Before I start tugging on some rather complex philosophic, cosmologic, mythologic episteme—not to mention unraveling some uncommon metamorphic, metaphoric, metaphysic mystery… I’ll first quote a great modern master of language and thinking. In a few lines he sums up Man’s Eternal Quest quite succinctly:
When beetles fight these battles in a bottle with their paddles, and the bottle’s on a poodle and the poodle’s eating noodles… they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle. ― Dr. Seuss, Fox in Socks
Endless war in the middle east, jousting dictator-driven superpowers, illness epidemics, economic gloom, environmental doom, corporate greed, crises in education, politics, identity, immigration, injustice and need… they call this a muddle puddle tweetle poodle beetle noodle bottle paddle battle.
Now lets take a closer look at some of the rather cryptic prophecy embedded within this Seussian enigma-paradigm. Chief of which, I suspect, concerns the poodle.
Yes, the poodle is that archetypal everyman, the situational motif we can all relate to. Who hasn’t felt the inner strife of battling beetles, all whilst trying to have a little peace and quiet, a little time alone simply to eat one’s noodles.
There’s an inner tension in us all, in fact, though many dare not admit its true import. Metaphorically, it fuels all human endeavoring.
Outwardly, it drives authority and ambition. Inwardly, it is our spiritual striving. As children it hopes and dreams in us. As youth it helps us fall in love, perhaps even to marry and start a family. In adulthood it judges us, causing us to align purpose and meaning with our decisions. In middle age, and into our twilight years, it teaches us to expand life beyond its goods and bads, perhaps finding wisdom, some peace, and maybe even happiness.
But what is it that drives at this poodle, during all her stages in life: to seek, to achieve, to hope and dream, to want and desire and need? Is there not an underlying impulse, inherent within all life, that inspires the creatures it inhabits to become more?
Both science and religion might agree, if they could but for a moment, we are here talking about a transcendental evolutionary drive. Thusly do we often mythologize this poodle power in terms that help us understand it more readily.
We explore this myth in many forms. In religion we talk about the primeval man: Prometheus, Heimdall, the Purusha of the Vedas or the Adam Kadmon of the Kabbalah. In psychology we allude to its existence when we speak a transcendental wholeness: self-actualization, self-realization, or psychosynthesis. In esoteric traditions we identify with mystical freedom: of heaven, of the soul, of moksha, samadhi, satori, or enlightenment.
But let us suppose you are already something of a poodle-expert, since you are reading this blog, and you are able and ready for new and greater understanding, for the latest and greatest in poodle-related discoveries.
Indeed, many of us today have a rather solid definition of “enlightenment”: the climactic evolution of the individual, leading to some peak state, experience, way of being, or decisive victory in the quest to feel free, unfettered, utterly and authentically empowered (my own).
Verily, I say to you my fellow poodles, that there is something missing in our definitions of evolution and enlightenment that we must not miss!
Let us take the notion of the Big Bang: all there is, was, or will be emerging from singularity (both a “thing” and a “being”). Is our goal then, as sentient beings, to continue to break, separate, fracture, fragment, explode ? Our perhaps, to complete the circuit, we must instead incrementally work our way back to the Big Bang Thing-State…
In many cosmologies, there is a “myth of the broken mirror.” We see this in the dismemberment of the primeval man of the Purusha, the emanation (“fall”) of the Adam Kadmon, and all the stories, tales, and adventures involving a Holy Quest—to regain what has been lost, to remember what has been forgotten, to realize some grand intangible potential, perhaps lying just around the next bend.
In Raja Yoga, as in many emergent and emerging (though anciently rooted) holistic paradigms, this “Holy Quest” happens in many ways, and all at once. Gyana yoga is the questing of thought, Bhatki yoga is the question of emotion, Karma yoga is the questing of action, Hatha yoga is the body’s energy questing, and within many other yogas—kriya, laya, mantra, etc.—that work directly with energy and consciousness, there is a quest to catalyze, integrate, and synthesize all our never-wasted-efforts.
Here is the next piece of the puzzle however, something I’d like to call Meta Yoga, mostly because it sounds cool and I’m a comic book nerd. But let’s make it sound more official in order to pretend that Meta Yoga is a thing (and a state). Let’s pretend that this is an integral growth model, that collective humanity is merely one great Meta-Self, and that the body of that Self is distributed across an evolutionary spiral (a toroidal spiral, if we’re being technical).
That’s right, all people are one people, but, like, literally. Think of that picture of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, only without the angsty, totalitarian doom. All people on Earth (and really, if we’re being precise, we must include all sentient life—animals, plants, forces and qualities of nature) constitute an evolving Meta-Spiral-Self.
The myths, religions, role models, and teachings about gods and goddesses, saviors and prophets, enlightened sages and saints and rishis and munis and magi and philosopher-kings… they are all metaphors for something much larger than we may have initially suspected!
Imagine what Earth might look like, if we were to see all living forms evolved sufficiently to constitute individual diversity and an interconnected whole, unequivocally and permanently. Yes, that’s right, the Meta Poodle: a collective super-union of consciousness, a cosmic-complete human archetype, a meta-soul that encompasses all highest possible individual soul potentials.
Practically speaking, we are talking about community. And this is why small communities are humankind’s greatest hope and most powerful weapon against ignorance and dissonance.
Community is power. Even very small communities have exaggerated influence on the surrounding population, not to mention world events and global leaders. A spiritual community can be as small as three people! Three people, evolving as one, focused on positive, creative, influential acts can create a disproportionate influence on the whole of humanity. This is Meta-Yoga in action.
About that: our meta-self (humanity) is currently making a monumental decision. Perhaps the decision is what to do about the Big Bang—to decide to return to a state of singularity, or to continue onward in another great explosion of heat, fire, and electricity.
Make your vote count in the upcoming collective meta-election… join a community, start a community, uplift and expand community everywhere. Only then will the inner beetles set their paddles down, free at last to leave their bottles, ending the muddle once and for all, and poodles everywhere will at last be able to eat their precious noodles…
Here’s Seuss again, from On Beyond Zebra, for our very important, nonsensical conclusion:
Said Conrad Cornelius O’Donnell O’Dell, my very young friend who was learning to spell, “The A is for Ape, the B is for Bear, the C is for Camel, the H is for Hair, the M is for Mouse, the R is for Rat … I know all twenty-six letters like that. Through to Z is for Zebra, I know them all well,” said Conrad Cornelius O’Donnell O’Dell. “Now I know everything anyone knows from beginning to end, from the start to the close, because Z is as far as the alphabet goes.”
Then he almost fell flat on his face on the floor when I picked up the chalk and drew one letter more. A letter he had never dreamed of before. And I said, “You can stop if you want with the Z, and most people stop with the Z, but not me. In the places I go, there are things that I see that I never could spell if I stopped with a Z.
“I’m telling you this ’cause you’re one of my friends, my alphabet starts where your alphabet ends. My alphabet starts with this letter called yezz, it’s the letter I use to spell yezzametezz. You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found, once you go beyond Z and start poking around. So on beyond zebra explore like Columbus, discover new letters like wum, which is for wumbus, my high-spouting whale who lives high on a hill and who never comes down till it’s time to refill. So on beyond Z, it’s high time you were shown that you really don’t know all there is to be known…”