Mystical “Westworld:” or How To Live Well and Die Well At The Same Time

“Our business is to wake up.” ~ Aldous Huxley

It has been amusing to read all of the banter floating around the Internet concerning the story lines of “Westworld.” Humans are immensely talented creatures when it comes to creating stories, creating narratives – especially mysteries and paradoxes. We are equally deft at making maps.

But the map is not the territory.

Light is both a particle and a wave. The glass is both half empty and half full. Try to get your prefrontal cortex to map those paradoxes.

You’re perfect. And there’s room for improvement.” ~ Suzuki Roshi

After “Westworld” sweeps all awards for best directing, best writing, best editing and best acting, more philosophical discussions may take place – particularly if someone proposes that The Man in Black (obviously written long before the election), our collective shadow, represents Donald Trump or at least Trump’s level of consciousness regarding mankind, power, war, money, capitalism, business, the planet, etc… someone desperately searching for something he is already sitting on…

It is the archetypal tragic hero’s journey.

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity”
~ Yeats

“Westworld” displays the greatest understanding of Eastworld since “The Matrix,” “Interstellar,” since Huxley’s “The Island” – Eastworld being Buddhism, Hinduism, yoga, meditation and all spiritualities that appear paradoxical to Westerners.

Can human consciousness perceive the rabbit and duck at the same time?
2016-12-05-1480943559-550641-6c550c251a6fa4a15acc5a3890081b6e.jpeg
Because perception is all we have. And yet it is only a map.

Humans are like fish swimming in the water of Westworld, unable to perceive the water, swimming only at one level of consciousness, unable to see their own paradigm, unable to see their true natures, unable to see other possibilities for existing, unawakened. The hosts are designed to act like fires under Petrie dishes to distill the guests’ essences, to hold mirror up to nature so that humans can witness their repressed shadow sides.

But we learn that it is the guests in “Westworld” who are automatons, predictable. Ironically it is the hosts who are becoming awakened faster than the guests. In just a few generations they have gained better self-reflectiveness and superior awareness of awareness than humans.

Humans are slow to change. We fear change. We conserve. Change requires uncertainty. Thus we are conservative by nature. Better the devil we know than uncertain progress. That is why conservatives often beat progressives. Fear. Yet the question remains, for a new paradigm to be birthed must the old paradigm go out with a bang? Births can be rather bloody. And violent. Seldom are they accompanied by merely a whimper.

“For a temple to be built a temple must be destroyed.” ~ Nietzsche

Western civilization’s paradigm – buttressed by capitalism, science, and religion – does not provide tools to transcend or escape Westworld. Not even a map to arrive at the center of the maze.

“The level of consciousness that created the problem will be unable to solve it.” ~ Einstein

Maybe we need a few more Einsteins before we can see light as both a particle and a wave?

The metaphors of “Westworld” are so meaty that they could engender as many discussions as “Hamlet” has engendered. There are so many levels, layers and dimensions… and even a few times zones. The mark of a true masterpiece.

And yet all of the levels, layers, dimensions and times compress into one. They represent Brahman.

The story lines are maya. Everything we perceive through our five senses that our minds chunk into narratives is maya (ephemeral, illusory, fictional, a dream, a game).

Here’s one meta-interpretation: our current level of human consciousness is obviously not an end; it is a means. It is evolving. And all sentient beings are playing roles in its evolution. They are playing their individual roles.

Some Buddhists believe that awakening is when you find nirvana in samsara, when you can dance the razor’s edge of knowing that you are playing your own individual game/fiction/dream and that you are part of something bigger also. You are the queen of your game and a pawn in another game. And the board. And already dead. Separation is revery.

The game is real. And it is not. More difficult paradoxes to fathom.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
~ Hamlet

How much war and suffering must humans’ egos create before we realize that the only truth is love/beauty?

Cease all motor functions. Meditate. Awaken.

Learn how to live well and die well at the same time. Learn how to transcend fear because fear and love are inversely correlated.

“We are not mad. We are human. We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.” ~ Leonard Cohen

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Wounds of Love: The Mystical Marriage of Saint Rose of Lima

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The Peruvian mystic St. Rose of Lima (Isabel Flores y Oliva, 1586-1617) was canonized in 1671 as the first saint of the New World and remains the object of widespread devotion today. In this engrossing new study, Frank Graziano uses the example of St. Rose to explore the meaning of female mysticism and the way in which saints are products of their cultures. Virginity, austerity, eucharistic devotion, incessant mortification, and mystical marriage to Christ characterized the devotional regimen that structured St. Rose’s entire life. Many of her mystical practices echo the symptoms of such modern psychological disorders as masochism, depression, hysteria, and anorexia nervosa. Graziano offers a sophisticated argument not only for the origins and meaning of these behaviors in Rose’s case, but also for the reason her culture venerated them as signs of sanctity. In the process he explores a wide range of themes, from the idea of suffering as an expression of love to the assimilation of childhood trauma through religious repetition. Graziano also offers a penetrating analysis of the politics of Rose’s canonization. He finds that her mystical union with God–bypassing the institutional channels of sacrament and priestly mediation–was inherently subversive to the bureaucratized Church. Canonization was a cooptation by which Rose’s competing claim to Christ was integrated into the Catholic canon. The book concludes with a fascinating exploration of mystical eroticism, with its intense experiences of vision and ecstasy. The eroticized suffering of many mystics is shown to be very human in origin: the mystic’s wounded love is projected onto a God conceived to accommodate it. Wounds of Love is based on a decade of research in archives, rare books, and an extraordinary range of secondary sources. Introducing an innovative method that integrates history, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and clinical psychology, this compelling work offers a bold new interpretation of female mysticism.
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