Saturday, 9 May 2015

A Point of Despair

          Haiku; the particular implying the general. It seems that the acorn implies the oak tree, because the acorn has all the potential within it to create an oak tree. But that is not the end of the story, because the acorn could not exist without a prior oak tree, and it could not grow without a supportive medium in which its needs are met. If the oak is the macro to the micro implied by the acorn, to what is the acorn an equivalent macro? The oak tree's DNA perhaps that is present within the tree and the seed. But of what is DNA constructed? How many steps are implied by any manifestation of creation?
          I, like many others I suspect, are accustomed to talking about the Higher and the lower selves. The lower self seems to be small in comparison with the Higher Self, unless the lower self or ego is viewed solely against the psycho/material background of consciousness. Yet I am aware of an inner observing role with which I become involved, which is neither 'lower' nor 'Higher'. It is that same observing function that becomes involved in the Great Work of becoming aware of my ego and all its traits: it is that same observing function that becomes aware of far more than psycho/materiality. That observing Self can be involved in both activity and observation, yet it is neither the doer nor the observer. It is that which lies behind both functions. It is analogous to the One who was reportedly involved in the creation of the universe, as well as observing 'that it was good' on the seventh day.
          From this particular perspective, I see that the lower self does not exist independently but as part of a system of possibilities. As with Alistair Crowley, it seems to me that the Higher Self also does not have an independent existence either, because it is inextricably linked to a non-independent entity called the ego. There is only "I", and I am that I am. Everywhere I 'look' I see only possibilities for change that can be, to a greater or lesser extent, effective and efficient. In that context, morality becomes a system of guidelines towards greater efficiency without any overtones of judgementalism.
          Somewhere within, what for the want of a better word I will call the Self, lies a very great deal of unconscious information. Growing experience makes conscious an increasing number of examples of both efficient and inefficient ways of being. But how much experience do I need to acquire? Is it enough to see that in all important effects, I - that is the Self - is a copy (at the very least) of the One? I create within myself the totality of the universe that I can sense, and I can also observe and draw the conclusion 'It is that It is.' Is it possible that I can conclude that I am now at a stepping-off point into a greater inner universe? Or should I conclude that the universe now inevitably falls in on itself on the one hand, or expands to a state of virtual nothingness, at an ever-increasing rate, on the other hand? Either way, isn't the universe ultimately a pointless exercise in acorn production?

17 comments:

  1. Hi Tom
    I think it may not always be irrational to be immoral but one can say it is never irrational for the self to attempt to be moral or to follow the right path ? So that one might desire to make a decision intentionally or amove in different direction believing it is the right thing to do. Now in the context of the universe, if we can say that information is reality (I can’t prove that nor can anyone disprove it) than we can say for sure we only have partial information at best. So that the truth lies outside of our earthly bondage. But that need not be a cause for concern for the ONE might give us comfort and or glimpses of that reality along life’s different pathways.
    So I think we are the acorns of oak trees, who, as far as we know, don’t need to know that much about the essence or DNA of Mother Oak Tree to bear fruit in abundance given the right conditions. There is another argument about a form of biological morality, but that possibly is another subject.
    Best wishes

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    1. Lindsay; I certainly hope you are correct. At this moment it seems to me that humankind is hell bent on blocking any chance of glimpsing reality.

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  2. ah, the beauty of fractals...

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    1. Agnieszka; I hadn't seen it in that light. Thanks for reminding me that there is beauty to be found everywhere, if we just look for it.

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  3. An interesting concept, Tom, but the oak tree and the acorn are one and the same thing in a state of constant becoming, that is also the "present", this constant becoming. You knew that already, didn't you? Our search is all about finding that deep and abiding understanding that there is an intrinsic perfection in 'things as they are'.

    I was intrigued by your mention of Crowley - a fascinating and complex man.

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    1. Thank you Susan. The support coming from people commenting here is very welcome. It would seem I am on a bit of a wobble at present.

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  4. Lots for food for thought, especially for one like me who has trouble with philosopy and these deep spiritual questions you pose in all your writings, but I do try. I like what polish chick and Susan say.

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    1. Yes! I always enjoy and look forward to whatever comments are made here, wherever they come from.

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  5. Whether we are able to articulate it or not, each of us, as a representative sample of life in this version of the universe is doing what we do best. The acorn likely does not realize it has the potential to become a copy of the tree it fell from, just as the tree may not notice the acorn it has unwittingly produced.
    We on the other hand do our best to make sense out of what will likely turn out to be totally random set of circumstances. Because we can, we imagine ourselves to be the acorn, or alternately the tree.
    In the limit, some version of life will no doubt find a way to encompass the whole of creation, acorn, human and all, and we will call that God.

    See what you have done Tom!?

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    1. Time to find a Klein bottle to crawl into perhaps...

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    2. Halle; Time and time again I find that I come to a point where I am in front of an interface which my imagination is too limited to cross. I so regret and despair of this lack in myself, because beyond that interface - I feel sure - is a reality about which I, at least, can barely scratch the surface. Your reference to a Klein bottle is intriguing. Many years ago I painted a picture of what eventually appeared to be a psycho-spiritual image of myself. Although it was never meant to include a Klein bottle, there are certain features that clearly hint at that construct.

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  6. Tom, forgive me if I oversimplify things (again) but it seems to me one can get lost in a maze of concepts and definitions that are, after all, only mental constructs. To see reality, including the larger Reality, surely there must be a kind of house-clearing, a sweeping out of concepts,definitions which block awareness. It appears that you feel you lack something, or that you haven't reached a state which you should reach. But what if the sense of 'lacking' or of 'not reaching' is precisely what blocks awareness? If you were to start each day with a sense that you don't lack anything at all and that you are already 'there' (whatever the 'there' is that you want to reach) would it make a difference to how you feel and think? Even if you don't at first believe it, would a daily re-affirmation convince you of the truth of it? After all, we can convinc ourselves of all sorts of illusions, why not convine ourselves of truths?

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    1. Natalie; Thank you for your comment. It would be inappropriate to make a quick response, except to say that I intend to give your response a great deal of thought.

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  7. If the mind itself exploits some sort of quantum coherence, then higher and lower disappear just as size and direction become meaningless. Of course the haiku remains stable; its 5-7-5 syllable structure can't be reversed. There is a town a few hours up the coast from here called Ukiah --15000 people and 30 wine-tasting rooms-- settled in the 1850s. If there is any chance of composing a haiku that explains the difference between an acorn producing the oak and the oak, an acorn, that's the town to do it in.

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    1. Well clearly, I'm living in the wrong place, in the wrong country! Thank you Geo. :)

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    2. Haiku, Ukiah, your country, my country --all part of the same revolving garden moving under its flame. The inquiry into existence is the same. I follow your progress with interest and appreciation and am rewarded.

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  8. The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named is not the eternal name
    The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
    The named is the mother of myriad things

    Thus, constantly free of desire
    One observes its wonders
    Constantly filled with desire
    One observes its manifestations

    These two emerge together but differ in name
    The unity is said to be the mystery
    Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

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