Sunday, May 17, 2009

Naked and Alone

Back  from China, and in  the midst of recovery  from jet lag.

One of my essence-friends, a woman with whom I usually agree, objected to my use of the words "naked and alone" in the last post.   Her contention is that the perception we are alone comes from ego;  in her formidable world view,  we are all part of God, and any perception to the contrary is a false one.

I don't actually disagree with her concept, but there are several problems with it. 

First of all, it ignores the fact of levels. Consciousness manifests itself on many different levels, and in every successively lower level, the fragments of consciousness are smaller than they are on a level above them. Thus, in an actual sense, a separation -- we could call it an adumbration,  or branching -- of consciousness does take place, and it isn't possible -- short of being a fully realized master -- to reconnect with the wholeness of consciousness as it exists in the body of God -- that is, the entirety of the universe itself. 

 The second difficulty I have with this is that any premise that supposes we understand the context of such consciousness is purely theoretical. It's nice to talk about it,  and it may even be true, but that doesn't mean we are there

In the process of opening,  consciousness is required to confront itself within multiple contexts. The idea of "seeing" as it exists in the Gurdjieff work is, in part, a process of consciousness rediscovering itself.  

Treading the path involves a recognition that we have become separated.   In order to reconnect -- to participate in the process of religion -- we must first understand that we are separated. Awakening is, in part, acquiring this understanding.   The ego needs to see how helpless it is. This is why Mr. Gurdjieff said  a man must come to know his own nothingness. For a man to know that he is a part of God, on the other hand,  he would have to come to know his somethingness,  which is not an exercise Gurdjieff emphasized to us, short of "I am- I wish to be." 

In any event,  having an intellectual discussion -- or argument -- about the nature of ego, and whether or not we are part of God, is somewhat beside the point.   When I said that we need to discover what it means to be naked and alone,  I meant something quite specific within the context of a deep inner work  that does not lend itself to the kind of intellectual analysis that my friend delights--and has expertise--in.   

Interested readers will need to spend time studying this remark of mine within the context of Islam -- that is, submission -- in order to understand what I am getting at.  If they do, they will discover that what I mean is not part  of a thought process.   It is a three centered experience  that involves a surrender to something much higher.   

It is entirely true that this could offer us the opportunity -- if the process were consummated -- to reconnect, to actually discover what religion means in an inner sense, instead of the outer sense that society understands it in.   But in order to have that opportunity, one must participate in the process. 

One cannot skip over the rungs in the ladder jut because one has been told about what the view from the top may look like. As it's said in AA: "The elevator to sobriety is broken. Please use the steps."

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

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