Thursday, October 9, 2014

More practical perspectives

Perhaps readers think I write and speak too much about sensation; but, as regular readers know, this is my diary, and I write about what is specifically on my mind and within my practice at a particular time.

 Hardly anyone properly understands the question of sensation. Sensation ought to be a living thing, and it ought to be permanent; folks hear this, and it seems theoretical or abstract. It seems unreachable. It seems like a mystery that is being presented. Yet the organism ought to be firmly and irrevocably rooted in a permanent sensation of being, otherwise, the rest of one's efforts at work are nonsense. So in the beginning, all of the work that one does — the exercises, the self remembering, etc. — ought to be turned towards developing this initial and fundamental sense. It is not a high level piece of territory; it is a foundation. One's inner work cannot be turned properly into a direction that is meaningful without this foundation; yet people work on it for a year or two, have little experience with it — or none — and then move on to other, more lofty subjects which seem to be more interesting and afford greater possibilities.

This is a deeply mistaken attitude, because what it does is lead one past what is absolutely necessary in order to begin into subjects, attitudes, experiences, and efforts that are much too sophisticated and complicated to understand without a permanent root of sensation in the body. What folks don't realize is that sensation is an objective sense; and because it is so close to what we are within ourselves, it is the first objective sense a human being can develop. Of course there are others; but you can't play tennis if you don't get a racket and a ball out first. People want to go to Wimbledon before they put their sneakers on. It just doesn't work that way.

Why is sensation so important? Not, mind you the kind of sensation where I make efforts to sense my legs, or to sense chakras (much too advanced, generally speaking) or what have you. No, I'm talking about the kind of sensation that is a living thing, that is me. It is so important because one is unable to get a more complete sense of one's Being and understand how helpless and confused one is unless this organ, this brain, is active. By active, I mean, functioning under its own energy, not the energy that "I" bring from my mind by telling it it ought to do this, that, and the other thing. Once sensation is functioning under its own energy one has the carpet pulled out from under one's assumptions about life. One actually has to live; and the first time that this happens, one will see immediately that one has never actually been alive in any real sense on until sensation becomes alive. Then, all of life seems like a flat and uninteresting landscape, a piece of cardboard, unless one is in active and intimate relationship with one's sensation.

Is that enough?

It isn't. Under these conditions, one sees that life is still a flat piece of cardboard; but one knows it now. And one also begins, slowly, over a period of years, to understand that it does not gain dimension without the participation of feeling, which without exception produces anguish, not the blissful joy everyone thinks they want in life. Don't get me wrong here; I want blissful joy as well, but every real joy and real happiness that is acquired in life is only acquired by paying for it in advance by suffering.

If this sounds too severe for you, well, don't try this inner work. It's not for you.

Sensation is the active quality that can help a human being to begin to understand that they understand them nothing; and by counterbalancing the action of the mind, it raises a question — without words, because sensation does not use words — about what it means to live that puts all of the action of the mind directly into question.

 I'll speak about that more tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Lee, I love this post, and if it sounds too severe then one as vastly mistaken the gravitas and utter joy that comes with conjoining the mind and the body through sensation. I have limbs which are "organs of action" and fully inhabiting them changes my actions. I have organs of sensation, but to travel through my life without fully tasting them means I am already necrotic and half/dead. And emotions. They simply cannot exist without the sensations that describe and implicate them. So here in at least one other person you have affirmation of your strident call to the real work, that must be built on a firm foundation. And the only one we've got a permanent tether to is, as you state so clearly, sensation of the organic body.

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