All Posts Tagged ‘enlightenment

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My Visit with T.S.Eliot

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Let us go then, you and I,
Eliot said, and so we went,
After the cups, the marmalade, and tea,
Beyond the porcelain, beyond the talk of you and me,
When the evening was spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;
We went, we went through certain half-deserted streets.
We went to the bright retreats that muttered endlessly.

Some overwhelming question always had to ask,
Though it didn’t have to ask, “What is it?”
We went along and made our visit.

And at the first turning of the second stair
We turned and saw below, not far from the rose garden,
A familiar shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapor in the fetid air
Struggling with the business fool of the stairs who ascends
The deceitful steps of hope and despair.

At the second turning of the second stair,
We left them twisting, turning below;
At the third turning of the third stair
We finally went past all of the melodious distraction,
Music of the flute, stops and steps
Of the mind over the third stair,
Fading, fading; wisdom beyond hope and despair
Climbing and being the third stair.

We were the stairs,
We were the shapes and distractions,
And at half-past one,
The street-lamp sputtered
The street-lamp muttered,
The street-lamp said, “Regard that woman
Who hesitates toward you in the light of the door
Which opens on her like a grin.”
My visit with Tom in the rose garden never came to an end.

 

 

Jumping Spider in the rose garden, near the door we never opened. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

 

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Enlightenment

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Wanting to become enlightened — to be in nirvana or satori or whatever it is — is a form of avaricious behavior that depends upon thought and psychological time.  Desire and thought create psychological time.  This time is always limited and based upon the past.  (We are referring to psychological time, not necessary physical/chronological time, here.)  In (and “as”) a person (often), there is a gulf (i.e., a chasm) — psychologically — between what one is and what one wants to become.   Most of us do not mind such a gulf/chasm to exist psychologically; we were brought up and educated (or miseducated) to accept such a gulf fundamentally.  We don’t see anything wrong with it.  We don’t (ever) question it.

Additionally, there is often a tremendous gulf or chasm between “what one considers oneself to be” and “other people” or “other organisms.”   Many people look with separation and see “their race” as better, “their culture” as better, “their family” as better, “their species” as far better,  and “their being” as much better.  Others are “at a distance” and they are separated from “oneself” by a gulf (a chasm), much like the chasm mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph.

You know, it is so easy to be duped.  It is so easy to be deceived and defrauded to think that one is rich in the things of life.  Fragmentation and psychological time are one hell of an illusion (wholly grasped by restricted minds).  Be careful and attentive. 

 

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[Note:  My wife, Marla, is doing better following her recent shoulder surgery; she, however, will still require further surgery on that shoulder.]  

 

 

Snow Crystals … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019

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The Story of Lo Zu and the Young Firefly

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A young student asked Lo Zu, “When a firefly is full of light, does that mean that it is undergoing satori or full enlightenment?”

“No,” the sage answered, “Fireflies groom themselves often, making themselves orderly and spotless, but that is not enough for them — insects who live with separateness and competition — to receive immeasurable enlightenment.”

“What will happen if I receive such enlightenment?” the lad asked.

Lo Zu then answered, “If the limitless, unadulterated energy of the cosmos visits you and flows through you,  you will look slightly physically different but you will not physically glow and, additionally, the fingers of the hands may contract (making it difficult to move), but usually that visitation occurs when one is alone and not among others.”

“I see,” said the student.

“After the visitation,” said Lo Zu, “you will look just like everyone else and, of course, the hands will easily move again; however, your mind will be much different.  You will be glowing on the inside and will have seen.”

“Seen what?” the young lad enquired.

“Seen what is unseeable; met what is indescribable,” said Lo Zu.

“Is it the sacred?” the young boy asked.

With a tear in his eye and a concomitant smile on his face, Lo Zu answered, “Perhaps!”

Then Lo Zu graciously remarked, “Listen, Firefly, surpass fireflyness.”

 

 

Firefly Grooming Itself… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

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That Eternal Visitor

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It came when we weren’t expecting it to come
             beyond the moonlit glow
It came when we weren’t expecting it to come
             beyond the realm of know
It came when we weren’t expecting it to come
             such bliss energy and love
It came when we were not existing separately
             that eternal immeasurability from above

 

 

 

Budding Beginnings… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

 

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Thinking and Harmony

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[To find great Turkey Tail fungi, one must go deep into the woods.  To really understand truth, one must go very deep.  With the later, most people are not passionate enough regarding going there; they, unfortunately, are too fixated merely within the well-trodden paths and routines.]

 

Thinking and complete harmony: can the two exist together (as one) or are they what cannot ever be united?   There is a type of harmony of thinking in poetry.  Likewise, there is a type of harmony, involving thinking, in songs and music.  A truly wise man’s words, of course, can reflect a holistic harmony (to a limited point) in a very possibly pertinent sense (if one is intelligent enough to perceive the depth that is there).  However, no words can ever come even a little bit close to reflecting the whole. 

The tool of thought/thinking can try to point to the whole, try to point to the immeasurable.  However, it may be that thought/thinking is not (and never will be) a integral part of the true whole.  What is virtual, what is fabricated, (what is spurious in essence) may think and insist in (and believe in) all kinds of sensible and nonsensical things… but it cannot ever be one with what is truly whole.  

A mind of inattention, of self-delusion — such as what most minds consist of — cannot decide when to meditate.  The sloppy mind, the mind of disorder, cannot decide to be what order is.  True meditation is not the absurd result of a concocted will; it is never the result of a traditional, bourgeois ego or of a learned (spurious) central-self. 

When healthy and necessary things need to be done prudently, compassionately, with care and consideration, thinking is oftentimes very beneficial.  Other than that, it is usually indicative of inattention and non-harmony.  For instance, if one is walking through a park and the mind is chattering away about all kinds of silly things (as so many brains incessantly and habitually do)… that “thinking” is indicative of inattention/non-harmony/unintelligence.  The fragmentary nature of thinking has, as its intrinsic value, incompleteness (which is incapable of total harmony on its own).  A vast amount of human thinking consists of inattention/incompleteness/unintelligence.  Throughout the day, thinking — which is, more times than not, superfluous — is often a very good indicator that inattention and incompleteness are taking place.  If any movement of thinking, no matter what it is, is incapable of that immense intelligence beyond mere fragmentation, then any movement of thinking, no matter what it is, is indicative that holistic completeness is not taking place.  Though it might sound silly, “thinking per se” (in a very wise mind, throughout each and every day) can be an excellent gauge or indicator of incompleteness/non-harmony.  Thought (no matter what it is or consists of) can never really adequately point to the whole… because thought is limited, fragmentary, with a profound essence of delusion and disorder.   Additionally, the whole is not composed of united fragments… (fragments that the distorted mind has accepted at legitimate); the whole is not the mere opposite of any fragments.  For the whole to occur within the human organism, there can be no fragments.  Illusory fragments within the mind, however, do not prevent the whole from existing; illusory fragments are virtual (i.e., unreal) and the unreal doesn’t supersede truth in any real sense whatsoever.  

From old Confucius:    

“When the wise man points at the moon, the one who is unwise remains with the finger.”

 

The following is an excerpt from the poetry of R.D.Laing (whom one read way back in 1972)…I was appreciative of the poetry of Laing’s Knots but never read (or cared to read) anything else by him.  

 

A finger points to the moon

 

Put the expression

a finger points to the moon in brackets

(a finger points to the moon)

The statement:

‘A finger points to the moon is in brackets’

is an attempt to say that all that is in the bracket

(…………………………………………………………………… )

is, as to that which is not in the bracket,

what a finger is to the moon

 

Put all possible expressions in brackets

Put all possible forms in brackets

and put the brackets in brackets

 

Every expression, and every form,

is to what is expressionless and formless

what a finger is to the moon

all expressions and all forms

point to the expressionless and formless

 

the proposition

‘All forms point to the formless’

is itself a formal proposition

 

Not,

…….as finger to moon

…….so form to formless

but,

…….as finger is to moon

…….so

………….[all possible expressions, forms, propositions,

………….including this one, made or yet to be made,

………….together with the brackets]

…….to

 

What an interesting finger

let me suck it

 

It’s not an interesting finger

take it away

 

The statement is pointless

The finger is speechless

 

 

Turkey Tails (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Turkey Tails (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

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Awareness

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‘Aware,’ in the dictionary, is defined as ‘having knowledge,’ or ‘well-informed.’   A mind that is aware just in terms of the dictionary’s definitions of awareness, is a rather mechanical, robotic mind (of which there are, unfortunately, plenty).  Awareness is so much more.  Awareness that exists within the superficial limitations of knowledge is a confined and reaction-oriented, mechanistic kind of consciousness.  Fortunately, there is an awareness that goes far beyond the realm of knowledge and memory retention.

When one was in the fourth grade, one partook in an awareness that was not merely within the realm of knowledge and thinking.  It was an awareness beyond thought.  It happened spontaneously, without one ever being told about letting or making such a thing happen.  At the time, one immediately understood that it was something entirely different than normal (everyday) consciousness; one realized that it was something very special.  It, way back then, seemed rather instantaneous and did not seem to require time.  (One, back then, didn’t label it as anything because it didn’t require a label; really, it is beyond all labels anyway.)  Now, years later, at the age of 66, one is still very appreciative of it.  “Thinking,” indeed, takes time; “thinking” is sequential and is a series of conditioned responses.  “Thinking” is involved with information collection and information processing; thinking depends upon psychological time.  The other, that awareness, was (though rather indefinable) more about aliveness and holistic perception beyond limited boundaries.

The awareness that is beyond mere thinking is involved with sensitivity and understanding.  It is not aloofness (that so many, unfortunately, have); it is not indifference (that so many, unfortunately, have); it goes beyond the formulations and molds (of the past) that have structured the endless reactions of man.   A mind without such awareness is trapped in the virtual realm of thought/thinking, endlessly reacting somewhat like a programmed robot, endlessly seeing through preconceptions and presuppositions (which isn’t really seeing whatsoever).  A mind that merely recognizes according to what it has been taught is a very secondhand, automaton-like mind.

It is very simple, really.  To see the unlimited, the whole, the mind cannot merely remain in (and as) the limited.  The limited mind cannot, under any circumstances, make itself be beyond the limited.  Effort and will have nothing to do with it.  Effort and will are within the realm of thinking and sequential memory; besides, will is a fallacious supposition based on a fictitious (but highly “believed in”) center or controller.  (As was pointed out in previous postings, human brains have been surgically divided in living human subjects, leaving two separate — viable — fields of consciousness within one braincase.)  The sacred, despite what a lot of very self-deceitful and guileful people claim, may not at all be what thought/thinking can summon or conjure up.  The sacred is not what thought (which is virtual and limited) can ever grasp.  Thought/thinking — and all misconceptions about a “controlling center” or of a “‘me’ manipulating thoughts from a distance” — must come to an end for that sacred immeasurability and impersonal intelligence to be.  In fact, when it visits, it makes thinking extremely difficult and rather impossible… much like when the light of the brightest sun annihilates all dark shadows; other physical changes to the body also occur for a while, among other things… but don’t just take my word for it.  The sacred and what is secondhand and virtual do not meet and will not ever meet (or combine).  Those charlatans who claim that their thoughts, manmade temples, secondhand methods, and mantras (or any thoughts, writings, or sayings) are sacred… are full of drivel.

Beyond categorization, beyond mere recognition and reaction (such as what ideas are) there is a deep, immeasurable dimension (that is not a mere dimension).  It will not and cannot ever meet with what is false; the false must die for it to be; such psychological dying is real living.  It is not a mere fabrication of the brain.  Awareness includes compassion, sensitivity, real curiosity, love, caring, and perception beyond the secondhand garbage that people so easily swallow.

 

 

 

Crab Spider on Lichen (1)
Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

Crab Spider on Lichen (2)
Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

 

 

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Distorted Mirror Distorted Mind

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A perfect mirror has no distortion.  It shows what is really there.  Can the mind be like that?

A distorted mirror, just like a distorted mind, twists things around such that reality seems askew and misrepresentation and untruth run dominant.  Fortunately, most people realize what the situation actually is when they are gazing into an intentionally distorted (circus) mirror.  Unfortunately, many people perceive via minds that are of distortion, deception, and perversion, yet they continue to think that they see things rightly.  Many of us put up a facade, for others to perceive, of what we want them to think we really are.  Many of us deceive not only others… but ourselves.  Society tends to instill various forms of distortion into the minds that partake in its offerings, and such minds then zealously accept such distortions and falsities as the truth.

Many people are overly concerned about how they (physically) appear to others.  Few people are prudently concerned about perceiving themselves as they actually are… internally, without any distortion whatsoever.  A mind that is passionate about going beyond distortion is a very scientific and spiritual mind.  It seems that very few have actually done it (i.e., gone beyond distortion) to any very significant extent. (There are ways to test this out, for accuracy; however, we will not go into that here.)  Great clarity and immense understanding are needed to see the whole.  Most, unfortunately, still function with (and “as”) symbols and fragmentary parts.  If the tools and the processes of the mind are distorted and partial, then the outcome — the results — will be equally askew, equally incomplete.  Before we accept and cherish methods to get out of this distortion, we should question whether they are possibly an extension or continuity of the same-old fallacies, which most are.

Without method, without depending upon the process of psychological time, is it possible for the mind to observe without merely utilizing the past tools (of symbolic thinking, abstraction, analysis, and image-building)?  Can the mind perceive without always carrying the burden of past formulations?  It may be the influential formulations of the past that prevent pristine perception.  We can be choicelessly observing with an intense awareness that includes all of the senses working harmoniously together as a whole, without limited thoughts always interfering… (and all thoughts are limited).

A mind that goes beyond distortion sees deeply.  Such depth goes far beyond the ordinary, far beyond the mundane.  Many cling (knowingly or unknowingly) to the ordinary, yet wish to experience what is beyond the ordinary.  What is truly beyond the ordinary may not at all be what can be categorized or placed into the realm of “experience.”  If an experience is recognized (as most are), it usually consists (more or less) of a rather mundane occurrence that the brain “recertifies,” “acknowledges,” and “classifies” via (and according to) prior memory images, prior mental retentions, and symbols.  Recognition and the reaction to things have their place, but so does an unadulterated awareness beyond mere reaction and conditioned responses.  Full enlightenment/satori — should it ever occur as a blessed visitation by that ineffable, holistic energy to a human being — may be far too immense for any kind of full mental grasping, retention, or remembrance (by the brain) to take place.  However, should it actually happen — and don’t be foolish enough to crave what you suspect that it might be — the brain will have recalled small snippets of that profound event, though what is retained is rather like mere shadows of the actual occurrence.  Great wisdom, unlike distortion, never needs to ask about whether the sacred truly exists.

 

 

 

Polished Jurassic Dinosaur Bone, with crystal fortification, from Utah (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

Polished Jurassic Dinosaur Bone, with crystal fortification, from Utah (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018