“The greatest and most important question facing humanity is that of purpose. Sigmund Freud, the father of modern-day psychology, was humble enough to acknowledge the spiritual element of psychology in his later years, and yet the foundation of modern orthodox psychology is still based on his earlier teachings. To put it simply: there is an underlying (or overlighting) spiritual reality behind all microcosmic and macrocosmic creation, and this reality embodies the meaning and purpose of this creation.” Transpersonal Astrology, Errol Weiner
One of my first memories is playing under my grandfather’s kitchen table and thinking, “Why am I who I am?” My visage beamed as I thought about it.
At 30 I am still figuring out why I am who I am.
I passed through many religious places, but many of them seemed secular in their approach to the human experience. Sure, those churches believed in heaven, but why should a soul pass through the world only once? I asked my grandmother, Phyllis, what we would do in heaven, and she told me we would sing hymns to the Lord for all eternity. This seemed perfunctory.
When I studied Marxism in graduate school the idea that heaven was a place created for people so they would accept mistreatment on Earth in exchange resonated with me.
I remember going down the shore with my boyfriend when I was 19 and walking past a Seaside Heights church on the way to the beach. A sign read “Win brand new 2006 Cadillac in raffle! Like Pastor _____ drives!” I thought it bizarre. Week after week ascetics donated their money so Pastor could drive a Cadillac and give one away for free. This seemed inconsequential to the life of the soul.
I know in the only church I ever belonged to I once sat through a sermon at 17 years old where the Pastor lectured about looking out for those “kids from divorced families.” In the pulpit I sat knowing the Pastor was aware about 30% of his parish came from a divorced family. I wondered what he was hoping to gain by preaching on this, but I knelt and prayed with Gram because it made her feel good.
Mom gave up early on trying to find a church that would accept her without a father to her child. Yet Jesus ended up having a step father, too, and nobody seems to realize it.
We had a plethora of hermetic texts in my mother’s house when I was growing up, and reading became my church. I wasn’t judged by books and if I was I could close them without any humiliation.
The futility of religion lies in the failure to understand our existence in the Monad. The Monad is our greater cosmic self which is undivided by superficial appearances or occurrences.
One of the roads to our souls is through our ancestry. We were the first computers, storing a sense memory of all that came before us. If your family was ever involved in a massive genocide, your body remembers. When there is a legacy of rape in your matrilineage, your body remembers. It is something we carry, like distinctive birthmarks.
Having reverence for reincarnation, memory, and, what Jung called, the collective superconscious, can move us toward a spirituality concerned with humanity’s well being.
The desire to reset the many traumas in our ancestral memories is an impulse that can give us lift and purpose, not only to help heal the ghosts of our relatives, but to understand why others would like to do the same. It can help us understand the cultural push to fight systemic racism, for instance.
One of the tenants of computers that we’ve come to admire is their ability to hold albums full of our pictures. Family pictures, personal portraits, and in a variety of different ways, relics of our sex lives. When we consider those imprints and know we, as the first computers, have the capacity to store those photographs in our human databases, we can’t help but consider how we will work through those “files.”
In Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination, Annette Kuhn suggests:
“As with photographs, so with other memory prompts, the democratic quality of memory work makes it a powerful practical instrument of ‘conscientisation’: the awakening of critical consciousness, through their own activities of reflection and learning, among those who lack power; and the development of a critical and questioning attitude towards their lives and the lives of those around them. As a practice that begins with the practitioner’s own material -her memories, her photographs -her memory work offers a route to a critical consciousness that embraces the heart as well as the intellect, one that resonates, in feeling and thinking ways, across the individual and the collective, the personal and the political.”
For all the negative criticisms of social media that exist, it is an undeniably rich source of what could be a collective superconscious of secularly spiritual moments, and a congregation of seekers of truth.
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