Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A flight to Shanghai, part II: The grasp of the mind

As I was saying yesterday, the sensation of the inner life actually lies beyond the grasp of the mind.

If I don’t sense life in this way, I haven’t sensed it properly. To be in question means to come up against this territory where the mind fails and the body takes over. 

Here, I see how incapable I am, in the mind, of grasping what it is to live; and I see so clearly that the sensation has a grasp of life, an inherent understanding of life, that cant be touched by thinking. It touches itself. It knows itself. And herein lies that self which knows itself, as opposed to that self which thinks about itself. The self that thinks about itself is always forgetting itself and its relationship to this small world that lies around me, exactly because it thinks itself. It is lost in thought, and thought has no intimate contact with the sensation of life. Only the body can do this.

The feeling also has a capacity for this; it, too, is sensory in a way that thinking isn’t. Thinking always takes place after the sensory. This is what Gurdjieff meant when he said we ought to put our attention on the place where impressions enter the body; that is, in essence, to put sensation before thinking, to be within the immediate reach of sensation and feeling, which is in fact the place that defines the world I live in. 

The theater I think of myself in, the theater defined by an imagination of the large world I live in and interact with, is a theater or words and concepts, not a theater of impressions and sensations. If I want to play my role, I need to inhabit the role fully, not spend all my time thinking about how to interact with the audience and impress them. So that means living, breathing, sensing the role as a real thing. My heart needs to beat within my own life first, and not the lives of others.

There is an energy that can bring this. It isn’t just up to me; the energy is not my own. It comes from a different level. Of itself, it inwardly forms a sense of Being; that sense again does not belong to me, for I see, if I know and remember the Self, that Being is not mine. Being belongs to itself. I, as I am, have a role to play in conjunction with Being, but I cannot own it. I can come as a participant to share its question, which is worldless and fully informed by Grace; but I can’t take it and make it mine. 

Self remembering involves seeing this, seeing the difference between Self, which is whole and inviolate, owned by God, and myself, which is fractional and defines itself by its apartness.


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