Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Gurdjieff said that everything is material.
By this, he meant that everything in the universe consists of a material interaction. This is important to understand, because the nature of the universe is the nature of material interaction. God is present in every material interaction, and, in fact, the entire expression of Being—the point of Being—is the conscious experience of material interaction.
This sounds abstract, so perhaps we can try to bring it closer to home with an analogy.
Let's take sweetness. I eat papaya this morning; it is sweet. I have this impression of sweetness that enters me, and in that moment, I am in relationship with God, and experiencing His sweetness, which is expressed by the sweetness of the papaya. In fact, they are not different. So many of the Masters refer to sweetness when they speak of the quality of God, because God's presence also has this quality of sweetness to it. Perhaps we can understand God's sweetness by understanding the sweetness of the papaya; in fact, they are much the same.
All the sweetness of the Lord is like this; the sweetness of flowers or the sweetness of honey is like the sweetness of the Lord as well. And this is a quality that permeates life, a material quality of higher vibration. This is something that ought to penetrate me at all times; in fact, it does, but I don't always have a material sensation of it. And material interaction can only be intuited and understood through material sensation.
So if I want to understand anything about how everything in the world and the universe is material, I need to understand this sweetness. I may speak of inner work as giving me a taste of something; yet in order to understand what this means, perhaps I should turn my attention directly to taste, and see how the relationship, the material interaction, is the point of the enterprise. Material arises; then it comes into relationship. The entire world is built of these relationships. Perhaps one might say that an atom or molecule can't taste; yet atoms and molecules are what convey taste, so it arises from them. Taste, in other words, is an emergent property of material reality. It is furthermore a sacred property, a conscious property; it represents a higher level of understanding than the simple contact between the molecules that produce it.
When we speak of Tantric practice, doctrinal practice, perhaps we don't realize that the Sanskrit word tantra refers to a loom. So tantric practice is an act of weaving; bringing many different threads and fibers together into a whole piece of fabric.
That whole piece of fabric is Being.
Being is a taste; Being is sweetness. Being is a whole piece of cloth, woven by the complex process of our inner and outer relationships, which we can experience in a different way if we receive the energy that supports a finer vibration, a deeper level of understanding. When the Masters speak of the sweetness of God, they don't speak of it idly or as an analogy. The sweetness of God is a real thing, a tangible thing, just as Christ's water changed to wine is a description of how transubstantiation, the transformation of material substances, leads to higher, more complex levels of understanding and higher, more complex levels of Being.
If I'm religious, I may call it a miracle... If I'm a scientist, I call it emergence. Either way, transubstantiation is a Truth; a physical, rather than metaphysical, concept. Put in scientific terms, the physics of emergence is metaphysics. A physics that begins with molecules, but includes sweetness, a property which the molecules alone can't express.
Sweetness exists; but it can only exist with a physics of Being. These interactions are material. I make an effort to sense my Being in the immediate moment; then perhaps I see the material nature of how what I taste is real, and what that taste implies.
"If any man were so refashioned by the grace of God that he heeded every impulse of His will, he would never be without some sense of the eternal sweetness, even in this life, nor without its full realization in the bliss of heaven."
— The Cloud of Unknowing
I respectfully hope you will take good care.