Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dimensions of Self

Time rules over all our doings. An idealist does not necessarily ignore the objective aspect of reality, but his eyes are always fixed at one point which stands by itself, and his surveyings are done from this absolute point. The doctrine of abruptness is thus the result of looking at the multitudinousness of things in absolute unity.

D.T. Suzuki in his 1927 essay, The History of Zen is explaining the difference between the two schools of Zen Buddhism that developed during the 7th century. Hui-neng is considered the founder of the Southern school and Shen-hsiu is the Northern school’s founder.

The Southern school teaches that enlightenment is instantaneous and the Northern school takes to position that enlightenment is gradual and requires a lot of time and concentration. Hui-neng was an advocate of absolute idealism while Shen-hsiu was a realist and refused to ignore a world where time rules over all our doings. The difference that exists in those schools is inherent in the human trait of selective significance.

The concept of Zen as well as God is connected to the development of ego consciousness. The ego as it emerged in physical form through the centuries needed to feel its own dominance and control so it imagined a dominant god that exists apart from us and nature. Nations often act as group egos that form their own picture of god and its own concepts of power. When a tribe or a nation decided to create a war it always used a concept of god to lead it as well as protect it.

The concept of god was an important aid to man’s emerging ego. In the process of developing its own specialization the ego forgot the cooperative connection to the earth. The concepts of god that spoke of oneness with nature did not serve the emerging ego as it experimented with physical reality. The ego does know and understand the connection with animals, man, and the earth and as it expands it does remember those connections.

That inner self is always in the background in dreams as well as in the spiritual and biological integrity of consciousness, so the ego has a choice how to experience other aspects of the self. Consciousness, God, Zen are all spontaneous as Hui-neng described and they are gradual and need time as Shen-hsiu believed. Personal beliefs about the nature of self created experiences can be defined in religious as well as spiritual terms. We are unique in our own self-created limitations about the nature of self.

The self fragments and is expressed through consciousness in order to experience differences. All differences have value in terms of expansion. One self can manifest enlightenment spontaneously and another does it gradually. As the separation between the ego and the inner consciousness decreases, the always present inner dimensions of self flower in their own desires.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Attainment Through Self-Realization

While the attainment of Buddhahood was the ultimate goal of his teachings, the Buddha was practical and always close to the facts of life and insisted in his ordinary sermons on a life regulated by moral rules.

Nor had he any desire to disclose intellectually or metaphysically the content of enlightenment which must be experienced but cannot be explained. He never neglected to emphasize the significance of self-realization for enlightenment was to be attained personally through one’s own inner consciousness.

D.T. Suzuki's 1927 essay, History of Zen, explains how Buddha founded a non-religious belief system free from spiritualistic superstitions. His beliefs found root in the Fourfold Noble Truths and the Twelvefold Chain of Causation. Professor Suzuki is an expert in translating Zen doctrine. Suzuki explains Buddha never thought his followers would use his teachings as the foundation for a religion without considering the support of an inner spirit or consciousness. Buddha's teachings only reflected one side of his beliefs, not the whole field of his awareness.

Identifying an aspect of a whole and calling it a complete truth has roots in a specific belief structure that dominates the expression of physical thoughts. There is a greater field or identity independent of the focused self. And it is very much alive and aware of all realities. We all have been mentally, biologically, and spiritually prejudiced against recognizing this field as part of the self. Enlightenment is the awareness of this field, but the expression of that field varies according to the individual belief.

Some touchy aspects of the field start to press inner buttons. We keep those unpressed in our belief system. Then, most of us train ourselves to ignore them. The universe within us is in motion thanks to the action of consciousness. Our consciousness sees itself as the center of our world when focused. The units of consciousness that emerge into electromagnetic energy units express themselves in the moment using the cells.

The illusion of separation creates an inner chasm, but it disappears when we view our reality from another perspective. We do it every day in the dream state. We enter the non-physical and build a bridge. On that bridge, enlightenment can express itself physically using units of consciousness not restricted by beliefs. The innate awareness of our duplicity expands conscious ideas displayed by the physical expression of experiences.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Universal Echo

Deep In The Canyons Of Consciousness
Families Dress Themselves In Enzymes.
Nothing Expands Into A Plethora Of Particles
That Encapsulate A Wave With Unfiltered Awareness.

A Force Filled Form Of Being Manifests Itself
In Tandem With Molecules Dress As Frigates
Of Timelessness.

Elusive Probabilities Actively Dance
In The Fertility Of The Moment.
Energy is Captured In Choices
As A Web Of Being Expands Within Abundance.

Focusing Water Drops Bounce Manifestations
Off The Walls Of Remembering.
They Free Fall Into Primordial History.

Swallowing Another Reality Entrenched In Its Own Juices
Existence Eats The Cracker of Immortality
And Spits Out Another Blip Expressed As Conscious Consciousness.

Simultaneously Wisdom Speaks
In Bilingual Silence
And Our Universal Echo Reaches Eternity.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Second Mile Award

Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.

Groucho Marx made that comment sometime during his illustrious career as an actor, comedian, and singer. Groucho lived to the ripe age of 87, but his energy and work is still alive in the hearts of everyone who has held their side splitting gut while laughing at the antics of the Marx brothers. They skillfully made us look at our culture and ourselves with different eyes. Groucho’s 1950s TV show was one of the highlights of a three channel television industry that was trying to find a way to capture the attention of the young who were fortunate enough to own this new fangled communication tool. TV was an infant in those days but in its old age it’s now younger than ever in its approach to defining our current cultural idiosyncrasies.

There’s no doubt that age is not wasted on the old. Thanks to Groucho and thousands of elders, age is an interesting subject that teaches us all that life is an experience to enjoy and appreciate. Men and women who have put enough miles on the body to move the needle of time to another dimension in living give us all the fuel we need to keep our engines running and lubricated with the energy of love and the desire to be more than we believe we are.

My friend and award-winning poet Janet Riehl has embraced the art of growing older by initiating the Second Mile Award dedicated to her father, Erwin A. Thompson, who will turn his needle to the 95th spot on the age wheel this November 9th.

Janet explains the Second Mile Award this way:

The Second Mile Award honors Elders 75 years and older whose dignity, character, creativity, and connection to community have quietly contributed to the world around them.

My father based his life on the parable of the Good Samaritan: Matthew 5:41: “And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him, go twain." My birthday present to him is to establish an annual Second Mile Award. The holder of the 2010 award receives a $500 honorarium, a certificate designed by my niece, and publication on Riehlife of the nomination essay

To find out how to nominate an Elder, learn more about the award, the meaning of the Second Mile, and my father's life go to this link: The deadline for nomination essays is November 9, 2010--my father's birthday. He'll join me in reading the essays to determine the holder of the 2010 Second Mile Award.

Join me in celebrating the essence of this award and nominate an elder over seventy-five that has impacted life in a normal as well as special way. The award recognizes one individual, but all those nominated receive the award of knowing that age is a very interesting subject.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Prisoner of the Flesh

Thus, because our senses sometimes deceive us, I wanted to suppose that nothing was exactly as they led us to imagine. And because there are men who make mistakes in reasoning, even in the simplest matters in geometry, and who commit paralogisms, judging that I was just prone to err as ay other, I rejected as false all the reasonings that I had previously taken for demonstrations. And finally, considering the fact that all the same thoughts we have when we are awake can also come to us when we are asleep, without any of them being true, I resolved to pretend that all things that have ever entered my mind were no more true than the illusions of my dreams. But immediately afterward I noticed that, while I wanted thus to think that everything was false, it necessarily had to be the case that I, who was thinking this, was something. And noticing that this truth─I think, therefore I am─ was so firm and so assured that all the most extravagant suppositions of the skeptics were incapable of shaking it, I judged that I could accept it without scruple as the first principle of the philosophy I was seeking.

Then examining with attention what I was, and seeing that I could pretend that I had no body and that there was no world nor any place where I was, I could not pretend, on that account, that I did not exist at all, and that, on the contrary, from the very fact that I thought of doubting the truth of other things, it followed evidently and very certainly that I existed; whereas, on the other hand, had I stopped thinking, even if all the rest of what I had imagined had been true, I would have had no reason to believe that I had existed. From this I knew that I was a substance the whole essence or nature of which is simply to think, and which, in order to exist, has no need of any place nor depends on any material thing. Thus this “I” that is to say, the soul through which I am what I am, is entirely distinct from the body and is even easier to know than the body, and even if there were no body at all, it would not cease to be all that it is.

Rene Descartes the 17th century philosophy wrote those thoughts in his 1637 work, a Discourse on the Method for Conducting One’s Reason Well and for Searching for Truth in the Sciences. Part four of the work is where Descartes puts his thoughts about existence in terms that are easy to understand. Thinking and believing are the ingredients for reasoning, but consciousness or the soul in religious terms exists without those ingredients.

Reasoning distorts any innate information even though it is a portion of our being. This active part of our being is not recognized as the official self. This selective significance causes a bit of corporal dishonesty or a cellular imbalance since the cells are made up of these units of consciousness that exist in the non-physical as well as the physical world. The body still responds to the innate impulses of the cells and psychological activity percolates that create hunches, premonitions and other experiences that don’t fit into the rational framework of the self.

Descartes experiment shows how consciousness can conform and shape itself without form and the results can be experiences that are typically called out of body or a heightened level of awareness. These messages from other aspects of the self are used in a variety of ways even when we are not consciously aware that we are using them. We often try to avoid certain probable actions based on a hunch or some sort of impulse that develops spontaneously out of egotistical fear.

The body is a pattern and the material that composes it constantly changes due to the consciousness within the cells that trigger expanded centers of consciousness that respond to external world conditions. Probabilities are determined using cellular activity that is a portion of the “I” as well as the “I” itself. There is nothing to prevent us from viewing the world without a body except our beliefs about consciousness being a prisoner within the flesh which as Descartes discovered is not necessarily a truth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Flower of the Mind

The poet knows that he speaks adequately, then, only when he speaks somewhat wildly, or, “with the flower of the mind;” not with the intellect, used as an organ, but with the intellect released from all service, and suffered to take its direction from its celestial life, or, as the ancients were wont to express themselves, not with intellect alone, but with the intellect inebriated by nectar. As the traveler who has lost its way, throws his reins on his horse’s neck, and trusts to the instinct of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through the world. For if in any manner we can stimulate this instinct, new passages are opened for us in nature, the mind flows into and through things hardest and highest, and the metamorphosis is possible.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1844 essay, The Poet does speak with the “Flower of the Mind” as he describes the basic units of consciousness that carry us through this world. His presence is the result of his poised consciousness choosing its perceptions from a predictable field that is connected to a greater field of organization. Emerson’s words are not about past history as much as they are a comprehension of future probabilities. His cells like all cells are precognitive.

That’s the instinct that dwells in the unknown channels of our mind and manifest in artistic expressions that wildly speak from a world that recognizes the intellect as an organ, but uses the nectar of consciousness to break it down, and reassemble it to create a metamorphosis that we call enlightenment or thinking with no mind.

The world of the artist blinks on and off pulsating from one creative impulse to another. Atoms, molecules, electrons and other phenomena are constantly in motion and the holes of non-existence that exists within the blinking are filled with selectivity. The blinking chooses significant experiences around which life is felt. The automatic sensations of one kind of life create barriers for other world schemes that don’t correlate or are not in sync with selective personal blinking. The blinking in and out of realities is always an individual experience that is realized as awareness drops from the curtain of separation.

Like the flower that blooms from its bulb we are consciousness from the bulb of our essence. We are modern day cavemen that venture out into the daylight of our objective awareness to explore the dimensions of selfhood that exist between the holes of selectivity that are comfortable and familiar. New passages open as the self recognizes that it is only one petal in the flower of the mind.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Body Stability

It’s a secret which every intellectual man quickly learns, that, beyond the energy of his possessed and conscious intellect, he is capable of a new energy (as of an intellect doubled on itself), by abandonment to the nature of things; that besides his privacy of power as an individual man, there is a great public power, on which he can draw, by unlocking, at all risks, his human doors, and suffering the ethereal tides to roll and circulate through him: then he is caught up into the life of the Universe, his speech is thunder, his thought is law, and his words are universally intelligible as the plants and animals.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1841 essay, The Poet is describing the basic units of consciousness that express themselves in physical life. Faster than the speed of light CU units exist outside as well as inside the framework of light itself. They give it meaning. The extraordinary communication system within the body is dependant upon the constant flow and flux of these units.

Consciousness units form the mind as we know it. The structure of the brain is formulated as CU units permeate mental enzymes. The body’s survival is determined by these units propensity for significance and selectivity. But the body’s reality remains constant in a seeming constant existence thanks to this form of consciousness. Although the body appears permanent and in existence from one moment to the next, it is constantly rising out of a plethora of probabilities. Probabilities hover at the point of now in terms of perception and experience. The body’s stability is dependant on the knowledge of future probabilities as well as past ones.

The present is the result of our own poised consciousness. We limit the present by our own thoughts and beliefs about the nature of our reality. Emerson is challenging those beliefs and in his own 19th century way is explaining that each individual is aware of other intensities and concentrations of consciousness. We use these units to express our individual reality as well as the collective one.