Thursday, July 11, 2013

Materiality and ideas

The word idea comes from the Greek for "form" or "pattern," both formed from the root "idein," to see. So an idea is in fact not some abstract concept, but a way of seeing — something that is seen.  And in the sense that we use the word, an idea is the seeing of a form or a pattern.

What is inherent in this action is not the existence of the form or the pattern; form or pattern are like trees in the forest, that exist whether or not they are seen. But there can be no knowing of the trees unless there is a seeing, and one who sees. So the essential quality of an idea here is that there is one who sees with in it; a conscious force, a Being— Swedenborg would say a person — who participates in the action. ( the Latin root of this word, persona, indicates an actor's mask, or a character in a play — in other words, an entity that plays a role.)

In this way, we can understand each "idea" as our essential and unique perception of material circumstances of Being.

So there is nothing abstract about an idea. When I sense my whole body, and my whole self, within the magnetic force of attraction that holds it together, understanding that I am made of cells, this is an idea. But it isn't an idea in my head, it is the physical sensation of the expression of materiality.

When we come to a sense of ourselves, the first thing that we have to understand and appreciate is the inhabitation of materiality. This inescapable and fundamental quality is the essential root of everything that follows. This is why it occupies the first note, Re,  on the enneagram; and it is why physical sensation comes the root expression of Being, without which nothing else can begin to take place.

Of course we inhabit materiality unconsciously, without this physical sensation, most of the time. The physical sensations that we have are from the external field of sensation, that is, things that enter us — and the sensation that emanates from a higher level, the fundamental sensation that penetrates everything and is in fact the active force that creates life and material, is shut off from us.

 When the nervous system is a reactive entity, it only responds to what it encounters. But  when it becomes an active entity, it is already active before external circumstances act on it. So there is a level of vibration that begins in the flesh, blood, bones, and marrow, that is an originating force. This is informed by the divine, and has an active presence that flows into the action of the inner octave in a very different way than the forces from outside life.

From the very first instant of material formation, this idea of existence — of Being — is already present. But it is developed at a very low, even animal, level. The intelligence it needs to acquire in order to sense itself in a new way isn't there; and only a great deal of work can change that. My sensation of myself needs to become quite permanent, so that there is always a connection to it. This is not an invoked connection, but a natural connection, that is, an opening to the higher channel that mediates this force, this highly magnetic vibration that lies at the root of my physical being.

There are so many more things that need to take place in inner work that it beggars the question. However, the discovery of the physical roots of sensation is such a revolutionary experience that this alone, if it becomes active, galvanizes a work, because it raises so many questions about the rest of existence. One might call it the beginning of the path; but in fact, it isn't the beginning, because it lies quite far down the path, and many preparatory steps must be taken in order for it to become a living thing.

The forces that mediate this have a great deal to do with the action of what the yogis call chakras. Yet, as I have pointed out many times, teachings that understand this — which contain many accurate features — are not necessarily germane to the methods of the fourth way. There needs to be a flexibility of interpretation and an openness to receiving a force that does not codify it in the same way that the yoga schools do.

 In the schools of the fourth way, it is not the form or the pattern that makes the idea — it is the seeing of it.

May your soul be filled with light.

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