Posted by Tom Kershaw in on -
But first, you’ve got to get clear on the Primal Quests. You can read about them on the website or you can read my inquiry into them in a previous piece. As a reminder, there are 7 quests that people take up on their road to happiness and fulfillment. We’ve all got one or two, and it’s nice to know about them and gain validation and confirmation of your efforts.
Assuming you’re all up to speed, let’s talk about my “two big realizations” first, then we’ll explore some of the nuts and bolts of this topic.
I’m quite satisfied with this concept of divinity that emerges in this topic. Read more about them below under the “Model Beings” heading. It’s easy to confuse the stories thrown up by the religions. It’s easy to wonder where Great Saviors end and Supreme Beings begin and how it’s not all a Universal Spirit. It’s tempting to relegate them to the realm of cultural artifacts or the rants of deluded adherents. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the pleas of “militant atheists” or charismatic evangelists. And as the old saying, “Don’t discuss politics or religion in polite company” implies, it can be a very contentious issue.
For me, this concept of divinity offers a practical application: Though I don’t personally feel strongly that a God truly exists—at least as It/He/She is presented in religious texts or dogmas—this idea helps me to accept the real-ness of this notion for others. Suddenly, what they say and believe isn’t ridiculous, or even untrue; it’s actually quite real and true—for them. Why? Because what exists in the imagination is very real and quite powerful indeed, as any building that began as an idea in some architect’s head, or piece of art, or book or anything else human-created would attest.
What is evil? How do we define or recognize it? Perhaps you, like most people, take an “I know it when I see it” approach.
The answer to these question is summarized nicely on the page entitled Review II: Planes of Power and Evil and examined in detail in the topic entitled Tree of Good and Evil, which is easily worth an exploration all by itself.
Essentially, each quest has a dark side. This dark side is perceived as either an inherent trait of a quest or when the quest is twisted into a destructive and detrimental version of its better self.
For example, when the Instrumental Being, in its search for pleasure, safety and security operates in such a way as to get the things it wants without any regard for the well being of others, this is Evil.
When an Awakened Being, having discovered wisdom and truth, decides to exploit others using charisma, this is Evil.
The Supreme Being, the Creator who brought all into existence—including Evil—must therefore be both Good and Evil.
Many religions represent this as two distinct characters, i.e. God and Satan. That’s an easy fix, isn’t it? It is this paradox where Evil—on the Plane of Divine Creation—exists.
That’s big stuff, right? Can’t just assert stuff like that. Let’s try and get a fix on where these concepts come from.
Each of the primal quests spawns a perfect version of itself via our respective imaginations.
If you’re at all into philosophy, think of Plato’s forms. Much of his philosophy was centered around the idea of forms of perfection associated with ultimate values. So, according to Plato, somewhere out there exists perfect justice, perfect beauty, perfect virtue, etc. When we go to judge if something is, say, beautiful, we hold it up to this picture of perfection and see how it stacks up.
This topic contains strikingly similar ideas. For each Primal Quest, humanity has imagined a corresponding picture of perfection. The Creation Quest imagines a perfect Creator, the Salvation Quest imagines an ideal Savior, the Meaning Quest imagines a perfect Mindful Self, etc.
These Model Beings have popped up in the literature, lore and legend of every culture throughout history. We might recognize such familiar characters as God, the Supreme Being in the Book of Genesis, who is the Model Being associated with the Creative Quest. Or maybe you’ve heard of Jesus, who is a perfect version of someone on the Salvation Quest. Native Americans, Buddhists and Hindus have their respective versions of the Universal Spirit, that entity that is, itself, everything that is and ever was all at once. Existentialists (various characters in the novels of Herman Hesse come to mind) described ideal Mindful Beings, those people perfectly aware of their “true self.”
That’s easy enough to grasp—as long as we keep in mind they exist in our imaginations. Things get a little bit more difficult (for me) when we examine these Model Beings’ corresponding Planes of Existence.
The Planes of Existence Even if these Model Beings exist only in our imaginations, we have to create somewhere for them to live. An alternative explanation could be: We have to define the space from which Model Beings (and consequently us if we’re on that particular quest) must operate. This place is what THEE calls a Plane of Existence. One relatable example for the Supreme Beings, those Divine Creators, might be the ancient Greeks’ Mount Olympus.
However, it’s easier to conceive of the Planes of Existence, imaginatively of course, as physical borders, inside of which are the criteria for how someone on a given quest will go about making creative and ethical choices within their life.
Each Model Being has a corresponding Plane. All the Planes combined create what’s been labeled The Pleroma, or “the vessel or field containing all the energies that power humanities creation of psychosocial reality: i.e. everything enabling what is non-physical/non-material/non-technical in human existence. All human thoughts and deeds affect the Pleroma in ways that are not apparent or fully predictable.”
As you can probably see, there’s a lot of material here for some serious metaphysical philosophizing and all the mysticism you could ever want. I’ll leave you to it.
This is a risky topic, not just because it could be perceived as taking a position on issues where tempers have been known to flare, but also because it flies in the face of current ideas about the domain of science. THEE is a scientific object and I would venture to assert that many scientists today would run screaming from a topic like this.
But we must remember something about science: Its job is to acknowledge, observe, test and report on what exists. Science, and consequently humanity, is done a disservice by “scientists” who would relegate such pervasive and enduring ideas as divinity, good and evil to the rubbish bin. They most certainly exist, in our minds, hearts, beliefs, books, stories, films, art, music and our social institutions—including religion and even government. All American money—the most widely distributed currency on the planet, used to facilitate the movement of goods and services across the entire globe, is emblazoned with the words: “In God We Trust.”
Mankind is a spiritual being, with questions and ideas in his mind that have yet to be extinguished.
Perhaps it is time that science starts to take these questions and ideas a bit more seriously.
This topic—and the entire Your Better Self framework—is a great start.
- Tom Kershaw
- Hi! I'm Tom and I am a full-time writer, musician, and father to a firecracker of a four year-old. My wife and I lease our house and cars from her in hopes that her considerable talents of mess-making, princess-impersonation, and stuffed animal-whispering will pay off and fund our eventual retirement in the south of France.
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