Tuesday, November 20, 2007

this node

[1] god consciousness
[2] Relational Spirituality
[3] I can play.
[4] Diet
[5] Emptiness of all views
[6] This Node
[6.5] No teleological purpose; development rooted in relational insight
[7] Other posts

So, what's been happening?

Short: a binge of reading + some insight.


Too much to write.

What's best for our body, mind?

[1] god consciousness

I don't want to let go of 'god consciousness' and related insights.

God consciousness, or looking backward all the time, came about one day in sitting, and I kept it with me through much of the following day.

It was a version of consecration. I called it in mentally with, "God are you there?" "Are you still there?"

This corresponded to a filling of attention with the full visual field--

and for some reason it felt like looking backwards. Like the eyes press to the back and see more/ see the full visual field.


This faded--I thought it might--or I could say, it led to new things.

It was a (sort of--I've removed all the "sort of"s I had in here to make this more readable) filling of attention with sense awareness--In the early version: the visual field. In later versions: fill sense-awareness with physical sensation (of touch and or movement), with sound-awareness, with smell awareness.

The original thing I called god-consciousness was very clearing, I could walk along and hold mind full, maintaining contact with this presence. [I could do it now, and am touching in with it--the quality is not as clear yet, I have not sat much since Sunday].

Another way to describe it is a shift in the way of using the mind.

It was a shift, first felt in sitting, and then carried on and practiced later.

[2] Relational Spirituality

Another development was reading Barbara Langton and John Heron. I hope to have a better guide to them (or Heron mainly) here later. For now some notes.

0113 See dyadic cookbook:

Is the relationship, as we have recently been living it in terms of its current strands, authentically spacious, liberating, fulfilling and ego-transcending -- that is, creatively and transformatively participating in the interconnected community of being?
I don't find Langton or Heron easy to read. But what they have done here was once a dream of mine. If you were with someone, an intimate partner, with whom you could engage fully and creatively, what would you do? In "Cookbook of dyadic inquiry: Recipes for transfiguring relationships", Langton and Heron are open about their conscious process.

So now, writing here is preparation for asking my friend, "Is the relationship, as we have recently been living it in terms of its current strands, authentically spacious, liberating, fulfilling and ego-transcending -- that is, creatively and transformatively participating in the interconnected community of being?"

and my 92-year old grandma, "Is the relationship, as we have recently been living it in terms of its current strands, authentically spacious, liberating, fulfilling and ego-transcending -- that is, creatively and transformatively participating in the interconnected community of being?"

That will about cover things for me. . .

I think maybe instead I'll go with the supramental approach:
I was standing beside him. My head wasn’t exactly on his shoulder but where his shoulder was (I don’t know how to explain it; physically there was hardly any contact). We were standing side by side like that, gazing out through the open window, and then together, at exactly the same moment, we felt: “Now the Realization will be accomplished.”

I felt a massive descent within me, the certitude, that same certitude I had felt in my vision.

From that moment on, there was nothing to say, no words, nothing. We knew that was it.
Mirra Alfassa writing about Aurobindo Ghose, qtd. in Notebook on Evolution (PDF 1mb). Ed. Luc Venet.

Returning to the mental realm:

It takes a closeness to the divine to stay on the plane Langton and Heron describe.


relational spirituality, participatory spirituality.

For what seems to get at a core of what he has to teach:

From Chapter 7 of Sacred Science "Spiritual transformation":
Dissociative meditation both fully attends to, and disengages from any management of, the contents of the mind and their immanent life-process. But it clearly has an impact on the life-process of the contents and sets its energy in motion. To put it crudely, it sucks the energy of the life-process up into the disengaged awareness to empower it and stabilize it. It interrupts the internal development of the contents and displaces energy from their immanent unfoldment to a transcendent enhancement of sustained attention.

The complementary interior activity is to engage empathically with the life-process of the contents of consciousness, to infuse them with the light of the mind and so empower their developmental potential. This redirects the expansive tendency of consciousness and converts it into the immanent unfoldment of its contents. This disciplined and passionate engagement with the mental Many honours their divine status. It includes the interior, creative imagination of the musician, artist, scientist, social reformer and others. It leads over, of course, into the first, and externally expressive, form of spiritual transformation, which I outlined at the start of this chapter.
Let me just say this--upon only hearing of the idea "relational spirituality", I changed my life and focus. This resulted in playing a card game with a friend--something I might not have done before. And it was a lot of fun. Then I got to studying these ideas more.
This disciplined and passionate engagement with the mental Many honours their divine status. It includes the interior, creative imagination of the musician, artist, scientist, social reformer and others.
That in particular helped me respond to/ progress from:
The problem is that the supreme enlightened ( so far we can ascertain ) are not very creative, let alone dwelling on the summit of such activity. On the contrary, one might cynically observe that trademarks of vita unitiva/sahaja samadhi/baqa, judging from lives of Ramana Maharshi, legendary Bodhidharma or Suso are lethargy, apathy or asocial quietism. The fact that a few realized mystics were also powerful and charismatic writers ( Rumi, Angelus Silesius, Sri Aurobindo,..) doesn't alter the sobering truth: creativity, as we are used to understand the meaning of this word, is a specific activity of struggling human beings doomed to subject-object relational isolation. In this sense, neither God, nor the God-realized humans present epitomes of creativity.
--Arvan Harvat. "The Atman Fiasco".

Now, I moved on to this chart/list from "Spiritual Transformation" which refers to ways of using attention:
  • Constant witnessing, with wide-aperture attention, unmoved and unmediated, of all contents.
  • Constant witnessing, with focused attention, unmoved and unmediated, of a particular chosen content.
  • Constant creative participation, with wide-aperture attention, both unmoved and unmediated in itself, and also moved by and mediating a developmental process within the mind as a whole.
  • Constant creative participation, with focused attention, both unmoved and unmediated in itself, and also moved by and mediating a developmental process within some chosen content.
Heron's jargon is killer. I think I managed to get into it (1) by having the earlier question represented by the Harvat quote, and (2) by skimming "Spiritual Transformation" and seeing his critique of "dissociative consciousness". I first learned about Heron from the Kheper site--Heron had written some Wilber criticism (all the way at the bottom) which I found provoking.

This opening helped me begin to study some of Heron's other work.

His terms reMinding and reLiving have also been helpful.

But beyond the card game, keeping these terms/Heron's vision in mind led me to great experience:

[3] I can play.

In the swimming pool--yesterday morning. I became entranced visually. Am I on drugs? Why is the visual field such a spectacle today?

In fact, I was on something. I had overdosed on Jerusalem Artichokes which contain indigestible inulin. I seem to be fine with Jicama, which also has inulin. But whether or not it was the sunchokes, I had intestinal distress and odd and significant gas generation.

This made me initially very slow and sensitive to my body. It helped me stay in my body.

The greatest of dance highs leave me fully in my body. This is a sort of 'god consciousness' in which the field of attention is fully filled with body sensation, proprioception.

In this case, I was in the pool so long, I got to feeling the cross-linking of my muscle fibers finally starting to loosen (my story of what's behind the feeling). In the greatest of dance highs, I just stretch these and loosen them for ever and ever--see "stretching to satiation".

In the visual realm--the sun shone in one half of the pool--

every turn I made down there faced me with a swirl of pixy bubbles trailing my feet.

I would swim close to the bottom and lose myself in the rainbow waves along the bottom and on my skin.

If I surfaced and looked around the world up there was as rich.

And at one point a song played--different from the usual oldies they have going--a cappella, beatles-ish, and long, and I was absorbed.

The sight and sound of rising bubbles too. The playing with buoyancy in the deep end, too. The plain old smooth swimming, too.

I was there a long time. On the mental realm, I was reminded of past times of great play, full body play, too--a long day of waterskiing came up.

And Heron's theory/views/example was behind my embracing/acceptance/allowing of all that.

An insight during all of this was that I was exercising no self-control. This was fully free liberation, bliss, whatever--and I did spend some time composing a title I could use here that would express some of the magnitude of what I was feeling. [so, different from pure play, my earlier play memories, there was the mental element of considering what I might say about what was happening].

So play, pure play--the mental controller was out of the way.

I have played this way in the pool before, but not for a long while.

A precursor was Sunday's sitting--there was nothing earth-shattering, but a comfort in staying there--oddly I find it related to play. Just staying there, wanting to be /relishing being choiceless [avoiding choicing?].

[4] Diet

I think I noted in an earlier entry, "I went to lift weights, and found that wasn't going to happen."

My odd eating had also led to me being plumper than I'd like.

So I decided to end the vegan trip I'd been on, and eat some cholesterol. [it's not easy with awareness of (and lack of awareness of) what's behind the flesh or dairy I'm eating. I think I got along well ok earlier because of all the grubs in the figs I ate. So, I could find a way of growing grubs for food.]

This, combined with divine focus on caring for the body by exercising/moving two times a day.

So I have been [moving two times a day], and this has been positive-- maybe more on this later.

[5] Emptiness of all views

. . . "Why be so complicated?" But what I noticed most was that hardly any of the “enlightened ones” said clearly that it was all about nothing. Clearest was Nagarjuna who had said about 1000 years ago:

“Emptiness of all views is prescribed by the Buddha as the ‘way of liberation’. Incurable indeed are they who take Emptiness itself as a view. It is as if one were to ask, when told that there is nothing to give, to be given that nothing.”

A very beautiful old description of the way I go, the way of liberation.

"Mushin" also relates to this.

[6] This Node

Earlier than most of what I've described above was a sort of shock about how socially constructed "I" am.

Just hearing the terms "relational spirituality", "participatory spirituality" opened me up from a narrow "dissociative" consciousness focus.

In addition, reading criticism, Geoffrey Falk, for one, J. Kripal for another, contributed to this realization:

how much what I read/experience affects the contents of my experience.

So, I saw self as node of awareness.

I walk around and sense nodes of awareness like a field of densities of charges.

Ramakrishna referred to his body as "this sheath".

If I start saying "this node", that is what happened.

If this node starts saying "this node". . .

So--we are nodes--we have not solid selves--and the fields we move in generate what we are and even how we are aware.

Like a neuron. Ed deBono's metaphors come to mind here.

To speak more specifically of criticism, Geoffrey Falk is relentless, and helps one to question the whole social construction of enlightenment, zen masters, sadgurus and all the rest. He's not yet through being read by this node yet. (Some of his criticism is foolish, but I find it helpful on the whole).

I also took a look at Jorge Ferrer's Revisioning Transpersonal Theory which is about as readable as Heron-- and he seemed to be pointing out the social construction of the perennial philosophy-- the Ramakrishna: all paths will get you to the same place if you go far enough, and [not Ramakrishna]: some paths are 'better'/more complete--both unquestioned views that many have been holding.

I only had the briefest glimpse of what Ferrer may be addressing, but what I've taken away is a new question about an assumption I had not been questioning.

Same with Heron, with Kripal.

[6.5] No teleological purpose; development rooted in relational insight

1508 well--I think it's time to let this go. Here's two other points to consider.
. . . there is no teleological purpose in creation and there cannot be, for all is there in the Infinite: the Divine has nothing that he needs to gain or that he has not. If there is creation and manifestation, it is for the delight of creation, of manifestation, and not for any purpose. There is then no reason for an evolutionary movement with a culmination to be reached or an aim to be worked out and effectuated or a drive toward ultimate perfection ("Man and the Evolution," 827).
from Sri Aurobindo Ghose: The Dweller in the lands of Silence. William Kluback. Michael Finkenthal, ed. 2001. 13.
I prefer to think of the spiritual development of human culture as rooted in degrees of relational, moral insight and not in an evolutionary logic. Evolution as a concept seems best left to natural processes. Otherwise intellectual bids to know what evolution is up to and what is coming next culturally rapidly convert into hegemonic arrogance and attempts at social and intellectual control.

this node

tn also added a link to integral san diego today.

[7] Other posts

tn posted to cfn: bicyclecity (USA) and sofar vs Southern California madness continued.

tn posted "Cure carpal tunnel syndrome / RSI without surgery".

An earlier post to integral san diego: two truths may not be helpful? western mysticism meetings. Divinise This!