Monday, January 26, 2015

The missing mind, part IV

 Rape of the Sabines, Pablo Picasso
 Boston Museum of Fine Arts

 In failing to distinguish between the inner and the outer, and understanding that mindfulness (in so far as it works within one) addresses the inner, and the outer—

but not the intersection between the inner and the outer—

which is the terrifying location of consciousness itself, the location we forever avoid because of the difficulty of standing between these two powerful forces —

—we conceptualize.

 I would say, generally speaking, that this tendency towards the superficial—which is relentless in this age of endless media and the growth industry of willful ignorance—has infiltrated the spiritual subsystems of cultures in the same way that it has contaminated everything else.

Now, this is a very important point, because the spiritual essence of a culture is the BIOS, the basic input output system, on which everything the culture represents is based. It lies embedded deep within the machinery of not only the culture itself, but the souls of the individuals that inhabit it; and when our attention spans grow short, our memories of tradition are abridged, and our commitment to the long, deep, essential pondering that is necessary for spiritual growth is abandoned, our culture decays, and everything along with it.

We live in an age where this form of degradation is not only accepted, it is celebrated.

I chose this particular Picasso painting — which, I must confess, I was not (when I took the photograph) sure how I would use to illustrate my posts — because it represents the rape of that which is most sacred and valuable, the inmost and most feminine, generative quality of mankind, symbolized as a woman and a child, by ideals which are battling one another. The men — the intellect and the emotion, if you will — trample and destroy that which gives birth to the good.

In the case of the painting, it's a depiction of a myth; and the representation of what appear to be outward events. Yet this is an image of what first takes place inside us, long before the actual swords are drawn and the actual women are raped; and although, given his sensual and overtly erotic nature, Picasso may not have considered the esoteric implications of the painting, as with so many works of art, it is nearly impossible to separate the deeply embedded Jungian subtext from what emerges on the surface of consciousness.

Here, the values, in the form of the woman with the red and bloody dress, are forgotten — and it is only the infant, something new and precious which is born, that reaches up desperately to try and bridge the gap between the value that gives birth to everything, and the forces of destruction that are willing to ignore it in their own quest for power.

This allegory draws lines between many different forces and influences in mankind; yet the point that I am working towards here is that God is an idea to people, a concept.

Mindfulness and God, for as long as they are ideas and theories, are consumer goods, to be put on the shelves of our intellectual, social, and spiritual supermarkets, so that we can egoistically pick and choose between them. Some of them are merchandised beautifully in expensive packaging; some of them attempt to appeal to us by dressing down and projecting humility; and yet everything is a pose, a theoretical construct making a sales pitch.

There is a great need to stop being theoretical, within ourselves, about the idea of God, and begin to live from within ourselves, into the truth and presence of Being which is divinely created, and constitutes the spark from which each action arises.

This is impossible for as long as we just think about God.

As figures as diverse and influential as Jesus and Gurdjieff both put it, it is our task to become God; it is a task of great daring and gravity, one that requires enormous suffering, and the pondering of everything that there is, with a willingness to rejected in favor of a Being greater than the ideas we stuff ourselves with.

One must come to be idea that the mind we have inherited, be it an Eastern mind or a Western mind — the mind we wish to become mindful through — is not even a real mind in the first place.

Only then, when we realize that the mind that needs to become mindful is missing, can we set out on an inner search to discover what a real mind would be.

Hosanna.





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