Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sensed by Otherness

Paul Reynard
Untitled Banner, Acrylic on Canvas, circa 1974-76
Private Collection

Last night I had an odd dream. I was in a movements class.  My wife was there. The class was being led by Paul Reynard

There were many people in it; we all began a movement that involved turning, and yet, as I came out of several intimate turns, the rest of the class was suddenly involved in a very advanced movement I was completely unfamiliar with. 

I was so lost I had to step aside. I watched the class, which was doing a sacred exercise showing community, which did not take place in the conventional rows and order all those of us who have done movements are familiar with; there were flowing lines, processionals, nuclei that formed and unformed, interacting with one another. The class was a fluid organism with many different connections, and the movement most perfectly expressed that, even though the order was wholly unknown and could not be perceived immediately by the naked eye.

There was an intimation that this movement would be followed by a special movement that involved positions of the hands, but we didn't get to that part.

I awoke sensed by otherness, and an energy had arrived. In that vision of community, of an organic relationship, of a fluidity that interacts and inhabits relationship, and the intimation of a future defined within hands with the potential to express meaning and build something greater than ourselves, an unknown truth was contained. It was an evocation of mystery, both where it was, and where it was going, but it nonetheless contained a palpable and immeasurable value. 

There's an impression that “I” will come to something new in myself: that inner work will produce a new quality within my old quality, that a new me will emerge.

I'm unable to understand anything about inner work from where I am. I don't quite understand how it works or how it will work; I read books about how it has worked for others, perhaps, or maybe just sheer conjecture from those who pretend to understand it. Yet the part I am in, this construction I call “myself,” while indubitably real, so far as that goes—is insufficient. This personality is a somewhat dreamlike machine that builds itself mostly out of beliefs, not factual experiences that are directly perceived.

I don't sense a different quality. I don't sense otherness. If there is a change, it doesn't exist from where I am in myself now. I don't sense otherness—I am sensed by otherness.

This different quality that is sought senses me. It doesn't emanate from where I am; it may be part of what is real, and I may be part of that, yet the emanation of a higher vibration, the arrival of a different sense of order, comes from a place that is unknown and can't be known from where I am. Certainly, it's necessary for me to yearn and pray for connection to an otherness; to have, as Jeanne De Salzmann puts it, a nostalgia for Being.

  There is a memory of otherness that echoes through Being, even on this level. If my sensitivity is more active, perhaps I can remember that I came from somewhere else, that there is an otherness. Perhaps I will even get an intimation of the fact that Self-remembering is a remembering about otherness, not just a coming to attention within this self. All of the attention from within where I am can only serve; and it can only serve as a preparation for otherness, which may sense me as I am.

What is this otherness? My imagination works overtime on that, but all it can manufacture is what is here; it's unable to penetrate the cloud of unknowing. This is the greatest dilemma; unknowing saturates everything, it is the essential quality of where truth can be perceived from my current state. Perhaps that's the summary of the situation; the truth is the unknown.

Perhaps the significance of my dream was, above all, the participation that it expressed, and the understanding that from where I am, I don't know where I am in community or in relationship. 

I must accept my place, see where I am, and try to allow myself to be sensed by otherness.

I respectfully hope you will take good care.