Monday, February 20, 2017

Spiritual DNA

Despite protestations to the contrary, it's possible to arrive at various whole understandings of Truth and Being. 

This truth I speak about is a different kind of truth than the truth which is transmitted through the intellect — that is, learned truth that can be repeated and written down in books. There’s a higher form of truth intuited by combining the work of the intellect, the body, and feeling; this is the kind of truth Gurdjieff called objective truth, that is, truth that transcends the individual, subjective, or personalized point of view.

I'm going to use an analogy to explain how truth can (and does) already exist in its entirety in a human being, and how it emerges from that kernel into the ordinary world. 

I recently told my wife that I intended to write a book, gave her the proposed title. 
She asked me how a subject that appeared to be quite brief could possibly be a whole book. 

I explained to her that a title is the seed of this book. 

A seed contains all of the DNA instruction for the entire tree unit; thus, if one is able to read the DNA in any seed, one can in a certain sense know everything, even though the tree isn’t yet grown. One knows the type of tree one will get; the type of tree it will be, the form it will take; and one can know where it will grow, the kind of work it will be able to undertake, the conditions it can survive and thrive in, etc.

The human soul — the true human Being — is a microcosmos, and we have the DNA of the entire cosmos written in our being. In this way we are seeds; and we are no different than any other seed in the sense that if the seed grows, it will be exactly like the mustard seed, which is tiny, but becomes greater than all the other plants in the kingdom if it finds the right conditions to grow in. 
When Jesus Christ spoke of the kingdom of heaven being like a mustard seed, it was precisely this idea of the kingdom of heaven unfolding as a microcosmos within man that he was referring to.
This means that everything that is is already embedded in the spiritual DNA of a human being, because we are a microcosmic representative God himself. As such, no matter what the enterprise in the human being is, if the seed is correctly planted and allowed to grow, organically, everything that is necessary to bring all of its tasks to fulfillment is able to take place. 

In this sense, a human being who has whole Being — that is, a person who is impartial, who has all of their brains or centers awakened and participating — has the ability to achieve almost anything. Gurdjieff alluded to this many times when he said it was impossible to imagine what human beings were capable of, that their powers were beyond human comprehension if rightly developed:

“Man’s possibilities are very great. You cannot conceive even a shadow of what man is capable of attaining. But nothing can be attained in sleep. In the consciousness of a sleeping man his illusions, his ‘dreams’ are mixed with reality. He lives in a subjective world and he can never escape from it. And this is the reason why he can never make use of all the powers he possesses and why he always lives in only a small part of himself.”

In Search of the Miraculous, P.D. Ouspensky, page 33

This passage doesn't allude to “magical” powers—powers over the physical realm or the ability to lift heavy objects or leap over tall buildings in a single bound—but, rather, inner possibilities; that is, the possibility of understanding cosmic truth from a perspective that’s unimaginable from where we stand now. It is this potential he was referring to. We have the seeds of exactly such understanding in us; and they are nearly infinite, since any one seed of understanding, if rightly planted, can grow into a whole tree, and contains all the information for that whole tree in this tiny seed we are referring to. 

It's this idea of spiritual DNA—a conceptual DNA of understanding—that applies in every case; and that is exactly the seed of this spiritual DNA that I was referring to when I explained to my wife that I already knew there was a whole book on the subject in question. I can't tell you what all the words in the book are; but the data for all of them is already encoded in me, and if I take out any such seed, plant it, and water it, each seed will grow into its own pre-ordained, complete understanding. 
Furthermore they all, by virtue of the way their DNA operates, knit themselves more and more into a single organism that works together.

But let’s not limit this understanding to a single title or single book. Within us is the spiritual DNA of all creation. Depending on how that DNA unfolds, it manifests differently; but all of what is inwardly formed already encodes everything that is.


Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.

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