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#1508 - Wednesday, July 30, 2003

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  • Know Mystery
    ... #1508 - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - Editor: Joyce (Know_Mystery) ... August Alonzo ~ Monks_Mystics Two Unities That which the scientist calls the Infinite,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2003


      #1508 - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - Editor: Joyce (Know_Mystery)

      August Alonzo ~ Monks_Mystics
      Two Unities

      "That which the scientist calls the Infinite, the artist calls Love, and
      the religious person calls God, are all One in the same."
      ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi Master ~ 

      Sherab_mia  ~ DailyDharma   &  Alan Larus, TrueVision



      Photo by Alan Larus



      "Meditation has one object only, namely to prepare the mind
      to get out of all suffering, to prepare it for liberation.
      It is a means to this end and not for pleasant experiences.
      Those do happen, and why not? Let us be grateful for them,
      very grateful that they do happen and that they give us the
      impetus to continue. But when they don't happen, that
      doesn't matter either. The mind has to have meditation
      training in order to become liberated."

      ~ Ayya Khema ~

      From the book, "Being Nobody Going Nowhere," published by
      Wisdom Publications.

      Jerry Katz ~ NondualitySalon

      a question

      Someone sent me the following question. I've included my reply and invite others. I'll send the responses to him. By the way, whenever I do this type of thing, and send a bunch of replies to the questioner, I rarely, ifever, hear back from the them, in case anyone's wondering. But they're fun.
      I have a question that has been puzzling me for quite a while- I was wondering whether you might be able to answer it or maybe you know someone who can- The question is- What happens when the experiencer, the process of experiencing and the experience become one- To have an experience is dual in nature so I wonder if there is no possible way of experiencing the highest Supreme state-which is beyond  pure consciousness (consciousness knowing? and experiencing itself without any "external" object . Even consciousness is dual too- Isn't it? Conscious of what?

      Here is what really confuses me-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj- I have the book " I am That- The question was: Is the Supreme conscious? He answers "neither conscious nor unconscious, I am telling you from EXPERIENCE"- How can this be- How can you experience the Supreme if there is no experiencer to experience this state of oneness?-

      I hope my question is coming through- Its hard to articulate.   Thanks
      Response from Jerry:
      Nisargadatta is telling about reality: it is neither conscious nor unconscious. Yet he says he is speaking from experience. Therefore, it is assumed that reality is an experience you can have. Contemplate this and see where it takes you. If it thoroughly puzzles you and knots up your mind, that's good.
      Then shift your attention from this one statement of his about experience to that which he repeats over and over and over again. It's possible that this shift could unknot the mind. Then with the unknotted mind, re-address your questions.


      Response from Tim Gerchmez:

      From here, this focus on N's exact wording is nitpicking with words.
      It simply sounds to me like an impactful sort of statement trying to
      get across the idea of "direct experience" (which simply means 'the
      Supreme' isn't in the realm of thought and concept, but transcendent
      of that).

      Nitpicking words isn't inquiry -- taking words literally (which were
      originally a dialogue between N. and some questioner and in context
      with the rest of the discussion) and forming one's own interpretation
      based on what seems important or meaningful about some particular
      word isn't the way to read a book like "I Am That."


      Response from James:

      In one way or another every sage says, "Know Thyself".

      Yet who or what is going to step outside oneself to know oneself?

      So - the process reveals the limitations of 'localized'
      consciousness and its activity subsides (it implodes through lack of
      support because energy in no longer given to localized consciousness
      when it is seen that it is limited).

      This process is a 'Seeing' that sees the limitations of
      'localized' consciousness - when it is no longer supported it implodes
      - what remains is what was there all along - the Seeing itself.

      Thus 'Seeing is Doing' - Consciousness is its own knowing.

      In this light (Seeing) Nisargadatta's comment, "neither conscious
      nor unconscious, I am telling you from experience", can be understood
      as 'Consciousness speaks' - in this case it is speaking through and as
      the form called Nisargadatta.


      I like the way that Atmananda Krishna Menon says this
      "Form is Seeing and Seeing is Being".


      Response from Jan Barendrecht:

      Perhaps memory allows to go back to childhood, when hearing words like "experience" and "experiencer"
      would have resulted in a question like: "what is an experience and what is an experiencer?"
      "If nothing happens, is that an experience too?"
      When memory doesn't allow that, it's most likely to get caught up for the remainder of life
      reading books on spiritual (non)experiences and subsequently trying to have them too. In that
      case, good luck!

      That's what i mean: reading a book, trying to find the proper interpretation and finding
      others (according to Ramana, there are no others), able to help/support/comment on a
      book from a rather different culture.
      Why not meditate on "who am i?" for 30 years or so, solitarily in a dwelling like cave?
      That will "answer" quite a few other questions as well, or far better than that, evaporate
      the source whence questions arise as well as the need for answers.


      Response from Hur Guler:

      most neo-advaita gurus tend to say "all there is...is consciosness."
      sometimes this consciousness is explained by the neo-advaita teachers
      as the "potential energy" from which all this manifests.

      to my knowledge, maharaj sometimes says the same thing but at other
      times for maharaj there was another state beyond consciousness which
      is simply the existence itself. that's why i believe he liked the
      term "i am" since "i am" suggests that the essence of "i am" is
      existence itself.

      all we have is consciousness and this is our only link to existence.
      the body/mind reconstructs existence in the mirror of consciousness.
      i don't think this is a mysterious state that only the masters can
      realize. i believe that anyone who's conscious experiences this
      state since existence manifests itself through consciousness.

      Brian Cowan ~ Monks_Mystics

      Re: Two Unities

      Hello everyone,
      As humanphoenix
      wrote, in part, 
      in a message dated July 29th:
      >Science, which can be easily seen enough in medical 
      >science, has a tendency of abandoning understanding 
      >of the whole to search for understanding of the 
      >constituents. In doing so they [i. e. scientists] 
      >unfortunately stop seeing them as constituents, 
      >they are now cells, atoms, electrons, and so forth. ...
      In my view, this is a good point. Many (but not all) 
      scientists and scientifically inclined persons, by 
      concentrating on the constituents, lose sight of the 
      of the whole. 
      A spiritual outlook, as I see it, can serve as a valuable 
      corrective to the tendency, on the part of some of those 
      engaged in scientific pursuits, to get lost in detail and 
      so forget all about wholeness. Spirituality, I believe, 
      can help us to experience a holistic sense the cosmos, 
      to have an intuition into a unitary, animating and 
      directional Presence permeating all things and binding 
      them together into a single whole. In various traditions 
      this Presence is given differing names, for example: 
      Brahmin, the Buddha Nature, the Tao, the Logos, 
      the Absolute, etc., etc.
      So, for sure, from my perspective, spirituality helps
      and complements science. 
      But, for its part, science is useful to spirituality too. 
      Thus scientists like Galileo Galilei and Charles Darwin 
      helped to wean the Christian spiritual outlook away 
      from being an outlook which, somewhat narrowly, in 
      my estimation, regarded scripture as inerrant, as 
      standing beyond error. 
      Galileo provided valid evidence (e. g. from a mathematical 
      standpoint) in favour of the earth orbiting the sun, 
      evidence which, in time, contributed to showing that 
      scripture is in error when (for example, at Joshua 10: 
      12-14) it implies that the sun orbits the earth. 
      Darwin provided valid evidence (e. g. via fossils, the 
      record of the rocks) in favour of an earth that was 
      millions of years old, evidence which, in time, led 
      not a few Christians to abandon the notion, generally 
      accepted in his day, of a roughly 6,000 year old world. 
      In the 17th century a learned Irish Archbishop, named 
      James Ussher (1580-1655), had estimated the age of 
      our planet at about 6,000 years on the basis of biblical 
      chronology, and his estimate was, by and large, 
      accepted for more than two centuries. Now, there was 
      nothing wrong with Archbishop Ussher's scholarship. 
      No one seriously disagrees that, if you assign 
      reasonable time spans to all of the generations of 
      people mentioned in scripture, and if you establish 
      reasonable historical dates for certain events recorded  
      in the Bible, you end up with a creation date of roughly 
      4,000 BCE. The problem, as we now know, is that the 
      scriptural chronology lacks accuracy, is in error. 
      So, it does seem to me that spirituality helps and 
      complements science and that science helps and 
      complements spirituality. Thus, on the basis of the 
      foregoing considerations and examples, we may agree 
      that spirituality can render science more holistic and 
      that science can render a spiritual tradition less narrow.
      Speaking just for myself here, I tend to think of the 
      spiritual and the scientific as a little like the two sides 
      of one coin.

      Scott Reeves ~ AwarenessTheWayToLove   &  Richard Burnett, Art



      "What is the greatest enemy of Enlightenment?"


      "And where does fear come from?"


      "And what is delusion?"

      "To think that the flowers around you are poisonous snakes."

      "How shall I attain Enlightenment?"

      "Open your eyes and see."


      "That there isn't a single snake around."

      Anthony de Mello, SJ

      MORSEL:   The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you
      can contain.
      Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the
      potter's oven?     --Kahlil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)


      Flower, Doi Suthep, Northern Thailand

      Photo by Richard Burnett

      Scott Reeves ~ AwarenessTheWayToLove

      More Words

      "Mark Twain put it very nicely when he said, "It was so cold that if the
      thermometer had been an inch longer, we would have frozen to death."  We do
      freeze to death on words.  It's not the cold outside that matters, but the
      thermometer.  It's not reality that matters, but what you're saying to
      yourself about it.  I was told a lovely story about a farmer in
      Finland.  When they were drawing up the Russian-Finnish border, the farmer
      had to decide whether he wanted to be in Russia or Finland.  After a long
      time he said he wanted to be in Finland, but he didn't want to offend the
      Russian officials..  These came to him and wanted to know why he wanted to
      be in Finland.  The farmer replied, "It has always been my desire to live
      in Mother Russia, but at my age I wouldn't be able to survive another
      Russian winter."

      Russia and Finland are only words, concepts, but not for human beings, not
      for crazy human beings.  We're almost never looking at reality.  A guru was
      once attempting to explain to a crowd how human beings react to words, feed
      on words, live on words, rather than on reality.  One of the men stood up
      and protested; he said, "I don't agree that words have all that much effect
      on us."  The guru said, "Sit down, you son of a bitch."  The man went livid
      with rage and said, "You call yourself an enlightened person, a guru, a
      master, but you ought to be ashamed of yourself."  The guru then said,
      "Pardon me, sir, I was carried away.  I really beg your pardon; that was a
      lapse; I'm sorry."  The man finally calmed down.  Then the guru said, "It
      took just a few words to get a whole tempest going within you; and it took
      just a few words to calm you down, didn't it?"  Words, words, words, words,
      how imprisoning they are if they're not used properly."

      ~ Anthony de Mello, SJ ~

      Joe & Gary Merrill ~ ConsciousnessIsAll

      Re: Pop goes the balloon / Knowing myself
      What is occurring when I start observing my patterns of behavior,
      ideas, beliefs, concerns, etc -- in short, when I observe all of the
      phenomena that comprise "Joe"?
      Is this seeing, the witnessing and understanding yet more images? Or
      is there a witness which understands the habit patterns of this Joe?
      Because surely there is some understanding of Joe's patterns and ego-
      So, maybe this 'understanding' is an image, because when it (the
      understanding of Joe image) arises, it is based on my past behaviors
      and thoughts -- and therefore I can say, Joe does this and that and
      thinks this and that... but this is thinking based on the past and an
      image is formed... there's not necessarily anyone behind the behavior
      and thought of Joe, but rather just arisings, and over time, one can
      pick out certain patterns, thumbprints of phenomenal arising that
      signify "Joe"...
      which may be useful in dealing with day to day life.
      Hmm, so maybe there is no real way of getting to know oneself better
      other than to form new images based on past 'performance'...
      Any thoughts comments? This is an interesting topic, as so many
      people assume that they can get to know themselves.
      Yes, its this self assumption that is generally questioned on this
      list. Of course if I say it is being questioned by 'me' then there is
      an immediate contradiction. Which is where it gets a bit funny.
      The 'I'ing the image making isn't done by an image, by an I, but happens
      as a function of Totality. It opens the can of worms regarding free
      will, but if there is no 'I' then freedom or bondage ceases to be a
      What you say about witnessing seems fairly accurate. The witnessing
      implying time to look back and catch oneself witnessing, so its a
      story of witnessing never anything in itself. A bit like
      feed back, the body/mind feeds back on itself in order to understand.
      The notion of an independent observer or self or object would not be real but
      part of this feedback process, part of Totality.

      Manuel Hernandez ~ ANetOfJewels

      The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

      "All suffering is born of desire. True love is never frustrated. How can
      the sense of unity be frustrated? What can be frustrated is the desire for
      expression. Such desire is of the mind. As with all things mental,
      frustration is inevitable."

      Shawn ~ Nisargadatta   &  Zen OLeary, Art

      Craving experience

      .....These four facts of life are meant to be known, understood,
      and realized, seen as they are. Knowing the bare fact that things
      are dissatisfying won't free us from dissatisfaction. The crucial
      part is knowing the Second Noble Truth, which is the cause of
      that dissatisfaction - not the things themselves, since the
      things themselves don't suffer; it is we who suffer. The cause of
      that suffering is clinging, attachment, greed, desire, resistance,
      fixation - whatever you want to call it. It is often called craving.
      The word literally is tanha in Pali (samudaya in Sanskrit), which
      suggests thirst. Because we crave, continually desire and thirst
      for various experiences and things, and because created things
      are never ultimately satisfying, we suffer. That's where the chain
      of suffering can be addressed: whether or not we cling to things
      and crave for experience. It's not that we have to get rid of the
      things themselves. Things are not the problem. It is the
      attachment, the identification with things that causes suffering.
      Tilopa wrote, "It is not outer objects which entangle us. It is inner
      clinging which entangles us."





      Phunts Temple, Thailand

      Art by Zen OLeary

      Gary Merrill ~ ConsciousnessIsAll  &  Bill Rishel, Art




      Drawing by Bill Rishel

      Totality is...
      Totality is...
      Writing to itself
      speaking to itself
      listening to itself
      hiding itself
      finding itself
      losing itself
      refraining from acting
      finding peace
      Totality is...
      hating itself
      loving itself
      looking at itself
      knowing itself
      being happy
      Totality is...
      fighting pointless wars
      campaigning for peace
      starting the first day at school
      collecting an old age pension
      hanging out in bars
      going into a monastery
      on the road to ruin
      treading the path to truth


      Viorica Weissman ~ MillionPaths
      H.W.L. Poonja - The Desire for Freedom

      If you accidentally catch fire due to an accident, and you are rushing
      to jump into the river , and a friend comes by and says ,
      "Let's go to a restaurant  and get some ice cream , " what will you do ?
      This desire for freedom must be like this.
      You do not stop along the way to pick another desire.
                Wake Up and Roar
      satsangh with H.W.L. Poonja
               vol. 2

      Found on the Web

      "Just Say OM"

      "...Scientists study it. Doctors recommend it. Millions of Americans -many of whom don't even own crystals -practice it every day. Why? Because meditation works
      By JOEL STEIN...

      Sunday, Jul. 27, 2003
      The one thought I cannot purge, the one that keeps coming back and getting between me and my bliss, is this: What a waste of time. I am sitting cross-legged on a purple cushion with my eyes closed in a yoga studio with 40 people, most of them attractive women in workout outfits, and it is accomplishment enough that I am not thinking about them. Or giggling. I have concentrated on the sounds outside and then on my breath and then, supposedly, just on the present reality of my physical state´┐Ża physical state concerned increasingly with the lack of blood in my right foot. But I let that pass, and then I let my thoughts of the hot women go, and then the future and the past, and then my worries about how best to write this article and, for just a few moments, I hit it. It looks like infinite blackness, feels like a separation from my body and seems like the moment right before you fall asleep, only I'm completely awake. It is kind of nice. And then, immediately, I have this epiphany: I could be watching television. "


      What's A Wiki?
      "A Wiki is a collaborative web site which visitors can edit directly in their browsers.
      Seed Wiki is a wiki farm where anyone can start a wiki..."

      bokindstrand ~ ParanormalBuffalo 

      "...A leading creator of "sociable robots," Cynthia Breazeal of M.I.T., says a chief worry is that we might try to extend rights to beings who aren't prepared for them. Breazeal assiduously avoids calling her robots by gendered pronouns. That even she occasionally slips when faced with the large, beseeching eyes of one of her creations means nothing, she says. But it must mean something. No one accidentally calls a toaster "he" or "she." ..."

      Henry ~ Buddhist_Healing

      Vipassana changes the spirit of business

      Asia Times, 30 July 2003
      "Mumbai, India - After a 10-day Vipassana retreat southeast of Dallas,
      Texas, Thomas L Freese, vice president of Freese & Nichols, changed his
      approach to business management. Motivated by an ancient Indian
      self-observation technique called Vipassana, he began to think about
      blending such values as compassion and ethics with bottom lines and
      profits in his daily work.
      Are formerly hard-headed Western businessmen falling for yet another
      handful of magic dust flung from the hands of the gurus of ancient
      India? Freese was relieved. He says: "Vipassana leads to clearer
      thinking and clear thinking is good for business."
      A lengthening list of US, European and Asian corporate executives agree.
      Senior staff of companies including Microsoft, Citibank, IBM, Merrill
      Lynch and Zee TV experience Vipassana as a powerful human-resources
      tool. Special Vipassana courses are being organized worldwide for
      business executives and government administrators. Freese was part of
      one such course this May in "Dhamma Siri", near Dallas, one of six
      Vipassana centers in the United States.
      Vipassana means "to see things as they really are" in the ancient Indian
      Pali language. A practical, universal tool to purify the mind, some call
      Vipassana a technology for inner peace. Others describe it is a deep
      surgical operation of the mind. An objective study of mind-matter
      interaction, Vipassana has nothing to do with any religion, cult, dogma
      or blind belief. Vipassana enhances the overall quality of life, as I
      have discovered from practicing it for more than 10 years.
      Vipassana is taught in residential courses - from the beginners' 10-day
      regimen to 45-day and 60-day courses for advanced students. Completing a
      course demands discipline, will power and following such rules as not
      communicating with fellow students and the outside world for the
      duration of the course. The rule of silence until the penultimate day of
      the course is to calm and quiet the chattering mind and turn attention
      Happily, continuing a millennium-old tradition, no fee is charged for
      Vipassana courses, not even for board and lodging. Expenses are met
      solely through voluntary donations and services of previous students.
      Vegetarian buffets and simple, comfortable accommodation are provided in
      centers that are usually green, eco-friendly expanses.
      The technique was practiced back in the mists of time before being
      rediscovered by Gautama Buddha, who practiced it to reach enlightenment.
      Vipassana then disappeared again, and was lost to India 500 years after
      his passing. But a chain of teachers in Burma preserved the technique in
      its purity for 2,500 years.
      This volition to share merit earned helps to reduce the ego, the
      apparent "I" that the Vipassana student experiences as merely a mass of
      constantly changing mind-matter phenomena. Experiencing that impermanent
      nature of reality within changes one's outlook to life and fellow
      beings. Wisdom and compassion rise to the surface..."

      Bill Rishel ~ AdvaitaToZen


      All that Matters

      It doesn't matter what Consciousness (or consciousness) means.
      It doesn't matter what subject/object or duality means.
      It doesn't matter what non-duality means.
      First must come Freedom.
      Understanding will follow.
      All that matters is following your own heart.
      That is the only way to be free.
      And being free is all that matters.
      No one can stop you from following your heart.
      So no one can stop you from being free.
      That is the only *real* choice...to follow one's own heart.
      To follow your heart your must know your heart.
      So first is Inquiry into one's heart.
      Inquiry means to go *into* one's heart,
      and to go deeper, and deeper, and deeper...
      And Inquiry means to *abide* in one's heart.
      When speaking, let the speaking be from the heart.
      When looking, let the looking be from the heart.
      Even when thinking, let your heart be in the thinking.
      And in the end one is living the heart in everything,
      one is following the heart in everything,
      one becomes Heart.
      And there is nothing outside of Heart.
      Heart is all.
      It is who you are.

      Stephen (bodhibliss) ~ josephcampbellmythologygroup  &  Hilary Collins ~ TrueVision

      Dreams (I Lied)

      Much as i try to ignore the lure of this subject, i am captured by dream...
      We all dream - each night, every night, four to seven dream cycles a night. We spend so much time dreaming yet remember so very few dreams. Why? Jung believes dreams are expressions of the unconscious psyche (of course, it's called "the unconscious" because it's unconscious to me, to ego, the waking me - not because the unconscious psyche itself is blind and deaf and dumb), where "we find the mythological motifs or mythologems I have designated as archetypal."
      Some of these archetypal figures met in dream include the Ego, the Shadow, the Persona, the anima/Animus, the Self, the Mother, the Father, the Puer/Divine Child, the Kore/Maiden, the Hero, the Wise Old Man, the Trickster, the Hermaphrodite and the Coniunctio - those they be clad in forms more  familiar to us - Friends and Lovers, Mom & Dad, and such.
      Of course, dreams are quicksilver - rarely does one follow us across the threshold of sleep into consciousness. Even when we wake with traces of dream in our head, those traces trickle away at the slightest distraction - the sound of the alarm, insistent bladder pressure, a cat crying for its breakfast - and the dream dissolves.
      In fact, the dreams we most often remember are those whose images carry a high enough emotional charge to break through the threshold separating the unconscious from consciousness, with enough intensity to remain etched in memory. This would have to be a dream that packs quite a wallop - most often a nightmare, though occasionally erotically charged dreams carry enough energy to break through into consciousness (particularly in adolescence - as I seem to recall...).
      I've recorded well over a thousand dreams in my journal over the last decade - some years writing down dreams four to five mornings out of seven (and I notice that my dreams average roughly five hundred words - sometimes far more, sometimes far less - and takes about forty-five minutes to write down each dream - definitely a commitment of time and discipline, not counting time spent working with the dream later). Took a little practice learning to retain an image, then tease details out of memory, but soon enough became second nature.
      Of course, when we practice dream work, the usual question is "What does the dream mean?" Interpretation is thought to aim at meaning - but no dream dictionary will capture that quicksilver flow... Dreams are beyond meaning, which can be too literal.
      Dreams have a holographic texture, each image enfolding a multitude of meaning, like all symbols in art, literature, poetry, music...what's the meaning of those first four notes of Beethoven's fifth? Or that F sharp buried in the middle of a Tchaikovsky suite? The notes in a symphony are significant not just in themselves, but also in relation to each other and to the composition as a whole. Each note presents a series of relationships focused into THIS moment, THIS sound, and represents the relationship between creator, creation, and hearer.
      Meaning arises in subjective consciousness: it's a story told by the perceiver. Hence, multiple perceivers means multiple meanings - even within one person, different meanings arise, a response to the multiple layers of images presented to consciousness. To stick to just Freud, or just Jung, or just Hillman, is to approach the polytheistic psyche with monotheistic blinders on. Multiple interpretations, offered by a variety of individuals, present a fuller, more complete picture. Read together, they build up layered images, flesh out the phantasm of dream. A three dimensional portrait of the psyche often emerges.
      At the same time, Hillman provides an important caveat: dream interpretation, as commonly practice, often places dream energies in service of the herculean ego.
      Like Hercules, I go down at night into the Underworld, where I plunder the realm, take from the dream treasures that help ME (muscular ego) cope and succeed, upon my return to the Waking World.
      Even Jung's psychology is ego-centered. Hillman's archetypal (imaginal) psychology relativizes the ego, takes ME off center stage. The dream has its own dynamic: rather than try to uncover artifacts that can be brought to the surface and prove useful in daily life, to the Dream, "the play's the thing." We are asked to engage the dream, participate in the passion play - and we best do this, by immersing ourselves in the Image...
      Some dreams do have literal components - dream your mother-in-law has died, and the next day she keels over - but these are relatively rare, like the Thirteenth Card of the Major Arcana actually indicating a real live death (hmm...).



                        Art by Hilary Collins



      Dreams that do echo surface events also resonate at deeper octaves: my friend Crystal, crying in my dream, may be a clue that the waking Crystal is sad and unhappy - something I had not noticed - but my psyche's choice of her image could at the same time point to emotions repressed, or depression yet unrealized, buried within me.
      I do agree with the insight that subtle nuances speak volumes in dream. Pun imagery, in particular, runs wild. Does Psyche have a sense of humor? No doubt - dream images, like all components of psyche, are fluid, quicksilver - and quicksilver - mercury - is ruled by Hermes, the trickster, god of communication - and miscommunication. Wherever one thing is also another, whether symbolic ritual, or trivial pun, Hermes hides in the ambiguity, cloaked in paradox. (Hermes - Mercury - puts an alchemical flavor into dream work)
      Carl Jung - in the first section of Symbols of Transformation, fifth volume in his Collected Works, published by Bollingen - the volume that catalyzed the rupture with Freud in 1912 - writes about "Two Kinds of Thinking".
      One is the focused concentration we most often think of when we hear the term "thinking" - directed thinking, linear, with a specific end, a goal - solve the math problem, build the bridge - what today we call task-oriented thinking. Jung believes this to be a relatively recent development for our species (it could be even more recent than Jung thinks: Julian Jaynes, in The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, posits the appearance of the ego roughly 3000 years ago... and he makes a cogent, if controversial, argument).
      But Jung believes there is a deeper layer, far older, on the evolutionary scale. Associational thinking - drifting, daydreaming, letting the mind wander, gathering wool - this is where we spend most of our time.
      We can ponder a difficult problem at length - but the solution often comes when we're singing in the shower, thinking about any and everything but...
      In this mode, one image flows into another - like in a day dream, or when a mind just wanders - which aren't just random thoughts, but words, ideas, images related to one another one way or another. The pun, verbal or visual, humorous or obscure, is the link here. Dreams, even more so - no mediating ego.
      In dream, we are immersed in the stuff of poetry - images wet, electric, self-luminous, and fluid - a nighttime sensurround toon town theater in 3-D, in which we are sometimes audience, sometimes extra, sometimes star (at times, all three)...we dance in elysian fields, bathe in the wellsprings of Creativity and Pure Imagination. Is it any wonder patterns we find there point to energies manifesting in waking realities?
      Dream helps us relate to these patterns, can bring us into conscious harmony with the natural rhythm of life.
      To quote Campbell, from the Hero's Journey (p.8)
      "The unconscious sends all sorts of vapors, odd beings, terrors, and deluding images up into the mind - whether n dreams, borad daylight, or insanity; for the human kingdom, beneath the floor of the comparatively neat little dwelling that we call our consciousness, goes down into unsuspected Aladdin caves. There not only jewels but dangerous jinn abide: the inconvenient or resisted psychological powers that we have not thought or dared to integrate into our lives. And they may remain unsuspected, or on the other hand, some chance word, the smell of a landscape, the taste of a cup of tea, or the glance of an eye may touch a magic spring, and then dangerous messengers begin to appear in the brain. These are dangerous because they threaten the fabric of the security into which we have built ourselves and our family. But they are fiendishly fascinating, too, for they carry keys that open the whole realm of the desired and feared adventure of the discovery of the self. Destruction of the world that we have built and in which we live, and of ourselves within it; but then a wonderful reconstruction, of the bolder, cleaner, more spacious, and fully human life - that is the lure, the promise and terror, of these disturbing night visitations from the mythological realm we carry within."
      "...the very dreams that blister sleep..."
      - J.C.
      sweet dreams

      John Duff ~ StillPoint  &  Alan Larus ~ HarshaSatsangh


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