Tuesday, 2 April 2019

A State of Stillness

          Reviewing some of my earlier posts drew me to the conclusion that projection may well be our normal and unavoidable way of thinking. Of course, this practice is rather frowned upon in certain circumstances by psychologists and psychiatrists. Nevertheless, it may be that we are stuck with this way of analysing our worlds, both inner and outer, if there is indeed any difference between the two. The problem is that we think and experience life in terms of symbolism.
          Thus when analysing my personal experience in, "I Am Only the Bearer" it emerged that an experience at the deepest level which I could access during meditation was projected onto a less deep level, until in the end these consecutive experiences were projected onto the realist world, which one often calls the 'real world' of consciousness. The problem is that in turning experience into symbols, the language of the unconscious mind, and thence into ideas we ultimately lose contact with the essence of the experience. What we are left with is something that is illusory and general and cut off, or removed, from the initial personal and particular experience.
          Unfortunately, in my opinion, we are all too often exhorted to act under the influence of the general and illusory conclusion, rather than stick with the initial and particular experience, which may lead us along a path of spiritual recovery and growth. That path is essentially non-egoistic, whilst the general activity is usually quite the opposite. Save the world? No, I am powerless to do that. Save myself? Now to that process I can have some input, and by God's grace have some success. [Success? ugh!].
          I find myself in a state of pregnant stillness at present, regardless of the political upheaval that is going on, and which is going to have a direct influence on my life. Somehow, I sense the need for a new assessment of my personal way forward. It is like standing in the eye of a hurricane, just waiting to get caught up in the winds of the spirit which will buffet me when the storm moves. [Where would I be without symbols?]
          If this post seems to be vague and disjointed, it is because that reflects my thoughts about my current inner life.


  1. You have encouraged me to ramble - you have created a monster!

    A book I read many years ago now is calling me to re-read and use that to add to this conversation. Sadly, it would take too long. This conversation will move on while I do that. Instead, I will try to recall the salient points for you. The book is called I of the Vortex - From Neurons to Self, and there is great irony I think having read your sentence about being in the eye of a hurricane. The reason this book comes to mind has to do with learning that the brain (or mind) evolved consciousness in order to give us a sense of what the world is like around us and how our body fits into it, making purposeful movement possible.

    Our brain, and therefore our mind, is based upon initiation and control of movement, (think of phrases we use all the time that reference motion to stand in for any sort of action, even if that action involves thinking while still) while our spirit stands quite separate from that mind. Sadly, when we try to make sense of what the spirit is giving us, without our bidding, this rather primitive device (in the real world) does its very best to make "sense" (converting experiences into stories about moving about and what we did while moving about) out of our inner experience and like in dreams, that means metaphor and symbolism. We have no frame of reference for the mind to understand experiences of the spirit, in other words.

    Here is a synopsis of the book: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/26141/summary

    Here is a video of the author, Rodolfo Llinás speaking about brain structure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RX8O6NmHSc

    1. Halle;

      How glad I am that I encouraged you to ramble. I read your first reference, the synopsis of "I of the Vortex" with great interest. Without remembering where I have read them, other references popped into mind which could fit into Llinás' thinking quite well. [Incidentally, I'm saving the video for later.]

      What I particularly liked was that I am reticent about giving utterance to some of my experiences without finding some scientific authority to confirm, or at least appear to justify, my conclusions. Otherwise one risks proposing all sorts of utter bosh. One's inner self/mind is too valuable for that.

      Anyway, thank you for your input. Maybe this was the reason I felt "moved" to return to blogging.

    2. If we need any confirmation that a deeper conversation or connection exists, it seems to me that the process of conversion by the mind gives us exactly that. Now, to find a way to decode the original 'message' ...

    3. I get the feeling we are on the verge of something big here. A deeper connection does exists I am certain but as you say, a way needs to be found to decode the original message. I say quite sincerely, Halle thank God you are here with your input.

    4. Incidentally, I have ordered "I of the Vortex."

    5. When it comes to input, the feeling goes both ways Tom.

  2. Hi Tom,
    Of course I guess it is hardly surprising earthly symbols were always used in the NT in relation to Christ’s life and those of his desciples. Christ never explained GOD, as he used earthly symbols and inevitably you always find angels coming into the picture to provide food or explanation for experiences that cannot otherwise be explained.
    Ultimately the meta- physical must come back to an application to physical things or existence. And that might mean the everyday more routine things are where we are to find our own meaningful existence.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Lindsay;

      I feel that we have entered into a neverending [hopefully] conversation about the mystery of the Christ and God. As a result there will be times when post, comment and reply will get a little out of sync.

      I say that as your comment seems to impinge on thoughts I am trying to express in my next post.

      {Incidentally, I removed my comment from your latest post after taking issue with the use of the word 'arrogance' by a previous commenter. I decided it would be inappropriate to take issue.}

  3. Tom, you wrote:
    "The problem is that in turning experience into symbols, the language of the unconscious mind, and thence into ideas we ultimately lose contact with the essence of the experience."

    This is exactly where art comes in. As a visual artist, I can only speak for myself. But no doubt many musicians, composers, poets, etcetera would say that symbols or re-framing the kind of experiences you're talking about is the very substance of art, or at least some art. The multi-dimensional language of all art forms, exists and has always existed, as a way to express the inexpressible and, sometimes, to connect to it.

    1. Hello Natalie;

      I must confess that I have never truly seen art in that way. But it seems to me that as you mentioned poets, rather than writers, that "the multidimensional language of all art forms" is not an intellectual activity but one which uses the depths of the unconscious as its well-spring of expression.

      I have never considered myself as any sort of artist, but I wonder whether my meditations, pathworkings, or 'stills' taken from those activities, might be classified as an art form. If so, it would add weight to your point that I should try to paint what I see in my meditations. Thank you for this comment. Its depth requires further exploration.

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