This is an exploration of the power of story to keep us trapped in our current mindset. Charles Eisenstein makes clear the necessity for a new story for the Western world and those cultures emulating us.

Separation is not an ultimate reality, but a human projection, an ideology, a story. As in all cultures, our defining Story of the People has two deeply related parts: a Story of Self, and a Story of the World. The first is the discrete and separate self: a bubble of psychology, a skin-encapsulated soul, a biological phenotype driven by its genes to seek reproductive self-interest, a rational actor seeking economic self-interest, a physical observer of an objective universe, a mote of consciousness in a prison of flesh. The second is the story of Ascent: that humanity, starting from a state of ignorance and powerlessness, is harnessing the forces of nature and probing the secrets of the universe, moving inexorably toward our destiny of complete mastery over, and transcendence of, nature. It is a story of the separation of the human realm from the natural, in which the former expands and the latter is turned progressively into resources, goods, property, and, ultimately, money.</blockquote

Power of the Unconscious–Faculty X

I recently ventured up into my attic to clean it out after not having been up there for over ten years. Most of what I had stored up there were business records that Uncle Sam says we must keep for a silly length of time, and which I had subsequently forgotten about. However, I was shocked to discover that there were also several boxes of books. Most of them were old textbooks I had used while teaching composition and literature, and then there were a fair number of books related to NLP which I studied during my certification process, and also those related to my Master’s thesis. It was like running into old friends. I remember them fondly but had forgotten about their import until I opened them. The one that struck me the most was Colin Wilson’s The Occult: A History.

As I flipped through it, I looked at what I had underlined and what I had written in the margins. Ah yes, Faculty X. My thesis was on Anais Nin’s theory of creativity and how she used writing to create self. Though she did not use the term Faculty X, she understood that novelists and poets are acutely aware of the dynamic relationship between the “two halves of man’s mind.” (The Occult, 59) In fact, she argued, it is their job to make manifest and intelligible the link between the two.

What struck me as I started to read passages (cleaning could wait!) is how much Wilson’s ideas on this mysterious factor resembled current ideas expressed in The Secret and the plethora of offshoots resulting from its more mainstream acceptance. The Occult is a thick work in any sense of the word. It is well researched, well thought out, and well executed. And no doubt, most copies of it now sit in boxes or on dusty shelves, which is too bad.

Perhaps the title is off-putting. Perhaps its date of publication makes it seem arcane—1971. Perhaps its scholarly approach makes it feel unapproachable. This is regrettable and instructive.

“The Self is Made Toast”

This article by Ken Wilber is amazingly funny. I don’t believe he intended it to be funny, which gives you insight into my sense of humor. It is spot on. I would suggest that one consider becoming toast. Here’s a brief extract:

“[A]uthentic transformation is not a matter of belief but of the death of the believer; not a matter of translating the world but of transforming the world; not a matter of finding solace but of finding infinity on the other side of death. The self is not made content; the self is made toast.”

Here’s the complete article: