Sunday 18 May 2014

Of Ill-Conceived Fantasies

          It had not been my intention to write another script on the illusions of life. I thought I had said, if not all, then enough on the subject. This journey through the 'dark night', that seems to describe my current experience, appears to be offering me the gift of recollection from which I may make some progress, whatever that is, towards reality. And this gift must be exercised using my own experiences, my own hard-won truths, for I cannot touch reality through the eyes of another, unless that other is my own Higher Self. What follows is an extract from my current diaries, looking at the nature of my experience of the world around and within me, which in so many ways is the same thing. It is perhaps the nearest I can get at this time, to speaking from the heart rather than the head.
          I look at the world around me, the universe around me, the inner psycho-spiritual country within me, but what do I see? I see an incompleteness, limited by my own physicality, my own sensing organs. Even with the use of scientific instruments I do not see a complete universe because there is always the view of the universe in terms of quantum mechanics that lies forever beyond me. Even if I should gain total seeing, it would always be against the backdrop of my intellectual understanding, and that would colour everything I see. I would not be seeing the universe through the eyes of an innocent.
          Putting all that to one side, I see what I see with an emotionally and historically coloured backdrop. I never get to see the world as it may truly be. I have no true vision. It is like a dream in that I can experience delights and nightmares, and those are my judgements on the world. Thus that world can have no real meaning for me until I actually get to 'see' it. One cannot truly see until one stops sleeping and dreaming and becomes awake and aware. It is also from this illusory standpoint that I observe the actions of others, draw conclusions, and take actions. Not only do I see all that through my own veil of ill-conceived fantasies, but also seemingly unaware that those whom I observe are also operating through their own fantasies. There can be no truth here so long as I sleep. And in the past, those experiences have been extremely damaging, so much so that I have been forced into a state of awakening. But how often have I dozed, or fallen asleep, since then?
          Another way of looking at the same condition is that what I see as my interactions with the world around me is nothing more than my own inner projections, and the human race is very good at blindly projecting itself onto its environment. Yet it is these projections that I seek to understand without realising that because they are projections and not reality, they can have no meaning, except that which I impose on them at my convenience. At no time is reality actually confronted until I, through painful experience, am forced to look hard and in a wakeful state for my own psycho-spiritual survival. Until that moment of spiritual awakening comes, I struggle to maintain my projected fictions as truth. Thus when I get hurt, I blame something/someone 'out there' rather than the projecting of myself, my ego. There is a little nugget of wisdom that says that blaming others is a sign of psychological denial. But those 'others' are not real; they are my projections, even though I struggle to the limit of my strength to persuade myself that my egoistic illusions are in fact realities. What a strange and foolish world it is that allows projections, illusions, to interact with one another rather than realities. Isn't life difficult enough already?
          Thus these conclusions, drawn from the memories of my own experience, lead me to the point where I yearn to see the world, that psycho-spiritual inner country that I inhabit, through the eyes of my Higher Self, the closest I can conceive to a state of wakeful reality, for I believe that by its very nature the Higher Self never sleeps. It is always aware, above all, of the power and energy of the divine life force that flows through it.

"............This is the use of memory:
For liberation - not less of love but expanding
Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
From the future as well as the past. Thus love of a country
Begins as attachment to our own field of action
And comes to find that action of little importance
Though never indifferent. History may be servitude,
History may be freedom. See, now they vanish,
The faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them,
To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern."

(T.S.Eliot: Little Gidding - Four Quartets)


  1. Hi Tom,
    I think it is in the acknowledgment and acceptance of our charismas that we gain an insight into what is the realty for us or rather what is intended.

    In other words in the sharing of ones gifts, to be the person who you really are, honest, helpful, kind, impatient, compassionate, rational, impetuous or whatever …….the reality without the veil, and to see past the veil present in others.

    Life was not meant to be easy. Lovely poem from the master, exercising a gift!
    Best wishes

  2. Don't we discover more and more difficulties the deeper we search? We hold a leaf and then a bloom and then a stalk and another leaf and realize that we might never get to the root.
    I am off the subject but that's all that came to my mind.
    I wanted to read your post again prior to clicking publish but I could not without loosing what I wrote here so let it be).

  3. Lindsay; There is not much that I can offer in response to your comment. The insight is a natural outgrowth of the process of 'knowing thyself'. I was stunned at the onset of clarity that I experienced when that process first began.

    And it is to recognise the reality of the person one is that dissolves the veil, both in us and that which we see around others, that is the key. And it isn't easy or painless. If it were, it wouldn't be worth the having.

    As for T.S.Eliot, a master indeed.

  4. Ellena; In my experience, it is my ego that complicates life. It is my ego that finds difficulties where none truly exist, because it refuses to see the world as it is in reality. As you put is so nicely, it finds a leaf, a bloom and then a stalk and the process goes on in circles. When I remember myself, and see the world through the eyes of reality, I see only a flower in glorious bloom.

  5. Tom, sorry I'm so late in commenting lately.

    Maybe the task we have as inhabitants of this universe is precisely the alchemical one of transmuting lead into gold: the lead of our dull, heavy, ego-selves into the gold of a different but nonetheless real reality. Not after death but here and now in this life. Gold is a very interesting and powerful metaphor in this sense - like the haloes around the heads of saints on icons. Maybe rather than 'saintliness' it represents having reconciled the human with the divine.

  6. The concept of an ultimate Enlightenment seems strange to me and, in a way, frightening because it indicates finality. The way I prefer to see spiritual growth is that there is a continuing process of Enlightening that never ends.

    Personally, I'm hoping this search continues after the death of the body. Once I could spend hours in meditation but I tire so easily these days and feel I'm nowhere close to the goal.

  7. Natalie; Please do not worry if you feel late with your comments. I know you are very busy, and when they arrive your comments are always worth the wait.

    I have never connected the process of transmutation of lead into gold with the task of redemption of the ego-self. But now that you have raised the idea of haloes and reconciliation, it just seems to be so right, that inner transmutation, redemption and reconciliation are what the process of becoming real is all about. Thank you so much.

  8. Susan; I think I agree that the idea of a state of Ultimate Enlightenment would present problems. For me, it would present the same kind of problem that Infinity presents to the mathematician and physicist. I look at both these ideas at something towards which we can move, but with no expectation that we can actually arrive. In fact, arrival is impossible by definition.

    Life is surely about 'process'. One thing that I discovered a long time ago is that the spiritual life is a non-stop process of beginning; that the end is never reached. Is it not that, and the spiritual uncertainties that abound, that makes the life of the spirit so exciting and more-ish? We are in a neverending process of becoming. It isn't easy, but it is infinitely(!) (or nearly so :) ) worthwhile.

    Finally, is there truly a goal to be reached? Is it not more about what we are?

  9. A feature of quantum mechanics describes reality as virtual particles surrounding irreducible coordinates. It is our attention and intention --among a LOT of other variables-- that cause some particles to become actual. This also describes navigation: at every given point we try to choose a future that best includes us.

  10. Geo; That may well be so. Another way of describing the same phenomenon would be that we 'move' in such a way as to reduce the discomfort we feel. (By 'we' I mean all living creatures.) Yet one of the features of the spiritual life is that our chosen future must include a great deal of discomfort, a continual moving out of our comfort zone. And, as the saying goes, "intention counts for a very great deal."

  11. Because it is fun to do, certainly nobody would pay me to do this, I imagine a conversation with my higher self. That conversation does what it can to further me while I'm here.
    It is safe for me to say the higher self I can speak of is not THE Higher Self.
    Hmmm, where have I read that??

    Looking forward to the next direction you take in GWYNT!

  12. As Ellena would say, "Ah Schnucks!". I forgot to click the email follow-up button. The comments that fly here are almost as good as Tom's posts!!

  13. Halle; And when one's Higher Self says that blog-posting is part of the broad straight way, the comfortable way, what then? When it says that I should seek the strait and narrow way, should I not listen?

    1. Dear Tom, you must follow your path.
      I can only relate your question thinking of nudges that come to me in the same vein. Because it keeps me from 'living in the moment' it seems I too might back away soon.
      For me, blogging and the reading of blogs is about reaching out. It is about the anticipation of the wisdom, the humour and yes, the love that flows back and forth.
      Because of the challenges to my own thoughts here I grow inside.
      To that extent, the blogging world has been far from broad and easy, for me.

      You likely know how I feel about the learning that you have gifted me over this short time. Just in case, thank you so much, and love's blessings always Tom.

  14. Halle; Thank you for your support and encouragement. It has been a privilege to communicate both with you and with others here. For as long as you continue to post, I will certainly read, and comment when appropriate.

    Bless you.

  15. Once again, your essay is a fascinating mixture of old wisdom and modern ideas from depth psychology.

    You've pegged the truth of projection exactly. It makes one wonder, sometimes, if there's any objective truth at all, or if it's all just projection.

  16. 'Morning OG; I suspect that the whole argument about the perceived fundamentals of the psycho-spiritual life rests on the answer to that implied question. One of the heartening things I find about the life of the spirit, as compared with science, is that one isn't dependent upon fresh discoveries in the hope of advancement. One can always continue the personal search because that is what one feels drawn to do, without any necessary hope of reward. That search then becomes an act of love.

    Maybe this is not the most appropriate place to say this, but I am thankful for your supportive comment, particularly as you and yours are passing through a difficult time at present.