Saturday, 22 June 2013

Into the Abyss

This is not the post I had intended to submit today, but maybe it is the one that I need to submit. What is need?  Is it something I feel I must have, for my self?  Rather, should I not have said that I ought to write this particular script?  That sounds too judgemental, too much like working to another's agenda.  Yet here lies a contradiction.  It is my ego that senses need, and also passes judgement.  It is my ego that plays the 'another's agenda' card, whilst at the same time working to its own agenda.  Ah, how subtle, uncaring and uncomprehending is my ego.  My writing does not follow any agenda of mine; it seeks only to describe my being, as it is now.  It only seeks to bind in words that which will suffer no such restraint.

Foolishly, I had thought that at the completion of my latest post, "In Which I Have My Being", the job was complete, finished, put to bed.  And maybe there is some truth in that, except that that post may not yet be finished, if it ever could be.  Certainly, it has not done with me yet.

Into the Abyss

I stand at a brink.  Before and below me lies an abyss that is beyond my understanding, or even my knowing.  The little wisdom of my ego says, 

"Fly!  Do not jump!  It is too dangerous, and I will be lost!  I will surely die."

Something else answers in words I cannot hear, but hear nonetheless,

"Be still!"

If I had the courage I would fling far apart my arms and throw myself into the depths, and trust.  But please, my courage isn't that strong, and I'm not good at 'trust'.  I step closer to the edge, close my eyes to the enormity of what I am about to do.  In that awe-full and terrifying vortex, stars are ground into atoms;  life is snuffed out in a moment that could not even exist.  I hug my trembling body........I fold, and allow myself to slip beyond the edge, and to fall.  I fall into that which is Life, that sustains my life.


I fall as if forever, yet stilled is my being-ness.  Now is what I am!  I fall further, more deeply, into the abyss of Self-ness.  Ever closer do I come to a far greater Abyss.  Deeper, and yet deeper. But wait!  Is it that the void is rushing up to engulf me, to wrap me within itself?  

..........God lies in the abyss.  God IS the Abyss..........

Silence..........Stillness..........Movement but no passing.  I am here, beyond the vortex, floating in the depths of the abyss.  And I can go no further for there is nowhere else to go.  There is no where-ness or when-ness.  I hang, now motionless, supported by a no-thing-ness that is more than I shall ever need; an invisible hand reaching out like a shadow emerging from the darkness.  Yet still I am becoming..........empty but grounded.  I am no-where;  I am no-when.  I AM..........  

(Picture used in this post was taken from the internet.)


  1. This voyage of yours evokes so many memories and feelings. A short comment seems impossible. No comment at all might have been wise, but I am a fool.

    I yearn for that invisible hand, for I too hear that voice saying Be still.
    Unlike you, my other voice says Don't you dare be still. You must leap and trust!

    I too lack courage, yet that persistent voice tells me that she will be there at the end, as I draw final breath, to remind me who I might have become had I acted courageously.

  2. And so it begins, the waiting to see whether I have reached out to someone. You must have answered over the breakfast table. Thank you.

    I think I get on a wobble when I face that vortex because there was one time in my life when I did not understand the enormity of the state into which I had descended. That memory always hangs around regardless however. Hopefully, I will face the final vortex in good shape.

    I don't think She will hold you to account at the end. She's more likely to remind you of all the times you were courageous.

  3. Tom, responses from those who are touched are certainly out there, even if sometimes they're not immediately forthcoming. But what you're expressing about the Abyss concerns such an intensely solitary state that sharing it is a bit like bird-song - we can hear the music but only birds know what the message is. From inklings of my own, I can feel kinship with your parachute-less leap into the deep but only you can report back from the voyage. Perhaps a log-book will emerge from your experience?

  4. Natalie, I feel appropriately corrected, and I thank you for that. I should really stick this comment to my laptop as a constant reminder. A log-book? That needs thought and further discussion.

  5. Tom, I didn't mean my comment to be a correction, not at all! There's no way I would want to hinder the flow of the profoundly thought-provoking material you have begun to share by means of Gwynt. My apologies if I sounded correctional!

  6. Apologies not needed my friend.

  7. I see some interesting artworks possibly emerging from these deep thoughts and feelings, Tom.

  8. Perhaps that last sentence should be finished with "no-thing."

    I recently read that the last sense to go when one dies is hearing. The first is sight, which may explain that blinding white light people sense.

    Interesting thinking and writing on your part, Tom. Keep it up.

  9. Are you a separate thing from your ego? Are you shattered into bits, apart from the universe? Or are we all one thing, each of us a reflection of that, we the ten thousand things, all faces of the oneness?

    What did the zen master say to the hot dog vendor?

    "Make me one, with everything."

  10. Marja-Leena; If only I had the skills.

  11. Bruce; Perhaps not simply perhaps, but certainly no-thing. Interesting little snippet on the senses.

  12. Zhoen; I have always believed that spiritual growth comes from one's own experiences - meditational and otherwise - and their analyses, not from received wisdom. That is not to say the latter should be discounted; that would be arrogance. Unfortunately, one only ever gets the distilled wisdom from spiritual leaders, never their raw meditational data.

    "Are you a separate thing from your ego?" First I would question the use of the word 'thing'. "Am I separate from my ego?" gets a little closer, I think. There is an inner sense that the inner, observing "I" is separate when it disidentifies with the ego. The nature of the "I" is a big question in its own right.

    I don't think we are shattered into 'bits', although quanta of energy may come into the equation somewhere. And I am not separate from the universe, which by definition includes everything. (And we see such a small percentage of the universe.) Even at the subatomic level it is clear that the skin is an illusory boundary used to define one energy concentration (me e.g.) from another (my laptop e.g.). At the psycho-spiritual level, there are too many undefinable questions to be asked before I could attempt any answers. Maybe I'll have the answers next week, uh? :)

    I suspect your reference to us being various faces of a great one-ness may come closest to reality. My personal experience gives me no answers on that score.

    Like the Zen master joke.

  13. I wish I could be sure of this Abyss you describe so beautifully. If I'm conscious in prayer or meditation, I can sometimes contemplate that vortex without fear; however, if I awake unexpectedly in the night I can still be overwhelmed by terror, not always, but often enough to feel its significance. I find myself wondering in these in-between times which of those two is the real me and is the Abyss always the same one but from different viewpoints? Have you had any similar experiences?

  14. Susan; I think there is a major difference between thinking about something, in this case an inner vortex, and actually experiencing it. Very largely one can steer clear of the feelings when one is thinking, even though the two functions are linked. In the night, when our thinking is stilled, the feelings experience of the vortex can be intensely terrifying. (Things always look better in the morning light, no?)

    Both states are part of what we are, egoistically speaking. But when those two functions are stilled, a deeper inner state - the unconscious mind perhaps - makes itself known. In that condition, or so it seems to me, one may well have an experience of the abyss. If you consider that image as a symbol, then it will have a certain meaning. If the symbol arises again, can one really ask the question, "Is it the same abyss?" I think perhaps not. It may be seen as the same symbol but applicable to different processes, e.g. dying, detaching, letting go or any situation that implies a separating experience.

    There was one time in my life when I had a direct experience of the overwhelming terror of the abyss. Not just meditating about it, but the experience of losing myself. I do intend writing about that, the only question remaining is 'when?'

    I hope this helps you.

  15. The abyss I sometimes try to visit is always topless instead of bottomless and unimaginable and frightening.

  16. But fascinating in its implications, no?

  17. Here I am. I've read, started to comment, left, come back, read again. Yesterday, I got a strange "beware malware" message from my browser and after running a scan and sweep, I wasn't able to reconstruct my comment. Today I suddenly have a scene from the film Garden State in my head, when the three friends finally find the infinite abyss. Have you seen the film? It's in my top three.

    It's been a terribly wonderfully strange week for me. There has been some abyss action. I am handling it by dusting and cleaning. This is what I do when I have to ponder of abyss-proportion events.

  18. Dear Rouchswalwe, I fear the "beware malware" is a result of Marja-Leena's blog being under attack. At least I am unable to contact her blog.

    I haven't seen, or heard of, the film 'Garden State' but must investigate further.

    There is something truly wonderful about your comment that you handle abyss action, and all that that can mean, with some dusting and cleaning. To treat such extraordinary events with such ordinary means is itself extraordinary. Bless you.

  19. Oh, poor Marja-Leena! That explains why I can't contact her blog.

    Yes, there is action involved in abyss contact. Some folks think the abyss just lies in wait, but it seems to me that it moves and we engage it and there is action all about it. Now you've got me thinking of the connection between ordinary and extraordinary. Thank you, Tom!