“We are equal beings, and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity, each one is alive, each determines the course of it’s own existence.”
These are the basics of Thaddeus Golas’ cosmology. We can see this behavior in atoms and cells as they come in and out of participation with other entities. Golas does not presume to define the limits of the “one kind of entity.” At the dawn of atomic physics, science decided to call these things atoms, which is a greek word for indivisible. But we later found that they are divisible, although the process may yield a violent explosion. In Golas’ cosmology these entities are alive and self-determining, and may exhibit different behaviors depending on there chosen ratio of mass to space. Think of the 1’s and 0’s that construct the code of digital computing. This oscillation between space and mass is energy and determines an entity’s frequency or energy level. Based on the chosen frequency, these entities “behave in agreement” with one another. They collude, in manner of speaking. It is this collusion that makes aluminium appear as it does to us. This agreement he equates with love, and disagreement in behavior is pain. Pain is only available as an experience in an energy state. It is from these set of assumptions that Golas elucidated his philosophy.
It is not an entirely unique cosmology, although it is stripped of mythological language. Gnostics, yogis, mystics and occultists of many traditions considered us to be living in a false reality, either at the whim of a mad demiurge, or at least in the prison of ignorance and self-delusion. And though I feel certain Golas would not claim it, there is even the nuts and bolts of a trinity, and similarities to the Sacred Science as expounded by both H.P. Blavatsky and Swami Sri Yukteswar. Although, Golas’ is somewhat easier to digest.
The above quote came from his classic, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment, which he wrote as a guide to help folks draw lasting value from the unexplainable experiences they were having with LSD. Unexpected to him it became popular with those who weren’t in the psychedelic crowd and is recognized as a spiritual classic.
As the first modern psychedelic era gave way to the late 70’s, the fallout produced a proliferation of new-age brands of self-improvement, many of which could legitimately be considered a flowery redress of the snake oil salesman. One thing psychedelics do well, is act as a deconditioning agent, which is important. But once one is thoroughly deconditioned, if they do not have the capacity for critical thought, they are perfectly ready to be reconditioned by whatever ideologies are looking for a sponge. It is the same principal used in electro-shock therapy.
I imagine Golas being disappointed by the overall mediocrity of the discourse, having seen the high-water mark. Golas particularly singles out the concept of spiritual materialism, or the idea that if you broadcast positivity, favorable life circumstances will develop. He did not believe that this worked, probably because it didn’t work for him. And when it doesn’t work, its proponents say it is because you aren’t trying hard enough, which is like saying, “you’re failing at being positive.” This is alienating. Not only did Golas believe that positive thinking didn’t work, he believed that, in an inverse way, the suppression of negative thoughts may cause them to manifest in unfavorable ways. I would claim that this distaste for the trend toward spiritual consumerism, in part, lead him to author Love and Pain, which was unpublished in his lifetime.
He considered this book to update and complete The Guide, thus removing a lot ambiguity about whether his work may be interpreted by the easy statement, “the world is what you make of it.” While many who love the Guide cannot take Love and Pain, it is not a departure from but a natural outgrowth of his basic philosophy as expounded in the opening paragraphs to The Guide. The reality of pain, while in the transitory energy state, is real enough when it is you who feels the pain, whether focusing on the positive or not. The empowering aspect of this philosophy is that we exist among our equals, the false is constructed from the real, and that we are self-determining beings whose life on earth, as we know it, is contingent on uncountable self-determining beings. Knowing this doesn’t cause one to dissolve immediately into space, rather, as Golas experienced, you stick around, you get older, you feel pain in the body, loved ones pass, society gets more ridiculous, and hopefully you experience a good share of love, as well. It’s life and it’s a boundless, bewildering, and beautiful mystery.