Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Contact with myself

Cross group temples, Palenque, Mexico
The Temple of the Cross is to the right.

...for now I need to recognize that sensation is an instrument of knowledge, an instrument of contact with myself. If I wish to know that I exist, I have to feel the force and energy in me by contact.

Jeanne de Salzmann, The Reality of Being, p. 63)

 In modern psychology, one often speaks about "getting in touch" with oneself in one way or another. But almost no one understands the difference between psychology and the organic sense of Being.

The organic sense of Being involves a force which is completely different than psychology. Psychology is, in fact, subservient to it; by the word, I mean the psychology of the ordinary mind, that is, my thinking parts and all the things associated with them. These thinking parts are a completely different function than the function that produces sensation; and the function that produces sensation, that is, organic sensation — which is ultimately quite distinct from ordinary sensory experience — comes from a different part of Being.

 It is, in fact, the fundamental element that forms Being, that is, real Being, instead of psychological being. We really don't realize that we live within psychological being; and almost all of our spiritual inquiry is conducted from psychological being. The books, the yoga classes, the weekend retreats, the deep heartfelt discussions — all of these arise from psychological being, which is actually a fragmentary emanation of real Being. These wonderful things, all of which can help, will still end up chasing their own tail if one doesn't develop a quite different inner understanding.

Let's try to describe it in a different way.

Being emanates from the inner and manifests in the outer. Roughly speaking, there are three major channels through which Being emanates: the mind, the body, and emotions. But only one of those channels functions with any great strength throughout the day, and that is the thinking channel, the channel of the mind.

The emotional channel emanates Being intermittently, often in very strong bursts, and usually without any intelligent regulation. Individuals whose bursts are particularly strong and unpredictable are seen as having emotional disturbances. In fact, all of us are like this; but like alcoholics who enjoy a defensive satisfaction in pointing the finger at someone who is more of a drunkard than they are, we would rather see someone else's emotional disturbance than acknowledging our own. When the emotional channel emanates fragmentary being we call it desire, which is the lower level of a more spiritual quality called feeling.

The body emanates Being on a routine basis connected with creature functions, that is, biologically, and almost all of these are expressed as urges of one kind or another. Urge is, in the same sense as desire, a lower level of sensation.

The mind emanates Being on a routine basis in the form of rationalization. Everything that is encountered is rationalized in one way or another so that it fits the form of the mind that is already there. Under ordinary circumstances, every impression we take in is automatically adjusted so that it fits into a prefabricated slot we have prepared for things. In this way, we managed to rationalize life so that it becomes what we expect it to be or wish it were, not what it is. Rationalization is a lower level of what Meister Eckhart called intellect.

So all three of the fragmentary emanations of Being, if they develop and are unified, express higher or sacred levels of their lower manifestations. Almost all encounters with the sacred involve a taste, whether brief or extended, of these higher elements of Being.

Jeanne de Salzmann proposes a completely different situation: the instrument of knowledge, the instrument of contact with myself, is not the mind. It is sensation; and if I wish to know that I am real, I have to come in the relationship with this force, this energy, in a new way. That is to say, the three emanations of Being, each of which is partial, or fragmentary, need to manifest in a new way, and the binding force, the glue, which can lead me to this sensation. If the sensation of Being, the organic sense of Being, becomes a living thing that blends with the profoundly overactive psychology of Being, a form of balance begins to develop.  I begin to see the difference between the sensation of Being, which is not a rationalization, and the psychology of Being, which is.

 Perhaps we could say, in very simple terms, that this is the difference between a conscious man (see yesterday's post) and the man who is unconscious. Unconscious man engages in rationalization, and very little else. Conscious man understands the difference between rationalization and Being. In this way, he begins to distinguish between his subjectivity and the objectivity of his world.

This is a long process, but it begins with this question of sensation.


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