‘I will only admit the Infinite when it shall have been explained, determined, circumscribed, and defined for my benefit; in one word, when it has become finite. I will then believe in the Infinite when I am sure that the Infinite does not exist. I will believe in the vastness of the ocean when I shall have seen it put into bottles.’ (Eliphas Levi, as quoted by S. L. MacGregor Mathers in The Kabbalah Unvelied)
The continuum of experience is a perfect circle. To make a graph of the various views of the universe, place your pencil on paper. Here is the mind of a new-born baby, lacking discernment, skepticism, and even language. Moving in a clockwise direction, begin drawing your circle. As your pencil moves you chart the progress of the baby’s mind.
At about a quarter of the way you reach that childish stage most people never leave: educated enough to know better, but still clinging to some kind of vague superstition that there must be something more to existence than the humdrum and everyday reality assailing all of us on every side. Continue to draw your circle. Watch as the mind becomes filled with language and knowledge, becoming ever more skeptical and exposed to the ways of the world. When your circle is half done, when you’ve reached the opposite, most-distant point from where you started your drawing, you have found the point where the most cynical of skeptics resides. These are the ones Levi speaks of in the quote above.
But as you resume your drawing, you chart the progress of those rare persons who dare to go further. Some use science to move forward — theoretical physics, cosmology, deep ecology, etc. Others employ art, religion, mysticism, psychedelics, meditation, and so on. As your pencil moves onward, you will plot the progress of Sagan, Einstein, Jensen, Campbell, Spare, Jung, Ginsberg, Fortune, and so on. Finally your pencil reaches the beginning and your circle is complete.
Using whatever methods you prefer, I encourage you to dare to go beyond the half-way point. Brave the quest for infinity.
You can, if you desire, reach the end — the place where newborn babes, mystics, prophets and physicists join hands — which is also where you began.
With a mystic’s open mind, you can experience the ultimate reality.