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Parable of the Internet

 

“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us,
and the art of life is to get the message.”
– Malcolm Muggeridge

 
Institutional religion has become vestigial enroute to extinction, having largely become a “non-prophet” organization. And according to the biblical definition of the word “prophet,” the reasons are both ancient and modern. Ancient in the sense that Jesus referred to the presence of God as something immanent, an enveloping ambient* Spirit (kingdom) “neither here nor there . . . but within and all around you” (Lk. 17:21). In his time, Jesus was introducing the then radical notion that his Father’s presence cannot be objectified in any specific locale, or in any one tribe, sect, or religion. Rather, he was calling for a new sense of universal space-consciousness to replace the traditional, narrowly sectarian, overly developed place-consciousness that had been established in temples, and later in synagogues, churches, and shrines. As he often did, Jesus utilized a word picture to illustrate this novel, universally applicable point. Speaking seaside to the disciples of the great ingathering of souls prior to the end-time, Jesus employed the parable of the dragnet, a large fishing net “cast into the sea, gathering fish of every kind” (Matt. 13:47-52).

Prophets Ezekiel and Hosea before him also visualized God’s enveloping presence as a game net (hunter’s net) spread over all creatures (Ezek. 12:13, Hos. 7:12). A dragnet (draw net or trawl net) is a heavy, conical fishing net that is pulled along the bottom of a river or expanse of water to harvest fish. Note that Jesus did not refer to this net as gathering any particular fish — not Jewish fish, or Christian fish, or Islamic or Buddhist fish — but “gathering fish of every kind.” Like the gospel message, a dragnet is non-discriminatory in what it gathers when broadcast. Save, said Jesus, for a later parsing of its contents, separating the unrighteous and wicked from the righteous, those he has called to himself (vs.49,50).

These prophetically inclusive notions of divinity as “being” itself (not as “a” being), but spatially present everywhere are also modern, updated regarding the discoveries in quantum physics and the neurosciences in reference to the invisible implicate order, and of consciousness studies. Prior to these scientific advances, such was also the case with the mystics of old, like Meister Eckhart, and later Teilhard de Chardin. Long before the discoveries of the micro-universe medieval theologian, philosopher, and mystic Meister Eckhart described divinity as a fecund “ebullient and boiling” energy “flourishing into leaf of everything in the world,” suggesting that the hidden depth of creation and the human soul (psyche) are overflowing cornucopias of blessing and life. And more recently, space-consciousness (non-dual literacy) was evident in scientist-theologian Teilhard de Chardin’s integral theology and (mystical) vision of individual and collective history evolving toward something more inclusive, widespread, diverse, and decentralized in complexity, consciousness, and unity — converging into a single, integrated global consciousness.

To some, the Internet prefigures the mystical vision on oneness, fulfilling Teilhard’s prophecy of an evolving noosphere (from the Greek word “noos,” for mind) as a stage of evolution characterized by a complex membrane of information enveloping the globe fueled by advanced human consciousness. The inclusive mystical visions of Jesus, Eckhart, Teilhard, and others personify the word “prophecy,” defined as “an insight, understanding or teaching previously unknown to the natural mind” (1 Cor. 2:14). With the Church Age evolving into the Kingdom Age, and with it non-dual consciousness, look for divinity to raise up more seers and mystical prophets from outside the walls of traditional, “non-prophet” organizations as his coming draws near.

Ancient and modern “net” images afford a proper vision of the divine as everywhere, with all creatures swaddled and joined by it as the invisible substance or energy (Spirit) within, and net-like, between and around their various created forms. This invisible “substance,” or Spirit, doubles (triples?) as a trinitarian Cosmic Mind – Christ, the Son in the Father via the Spirit, in whose unified presence “all things consist and hold together” (Col. 1:17). Divinity indeed “fills all things” (Col. 2:10), innermost and outermost.

“[Teilhard] is almost certainly the first to describe the acceleration of technological progress to a singularity in which human intelligence will become super intelligence” (Eric Steinhart).

We live in an intertwined world of fiber-optic lines, wireless satellite-based transmissions, and dedicated computer circuits allowing us to commune and connect in nanoseconds. Among the first to give serious consideration to the trans-religious, trans-cultural and trans-disciplinary future of knowledge and human evolution, Teilhard anticipated the Internet’s arrival more than a half-century before it arrived. We live in an age where it is becoming ever so clear that science and spirituality are competing partial truths joined by identical entangled forces, particles, and energies. In spiritual language, entanglement = oneness = unitive consciousness = nondual literacy.

For the first time in history, it is now possible to identify that omnipresent kingdom as the invisible quantized sea undergirding the visible world at all scales, micro to macro. Coming events tend to cast their shadows before. Perhaps today’s “net” is a global electronic Elijah or Baptist come to “prepare the way” for a cosmic awakening to this sacred micropowered sea that embodies, sustains, and via fluctuations of the quantum vacuum state “bubbles forth” the entire universe. This notion equates with the foretold Parousia (second coming of Christ) and Teilhard’s Omega Point fulfillment in an uncanny way. An apropos metaphor referencing the prophesied interiorization of this universal energy, the Internet may indeed foreshadow a global awakening to this universal envelope of light and unitive consciousness still aborning.

Chaos, after all, is often the harbinger of the new order to come. And that new order will be pioneered, not by religiously institutionalized minds, but by evolved contemplative hearts that successfully transcended separation consciousness (dualistic thinking) and sectarian ways of perceiving. Only non-dual religious literacy and energy can bring forth and ignite the kind if fire needed to awaken a slumbering and divided world to more loving, just, and sustainable ways.

“The time has come to realize that an interpretation of the universe . . . remains unsatisfying unless it covers the interior as well as the exterior of things, mind as well as matter. The true physics is that which will, one day, achieve the inclusion of man in his wholeness in a coherent picture of the world (T. Chardin).

Regarding the mystery of this all-encompassing, universal “net” and network of sacred being and life, an updated parable of Jesus might read as follows:

“The kingdom of heaven is like the Internet, which, when persons enter-in (log on), they pass into living communion with it and all things on it. I am the net. In me, all things have being, breath, and life.”

Hear ye the parable of the Internet.

~~~~~~~~~~~

*[Note: Contents of this column are excerpts taken from the author’s recently edited book, The Ambient Christ, The Untold Story of God in Science, Scripture, and Spirituality]

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