Sensation comes closer to the language of the soul than word or thought ever can.
(Is it clever? Will it draw the reader in? What will the Christians think?)
In a certain sense, for the mind at least, the soul is sensation. It may be love but, if so, it is not so much warm and fuzzy as it is tender and bright. A new sensation, then, a new feeling.
(“It’s not . .. yesterday. . . anymore!” Talking Heads’ first single from their first album; have I been primed from adolescence to convey this message? “In front … of a face … that’s nearer. Than it’s ever been before!”)
Imagine, if you can, the sensation of a tiny chick as it pushes through the protein membrane of the interior of an egg (the shell is already broken), experiencing for the first time the gentle cessation of pressure as skin meets air: the world outside the egg.
(This being the author’s clumsy attempt to languify an ineffable but unforgettable experience on the last day of the most recent Dave Oshana retreat. Divided between the fear of reducing something sublime to mere words on a screen, and the desire to articulate something so new and wonderful that not to do so seems like another kind of disrespect.)
The soul that emerges thus is perhaps even more porous or substance-less than the air that meets and greets it. The meeting of pure, liberated soul-perception with reality, existence “outside,” is the merging of both, an act of love between two ineffables.
(Is that what happened—what is happening—or is it a poetic counterfeit assembled by the false identity as a means to prevent it from ever happening again? Or is the doubting voice that?)
Existence, in fact, is the infinite space of encounter between these two planes: one (the soul) a sphere, the other (reality) the inverse shape of what surrounds a sphere and extends from that concave spheroid (the chick’s new “egg”), infinitely in every direction. Perception that neither flinches nor recoils from what it perceives ~ absorbs everything effortlessly, and so expands into it, an infinite balloon.
It is love, in a peculiar way.
(This will mean next to nothing to anyone who has no experience like it. It barely means anything to me—my mind—now the experience is precisely two weeks in the past. Yet I know it to be true.)
Now the word love, like the word soul, might capture your awareness for the instant it takes to read it. But what happens in that instant? Existence—love—has already moved elsewhere. But so has “you.”
There is no substitute for this experience of soul-love meeting existence because there is nothing else in existence but this. How long must we procrastinate and prevaricate before noticing this? How long before we finally find what we are looking for?
I recently realized that the opposite of liberation is de-liberation. Just in time for Independence Day.
(Finally, something clever! Back on safe ground, playing around with words, which is one thing I feel sure words are good for.)
So do we deliberately deliberate, running around to this beat of defeat, for reasons so vast, ancient, and complex that we could literally spend entire lifetimes (and do) mulling over the reasons not to emerge from the deep-shadow cast by our musings? As if this were the only way to convince ourselves to finally act?
(Partly, this why I wrote this blogpost at all, because I felt it would be better to liberate whatever was in me than to deliberate endlessly over all the ways I might do it better, or differently.)
Not that it is a simple matter for the mind. It is after all the soul, the true self, that acts to liberate itself, and that apparently does so as independently of the mind’s intentions as it is indifferent to its deliberations. And even so, I manage to delay the process, including (or especially) by attempting to accelerate the process. The best-laid plans of the minds of men gang aft a-gley.
(Smart literary reference for the literate among my readers; from a book, it should probably be noted, I never managed to read—though I may once have tried. Does all this serve to emphasize how cheap even the most venerated words are?)
On the path to finding gold, we not only encounter a lot of dirt and black sand, but also fool’s gold or pyrite. Learning to recognize these things is essential to finding gold. But once we have found it—once we know how to find it—is there any further need for thoughts of pyrite?
This is the crossroads my pen (read: mind) currently finds itself at.
(We have finally landed in the present and gone “meta.”)
After having spent so much time learning and describing the configuration of pyrite (Carlos Castaneda, psychedelics, Seen and Not Seen, Dark Oasis, Prisoner of Infinity, Vice of Kings), and now having found real gold (c.f. Dave Oshana), can I trust my readers to know it when I share it, if all they have seen so far is the fool’s kind?
(A challenge to my readers that conceals, fairly transparently, a challenge for myself.)
There is a tendency in all of us to doubt the worth—the authenticity—of another man’s gold. In which case, it behooves me to point out that this gold I wish to share isn’t really mine. It would be truer to say that I belong to it, just as humans belong to the Earth (where all gold is sourced), and not the Earth to humans.
(A note of humility combined with a nod to the environmentally-oriented.)
Obey the law of matter faithfully and lovingly, without resentment or superiority, and we may start to see that matter, the body, is a map that leads (like the bedrock leads to the paystreak) to the soul, which is the soul of all of us.
(Perhaps the first controversial statement of this piece, which it was working its way towards from the start. Hopefully it arrives without any untoward strains or grunts, but with the natural aplomb of a bowel movement whose time has finally come.)
If we start to align with the will of matter, without succumbing to it, as a parent obeys its child’s whims in order to be a good parent (without regressing to a child-state), we may experience fully what we are that is neither restricted nor defined by matter or the body —even though it is one with our love for these things.
We may become living, loving conduits for spirit.
(The promise lands. Now can we live up to it? That being the royal “we.” But not only.)
So it is that the human meets the “E.T.” within, in an act of love, the child of which is true perception-perfection: an Aha! moment as the sphere meets and becomes the infinite space that contains it.
(Re-introducing the E.T., double entendre fully intended. Now you have handled the pyrite, open up to the sensation of the real deal.)
To know thyself is to be thyself, through all the layers, head in the stars, hands in the dirt, feet on the ground. It is a moment (zero distance) in which the world finally stops for us to get off, to re-enter, not only Nature at large, but our own natures, within, natures that lie infinitely beyond the natural world.
(Any Christians present can breathe out and formally relax: I am not advocating devil worship.)
This that we are, the soul that sees all, yet is captured by nothing it sees. Because the act of seeing—of loving grace—transforms everything that is so seen, into itself.
(To end on a theological cliff-hanger, of sorts. We are talking about that which Thou art, finally.)
P.S. Dave Oshana will be making a rare & inevitably sensational (& surreal) appearance on his old stomping ground of London, England, on July 28th.