Thursday, February 01, 2007

Voidgin Boyths, Iamacculate Coonceptions, and Speaking Obonics (2.01.09)

In order to novelgaze at a fresh world everyday, one must train oneself -- wait, that's too general. I will speak only of myself.

In order for me to blog something different about the good nous every day, I have had to train myself to listen more carefully to the smallstool voice of Petey, who is actually dropping little flagrant pellets of wisdom all the time. In fact, one of the helpful tidbits he shared with me is that he has always been sharing these helpful tidbits with me, but that I was so "dense" that I treated them like turdbits.

And when I say "dense" I mean dense, as in "dense." One must learn to "tune into" the remarkable subtlety of one's own mind, which truly has a mind of its own, just like the Dreamer who dreams your dreams. The difference, say, between a common materialist and a man of genuine spiritual achievement is merely a few immeasurable microns of psychic subtlety.

I can say this because my mind is -- pretty much by definition -- no more intelligent than it has ever been, and yet, much more subtle than it has ever been, in the sense of being able to see and understand spiritual realities. As a result, I "know" things today that I couldn't possibly have known 10 or 15 years ago. But at the same time -- at risk of smelling blasfumy -- Christ himself couldn't have taught me these things back then. They could have been handed to me on a silver platter, but I would have rejected them with a silvery platitude. The seed would have fallen on my dry rockhead.

When most spiritual types talk about eliminating "the ego," it always strikes me as just so much new age pneumababble. They don't know what they're talking about, because you can no more live without an ego than you can live without a brain. What we call the ego is simply your psychic "center of gravity" at any given moment, and it is actually a good thing to be aware this center (more often than not, a person is mentally ill precisely because they lack such a center, for mind parasites are "attractors" with their own chaotically shifting centers in the fabric of consciousness; furthermore, these individuals often confuse having no homogeneous center with having transcended the ego).

Having said that, our center can be wide or narrow, shallow or deep, dense or subtle, and those are the real issues. In my opinion, all this new age talk of "ego" must result from some kind of misunderstanding or mistranslation of the original Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist texts.

For me, it is much more meaningful to discuss it in terms of the shift in perspective that takes place when our psychic center transitions from the exterior/horizontal to the interior/vertical. This is, broadly speaking, what we would call being "born again from above." Thus, we don't so much eliminate the ego as give it a new life and a new orientation. You can give it a new name if you like, but obviously there is some continuity with the old you. In a certain sense, it is merely the "real you," minus all the cultural, familial, and other accretions.

For that is something else I've have noticed. As my "thinking" has become more complex and subtle, I myself have grown increasingly "simple." The always excellent Lee Harris has spoken of how it took him some 30 years to unlearn the nonsense he learned in the course of his higher education, in order to once again be able to think clearly. I understand exactly what he means.

In a a brief article entitled Good is Bad, Stanley Kurtz "reviews" a bizarre book review of an anthology called Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys. The original book review was written by a Jacobin rascal coincidentally named Russell Jacoby, who criticizes the book on the grounds that it is clear and well-written:

“'Almost without exception,' Jacoby begins, 'each essay is lucid and articulate.... Would it be possible to assemble a countercollection by leftists that would be equally limpid?' 'Unlikely,' Jacoby answers. The leftist professorate, he admits, 'distrusts clear prose as superficial.... On the basis of this volume, conservatives are excellent writers -- and facile thinkers. Perhaps the two go together.'”

There are huge differences between being clear about complex ideas ("Right"), being obscure or confused about simplistic or kooky ones ("Left"), attacking cognitive links in order to dismantle meaning ("psychotic"), superimposing fantasized meaning onto the world ("paranoid"), and using unsaturated language in such a way that you attempt to "reproduce" a spiritual experience in another ("Up," "Coonspeak," or "Obonics"). In fact, the reader who alerted me to this article actually accused Dear Leader, of all people, of falling into the category of the academonic leftist who writes in a needlessly complicated manner about a subject -- presumably spirituality -- that is inherently simple. If so, one can only wonder why he would waste his time trying to unravel my mystagogic Bobscurities?

No. My writing is not the least bit complex. Rather, it is very precise, and makes perfect nonsense so long as you understand Obonics. However, as touched on above, there is a real challange involved in trying to utilize language in such a manner that you "reproduce" not just empirical facts -- which is easy -- but a spiritual experience in another. How do you do that with language? I'm not saying that I always succeed; however, I know for a fact that I sometimes do, for many readers have told me so.

Back when I was more of a garden-variety intellectual, I was full of all kinds of "ruling ideas" and dogmas -- all of the things people think are true because other important people think they're true, so you end up thinking thoughts that were actually manufactured elsewhere, in someone else's mind. But as Satprem, a sadhak of Sri Aurobindo's yoga, wrote, "Clearly, if we want to discover a new country within us, we must first leave the old one behind -- everything depends on our determination in taking this first step."

This first step is also the last step and every step in between, for, in the words of Aurobindo, "fitness and unfitness are only a way of speaking; man is unfit and a misfit (so far as spiritual things are concerned) -- in his outward nature. But within there is a soul and above there is a Grace. This is all you know or need to know.

A soul behind and a grace above. What could be more simple? But simple hardly means simplistic, much less easy, for recognizing and living within this simple truth is the ongoing task of the spiritual life. To "transcend" or "eliminate" the ego really comes down to identifying with the wider reality to which the exteriorizing ego attaches itself.

As I mentioned, I have seen this occur in my own being, as I have gradually given up "thinking" for something that feels quite different. Perhaps Will touched on it yesterday, in his most excellent and luminous comment about the two types of creativity and their analogy to the Divine creativity. It is well worth reading in its entirety, but I wanted to focus on the second type of creativity, which

"does not involve the sense of 'creative build-up and release'. In fact, it's almost a 'give it or take it' creativity -- it's the kind of creativity characterized by the term 'not-doing'. The effortless effort, not there one second, there the next second, no explosion. Henry Miller's early 'Tropic' works, I think, are a good example of the compulsive, build-up and explode type of creativity. His later writings, such as Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch -- in which Miller turned to attention fully to spiritual matters -- are a good example of the quiet, serene, effortless effort type of creativity...

"Early Beethoven -- compulsive build-up/explosion creativity. Beethoven's late string quartets -- definitely effortless effort, very Zen. One thing that makes them so beautiful is the feeling that Beethoven could just as easily *not* have composed them. Shakespeare, too -- though the plays are replete with fury and emotion, there is something eerily detached about them that suggests that they were 'breathed into existence', not exploded into being.

"Eckhart once said in a sermon... something to the effect that when God created the cosmos, He actually didn't *do* anything. Enigmatic, yes, but I think it suggests that the Godhead's creativity was and is, at root, the 'effortless effort'. On the plane of being, this creativity is the most transcendent.

"There are those who will tell you that 'not-being' informs 'being' at every moment, which is what makes existence so beautiful.

"Anyway, I think the transcendent, less ego-individualistic, 'effortless effort' artist will eventually become the ideal. That, in turn, will reflect on our perspective of the Creator's divine nature."

Yes, yes, and yes. In short, "yes." I believe this second type of creativity is analogous to the "virgin birth," of the immaculate conceptions that occur as a result of our soul's feminine receptivity to vertical influences: A soul behind and a grace above, is all you know or need to know. As Molly Bloom -- the archetypal feminine -- says in her interior dialogue at the conclusion of Ulysses, as she relinquishes the ego and falls into sleep -- the brother of death: and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Now now, keep it clean. Seed, soil, conception, birth. As above, so below. It might as well be Saint Teresa. Same story in a different context. In any event, if you wish to give your consciousness a wider berth, you must learn to say yes to the Divine Influx.

I wanted to get to the next two questions, "Does anybody else actually exist or am I just a waking dreamer, dreaming the world and all of its inhabitants into existence in order to actualize my fractured consciousness?," and "For that matter, do I even exist or am I just a scripted player in a wider dream?" But unfortunately, Future Leader is sick again, this time summoning the earl from both ends. As a result, the wheels have effectively come off the usually peaceful Dawn which is normally so friendly to the amusing muses. Petey can only be seen in this obscure nightlight, and now he's gone for the day. Thus, we will have to get into the question of waking dreams and dreaming lives tomorrow. In the meantime, do try to be lucid as you sleepwalk through your daydream.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post but some confusion about a virgin birth vs. an immaculate conception in the last paragraph. Or have I been saturated?

2/01/2007 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

I think the Molly Bloom/Saint Teresa likeness illustrates the two different kinds of creativity:

Molly Bloom represents the compulsive build-up/explode creativity - and the obvious analogy is that of the sex instinct.

Saint Teresa represents the same energy, only sublimated into the non-compulsive "effortless effort" kind of creativity.

They are in one sense the same, in another sense, different as night and day.

The pairing of the two, the arc of difference between them, is suggestive, I think, of Tantra - something almost totally misunderstood by Americans, sad to say. The actual aim of Tantra is to consciously negotiate the sex instinct so that it is *no longer a compulsion*. It is the progressing from the unconsciously compulsive to the consciously non-compulsive, from Molly Bloom to Saint Teresa.

The Kabbalah is replete with analogies that link God's creating the cosmos with the sex act. (those of you with "Big Bang" jokes, please take a number) These are obviously patent analogies on one level. On another level, I think, they have a Tantric significance, suggestive of sublimated, transcendent energy, the Saint Teresa effortless effort.

Point being: Saint Teresa is the transcendentally morphed Molly Bloom.

You need to be Molly Bloom before you can become Saint Teresa.

2/01/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Even the name suggests opposites -- "moll," as in a woman of ill repute, and "bloom," as in flower.

2/01/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Phonics...ebonics...Obonics...hmm, what we need is... (k)->(o)-onics... ko-onics... ah, koonics!

2/01/2007 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous DMH said...

But within there is a soul and above there is a Grace. This is all you know or need to know.

What an absolutely wonderful morsel to feast on!

Thank you for this wellspring of spiritual insight, and may God continue to bless you.

PS: I just received my copy of your book. I picked it up shortly before heading off to bed last night, and found myself unable (unwilling) to put it down till way past my bedtime.

Bottome Line? GREAT WORK here, and GREAT WORK with the book.

Thank you...

2/01/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Beautiful post today, Bob – in spite of Earl looking over your shoulder. As my friend Cosanostradamus loves to quote, “Don’t change the world; change worlds” (St. Francis of Assisi). There’s far more there than meets the eye.

Slightly related trivia for the day: Firesign Theater quoted Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from James Joyce’s “Ulysses” in their 1969 comedy album “How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All” (well-worth a listen even today).

2/01/2007 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Yikes! I just had a waking nightmare -- the newscaster said:

"Al Gore Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize"

Must go back to sleep now...

2/01/2007 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous goy said...

To "transcend" or "eliminate" the ego really comes down to identifying with the wider reality to which the exteriorizing ego attaches itself.

Simple, but in no way simplistic, and struck me as a very key key to what I've been looking for in terms of "practical application", as it were. Please elaborate, if you will! What's the process you use(d) to make this identification?

My own blogging - as well as any of the other creative endeavors I pursue like cello and computer graphics - definitely fits the build-up-and-release format. But I will often go for days or weeks of unremarkable malaise, with no sensation of build-up at all, only to be smacked by something so beautiful, inspiring or absurd (e.g., Nobel->Gore) that I'm forced to respond somehow. The result is usually some creative activity that tends to depend on the nature of the smack(er).

In all cases though, it seems that the trigger for the activity - which itself certainly feels centered/sourced within (?) - is external. Thus I feel driven along by the whims of external stimulus, and have for a very, very long time.

The Coonifesto and these posts are helping unravel some of this, I think. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to produce them!

2/01/2007 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Leopold Bloom said...

Life is a war. You have the soul within, the grace above...and your enemy in front of you. That's the magic combo, the Arjuna at Kurukshetra crux of the matter.

2/01/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

leopold:

And have at the ready, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Rhemas (Spoken Word) of God.

Judo chop!

It is the way of the Knight.

2/01/2007 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

Goy: It's almost a mirror image of the experience we have when we first recognize there are other things in the universe besides us: Hey, that's Mom! Hey, that's Dad! I get it now!

I think I can recall - if only vaguely - the moment when my ego awoke, the moment when I realized I am HERE and there's something else OUT THERE. My earliest memory, which must date back to when I was just under a year old: My mother is sitting on the floor, holding me in her lap, and she is trying to teach me to talk, and I am trying to learn.

I can't remember what I was thinking at the time because I didn't know very many actual words yet, but the memory is associated in my head with a tingle of what I know now to be "frustration." If I were to put it in words NOW, it would be along the lines of:

This is too hard. I can't do it. Wait... who am "I?" And what is "this?" ...(?!)(?!)(?!)

2/01/2007 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Wahrheit said...

What 'That Guy' said:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

He called a little child, whom he placed among them.

And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore, whoever takes a humble place—becoming like this child—is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.


"Born again from above."

I think you can tell after a few seconds of talking with someone, sometimes just by looking at them, whether they're a 'born-again grown-up' or a sophisticated, cultured, college-educated schmuck who actually understands LESS than a two-year-old.

Want an example--how 'bout a John Kerry? Or the Jock Cobain book reviewer?

2/01/2007 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

"a soul behind and
a grace above is all you
know or need to know"

An image beautiful. Thank you, bobindo, I take it to dreamland.

with that we have no
further need of 17
syllables today

2/01/2007 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

http://tinyurl.com/yxewot

2/01/2007 07:08:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

edit to link


"no man has seen GOD at any time"

2/01/2007 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

What if the greatest, most self-expressive work of art is the way you live your life? The way you convey God's love to others. The way you conduct yourself at your workplace...at your home...in the privacy of your own mind?

Think of Jesus. Some around Him interpreted his art perfectly. Others, even upon witnessing His life with their own eyes, in person, sitll could not see. Seeing is not believing. Believing is believing.

2/01/2007 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Nomo,

"What if the greatest, most self-expressive work of art is the way you live your life?"

I think you summed it up perfectly right there. I have always maintained that a successful life is one for which it can be said, at its end, that the world is a better place for that person having been in it.

I like your version better.

2/01/2007 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

"What if the greatest..."

That kind of art is etched in the face of the aged warrior who has lived an honorable life. The disfigurement of time and experience can create a beauty far more profound than a trump full of Missed USA's. It's rare though; usually it does the opposite.

I walk most days at noon and often run across an elderly couple, easily in their late 80's or 90's. She's about 4 and a half feet tall, frail as a ghost, hunched over and barely able to put one foot in front of the other. He is always holding her arm, walking at a snail's pace and steadying himself with a cane in his other hand. We exchange greetings every time we cross paths, and they positively glow. Their love is palpable. Their light was earned by who knows what struggles they went through, and that light is also transmittable. It affects me every time; I always feel lighter as I identify with them, struck by the clarity that 'this is my dear wife and me in another few decades.' That kind of living art works for me.

"...in the privacy of your own mind?"

And there's the rub. Is it possible to be and see your own canvas at the same time? Or is the art that is me to be witnessed only by others, and vice versa?

2/01/2007 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Ahh yes!
I finally installed I.E.7 and the blogspot vertical has been restored.
All is now right with the world.

2/01/2007 11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

I never expected that my 20 questions would inspire an entire series of posts. I composed the list of questions because I was interested in seeing how other spiritually advanced seekers have dealt with some of the same questions I have encountered in my journey.

But that being said, I am certainly grateful (and quite humbled) to see my questions used as fodder for your daily ruminations.

As I have said before, your writing is a source of wisdom and an impetus for personal growth. I'm sure you are aware of how rare a service you provide. The Raccoons, as you playfully refer to us - the Righteous Remnant - are not a common breed. Thank you for providing an authentic community for our growing numbers.

I would like to take a moment to further flesh out the personal perspective from which the next questions you will comment on arise.

These next 2 questions directly address the current psycho-spiritual challenges I now face.

They are:

"Does anybody else actually exist or am I just a waking dreamer, dreaming the world and all of its inhabitants into existence in order to actualize my fractured consciousness?," and "For that matter, do I even exist or am I just a scripted player in a wider dream?

In the past you have written that while the physical brain is not the source of consciousness, it is reasonable for neuroscientists, in the interest of scientific inquiry, to treat consciousness AS IF it was an epiphenomenon of the brain.

In similar fashion, I have recently been experiencing my waking reality, my self and other selves as merely a shell of ultimate reality. But, of course, I still treat this "shell reality" AS IF it were the fundamental, ultimate reality.

Perhaps some specifics might clarify these perceptions.

My consciousness has recently undergone a radical shift in perspective. God, spiritual contemplation, gratitude and prayer are always with me, even in the most mundane of daily thoughts and activities.

The first time this transformation really hit me was when I was walking down the street. I began to see the people I passed as manifestations of something great. As infinite "bubbles" of potential divinity within the sea of material manifestation. As pockets of verticality infused into an otherwise horizontal world.

Of course, I didn't actually "see" this with my eyes. The visual component of the "seeing" experience was unchanged. But it was as if I was able to perceive a deeper truth, beyond what my could eyes could detect.

A few weeks later, while at work of all places, I received an influx of what you would call "O" or intellection or grace - I don't know.

This experience is best described as a pure knowledge or realization that "I" alone exist. That all other people and experiences are actually just a different perspective on the same experience that is "I."

Later that day, I was overcome by a similar realization that my "little i" actually did not exist at all. That my physical and mental self was actually just a reflection or manifestation of the same entity that is creating or dreaming all other people and perspectives.

Since this realization, I wake each day, and I fundamentally know that both my psyco-physical self and the physical world around me is just a hollow shell of What Is True.

It has been tempting to indulge in this realization by dropping out of the "shell reality" altogether.

However, I have faith that I am experiencing reality from my human perspective for a reason. And I choose to continue living my life AS IF it is fundamental, true and real, but with the knowledge that something deeper and higher is going on.

Candidly, I am somewhat concerned that this new perspective is dissociative, delusional, fixated, narcissistic, solipsistic or otherwise pathological.

I have seen others become entangled in destructive and false new age ideologies, and I am instinctively wary of falling into the same traps.

But my experiences seem so True.

I would value any reassurance this community is willing to provide. Or if I'm wrong, I'll accept a recommendation to seek immediate psychiatric help as well.

2/01/2007 11:33:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon,

This statement gave me pause.

"It has been tempting to indulge in this realization by dropping out of the "shell reality" altogether."

Care to elaborate on your method of dropping out?

2/01/2007 11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, nothing I would ever consider seriously. Like pulling a Ramana Maharshi and living in a cave or something.

The statement you refer to comes from the fact that I've found it somewhat strange to live as an authentic, conscious vertical being within a world that refuses to acknowledge the vertical.

2/01/2007 11:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To elaborate further, I guess I mean more of a mental "dropping out," so to speak. Psychology relinquishing my desires, ambitions and attachements - relinquishing my psychological stake in the material world.

Now that I think about it, I guess it is possible to materially "go through the motions" without the deep psychological attachment. But I haven't thought it through enough yet.

2/02/2007 12:04:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Sounds like you are re-shuffling the deck to find that balance between living somewhat comfortably and pursuing your evolving interests.
The psychological attachments will naturally fall away as they are given less emphasis.
You'll be fine heading in the direction you are, things will just unfold.
Making rash decisions and the resultant drastic changes is when we find ourselves, for the most part, getting into trouble. Time will give clarity to the direction in which to move.
And if you have any resentments towards yourself for the ways you may have been in the past (ambitious psychologically attached materialist) try and drop them as they may cause you to do things not in your best interest. Just forgive yourself and move on.

2/02/2007 12:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't experience any resentment over my past and I have no plans to make rash decisions. I'm content with my life and am happy to wait around and find out "what happens next." I'm not worried about direction. I just want to figure out what in God's name is going here!?

2/02/2007 12:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And please don't oversimply my psychology. I haven't been "an ambitious psychologically attached materialist" since I was 14.

I'm talking about radical spiritual transformation and you're reducing it to my psychological puzzle - which is just a small part of my entire journey.

Again, we're talking about what exactly is going on in this thing we call existence.

I'll apologize for having been inarticulate.

2/02/2007 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Anony: I too have experienced that; not sure if it is the same thing, but I once conceived that it was fully possible that I was the only one who truly exists... but I rejected the idea (as you can see, two cannot have that idea and have it be true)

Nonetheless, I think maybe what it is, is you are experiencing the fact that you are the only one that exists in YOUR world, which is to say, the 'shell' that you inhabit. The other people and the ultimate reality ARE real, but they are 'outside' our shell.

I would be cautious about the big I little i thing; It sounds like you are slipping into verticality (and letting go of horizontality.) It is a temptation, but you should avoid it. Adonai said: "Be in the world but not of the world." This means more than just having our body here, but actually being involved. We are not to be of the world but we must be involved in its daily work. Emotionally, physically, mentally.

This is the key, and I mean KEY challenges of the walk. 'We must be someone to have something to give.' You were created for a work, you know clearly that God exists, (you've now experienced him) but do not let go of the World except to detach yourself from what is evil within it.

And it isn't all evil; is a beautiful sunset evil? Hardly.

To wit, pull yourself back down. The materialist crawls along the ground like a serpent; and the 'spiritualist' often floats about like a bird. But you, like I, are a man, and we must walk.

Feet on the ground, head in the air.

And anyway, listen to Him, and for goodness sakes test every spirit.

(P.S. If you think of the magnitude of God compared to any thing created, it is reasonable that His presence would overwhelm anything else. The adversary, however, will not be happy.)

2/02/2007 05:18:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon,

Because I don't know you I specifically stated IF you MAY have resentments over being "an ambitious psychologically attached materialist", . And those were words you used in previous posts.
It's a bit tough to put the puzzle out what you were driving at from what you wrote. And you did ask for responses.
Sorry.

2/02/2007 08:40:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home