SCIENCE AND ESOTERICISM || THE ROLE OF INITIATIC SCHOOLS IN SOCIETY, Grand Master W.Bro. Fabio Venzi
In two conferences held by the Grand Masters of the Regular European Grand Lodges (the first one took place in London in 2007 and the last one in Geneva in 2013), the two Pro Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, Lord Northampton and Peter Lowndes, reiterated, at a 6-year distance, basically the same concept: “Freemasonry has no role in society”. This important message aimed especially to dispel all the clouds and shadows wrapping Freemasonry not only in Italy, giving a distorted and disquieting representation of it. This message was not fully shared by all present members. Some Grand Masters and Grand Officers showed, even if not openly (the risk of losing the English craved “recognition” induced prudence…) perplexity and impatience about the above mentioned concept, continuing to think that, on the contrary, Freemasonry would have deserved a role, not only in society but also in politics, economics and more. I completely share and support the line proposed by the United Grand Lodge of England, Ireland and Scotland as evidenced in all my speeches since the beginning of my first term as Grand Master (April 2002), unfortunately we must say that in the two mentioned conferences the message, although clear, had no followers, it has not been deepened or faced in a debate. In the mentioned conferences and in those conferences held in 2009 and 2011, nothing has been added to the initial assumption “Freemasonry has no role in society”, an important position to clarify the nature of 2 Freemasonry and, above all, its future, and, in my opinion, this statement deserved further study and the debate should have focused on it. That leaves a gap that we had to somehow try to bridge in order to respond to all the Brothers who would like to better understand the nature and purpose of Freemasonry. Then it is necessary to answer the main question originated from the initial assumption: if Freemasonry does not have a specific role in society, what does it represent for its members and what does it promise to those ones who would be members? But most importantly, who is the Freemason in the modern world? Does his presence make sense in contemporary society, or may he now be considered only an original and folkloristic representation of an anachronistic club type? As mentioned, despite the official position of the United Grand Lodge of England is clear, the constant concern of many Freemasons seems to be the increasing “number” of their Obediences, and, consequently, their expectations about finding for them an important role and a “strategic” (or rather, “powerful”) placement in the society. They imagine Freemasonry influencing the political, economic, social and even religious dynamics (some people think that Freemasonry may even help the “dialogue” between the various religious denominations…) and no one asks, on the contrary, what it can do for the individual, how Freemasonry can help him to “interpret” his own condition. What could Freemasonry do, not for society, but for the “individual”? In order to answer this question, however, we must necessarily ask to ourselves: how is it possible to think about 3 changing the “external” reality first if you have not worked on the “inner” one? We could find an answer to the question by reading carefully our ritual, starting to consider it no more as a Rosary to be recited during our ceremonies, approaching the ritual as something “alive” that leads to the concrete and fascinating journey of “spiritual evolution”. Underestimating the esoteric knowledge of those people who created this ritual would be a big mistake, mortifying an ancient wisdom transmitted by those ones who knew it, ignoring the advantages of this wisdom. What is the contribution that Initiatic Schools like Freemasonry, despite not having official “roles” in society, may indirectly give to society, to the entire Humanity? As I said, if you interpret and understand our ritual, you will find that it always shows you the way, particularly concerning this essay, in the ceremony of the Second Degree when you are expected to make the Liberal Arts and Sciences your future study and, above all, to “extend your researches to the hidden mysteries of Nature and Science”. We must therefore ask to ourselves, what are these “hidden” mysteries of Nature and Science? If one of the duties of a Freemason is to know Science, we cannot fail to note that in the last decades Science is changing its bases, approaching incredibly to some theories that until a few years ago were only part of the “esoteric –alchemical” world. If we attempt to define this new scientific approach, we should compare it to the Neo-Platonic and Spinozian view based on the 4 relationship between man and nature, the search for a unified knowledge derived from a “holistic conception” of reality. According to this view, man and nature are parts of the same harmonious, living and sentient entity, as expression of the spirit, rather than separate and independent parts. From this point of view, there is an increasingly disapproval of the traditional Science, derived from the Enlightenment and Cartesian theories, starting to glimpse its limits. The undeniable merit of Enlightenment was to untie the researcher from the prevailing theological-religious commitments, but centuries later Enlightenment has resulted in an arid materialism and mechanism, insufficient, both in method and in the results, to explain many aspects of existence. There is now a new frontier of Science represented by scientists and scholars from all over the world, sometimes outside the tetragonal scientific community (the same that condemned Galileo and Copernicus), which advocate a new learning, no longer fragmented but unified , supported by scientific findings that undermine the certainties of the “official” Science and the more orthodox scholars.1 It is a new phase of the scientific exploration, against the conventional science, and it leads us to a radical reflection about man's place in the scheme of the universe and, therefore, it proposes a different relationship between Science and Divinity. Unfortunately the name “New Age” which has been attributed by many scholars, critically and reductively, to these innovative studies, has contributed to give an aura of low reliability to 1 Fabio Venzi, Studies on traditional Freemasonry, Atanòr, Rome, 2012, pp. 271 – 272. 5 important discoveries that, albeit briefly, I will try to bring to your attention in this work. They were the same esoteric students to define recurrently Science as “New Age” together with those innovative findings and cuttingedge scientific researches, with evidences now accepted even by the most sceptical critics2 . Beyond the unlikely comparisons or definitions of convenience, we will examine what is, in my opinion, simply “Science”. I have already discussed some of these themes in my book “Studies on traditional Freemasonry”. The “Principle of Complementarity”, conceived by the Danish physicist Nils Bohr, explains how the elementary particles of matter, the Quanta, can be seen both as particles and as waves, depending on the way you look at the phenomenon, a theory which brings us back to Alchemy where the mercurial feminine principle explained the proteomorfismus of the natural phenomena, their fluid changeability. In this interpretation the Universe may not be the Newtonian materialistic one made of 2 Wouter Hanegraaff, New Age Religion and Western Culture, Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought, State University of New York press, Albany, 1998, pp. 62-63. The Dutch scholar Wouter Hanegraaff, for example, in his book New Age Religion and Western Culture, in describing the characteristics of the phenomenon of 'New Age', so places the innovative scientific researches, giving a description of the new methodological approach present in them "Traditional science - associated with the academic establishment - is thoroughly condemned as materialistic and conducive to human alienation, but the New Age has discovered the new science as a potential ally against it. Following Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolution, New Age believers claim that established science reflects an outdate reductionist paradigm bound to be replaced by a new paradigm based on a holistic perspective. The suggestion that the evolutionary thrust of science now leads it to reject the very materialism it once felpe to create is an inspiring to some people a sit is outrageous to other. That New Age Science diverges from mainstream science is recognized by critics and sympathizer alike, but both interpret this fact differently. Critical outsiders prefer to speak of “fringe science”, an appellation which reflects their conviction that these approaches are borderline cases of genuine scientific research, if not nonsensical pseudo-science pure and simple. Defenders, on the other hand, turn the fact of their marginal position into an advantage by re-labeling their perspective as “leading edge science”. They see themselves as the avant-garde of scientific progress: pioneers of a radical new worldview…Rather, New Age Science is typically concerned with developing unified worldview.” 6 specific, visible objects that move along definite trajectories, essentially a static one, on the contrary it is a dynamic universe, made of "waves of possibility" or mere potentialities becoming actuality and therefore matter, the manifest world through the knowledge of the “observer”, the scientist in the laboratory, ourselves in the real life. In this new vision of Science, the individual would be the “center” and the meaning of the Universe, just as Pico della Mirandola theorized in his work “Oration on the Dignity of Man”. The “Non-locality principle” theorized by the Austrian Nobel Prize physicist Wolfgang Pauli revealed how the elementary particles in the atom are in constant and instant communication. Each particle knows its position regarding the other one and the global situation without exchanging any signals. This shows, according to the scientists, that every particle is connected with the whole system and therefore all parts of the universe are interconnected by electromagnetic fields as if they were linked by a single intelligent energy. For the first time, science had to theorize the existence of such a dimension that transcends the one in which we actually live, today it is necessary to resort to the transcendent to explain the observed phenomena, because this transcendent dimension, so far excluded from the scope of scientific research, seems to influence the behaviour of matter.3 Today I will attempt to give an answer to the initial question concerning how can Freemasonry influence society without having 3 Fabio Venzi, Studies on traditional Freemasonry, Atanòr, Rome, 2012, pp. 274. 7 a 'role' in society, on the basis of the theory of the English biologist Rupert Sheldrake on 'formative causation' and 'morphic fields'. Sheldrake's theories are based on a process called morphogenesis, in particular with the term 'formative causation' Sheldrake refers to the mechanism by which things take their shape, or their organization. This dynamics covers a broad spectrum of phenomena, the formation of galaxies, atoms, crystals, molecules, plants, animals, cells, society, practically all the phenomena having shapes, structures or self-organization properties; Sheldrake describes his hypothesis using these words: “The hypothesis of formative causation assumes that the morphogenetic fields are physically real, in the sense that they are gravitational, electromagnetic and quantum fields. Each type of cell, tissue, organ and organism has its specific field type. These fields form and organize micro-organisms, plants and animals in the development phase, and stabilize the shapes of adult organisms. They do this on the basis of their own space-time organization”. 4 According to Sheldrake's theory, the shape of society, ideas, crystals and molecules depend largely on how the previous events of the same type have been organized. All of this would be possible thanks to a kind of innate memory present in the morphic fields of each type of phenomenon, the discovery that would lead us to the conclusion that the regularities of nature are more like eternal and immutable habits than phenomena governed by immutable mathematical laws existing outside the nature. Sheldrake writes: “My hypothesis is that the creation of habits depends on a process of morphic resonance. Similar activity patterns resonate through 4 Rupert Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, 1988. 8 time and space, with later patterns. This assumption applies to all self-organizing systems, such as atoms, molecules, crystals, cells, plants, animals and animal societies. All are based on a collective memory and in turn they give their contribute”. 5 Morphic resonance indicates the ability of sharing "habits" that organisms acquire in the evolutionary process: these habits seem to resonate within the species by creating the possibility of new acquisitions ranging from the ability to resist a virus to new collective learning; everything happens involving subjects located in areas very distant from each other. Sheldrake often points out in his studies that according to modern science, everything in nature is vibration, shape and activity, so his idea of the memory of nature, called “morphogenetic resonance”, is based on similar forms of vibrations that influence each other. Taking the example of the mandala created by sand vibrations, Sheldrake wants to show how his theory has something in common with many mystical and religious traditions that refer about primordial vibrations, original sound. According to them at the beginning of creation there were vibrations from which everything took shape. Sheldrake's approach lies in a new vision of science that is radically opposed to the mechanistic interpretation on which many canonical paradigms of scientific research are based. In his first book on the topic, A New Science of Life, 1981, as Sheldrake describes this new approach to science: “However, the organism or holistic philosophy of nature provides a context for a more radical revision of the mechanistic theory. This philosophy denies that everything in the universe can be explained from the bottom up, as 5 Rupert Sheldrake, The Science Delusion, London, 2012. 9 it were, in terms of the properties of subatomic particles, or atoms, or even molecule. Rather, it recognizes the existence of hierarchically organized systems which, at each level of complexity, possess properties that cannot be fully understood in terms of the properties exhibited by their parts in isolation from each other; at each level the whole is more than the sum of its parts. These wholes can be thought of as organisms, using this term in a deliberately wide sense to include not only animals and plants, organs, tissues and cells, but also crystals, molecule, atoms and sub-atomic particles. In effect this philosophy proposes a change from the paradigm of the machine to the paradigm of the organism in the biological and in the physical sciences”.6 But what is the nature of the morphic fields? The morphic fields, Sheldrake argues, are 'physical', but differ from the other fields known in contemporary physics, in fact, although they belong to nature, they are not made of matter. They are neither electromagnetic nor quantum fields of possibilities and do not concern the particles’ origin. They are something more complex, data fields underlying the development or growth of all things, fields that underlie the shape’s reason and disposition of things, the reason of similar forms, although never identical, recurring in nature such as in crystals or in plants. So Sheldrake summarizes the general concept of “fields”: “The fields are non-material regions of influence. The Earth's gravitational field, for example, extends around us. We cannot see it, it is not something material, and it is nevertheless real. It gives 6 Rupert Sheldrake, A New Science of Life, Icon Books, London, 2009, (first edition 1981), p. 26. 10 weight to objects and keeps them tied to the ground. At this very moment we are attracted to the earth: without it we would be suspended in the air. The moon moves around the earth because of the earth's gravitational field ... The gravitational field pervades the entire universe, bending space and all the matter that is contained. According to Einstein, it is not in space and time, it is the space - time. Space-time is not a bland basic abstraction, it has a structure that includes and models everything that exists or happens in the physical universe ... The electromagnetic fields are quite different in nature from those gravitational ones and present various aspects. They are an integral part of the organization of all material systems, from atoms to galaxies. They are the basis of our brain and body functioning. They are essential for all our electrical devices ... The fields are the medium of “action at a distance” and through them, the objects can influence each other without being in direct physical contact. In addition to these fields that we are familiar with, there are also those provided by quantum physics. According to this theory, each particle - electron, neutron, etc. - is associated with its own field. They are microscopic fields in which the particles of matter exist in the form of quanta of vibration energy. None of these fields can be attributed to the other. Physicists have long hoped to understand them as aspects of a single unified field, and the contemporary theoretical physics has made attempts to derive them from an original cosmic unified field that would be differentiated in the known fields in the very early stages of expansion of the universe”. 7 7 Rupert Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, 1988. 11 In conclusion, according to the English biologist: “The nature of the fields is inevitably a mystery. According to modern physics, it concerns even more fundamental entities of matter. The fields cannot be explained in terms of matter; on the contrary, it is the matter that is explained in terms of the energy contained in the fields. What exactly are the morphogenetic fields? How do they act? Despite the widespread use of this term in biology, we do not have clear answers to these questions yet. In fact, the nature of these fields is a mystery as the morphogenesis itself”. 8 We can attempt to explain morphogenesis with examples. When a new chemical compound is created for the first time in the laboratory, it is generally difficult to crystallize, but more often it is synthesized, more easily its crystals are formed in laboratories all over the world. Referring to the animal world, it is the idea that every species, every member of every species gleans information from a species’ collective memory, tuning in with the past members of the species, and in turn he contributes to the further species’ development, everything through a “resonance” between individuals and groups of species (e.g. sub-groups, races, ethnicities, gens, families, etc. in the case of man). These fields would be substantially responsible for the shape and the specific organization of systems at all levels of complexity, not only in biology but also in chemistry, physics and social systems. When a member of a species learns a new behaviour or a new way of 'thinking', the morphogenetic field of that species slightly changes, but if the behaviour or the new structure of thought is repeated long enough, its 'morphic resonance’ accumulates and 8 Rupert Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, 1988 12 begins to affect the entire species. More individuals of the same species learn to perform a new task , or to think differently , more powerful becomes the morphogenetic field of reference and other individuals will easily learn to perform that task. The morphic fields of each system exert their influence on “consecutive” systems through a process that Sheldrake calls, as already seen, morphic resonance. However this does not take place only within a defined system, as may be a plant or an animal body. Morphic fields are in fact linked together in a "time" outside the linear one, a time of present memory which has the necessary information for the creative plan of things. For every small and insignificant mineral, vegetable or animal entity, there is a corresponding field related to the rest of the Universe. In order not to create misunderstanding, Sheldrake points out that: "My idea of morphic fields concerns fields which, although extended and with non-local effects, they are still part of the collective and individual mind, but they cannot be compared to the Universal Mind. Morphic fields are not God ... ". We said that the morphic resonance is the ability of sharing 'behavioural changes' including also the act of “thinking”, acquired by the organisms through their evolutionary process. Behaviours transmitted within the same groups allow a “development” and an evolution of the same members, even if the members of that species are located in spatially distant points. According to Sheldrake, there are ties connecting the members of social groups within each field. These connections act as channels for the information transfer among the separate members of the 13 group. We find an analogy to this process in the field of quantum physics: if two particles have been part of the same quantum system and they are spatially separated, they retain a mysterious connection. So a change in a separate part of a system can have an effect on the other one instantly. This phenomenon is known as non-locality or quantum non-separability. As seen, the theory of Sheldrake hypothesizes that learning takes place mainly at the species level and not just at the individual level, so if a certain number of individuals develop some psychological, behavioural or organic characteristics, they are automatically acquired by the other members of the same species. In the human case it would lead then, according to the English biologist, to transmit in a “synchronistic” way to members of our own species even higher levels of spiritual awareness. Consequently, if a good part of humanity could achieve a certain level of spiritual awareness, this same awareness would extend, through 'morphic resonance', to other groups involving the entire system (this number of people or individuals belonging to any other species in which there would be an analogous phenomenon is called 'critical mass'), thereby advancing the level of planetary consciousness. So each individual transformation would involve a system modification and those individuals belonging to the system are involved in this transformation. The Initiate, the Freemason, the solitary spiritual seeker, is not at all an isolated member of the species, an entity detached from the system, but, in this view, he would be connected with all present, 14 past and future creatures, thanks to a powerful physical link, although subtle and mysterious. The political or social activism is not the only way to give concrete contributions to a system that should be better. On the contrary, it is likely to have no results if you intend to pursue an external change, without first changing the interior one, through the mere material action. The real action comes from the conquest of a new vision, a new awareness gained within ourselves, but at the same time it will be indelible in the external “field” determining its evolution, an evolution that can be sudden and unexpected. According to Sheldrake, systems are organized as we see them manifested, because similar systems were organized in the same way in the past. Specifically, the characteristic forms and behaviour of all currently existing chemical, physical, biological and especially social systems are guided and shaped by organizational fields that, like an invisible hand, would act through space and time. The entire social group would be organized by a field, a structure designated not only to organize the present time but also to contain the memory of what that social group has been in the past, a memory of other similar social groups existed in the past. Concerning Freemasonry, this would explain why the Initiatic Schools (the Pythagorean schools, the 'Mysteries', the hermetic, Rosicrucian, Neo-Platonic, alchemical schools) have substantially the same “form” and the same “archetype”, an ideal type, the “Initiate”. 15 Historically, the Initiatic Schools, representing the various “forms” of Tradition, have been created to distinguish themselves from Religions and official Cults, but not in opposition to them. They originated in times of crises and social upheavals, when the individual began to manifest a pessimism and dissatisfaction for all forms of life and thought in which he lived, a decline of values that supported its existence. It is in these situations that some individuals, the “Initiates”, begin to ask to themselves new questions about existence, to look for new possibilities, to try alternative ways that lead to a new vision and understanding of things and at the same time they help not to lose the orientation or the “Center”. The Initiatic Schools saw the light thanks to these men who felt the need to accelerate their spiritual and evolutionary path, assuming, as foundation, the principles of Hermetic thought and the metaphysical goal of identity between Micro and Macrocosm. Freemason, as archetypal figure, represents an aristocracy of the spirit. The larger is the standardization, the greater is the value, the spiritual strength of the man who, able to escape from it, try to follow a lonely path of spiritual evolution and refinement of which then others will also benefit. The “morphic resonance” implies that every set of complex and organized activities of an individual (higher animal or man), which also includes dreams, mystical experiences, altered states of consciousness, has its own structure: these mental states and these activities can be transferred from one individual to another, thanks to the mechanism of “morphic resonance”. 16 In the Initiatic Schools, the Initiation is the vehicle that allows the adept to be transported within the “collective memory” of the group, to connect to the Tradition, entering a kind of “communion” with all those ones who have already been member of the group, located in what we use to call the “Eternal East”. Applying the Sheldrake’s theory to the Initiatic Schools, within which “skilled” individuals work to reach higher states of consciousness, we can conclude that the greater is the number of individuals raising their spiritual awareness, the easier will be for others individuals, either within or outside the same group, to move in that direction. So Freemasonry, interpreted as Initiatic School and not as club service, opinion group, political party or purely charitable association will act not only on the society in which it is spatially located, but on the whole Humanity, facilitating its evolution. In the essay The Presence of the Past, Sheldrake suggests that the “memories” are not stored in the brain, but that there is a range of information which can be accessed through the brain. This would lead to the conclusion that human consciousness, our personal memories and our sense of self can survive biological death. So our mind, while being located in the body and in the brain in particular, is not confined to our brains and extends beyond it through the fields of the mind, or mental fields, which exist either within or beyond the brain itself. Our minds are therefore not trapped in the limited radius of our skull, separated from each other, but they are interconnected with each other, individuals are interconnected. All 17 this would explain phenomena such as telepathy and similar phenomena for which there is not a scientific explanation yet. For centuries we have had, according to Sheldrake, two distinct positions: The materialism one, in which the mind was the brain, and the position of the Cartesian dualism, in which the mind was seen as something non-physical, non-local, and that in some mysterious way interacted with the body. On the contrary, Sheldrake proposes: The mind is composed of fields that penetrate the brain and extend beyond it, just like magnets, or similar to what happens in the earth. Sheldrake's hypothesis, then, is based on the idea that the mind is localized neither in space nor in time, and that cannot be limited at present, but, on the contrary, it has an immortal and non-energizing connotation and above all not affected by the spatial separation. The mind is not only limited to the brain but it is not produced by it, although it can act through it. This highlights the idea of a collective consciousness, it is what the Swiss psychoanalyst C. G. Jung calls “Collective Unconscious”, which can be represented as one mind. The same Sheldrake confirmed the analogy between the Jungian idea of the collective unconscious and his idea of a connection between individuals due to a “collective memory” caused by the “morphic resonance” that would allow us not only to be connected with each other and with the rest of creation, but also with the deceased, as contributors to the collective memory. So Sheldrake writes: “The collective unconscious of Jung has much in common with the concept of group mind, and those ones that Jung defines as archetypes resemble the “collective representations” of Durkheim ... If the Jungian idea of collective unconscious had no value in the context of mechanistic theory of life 18 and therefore it was not taken seriously by the orthodox science, on the other hand it has value in the light of the hypothesis of formative causation. Through the process of morphic resonance, structures of thought and experiences that had been common to a large number of people in the past contribute to the formation of morphic fields. These fields contain the middle forms of the past experience, defined in terms of probability. This idea corresponds to the Jungian concept of archetypes as innate psychic structures”. 9 The Myth and the “mythological materials”, within the broad field of archetypes, are going to represent a sort of pre-existing, inherited, and accessible through the imaginative strength Tradition, a universal unconscious form. Hence, these universal matrixes, the archetypes, will represent the precious material from which man will draw his “Myths”: in this collective and unconscious inheritance of ancestral memories, we think we can see an idea of Tradition. According to Jung, the origin of the archetypes can only be explained by supposing that they are sediments of experiences always repeated by humanity, while the collective unconscious can be identified with that part of the psyche that can be distinguished negatively from the personal unconscious because differently it does not derive from personal experience and consequently it is not a personal acquisition. So, while the personal unconscious is made up essentially of contents which previously have been conscious, but later disappeared from consciousness because forgotten or repressed, the contents of the collective unconscious have never been part of the consciousness and therefore they have never been 9 Rupert Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, 1988 19 individually acquired, their existence is due solely to inheritance. If the personal unconscious consists mainly of complexes, the content of the collective, instead, is essentially formed by archetypes. 10 In conclusion Jung predicts Sheldrake’s theory: “The concept of the collective unconscious is neither speculative nor philosophical, but empirical. The problem is simply this: do or do not universal unconscious forms of this kind exist? If yes, there is a region of the psyche that can be called the collective unconscious.” 11 This “region of the psyche” recalls the concepts of “morphic fields” and the “extended mind” of the English biologist. Even Jung, such as Sheldrake, declares that psyche and matter are related. Jung supported his experiments with the I Ching, with observations on his patients' dreams, which often contained images corresponding with external events in a unique way; they seemed to have the same meaning of the dream images. This happens, it seems, when an archetype is activated in the unconscious of the subject who experiences it, and thus it produces a state of strong emotional tension. In such moments psyche and matter no longer appear as separate realities, but rather coordinated in a single situation full of symbolic meaning. It is as if the mental and physical world were sides of the same reality. Jung called it “unitary” unus mundus. In his opinion, the synchronistic events were sporadic and irregular parapsychological phenomena, they seem to illustrate only special cases within a general principle, which he called acausal coordination. That is to say that certain natural facts seem to have an order, without indicating a cause. The Jungian scholar Marie- 10 Carl Gustav Jung, Conferenza 1936, in Gli Archetipi dell’Inconscio Collettivo, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 1995, p. 69. 11 Carl Gustav Jung, Ibidem, p. 72. 20 Louise Von Franz remembers: “The Jung’s distinction between unitary world and unus mundus is based on the fact that the latter one includes the psychic domain, i.e. it transcends the distinction between mind and matter. The reality of the unus mundus is transcendent; it cannot be understood by our consciousness. The synchronistic events are singularity in which the union of psyche and matter occurs sporadically, the unus mundus”.12 Then the theories of the new Science refer to the Neo-Platonic and alchemical concept of “Soul of the World”, everything is connected with everything because everything is just a part of a great organism, the Universe and, most importantly, every single man is closely related the totality of the Cosmos. The Italian astrophysicist Massimo Teodorani, who has devoted interesting studies to David Bohm’s theory and the phenomenon of “Synchronicity”, starting from joint studies of the physicist Pauli and Jung, writes: “So what we believe to be our psyche is not our psyche, but our ability to connect to a wide universal matrix that unites us all. The ego, the separation, the distinction between objects and particles are so many parts of a single endless dance, but taken separately as disjoint entities they are just an illusion. An illusion is our own ego. In fact, some mental health problems, similar to those ones that Pauli had for so long, are a way to warn us that we are detached from our true "self." The key to happiness, serenity and life itself is aware of being part of an infinite universe. The only way to access is to connect to the realm of archetypes, i.e. a huge library containing in symbolic form all the knowledge of the 12 Marie-Louise Von Franz, Psiche e materia, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino, 1992, p. 83. 21 universe. At the bottom, this realm beyond time and space, and the mysterious and mythical “Akasha”, handed down in Oriental traditions, are exactly the same thing. In order to access the laws of the universe in its proper light, it is essential for the psyche to connect with this “cosmic web”. 13 This so-called “cosmic web” refers to the idea of Tradition as unitary basis of a Knowledge that informs the whole universe: “In other words, all of this is reminiscent of the mythical realm of Akasha mentioned by the Oriental civilizations for thousands of years. Some scientists started from emptiness to find the concept of synchronous interconnection and unity of the whole. Other scientists, such as the quantum physicist David Bohm, theorized the “implicate order” to describe the abstract realm that lies at the basis of all known matter and forms the conscience. The physicist Marco Todeschini re-edited an old Cartesian conception of the Universe and called this realm as “ether”, while the quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli together with the psychologist Jung laid the foundations of the so-called “collective unconscious”. There is a good reason to believe that the collective unconscious , ether, emptiness, implicate order and Akasha are different ways of representing the same concept that is the matrix of unity and synchronicity of the Universe”.14 Finally, the hypotheses of Sheldrake's morphogenetic field are not isolated theories, they have in fact scientific correspondence in other interesting theories such as the Jung’s collective unconscious, 13 Massimo Teodorani, Sincronicità, Il legame tra Fisica e Psiche da Pauli e Jung a Chopra, Macro Edizioni, Cesena, 2006, pp.64-69. 14 Massimo Teodorani, Ibidem, p.105. 22 David Bohm’s implicate order, Penrose and Laszlo’s sub-quantum field, in Pribam’s holographic mechanism, in the global consciousness of Radin and Nelson. In conclusion, the warning of the Second Degree, to deepen “the hidden mysteries of Nature and Science”, is a clear indication of a path to follow that can be seen full of exciting and sometimes unbelievable discoveries which seem to coincide, surprisingly, with an ancient knowledge that we call “Tradition” and that the Initiatic Schools contributed to keep alive and transmit. We have seen how each new knowledge and discovery, each new spiritual conquest, each new individual consciousness, does not concern only the individual Initiate, but the entire community and how, therefore, the Freemason, although closed in the Temple, affects deeply the surrounding reality fulfilling and I would say the only real “action” in the direction of a progress of all humanity: his action is a real “Cosmic Action”.
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