Where does spiritual evolution lead us? I’ve been pondering that for a long time, since reading Jung in high school. In the early stages of humanity we functioned collectively and lived in the mythic unconscious. As we individuated we became conscious, but also separated from the divine. Once individuated we must merge again back into the mythic, but this time fully awake and conscious.
At this point in history, we’ve perfected our individuality, the little self. We’ve swung out as far as we possibly can away from our true identity. It’s necessary, if we’re to return with full awareness. But it’s a dangerous and destructive place to be, so far away from the Truth.
Out of the immense totality of the Divine, as we’ve individuated, we’ve contracted down to little dots. The illusion is that we’ve separated from everything else. The gift is that we can see the Divine as the objective Other. We’re surrounded by it, so there are infinite opportunities to See. And once we See, we can come to realize that we were never really separate at all, never really little tiny dots of individuality. It was just an illusion.
I’ve been puzzling over modern culture lately and the way it stands between people and direct experience. Culture inserts itself and therefore puts us one step removed from direct knowing. This urge to simplify is the urge to live more directly. I get rid of those things that stand as obstacles between me and the Divine.
Lately it’s been music I’ve been considering. Most popular music, I think, gets in the way. You get manipulated by music. Music is emotional manipulation. It causes you to feel emotions that aren’t congruent with what is for you, in your life, at that moment. The grief or love or anger a song elicits is from someone else’s story, not yours, and yet your body gets washed in those emotions and subtly shapes you, nonetheless.
I do however believe that music can also be a spiritual tool. Participatory music particularly--like the Dances of Universal Peace, and the tribal song and dance of indigenous people. And I use New Age instrumental music sometimes to set a mood for contemplation. Intentional use can help you connect with the Divine. Mindless use can keep you a step removed.