Wednesday, January 2, 2008

solidity of experience

There are days when it seems to me that the solidity of inner impressions is so intense that I almost have to wrestle with them. It reminds me of the story of Jacob wrestling the angel.

Impressions seem flighty and temporary when they do not go deep into the organism. We all believe to one degree or another that it is how memorable impressions are later that determines how meaningful they were.

I think we all have this wrong.

It is how memorable impressions are NOW that determines how meaningful they ARE.

A real solidity of experience in this immediate moment, especially one that stems from having one's inner state resonating like a tuning fork that has been smacked at velocity, trumps flashy memories of the past every single time.

This morning, I was reading Dogen's Shobogenzo (yes, I am still working on it, not quite finished yet) and came across a passage -- page 122, volume 4, of the Nishijima and Cross translation by Dogen Sangha press--- where he mentions that the Buddha understood that reality was created and destroyed 6,400,099,980 times per day. No kidding.

A rough calculation suggests that in his estimation, reality is created and destroyed 74,075 times per second. If this is not reminiscent of string theory, where reality arises from myriad infinitesimal oscillations, I don't know what would be. In any event, it reminds us that the "reality" we experience is in fact composed of vibration, forever in process.

When I am receptive to it, it affects the entire organism quite differently, right down to the nature of the cells themselves and the way they experience and respond to life.

The solidity of experience as in flowing and out flowing impressions is not "fun." It creates a tremendous demand, as though one were caught in a river and attempting to avoid being swept over the waterfall that lies just ahead. Or perhaps it is like feeling the entire weight of the rate of creation pressing down and understanding that we have a responsibility to "hold the earth" up from every point in which we manifest. The simple fact is that we live within raging torrents of energy at every level -- right up to and including the fact that everything we perceive with our eyes is perceived through a wave/particle phenomenon (light) colliding with the rod and cone cells in our retinas at approximately 186,000 miles per second.

...Safe to say, if light was any bigger, it might squash us like a bug, mightn't it?

Think about that the next time you open your eyes in the morning.

Developing any sensitivity, any real solidity of experience, covers territory we do not know, raises questions we cannot verbalize; experience begins to sink into us like stones that head straight for the bottom of the deepest ocean trench, out of sight, out of mind: impressions falling out of deep space and into deep space that forms the foundation of our inner solar system.

Territory that, during a lifetime, we forever add to and perpetually stand upon, but are fundamentally unable to see.

The outside world is not so hidden any more. Our technology has made deep space accessible to us: daily, the Hubble telescope and its numerous brethren pull off the universe's underwear and reveals its reproductive organs, and its countless children, to our naked eyes.

To us, tiny creatures on a tiny planet, invested in the outer senses, deep space appears to be "out there."

We fail to remember, and cannot see, that deep space is everywhere.

We are deep space.

May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.

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