Temet Nosce – Know Thyself
Thursday, 23 July 2015
The Outer Perimeter
Temet Nosce – Know Thyself
Welcome back to Amid Night Suns, friends. Recently I’ve been thinking about the nature of thresholds and liminal spaces, indiscrete boundaries. As I’ve explained in previous posts my life is going through a period of change and transition, and so I suppose my thoughts naturally turn to notions of blurred boundaries. What kinds of things exist on the edges of our perception? What truly makes us human? I don’t have complete or definite answers to those questions. I don’t think even the wisest and most brilliant amongst us does. But we all have partial truths, intuitions and suspicions. In the end, that’s all any of us can hope for. But the sense of meaningfulness comes from our relationships with those partial truths and half-remembered visions, and our relationships with each other. I don’t believe for a second that we are living in a dead, mechanical universe – though I’m aware that there are those who honestly do believe that. For me, the universe is a dangerous and magical place; full of signs and portents, non-local connections masquerading as chaos. This has been my experience, and I’d be a fool to deny what I know. As the Gnostics understood, Knowledge is Power. But power can be raw, unrefined and destructive. To put it another way, how can we come to truly know ourselves without destroying ourselves? I think the answer is one of nuance and context, as with most important questions.
There are tools available in the pursuit of spiritual self-knowledge. Meditation, reflection, art and magick. It’s these tools that connect us to the wellspring, to the source, the spirit – even if that spiritual realm is wholly metaphorical. But the subject-object polarity seems to collapse at the deeper levels of reality. At these deeper levels, beyond the Outer Perimeter, the universe seems less like a mechanistic construct and more like a work of art or an oblique dream. Metaphor, symbolism, psychospiritual fictions – these are the tones in the palette with which we paint our lives. Breaching boundaries and testing limits is integral for human psychological health, but it is also truly dangerous and must be done with nuance and finesse. So, who am I, and who are you? Do we know each other…have we met before? Are we connected in some strange way? Perhaps we speak a shared language, a secret language that we learned in the dark, beyond the thresholds of what our oppressors can comprehend or imagine. And perhaps when we are standing in the presence of God – witnessing true divinity – we again speak our secret, native tongue.