Monday, January 14, 2008
Is consciousness directional?
We are all accustomed to speaking of coming into contact with something "higher." In fact, the aim of almost all spiritual work and spiritual people is to contact forces "higher" than man.
Or at least, if it isn't, they spend an awful lot of time blabbing about it.
At the same time, as I have mentioned before, Mr. Gurdjieff made it clear that consciousness does not move in one direction alone if it grows.
We can once again used the analogy of baking bread to examine this question.
People say that bread dough "rises" when yeast is added. Frankly speaking this is not accurate. What the dough does is expand. It goes up, and it goes out. If it were in a weightless environment, it would go "down" as well. The point is that as consciousness grows, it grows in every direction.
Our obsession with contacting something higher may be a mistaken fixation on direction. If the "Almighty Uni-Being Endlessness" of God exists everywhere and penetrates everything, then looking for him"up" isn't necessary. We can look sideways and down, and still find Her/Him.
It's quite clear that direction is a subjective concept, determined strictly by the function of the perceived present location. There is no definitive "up" or "down," "or right" and "left" in the cosmos. The notions are anthropomorphic, dualistic, and lack a reconciling principle.
The principle of scale is much easier to invoke. Size does matter in this sense: there are aggregated states of matter, and of energy, that are larger than us, and smaller than us. This is what we are actually developing a sensitivity to when we attempt to evolve consciously. We are becoming attuned to the realities and implications of scale.
As we engage in this activity, perhaps we can begin to take responsibility for our stewardship of the levels below us, the respect we have for our body, our cells, the biological world that we inhabit. By doing so, we may be able to intimate the attitude that creatures and consciousnesses who live on scales and levels larger, and more comprehensive, than ours have towards us.
We are repeatedly trapped by the literalism of our ordinary mind. The word "higher" gets used, and the next thing you know, we are flinging about other words like "an energy from above" and so on. This kind of literalism may distract us from a sensitivity that is far more comprehensive and penetrating than cosmic rays of love from heaven.
It's certain that the cosmic rays of love from heaven don't need to come from somewhere else; they are already in us. The fact that we can't sense them is due to the broken nature of our machine, not their presence in some other mythical location.
The process of becoming more aware is expanding our consciousness until we come into contact with the edge of that already existing inner potential, so that it can, by virtue of its own powerful osmosis, infuse us with its radiant love and infinite potential.
May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.