Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The wholeness of life

It's difficult for me to convey this understanding of how the soul is made of the wholeness of life, and all of the action in it.

The sacred cannot be segregated; yet everything we do arises from the understanding that the coarse has to be separated from the fine, and the sacred has to somehow be segregated and made "special."

 I think perhaps this is because our understanding of coarseness and fineness is an outward one, and is not understood in relationship to the question of the inner Self and the Soul. Inevitably, everything that is born in our minds segregates outwardly; we classify, we sort things out, we pop them into little boxes marked with their names. We do this self righteously, presuming that we are protectors of a tradition, or understanders of it who understand better than the rest.

 It almost doesn't matter who we are or which tradition it is, does it? Always, this outward action and outward understanding gains strength, while the inner understanding, the separation of the coarse from the fine which pertains to the soul, is neglected. Our attachment to outer things is so strong that we believe in this life as though we would be in it forever; when actually, everything it has in it is very temporary. Only the information — the inward formation of the soul — really matters; and yet who attends to that, in this age of magical technologies? A small thing like the leaf of a plant, which might bring a great understanding if it were seen in the right way, means little or nothing to us these days. We know much about finances, but little about wealth.

The wholeness of life forms the soul; it is everything, not the parts that are segregated by us and set aside as special. The idea of Gelichgültigkeit, equanimity, all things being equal, should apply to outward life and its influences; yet this is just a theory in me. It's only with contact arising through finer forces, which are the only mediator of true understanding, that I can see how theoretical I am about this. Only if the actual higher substances that are needed enter and find correspondence in my psyche do I begin to understand properly. These enter physically; they are vibrations from a higher level. They arrive uniquely, specifically, and without announcements. They are a matter between God and man as unique individuals, not institutions.

In a conversation with a good friend (who is, coincidentally, a professor of philosophy) yesterday, we discussed the question of the un-manifest — the investigation of that which lies beyond appearances. Somehow, the search for the inner Self, the creation and nurture of the soul, all move in the direction of the un-manifest, what lies beyond the cloud of unknowing. Attached to the wholeness of life in its outward sense—unconscious, unmindful, thoughtless towards a higher principle—movement in this direction can't take place. Yet, paradoxically, it's only the wholeness of life that even makes movement possible — creation itself naturally serves the uncreated, acting as a crucible in which manifestation made conscious attempts to move towards the unknown which gave birth to it.

So without the wholeness of life made True through what is manifest, there is no path towards the un-manifest.

Ibn 'Arabi states that the un-manifest, the Transcendent, the Reality can never be known; it is a law. Yet at the same time, he cites knowing as the highest principle within the manifest. Knowing, in its highest form, does not segregate; it just knows. Perhaps we might call it seeing. All of the outward action exists objectively; it is the inner action of the unique subjective that resolves the contradiction between  the ego and the soul, separates the coarse impressions of the ego from the finer ones of the soul, and draws distinctions not in the value of the outer world and its material, but the distinctions of the inner world and our perception of life.

 Discrimination arises through the ingestion of all of life, and of the separation of my own attitudes from themselves. This is a sacred action; it involves a fineness of attention and an active intention of the moment, within.

 If this doesn't happen, outer action and the outer world mean nothing. The greatest events with the largest amounts of force are insignificant in comparison to a man or woman's responsibility in this area of inner action.

 May your soul be filled with light.

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