Tuesday, December 18, 2018

An Objective Assistant

Observer, from the arch over the tympanum at St. Foy in Conques

 The action of my mind is perpetually confused and confusing; and I'm perpetually caught in it. 

If my inward observation of myself is sufficiently acute, eventually I realize several things. 

First of all, there's no sorting out this confusion. Its existence rests in the very nature of the intellect itself, and it propagates through its contact with the material world: objects, events, circumstances, and conditions. These forces will always be confusing. Any other belief I have regarding the matter is at best naive. At worst, it seduces me with the illusion of my own authority.

The second thing I realize is that there's little point in paying much attention to all of this. Not, that is, in terms of the question of living in the material world (an exercise I need to devote my left foot, but not much more, to) but in terms of an inward attention that can teach me anything about myself. My thoughts about myself will continue to be confused, disorganized, and unclear for as long as they revolve around my intellect, my psychology, and my opinions. Yet I very stubbornly insist on trying to "figure out" my inner work with this faculty.

I need to seek a relationship with a part of Being that has few such attachments. My organic sensation is that part.

The molecular sense of Being is objective. It receives life in exactly the way that life arises from it: without judgment, without attitude. Life flows into me in this place without judgment or attitude; and it also flows out of me without those two qualities. So I become freer of external circumstances and their confusion in direct proportion to the amount I invest in my objective assistant.

 Meister Eckhart makes a great deal of following God’s primary inclination; and God’s primary inclination is to Be. To allow Being to flow inwardly and outwardly without constant judgment and interference provides an objective perspective. Yet this can only be done using the sensory faculties which do not rely on the intellect, the mind, to accomplish their goals. In this sense the idea of “mindfulness” isn’t helpful, because it implies that we are going to think with careful attention and thereby understand. In point of fact, from the perspective of intellect, the objective is to not think— and yet have a careful attention — which is rooted in this “lower” level of molecular sensation, which is resident, inherent, receptive, and essential.

 Perhaps it’s important to examine this word “essential;” few people speak of essence from an essential nature. 
Essence has a certain rate of vibration. The experience of it is very closely related to molecular sensation and the intimacy of Being. Trying to understand essence without understanding the nature of its vibration, which has an independent intelligence, is impossible. We can’t understand essence with the thought or with the mind or with psychology. Essence must be understood from the rooted nature of self, with the help of the objective assistant.

 By myself, everything I take in is inflected by opinion. The development of a molecular sense of Being engenders a different mind, which equally receives and interprets life, but in an extra-ordinary way which is quite difficult to describe. In the first place, it is completely, utterly, and inherently active. Action is its reason for existing and Being. Yet at the same time, its action, which is intelligent in a new way that does not relate to the turning of thought, is an entirely passive, because it has an unfathomable capacity to receive life, in exactly the same way that its capacity to generate life is also unfathomable.

At the same time, in this active passivity, which can both receive and emanate life in equal measure, there are no opinions, no confusions. The molecular sensation of Being is incapable of lying, because the faculty has no tools with which that could be achieved. Hence its objectivity: I can rely on everything that is received and perceived by the molecular sensation of Being, because it is a fact, not born of me, but an emanated condition rooted on the one end in God, and on the other end in man. 



Announcing the publication of 

The Reconstruction of the Soul is a wide-ranging investigation of symbolism in High and Late Medieval art. It includes detailed analyses of the Unicorn Tapestries at the Cluny Museum and the Cloisters in New York, as well as detailed examinations of the mysterious, erotic and bizarre symbolism in The Cathedral of St. Lazare in Autun.

Along the way, it traces the roots of Western esoteric art from Babylon to ancient Greece, revealing traditions that are still alive today, some 3000 or more years later.

The material is illustrated with photographs taken by the author on location in France and New York, as well as source material from various museums.

It will appeal to anyone interested in the symbolic transmission of the world's Western esoteric heritage.

All funds from your purchase of this book will go to support the translation of important historical documents related to the Gurdjieff tradition.

The author is currently at work on a second volume which will explore even earlier (!) influences on esoteric art and practice. Anticipated publication of this follow-up work will be late 2019.

Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.

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