Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Multiple connections

Almost every day, I walked down to the banks of the Hudson River, and spend about an hour watching birds, observing trees bud out, and generally marveling at this mysterious place which I assume I know so much about, but actually do not understand at all.

When we speak about inner work, of course the emphasis starts out being about “me.” I am not connected; I don't have a good sense of myself, I am not unified, I am not conscious, etc. etc. etc.

This sense of "me" is a large part of what gets in the way. It is not just the connection “I” have with “myself”; the function of connectivity, and the question of connection in general, applies to everything.

Human beings are entities that only function properly in relationship. It is not just an inner relationship; it is not just a “vertical” relationship, or a "horizontal" relationship. The relationship that I seek is actually what one might call a spherical relationship, insofar as anything that is energy based and cosmological in nature can actually have a form.

It extends from a single point–the point of consciousness–in all directions, through both time and space. The function of awareness is to connect and transmit the relationships that it encounters. Consciousness is not an end point: it is a middleman.

I have the potential, if I could but sense it, to act as a neuron. A cellular entity with dendrites extending in every direction: upwards towards the higher, downwards towards the lower–horizontally towards that which is around me. I have the capacity to sense higher energies, lower energies, energies on my own level. All of them come together within me in this organic sense of being, this physical, emotional, and intellectual sense of existence.

This sense of “me" becomes much less precise at such moments; at the same time, it becomes much more concise. Lacking the complication of what “I” am–as though “I” was actually anything at all–a simplicity arrives. The simplicity arrives because there is no longer an attempt to be the authority; there is merely an availability that transmits. With this arrives a clarity that is unencumbered by the usual nonsense.

Perhaps the most essential question at this moment in mankind's evolution is exactly what the nature of relationship to this planet is. Our existence, which because of our psychological abnormalities has collapsed into a generalized form of self worship, is actually planetary in nature, is a direct function of the planet, and is inseparable from both the nature of the planet and what it needs in order to function.

Losing our connection to nature, and being evermore enslaved by technologies that were supposed to serve us, but instead have eaten us alive, we stand in danger of losing much more than ourselves. We stand to lose a whole planet.

This isn't some form of naturalistic romanticism. The question of our relationship to nature is at the heart not only of our intellectual and scientific interests, it is at the heart of our relationship to God. It is essential to our understanding of Being. Yet it is not enough to understand our relationship to nature with the intellect. And it is not enough, either, to understand with the emotion, as so many well-meaning people in the green movement do.

Nature needs to be understood with all of our parts, in a new way, so that the separation between what we experience as ourselves and nature ceases to exist.

This is a delicate question that bears a great deal of pondering. It's related to Jeanne DeSalzmann's remark that without our work, “the planet will go down."

I try to come to a deeper understanding of this every time I walk the dog.

May our prayers be heard.


  1. Amen, We can become nails, that hold heaven and earth together; that act like spark plugs, with sparks going in BOTH direction; We can become filaments through this verticality; the "nail" may be made magnetic, or develop other capacities, if we have build the radio of the WORK within ourselves; depending on the dial, we might pick up influences from FAR below, which need to be transmitted far above, and signals from FAR above, which may be seeking an outlet upon the Earth.

    And without the slightest vestige of violence. None. No Negativity can pass through this connection; only the coin of Suffering/Bliss, the same coin that by working we may have earned, at great cost.

    Mr. Gurdjieff said many times that his "Work" was not cheap. Who has the coin to pay for the meal set before us?

  2. But maybe I need to start Working and stop talking about Work or about Work people or about all things relating to the Work.

    James Wyckoff in his book about Wilhelm Reich relates how F. M Alexander had said that "we BELIEVE we know, because we THINK we know (italics mine, DO). Truth, after all, is not to be known, but lived, experienced. There is no such thing as truth; but there is a way of living truly. The moment one searches for the truth, one is outside the truth."

    So practicing what I'm preaching in this case, I can notice my breathing as I type on my laptop. Time once again comes to a stop. It's a full, quiet sound that appears. I can hear the birds out on Robbins Ave. I can hear the trucks up on Interstate 91. I'm quiet.

    I'm not working, as such. I'm listening. I'm available for something to appear. As James Wyckoff said, "Either work is there or not, this work with the body. The moment the thought starts, I am gone. We need to think with the body. It is moment to moment, always fresh. So I come back with every breath. Each breath is the present. This breath is now."

  3. The points you raise are good ones. Each one has subtleties to it that don't submit to any verbal analysis.

    It all sounds good, Don, yet it isn't practical to stop talking and live in a world of complete silence, either; and speaking about silence draws us ever deeper into ironies we all seem, for the most part, to be only dimly aware of.

    Martha Heynemann and I have oft discussed the complete insufficiency, yet absolute necessity, of words; in the end, perhaps we need to take Martin Luther's advice: "since we must sin, sin boldly."

    The same contradictions and dilemmas confront all of us. The instant after we agree that we ought to stop talking about work or work people, suddenly we are both talking about work or work people again in the next paragraph.

    A sense of humor becomes a useful tool at moments like this.

  4. What is the relationship between Work as brought by Mr. Gurdjieff and talking? Can I talk and Work simultaneously? Can I play a piano and Work simultaneously? Can I "do" Movements and Work simultaneously?


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