Anamnesis, or The Psychoanalysis of God
May 20, 2008 15:30

Anamnesis, or The Psychoanalysis of God
by Ken Wilber
from One Taste
Tuesday, July 1



Push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . .
push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . .
push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . .
push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . .
push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . .
push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . .
push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . . push pull crash . . .



Yearning, yearning.
Hunger, thirst, hunger here.
Swallowing, to swallow.
Must have, must have, must have.
Move toward, run away.
Fear, fear, fear, here.
Anger, rage, explode, swallow, grasping hard, terror.



I see, hear, feel.  I am not alone. There are others here, of my blood, and we are one, against the others.

Nature sleeps with us, and rises with us, and we are sometimes bright, sometimes frightened, by this power over us.  Our strong desire is not strong enough, many times.  Earth, air, fire, water, follow no course, sometimes they help, many times they hurt.

Life is short, following the way of all blood on earth.  There are others here, some are bright, some are dark.  Those of my blood are with me.  Those who are not, are not.  Death is with us, and we put death on those who are not.

Family is of blood, and is with us.  I am four in this family.  Eighteen suns have brought me here.  Now the moon is putting death on me.  The moon, the snake, the water, they are one.

All things touch all things.  There is no separation here on earth.  To touch a thing is to be that thing; to eat a thing is to be that thing.  We do not touch that of the other, we do not eat that of the other.  Life is on this side, of our blood.  Death is on that side, of the other.  We do not touch the other, we do not eat that of the other.  Now the moon is putting death on me, because the snake, the moon, and the water are one.  When the snake bit, the moon entered me, and now death is entering me.

I have learned these things, from those who know.  My family goes on, our blood mixed with this earth.



Boy and girl together are killed, we roast them and eat them carefully, for they are of the Mother.  Blood is of the Mother, and we offer blood to Her, which comes back as our food.

I am Tiamat, of the fifth house, planter of the seeds that were brought to us by ancestors in the days before time began.  My blood is of the Mother, my bones are of the Mother, my heart beats with the time calling us to Mother.  My body mixes with earth, which is the Mother.

Few understand Mother.  She is Life, her blood makes life.  We offer her blood, the boy and girl are killed together, which we eat for the Mother, or else the seeds will not bring forth.  Each four moon season, we sacrifice for Mother, which comes back as our food.  If we do not sacrifice, we all will perish.  I, Tiamat, know this, from the ancestors who brought us the seeds, in the days before time began.



My father’s father descended from the Creator, whose abode is not here, but Heaven, and His ways we cannot know.  In our city, the priests have means to contact our Father, but my family does not understand them.  My father’s father understood the Father, for they were kin, but we have forgotten.  It does not matter, our lives are in His hands.  There are many gods and goddesses, and He is just the leader of them all, though we do not know how.

The priests tell us that there was a time that our ancestors walked with the Creator, but then something terrible happened.  We pray twice daily to be returned to before the mistake.  I pray very hard, but the last time I prayed hard, my sister died anyway.  My uncle said I must pray harder, so something must be wrong with me.

I am being trained to be a potter, because I am very good with my hands, and I see things about making.  My brother was a potter; my other brother plows.  One of my sisters died; they will not tell me what happened to my other sister.

We are fortunate, for we have a strong house.  This is because my father’s father was descended from the Creator.  Also, in the blood fight that took this city from the others, our family fought well, and so we have this house.

The day of sacrifice is the best day, because everything comes from the Creator and we must give some of it back.  My family sacrifices beautiful birds, which we raise for this.  There are dark rumors about what goes on in the Temple, but I don’t believe them.  We see the sacrifices here, with the birds.  The blood of the bird returns to the earth.  Blood is the life we are given, so we give it back.  To eat a thing is to be that thing, so after the bird is blessed by the priest, we eat it, because now it is food of the gods, and the gods are in it.  So in this way we become strong, and the elements leave us alone.  And yet, the last time I prayed for my sister, she died anyway, so there must be something wrong with me.



This world makes sense, obviously.  And I am constantly struggling with those who want to hide the light of rationality under some obscure basket of deceit.  UFOs, astrology, alchemy, astral travel, Eastern mysticism…. What a mess.

Most of these people, however well intentioned, don’t seem to realize that they are living in a relatively safe and protected world precisely because of rational science and its fruits of medicine, dentistry, physics, economic production and abundance, the extension of average life span from thirty years to seventy years.  The critics condemn that which shelters them.  I’ve been an electrical engineer for over three decades, because it works, it is verifiable, it betters human lives.  There is a real world out there, with real truth in it, and real hard work required to dig it out.  You can’t just contemplate your navel and hope to find out anything worth anything.

The fortress of science, is how I think of it.  It will stand forever, constantly updated.  That is, as long as the antirational inmates don’t take over the hospital.

Perhaps I shouldn’t get angry, but I do.  Ever since my son died last year in an automobile accident, thins have been a little rough.  But running to a pie-in-the-sky God does no good at all.  We human beings, for good or ill, are the only gods in existence, the only force of rational intention and good will.  And we will save ourselves if we can be saved at all.  The Bible is right about one thing: the truth will set you free.  And science is the only path of discovering truth.  What else could there be?

I’m not worried, anyway.  Oh, once in awhile, I can’t sleep, you know.  I lie awake and stare into the darkness, and wonder.



All things are related to all things.  When I first had that realization, perhaps when I was a young girl, maybe fourteen or so, it completely changed my life!  I would later learn names for this—holism and so on—but at the time, all I knew was that all things were realated to, connected to, all things.  Twenty years, two husbands, no kids, three jobs, and one National Book Award later, I still believe this firmly!

My book, To Re-weave the Web, is a detailed account of this holistic view, based not only on all the late-breaking scientific discoveries—and oh there are so many! from chaos theory to quantum physics to complexity theories and systems theory, my head just spins, it’s so exciting!—but we also have the holism of the indigenous peoples of the world over, who knew all this stuff way before modern science stumbled onto it.  The Great Goddess returns!  Gaia is alive!  All things are related to all things.

This is wondrous, isn’t it?  Now that science is catching up with this holistic interwoven view—why, I was writing about this years ago!—I am looked upon as something of a forerunner.  So I have become a heroine, imagine that!  I’ve been asked to be on this board and that, serve on this journal and that, go to this conference and that.  Me!  Imagine that!

Oh, I forgot.  Not just the indigenous beliefs, but Eastern mysticism, too.  All saying the same thing, about the web-of-life, all things and all things and all of that and so on.  So I don’t see why those Zen people keep annoying me and asking if I meditate.  What difference does it make?, I keep asking them.  If you believe that everything is connected to everything, what else is there?  You do it your way, which is meditation, and I do it my way, which is called holistic thinking.  They said, that was just an idea and could I show them this oneness right now?  And that made no sense to me at all.  They’re just being obnoxious, I think, like they know it all.  Imagine that!



The hike through the mountain with my fiancé was everything I wanted.  Madly in love, slightly crazed, we both were babbling fools.  More like children, but it didn’t mater.  For an hour John had dutifully carried the picnic basket on his back, kidding all the time that it was only fitting that he should carry the food of the CEO of Digital Data Corporation, and I said, No, it’s only fitting for a love slave, and that would be you.  And I wasn’t even finished with this sentence when suddenly I disappeared, and there was only the vista in front of me, and John, and this body… but no me, or no I, or… well, I’m not sure.  I was one with all of this scenery, one with the mountain, one with the sky, it was exhilarating, a little scary, but mostly completely peaceful, like coming home.  I’ve never really told anyone about it, because on Monday I was back at the office, running Digital, and who would have believed me anyway?

It never happened again.  I sometimes read about things like this, oneness and whatnot, cosmic consciousness, but none of the words sound right for what happened to me.  I hear that some people can stay in this state constantly, but I don’t see how, I really doubt it.  You’d lose all sense of orientation, I think.  Anyway, it came and went.  The more I think about it, the more I think it might have been something like a small seizure.  It didn’t seem like that at the time, but now it does.  After all, what else could it be, seriously?



It was just the other day, I can still remember it as if it’s happening right now, vivid, electric, weird.  I was sitting alone, at home, and it’s late, around midnight maybe.  I have the distinct feeling that somebody or something is in the house—you know that feeling?  Well at first it really scared me, I was really scared.  I finally got up the nerve to go through the house, checked it really well.  I sit back down and it happens.

This really intense fireball, I don’t know what else to call it, simply materialized right there in front of me, right there in the living room.  I know this sounds crazy, but this has never happened to me before, I don’t see things, you know?  But it wasn’t just an electrical thing.  I know this sounds crazy, but it was alive.  Well, I’ll just say it: it was Love.  It was a living fire of Love and Light.  I know this as sure as I’m sitting here.  It sort of moved from in front of me to on top of my head, then back in front of me, then on top of my head.  When it sits on top of my head my whole spine begins to vibrate, and shooting currents run up it, right to the top.  Pretty crazy, huh?  And then as soon as I knew that this was Love, it just disappeared, just like that.  It just went away, but it scared the daylights out of me.  But then it didn’t, I mean it didn’t scare me.  It made me feel completely safe, I’ve never really felt like that.

I’ve heard about, you know, that light at the end of the tunnel?  Except I wasn’t dead.  But I know what I know, and I know that Love is somewhere out there.  My entire body feels different somehow.  My spine hurts, like somebody plugged it into the wall socket, I don’t know exactly.  But the truth is out there.  I know that.  Oh, and I know I’ve started praying, just to say thanks.



Nature retreats before its God, Light finds its own Abode.  That’s all I keep thinking as I enter into this extraordinary vastness.  I am going in and up, in and up, in and up, and I have ceased to have any bodily feelings at all.  In fact, I don’t even know where my body is, or if I even have one.  I know only shimmering sheaths of luminous bliss, each giving way to the next, each softer and yet stronger, brighter and yet fainter, more intense yet harder to see.

Above all, I am Full.  I am full to infinity, in this ocean of light.  I am full to infinity, in this ocean of bliss.  I am full to infinity, in this ocean of love.  I cannot conceive of wanting something, desiring something, grasping after anything.  I can contain no more than is already here, full to infinity.  I am beyond myself, beyond this world, beyond pain and suffering and self and same, and I know this is the home of God, and I know that I am in God’s presence.  I am one with Presence, it is obvious.  I am one with God, it is certain.  I am one with Spirit, it is given.  I shall never want again, for Grace abounds, here in the luminous mist of infinity.

Around the edges of this love-bliss there are tender tears, the faint reminders that I have so wanted this, so longed for this, so desperately yearned for this—to be saturated to the ends of the universe, to be full and free and final.  All the years, all the lifetimes, searching for only this, searching and suffering and screaming for only this.  And so the tender tears stand at the edge of my infinity, reminding me.

Out of this Light and Love, all things issue forth, of this I am now certain, for this I have seen with the eye of my own true soul.  Into this Light and Love, all things will return, of this I am now certain, for this I have seen with the eye of my own true soul.  And I have returned with a message: Peace be unto you, my human brothers and sisters; and peace be unto you, my animal brothers and sisters; and peace be unto you, my inanimate brothers and sisters—for all is well, and all is well, and all manner of things shall be well.  We are all of the same Light and Love, of this I am now certain, for this I have seen with the eye of my own true soul.



Exactly how long I was Light, I cannot say.  How long Form existed, I cannot say.  How long I have been neither, I cannot say.

On the other side of Light, the Abyss.  On the other side of Love, the Abyss.  How long, I cannot say.

I once was a rock, I remember that, and push pull crash, I remember that.  I roamed the universe of myself in slumbering abandon, and truth be told, it was humorous, always.

I once was a plant, then an animal, and thirst and hunger, I remember that.  I ran toward, and ran away from, the forms of my own lust.  I wandered driven, starving, dying.  But truth be told, it was humorous, always.

I once awoke as human beings, and entered into the school of my own becoming.  I first worshipped myself in the form of my other, I worshipped my slumbering self.  I moved toward my own skin, dear nature, and I approached me now with wonder, now with terror, and did unending trembling and ritual pleading to deal with the terror I induced by my own sleep.  But truth be told, it was humorous, always.

I once awoke as human beings in search of me as heavenly other, in my own form as misty mythic mystery, still asleep, but barely.  I sacrificed aspects of my still slumbering self in order to appease the terror that my own twilight still evoked.  But to awaken all at once, you see, would have ended the game right there.  And truth be told, it was humorous, always, even as I cut into myself.

I soon awoke as human beings who, in striving to be a light unto themselves, were dimly on the trail of the Light that I am, even in my otherness.  In one great move I stopped looking for me out there.  In one great move, I awoke to the consciousness of light.  In one great move, I turned within, or began to, and I could sense that this game was getting old, because I was now on the trail of I.  Truth be told, it was humorous, even as it was starting to end.

And then one day, sitting alone as my otherness, I saw myself as a ball of Light and Love, and new the Great Awakening was upon me.

In the next move in the school of myself, I entered into Me, as that Love and Light itself, and I was with I to infinity.  And this I recognized altogether, in a whisper of a breath that embraced all space, and a flash of Light that contained all time.

And then, the Abyss beyond all beyonds.  Some would call it radical Freedom, infinite Release, ultimate Liberation, the great Redemption, boundless Being.  I wouldn’t know, for there is no I to know, in any form, sacred or profane, and so there is only this radical Formlessness, which remains its own remark.  It is not bliss, it is not God, it is not love.  It is not holistic, it is not Goddess, it is not interwoven anything.  It is not infinite, it is not eternal, it is not any conception or object or state whatsoever.  I-I am not light, am not love, am not spirit, am not bliss.  I-I am not bound, am not free, am not ignorant, am not liberated.

But this much be said: where there is not this Emptiness, there is only suffering.

All this I remember, in the school of myself.  All this I have seen, in the history of my own discovery.  All this I sing of now, to the audience of myself.  All this I promise to others, who are the forms of my own slumbering.  All this others will also see, as they awaken from their otherness and return their slumbering selves to the Wakefulness that has always existed, undiminished and untorn, in the heart of what they are.

Exactly how long I was Light, I cannot say.  How long Form existed, I cannot say.  How long I have been neither, I cannot say.

On the other side of Light, the Abyss.  On the other side of Love, the Abyss.  How long, I cannot say.

But I know I will empty even this emptiness, and therefore create a Kosmos, and therefore incarnate as the world of Form, and enter with Wakefulness the children of my own Awareness.



Around the sea of Emptiness, a faint edge of bliss.
From the sea of Emptiness, a flicker of compassion.
Subtle illuminations fill the space of awareness,
As radiant forms coalesce in consciousness.
A world is taking shape,
A universe is being born.
I-I breathe out the subtlest patterns,
Which crystallize into the densest forms,
With physical colors, things, objects, processes,
That rush upon awareness in the darkness of its night,
To arise as glorious sun, radiant reminder of its source,
And slumbering earth, abode of the offspring of Spirit.



The phone rings and I run to pick it up.  “Yes?”

“Hi, it’s Marci.”

“Hi sweetie.  What’s up?”

“I think we should go on a vacation, spur of the moment.  Just do it.”

“Um, well, I’ve got all this work, you know, it’s sorta…”

“Come on, it won’t kill you to take a few days off.”

“Okay, okay.  We’ve never been to South Beach, and we wanted to give it a try, so we might as well do it now, yes?”


Two weeks later, here we are, in South Beach, Miami, of all places.  And resting in the ocean, dipped into the sea, I find glimmers of One Taste everywhere.

Emptiness, clarity, and care, are the names of this present moment, exactly as it is arising, now and now and now.  The bodies of Buddha, the hands of Christ, the faces of Krishna, the breasts of the Goddess, the aspects of this very moment.  I know that all of that is somehow tied to a pledge that I have made, deep in the heart of my very soul, how or where or when exactly, does not really matter.  It is just that, for those who remember the course of their own consciousness—from mineral to plant to animal, from magic to mythic to mental to supramental, from body to ego to soul to Emptiness to radical One Taste—there is an extra duty asked of them, and that is to communicate what they have seen, and what they have remembered, and what they have found—what each I has found in the school of I as it returns to itself, shining and free, empty and bright, called and caring, just so, and again, just so.

And truth be told, it was humorous, always.



Marci is swimming. I finish my Coke and my sandwich. It is noon. The sky is clear, the ocean is blue, the waves surge freely on the beach, wetting the soft white sand.


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