the poor instead, will be punished.  Well, maybe not, the law has to get by the Senate who are, no doubt, by now aware of the consequences of passing this law.  The Senate is, after all, the safety net for laws that might threaten the wealthy as most, if not all, Senators themselves are millionaires.  Americans don’t seem to mind though, they seem to like paying trillions to international banking cartels and their puppets, or at least they do if you go by how it gets reported by the major news networks.  I guess it makes us feel we belong to the winning side somehow, we Americans love a winner.
I suppose ultimately this all relates to the one great divide in the beliefs of modern humankind.  The great divide is the divide between the spiritual and the material world.  On this great teeter totter most find themselves somewhere along one side or the other while others find themselves standing over the fulcrum trying to maintain a balance.  At the extremes we find monotheism on one end and scientific materialism on the other.  This divide is expressed in our politics, our economy and our media today. To understand the divide we can look at our story. 
Every culture has its story of the beginning many having similarities.  Ours begins in Garden of Eden, back when we, our most ancient ancestors, were animists living in harmony with nature, in a balance between the spiritual and material worlds.  Humans lived this way for approximately 4 million years.  In time some humans lived in agrarian villages while others became nomadic herders.  These cultures were egalitarian, men and women sharing all aspects of power, prestige and responsibility.  The image of the caveman hitting his mate on the head and dragging her off is a completely modern western notion not a historical one as the archeological evidence supports the image of the Garden of Eden as the more accurate view.  As farming developed, people started separating the spiritual from nature worshiping gods out side of nature and soon reduced that to one god living up there somewhere separate from nature who, as luck would have it, put us humans in charge of Earth, to do with as we like. 
Things were going along fine, civilization spreading and destroying all cultures in its path, when along came Darwin, whose theory, stolen from a commoner named Wallace, challenged the idea of a God out there who created us but that it had instead been a series of accidents that ended in creating us, and that it was not God but the law of the jungle that ruled, survival of the fittest. It is called scientific materialism because science is used to defend and justify this materialism. But it is only the physical sciences that are considered real in this view and other areas of science were disenfranchised.  The sciences concerned with the intangibles, love, thought, the emotions, were all disregarded.  So while the two sides are divided they agree on one devastating thing, the world was their oyster to crack open and consume. 
There was, however, a brief moment when the teeter totter passed the balance on the fulcrum on its way to scientific materialism.  It was the time of the Native American inspired “European” enlightenment out of which Deism rose which had a great affect on the founding fathers of this nation.  Franklin and Jefferson especially had spent many hours in conversations with natives discussing their ways of governance which were highly democratic as well as being in balance with the spirit and the materials worlds.  While both men preferred a more accurate copy of the native process they settled for one that would eventually return power to the wealthy few over the many. And so it goes.
Despite the total blackout on the news, however, there now is a movement away from scientific materialism as science discovers the truth in quantum physics, that the particle is controlled by “the field.”  The field can be easily understood as God, or consciousness.  Scientists in their quest to map and master the human genome have discovered that all of our 50 trillion cells, the basic building blocks of life, are intelligent and utilizing technologies we know little about repairing genes and creating new proteins etc..  These cells all work together in harmony to keep us alive. Imagine what it would be like if lung cells decided to invade the pancreas or the stomach cells decided to withhold food from the brain cells? Scientists on the cutting edge believe the next step in evolution is an awareness that we are all interdependent cells in the body of humanity.  It turns out that ancient spiritual wisdom that has been passed along in every tradition, some version of the Golden Rule, is how our bodies and all of nature actually works.  So the teeter totter is headed back toward a balance.  If we are lucky, if we are smart, we will hold onto that balance as long as possible, long enough at least to restore our own health, the health of democracy and the health of the planet.  Lets stop imagining the worst in one another and let the artificial divisions we construct melt away into history.

Howard Switzer, Architect
668 Hurricane Creek Road
Linden, TN 37096

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