The Scream

I dearly love them, my world change friends. Brilliant, active, moved by concern for planet, society, living beings suffering everywhere – many singing their final farewell songs as they go extinct. We all know this for quite some time now. We know it in our marrow, our soul wailing. We’re earthlings on our way to oblivion, and to waste go all the flowers of civilization on this planet. We all know this, and some of us act in one way or another, and some cry their heart out, and some prepare for civilization’s collapse.

We’re in the loop, getting tons of messages via email, facebook, twitter, gplus, and the media on a daily basis diagnosing the disaster, offering ways to deal with it; some are bleak, others urgent calls, again others slightly more positive. And we could read all day and night about it and still the sounds of alarm and requiems of loss would not end. We could work all day and all of the night and never even come close to responding to the tiniest fractions of the calls to action…

There are a thousand great plans that promise to help. There are a million fantastic, creative voices. Leaders, activists, spiritual and post-metaphysical, atheists and the Pope, women and men all over the planet. We’re all shouting and pointing in a thousand different directions. “Let’s go!” we say, “We need to be on our way! It’s urgent.” And it’s true, isn’t it?! So, “Let’s unite!” — And hundreds of banners are raised in the field and shouts go out to “Rally here! Unite! We’re in this together!”

But what is this that we’re together in?

Scream of NatureStudy more, agree, disagree, doubt the data, trust the largest majority a science has ever mustered, hear the Scream of Nature as Edvard Munch heard it in the beginning of the 1890ies, 125 years ago. All hell has broken loose, between the climate change deniers and accepters, between the activists and not-so-activists, everyone talking and shouting and screaming and crying and wailing, drowning out nature’s scream, fading out the panic rising in the soul with plans and projects and all the well meaning attempts to stop the race towards an unknown abyss. Authentic chaos feeding back to itself ever faster devastating loops just as the climate seems to do.

I know, I know, this is what I need to face – way too long have I avoided seeing the obvious, hearing the sound of this profound chaos, mashing up truths, half-truths, lies and propaganda into a carnage of arguments and feelings. Too long have I thought that if we all would just use this tool or that, align ourselves along these lines or those, all would be well. Too long have I hope for a technological miracle, CO2 and plastic eating bacteria, an Artificial Intelligence whose benign intelligence would solve all this human madness for us, expecting the Singularity when machine’s intelligence surpasses that of humans would fix it all. So now I face it, let’s face it, that even though we do our very, very best that hasn’t stopped the increasing speed of civilisation’s mad dash but rather fueled it. No, it is chaos growing more authentic by the minute, confusion squared, desperation gripping a million throats, constricting my throat, your throat, choking us. Tears well up. We cry oceans.

paul_damato_03There’s nothing I can do, nothing we can do that doesn’t first and foremost feed the chaos, energizing the scream. Hope dies last, they say, but it does die. It dies now. It is perishing right here. Finally I descend into this chaotic hell, where everybody does their best and nothing is accomplished but swelling this madness. It all comes crashing in now that I’ve opened the gates. I washes over me. I break into a million pieces, we break into a trillion pieces, those of us that open their eyes and see, those of us that open their ears and listen — I hear us being broken. We mourn for ourselves. And then the mourning expands to those we don’t care about, those we dislike, the whole mad circus called humanity, and we mourn for our animal friends, the living beings we routinely destroy, all living creatures and what will now never even come alive. We are broken. We break, and mourn… our heart becoming a requiem for all possibilities, creativities, brilliances, for what each and everyone of us could think of and do. I accept.

And then the mourning fades. The sorrow goes and with it the social self, the distortion that has grown on us the last 10.000 years. The distortion we call civilization, seeking power, seeking approval, growing emotional, growing intellectual, acting for our individual good, acting for the good of all; it all fades into the historical background. We’re through.

[To be continued]

Matters of Identity

“We hold ourselves in place so as to not be all over.” I awoke with those words still on my lips. Holding our self in place is an energy consuming matter. It’s a discipline, a concentration, and only if we hold still for a while can we study ourselves. Or so it seems. The old Greek admonition, “Know thyself,” comes with an explicit method it seems, the method of holding myself in place. You may not think so but in the modern world where science rules, everything we want to study, everything we want to know every aspect of, must hold still. It needs to be steadied, fixated, put into a prison of repeatable circumstance. Only then is the knowledge we derive from what-we-hold-still valid. And what we do with that knowledge is… build cogs, wheels, fixtures, machines. Imprisoned matter. All is “held in place.”

Maybe what we call ego is nothing but mental and emotional intelligence held in place. Maybe ego is what we can hold in place by identifying with it. It is the way we become some one. But what if, like for me, you’re losing your grip on that idea of self? What if you’re quite naturally “all over the place?” You can, like I’ve learnt the hard way, and then automated so as to not be aware of it all the time, pretend to be this or that with a passion for one and the other and a philosophy to match. You can, at least for a while. But if you can’t pretend anymore because you’ve seen through your pretense, things get tuffer. There are, then, a couple of ways to ignore what you have seen through, but eventually that will make you feel depressed and kick your ass until you’ve met the challenge: “What is identity and identifying good for?” At least that looks like the challenge I faced in this regard. Well, obviously, having an identity makes you knowable and more predictable to the advertisement industry and the police, the modern guardians of civilized society. It also holds you still enough that scientists can dissect you and your psyche and determine if you’re fit for society or belong on the reject pile with all the hippies, punks, and other no-goods. It also makes you eligible for a traveling document allowing you to cross the lines between the different nations, which you’re also supposed to be identified with[i].

Know-ThyselfYou and me, we built an identity in compliance with our culture, and we compliantly hold ourselves in place. All of this is strengthened through some real hard questions, like “Who are you really?”, or to finally become your Unique and Enlightened Self or some variation of that. People like me, who are actually all over the place, or others suffering from the emptiness that yawns beneath the ego – there’s nothing there – go on long journeys and through tremendous hardships to come up with a satisfactory answer or way of being. And, stumbling on mind-blowing experiences, may stay with an enlightened identity for a while or even until they die. I couldn’t.

When we are born we can do without identity and even identifying. Mama is all… is all. Kids, for quite some time, speak in the third person of themselves. They haven’t learnt yet that they are their name and they are a self. And usually during some period of hardship or a disease a transformation happens, your child gets it and starts to speak as the first person singular. Child now identifies as “I” and the doer of things, most of all the wanter of things!

Identification is an extreme form of participation, which is what we do all the time: participate, as I never tire of saying these days. We hardly if ever see what we’ve identified with, we participate so strongly in the game of identification that all distance disappears. We actually become “I.” And within the Indo-European language families and cultures, which are the only tools at our disposal to work with or through all matters, we become “I”-dentified so much that we have a very hard time to understand and live with “being all over the place.”[ii]

I’ve noticed in the last couple of months that a basic re-orientation within the psyche is on, a reconfiguration following my “participatory transformation” and it’s consequences that were not foreseeable by me at the time. Understanding thoroughly that our psyche is already a participatory phenomenon, and that we can participate so strongly that we actually feel like, think like and act like what we’ve identified with, things loosen up. Which doesn’t, at times, feel good at all. But knowing that some ancient cramps are relaxing, and that that is the cause of the pain, and sharing all of this with you… makes it all good to me.

By Sarah Lee: Alison Teal Underwater
By Sarah Lee: Alison Teal Underwater


[i] Just one identity-card or passport, even though some lenient nations allow you two identities.

[ii] In this day and age most likely 90% of the languages touched by the world-economy and globalization of the European culture (which started in 1492, not just a hundred years ago or so) require you to identify,  and have a hard or even impossible time integrating aboriginal populations that do not participate in the I-dentfying game.


Landing Strip for a Participatory Future?

Living on the edge of what is in sync with the insight that we’re coming from the One and going towards ever increasing diversity, complexity and uniqueness of all the diverse “individuals” and “entities;” and the insight that the original one now manifest as the participation of all things and beings. You cannot not participate, participation evolved from the one that’s prior to the polyverse [the artist formerly known as universe].

Embarking on this narrative, “Because its beauty seduced me,” and because of how this story elucidates our origins and the origins of the polyverse, our habitat, so very well. An auto-poetic story, making itself up as we listen to and participate in its unfolding. So obviously it doesn’t narrate a history, it lays no claims to timelines as does the Big Bang and religious narratives. It does have a sense of prior and anterior, though, of a nonlinear expanse in which the already-given-but-still-being-influenced and the not-yet-here-but-influential-nevertheless is part of the continual reconfiguration and dynamic constellation of what is presencing itself as “what’s going on.”

The trans-planetory polyverse
The trans-planetory polyverse

In this budding story there is no center to the polyverse anywhere, not even as a center that’s everywhere and in everyone. There is no center around which it all revolves, be it only metaphorically, no, there is no center whatsoever. Therefor in this story we have no need for a king, for an emperor and his feudal court, or for a president and a chief of government, or any guiding individual for that matter – because those are the stories that have been told to originally sanctify the bullies that managed to take over the first cities on this planet and build walls around them.

Can we address the question differently? Can we stop seeking for causal stories of “how things came to be this way” with all the attributions of fame and blame to owners of a self with a name. Why go looking for causes? To plot a future course, and to devise a strategy that will make us successful founders of a new empire of the spirit, as so many of my contemporaries hope? Where the inner being, the sanctum of the soul, the enlightened self is a metaphor for what we make manifest in the “outside world?” To realize the non-dual construction of reality? That would be the top of the mountain of the landscape of our present day collective mind-heart. It seems to me that the question really is, “Can we be bold enough to go where the center is not a relevant issue anymore, because wherever we are is always already in the midst of it all?”

What we are embarking upon as humankind, I’m sure, requires something altogether new, something we haven’t done before on any plane, including the one we now call spiritual. A preliminary requirement would at the very least be one that asks us not to get tangled up in linearity, dia-lectics or -logics, the reducibility of phenomena to mathematics, essences, natures, abstracts, spirit energies and meanings. The key word here being: not getting tangled up, because all these strategies worked to create the realities that made humanity the most prolific species to ever inhabit the mothership. But these same strategies nowadays show that they have detrimental consequences for non-people and people alike. We’re required to grow wings and move beyond just walking; to navigate a 3D realm where so far we’ve just plotted paths on level grounds that stay the same most of the time as we creatively ignore the shifting sands. It requires from us to develop a society where we do automate the necessary linear, the causal and the mechanic and the way we all profit from that automation, so that our civilization can take off into the emerging 3-dimensional and possibly 4-dimensional world-spaces. Where we take off into the unpredictable while the predictable realm is being taken care of by “loving machines” and by “caring computers.”

by Kate Powell
by Kate Powell

I pray, and I put my heart-mind-trust on this reality to provide the landing strip for our greater future, our participatory lucid future where we’re contributing our wealth and receive ever expanding insight; we’re giving our richness and receive the treasures of being around while we grow into being a more mature humanity.

How do you participate in reality?

Inspiration Day

Moebius – from “40 days in the Desert”

It’s obviously Inspiration Day, at least where this body navigates 3D-space.

Humanity is addicted to violence, greed and ignorance, and refuses all treatment… so far. (Addiction is keeping on doing things, and actually putting lots of work, focus and money into maintaining it, when it’s obvious to you and everyone concerned that it’s eating your health, happiness and future away and destroys you at some point.)

My life has been a study in artful living; I am a senior practitioner of the art of life — my transformations are always entangled with beauty.

The ego/I is a token of ownership; when great and beautiful thoughts pass through the wetware that language insists on calling my brain, the process of ego-ing, the prime addiction of humanity since the Age of Enlightenment (at the very least), is trying to turn these thoughts into “my insights”. This addiction, like all addictions, will never satisfy the deep human hunger for true and immediate participation in reality. Rather, complying with the dominant cultures’ constant ego-ing leads to passive and active aggression over what’s mine and what’s yours, keeping scarcity and its concomitant fears intact as foundation of “civilization.”

What we call culture and civilization is really just automated behavior, thinking and feeling; automated because it’s obvious, and “only a fool would question it” because it’s common sense. Great artists find ways to show this to us, by comedy, tragedy, music, 2D and 3D artifacts, film and so on. To get out of behavior that you’ve automated simply find behavior you would prefer, and automate that (I’d rather use the bandwidth of my “reality interface and working memory” — what people call consciousness — for presencing instead of focussing; but hey, you can do whatever you like 🙂

What arrives in consciousness and the way it does is patterned and constellated by the “deep self.” If you’re lucky, like me this morning, you can participate knowingly in the configuring of what’s going to be “reality” on waking. What this participation showed me again, is how brilliant, beautiful and wise unconsciousness or deep self really is; this gives me all the more reason to forever deepen the trust I put in “her.” The deep self is female to me, maybe because she’s my real mother, or maybe because of why C.G. Jung said that man has an anima and woman an animus.


What holds it all together

Things fall apart; the center does not hold (W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919). And as it falls apart, beautiful and even kaleidoscopic patterns show. As the center lets go, the falling apart reveals some of its core colorfulness. Its secrets stand out. Because nothing falls apart chaotically, it falls fractally into new patterns of participation. Picked up by different beings, transformed by them in different ways, as the center loosens its grip. Hold a shard up to the sky and see.

There’s so much fear in holding things together, almost as if fear itself is the center of it all. For why else would you hold yourself together but to have control over your face and what it shows? And why would you want control anyway – other than because of fear and its demands, the demand to first and foremost, “Be someone!” Because we can’t just trust in being human, we can’t just trust that we come up with the right word at the right time without any interference by an “I”.

What if we just let all our selves go? Let them propel themselves, if need be erratically. Then the writing of this and the reading by you gains a new depth, not visible before. You’re unconcerned with holding on to your center and the results you want to have, you enjoy effortlessly being here and “doing yar thang!” … what’s up, that you feel the need to bring down with your grip? When simply being here, in peace and trustful, things can fall apart whichever way they like. Sentences are free to form, just as meanings come. It’s all welcome, and so are the multifarious eddies and streamings that we take to be the self, acting as if “I” was something permanent, not subject to falling apart as everything always will, and it doesn’t even matter if it had a center or not.

Imagine, if you will, what it would really mean if there actually was no center at all, nothing and no-one that holds things together. What if things aren’t held together by a center but by all parts participating passionately with each other? What if we do not need to hold together ourselves, or rather our self, at all? What if all the voices and feelings and spirits so strongly participate with each other inside our psyche that the only way that we in our cultures can “see” this is by calling that passionate and embodied participation ‘self.’ Then, if the imaginary center doesn’t hold, what falls apart is just the construct of a permanent self that needs to be in control and everything that comes with that.

Participation And The Self

Picture by Gregory Colbert
Picture by Gregory Colbert

I have been saying that we come from the One, from Unity. By that I mean that the One, the unity, is prior to diversity. The unity we emerge from does not have a historic beginning; it didn’t Big Bang into existence. That is why when I say we come from unity I also highlight the fact that we are not going there, and neither are we returning to the One; it is not to be reached, attained through some kind of enlightenment, practice or path[i]. This One is never “lost,” it shows up as participation; all beings and things participate in the whole of everything everywhere, including all beings anywhere in the whole/all.

The participatory process goes on all of the time, for most phenomena and beings as receiving > transforming > giving, which also means that there really is neither matter nor spirit but rather an endless diversity of patterns of participation in continually changing constellations.[ii] These patterns can span several realms – for us those are the sensory, feeling/energy, cultural, and intellectual-conceptual realms[iii]; each one of us having a unique developmental fingerprint of relative clarity in these realms. We’re all different and unique, fundamentally, and as such we participate in all realities all of the time. We’re never not participating.

All this has made it utterly clear to me that any move towards unifying individuals is a power-move, as it is always also attempting to strengthen the position of some humanimals over others. A power-move, because any deliberate move towards unification is always also exclusionary; at the very least it excludes those that do not wish to be unified, maybe because they want to be independent or because they have different views. There’s nothing bad about power-moves like this, really; the move is in synch with what evolution does on a much larger scale.

Picture by Gregory Colbert
Picture by Gregory Colbert

Going for unification always also adds a new differentiation: it creates another us and them, a new difference and maybe even incommensurability. Take any social group you care to think of: if some of the differences “flare up”, and a serious attempt at unification fails, which is bound to happen over time, the group splits apart and we now have at least 2 groups. So power-moves towards unification create diversification, and that is how they – in synch with evolution – add to the growing complexity of ways of living, and of life.

Within ourselves we can see the power-move as the attempt to unify the psyche, the ego being the “personification” of that move. If, on the other hand, we simply accept the diversity inside our brain, mind, soul, spirit[iv], the whole “ego-problem” disappears; it’s not relevant anymore. Now the ego is just one of the psyche’s participants, and obviously at its very best when serving the individual. Grabbing power over an individual, pretending to be the one that unifies the whole person, the whole you, pretending to be the master and as such trying to make all other selves internally, and often also externally, serve this self-ego… that is the disease that has befallen most of humanity.

When I started to deeply see and accept the participatory nature of all existence a deep and lucid peace among the “inhabitants of my psyche” emerged, among the ego and all the other selves or sub-personalities that share this body and for a time or a season believe, “This is me.” And once this peace and lucidity stabilizes to some extent you will rarely find yourself in opposition to unfolding reality, even if at times you may work for a radical change of the way realities habitually unfold nowadays. And you start to discern ways and means how to interact generatively with all individuals, voices, and beings as participators in this mystery in which we’re all embedded. [v]



Picture by Gregory Colbert
Picture by Gregory Colbert


[i] And I’m not speaking about the experience of oneness. That experience is beautiful and deep, and may be useful as a tool of personal verification (although it appears that this experience can be easily replicated by shutting down that region in our brain that continually situates us in 3-D space, tells us where our skin ends and “the world” begins). Please do not confuse the experience of oneness with the unity, or the One, I am speaking about here.

[ii] I am sure that the body, the embryo or the impregnated egg does not get possessed by some disembodied entity, soul or spirit but rather that all beings participate in the whole of all realities to which the domains of memories of past lives, for instance, and so endlessly on also belong; they are not intrinsically other that the so called physical realities.

[iii] What we call physical reality, matter, and what Henry Corbin termed “Mundus Imaginalis”, including the mystical and “psi”-realities as well, is another way to look at these realms.

[iv] And once we truly see that there never is anything in psyche that does not participate in our wholeness as an individual this is almost inescapable.

[v] When first I wrote about this on the roof at Riad Anayela in Marrakesh I added: Ah, the profound and joyful peace that comes from contemplating this! I’ll stay. Here. Where one self hands over the reigns to another self gracefully. Where the deep contraction of a self gives way to the expanse of selves. Where no rule nor ruler is required. Where the deep relaxation that that comes with all this “holds what formerly was known as “I” together with nothing, nothing whatsoever.” Because I’m already home here; we all are…

Participation – The Bare Bones

Picture by Moebius
Picture by Moebius

Those that have been following my shenanigans may have noticed that my view on reality has turned. I’ll abbreviate the conclusions here in 4 points, and leave explanations to some future post:

  • We are “coming from” the One, from unity; we’re not going towards it
  • Every being and thing, all moves towards greater diversity and complexity; the consequence for humans beings: we’re becoming more and more individuated and unique, and different
  • The prior unity shows up as participation; every being and thing participates in reality
  • The ‘new’ spirituality of the 21st century is conscious, or rather lucid participation, meaning that one is aware of participating (rather than, for instance enacting a ‘neutral observer’ or witness-consciousness) with every movement, however transcendent that movement may be…
  • So participation, in the way I’ve started to understand it, is an expression of the prior unity across all diversity, and it seems like it’s basic process in living beings is one of receiving > transforming > giving.

When lucidly participating in reality it seems there is no more category that would tell you how to measure matters across any kind of good-bad spectrum or true-false gradient. All matters of concern, and even those of no concern to us, are rather constellated in patterns of participation. If a choice happens within that frame it is one of fitness, “How well does this fit with what we’re constellating here, the carpet I am weaving, the poem I’m writing, the arrangement that I’m in favor of? How well does this strengthen the constellation’s connective sinews, their flexibility and strength to hold this together in the space I prefer?”

There are really no rules in lucid participation; there are just patterns and constellations, which means that the usual moral canon doesn’t work. They’re not adequate to this understanding.  What is generative needs to be determined, if indeed it does, every moment afresh. What gives other beings and things greater degrees of freedom needs to be discovered anew every single time.

Participatory Lucidity – Silver In The Air

By Cory Ench
By Cory Ench

Sometimes, when you’re talking with a friend or even stranger, it feels like “there is silver in the air.” A conversation where time seems to fly; you look on your watch and cannot believe what it shows. You may not even remember, later, what the conversation was about, although you do know it was significant. What makes it stand out is this particular feeling of really being with someone else, of contributing, receiving with open heart-mind what the other said. I’m sure you’ve experienced this.

So imagine this is happening and you’re aware of this. But rather than become self-conscious about it you simply take joyful note, and think or say, “Silver is in the air.” And it keeps on flowing because you both, or maybe you’re even more than two, like to play and are capable to tread lightly and authentically. It’s clear and lucid – let’s call this participatory lucidity, a lucidity in which everyone present participates more or less deeply.[i]

Akin to having a lucid dream, where you know you are dreaming without that knowing stopping the dream from unfolding, participatory lucidity doesn’t interfere or interrupt the game of life – nay, now it can be played with an utterly new and beautiful expansion. The lucidity is adding a whole new level to the game, a level where you say, “Silver is in the air!”

By Cory Ench
By Cory Ench

And again, very like lucid dreaming, this probably happens spontaneously at first. And you’ll probably get so excited that you wake up. Or are scared. Or have any number of strong feelings. To stay in lucid dreaming states you need to learn to neither weigh into the waking-up side of lucidity too much nor let yourself slip back into non-lucidity. If you’re not too impatient, and can humorously accept failure, this is easier to do; embracing your and everyone’s imperfection helps. Taking your time and being patient, you can learn to set yourself up to be “lucid-dream-prone,” a person that can lucidly participate in her dreams.

There is something very similar about participatory lucidity. You’ll have to, at first, experience it spontaneously: you never saw it coming but now it’s here, wow! Maybe this happens guided by a facilitator that went through the chaos and confusion with you, the 2-dimensionality[ii]  of our usual interpersonal experience. Someone you trusted to know how participatory lucidity looks like; someone you trusted to tell you the truth when she said, “No. We ain’t there yet.” Because going through the chaos and confusion takes time. It takes coming to your wit’s end. Agency won’t help you. Letting go won’t do it. It takes an authentic ending of yourself.  And then it emerges, as if of its own volition – you’re lucid!

Participatory lucidity lets you enjoy life in a much deeper sense. You’ll be experiencing your interbeing in 3-D and duality won’t play much of a role for you, if any. Not that you’re now beyond duality or have non-dual consciousness[iii] or some such, rather what formerly had just two sides,  basic aspects, ying and yang, yes and no, subject and object, now has a whole new dimension to it. There now is a depth that formerly wasn’t there. Or it may have been, but you didn’t know. And it’s not a new state of consciousness either, although it may appear as such; it’s the participatory nature of reality shining through: you’re lucid.

But what can you do?

By Cory Ench
By Cory Ench

Gratefulness makes you lucidity-prone. It will remind you of all the contributions you received, all the good, beautiful and true you’ve participated in. Even though at former times you may have felt it to be bad, ugly and confusing.
Grateful for your body, the “chief gate of the senses in this era,” as William Blake put it.
Grateful for your psyche and energy-body or the Mundus Imaginalis and its many ways and “terrains”, both in consciousness and unconsciousness, both individual and collective, both personality-typical and archetypal.
Grateful for your culture, high and low, as it has become part of your individual character and person, and as it surrounds you in the endless forms culture dresses up as, explicitly and implicitly. The external culture of where you live, how you are housed or tented, dressed and undressed, how you move and in what vehicles, the languages you speak and read and write, and so endlessly on: more and more complex through the ages, and therefore also more and more unique.
And grateful for the concepts you and I can play with, the abstractions and essences you derive or arrive at, the constellations of concepts and how you play with them, and how serious they are and the measure of their gravity, the rhythm of the conceptual interplay and how you play and reflect them, and how they participate in your life.

Exercising your gratefulness, knowing, feeling, expressing your thanks to all who play a role in bringing the reality about that you participate in, will train you in simply being with what may otherwise hit you as a ton of bricks when “the walls come tumbling down” and you find yourself woven into the very fabric of life, naked.

What else can you do to prepare for the experience of participatory lucidity in a diverse collective?[iv] You can dance with someone with an open experimental soul. At first slow and one following the other, taking turns, until you’ve gained enough trust to follow and lead spontaneously… and failed often enough so you’re well versed in the humor of not knowing who’s in charge .

And you can play with regarding yourself to be a dancer with all people, things and circumstances in your life. You can be someone who’s participation with life turns it all into a dance, including your gratitude for the dance and all those who join it.


[i] The capacity to enter such a sacred space, for sacred it is in the best possible and heathen meaning of the word, may depend on a person’s developmental level to some extent; therefore more or less deeply.

[ii] I call it 2-D because it is dualistic or dialectic.

[iii] Non-Duality is the goal of the neo-hindu spirituality called Advaita; most of the modern „enlightened ones“ would probably situate themselves in that stream of spirituality.

[iv] At the Alderlore Insight Center you can certainly get a good taste of this. [Disclosure: I’m am involved in that branch of Alderlore, and it’s further development]

Play and Participation

Picture by Paul D'Amato
Picture by Paul D’Amato

When you’re regarded as tourist by locals, someone who provides them with an income, you’ve certainly become an object[i]. It establishes the rules of conduct. You have to turn a person into an object before you can use them as an instrument that you can play to your own profit, and that person’s loss. That gives us a measure for this behavior. Inasmuch as you can make an object of anyone or even anything, and thereby severe the connection with it/him/her by separating yourself from it as a subject, in that measure you can use others and turn them into your instrument.

As it is with horses: if you turn your horse into an object, an animal-object you know that you need to force it to do your will, and you’ll need a bit and maybe spurs. If, on the other hand, you simply participate in the man-horse relationship where both you are equal, be it with different capacities, than you can play – in peace and clarity.

Participatory reality is situated far, far away from the subject/object world. It is a reality full of play following a basic pattern mentioned earlier: receive > transform > give. And every being in this reality is involved and engaged, and the closer they are to humanimals the more ways to play they find. Many interspecies’ games on YouTube recently: Dogs and birds, cats and mice, dogs and cats playing with each other having fun, clearly.

Play requires participation. To stand aloof, to remark and comment on the game from the outside, on players and their moves as a spectator may be tolerated or celebrated by the players of competitive games played in front of crowds of paying guests, but really it is cowardly behavior. It turns games and players into objects and makes it very easy to celebrate using, abusing them with comments that know it all better, and suggestions whose only purpose is to show off your knowledge. But in the games of life all of this is without any merit. These games have no outside; no one can escape participation. Those that refuse to play are nevertheless fulfilling their roles as irritators or obstructers. Even those that do not appear to make a move serve life’s games, as orientation mark in a continual flow.

The real joyful moves are made by those participators that play with real abandon; those that dare to risk themselves and/or their safety and lose themselves in the game. These players are a surprise and will be in wonder, maybe by something really new, maybe by inspiration, maybe by a rattling insight, or maybe they fall in love, find best friends or simply celebrate the unknown.

There is an art to relaxing into the games of life, to trust the game and your own capacity to stay afloat if needed. There is a deep joy to loosening up the self-position without awareness subsiding, the self transforming from witness to withness. What first positioned itself outside and above all matter, as witness to it all, now becomes a participator, someone with a lot of capacity for withness…

[i] And as a man you may finally understand what it feels like to be a pretty woman anywhere on the planet

The Movement of Participation

woman-holding-mirror-on-grass-reflection by LAURA WILLIAMS

Reality is participatory in nature… just look at breathing: you take a breath – receive the air, you transform the air in your body, and you give back what you have transformed. Receive > transform > give, that seems to be the general dynamics of a humanimal’s participation in reality.

The same goes for our mind: Take in a concept, transform it into an understanding, and give that back in any form you like. And with every participatory transformation cycle our reality grows more diverse: out of one concept a never ending number of other, and very different concepts can and do arise. Our nature is participatory: no wonder that many of us feel such elation when we have authentic conversations in which we creatively play with our mutual concepts.

Participation is most intense when it is in the mode of transformation. This is why detachment via the cognitive self, the mind, by saying for instance, “I am not this body, not these feelings, not this mind” etc., feels so at odds with our nature. It is a process of singling yourself out until there is nothing left but the Self. And the Self is an emptiness, a void in which all in all plays. Yet, the Self is neither in it nor of it. For sure, this method will, if followed radically enough, land you in some non-duality that reveals the interdependence of all beings and becomings – or so I’m told – but there is a basic bias towards self and awareness that is almost imperialist; it claims “Tat Tvam Asi”, thou art that, meaning that the Self is supreme and that you are aware of that, and this very awareness enlightens you.

Maybe you think I’m picking on that path; if so then because while on that path it causes an amazing amount of suffering, even though I’m told that the result, finally, is utterly supreme. But maybe that’s a justification, and I’m so picky because this path has disappointed me in every way possible. It first dawned on me when it became clear that the “Witness”, the detached neutral observer of reality is a construction that puts a distance between witness-me and everything else, a distance that aggravates the dreadful consumerist, media-guided situation we find ourselves in. Exercising witness-consciousness turns us into a spectator of life making it harder and harder to just be the feeling, breathing, engaged and involved participator of reality that we always also are. It blinds us to what we always do, even in death.

Exercising ourselves in this or similar transcending ways will surely confuse us enough to actually think that we are an independent agent, an essentially disembodied awareness that is not of this endless and boundlessly deep world. And also, and paradoxically, whatever detaches us or moves us into avoidant and evasive spaces, what numbs us…  is still a way to participate in it all, only very confusedly and chaotically so.

We’re one in the beginning, and ever since we differentiate, diversify and become more and more unique. And the primordial unity is not broken; it just manifests as participation of everything/one with everyone/thing. Our differences are real, are authentic. Glossing it over in a civilized manner won’t help. Pretending that we’re one won’t help. Trying to make it go away won’t help. Trying to transcend it won’t help. Actually there is nothing that can be done about it: the chaos we live in is authentic, it’s real and it is the ground out of which we weave the story of life and civilizations. But maybe for the first time in history actually being able to radically accept this chaos, opens up the possibility for something new to emerge. May it help us through the next phase of our development.

Peace, Neutrality & Clarity

Selfie on my 60th birthday
Selfie on my 60th birthday

When you’re at peace you experience a „roundness“ in the way you are, there is no conflict with anything that arises even if it is tension. Everything that meanders through inner space can form, reform, transform in whichever way it pleases. That may be because peace comes with great clarity, allowing you to be with whatever happens to be and, if you focus, to see clearly what you focus on without disturbing you peace.

Of the many ways that we hope to arrive at this peace I’ll be looking at attachment/detachment for a moment. A very common conviction about these matters is that detachment will bring the peace I talk about. Detachment can create clarity, but it’s clarity without peace. You clearly can see or see more clearly what you’ve detached from; it has become an object for you (to see an object or to see something objectively suggests that it is independent of you, the subject seeing it). But strangely enough this way of seeing things and matters does not bring peace: it brings neutrality at best. But peace is not and never will be neutral. Peace has an important feeling quality without which it is not peace but equilibrium, maybe, or equipoise. So detachment, or its modern version of “transcend and include”, will give you neutrality – which you may need to get some of the conflicts and tensions above board so that you can work them out and make them operational, meaning that now whatever these conflicts and tensions embodied works for you and that now you find your peace with them.

Being at peace with what is and becomes, and what fades as well, may be a touchstone for participatory lucidity. In participatory lucidity your clarity has not been manufactured or made up but is arrived at through participatory processing of all the confusion and chaos in you and between you and everyone present to you. Your clarity is peaceful and participatory instead of neutral and detached.

The Dark Ages and the Beautiful Ages

It’s Saturday, or Reflection Day, so here comes something I’ve reflected upon today: “We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.” – Bucky Fuller

This is NOT pointing a finger at those who’ve done the conditioning.
This is also NOT about believing that others-than-I are being conditioned.
This is about inspecting how my thinking is imprisoning me.

Recently my heart-friend Jean asked, “What would happen if you totally embraced what is right now. In your life. In your community. In the world. Just allowed it to be. And then, after a deep breath you said, I am going to make the most I can of what is. What might happen?”

What has imprisoned me?

  • The assumption that imperfection is a flaw I need to work on. I got out of that prison by embracing my and everybody’s imperfection.
  • The assumption I need to make money. I left that prison by doing what really, really mattered to me. And I always got all the money I needed. And now even much more…
  • The assumption that without intimate partner I’m not whole. Even though that particular prison sometimes catches up with me I leave it again through the understanding that I’m a cornucopia of love and attention.
  • The assumption that I need to be more, better, smarter, more loving, more ‘enlightened’ and work more disciplined and harder. I left that prison by realizing that as long as I live I grow and develop because that’s just the way humans are; nothing to be done about that. And now I find myself getting better, smarter, more loving and more enlightened for the shere fun of doing what I LIKE to do…
  • The assumption that I need to avoid suffering, pain, and the abyss, and/or escape the cauldron of challenging relationships. I walked out that prison by actually staying with the suffering, pain, and looking into the abyss (without dramatizing!) until it reveals its treasures that hide beneath that fiery surface.
  • The assumption I need to be someone. I walked away from that prison by simply being many, and not trying to be or stay one and the same. I find that I have multiple identities that collaborate to form this whatever-I-may-be, or to use a grand word, this mystery I call my self.

So what happens, as I leave the prison? The Dark Ages end and the Beautiful Ages start. And in the Beautiful Ages I see us build Paradise. With our very breath, with our gestures, with our communication, and with all who have walked out, and continue to walk out their private prison.
Thank you for taking this path with me.

Shades of Blue

Coming up for air

reaching our very ends
when all that’s left is wounds
where blue hours don’t spell dawn
but dry days and a brittle sun
reveals dreams’ corpses

we board the ship
unfettered in the night
lonely stars eternities away
a broken heart’s compass
to navigate by
or the sound of the waves
reminiscent of storms to old to remember

a whisper out of the blue
a faint memory, perhaps
a color of tomorrows breeze

reluctantly we take our astrolabe
not wanting to raise false hope, possibly
and then we just hoist them, our sails

and as if it had waited for this
as if the stars had only wanted desperate kisses
these wounds do raise a wind
to kindred harbours
where we’ll meet
blessed by the blue

(for Jean)

The Original Must Disappear

I’ve been experiencing the return of the Original amidst deep inner turmoil. And as said in the first installment, welcoming the Original back with a big sigh of relief, everything since the Original’s first dawning was a deviation of sorts, a subtle distancing from the Original. Even being an enlightened spiritual teacher who’s brought quite some enlightening experiences to participants in his seminars and trainings (here a link to a video of one of my last seminars): very significant experiences, according to some, even physical healings, I’ve been told. And yet, I said a week+ ago, all of these were significant, deep, mostly beautiful, but all of these experiences and ways to live were also almost-but-not-quite the Original.

When the Original first reached me, calling it Grand Disillusionment at the time, it was much closer to what I said in the second installment on this matter just 4 days ago. And yet, as much as it is true what I said there, and as true as it happened to be within the framework of the day, there was still a slight distance involved in writing about it, and subsequently in my way of putting it. And now it’s become much clearer.

There really isn’t any Original, except, of course for the Original, but since that is a happening in time, even if an utter “nothing is happening!” liberation of all that pretended to make sense before, it can’t very well be the Original that I’d taken to have returned. This may not be, or may very well be, a logical conclusion, but that didn’t get me irritated before I wrote this. What irritated me was that the Original is not Original! It’s the returned version!

I guess I got stuck on the resonance of the Original, mistaking it for the Original itself and then – as I hadn’t yet understood what I was doing – I tried to emulate it! For Chrissake! I stumbled right into the trap that I’ve been warned of so many years ago that I can’t remember when it was: “There is no It that is It!” And, I may add now, even the not-It isn’t.

My body, who upon waking up this morning demonstrated beyond any doubt how much Love it is, yes, that body IS love made manifest, my body knew it all along. And hence my body being irritated by me hanging on to the Original of old: the resonance with the Original that came to shake me out of my turmoil and returned me to a sense of lovely sobriety, or realism, of simple being-here with everything and every one that happens to be here. But instead of leaving it at that, and going on with living and doing what feels appropriate, I started to cling to the returning Original and invoke its noting-is-happening lightness of being.

It took me some time to really register the irritation and not filter it away, or touch it with my magic Original Wand. Ah! The amazing wisdom of the body, of embodiment. Should now I sing the praise of imperfection, irritation, the truth expressed in limitation, deviation, distances from the Original? I’m tempted to, but wouldn’t that be just another version of turning things and matters into IT, the  One IT whose realisation  is the Ultimate It, and in consequence the end of all other Ultimates, other Originals, other versions of this mysterious mystery we call life, reality, Goddess and everything?

Being human, always this two-armed, two-legged form embedded in many kinds of ecologies, outwardly and inwardly; ecologies we have hardly begun to understand and are already destroying grand style, while at the same time some of the most brilliant of us escape, sorry transcend, this madness into unearthly spiritual realms; not knowing, of course, that any angel would gladly give his eternal life for embodied, incarnated existence… just to know how it is to be human, at least for a while.

We’re mortal, even though some of us think that we may be among the first immortal generation – it’s not clear if I belong to the former or the latter. But even if we live to be a million, we’ll eventually have to face death. The end of being someone with a definite, even though slowly changing form. And as embodied beings there will always be some imperfection challenging us, causing some pain maybe, or a frustration, or irritation. Only the ignorant could possibly live in perpetual bliss, for some time at least, until whatever dawns on them and they lose some of their ignorance.

As long as becoming is also present, being will never be enough. As long as there is a human around, there is the return to limitation, the return to embodiment, the return to form. We wouldn’t be craving for the formless, if we weren’t embodied. We wouldn’t desire freedom of all, some final liberation, if we didn’t experience our imprisonment more often then not. We wouldn’t want to transcend our present level and state, if we didn’t feel quite uncomfortable here. We wouldn’t yearn for perfection, if we didn’t suffer from being imperfect.

Somehow, seeing that, coming to accept that actuality whenever it happens to be the case here and now, accepting my humanity and the mad, mad times of violent ignorance all around Spaceship Earth for what it is, feels good, feels just right, reconciles me with myself and my brothers and sisters. And in some strange way it restores my power, the Lion shaking its mane, the dragon that lay coiled up on the treasure that I’m to inherit, the iron snake that is my birthright.

[Thank you She Mystery that hid inside the Trojan Horse for completing your mission. Thank you Black Raven that dropped hourly feathers and dived into the Ancient Abyss enticing me to follow. And thank you Friends and Fellows all over this Mothership for being so fricking important to me that I want to share all this with you.]

The Original keeps on Returning

“Do not cling to your timeline,” he said.

As I followed this directive down a few paths, I felt lost. The Orient had gone, no direction. So I said, “No lighthouse in sight. No sun, no stars. What can guide me? Which line to follow? Where to put my foot?”

He smiled. In his eyes I saw how he felt for us, how he was willingly entangled in our human predicament. And yet he answered, “If all lines would be equally good and equally challenging in the long run, if the multitude of possible destinies were of equal quality overall, which timeline would you really want to travel down? What would you want to be your guiding light?”

On a round planet a path can bring you anywhere, and will eventually, if you travel it long enough, bring  you everywhere. And I’m in love with the two-armed form, the never ending diversity, the manifold presencing itself uniquely and originally wherever I care to just look.

The Original hides in plain sight. It reveals its nature as nothing; nothing without a capital letter and a -ness at the end. Imagine, if you like, a completely empty space; and for you smart-asses reading this, a space completely without any energy fluctuations, virtual or manifest. Now, if anyone would be asking you, “What is happening there?”, you’d answer, “Nothing is happening there.” That’s what I mean by nothing. The empty space would be nothingness, but what’s happening there is, “nothing, whatsoever.”

That’s how the Original is hiding in plain view, and reveals itself to me as soon as I remember, and sometimes even without me remembering anything.

The Neverending Dreamer by Cameron Gray

As soon as you try to take hold of the Original, mentally, feelingly, in Spirit or Soul, or any which way, it hides in plain view again. Pretending to be nothing. But once you see, once you understand that you cannot understand, that it cannot be turned into anything whatsoever, even identified with or arrived at neti-neti or iti-iti or any other way, once you let go of letting go, once you re-member, the Original is there. And even though you cannot identify with it, it’s You, it’s Me, it’s presencing originally wherever you care to turn. And it’s nothing special at all.

When the Original returns, it doesn’t return as a realisation. Realisations may follow in it’s wake, and often do, but the Original is no realisation. No sky, no heaven lights up, although colors may return to what seemed like tinges, hues, and glosses before. No divine trumpets announcing the omnipresent, non-dual, eternal out-of-time happening, although a transparent joy may infuse all that appears in your awareness as the Original returns to its ancient homestead in plain view.

And the Original keeps on returning. Not once and for all times, although it may often seem to be that way. Until you discover yourself in the distance, taking yourself to be this, that or the other. Trying to be enlightened. Trying to be good, beautiful and true. Meditating in the divine and blissful regions of the never-ending realms of light and darkness. Or finding yourself stuck in this or that karma, this or that trauma, this or that complex, this or that pain and suffering, this or that desire; finding yourself in all the never-ending imperfections of the human form. And that is Original as well: everything in plain view is. So you do whatever you can, to get the stuck unstuck, to see through your powerlessness and powerfully embody everything you choose, to welcome all and everyone that happens to visit the guesthouse of your awareness. Because, you may conclude on the timeline you’re on, whatever you meet, you meet as the one and only Original one. And healing is its wake, the trail it leaves behind. (Thank you Jody for pointing that out.)

For as long as you try to wrap your head, your self around it, the Original will hide in plain view. But as you accept the impossibility of it all, as you allow for nothing to happen at all, it may unwrap itself for you, and recalibrate everything just for the pure fun of it, the simple and ordinary presence of whatever happens to be.

Nothing is as it is. (Yes, you can read this at least in two ways.) So what I do, whenever I feel like it, is bring myself and what concerns me, or whatever else I care to bring, to nothing. And then it is touched, or maybe recalibrated and brought to another resonance, or it simply stays just the way it is originally.

Nothing is gained, and magically everything is. So, letting go of your timeline, which line to follow?

(Take Two – Take One here)


The Return of the Original

SelfportraitMy irritation with all teachings by any or all Masters, contemporary or not, has revealed itself to being irritated with myself, not staying with the Original, trusting the Original, embodying the Original, easing into, seeing with and inhabiting the Original.

It’s a  matter of trust.

So, even though the Original became obvious to me on a beautiful summer day almost 15 years ago, and I stayed with/as the Original for quite some time, it became obfuscated by second-hand or rather, the not quite original, again, and I became a spiritual teacher in a lovely, great, deep, beautiful lineage, for sure, and the Original shone through often enough, but it’s utter simplicity was somehow lost to me. And once that journey as spiritual leader needed to be left behind for an exploration into wefulness, close encounters with the Circle Being, and other mystical happenings, I did, but still the Original was gone, in some strange sense unbeknown to me. And then the journey of turning business into a veritable spiritual path began for me: defined 7 years ago as Collaboration Ecology, and now growing into an international company and “the rubber hitting the road” for real. And still, I didn’t miss the Original; I didn’t even notice its fading into the background.

And so, as I look at this now, my journey into the not-original, into the slight distances between things, the never ending stories of aims, purposes and goals as real, and so endlessly on took its course. I could and can still call on the bliss-energy on demand and transmit it, even to strangers on the train, but still that’s not the Original, as now I know. I guess I wanted to learn to include all this not so original matter, the divine entertainment, including the shaktipat, the chi, the turned on blisses simply appearing in my body, but most of all the deflation, the obscure, the shadow and the night where all seems lost and nothing gained…

And yet, when I look right now, the Original is presencing itself as every blade of grass, as a flip chart marker, a mobile phone, this computer screen.

I never liked the idea of consciousness as foundational, that consciousness manifests as everything etc. Recently, when I read Bernardo Kastrup’s article that rationally and elegantly shows the hypothesis of consciousness as a prior, fundamental “force”, like gravity for instance or the electro-magnetic force, I did a little dance, because it satisfied everything my mind likes so much about science. And I liked the consequence it has for rational thinking. Yet truly, I couldn’t wrap my heart around it or my soul. And still the Original was forgotten.

I have, these last two days in particular, been feeling, experiencing, reluctantly welcoming and contemplating the ancient fears around my power again, triggered by a deep sense of intimacy I’ve come to experience unexpectedly and out of the blue recently, where I got utterly scared because of some foundational drama on my life’s path, the fear of having  a ‘bad core’ because those I’ve loved most, and who said truthfully they deeply and utterly loved me (at first my mother, when I was 6), always sent me away… Because of my conclusion when I was 6, that there must be something really very wrong with me, that I’ll always hurt the ones I love most, I managed to mostly never let anyone come so utterly close to me personally again.

Oh, there surely where moments and even periods of deep intimacy with everything, like when the Original became obvious, but this wasn’t person to person, heart to heart, soul to soul intimacy. This is deep and all encompassing Spirit, for sure, it is Clear Space, Transparent Joy, yes, and certainly the person is effected in many ways, but somehow it’s not including these ancient wounds, these big and little traumas embedded in the body and psyche and acting as an injunction in ordinary life’s circumstance and relating.

And yet today, in my  whole body contemplation of this particular wound, coupled with the irritation about some actually great tantric teaching about Siva and Shakti i was reading, the Original became obvious again in a new, simple clear way, and strangely enough it has always been here anyways, it just wasn’t That Obvious to me, beautifully sidetracked as I’ve been.

The Original showed up as the purposeless, aimless, simple self-presencing of the trees right out there, and then spread out as every little being and thing that appears in my awareness. And I remembered again that, to me, this Presencing is foundational and that maybe that is meant when mystics speak about consciousness being at root of all. But really, it doesn’t matter what they say, cause I’ll stay simply with the Original, and now the ancient pain, my fear of power and intimacy, the wounds and possible wounding that still scares me is mysteriously “okay”, it looks like.

Being Lost, Embedded in Love

blue dominant
Blue Dominant by Emil Schumacher 1958

Contemplating the sense of being lost, really lost in this world, this dimension, this life… contemplating feeling lost and how that feeling has tugged me along this Way and that Path… sometimes alternating with a sense of being found by Light, by what convincingly felt like Ultimate Truth, by energies of bubbling bliss encompassing me whole bodily, coursing through these very veins, at least for a while. And always returning to being lost…

Slow contemplation: not avoiding the silent desperation of being bodily anchored in the shallow waters of a backward planet pretending to be modern, even post-modern or post-post-modern, whose leading nations boast in being rational, level-headed, the heirs of the Age of Enlightenment centuries ago, but whose populations, however rich or poor they are, are haunted by the destinies they struggle so hard to deny and therefore avoid seeing clearly. Blind to the festering wound called capitalist economy: really a systemic way to rob those that cannot properly defend themselves, the whales in the oceans, the magnificent great apes and elephants, just as much as the overwhelming majorities of our own species so very populous. Blind to the continual bleeding of all that is kind, and humane, and collaborative, and symbiotic, the blood being sucked up by all the parasitic vested interest groups.

Contemplating slowly and without protection, without turning blind eyes but rather feeling the hurt, tears welling up, heart aching: this surely is a Lost Planet filled with lost tribes, lost people, lost souls. Empty of all true meaning, no substance anywhere, nothing that fills, or fulfills, rather full of emptiness, full of ritualistic forms no-one can believe in, full of priests, mendicant monks, potential saints, therapists, fixers, healers, change-agents, desperately struggling to turn the tide, to cause a sea-change, to stem the tides of unending ignorance glossed over with slick entertainments on all channels.

Original + Fälschung 17 by Sigmar Polke, 1973

Having utterly failed as a species, daily abusing our magic for destruction, fleeing towards transcendent potentials, aggrandizing people which lead our parade to a future full of shining promises never to be kept, promises dangling in front of the nose of the so very beloved self, the individual soul whose dignity is elevated in stories told a thousand times, yet a dignity trampled underfoot every single day…

I finally settle for the truth of actually and truly being lost. Refraining from healing, not even trying to change or transform this lostness; just sometimes going through the motions as to not unduly disconcert my contemporaries:

I walk through busy streets and see multitudes, see each uniquely individual, as if the wool gathered ’round the central void, the fabrics encircling the central hole of lostness, was what really mattered. And as long as it matters, it surely seems substantial, it surely looks like the thread  leading you out of the labyrinth… if you had the stamina, the power, the guts, the energies needed to follow the thread. Yet, upon exiting, you find yourself in an even greater labyrinth that is alive and well, the maze no human power, nor divine power, nor cosmic power can escape. You try transcendence, imagination, spirituality, fabrication, religion, philosophy, entertainment, dream, and all the myriad forms of making meaning.

Things may align for you, they may coincide. If you’re lucky, the Great Escape finally collapses, and you rediscover how all of your striving was to no avail, was nil and empty from the very beginning. You never escaped the void at the center of you. And now, finally, without any more hesitation you give in, you surrender to the inevitable.
Since now you stopped looking for the way out, and you see your friends, your acquaintances, your strangers, your anyone on the street, without the consolation of your compassion or any other soothing altruism, your eyes and all of you can really see. You see the Love that embeds it all.
The Love that cascades from the clouds, and the trees, and the stranger’s eyes. The Invisible Love that flavors the air. The Love that seasons the void from the very beginning of what naively is called time, which is really just the way you keep relating to it all. You wouldn’t possibly know what Love is, the Love that Embeds it all, and you surely couldn’t reduce it to a feeling or explain it even to your listening mind and self. Yet, you know this Love was there always, and you solemnly and irrevocably declare it to be prior to the void.

You state by Your Given Grace, as Prime Participator in this Ambiverse, “All, including everyone and everything, are embedded in love. This is how it is and always was.”

And you know this beyond even the Greatest of Doubts, that in the beginning you said, “Let there be Love.” And lo and behold, There Was Love.


PS: This is to be the core of the next Neuroplastic Experiment: All is embedded in Prior Love.

Interlude in Limbo

in limbo

1. Lit. a region of the afterlife on the border of hell. (In some Christian religions, there is a limbo set aside for souls that do not go to either heaven or hell. This sense is used only in this religious context. (*Typically: be ~; remain ~; stay ~.) The baby’s soul was in limbo because she had not been baptized.

2. Fig. in a state of neglect; in a state of oblivion; in an indefinite state; on hold. (*Typically: be ~; leave something ~; put something ~.) We’ll have to leave the project in limbo for a month or two. After I got hit on the head, I was in limbo for about ten minutes.
In Limbo (my title) by Solve Sundsbo

My dreams, my hopes have shattered. The dreams still in waiting of fulfillment don’t have my spirited input in deed and consequence.

All my intimate relationships have broken up, and the one I intended to be true… it’s hopeless.
A deep understanding of my father’s words, five years before he seized the opportunity to die, that he was tired of it all and that he wanted to go.
As I’m entering into all this, deciding not to avoid the pain inside, the dark cloud of thoughts in my head, I see that unawareness doesn’t cure suffering, and never has. Escaping with organic chemicals, distilled or grown,  escaping into stories as told on flat screens and pages, drifting off in any way, may alleviate the churning sadness in the guts and heart, the actual emotional pain coursing through my innards. But it doesn’t alleviate the suffering, at best it postpones it. Until now.

And in the middle of this, as I walk the streets, an acute clarity of vision arises. As if the shallows were removed, the flatness of the mental screen. A fleeting shine in the eyes of a child far away hits the inner eyes with freshness, opening up the sky of clear vision even more. There is no hope in that, it’s the flicker of the inner sun. As if a star shows up momentarily in the clear dark.
Picture by Eve Sussman

Intentions? Face it and withhold nothing.
Feelings? Hopeless sadness.
Activity? Contemplating shattered dreams, broken promises, manipulations, the hurt and suffering I instigated, the wounds of treason and destroyed intimacy, and yes, sure, the friends that are not here in the flesh, the embraces I refused, the endless self-boycotts and failures I meticulously produced. The unawareness, the sleep, the obfuscation of the pain, the projections, the escape of thinking big thoughts and grand projects, and all the myriad ways to numb the sense of hell that humanity keeps warm for all creatures, the doom hanging over us all.

Ah, yes, calling on my enlightened oasis, energizing my inner bodhisattva, hopping into the non-dual dimensions … I could do that. But I’m not in the mood to leave the limbo, knowing these spaces to be truly empty whereas this limbo is substantially alive.

I’m lost. And accepting the intrinsic purposelessness of reality, of what is substantially alive, how could there be assurance or certainty? Where would you place a foundation in a bottomless polyverse?

I’ll stay here and be lost until I’m found, if being found is part of the pattern of my life’s reflection on the waters of the Mystery. As in my darker dreams where I know where I’m going, where I do have a goal to reach, but everything conspires to thwart me reaching any significant advance.
As my friend  says, “I got drunk in another place. Let the one who poured me the wine find me and bring me home, if that is where my steps are to lead.”

And over night, in my sleep, I left this place. Transported by my inner tribe to another sky.
There is an inkling somewhere of a meaning not translatable to any other spaces, like something lurking at the threshold of awareness, never to enter, always around the corner; like a dream just before we remember it.
And there is this other idea that I connect to my experiences with the Circle of the Heart. In it we always reach the place where we have to accept our utter failure to make ‘It’ (in that case the We, the Circle Being) happen; were we have to accept that we cannot do anything more to invoke, conjure up, install, (co-)create the “Next”. It is utterly beyond our reach, our grip, our power. We have to die to our ability. And then, of its very own accord, it may enter…
Raffaelle Monti, The Bride, 1847

Interlude in Love

Petals in the Park

Walking through the park I contemplate the love I’m giving to myself, my family and friends, nature. A flash back in time takes me to my broken young years where the love I received was so thwarted and sporadic, where rebellion and resentment became my basic gesture towards humans and even life herself, and where I birthed the delusion for revenge to set things straight again. Now I appreciate, how loving myself has soothed me enough to shine a different and probably permanent light on all of this. And I am thankful to myself.

As I walk the newly gravelled paths my longing grows. A longing to be held, embraced wholly, to be loved, pure and simple. And after this longing rushed through my every veign, as it spread out beyond my body into the aura of the park, the flowers and birds, the many paths, a woman in a wheelchair beckons me. The new gravel makes it hard for her to push herself, and I am glad to grant her wish. We speak about how the gravel makes the paths in the park less muddy in the rainy times, the beauty of the park in spring and the rose petals coloring the grass. I feel her scariness; she may be sensing the love spirit that’s touching me inside-out and all over, or more likely, she may resent feeling in need for help by a stranger.

The minutes before her beckoning were filled with my longing alchemically merging into Love which now is overflowing into me from its seat of splendor, its omnicentric throne in the sky and heart of all matter.  And as the woman beckons I’m getting a fill of understanding of Love’s way. Pushing the wheely chair and asking the woman to not aid me with her hands, for it is no help, we’re constellated perfectly for a lesson for yours truly.

Petals in the Park

Returning through the park from shopping for groceries I see that in a way I’ve been debilitated, unable to receive the Love from all around and in its never ending shades. I’ve been struggling so hard for Love that when she comes I’m trying to help her, and thereby hindering her and protecting myself from her intense presence. She loves me so much that I can remain seated, debilitated by all my tragedies,  and she simply carries me.


From the Trenches of Being my own Best Friend

Embedded in my flowery self

17 days ago I started the practice of Being my own Best Friend, and I’ve wanted to spill the beans of what has happened in life and my reflections on it since.

The picture on the left comes from Ecstatic Thursday, the day when being my own best friend was turning my soul into such sweetness that I had to run out of a work-related meeting, lie down amidst the flowers, and catch it on photo to share some of my felt delight with my friends.

But let me try to be a bit more chronological. One of the first obstacles I had to overcome in my contemplation on what it really means to be my own best friend was, “Do I really have a best friend?”
I mean, yes, sure, I do have a best friend, but is he going to cry when I die?
My own crying isn’t a good comparison in this matter: I already shed a tear or two when I see people hugging on TV. It took me a couple of days to figure out if my best friend, U., really is my best friend. When I visited him a week or so ago I found that, definitely, he is – and I told him so, which was an added pleasure. So yes, that obstacle has been overcome, but it illustrates what I feel to be a necessary part of these experiments. Seriously look at everything that comes up ― ruthlessly facing the reality of what my body-soul-mind-spirit-system offers, exploring the whole range of what friendship means to me.

I was amazed at what I found out after a few days when investigating the origins of the word “friend:” The Germanic root of friend is “vriunt, friunt”, which means “the loving one; the one that loves [der Liebende]”. Moreover, “friunt” is closely connected to “vri, fri”, meaning, yes you guessed right, “free”. Vri, fri means, “to belong to the loved ones, the tribe, the clan, and thereby to be protected”, and/or “beloved, wanted, wished for”. Contemplating this heritage of friendship was and is a delight, “To be free is to belong to loved ones, and to be a friend is to be a loving one.”

Being my own best friend is all about love ― which in Ancient Greece came in four different flavors: agape, eros, storge and philia, of which the last one is often used translated as friendship (philosophy, “friend of wisdom” from philia and sophia). Aristotle, which I read in the Wikipedia article about Philia says interesting things about friendship, somehow sums up why one actually should be one’s own best friend, “the good person must be a self-lover, since he will both help himself and benefit others by performing fine actions. But the vicious person must not love himself, since he will harm both himself and his neighbours by following his base feelings.”

Inner Landscape

The first 10 days of this self-bestfriending practice where very encouraging, easy, most of the time imbued with a deep sense of well-being enhanced with the contemplation that this is the foundation of being my own best friend, this sense of bringing well-being to myself.
And then it got challenging, all the ‘good feelings’ left me. My ordinary sense of self returned, a sense of slight skepticism ’bout everything; this may sound harsh – at times it actually is – but it’s founded on what I learnt through my parents, cultural history, growing up in opposition to the given order of matters and things, “You can’t take anything for granted;” “You have to question everything and everyone;” “You’ve got to continually prove you’re worthy of all that is good;” etc.

I didn’t wake up in the morning anymore, like in the first ten days, automatically remembering that “I’m my own best friend,” which meant a whole-bodily remembrance until that point. Rather, some mornings I entirely forgot and only remembered later on the day – to my dismay! “What’s happening,” I thought. “Why isn’t this happening all by itself now?” Maybe I’m mistaken about Neuroplasticity?

It took a couple of days before I realized that being my own best friend wasn’t about feelings. It’s about facts. The sweet ecstasies of self-friendship, and the feelings of friendship with people I interacted with, the deep feeling of connection I share with a very few people, and so on, these emotions can be mistaken for friendship, for love even.
Let me give an example; I have a son. If anyone would ask me at any moment, “Do you love your son?” I’d answer unequivocally, “Yes!” I wouldn’t go check my feelings first and then answer according to what I find. Rather, my feelings would follow my response – right after giving my answer my feelings would acknowledge what I just said. Please don’t misunderstand; often my feeling will be faster than my answers or even thoughts, but in the case of relationships it seems these feelings are there to anchor, acknowledge, affirm what I am already certain of. [An aside: You may not know that I know, in one glance, if a person is a real friend or not – it’s a soul2soul thing that I’ve learnt to recognize. That doesn’t mean that I know how it will develop, I just know the foundation.]

So, maybe losing the first rush of self-friending is a good thing; I’m deciding that it is so. Neuroplasticity is, once your brain has responded by building the proper neuro-infrastructure, all about automating the behavior and way of being that you install. So that it can run in the background with all the other functions and behaviors that we do not have the consciousness-bandwidth to run in clear awareness. (Here for a book I read ages ago on the bandwidth of consciousness.)
[An aside, as the above terminology can sound harsh. A metaphor I use to make this view clear ― consciousness is akin to water. Boundless consciousness is like the ocean; there isn’t a clear sense of self or anything else for that matter. Our character is like a huge delta of a river, all the little streams and rivulets are the way the water takes. Our personal character and our brain are pretty much the same; you damage your brain, your character changes dramatically. So our character is the form, the riverbed of the originally totally free flow of water/consciousness. Also: We can only focus on a very small area of the delta at any given time. What I call bandwidth of consciousness above I’d better call bandwidth for focused consciousness. Maybe more about this at some other time.]

Focus is always limited; no focus, no limits.

So now, after 17 days of practicing Being my own Best Friend I’ve come to understand and trust that apparently my whole body-soul-mind-spirit-system has already automated self-friending. I’ll still, in the spirit of completion, go for the full 21 days of conscious practice, but not out of need, or to be sure. I know that there’ll be moments to come when my awareness notices, “Hey, this happens because I’m my own best friend,” but there is no need to verify it any other way. Real friendship doesn’t need verification. You just know, you’re certain.

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.
― Rumi, translated by Colin Barks