14897What were you thinking?
- May 13, 2006When we think in logical progression, we use measurement, comparison
and categories. When our awareness involves our sensual apparatus,
we see, hear, smell, taste and touch the world around us. When our
emotions rise, we feel peaceful, loving, joyful, angry, sad,
confused or fearful - to name a few of the hosts of emotions we
feel. We look for cause and effect. We stop at stop signs. We feel
the heat of the sun. But what causes a thought?
Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to action. Action leads to
results. But what leads to thought? A memory? Obvious question, the
one that leads us back to the original question - what causes a
The smell of burning toast reminds us of a delightful summer
morning. Our sense of smell provoked the memory. So do our senses
cause thoughts? Sometimes, yes. But what about when we're sitting
quietly and no sensual stimulation provokes a conditioned response?
How do "things just come to mind?" Why does a simple lyric
like, "Row, row, row your boat life is but a dream," suddenly
contain a rush of wisdom for us, a new revelation of meaning on a
deeper level than we ever comprehended before that moment?
Does the heart speak? Are there "wisdom whispers" being softly sent
from the heart moment by moment with every heartbeat or every
breath? Are there times when we are attuned to these wisdom
whispers and times when we are not? Is there a source beyond what we
think or imagine, a well from which we can drink? Or are we the sum
and substance of our thinking, senses and emotions and that's it?
If your answer to the last question is in the affirmative, and you
at peace with that, then fine; the following will not hold any
special appeal for you. But if you suspect that just maybe there is
something more to explore, something more to discover about this
awesome experience of occupying a body for a time, read on:
Meditation teachers (or spiritual masters, if you prefer the more
poetic reference) who teach on a level that is intended to point
students to an experience beyond mere rational and linear thought,
speak of an experience of intuitive consciousness or "awakening" to
a new perceptual level. There's a world of debate about the various
religious or spiritual models used to express this awakening - and
even the words chosen here may be nitpicked, but at the core of them
all is this experiential "shift" - even if that shift is; to use
nondual speak in a split infinitive, a realization that there
nothing to realize. For the more guru-friendly, that would still be
a removal (ru) of darkness (gu) of thought.
When we limit our identity to that of exclusively rational beings,
capable of only linear thought, we cannot grasp first cause or
infinity, or even the "completion" of anything. This is where the
church, for the most part, leaves its faithful pilgrims - on a
path, pious seeker with no real hope of "finding", because they have
reserved the "finding" for the saints, and leave the faithful stuck
in the duality of idol worship.
It is only when we open to the possibility of something more,
something "beyond" what we have grasped, or possibly lost grasp of
as we were socially coerced into limiting our identity to concrete,
physical and rational "reality", that we may move into the
intuitional or holistic realm. By comparison (because our rational
mind needs this as a jumping off point), if we think of linear
thought as a string, we can say that the string goes on infinitely,
and learning and progress are life-long, with no completion
possible. Sounds good, but when applied as a blanket over all of
life, it leaves us permanently on a pilgrimage. But in scripture,
there are "advanced teachings" that speak of "stepping into
perfection", of completion. This is the intuitive or holistic realm,
and its "wholeness" is the completion of a circle. And once we have
comprehended this, the circle remains unbroken - we have stepped
into perfection, attuned ourselves to the wisdom whisper of the
heart, and found peace at last. Good. God. Almighty. Peace at last.
Awakened. Enlightened. Christ Conscious. Krishna Conscious. Nondual
Conscious. Pick your path.
If you are seeking peace, your heart will resonate with that longing
and an Awakened Teacher may come into your life. Be forewarned,
though. They will ask you to give up that piece of sting that has
become so precious to you. Recognizing the presence of that teacher
is another story. But that's another story.