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Sacred Geology Column # 002

Date: 10/07/97
Topic: Microcosm & Macrocosm
Type of Entry: A Remembrance Of A Personal Transcendence

Ricard Ely headshot

Back in the old millennium, Richard Ely, long-time friend of Enlightenment.Com , gave us some written and video material that is still well worth reading and watching. As a professional geologist and long-time initiate of various neo-Pagan and earth-based religious traditions, Richard's views combine the scientific and the poetic in a singularly stimulating fashion.

Microcosm & Macrocosm

by Richard W. Ely

In December 1983 at a Grateful Dead show in Oakland, California, I had one of the most compelling visionary experiences of my life. In my vision I stood on a darkening plain beneath an indigo sky. The light faded and, one by one, the stars began to appear. Each star was overlain by the silhouette of a Mayan glyph that extended outward to meet the glyphs surrounding adjacent stars.

The glyphs varied in size depending on the spacing of the stars, and their borders were toothed like gears. Each glyph rotated around its star, with all of the glyphs turning together harmoniously like huge flexible gears. Enchanted, I knew somehow that each of the star-glyphs was a deity and their interaction was the dance of creation.

Desiring to know more, I launched myself into the heavens and expanded to the point where I could perceive that our entire galaxy was composed of billions upon billions of intermeshed star-deities, all of them turning in harmony.

As time passed I continued to enlarge until eventually I floated outside our galaxy, which appeared before me as a single organism, dark, gaseous nebulae forming the features of its face. Each star-deity was a cell within that great being. Our galaxy looked out and saw the neighboring galaxies looking back, each galaxy a self-conscious being.

Eventually I expanded to the point where all the galaxies had coalesced into a single, turbulent ovoid of light and shadow that was our universe. Slowly the dark areas on the ovoid shaped themselves into surprised, fish-like face, which opened its eyes in wonder, self conscious for the first time, knowing itself to be a universe, alone in an endless void.

I continued to grow until our entire universe was reduced to an intense point of light suspended in an immense, empty abyss. Time passed with only the self-aware point of light that was our universe visible to me, floating in the black vastness.

After an interminable length of time I became aware of a tenuous, ghostly curtain of light that hung before our universe, faintly tinting what had once been pure, black emptiness. As I grew the light curtain became brighter and developed streaks and a hint of texture. Eventually I expanded to the point where I could see that the light curtain was gently curved, and defined a small segment of an immense spherical shape, with our universe a brilliant spark embedded deep within.

As you probably have anticipated, I continued to expand, with the curvature of the light curtain becoming more and more apparent as I grew. Soon I reached a size where I could see that there was a limit to the curtain in all directions. For a time I was puzzled by this, but after I grew larger I suddenly realized that the light curtain was a reflection on the surface of an enormous eye.

As I reeled in astonishment, I rapidly expanded to the point where I could see that the eye belonged to a small fishy creature that had just crawled out onto land for the first time. The creature was looking about in amazement at a mud flat under the blue sky of an immense, unsuspected cosmos. The spark of consciousness in the eye of that creature was our own self-conscious universe, looking out into a higher order universe.

The vision repeated two more times so that there was no chance I would forget it. It now seems clear to me that 'infinity dwells within us' is more than a cliche, it is a fundamental truth. The self-similar fractal-geometry of Nature may be without limit, with universes nested within each other in an infinite series. As above so below, indeed!

The Hopi and many others have tribal-origin myths that feature emergence into this world from a succession of underworlds. These myths may reflect the long-term migration of spirit tribes up the chain of being from deep within the microcosm into a succession of macrocosmic universes. A monad of consciousness in our universe may thus be an entire self-conscious microcosmic universe, the ghost in the machine if you will. The concepts of immanent deity and magic take on new meaning if energy and matter at the finest scale are made up of other universes, some of which are self aware.

The dilemma facing most of us who have had spiritual experiences is how compelling and real these experiences are, and yet how unique the details are to each individual. The great hodgepodge of channeled teachings are an obvious case-in-point. Wars between religions rooted in the conflicting spiritual experiences of their founders are the sorry result of such inconsistencies.

Because many individual spiritual experiences are mutually contradictory, rational materialism demands that we deny the validity of them all. One way out of this dilemma is to postulate that some spiritual experiences can derive either from microcosmic or macrocosmic dimensions, and that 'truth' may be a function of what has been contacted.

Blessed Be,


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