Friday, March 7, 2008

live, think, study

I live, I think, I study.

In living, thinking, and studying, my ordinary mind seems inescapable: it seizes and interprets absolutely everything.

I watch this activity go on day by day and—“standing in the middle”—find my Self baffled by the difference between the activity of the mind, and the action of living experience.

There is a dualism here; a tension created by two different states of being that are coexistent, but not congruent.

On the one hand, I dwell within the confines of a mind that seizes; in seizing, it extracts the life from life, rendering it lifeless.

On the other, I discover the freedom of a mind that receives, and in receiving allows movement to be movement, preserving the living relationship as it participates.

The action of living experience contains and is contained by mindfulness, but it is not born of, and does not even need, the action of mind that seizes, that is, what Gurdjieff would call the associative mind.

This associative mind overflows with the ability to create and elaborate fascinating and beautiful constructions, but it does not--cannot--touch what is real. It is functionally separated from the real by its inherent partiality: the fact that it does not consist of the whole functioning of the parts of Being, but is just a convincing fraction.

The action of living experience is more whole, and dwells much closer to what is real; an umbilical cord of nourishment, rather than the sterile probe of association. It has no direct need of mind that seizes. It transcends intellect and replaces it with another quality, which is not what we would usually call mind. In fact this quality is unknown by this “thing” my Being is used by, called “mind;” it lies outside its domain.

So I see my inner self craves not my usual “life of the mind,” but rather a life within mindfulness. In this potentiality of Being, perception needs no commentary, needs no interpretation. It exists within and of itself, as a function of Being. It ceases to explain and instead experiences.

This question brings me back to the functional hypothesis of this blog, that is, "There is no "I", there is only truth. The way to the truth is through the heart."

Can "I" be discovered within the action of living experience? The distinction, which is made of words, becomes irrelevant, as do most of the constructions we carry within us. These are functions of what personality and society have built in us, not the living breath of our essence, which is Truth.

Within the action of living experience, life is immediate, tangible. Richer in sensation and perception, but lacking in deduction and analysis. Intellect assumes a simpler, much more quiescent posture, accepting the conditions, and observing the state. It has no need to create achievement, because achievement is discovered within the simple act of existence itself. There is no need for artifice, for art is born within the act of experience. And it finds satisfaction—the experience of being well fed—within the moment, because it is properly ingesting the food of life, instead of regurgitating most of it.

So my two qualities of Being find themselves coexistent within one body, in oscillation--perhaps even in direct conflict.

I seek first an awareness of these two natures, born of organism and not mind. Second, a more active choice directed at the cultivation of the inward quality. Third, a remembering of inner sensation: the inner sense of touch.

Sharpening the acuity of inner perception; sending the messenger of attention down into the interstices between the cells; cultivating the magnetism of the marrow: this is where the organic sense of being is born. Where the growth of the awareness can be discovered.

Here, hidden within silence and darkness, are streams that flow and water that feeds.

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

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