Book Excerpt - Beyond Homo Sapiens: Blind Faith
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
The Tree of Life, or the idea of the vibratory threads, which unite the Four Dimensions, will be the backdrop against which I will remember my own life, my childhood and my growing up. Slowly, I will try to reconstruct for you, my dear daughter, my personal awareness of things, linking memory upon memory as we all do when we remember. We are conscious only of those things we remember, and we don’t remember much of our own experiences. Even things we experience will be forgotten if we don’t pay attention to them, while things we did not experience but we read or study with attention, will be vivid in our minds.
Let’s unite together in an expedition to renew our minds, to see things as they are, not as we have been taught to see them. To renew our minds we need to borrow from what philosophers of old have named the World of Innate Ideas. That world is the one symbolized by the Star of David in the Tree of Life. Our separation from that world and its Forces, have resulted in the miseries, sorrows, and atrocities, which are the lot of focusing our awareness on the material world exclusively. We are slaves to the outer form, not because there is anything wrong with outer form, but because we have reversed the order of things in our minds. Now, this reversal did not occur in the twentieth century—the most materialistic historical time; it began since the first organic cell appeared upon the mineral rock.
I am going to begin with myself, because to understand the world, we must understand ourselves. Also because no matter how different our experiences are, the need is to go beyond the conditionings through which each of us develops to grasp the principles behind them. The first principle we will take into consideration is that the SELF does not mean persona. The persona, you, and I and the extensions of the persona, like our social life and institutions, are only vehicles of the SELF, which is ONE. This is true not only for us earthlings, but for all the companions we may have in this incommensurable universe.
All of us, and our institutional life, express in forms of action, which no matter how right they are at a particular time and place become small and narrow to our growth if we don’t let them go when the time has come to shed skin. We need always to create new forms of expression because we need to allow the free flow of Cosmic Evolution to work through us.
It is only logical that when I was a child, an adolescent, and a young woman, I could not formulate what has taken me so many years of dedicated study, analysis, and understanding. I will try to replay my own confusion for you and for those who have had the gift of doubt—the “ugly ducklings” that dream to create a new and loving world and who never were able to conform to the experiences of history and the hateful competition for material things. Ancient race errors are interwoven in the constitution of our family and institutional life; they become our own errors because it is difficult for us not to believe what everybody else believes. There is, however, a remedy, which is to stop! And think!
Our desire nature is the first one we need to study as we stop and think, because she is the first one to receive Supra-Conscious intuition. The first desire for something beyond our daily sense-bound routines sets the intellectual nature into a mode of curiosity. For the first time, as the desire nature goes beyond material satisfaction, the intellect has trouble, because it really does not know what the desire nature wants. Therefore, it sets within us “that divine dissatisfaction” as Dali used to express it. The intellect, which for millennia has been used to supply the wants of the desire nature, is accustomed to always receiving an exact command: “I want a house.” “I want this dress.” “We want to make a bridge here.” As long as the desire is objective, it is relatively easy to satisfy it by work or by crook. This is not to say that the persona always knows what he or she wants. Many times the persona has so many wants it is impossible for the intellect to even start working toward the satisfaction of one. This is even more problematic in society because we unite in groups of interest, which collide with other groups of interest. However, at the beginning of dissatisfaction with objective desires, the intellect becomes puzzled because it does not know what the desire nature wants. It has to start figuring it out. As I said before, the desire nature is the feminine part of our mind. She offers the fruit of desire, and the intellectual nature eats it up and begins a quest to satisfy the desire through spontaneous imagination.
Look again at the Tree of Life. The highest triangle, the Supra-Conscious, is the originator of Will Ideas. The second, who represent the Conscious, is the originator of images, or the dresses for those will Ideas. Those dresses are cut to specifications of need at the moment. Desires beyond what we can see and touch open the desire nature to the “Water of Life.” Remember that the Conscious is the Triangle of Water and the Supra-Conscious of Fire. Spiritual images begin to be perceived by the desire nature, which she communicates to the intellect that studies them to know what the desire nature wants. If we are happy with the satisfaction of material wants, we never take a step beyond our concrete life. In order to perceive Spiritual Reality as a want, the personality has to become satiated with the material, has to realize that the satisfaction of material wants do not satisfy a hunger of another kind, which burns in the heart; that want is really for Being, for a truthful definition of ourselves. In order to achieve a true definition we must destroy the illusionary ones. Only with this want we can begin questioning our most dear beliefs, submitting them to the fire of analysis, to see if they stand the test of Truth.
To be receptive to something, we must love it, want it, seek it, and cultivate it. As we have the first willing desire to look inward, we work to strengthen and stabilize the soul level; we can only gradually divorce ourselves from the imaginary sense of causality of the outer forms. When our persistent thought and meditation is based on learned knowledge that we gather with love, care, and a sincere desire for Truth, our identification and affinity to the Ideas formulated by great thinkers serves us as plowed land upon which the seed of the Divine Star can be planted. The brain actually changes its physical structure in response to spiritually oriented learning and meditation, preparing itself to withstand spiritual experience. Only that attitude can help us see beyond what we can see and touch, can let us gather Truth that the intellect can formulate into words, and the emotions can embrace.
The work we must do to formulate and then become our real Selves is that of uniting the cross, which is the personal, with the Star, which is the Universal. We have to equilibrate the limited with the unlimited, the lower with the Higher. The gift of conscious awareness, which we have been developing through eons of time, has to be married with the goal of knowing that we earthlings are one body. Each one of us is an individual cell with a gift for the whole. Each one of us has to engage in the effort to bring perfection to the whole.
A personal life is built out of points of awareness. These points become the pictures that we recall as we look at the past and the present, and project our futures. The first point of awareness that comes to my mind at this moment is our arrival to New York. You were only six years old. I am writing to you twenty-one years later, not from a geographic place, but from my Hispanic-American soul condensed in a body like yours, a body in which the black, yellow, and white races embraced. I am writing to you from my heart, in which memories of my roots still reign: the silence of the Andean Mountains; the poverty of the countryside; the dialogue with nature; the slowness of time; the conversation of women on their front steps; the bent and sweaty walk of men and women carrying the weight of the world upon their shoulders; the happy smiles of children who, if lucky, get their daily bread; the miracle of millions surviving the greed of the powerful. I am writing to you from the social decay created by our antisocial laws and from the chaos to which we have been reduced.
For years I have tried to understand the Anglo-Saxon psychology, the white man who has polarized himself in his race, his conquests, and his delusions of grandeur in the face of nature. I have become accustomed to the skyscrapers whose floors interlock like beehives, to the human ant-farm, to the webs of pavement, to the supersonic noise, to the buzz of the world’s economic brain deciding our collective destiny.
One part of my heart gives thanks for the miracle that our people have been able to survive the material want created by lack of technology and the physical deterioration that could be healed with it. The other awaits the miracle that our adopted country will acquire a planetary consciousness so that the Earth and its inhabitants can survive the havoc of a super-technology deployed for exploitation by the historically abhorrent greed of imperialism.
You and I face different worlds—one the product of development and Protestantism, the other of underdevelopment and Catholicism —but we are essentially two women, two human beings, each a compendium of the psychological evolution that encompasses the prehistoric lack of conscience and the slow emergence of conscience throughout history. Egypt, Sumer, Chaldea, Persia, Judea, Greece, Rome, India, China, Europe, Africa, and America are all condensed in every modern man and woman.
I thank you for growing up next to me, because it was my desire to bequeath you a better world that led me to search for the treasure of the human heart. In it I found the spiritual force that has permitted man to go on, again and again, in search of truth. That force rebels against lies and propels man to self-sacrifice for love of truth. That force makes him reject everything, which is not of itself and promotes the destruction of all that is vain and false. That force finds refuge in the most indestructible of all forces: the loving human heart. But that loving heart, our Conscious level, finds itself imprisoned in walls built for personal defense. The light of Spirit is dimmed by the terrible confusion of our personal conscience.
Twenty-seven years ago, when you were born, I was in that confusion. I had still not recognized that our historical challenge was to become conscious of Spirit. Like most of us, I was conscious only of those material things. Not to have spiritual consciousness is not to be conscious of the whole. Historically, we have been able to survive our lack of whole consciousness because it had not acquired bionic power.
Today we have to answer the challenge if we are to survive as a species, healing the insanity created by the improper and selfish use of our science and technology. Yet this enormous evil that surrounds us is at the same time the biggest blessing that history has ever afforded us. It is forcing us to decide on the only possible solution: freeing each individual from the yoke of Self-ignorance in order to discover his/her true loving nature.
A machine led by our animal instinct that is too colossal a titan to destroy with mere human forces confronts us today. But this enemy lives within each of us, and we must transform it in order to stop projecting the hell we carry inside onto the world. Our enemies are not outside ourselves; but the prevalent myth that they are doesn’t allow us to recognize the little scared animal inside each of us who, out of fear, demands the security of power, money, land, and property, even if the price we pay for these is the blood of our fellow man—that little scared animal that throughout history has meant war, disease, hunger, man beaten by man, crowned with thorns by man, crucified by man. That little animal has to be healed with the only medicine available: Love.
Fervently desiring to give you a better world made me realize that the evil I wanted to exorcise for you lived in me as well, obscuring my capacity for just reasoning. I would not have been able to teach you what is right and wrong, good and evil because I couldn’t unravel the tangle in my own psyche. Then I understood that, in order to help you, my mission was to come out of that confusion.
That is when I started my race to get ahead of the lies. That race began when you were born, and my goal was to be able to teach you as much truth while you grew up as I could. Year after year I had to learn so I could uncover the jewels of truth that I would later give you; I had to learn in order to illuminate the lies so that you would never grow up with them and, consequently, would never have to fight against yourself. I could only imagine the amount of work I had before me, and I didn’t even know where to start. But the sight of your beautiful and innocent little face while you drank from my breast, while you laughed as I changed your diapers and tickled you, while I told you stories gave me strength and enthusiasm. What you were giving me was the love needed to melt the frigidity created by lack of faith in the future, the love to destroy the cynicism to which we of the cold war era had fallen prey.
The first question I had to ask myself was what is truth? Somerset Maughan once said that the greatest truths are too important to be new, so I resurrected the dead of history and prehistory and asked them to show me old truths that I may see them with new eyes. Thanks to this I was able to begin to break through the enormous ramparts in which we encase ourselves when we are sure that we know the truth.
Since birth we are taught what our elders believe to be the truth. Religious, political, social, and historic beliefs pile up like brick over brick. Then, individually, we take it upon ourselves to strengthen the fortification.
As children we are not trained to love our fellow men but to defend ourselves from them. “You have to learn to defend yourself in life,” we are told. That is how we start, seeing those who surround us not as brothers, but as hungry wolves ready to devour us. Fear perpetuates the dependence on the ramparts we have fabricated. We surround ourselves with them until, little by little, we find ourselves locked up in a cell. The light can’t reach through our shelter and neither can love because we permanently shut the door on their face.
In that prison, we play the role of inmate, guard, and hangman. There, in the shadows, we lament our misery without being able to escape it because fear won’t let us. Anyone who manages to break the chains, hoping to be bathed by light and love, ends up screaming in the desert. Approaching those who are his brothers and sisters, they turn against him because they cannot allow the freedom that threatens their refuge.
The second question I began to ask myself was who am I? I’m not sure why this was the question that echoed in my mind instead of the typical modern query, “How much do I have?” Perhaps it was because your grandmother had the good sense to make me aware of my intrinsic value instead of how much I had. She denied me all the material things that were not necessary. She only gave me three skirts, three shirts, three sweaters, and one pair of shoes for the school year. And when I complained that all my classmates had lots of clothes and shoes, she told me that my value is not in what I own, but in who I am.
It could have also been because I grew up listening to your grandfather calling all the philosophers, no matter what their era or nationality, “My little Greeks.” With no formal philosophical education, he had concluded that every thinker is the son of Athens and made a personal friend of each. Having grown up with these friendships of my father helped me when I later became interested in Truth by helping me see the cord that tightly binds all of those who have given themselves to reason and love, a cord that has transcended the differences of nationality, language, and time. I began by studying Socrates, trying to find a path to his world of Eternal Truths, and could not have asked for a better teacher. “I only know that I know nothing” was his first lesson.
I understood that this lesson must be contemplated and digested until it becomes part of one’s blood so that finding answers does not destroy one’s desire for knowledge. Every answer should be nothing but the basis to invoke another question. That way, answers do not turn into chains or weights that hinder our search for wisdom. “I only know that I know nothing” opened hundreds of doors and windows for me. I am sure that it was with this intention that Socrates reiterated this phrase to his disciples. With it he hoped to crumble the walls of defense in which we encase ourselves. Socrates made me love that Idea, that model (Idea is the word used for model in Greek). In that phrase resides his greatness as a teacher. From it springs his method of teaching. With those words he asked me not to blindly trust in him or anyone as teacher and forced me to humbly recognize the illusion of knowledge to which we are all anchored. His system of questions prompted me to seek answers within myself.
Why is inner search important? For a long time Socrates frustrated me. I thought he should give me the concrete, precise answers I sought. Later I realized that by not doing so he taught me to think. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “All is a riddle and the key to a riddle is another riddle.” Once I understood this, I realized that Socrates had indeed given me the answers I requested; but his plan had been to first light in my soul the flame, the fervent desire, to enter that dimension in which individual thought joins the universal and finds the ONE. With his help I found the thread of Spirit that could lead me out of the labyrinth—a labyrinth created by the illusion of the division of matter. When I excitedly ran to Socrates to tell him of my discoveries, he teasingly said, “But, deary, I had already told you so.” Yes he had, and so had all the great thinkers of history. Why then was it so difficult to understand that the universe is ONE and to act according to that fact?
A baby is potential—Spirit—energy that will be formed according to maternal, paternal, familiar, and social suggestions. The father and the mother are sculptors of this raw material, but only now—thanks to Dr. Freud and his understanding of the psyche—we know that this potential can be distorted with false suggestions and conditioning. This false conditioning began, as he explains, with the motivational primitive force of looking for immediate gratification. This is true, not only of primitive man and women, but for the baby, the pleasure principle, more important to us, than avoiding punishment; this mold of behavior was named by Freud the Id.
Society has innumerable false suggestions and ways of conditioning its members. Homo sapiens first created these false suggestions when he became aware of his own thoughts. His newborn conscience, just emerging from the ocean of unconsciousness, responded immediately to his senses. Having perceived himself, he identified with his body and what his body felt. He judged some sensations satisfactory and others painful. If something felt pleasant, he deemed it good; if something felt unpleasant it had to be bad. But he was far from understanding that good and bad have little to do with his likes and dislikes. His judgment erred because he thought he was the limit of his body. That is why his life developed, avoiding what he thought was bad and seeking what he thought was good. From this first erroneous opinion—that he was his body—were born the rituals and institutions that his imagination conceived to defend what he considered good and shun what he considered bad.
By the time my parents took my tiny body and put it in the crib, generations of these erroneous thoughts and subconscious emotions already lived in my society and me.
As a baby, I was but a sponge absorbing everything that my parents told me. I was lucky because they had both identified with the idea of the brotherhood of mankind and the socialist tendencies that sprang from that idea in the nineteenth century. The old hope for a paradise on Earth had been solidified into active transformation by Marx and Engels. Therefore, my parents had the conviction that the human race is one and that there is no reason for social injustice. What started to form in that crib was a pink-diaper baby (my parents were Marxist, but they did not belong to any party; so I did not qualify as a red-diaper baby). I was but one more daughter of the many sons and daughters that the radicals of the thirties brought to the world.
The word “radical” is very illuminating. It comes from “root,” to concentrate on the root. What is the root of a human being? Our only root is Spirit. To be radical then is to not swallow the lies inherited by our societies from the Paleolithic Age, which distract us from our Spiritual root. The first radicals were Egyptians. With Hermes at the head, they began a radical movement to change the conditioning produced by the opinion that we are just a body lost in a labyrinth of material forms. They taught that Spirit is the First and the Last because everything in the material universe is but the body of Spirit. If you look at the world according to that Reality, every person is Spirit.