Electra your writing is very impressive. I don't know if I can measure up, but I would like to try and make some response here as these topics are very juicy indeed.
It has been said by Leibniz that the smallest particles of being are 'monads'. Leibniz's monads posess awareness. And the human psyche, or soul itself he says are composed of these fine and changeable monads, as is ultimately the natural world around us (matter).
(I have speculated that the universe is eternal, that the atoms and particles of matter were also once people, just as we ourselves were once tables and chairs and particles of matter. man may be reincarnated as a physical object.)
I think there is a potential symbiosis, or potential 'sets of equalities' between the being of the Universe and the inner being of the mind which is to be found in experience. And that this 'equality' between the monads within the soul and the monads found outside in the material world of representation accounts for metaphysical "experiences". Emerson calls the recognition of this phenomenon of the interaction between inner-psyche and the natural world - the 'oversoul'.
Generally speaking, there is a Cartesian gap between body (science) and mind (soul), into which the definition of life has fallen. It seems to me that one has to look to speculative philosophy to fill this gap between the hard sciences (with their strict demands of empirical verification) and the more personal experiences of the psyche.
Among the medieval scholastic philosophers, prior to the advent of scientific studies, metaphysics, or first philosophy, was known as the "transphysical science" on the assumption that, by means of it, the scholar could philosophically make the transition from the physical world to a world beyond sense perception.
I believe that through a causal study of the sensible things (in which I am aided by the sciences) I can reach a cognition of the gods (or a unity of my mind with the many minds of the gods - for I believe an intelligent, metaphysical 'field of multiplicy' is at the heart of nature - and the attempt to duplicate that 'field of the gods' with the help of science in my life is the way I strive for this union). And that the achievement of this is the purpose of metaphysics, or first philosophy.
As I said before, I believe that if we focus intensively upon one thought or one concentrated chain of thoughts, then it should be shown to us that our thinking can have a bearing upon the outside world of nature.
I hope we do not have a communication gap, in that I am only able to speak about these types of topics from a subjective (ha!) experience.
Finding much of what you say to be true, I reflect back on all the sacred texts and other writings and methods that I have studied with the purpose or desire "to become free".
At the time, I did not know what this meant in terms of experience, emotions, thoughts or the outcome of manifestation of gross material or subtle energetic reality/realities.
What I simply felt was for some reason I was not free. I had an all-encompassing sensation of oppression. It was not even clear from where this oppression was originating. But the thought that I was not free and the idea that I could in some fashion become liberated, began to consume my thoughts, intentions, and activities. There was also a much more grand and noble idea that if I could find this passage to freedom, it could be shared with my fellow man and lead to an active participation on my part, to eliminate suffering for all I came across!
There were several years spent with sacred texts that indicated passage from the world of suffering, darkness, this "oppression" (for lack of a better word), to a place where one became enlightened, in rapture and ecstacy, joyous, happy, AT PEACE.
Most of these texts made it seem as if it would be almost impossible to achieve this desired goal. That it would take a very very special and disciplined person, willing to walk through the fires of hell (so to speak), fight demons and shadows, the death of the self, ego, I....an unflinching attitude to experience more suffering than it seemed a "regual person" was going through in their "mundane" life!
So having these tendencies to "see what happens" and a real go getter attitude, I began this investigation into this idea, not really knowing for certain if it was true or even possible.
Having tried all these various methods, initiatory paths, elimination of desires (through fairly ascetic means), meditation, "brain" and consciousness exercises, etc ad infinitum...the desired goal was not achieved. However, there was a certain kind of conditioning that did transpire that perhaps "prepared the soil" or insert your favorite metaphor here.
Now this is where I am getting back around to a point that bolded in your previous post. You are encouraging a "casual" investigation. I think meaning if one would just have these idea of searching for the subtle with an engagement in nature, one would eventually find it.
So this is where I share the next part of my personal journey.
After the period of all this "spiritual work and discipline", there was a point where due a huge loss, I was faced with a real ultimatum to get out and DO something, or lay there and die from grief.
This is where it gets good (for me at least ; ).
"I took a walk in the woods".
With My Great Unhappiness in hand, I began these hikes in nature, taking photographs along the way. Quickly, it became apparent that this natural connection was what was lacking in my life. Natural systems, wildlife, habitat, etc was a previously unknown world that illustrated through its very workings, how to heal, move, and perceive without words (ha ha), how to see with my heart, where to "find God" and eventually led to the AHA moment of realizing the freedom from the previously perceived perception of oppression.
This goes back to another post in which you indicated a meditative approach on form and its amazing potential to release a person into process of ascension.
To comment on your ideas about the Oversoul and Monads, this natural experience did lead me to have the Oneness experience, and even the loss of self, and the idea that I do not exist at all. Well, not in the way I had previously known myself to be.
If all form is based upon these 'smallest particals of being' I think at some point I stood in that sea and said oh, I have become paradox.
Now I am going to attempt to bring this whole post home to one of your ideas as to whether the planet is a living thing.
In all this working and searching, it was clear to me that this journey of awakening could not be to service the illusory Self. If this work was going to be accomplished, it would have to be given back to something other than an idea of "personal salvation". I get these ideas from a subtle Judeo-Christian upbringing that says we die on the cross for the suffering of sins, kinda thing. Take that metaphor very lightly but deeply...
If it is true that one can realize this oneness of all things through a simple experience with nature, simplicity and silence, I think a component of that realization is about the ability for a certain kind of magick, a creative potential that is somehow able to "change the way things are" in this world.
This is the part of my journey where I am. If I were a "magician" say, I have understood many of the innerworkings of unseen realities, but have not found the formula for executing change in my surrounding environment.
There is also a degree of uncertainty in what manner this is to be done--or IF it is to be done at all. For in complete oneness, should there be complete peace with things just as they are? Should one go about trying to save the world from itself?
If the planet is indeed a living being, and we are inexhorably part of that living being -- the nature of our relationship indicates what appears to be a huge responsibility!
It could very well be that in this area I am still confused. Perhaps it is a delusion to participate in the changing of this world. Perhaps it is good enough to continue the work of simply moving with natural systems and "being a still light of peace". This morning, I do not know.
Maybe even the whole point is to exit from this womb planet...
Because of my "profession", it is part of my daily activities to read scientific assessments on many global issues. From this perspective, many days the state of the world seems very grim indeed. Ecosystems are on the verge of collapse, wars go on as they always have, starvation, etc -- all the societal woes that seem silly and easily fixed with the right perspective and attitude-- simply go on as if the entire world is blind to the injustice of it all.
In these discussions I am often given the advice to "just be happy and grateful" or "do the best you can". Perhaps it is just as simple as that!
Anyway, this post is a lot of words, which I do not believe ultimately holds the highest value in this Work. But this morning it seems necessary, for I feel a special attraction to you--which I translate as your "magnetism" in which I am to learn and emanate.
So I thank you so much for hearing me out. I would like to spend some time reading the authors and ideas you cited, so that I may have a more intelligent and maybe impersonal approach to our conversations.
The idea of being a metaphysician excites me beyond words. lol