Claude Monet: Soleil Levant, 1872
What physicists have discovered concerning the nature of light is that it behaves as both wave and particle. This profound and paradoxical characteristic makes light a very attractive metaphorical image in explaining the true nature of reality, if one may be so bold as to attempt such a difficult task. I have said that our universe is filled with “animatter,” or ensouled matter. There is no dichotomy at all in animatter. Our language brings differentiation between the abstractions we call matter and Soul. We also hear much of the so-called “mind-body problem” (which is not a problem at all, if you reject dualism). These are mere mental constructs. Animatter is a monistic reality, where all entities in the universe share the same Soul. This is what we refer to as the World Soul, or the Anima Mundi.
Soul is not a substance, but a perspective. It is a way of seeing, of
hearing, of experiencing the universe as it actually is. Soul is an
experience of the divine animaterial universe. It mediates our experiences,
leading us down into the depths of reality, of true animaterial
existence. Soul is the experience of the depth in life.
Light has always been a powerful image in religion and spirituality all over the world. We have only scratched the surface in our knowledge of the nature of light. At least we do know that its behavior is contrary to rational thought. I contend that all reality, at its root, is also contrary to rational thought; it is paradoxical.
Looking at light as a metaphor, it exists in both visible and invisible forms. Humans, typically, cannot see the entire electromagnetic spectrum. In the same way, animatter has both visible and invisible forms. Typically, with our bodily senses we experience only the explicate manifestation of animatter. I borrow the term “explicate” from David Bohm. There is also an implicate form of animatter, which I will call Soul.
Animatter is like a scroll in that, when rolled up, it contains, in potentia, what the entity is and shall become. This mode of being is associated with its Soul. When the scroll is unrolled, its truth is fully manifested. The word, “explicate,” derives from the Latin word, explicare, which means to unfold or unravel. The word, “implicate,” comes from the Latin word, implicare, meaning to entwine, wreath, or roll up. The enfolding and unfolding of animatter is infinite in our universe. It has always occurred and always will. Animatter exists both potentially and actually. It is continuously bringing forth new forms from the womb of all things, the Mater Materia, as Bruno called it. I call it Mater Animateria, or “Mother Animatter.”
Light helps us to understand these kinds of truths. It has always served humanity as an exemplary symbol of the nature of reality. It provides illumination and warmth when in its explicated form; in its implicated form, it is a womb of potential, a matrix of creativity that is to come. There is light in animatter, but there is also darkness. The darkness is not necessarily evil, as we have been taught through our Judea-Christian tradition. Darkness can symbolize the unconscious, for instance, which is dark because its contents have not yet arisen into consciousness. It is the same principle as a child enfolded in the darkness of its mother’s womb. The birth of the child is its unfolding.
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