Sunday, April 1, 2012
The thread of life
As a rule, this process happens more or less by accident in everyone's life. It takes place unconsciously; we end up seeing where we are each morning in our life by a very random process, in which we come back to ourselves with the automatic associations that manifest themselves mechanically, placing our consciousness and our being in the middle of this puzzle we call life. A puzzle we don't have all the parts for, and haven't sorted out well.
We rely on this automatic placement of ourselves in life without thinking about it.
I wake up. Here I am. Off I go.
Yet I know there needs to be something more intentional about understanding myself. Understanding who I am, where I am, what is taking place in me. And in order to do that, one thing I can try is to draw the thread of my life up through myself in the morning, intentionally, seeing as much as I can of my life in its entirety.
This life, I find, is a thread that runs all the way through me, from my earliest memories, all the way through my childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and adulthood, containing what is, objectively, a very brief period of some years of experience—and yet, this creates a whole universe of impressions.
As I draw this thread of myself up through me, I see that each instance of the thread—each point on it—expands horizontally through a series of objects, events, circumstances, and conditions that encompass a whole universe unto itself.
As we grow older, it's increasingly incumbent upon us to digest our entire life and understand it. This experience, after all, is in its entirety the whole of what we have to offer to God on the altar of life itself. The question relates back to my queries about what I deserve. I can't see who I am, where I am, or what I am responsible for unless I sense the whole of my life. This understanding isn't divorced from the behavioral sciences; recapitulation theory (which is a version of the outdated biological adage “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny") says much the same thing.
But the action is not strictly horizontal, by any means.
One of the peculiar aftereffects of a powerful experience with higher energy—one which echoes and lasts, creating permanent changes—is the seeing, sensing, and feeling of the deep connectedness of every point in life. Experiences of this kind come from the utmost roots of one's being, revealing connections that one is, in daily life, more or less completely unaware of.
One begins to see that every point of time in life is actually a location within a sphere, not a progression on a line. All the points are connected with one another simultaneously: what I was when I was, for example, 12 years old and on a lake in Norway fishing for trout at midnight is what I am now. The separation is manufactured by the limitations of intellectual perception. It's the quality of feeling alone that can create an immediacy of impression, where life is a whole thing.
It's one thing to have higher energy teach us such things. But it's not enough to think that Angels will help us do this kind of work, even though they can. We must see that the work is necessary—yes, perhaps through the agency of this higher power, if such Grace arrives—and then undertake it ourselves, seeing that it is the responsibility of every three-brained being to sense the whole of their life.
The action of conscience, which Beelzebub advises has submerged within us and lies in our unconscious parts, is connected to this process. We can't develop any connection to conscience without understanding this process; and the automatic process of “I wake up, here I am, off I go” doesn't have a conscience. It's a machine.
The machine can go through life; but only I can live it.
I respectfully hope you will take good care.