Friday, May 30, 2008

Learning to Float & Drown in the Ocean of Being (5.17.10)

I'm wondering: who is in for the bigger surprise, the jocular man who eventually discovers that life is a deadly serious matter, or the serious man who finds out too late that life is a big joke?

The problem with materialists is that they don't leave nothing to the imagination.

You need rudimentary intelligence to understand a simple truth and average intelligence to deny it, but superior intelligence to replace it with an elaborate falsehood.

Anyway. Enough stand-up cosmedy.

I'm still making my way up The Spiritual Ascent, and savoring the experience -- in particular, the joy of discovering so many closet Raccoons from throughout history -- men and women who knew the secret doctrine and were members of the Vertical Church of Perpetual Slack, back when it could be dangerous to openly discuss such matters. No wonder they had to speak in code, similar to black jazz musicians who developed their own argot to keep their secrets safe from the Man.

Once I finish the book, I'm going to go back and blog on many of the individual topics, in order to better assimilate and digest the material. Yesterday I was reading the section Spiritual Drowning, and was taken aback at how directly it spoke to some of the topics we've been discussing recently.

In this regard, it reminds me very much of psychoanalytic therapy, in which you might have a dream about the material that came out in therapy that day, then discuss the dream in the next session, which then provokes another dream that night, and so on, in a never-ending spiral of psychiatrist bills.

As it pertains to spirituality, one of the ways you can confirm its truth is that -- as all senior Coons know -- the menbrain between the so-called "inner" and "outer" worlds begins to weaken, so that your life begins to reveal a dense network of synchronistic connections, both in time and space. It is as if you turn over the rug of your life, and can see the warp and weft underneath the outward pattern. Only then can you truly understand how this transdimensional area rug secretly "pulls your room together," dude.

I can't tell you how many times I blog about a subject, only to see the subject thrown back in my face later that day, often in a geometrically transformed manner within the Riemann space of consciousness. It's almost as if I "anticipated" the future, or as if the future cast its shadow back into the past. Of course, it does both and neither, as the hyperdense connectedness of bi-logical consciousness cannot be reduced to any crude linear conception.

Long-time readers of this blog know full well that they were drawn here by their own future self. I mean the ones who benefit from it, not the trolls; they are also drawn to their future, but in their case, they reject the message -- or bizarrely try shoot the transdimensional messenger. But (obviously) the bullets pass right through Petey. You might say that the troll's future beckons -- which is why they cannot stay away. It reminds me of a co-dependent woman who marries her abuser, because she cannot tolerate being far from her own persecutory mind parasites. You know the old saying: "Keep your friends close, and your mind parasites closer." Never ask for whom the trolls yell, for it is always theirSelves.

The deeper you penetrate into consciousness, the closer you come to the organizing singularity, as well as the archetypal "stars" that also lure the self inward and upward. If you live your life on the surface of consciousness, then you won't notice the Nonlocal Network, or else you'll simply dismiss evidence of it because of your absecular brainwashing.

The existence of the Network has always been acknowledged by Raccoons down through the ages, but you have to know how to decode the language. Let's go back to the section I was reading yesterday on Spiritual Drowning, with an introductory passage by Perry:

"If the spiritual work has hitherto shown itself predominantly as an effort to transcend the 'lower waters' and attain an equilibrium on the 'surface of the waters,' it now becomes through inverse analogy a journey or 'immersion' into the 'higher waters' of formless possibilities -- supraindividual states which no longer concern the human condition as such (hence the idea of 'drowning' or 'extinction'), but to which the human being has access, at least potentially, through the centrality that is the primordial birthright of his state, and which by definition are fully realized in the plenitude of the Universal Man."

In other words, this represents a sort of fulcrum in our spiritual development, in that we must first learn to "float" on the lower waters of consciousness before plunging into the upper waters.

What does it mean to "learn to float?" To a large extent, this is the domain of psychotherapy, of becoming familiar with your own deep sea monsters -- i.e., mind parasites -- that dwell in the depths of your being, and constantly threaten to pull you down and even swallow you up. Clearly, in some form or fashion, you must become a Master of your own Domain, or, like our trolls, risk becoming a chronic masticator who grinds away with the lower mind, which can never be truly fertile. We all know that this habit leads to spiritual blindness, or what we call nOnanistic myOpia.

Conversely, many people -- the new age crowd comes to mind -- try to plunge into the upper waters before mastering the lower, so they merely end up "polluting" the pure waters with their psychic impurities. One wonders if this is why they all seem to believe in the climate change hysteria. Probably so. This would represent a fine example of a psychic transformation being externalized without any insight whatsoever. This is one of the considerable dangers of go-it-alone spirituality. I'm sure the same people have transformed a shallow, gaffe-prone cipher who is capable only of mouthing recycled leftist slogans he learned in college, into a person of stature in their own minds. (Note that Al Gore and the Clintons are also fans of "integral spirituality," which should be sufficient to indict it.) Talk about going off the shallow end.

Which is an important point. We talk about people "going off the deep end," and with good reason. In fact, never trust a spiritual teacher who has not, at some point in his life, genuinely gone off the deep end, for only he will truly know about the lower waters and how to dog-paddle -- and God-paddle -- in them. Read any serious spiritual autobiography, and you will read of the depth of the struggle to master these lower waters. Not only that, but you will obtain objective information about the currents, the undertows, the doldrums, the winds, the fixed stars, etc., for your own night sea journey.

Only once you've learned to float your boat will it be worthy of sailing into the upper waters, as you graduate from the "lesser mysteries" to the "greater mysteries." What makes it so difficult is that you must simultaneously build this ark while learning to swim. But once it is seaworthy, then you will have a kind of calm center that can withstand the storms that lie ahead. The nature of this vessel will determine whether you can avoid drowning, walk on water, part the sea, swim upstream, survive underwater for lengthy periods, make it to the other shore, etc.

Now, I found this particular passage fascinating: "The voyage may be accomplished, either by going upstream to the source of the waters, or by crossing these to the other bank, or else by finally descending the current to the sea" (Guenon). In short, there are three possible deustinations: the Source of the waters; the infinite Ocean into which all waters eventually drain; or the bank on the other side. In turn, these would correspond to the ways of gnosis ("knowledge of the source"), of non-dual mysticism (diving into the ocean of being), and of bhakti, or loving devotion to God.

As Perry explains, "going upstream" is identified with the "World Axis," or the "celestial river" that "descends to earth." Alert readers will have gnoticed that Petey makes reference to this in the Cosmobliteration section of One Cosmos:

Floating upstream alongside the ancient celestial trail, out from under the toilsome tablets of time.... Off to sea the River Man, starry-eyed and laughing, cloud-hidden, who-, what-, why- & whereabouts unknown, bathed in the white radiance of ecstasy central. In the garden misty wet with rain, eight miles high, far from the twisted reach of yestermorrow. Insinuate! Now put down the apple and back away slowly, and nobody dies! Here, prior to thought, by the headwaters of the eternal, the fountain of innocence... .

Petey also makes reference to the way of the nondual Ocean, or what he calls "being drowned in the Lao Tsunami":

Returning to the Oneself, borne again to the mysterious mamamatrix of our birthdeath, our winding binding river of light empties to the sea. Cured of plurality, highdegger zen die velt, Ancient of Dasein: same as it ever was... same as it ever was... same as it ever was.

And then there is the way of gnosis, or solid metaphysics:

Reverse worldward descent and cross the bridge of darkness to the father shore; on your left is the dazzling abode of immortality, on your right is the shimmering gate of infinity. Return your soul to its upright position and extinguish all (me)mories, we're in for a promised landing. Touching down in shantitown, reset your chronescapes and preprayer for arrisall.

Petey realized when he trancelighted these passages that very few readers would ever obtain any benefit from them. But what can I say? They help me, so you'll just have to be borne with me. When Petey was helping me write them -- in an analogy I used yesterday -- I was shooting at blanks, only with extreme intensity, as if I were trying to penetrate this watery realm, and in turn, be penetrated by it. What is so surprising to me is that so much of it conforms to what these previous sailors have said and written. Here are just a few brief examples:

The wise man can through earnestness, virtue, and purity, maketh himself an island which no flood can submerge. --Udana

I [the Buddha] can walk on water as if it were solid earth. --Samutta-nikaya

I [the Buddha] crossed the flood only when I did not support myself or make any effort. --ibid.

If drifting in the vast ocean a man is about to be swallowed up by the Nagas, fishes, or evil beings, let his thought dwell on the power of the [Bodhisattva], and the waves will not drown him. --Kwannon Sutra

The name Moses means, taken from the water, and so we shall be taken out of instability, rescued from the storm of the world-flow. --Meister Eckhart

But while it is the case that if thou lettest not go of thine own self altogether to drown in the bottomless sea of the Godhead, verily one cannot know this divine death. --Meister Eckhart

God is the Lake of Nectar, the Ocean of Immortality. He is called the "Immortal" in the Vedas. Sinking into It, one does not die, but transcends death. --Sri Ramakrishna

I shall throw myself into the uncreate sea of the naked Godhead. --Angelus Silesus

The desirous soul no longer thirsts for God but into God, the pull of its desire draws it into the Infinite Sea. --Richard of Saint-Victor

...To flow in God and sink down in Him -- like a vessel full of water which when emptied nothing remains in it, so will I wholly empty and sink myself quite into God. --Johannes Kelpius

20 Comments:

Blogger QP said...

Bob,
Being frugal, I bought Perry's A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom, hearing it and Spiritual Ascent were one and the same. I'm not finding a chapter on "Spiritual Drowning", (is that your designation?), but I found the quotes you present here from Kwannon Sutra and Samyutta-nikaya on page 655; chapter title "The Surface of the Waters". Curious to know if the books are indeed one and the same, perhaps with subtle variations. Can you confirm?

5/30/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long ago, when I foolish enough to do such things, I wrote a song entitled "Learning to Drown"--long since forgotten save the title-- and I never really was sure what I meant by that exactly.

Thanks for helping me figure that out.

5/30/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

qp--

Yes, I took the passages from both of those sections.

Anon:

Also reminds me of Leonard Cohen:

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.

5/30/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

That's a high water mark on today's post. Bookmarked to point out the powerful runoff available for the days I find myself standing in a dry riverbed wondering where all the water went.

boat leaves tomorrow
returns to port yesterday
seashells on both shores

-----

Aside to NoMo - since I sent you an invitation to float the Payette moments before reading Bob's post, you can't refuse, dude! ;-)

5/30/2008 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did Leonard Cohen do it?? It's uncanny.

But I can tell you this much for sure...whatever I wrote then was more like a child scribbling at the shore of that ocean.

Maybe I've learned to drown a bit more since then. I hope.

5/30/2008 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

How did Cohen do it? By shooting at blanks. Very intently.

5/30/2008 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Seeing connections in the past is easy. You know you're actually onto something (as opposed to on something) if you can extend those connections into predictions of the future. You can find all sort of interesting connections in stock prices or lottery numbers. But they turn out to be illusions when you try to extend them to the future.

(Actually, that's what people claim 'global warming' is - extrapolating historical data beyond what it can justify. Dismiss the one, without dismissing the other?)

People are good at finding patterns in random data. Sometimes the patterns are really there - like if you saw half a stereogram, you could make good guesses about what the other half would look like. But it's the predictions that let you know you've found a real connection.

5/30/2008 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I predict Ray will leave another uncomprehending comment today.

5/30/2008 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - Faith may be a little like what it takes to see the rest of the stereogram.

Robin - SPLASH!

5/30/2008 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

"What makes it so difficult is that you must simultaneously build this ark while learning to swim."
Hence that awkward feeling that sometimes pertains? But in all seriousness, it is interesting how disparate activities get integrated by the attempted Return.

"...your life begins to reveal a dense network of synchronistic connections, both in time and space. It is as if you turn over the rug of your life, and can see the warp and weft underneath the outward pattern."
I think that as this proceeds, you develop an "aesthetic sense" that acts like a guide -- that is a guide. And it may only be imagination, in a rationalist scheme; that's fine. My opinion is that imagination connects higher and lower, at least at the start.

"Petey realized when he trancelighted these passages that very few readers would ever obtain any benefit from them."
Well, those that have sez "Thanks!"

5/30/2008 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

George Weigel, author and Catholic theologian, live on CSPAN2 booktv
this Sunday: 12 PM-3 PM ET,
re-airs Sunday at midnight ET

from their site:

You can participate in the discussion by calling in during the program:

East/Central Time Zone, 202-737-0001,
Mountain/Pacific Time Zone, 202-737-0002,

or by e-mailing your questions to booktv@c-span.org.

Mr. Weigel is the author of over a dozen books, including
* Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II
* Freedom and Its Discontents: Catholicism Confronts Modernity
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* God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church.

Mr. Weigel is currently a distinguished Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a contributor to Newsweek magazine and Vatican analyst for NBC News.

5/30/2008 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

the menbrain between the so-called "inner" and "outer" worlds begins to weaken, so that your life begins to reveal a dense network of synchronistic connections, both in time and space

Yep.

the Source of the waters; the infinite Ocean into which all waters eventually drain; or the bank on the other side. In turn, these would correspond to the ways of gnosis ("knowledge of the source"), of non-dual mysticism (diving into the ocean of being), and of bhakti, or loving devotion to God.

I wonder how the travelers break down personality-wise? I have always been a float-trip kind of person who enjoys seeing the river widen, content with letting it carry me on with just enough rudder to keep me in the current.

Crossing over is a big part of the Judeo-Christian revelation, from the crossing of the "Red Sea", to Joshua crossing Jordan, to the disciples of Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee in storms.

However, if you have a Bible handy, go check out Ezekiel 47:1-12 and the prophet's vision of a life-giving river flowing out from the temple. Every measurement takes the prophet into deeper water until it becomes "a river that cannot be crossed on foot". What had been the Dead Sea, the terminus of the Jordan, is renewed and given life by this Kingdom river. So, in the end you have all three "ways" united in one.

5/30/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

"Only then can you truly understand how this transdimensional area rug secretly "pulls your room together," dude."

Well, this reminded me of something that petey wrote in the nowhere: "Only the blissful wave of the of the immortal now, rising forth from the effulgent sea of existence. Inhere in here."

When I was trying with much effort to get my broken nous to spit out some understanding (damn thing's just foggy alot of times), I rendered the last part "cOhere, inhere in here?" Yep. I left it a question. There's always an uncertaintly when your third eye's have blind; but I think I get the drift. Lets hope my inner psychopomp is leading me in down the right current. Sometimes it's just not really a-musing...correctly.


"Note that Al Gore and the Clintons are also fans of "integral spirituality," which should be sufficient to indict it. "

Agreed. I'm glad your here, bob. I'm still going, growing, pursuing gnowing, and building my vessel. Just a little further...struggle...

5/30/2008 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Coonified - Even they who walked at His side struggled.

5/30/2008 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

If that doesn't bring a smile to your face, I don't know what will.

5/30/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,

Another excellent post. Btw, at what time in the future did you get a boat? (Because you sound right on the verge.)

Sailed these once. A few saluted. The first has to do with a leaking boat will always be, and never stops a sailor. Why the bilge pump was designed as a result of accepting the fact and the other bigger pressure that draws so many to the see to begin with:

“The boat builder goes with the flood and just dries to keep up.”

and

"Except the Sea"

5/30/2008 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

Nomo, re your reference, Peter was a major screw up(and look how he turned out), which gives hope to those of us who know all about that...

5/30/2008 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous coonified said...

Yes nomo. It's my nature to look away when in doubt. But I think that the struggle is part of the divine unfolding, or at least I look at it that way.

When I was just a baby, I, for some reason ultimatly unknown, was plunged underneath water to the point of passing out; and that part me is still out of it, breathless, and basically useless--comatose. But there's a force that rebuilds the forsaken and distraught; and I do imagine it as the hand of the absolute being reaching down into manifestation and pulling me upward. Darkness and obscurity becomes light and clarity with time. And the broken vessel, the manifest container of light, eventually moseys it's way towards singularity and deiformity, instead of deformity.

It was part of peter's constitution to look away; and did the primodial sin that was behind the misdirection stop the Son from reaching downwards? Nope! There's always hope in the right company!

Anyway...

Onward and upward. With blessed time.

(BTW, I still read every day, and enjoy.)

5/30/2008 09:02:00 PM  
Anonymous pardes said...

Well aren't YOU just a breath of fresh air tongue in cheek delightful surprise of the day! Bravommmmmmmmm.

5/30/2008 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger jpelham said...

Lance,
One can distinguish between the various faiths you list precisely by their adherents' answers to Pilate's question - "What is Truth?" Their answers will not be equivalent if they are 'orthodox' - any more than two people are equivalent.

Bob,
On your current topic, let me recommend the insight of a scrupulous Lutheran: "In unconsciousness of being in despair a man is farthest from being conscious of himself as spirit. But precisely the thing of not being conscious of oneself as spirit is despair, which is spiritlessness -- whether the condition be that of complete deadness, a merely vegetative life, or a life of higher potency the secret of which is nevertheless despair. In the latter instance the man is like the sufferer from consumption: he feels well, considers himself in the best of health, seems perhaps to others to be in florid health, precisely when the sickness is most dangerous."
--------------------------------------------------------
~Source: The Sickness Unto Death, Kierkegaard

One can smile broadly, though not deeply, while in despair, as Chopra et al.

6/02/2008 04:10:00 PM  

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