ParadoxZone wrote: ↑Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:53 pm
In reading and re-reading Ashvin and Cleric's essays and posts, I've come across an issue for me. I've been trying out some of the exercises and something is definitely happening, though I'm not sure I have the words to explain "something" at this stage. I want to continue and deepen the exploration so was hoping someone might help with exercise suggestions.
Some exercises require time and concentration while some don't. If you can give an example that falls into one if those categories, I'd be very grateful. For instance, an exercise that can be done on a busy street while waiting for a bus would fit into the latter category, while one requiring quiet and time would fit in the former.
If your suggestion is a link to an existing post, that would be great too - as long as it gives an indication of the time and concentration required.
Thanks in anticipation.
You're quite correct that we need to work differently depending on whether we're in the comfort and quiet of our home or we're swayed by the sensory life.
Our modern outer environment is very turbulent. It is not at all easy to concentrate while in the midst of all this chaos. Most people simply don't possess this kind of inner control. Instead of trying to resist all the dynamics (which can easily crush us) we need to be wiser and find ways to introduce certain rhythm
in the temporal unfoldment of the metamorphing panorama. As long as our attention sucked in by the sensory happening, our inner being is practically shattered into pieces. We're totally dissipated and shredded continuously by the worldly happenings. And not only by them but by our own unorganized inner life - conflicting desires, dissatisfaction, worries, confusion. All of these factors lead to what I have elsewhere
called highly aliased conscious experience. Our inner state is a salad of superimposed rhythms of the most various origins which are completely out-of-phase with each other - an actual cacophony. In actual musical cacophony we can never make sense of the sound as something holistic. Instead, our attention continuously jumps from one instrument to another, cognizing tiny fragments of each but without the possibility to encompass any rhythmic harmony in the overall soundscape. If we expect that our modern world will instill this harmony from the outside, we're out of luck. In our decisive times we can only do something if we ourselves seek to introduce some rhythms through our own spiritual activity.
When we meditate in our home or in a peaceful place in Nature, we can go really deep through concentration. Then we begin to perceive in images those inner and outer rhythms that normally toss us around. It is because of our rock stable inner stance that we can differentiate our spirit from some of those rhythms and thus make them conscious. When we're swallowed by these rhythms, we are not conscious of them, we're only conscious of where they carry us and we consider that just randomness. And when these rhythms mix in cacophonic interference, we're literally being thrown around along the shards flying around.
It is not easy, and it is not advisable, to meditate while being busy in the sensory world. We need to develop a good feeling for the context
of our waking life. Just as there's right place and time for sleeping (hopefully we don't sleep while driving), so we need to know very well when to detach from the senses and expand our consciousness and when to be firmly connected with our body.
The different modes of inner work are not disconnected - they flow into each other. For example, when in deep meditation we begin to encompass the rhythmic relations of sensory and psychic life as something harmonically interrelated, we already live in a higher stratum of our being. When we're back in the fragmented sensory spectrum, this higher vantage point is only a memory. Yet we know that it exists. And not only that it exists but that there are even higher and higher perspectives, all the way towards the Divine. In our ordinary state this knowledge precipitates in us as a feeling
. It's like we're saying to ourselves: "I'm now again tossed around, dragged by projectiles firing in all directions. But I know
that there are concealed beneath my aliased perspective, much more comprehensive states of consciousness. These are not even only the states I've experienced in deeper meditation - there are even higher states that I'll have eternity to rise towards. Yet these states exist even now and it is up to me to relate
to them. This is the deeper side of prayer as science of spiritual conduct. If I depend only on my sensory input and calculating intellect, I'm very easily prone to error. The perceptions are so fragmentary and incomplete that with great probability my judgments about them will also be incomplete and practically erroneous. But I know that there exist perspectives which have much more comprehensive views, encompassing the rhythmic waves in their far reaching interrelatedness. From my fragmented state I can only address this perspective as and idea
which can only be felt
. It's the positive trust in something living, actual living being of tremendous wisdom, beneath the tattered surface of my current consciousness. I seek musical resonance
with the perspective of this being. Instead of allowing my consciousness to be shattered and torn apart by the projectiles of the sensory spectrum, I turn to that being of Wisdom and Harmony and seek to be inspired by it, such that I can introduce alternative rhythms in my spiritual activity. Rhythms which are sure to bring me closer and closer to the holistic perspective which makes sense of the chaos around and within me. I can only approach this high ideal when I open to it in humility, devotion and deepest gratitude even for things which have not yet manifested in my consciousness but which certainly will at some point
So this is one very powerful method. To seek in our souls the feeling resonance with the luminous strange attractor, which inflows in us as inspiration, clarity and strength.
Other methods are to spread our Good intentions everywhere we go. While at the bus stop, instead of going through how wicked the world is, we can draw upon the source and imaginatively infuse our environment with the potential which we are certain will benefit the world development. We shouldn't fantasize our imaginative work as actual reality. It is a thinking gesture
. Just as the wizard makes hand gestures when he performs his incantations, so we, hopefully as a white mage, make imaginative thinking gestures. These are not the reality, just like the apprentice of the wizard will not have the same result if he simply repeats mechanically the same hand gesture of his master. With our imaginative gestures we avow our intents openly. We send out our most sincere and selfless wish that the unfoldment of reality should be attracted to what is good, harmonious and wisely ordered, even if we don't grasp the big picture at this time. If we don't see the reality of these things today, it is only because every being pulls the metamorphic process in the direction of their egoistic desires, practically canceling each other's efforts.
Another very effective method is music. Music is not just a powerful metaphor for spiritual dynamics. At certain stage, the musical concepts become completely literal
images of higher processes. The concept of resonance is one such concept. When we open up for inspiration within our high ideal, it is really a process of musical attunement. The aliased fragments over which our chaotic intellectual thinking hops around, begin to align along the force lines of inner musical geometry, just as iron filings align with the force lines of a magnet. The more the fragments get aligned with this ideal structure, the more our spiritual activity finds ways to cognitively move along the depth
of the musical landscape itself.
Singing is a perfect way to introduce rhythm into our fragmentary state. The beautiful thing is that we can sing also in our mind which makes it perfect precisely in situations as waiting at the bus stop, walking in crowded streets and even when we're engaged with trivial everyday activities such as cleaning the house. The more focused we are in our thinking on pronouncing the words in continuous unbroken stream, the more effective the whole exercise is. Music has inherent temporal rhythmic structure which makes it so easy to flow along with our thinking (singing) activity. Interestingly, in the future the fragmented thinking we know today, as mechanical patchwork of thought-fragments, will be outgrown. The more we evolve, the more we enter into the depths of reality, where everything is interrelated mathematically and musically. Then thinking looks like an artistic stream, concentrating beauty, harmony and wisdom. The music of today is only a crude exercise of these future modes of cognition that we can glimpse at today in Inspirative consciousness. Yet they are absolutely necessary
exercises. We can't become two meters tall if we first don't pass through the one meter mark.
Not all songs are made equal. The music itself and the lyrics are themselves spiritual structures and when we merge with them we are led in one or another domain of the invisible landscape. There are songs which are especially powerful because they resonate precisely with the High Ideal out of which we must draw inspiration, harmony and strength, that we infuse in our organization and outer world. Here's one example for a song which when sung with concentration can really lift us (lyrics and translation in the description).