“This is an extraordinary imaginative and at once disquieting and exhilarating book about our current social, personal and environmental crises.”
“It is all magic. Civilisation long ago cast a spell over human-kind, dulling human senses to what is most vivid and fascinating, infecting them with a dis-ease so persuasive that it has come to be assumed as part of the given. Newtonian science made the spell even more powerful by providing effective mechanical means for achieving most of the ancient dreams of magical will and manipulation. But Newtonian magic was so strong that it has proved its own undoing, spinning us out past the perceptual limits set by Civilization itself. It has created a surplus of information just as powerful and potentially disruptive as was the surplus grain of sand that destroyed tribal life and triggered the birth of Civilization.
And now information whirls around this globe with unprecedented speed and in incredible quantities. Ancient wisdom and new ideas beat around our heads, confusing us, but also disrupting the sleep of our senses. Information gained from spaceships helps us to understand we need no spaceships. Information about electronic fields blends with information from an esoteric oriental discipline to help us sense the fields of life and being in which we all exist. The information surplus creates unlikely juxtapositions. Images of Bushmen hunting fade into images of space flight. The words of William Blake and B.F.Skinner come at us from the same television channel – two uncompromising theorists, one saying that mental things are alone real, the other saying that even self-aware consciousness is a construct.
We begin to understand – vaguely, incompletely – that all things are real. It is only a small step from there to the awesome realisation of our ultimate power to select a universe of our choice from an infinite number of possible universes. We need look no further for a lifetime filled to the brim. As Don Juan says, “our lot is to learn and to be hurled into inconceivable new worlds.”
The terror of the ordinary chills us, paralyses our perceptions, prevents that little motion needed to step into a more intense reality. We fear, perhaps more than anything else, to give up out neuroses, our discontents, out diseases. Simply to be at ease fills us with fear. We rush for the sanctuary of our sickness, the safety of the morning news, the stock market,the pennant race. We search for chemical drugs or the powerful drug of consumerism. We plunge into the forgetfulness of ‘education’ and ‘culture’, then go on trying to change everything except ourselves.
But glimpse through unscaled eyes invites another glimpse.
Overcoming our terror, we may at last be able to see ourselves in that grain of sand or a leaf or our lover’s face. We may realise that we need not seek connection, for we are already connected to all existence….we meet ourselves around every corner of time.
Whether we will it or not, we are in the very business of recreating the world at every new instant. In the realisation of this act we may find a new freedom – to explore, to experience, to be. We may chose to live in an ever changing universes….we may choose to alter time, or to become one with a friend or a tree, or even to see the earth itself becoming transparent, glistening in ever brighter colours at every level of transparency.
Here, conventional limitations simply do not apply.”
From “The Transformation ( chpt. Gleamings on the water) by George Leonard 1972.