It is hard enough to communicate the meaning of DEMOCRACY so that it corresponds with every other interpretation of this word. This is a fact of our experience… a tree in 3-D is nowhere near the acoustic sound of TREE. We are stuck in a doughy mix of semantic proportions. In this mix we make cultural contracts that elicit the most functional outcomes. The Australian Aborigine who can name fourteen different types of sand to which the European can only utter one word – SAND has made a cultural contract that produces outcomes that guarantee the survival of the contractees. The most functional outcomes are those that guarantee survival.
We use that word survival as if we knew exactly what or who survives.
We all know that none of us is going to survive in our mortal bodies forever. We know this as a given fact just as we know that we are breathing this very instant. This kind of knowledge is not taught at universities – it is knowledge that is innate. The cultural constructs that allow communication in this particular time-space field are learnt. Is there a repository of innate knowledge that we can access that not only tells me what I am but also why I am? Who am I? is the question that propels this communication.
If it is the word – world that impinges on the experience of the wordless world then how do we contact it? The wordless world is probably our best guess as to where the repository of innate knowledge resides. This world is even closer to us than the associations that are streaming by your mind right now. These mental associations are the bricks and morter, the barbed wire across the threshold that hinder the exploration
We begin within a world that has never begun – it always was and always is and always will be. The word “always’ obliterates time. This world we begin with embraces time like it was the pearl in the oyster shell. It only appears to begin with the advent of brain static. From one point of view this world of no beginning permeates the spaces between neutrinos and quarks. From another point of view this world of no beginning holds clusters of galaxies, even clusters of universes within its ambit.
So, paradoxically we find that we are within this world-of-no beginning and that this same world is within us. It is as if our biological existence is an ephemeral chain of DNA that shimmers in and between two poles of Power. My bones are permeated with immortal matter; so are yours and hers and his. Slice a thread of hair and you’ll find that immortal matter locked in between the neutrino and the quark of the cells that allow you to see in your physiological eye.
This world because it is so intangible,so unknowable with brain static we will call the Mind World. Our only access to this world is our own selves. Don’t view this as psychology… try to see it as an aspect of mining. We somehow have to learn how to dig deep enough so as to begin mining immortal matter. In a sense we are the alchemist miners digging holes into our selves.
While we dig ourselves we are also digging the world of the senses. The way in is also the way out and both in and out are mined through as one strata of experience. Once we have arrived at the cavern we notice that we are apparently alone… terribly alone. The cavern of the Heart is where we truly begin to mine for immortal matter. Up until the discovery of this geography of our nature we were merely digging. As we pick up a nugget of immortality we notice that the cavern of the Heart is actually a gigantic cathedral that envelopes All Souls. Indeed, our aloneness was merely an illusion of a static filled brain. We are not alone – at heart we are ONE.
I’ve just been tussling with the soul / no-soul question at a Zen retreat. I guess I come down on the side of no soul, but that’s only at the intellectual level. I spent 5 days looking into the void for about 8 hours a day. Every day we recited the Heart Sutra (“… form is emptiness / emptiness is form …”). I can’t say I’ve made great progress but teacher is quite pleased with how I’m going.
How are you going?
It’s a big one this whole issue of whether we have a soul or not. I’m inclined towards the Gurdjieff idea that we all have souls in embryo. This means that not everyone actualises the full growth and maturity of a soul. This also flies in the face of Christian thought that we all have one “mature” soul.
If the Gurdjieff idea is true then how do we grow a soul?
I think that the whole area of spiritual discipline, non attachment, the concrete and experiential realisation that “form is emptiness / emptiness is form”, non expression of negative emotions, external considering and not internal considering, self remembering, prayer, presence, karma yoga … all of these and more are all dedicated to growing a soul.
How am I going? Like you and everyone else on the planet I suppose – up and down. I have been walking about 7 kilometers every day and have tried to do it as a walking meditation. I recite inwardly the prayer I grew up with as a child going to Greek Orthodox Church – in Greek: Holy God, Holy the Firm, Holy Immortal have Mercy on us. At certain points in my walk, I stop and say the Lord’s Prayer in Greek. As I enter these spaces – of – remembrence I try to visualise the Kabbalistic Tree of Life as extending from Above ( Our Father who art in Heaven) to Below (Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven) and my breath becomes the “bellows”, the source of “our daily bread” ( the Greek is – ton arton imon omousion) which translated literally is “our trans substantial bread”. The bread is not only sourced in the breath but also from ALL sensation of the body. Indeed, when I breathe out I visualise the “energy – bread” going deeper into my physical being.
What’s strange Colin is that when I write these things it all sounds much more complicated than it is. In short, I try to remember myself and the above “tools” may help.
Thanks for the comment. May all your endeavours to connect and understand the Heart Sutra come to fruition.
Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
I have saved as a favorite for later!