Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The intimate act of perception


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Whether I sense it or not, I am closely tied to the planet. This means that the energy that flows in me is regulated by what one might call astrological conditions.

I don't say this in order to encourage the use of mumbo-jumbo astrology, although I have no objections to gentle speculation in this area. What I do say is based strictly on many years of specific observation within my own range of perception. The energy that is available to me for work depends to some extent on the phases of the moon. There are probably other planets involved with this, but I can't be more specific on that subject, because I don't follow the less obvious details of planetary alignments. And I am not going to offer observations about what's available and when, because even that varies depending on inner conditions.

In any event, I am closely tied to the planet. I am a part of biology, a part of animal life, a part of organic life on Earth, and the chief initial cause of my inability to see what I am arises, in large part, from my psychological and organic separation from this fact. Man's senses have, as Gurdjieff indicated, deteriorated so much that what the ordinary man ought to sense about his conditions -- what even a dog, in fact, is able to sense about his conditions -- is no longer available to him.

Not only that, the conditions that make it more possible for me to sense what I am organically are not consistent. So I have to learn how to work when energy is more available, and relax and not force things when it is less so.

Coming back to a more practical set of observations, over the last day I have been studying the availability of finer material within the context of impressions as it is connected to the active perception of breathing, not within meditation, but in the midst of ordinary life.

Bringing this study over into the first moments of awakening in the morning, I spent about five minutes this morning studying the intimacy of connection directly upon coming out of sleep.

I have recommended this study to readers before. The moment when I wake up is a moment when the associative center, which runs most of the show, has not kick started itself yet. In this particular moment, it's more possible to observe the roots of the connection between breathing, sensation, and perception.

It's particularly important, I find, to study and attempt to understand this impression, because the root of sensation itself lies here in this foundation. One might say that the very act of being itself is born within the very fine and very precise vibrations that arise at the fundament of this act of perception.

I point myself back to this because it reminds me once again of the delicate intimacy which is needed if I wish to study the organism. Crude, gross impressions -- by gross I mean impressions of a "larger" nature--and psychological impressions are all very interesting and distracting, but for myself I find it is these very fine, intimate, and precise impressions at the root of being that I need to understand. I am studying a very complicated organism, much like an old-fashioned watch with many tiny gears, and I can't appreciate the fineness of the mechanism unless I am willing to put my attention quite specifically on the clockwork.

Despite many years of a good availability of these impressions, their intensity varies, and there are periods where such impressions are much less available. I no longer ascribe this to a failure of my attention. That would be akin to believing that I control everything. I feel quite certain that availability depends on these planetary conditions I began with. So I need to wait patiently, trimming the wick of my lamp, so to speak, for the moment when something becomes more available.

Then I turn my attention, first thing in the morning, towards this specific and intimate understanding of the relationship between breathing and sensation of the body. I discover a support that arises within the experience which I may be able to come back to later in the day.

In "Heart Without Measure," Jeanne de Salzmann implied to Ravi Ravindra that the act of carefully collecting such impressions and nurturing one's self with them would help the lower energies in the body to establish a better contact with the higher ones.

Speaking from my own experience, she was definitely correct on this point.


May our hearts be open, and our prayers be heard.

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