Posted: Thu May 03, 2007 11:12 am Post subject: The Electricity of Life - a personal view Reply with quote
I will speak from my heart and say that, for me, it's truly a simple matter that goes beyond complex cause-and-effect issues of classical Newtonian Physics.
The electricity of life. It's really just another, common ground for endless mentally engendered debate and polemics: Humanity is a spiritual creation, endowed with innate, divine qualities of the godhead. No, humanity is a material creation, void of divinity, his realization of consciousness purely an accidental result of the material evolution of his brain. God exists. No, she doesn't. And when you're dead, you're dead.
Aren't these ongoing, ceaseless mental debates simply part-and-parcel of the mental entrapment we've come to experience so relentlessly as the Vedic Law of Karma? Souls consumed by the polar energies within the hypnotic sleep of ignorance and unawareness of who they really are?
If we believe ourselves to be only energy and form (thought, emotional, physical), then are not we doomed to forever repeat an impoverished, endless cycling from one pole of existence to the other?
It is unavoidable. For such concepts preclude other ground from which to perceive the true nature of the poles. We have no "space," no perspective from which to integrate them both within our circles of influence. We become impoverished, under-nurtured, and lacking in recognition.
But aren't diametrically opposed opposites really only experienced as being "worlds apart" if we, in our misidentification of just who we are, mistake ourselves as being one pole or the other?
I would venture to say that it is a guaranteed fact of life on and around Earth that if at one period we occupy (identify with) the position of one pole, in some relatively soon to be experienced next moment in time we will be occupying (identifying with) its polar opposite. And, if we should subscribe to the tenets of multiple lifetimes, then the phenomena is accompanied by concomitant memory lapse (amnesia, forgetfulness) of the formerly occupied state.
What I'm suggesting is a different tack in all this. Consider an electric motor. The principle of its operation is based on the dynamics between polar opposites - diametrically positioned N and S poles of magnets in between which is positioned a coil of wire that is free to spin on its axis. The coil's axis of spin is explained, in conventional electromagnetic theory, to be perpendicular to the magnetic "lines of force." So that when the coils of wire "cut" (move or cross) through the magnetic lines of force an electric current is induced in the wires.
I don't want to get into details, and I'm not that competent with it anyway. My point is that it certainly appears to be a Newtonian, dual-oriented universe where the interplay of polar opposites creates all the dynamic interplay of energies, forces, matter, and time that we are thoroughly immersed within.
Only ... one vital aspect always seems to get omitted or marginalized. What is it that holds - in this case the poles of the magnets, the magnets themselves - what is it that holds the poles apart? And what is it that enables the coil of wire to freely spin within the center of these poles, what anchors it?
The base of the motor. The "background."
So in fact, if anything, it could be said to be a triune universe and not a duality. At least in this context. Now, let's get personal. Okay, wrong word. Let's get impersonal and consider what is perhaps closer to our true, or comprehensive, natures.
I'm proposing that if we come to know ourselves as who we really are, then a ... cosmic, for lack of a better word ... reorientation occurs. All of a sudden - and in the twinkle of an eye - we find that we fulfill the function of the motor's base. We are what makes it all possible. Beyond space, beyond time, beyond any and all mental concept of ourselves, we are it. We are the eternal, timeless (without time), unborn and undying "background" presence of no-thing-ness that has always been "here," before any and all beginnings, and will always be here after any and all endings of all named and unnamed things. The ineffable presence from which all things electrical are born and to which they return. And it's ineffable - not because of some holy concept attached to it - but because it truly cannot be grasped by any thought, any word, any concept of the mind.
It (we, in and of our naked, ego-less true nature) IS what the manifest universe of already separated charges appears in, while we also as individual foci of awareness (the "I" we are constantly sensing), paradoxically, appear in it.
Not unlike how when we dream we can appear as part of the dreamscape or, sometimes, not really have an active role excepting as passive observer. But the dream is appearing within us as background while we simultaneously create and participate in the foreground activity of energy patterns in motion.
And just as in a personal dream, the physical universe similarly appears to us simultaneously and spontaneously with charges already separated. One viewpoint might be that life, like our dreams, just seems to happen to us. That's how inverted we are when we experience ourselves as isolated islands of little egos. Life happens. We emerge from life. And, from an ego perspective, that's perfectly true. I'm just pointing out that there is another perspective available to us in which we might find that life, that all things manifest, actually emerge from us. Just as our dreaming worlds do.
And, I suggest, it is all happening right this instant, this present moment. Not a milli- or micro-second in the past nor future. But right now. Just as it always does. If you don't consult your memory (to experience past, dead things) or imagination (to experience future, as yet unborn non-occurrences) then you are left with what is exactly present in the one precise instant of NOW.
To me, the only real difference between creating and experiencing a personal dream versus awakening to what appears as an already created and awaiting experience of the consensus-based "real" world is the notion of the collective mind of many individual awarenesses. Like a collective dream. Like raindrop patterns on a large pool of water, blinking into and out of existence (just as while some are sleeping a dreamless sleep, others are dreaming, and others are out in the work-a-day world - collective minds overlapping like raindrops, popping in and out of consciousness, dreams and so on).
The phenomenon of sleep (in some circles referred to as the "little death")is fascinating. It's interesting to entertain the notion that when each of us awaken each day that just maybe the entirety of the universe springs to life with our focal-consciousness. At least for our individual, particular ego-based experience of it. I mean, if you follow it through in enough depth, if there were no eyes to see then the sun would not be light. Not a purely cause-and-effect relationship with sun as cause and organic eyes as effect, but a reciprocating, complimentary co-creation.
But in the background, ALWAYS present as the only absolute and unchanging quality is that in which all motion, all changing relationships, and all activity occurs.
And this background, because of its very nature, can never avail itself to the probing, inquiring mind of materialism or scientific quantification and measure. This background will always be receding from our instruments of measure, anything concocted by mental/intellectual reasoning.
The mind is incapable of grasping its own essence. It'd be like the eye trying to see itself. Or your teeth trying to bite your own teeth. That's why so-called materialists will never get it. It is impossible to "prove." Because "it" is self-referent, self-grounding, self-referencing. Self-evident.
The truth is just too simple to be grasped by the mind. But, of course, this depth of truth is ungraspable, again, by its very nature. Like trying to grasp a handful of water, the mind can only produce a concept of wetness, not the full-fledged experience of the deep sea from which it springs. It can only be realized - recognized - by, in, and of itself. And it is not mind. It is that in which, from which, mind emerges.
Our quality of awareness of awareness - being aware that we are aware - which, perhaps, is the most distinguishing characteristic of a human being - is near to what I speak of. And this quality of awareness goes beyond a quality of consciousness. From my perspective, consciousness is but a form of focused awareness, requiring awareness, but one can also be aware and not necessarily be conscious (as in deep, dreamless sleep). And vice versa. A plant is conscious of sunlight, for example. It responds to light and dark. But is it aware of its own awareness? Like Descartes, does it reflexively think upon itself, and therefore, is? But we can't deny that it has a degree of consciousness, awareness of environment.
I also think the philosopher, Alan Watts, nailed it down with his concept of there being two varieties of attention: floodlight and spotlight. We are only selectively conscious (spotlight) within the broader awareness of the totality (floodlight) of what's going on in our environment at any given moment. For example, you may have been aware of what color shoes your wife, or shirt your husband, was wearing at dinner last evening, but you may not be able to consciously recall it if asked. Because, for whatever reason, you had no focus of attention to that particular detail amongst all the other details available to your total awareness.
And this - our willingness to redefine (or, actually, undefine) ourselves - opens the door of possibility for a complete reorientation to our living of life. Indeed, to our perception of life and things electrical.
In other words, polar opposites can be experienced as complimentary opposites. They oppose one another, yes, and great potential energy is generated. But the source for the required torque and tension of opposition is in, and occurs only because of, their shared unity through the commonly held (back)ground of the base.
This is symbolized by the empty circle (or sphere) within which fullness and emptiness, the feminine and masculine aspects, the yin and yang dualities, interplay with one another in full dynamic opposed complementarity. And it all arises spontaneously and simultaneously.
The containing empty spaces, the form-defining circle, the swirling, dancing, spiraling energies. Circuits complete, parts become energized, and the whole motor turns, currents move, and a harmony of integrative life, a uni-verse, happens.
As if magically orchestrated, our relationship to life, to others, to ourselves is no longer consumed by only being able to provincially perceive opposites at war or conflict with one another in our lives.
Of course, these are just words and symbolic analogies, not the unspeakable reality being spoken about. After all, even the base of the motor needs a resting, reference ground such as a table; and a table, the floor; the floor, a building etc.. Anything that is manifest, anything that is susceptible to change, these things can never exist absolutely without some form of ground for a reference point. And the grounding for words, for human language, is the collectively shared energy patterns of the human mind.
What I'm speaking to goes even beyond grounding, it goes to an absolute stillness from which grounding itself emerges. As I believe Siddartha Gautama put it, words are like mere fingers pointing at the reality of the moon - we don't want our attention getting wrapped up in and involved with what the fingers are all about when it's of the moon that's being spoken. Or, another way I've heard it commonly expressed, don't confuse the map with the territory.
It actually goes much more beyond, much deeper, than a physical analogy is capable of expressing. Some phrasing like the "emptiness that is full," or a "pregnant nothingness" approach it. But even those are poor substitutes of description.
Sure, I'm still part of the circuit here, and have and express opinions (like I'm doing here). But am I "polarized" by my opinion(s)? Do I take them seriously any more? No. I can sincerely express them (as Alan Watts might say) but I no longer have to compulsively take them or any other part of my ego-based self seriously. It's like a big sigh of relief. Like being aware of other possibilities in life for the first time.
Can change - and what is life and living but change? - can it still spook me and provoke anxiety from time-to-time. Oh yeah. Can I still find myself worrying about an unknown future or fret over things that are in the past? Certainly so. But am I anxious about my anxiety? Or do I take it - or "me" seriously anymore? Rarely, by comparison. And, perhaps best of all, aside from it not requiring a medical prescription, is that I no longer mistake it as defining who "I" am.
If anyone has actually bothered, perhaps foolishly, to wade and wander this far down in my meandering, I thank you for lending an ear to these unsatisfactory words and apologize for the length.
And bid you my best regard,
The moment of recognizing what cannot be thought is the moment of recognizing who you are. It is a moment of the mind's surrender to silence. The only obstacle to realizing the truth of who you are is thinking who you are. It's that simple. -- Gangaji
Last edited by @rc-us on Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:52 am; edited 3 times in total
There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else. — Maitri Upanishad