When one looks at a tree, one isn’t composed of chlorophyll and bark but the image of the tree is not separate from what one is. Of course, if one is compassionate, one may see the tree not merely as a thing but as a wonderful, precious living presence that one is not separate from. So, in sweet wisdom, the negation of separation goes even deeper.
Excerpt from a poem by Walt Whitman:
There was a child went forth every day. And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became, And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day, Or for many years or stretching cycles of years. The early lilacs became part of this child, And grass and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird, And the Third-month lambs and the sow’s pink-faint litter, and the mare’s foal and the cow’s calf, And the noisy brood of the barnyard or by the mire of the pondside, And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there, and the beautiful curious liquid, And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads, all became part of him. The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month became part of him, Winter-grain sprouts and those of the light-yellow, and the esculent roots of the garden, And the apple-trees cover’d with blossoms and the fruit afterward, and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road, And the oldest drunkard staggering home from the out-house of the tavern whence he had lately risen, And the schoolmistress that pass’d on her way to the school, And the friendly boys that pass’d and the quarrelsome boys…
Many of us pigeonhole things far too excessively. We see things as they are assigned in preconceived categories. So, really, we may not be “seeing” much at all but, rather, are identifying via remembered attributes. Most of us tend to perceive via fragmentary images that have been incorporated into (and “as”) our brains since early youth. With these rather superficial accumulations, we look… which really may not be deep “seeing” at all. Instead of perceiving freshly and holistically, we identify and categorize according to how we were molded (in a very secondhand way).
The robot-like mind may function like an automaton, assuming that it is living, but all the while it is robotically repeating what was poured into it (as it is bereft of deep insight, compassion, and holistic bliss). We need to go much deeper than what we were molded to exist as.
Psychologically, the one who perceives something is not (to a large extent) separate from the perception; so, a man or a woman who is discussing something with someone who is standing in a bed of flowers is — in a very peculiar but real way — conversing with the flowers.
(A favorite excerpt from a very special movie):
I could while away the hours Conferrin’ with the flowers Consultin’ with the rain And my head I’d be scratchin’ While my thoughts were busy hatchin’ If I only had a brain
I’d unravel any riddle For any individ’le In trouble or in pain…
Boundless, in the dictionary, means ‘beyond limits’ or ‘having no boundaries.’ That sacred energy, that eternal flame beyond man-made descriptions, may indeed be of a boundlessness beyond the limited, and, hence, beyond the bounded conceptions and images of mankind. People tend to pretty much exclusively perceive and think about things in terms of limited labels, circumscribed patterns, fragmentary constructs, and sequential images and descriptions. All of these are, by their intrinsic nature, fragmentary, isolating, and limited. Thought/thinking is of this limitation. It has not changed in us, fundamentally, for millions of years. Four million years ago, we perceived via limitation and conflict. And four million years later; we are still perceiving basically via limitation and conflict. We still primarily mostly look with separation at all things; one still continuously perceives oneself as being a separate, independent individual.
Even most of the scientists are caught in this fragmentary, circumscribed, piecemeal way of looking at things. Even though they have some interesting theories and discoveries, they still are perplexed about the nature of things. They have their conflicting theories and divisions of thinking about things. The various so-called religions, too, have their divisions and conflicting theories and stories. Concerning them, people still make and construct stone images to impress others by, just as what was done many millennia ago. Though we’ve changed tremendously technologically, we’ve — most of us anyway — stayed fundamentally the same inwardly (i.e., psychologically) for eons. We still look at things via separation, limitation, circumscribed labels, and conflict. Most of us have a lot of deep-seated fears and psychological problems. Yet we think that we are highly evolved.
Most of us were enthusiastically programmed to react, perceive, and continue to function just like everyone else, both outwardly and inwardly. Heaven forbid if you began to look at things in a whole, new way. But a whole, new way was how Einstein came up with some of his brilliant works; and, believe me, he understood far more than what he revealed in his published and popular works.
The question is: Can one perceive — in a fundamentally different way — without exclusively depending upon mere (limited) patterns (that you were molded to contain)? To answer that question truly and deeply, consciousness needs to go through a radical change. All of the stuff that was hammered into you, throughout your past, has to be put aside or (rather) psychologically died to. When one truly transcends all of the illusory separations, limitations, fragmentation, and division, then real intelligence and compassion emerge. But it isn’t compassion that “you” “have”; it is compassion; it is of the whole, not of a separate “you.”
This Allosaurus Dinosaur Leg-bone was sliced and polished, revealing the now crystallized canals (ducts or channels) that used to transport air (and some blood) through the system; they stored oxygen within their bones, which was a very advanced system (superior to what mammals currently have).
If one knows that one is meditating, meditation isn’t there. If one knows that one is whole, wholeness isn’t there. If one knows that one is humble, humility isn’t there. If one knows that one is quiet, quietness isn’t there. If one knows that one is spiritual, spirituality isn’t there. If one cultivates simplicity, simpleness isn’t there. If one cultivates perception, insight isn’t there.
When most people are observing an animal, they are really not (usually) seeing purely without contamination. They usually are looking with (and “as”) images and labels of the organism… images and labels that are constantly being modified, changed, added to, and rearranged. Their seeing is not pure seeing per se but is more a part of a process of categorization, image-recognition, and processing.
When most people observe, there is a separative space between the perceiver and the perceived. In a very wise mind, however, in pure observing, there is no separate perceiver merely categorizing, merely engaging in image-recognition, and processing… and there is no separative space involved. Perception beyond learned accumulation does not merely continue to contribute to a learned accumulative process. Deep perception, then, is not merely reacting but, instead, is something entirely different. Profound perception is far deeper than mere superficial reacting. Real perception involves completeness, non-fragmentation, and timelessness. That may be what real mindfulness, real meditation consists of… and not all of that childish, practiced, self-hypnotic stuff.
Perception immersed only with (and “as”) reaction and accumulation is incapable of great depth and profundity. Perception beyond mere reactions and accumulative processes is immense and profound. Looking as a totally separate “perceiver” isolates and separates in a very crude and barbaric way. A man who, as a separate perceiver, is looking at “his fear” tends to see that fear from a separative distance, even though, in reality, he actually is the fear (not something separate from it at any distance whatsoever). Ignorance must end for true psychological order to exist. Only true psychological order can really be mindful in the deepest sense. Unintelligence, false (learned) separation, and a lack of compassion are all one pitiful thing.
Pristine perception is beyond the limited; if it is very limited, it is not pristine perception. Such perception goes beyond the fragmented, limited labels that people assign to things. Such labels, however “accurate” they may seem, are always partial, circumscribed, and merely symbolic. Symbols are not actualities. The word “water” isn’t wet. Their essence may hold aspects of reality, but they may not be of actual truth whatsoever. Mostpeople cling to symbols and sequential conceptual terms; without them, they (i.e., mostpeople) are lost. Wisdom goes beyond this, and what is sees is far from ordinary.
Depression and melancholiness, worldwide, are rampant in people these days. A lot of the problem deals with the fact that they were primarily educated to merely exist and remain as symbolic thought (and all thought is merely symbolic). Being one symbol after another, in sequence, creates an atmosphere that can, indeed, be depressed or of melancholiness. Even when many chase after exciting experiences, these experiences are usually seen through (or “as”) a screen of symbolic interpretation and label-oriented imagery; then, it ends up being an extension of more and more symbols, which are intrinsically not what is fundamentally whole and pristine. It is very easy to get lost because of poor education. It is not so easy to perceive the danger of the false and go beyond it.
It is good to be perceptive, to be observant. Many of us, who take photographs and share them, reveal certain detailed (and often unique) perceptions that we have… (that we are appreciative of). To be perceptive is to be sensitive. Even our cameras have a certain innate, intrinsic sensitivity, wherein they pick up (and convey) many of the intricacies that a scene or area displays. To be a real human being, however, calls for much more sensitivity than what a mechanical camera is capable of. Interestingly, there are many people who go through existence being perceptive in more of a mechanical, mechanistic, camera-like way. They focus upon what others have directed them to focus upon; they capture (and hold) what they were developed to capture and hold. Like digital cameras, they store the data and their depth is artificial; they assimilate and grasp according to the way they were programmed. Their stored data depends exclusively upon imprinted patterns.
A truly insightful and reflective human being, on the other hand, may go far beyond a mere mechanical, superficial existence. The depth of a truly insightful, reflective human being would be amazingly real and beyond mere simulation. Real sensitivity has tremendous depth. That depth and real love/real living may not be different things. That depth shatters the separation between the viewer and the image. That sensitivity helps others in profound ways (that are not merely what can be photographed… although photographing may be part of how that sensitivity shares). That sensitivity penetrates far deeper than what any mechanical device can calculatingly and premeditatively (artificially) capture.
Last night, this movement was observing a science program on television concerning the universe. A lot of top scientists were talking about where the universe was going. They said that there is absolutely no evidence that there exists any eternity in the universe and that it is more than likely that everything will disappear entirely (and that is that). Unfortunately, they don’t understand what certain wise individuals understand; they (to a very large extent) don’t understand their own minds, and they don’t know what most of the cosmos (such as dark energy) consists of. If a mindlenscamera is constructed and programmed by the superficial, what it picks up and captures (to share) will often be rather superficial. Sometimes superficial and two-dimensional is very nice and excellent to visit… but one wouldn’t want to exclusively live there. Superficial snapshots from distortion impress most who are truly discerning and deep (only to a limited extent). As for those scientists, well, unfortunately, they are very good at capturing and conveying what they’ve discovered from limitation.
So, what transforms beyond the limited focus of the camera-i… is real integrity. Real, living integrity comes about only when the mind naturally becomes orderly beyond some dead blueprint or formulated mold. When real integrity comes about, the universe and its deepest magic comes to you; you don’t have to seek it. True integrity, which is wholeness, allows for (that deep order which is the entire universe) to flower within. That brings true bliss and enlightenment. The limited camera-i cannot do it, for what it perceives is little, separate snapshots here and there (according to some limited, manufactured programming). When real wisdom occurs, then the camera-i doesn’t merely try to capture things (with what it focuses on)… because then its instrument is not separate from all the mystery that takes place in the world (and all the mystery that is beyond place).
Tree Frog on brownish house siding (blending in quite nicely). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2015