Wednesday, February 18, 2015

life, being, inward flow

Life itself is a kind of nourishment of the soul.

I say this because a few minutes ago, in an exchange with a reader, I remarked that one needs to become very close to one's sensation, and feed on all that it brings into one's Being. 

The taste of this is unmistakable. Thought has no real flavor or substance next to it; it is like a picture of food, as opposed to the eating of it.

Gurdjieff explained in some detail that there are three being foods: the regular food we eat and digest with our stomach, air, and impressions. In a certain sense, all of these foods qualify as impressions; so there is a hierarchy of being-food which is presided over by impressions, with air and what we digest acting as subordinate entities.

Yet it is also possible to formulate the entirety; that is, the food of life as it flows into us, which is called impressions, is a whole thing consisting of all its parts, each one of which has deeply sacred aspects. The more that we participate in the action of our three centers, as opposed to the action of individual ones — each one of which is, on its own, quite muscular — the more we take in this whole food of life itself, which is closely and powerfully related to the divine inflow, and fed by the impressions of the food of one's whole life.

The process of feeding here is reciprocal: life and Being feed on the divine inflow, and the divine inflow feeds life and Being. Although we experience these things separately — and generally don't experience the divine inflow much at all, if ever — they are actually part of one great cycle of inward and outward breath of the divine into the material, and then back out of it. So life itself is an active manifestation of inhalation and exhalation of the divine into the material. 

This may sound rarefied; but it is quite practical and there is nothing, in a certain sense, metaphysical about it at all, since the process is, in us, very physical indeed. Metaphysics — that which transcends the material — does not have the property of organic impression; metaphysics is a creature of thinking, which can conceptualize, but not live. Life is lived through the material, not the ethereal.

The more that one appreciates one's entire life and all of the events in it as nourishment, and actively participates in the receiving of life in this manner, the more that one participates in the action of receiving the body and the blood of Jesus Christ, which is a direct analogy to this process of receiving one's whole life as a sacred spiritual food.

This is a mystery we participate in; a grace we encounter; a truth we can nourish ourselves with. But first we have to find the inner path that brings us into that intimate relationship called for in this process.


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