The Deeper Meaning of the Canon
Dear Editors and Translators:
I would like to welcome the newest member of our team. Our new
Italian editor Elisa. Welcome Elisa. I would also like to discuss
today a subject that came up with the Russian translator. That
of sensate and ideational cultural swings. This will give the
Harvest canon a necessary context and some things will seem
a lot clearer.
The Russian sociologist Pitrim Sorokin discovered that history
had a pattern of cultural swings that could be detected. Many
cultures either had a material sensate bias or they had a more
inner based ideational one. It was simply a range of psychological
orientation from which the pendulum could swing in any given
culture from the lower charkas to the higher ones. From the
outer-rim of the mandala to its inner center.
In the West, Greece and Rome were a serious sensate phase of
the pendulum swing. While the psychic and deeply spiritual had
a place. Rational thought and material engineering were more
crucial. This ended with the beginning of the Middle Ages. The
pendulum swung back to the ideational. The psychic forces of
man took over and the supreme example of this climax was the
now defunct monastic complex in Cluny, France. It was an elitist
center for all kinds of Christian yogas and it ultimately released
the Crusades and the end of the ideational Middle Ages.
Today, the ideational is coming back in the West. The material
worldview has simply exhausted itself. The big sensate blow-off
of the last century has ushered in the beginnings of a new kind
of ideational period for the West. Freud and Jung led the way
here and Picasso and Joyce and later Pollack and the Beats used
this rudimentary transpersonal psychology to start entering
the inner mandala once again.
This is the context of Harvest of Gems. The transition between
the sensate and ideationl is always a mix of both and Sorokin
termed this transition phase idealistic. Well, then the Harvest
canon is definitely idealistic. These pendulum swings can also
be seen in China. The Tang dynasty was an ideational climax
with Buddhism at its helm. Then the collapse ensued and today
China is struggling with a sensate vacuum. India is a unique
country. It has always had deep ideational currents despite
the current sensate phase it finds itself in. courtesy of the
The author sincerely believes that the web and the digital revolution
will speed up the next impending ideational phase as information
and mind networking become the prime forms of all human activity.
Cave-men manipulating smudge sticks were basically doing psychic
networking. The West took a long detour. Now the global brain
is arising once more. The computer is just an empty box. Whats
important is just the communication that goes on between the
individuals using this empty box. I hope that you all stop to
reflect a little on this idea. . Civilization is like a compost.
The new is always built on top of the ruins of the old. Sometimes
also the old has to be tragically leveled as we have just seen
in Bamiyan. This is the way of evolution. It works in strange
and wondrous ways. It works in a spiral form with many echoes
from the past fusing with the new elements of the future. Its
the spiral of re-incarnation. The big helix of karma. Its
all this and much more.
Newsflash: Harvest of Gems and The Little Monk are now available
at Amazon.com. I will send paperbacks to all late next month.