The Arc of the Moral Universe and Other Essays ..
Even still higher mankind must rise. Beyond the glorious devachanic world opens yet another more glorious, the region of Samadhi, where a few of our race can function, though it is utterly unknown to the vast majority. It is a region there thought entirely changes its character and exists no longer as what is called thought on the lower planes; where consciousness has lost many of its limitations and acquires a new and strange expansion; where consciousness knows itself to be still itself, and yet has widened out to know other selves as one with it, so that it also includes the consciousness of others; it lives, breathes, feels, with others, identifying itself with others, yet knowing its own centre; embracing others and being one with them, and yet at the same time being itself. No words can express it; to be known it must be experienced. This great expansion gives a hitherto unknown unity; the divisions of earth are lost, for we are nearing the centre and looking outwards, thus feeling the oneness, instead of dwelling on the circumference and seeing the multiplicity. Then all that has been felt of service to those above us and compassion to those below us takes a new aspect, foreshadowing a yet more perfect unity - the unity of those who are higher and, just because they are higher, who realise their oneness with all below, seeing mankind in the unity of its spiritual nature instead of in the diversity of its material manifestations. Then outflows that compassion that sees itself and knows itself in every human soul, that understands all and therefore is able to help all, that feels with all and therefore is able to raise all, that in the worst and most degraded still realises the possibilities that to it are actualities, seeing in every man what he is in reality, not what he is in appearance, seeing him as he will be (as we should say) in the future, as he eternally in the eyes of those who know. There incomprehensible problems find simple solution, and things that seem unknowable come within the limits of the knowable; man, rising higher and higher, finds wisdom more far-reaching, power mightier, love more all-embracing, till even to the freed spirit it seems as though there could be no higher climbing, no greater possibilities to be realised. Then before it unfolds a yet mightier world which dwarfs all that went before. One other range is still within the limit of human vision - within the reach, I dare not say of human thought, but to some extent of human apprehension, where Nirvana binds up all these glories of humanity, and where its possibilities are seen and realised and are no longer mere lovely dreams. Life beyond all fancy of living, activity in wisdom and power and love beyond men's wildest imaginations, mighty hierarchies of spiritual intelligences, each seeming vaster and more wonderful than the one before. What here seems life is but as death compared with that life, our sight is but blindness and our wisdom but folly. Humanity! what has it to do in such a region, what place has man in such a world as that? And then sweeping as it were from the very heart of it all - from the LOGOS who is its Life and Light - comes the knowledge that this is the goal of man’s pilgrimage, that this is man’s true home, that this is the world to which he really belongs, whence have come all the gleams of light that have shown upon him in his weary journey. Then it comes into the dazzled consciousness that man has been living, and experiencing, and climbing from the physical to the astral, from the astral to the devachanic, from the devachanic to the samâdhic, from the samâdhic to the nirvanic for this end: that he might at last find himself in the Logos whence he came, that he might know his consciousness as the reflection of That, a ray from That. The end of this mighty evolution - the end of this stage of it, for final end there is none - the end of this stage is that each should be in his turn the new LOGOS of a new universe, the perfect reduplication of the Light whence he came, to carry that Light to other worlds, to build from it another universe. That which awaits man is that mighty growth into the God, when he shall be the source of new life to others, and bring to other universes the light which he himself contains.
The arc of the moral universe and other essays
Joshua Cohen The Arc of the Moral Universe and Other Essays
(Ph.D., Harvard University). A specialist in political philosophy, he has written extensively on issues of democratic theory, freedom of expression, religious freedom, political equality, and global justice. His recent books include Philosophy, Politics, Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2009); Rousseau: A Free Community of Equals (Oxford University Press, 2010); and The Arc of the Moral Universe and Other Essays (Harvard University Press, 2011).He is on the faculty at Apple University and will spend one day each week at Berkeley as Distinguished Senior Fellow at the School of Law, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of Political Science, starting July 1, 2015.
The Truth About 'The Arc Of The Moral Universe' | HuffPost
"I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects' strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects' ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation."