Updated: Feb 4, 2022
~Two in the morning
The Fatalistic Force
~an essay on Nature and Supernature~
For many years, I have considered myself a rational person, devoid of religious faith and pseudoscientific yearning.
While retaining a healthy scientific stance opposed to outright charlatanic danger, my attitude seems to have been shifting. Rather, I personally believe my scientific fervor is growing in relation to a growing interest in what is often considered non-scientific.
Particularly in my accrued fascination with topics of mystical esotericism such as Kabbalah and Gnosticism, I now believe, as so many others have for decades, that rather than being separated in strict opposition, a reconciliation of science and spirituality is necessary for the well-being of all life.
Before proceeding, I must recommend the reading of the book The Way of Splendor - Jewish Mysticism and Modern Psychology by Edward Hoffman. I am mere pages away from completion, and it has been the most fascinating and enlightening read I’ve performed in years, and has strongly influenced the content of this writing.
I grew up in a broader family of Catholicism, although my own household was never very devote by any means. We only ever really attended church on occasional holidays and certain times to appease my sweet grandmother, and religion was scarcely a topic of discussion at home.
By freshman year, my brother and I both openly considered ourselves atheists. While my parents, particularly my dad, were somewhat surprised and confused at first, neither were angry or discouraging. My mom is now an outspoken atheist, and while I’m not certain, I believe my dad to be as well.
I would go on to found and preside over a school club I called Earth+ (‘Earth Plus’), a secular humanist group loosely affiliated with the Secular Student Alliance. The group had a core few members, but we never did much more than occasionally meet and discuss concepts, spend several meetings planning, designing, and distributing posters, and going on stretches of hiatus.
I blame this lack of activity almost entirely on my own shortcomings in organization and leadership skills. I wish I’d been able to effectively inspire and communicate to more students.
I express this with no ill meaning in regards to others, but it is undeniable I am more passionate in interests that are broader and more academic than most of my peers. This is by no means a bad thing- every student is very busy and invested in their own interests. Nonetheless, I was frequently called an ‘old soul’ by teachers on account of my interests and thoughts.
In those earlier years, I was much edgier in my hostility against all facets of religion and pseudoscience than I am now. While I still don’t believe in any sort of god, and despise greatly the harmful dangers of religious institutions, I have grown to greatly admire mythology and spirituality. I think mythology is a wonderful look into culture and a phenomenal inspiration to creativity, especially with the stories I hope to write.
As far as spirituality goes, I think it is crucial to the health and clarity of an individual, and society as a whole. I see it as one’s awe and fascination with forces in life beyond the mundane. For many, this is tied inextricably to religion. For me, it is a profound curiosity about nature and the wonders of All That IS (my term for everything that ever was, is, and will be), particularly in relation to bettering the conditions of all living beings.
In my pursuit of greater depth in spirituality, I have long been interested in the mythological and symbolic features of Christianity. Perhaps to an even greater extent, I became fascinated by Asian religions and philosophies such as Taoism and Buddhism. More recently, I have become enamored by mysticism and esotericism, and what could be considered ‘the occult.’ All of this interest is built atop a personal worldview of absurdist existentialism.
I will here note something important, that being- while I’m interested in many things and have become familiar with various fields and concepts, I am by no means scholarly with any of them. Any knowledge currently accounts to little more than trivial interest, as much as I wish for that to change.
Now, I will bring up a topic of great contention- astrology. For most of my life that I’ve been in any way familiar with its ideas, I have been critical and skeptical. My boyfriend, who I love and respect greatly, is a strong and vocal advocate. Even up to a day or two ago, I’d entertain his discussion of it, as I’ve always found it at least interesting, but ultimately remain unconvinced. For any very science-minded readers- please bear with me. I don’t believe it as it is now, but there is nuance I will delve into.
Tonight, while reading Edward Hoffman’s The Way of Splendor, something changed in me. In his great book, Hoffman, a psychologist clinician and professor by trade, explores the relationship between Kabbalah, the major field of Jewish mysticism, with modern psychology and science more broadly.
In a section entitled Towards a Kabbalistic Psychology, Hoffman considers a harmful tendency among science as a whole to regard areas of research within far too narrow boundaries, inconsiderate of other areas of knowledge that could aid greatly.
Within the first paragraph on page 209, Hoffman writes,
“For instance, at this very moment-if you inhabit a large city-you are being bombarded by low-level microwaves. What is their impact on your emotional and physical well-being? No one knows.”
This in particular got my mind racing. Soon after, I got out of bed and retrieved some pens and a notebook, knowing I had to write my thoughts down to have any chance of sleeping tonight.
Recently, I have been growing to believe that many concepts in mythology and religion are equivalent to discoveries in science that have been and will likely be made. I think many people of ages long past were familiar with various aspects of nature that science has rationalized, but had no choice but to apply those perfectly natural phenomena into their particular view of existence. Only recently have we had the ability to realize the parallels.
There are some theories I have that I recognize to be little more than creative ideas as of yet, but think should be seriously explored. Now, I will explain one such theory.
My understanding is that every single ‘thing’ in existence, down to an atomic and perhaps even quantum level, exerts the force of gravity on everything else in existence. The greater the mass of a collection of atoms, the stronger an exertion of gravity is produced. To us, very small things appear to have no pull at all.
This force is what aligns the planets in their relation to the Sun, as well as each other. The Sun has the greatest gravitational impact on Earth, but Jupiter also plays a major role in our position, and especially in protecting us from other cosmic objects.
Beyond our own Solar System, this binds everything else in the Universe within certain parameters of potential placement, as a result of the placement of everything else, from the smallest scales to the greatest.
Thus, the question is begged- does this mean every single moment of time is effectively predetermined by every moment before it, since the very beginning of All That IS? Since everything is intertwined in such a way, is there not only one series of circumstances everything could ever be acted upon?
What if gravity and other forces such as vibration and microwaves exert a more subtle effect on things that science has yet to understand? If such force can shape a galaxy, how could it not have unknown effects on smaller things? If the placement of the stars and other celestial bodies is predetermined, could the cycles of placement affect the human brain in ways that have been interpreted into astrology?
Even further- does that question even matter if everything is going to happen as it will inevitably? That could apply further to every single action and reaction in existence.
I think an apt name for this concept is the fatalistic force. In as much as this could be the case, it does not mean nothing matters, or that people should become completely apathetic towards the consequences of their actions. Rather, the opposite is true. Even if consequence and our very own lives are an illusion, we must remain motivated and devoted to doing things right, for that is the manner in which the fatalistic force has to play out in our perception.
By any means, this concept would not be absolute. Due to the unknown nature of the spontaneous appearance and decay of elementary particles in the quantum realm, there will always be opportunity for spontaneous deviation. But, in the grand scheme of that which is big and major, the force could still hold true.