Namaste: If Not Now, When? Chapter 19 Biocentrism (Part 1)

Author’s Note: Each chapter of this book can be read as a stand-alone and it is not necessary that they be read in numerical order. All of the previous chapters are posted here and in my Diaries at Firedoglake/MyFDL. href=””>my blog.

I welcome comments and will respond as time allows. Thanks for reading.

Chapter 19

Biocentrism (Part 1)

Crane-Station and I hiked 2½ miles into Boynton Canyon, a box canyon near Sedona, AZ in mid-December, 2002, to experience its fabled vortex. The canyon is sacred to the Yavapai-Apache. They consider it the birthplace of their people. Today, a destination resort is located at the mouth of the canyon and the canyon hike is one of the most popular day hikes for tourists in the Sedona area.

The cairn-marked trail to the vortex starts at the far end of the parking lot at an elevation of approximately 4,300 feet and meanders along a crystal stream that whispers and glitters in shafts of sunlight that penetrate through a canopy of bright green junipers. Above the trees, blood red, orange, and cream streaked sandstone cliffs rise a thousand feet above the canyon floor. The trail slopes gently upward until the last quarter mile when you have to break a mild sweat to switchback your way up the canyon wall a couple hundred feet to the vortex, which is located on a flat surface near the top of a rocky outcrop.

The climb to the vortex may be mildly strenuous to the cardiovascular system for some people due to its altitude (approximately 5,200 feet). The air was crisp and clean and even though it was mid-December, we were comfortable wearing tee shirts and light windbreaker jackets. We shed the jackets when we emerged from the shade and tied them around our waists during the climb to the vortex at the end of the trail.

I did not know what to expect. We were told that the vortex is a subtle but powerful energy that emanates from deep within the earth, imparting a sense of well being and healing in those attuned to it. We also were told that we might not feel anything. You’re either on or off the boss, I thought. One person told me the vortex was a bunch of bullshit. I guessed he missed the bus.

I was about to ask Crane-Station if she knew where it was on the broad expanse of rock before us when the air around me started to shimmer and buzz, as if electrified. I suddenly felt enveloped by an immensely old, powerful, resentful, and disorienting spiritual presence. I intuitively realized that it existed outside of time and had been attached to that place since the earliest days when the canyon began to form. I sensed that it knew I was there; it knew I knew it was there; and it communicated with me directly by evoking discomfort in me that clearly and unequivocally meant, “Go away.”

I looked at Crane-Station and, without exchanging a word, instantly realized that she was having the same experience. I snatched a quick glance at the bright sky and shadows spreading up the canyon walls and whispered, “Let’s go.”

We have reflected on our experience over the years wondering why the spirit was so moody and brooding. We believe it was the resort and the increasing number of tourists who have cheapened and disturbed its peace. Since then we have encountered many places where earth spirits live. They are not happy with humans who treat the earth as a thing to exploit and a place to dump trash.

The Newtonian paradigm has served us well because it has empowered us to free ourselves from the shackles of superstition and religion using rationalism and the scientific method to discover, define, and categorize the physical universe and its fundamental laws into a body of knowledge we call science. This led to the Enlightenment and the belief that the physical universe is composed of matter that behaves predictably like a well oiled machine powered by gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force. There is no necessity for God, except possibly as a First Cause or Prime Mover to create primordial matter out of nothing and set the process in motion.

There is no active role for God in the Newtonian universe, except possibly as a silent witness, or voyeur unwilling to intervene to stop man’s inhumanity to man. Life is a meaningless, nasty, brutish, and short game of chance in which outcomes are determined by the hunger index of moody apex predators. Consciousness, spirit, soul and love are defined out of existence, or reduced to chemical reactions experienced in the brain, and the Hallelujah Chorus is just a bunch of musical notes on a page.

Only dumb asses pray to a God who sits in an empty movie theater wearing a raincoat, munching popcorn, and getting off on watching living things copulate and eat or be eaten. Smart asses super fetishsize their McGreed and do unto others before others do unto them.

Although humans made great progress freeing themselves from the shackles of superstition and religion, the Enlightenment eventually led to the profoundly depressing realization of our insignificance, isolation, and powerlessness in an inconceivably vast and impersonal universe. I do nott know about you, but I find it’s difficult to leap out of bed at first light with joy in my heart and a smile on my face, if I believe I am doomed to live a life devoid of purpose or meaning in which nothing matters and the only certainty is to die and be forgotten.

The scientific effort to define consciousness has been so difficult and unsuccessful that most scientists have given up or deliberately avoided attempting to do it. Many scientists say that it is enough to know that we are conscious and each individual’s conscious awareness is unique, but this begs the question. Scientists know that the physical world that we perceive outside ourselves actually is a picture composed and displayed by our brain inside our skulls. We also know that the external physical world that appears solid to us, as reconstructed by our brains and displayed inside our skulls, is mostly empty space. From quantum physics we know that electrons exist as probability waves without a conscious observer. Therefore, the Newtonian external reality “out there,” is an idea that we experience in our brains. The same is true for the dimensions of space and time that are ideas we use to organize our experiences in a linear manner.

Biocentrism disagrees with the Newtonian assumption that mind and matter are separate and matter functions like a well-oiled machine, regardless of the existence and presence of an observer to experience it. The necessity of an observer, which by the way, can be any conscious awareness whether incarnate or excarnate, human, animal, or plant whose conscious attention assembles physical reality, transforms and rescues the depressed, isolated, and disempowered observer that people are in the Newtonian paradigm by transforming them into co-creators of reality. Therefore, who we are, what we think, and what we do are critically important. In the beginning, there was an idea. That idea was expressed as a distinct sound that we call a word, and that word became a thing.

Tomorrow: Biocentrism (Part 2)

Cross-Posted at Firedoglake/MyFDL and the Smirking Chimp.

Namaste: If Not Now, When? Is my intellectual property. I retain full rights to my own work. You may copy it and share it with others, but only if you credit me as the author. You may not sell or offer to sell it for any form of consideration. I retain full rights to publication.

My real name is Frederick Leatherman. I was a criminal-defense lawyer for 30 years specializing in death-penalty defense and forensics. I also was a law professor for three years.

Now I am a writer and I haul scrap for a living in this insane land.




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