Saturday, January 13, 2007

Gratitude, responsibility, and awareness

I have spent the week at a trade show in Germany. During the show there were a lot of rich impressions, but above all there were many opportunities to make the effort to be in relationship with other people.

This is a difficult question for me and perhaps for all of us. As I have noted recently, I often seem to be absent from relationship- first with myself, then inevitably with others- much of the time. This is such a signature feature of our state that Da Free John (who now calls himself Da Love Ananda) said the key question for all of us in life is, "avoiding relationship?"

I don't much hang my hat on this particular guru's work, but I think he has a real point.

In my experience of this week there was a lot of sharing on a very simple, honest and practical level. Nothing special. Just human beings making the best effort they can to meet their lives in a responsible way, with sensitivity to others. I saw a number of old friends- one of whom I haven't seen for many years. It was very feeding and I was left this morning with an enormous sense of gratitude for this life I have been given.

Life is a very precious substance and a terrific responsibility.

Why do I say this?

Consider this carefully, deeply. Meditate on it:

Awareness creates reality.

In my experience, we all belong to a force much larger than what we perceive as "ourselves." As the custodians of our own consciousnesses, which locate themselves within this immense field of forces that creates reality, we are given the vital task of receiving and transmitting the impressions of the world and our lives. Collectively, this force we call consciousness creates the world: without consciousness to perceive it, there is no world.

I have pondered this for some time after asking myself the questions, "why should there be something rather than nothing?" and "can there be nothing?" That is, is it even possible for there to be nothing?

The only condition under which there can be nothing is if there is nothing to perceive it. Existence cannot exist independent of perception. So reality is created by and arises from awareness.

The physicists can sit about arguing this one all they want to. If there were no consciousness then the possibilities of classical reality, quantum mechanics, and string theory, all of which seek to explain why there is a reality, would not even exist. Consciousness comes first.

Perhaps this insight is too simple to satisfy the scientists-or perhaps it is just that it will never succumb to their arsenal of mathematics.

Every one of us acts as a universe-creator within the field of our own awareness... ahem. Did I just refer to this idea as simple? My bad. The implications of this are too vast to swallow with the mind and I won't bother expounding on them here. (Go read a lot of Dogen. He expounds most wonderfully.) Instead I encourage readers to examine this proposition to see what is true. What does this mean in terms of our own responsibility? If all conscious beings are Gods that individually create the truth of a world through perception, what kind of Gods are they?

And what kind of Gods do we wish to be?

Speaking only for myself: in this awesome effort and act of understanding- physically, emotionally, and intellectually- that I both participate in the creation of, and reciprocally belong to, something much larger than myself, my being and my body resonate in oceans of sensation.
Waves of humility, gratitude, and devotion arise, all within this most ordinary, horizontal, daily thing we call existence. A sense of scale without magnifies itself within.

How am I responsible to my awareness?

With this thought I send love to all of you- today, most particularly, a certain special friend at school in Florida ...but hey, you're all special!

God bless

me

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