Friday, December 10, 2021

Reply to Paul...


Dear Paul..

Here is my response to your request for comments on the book you are preparing. First, I
am in admiration of your writing excellence.  I thoroughly enjoyed what you have to say,
and can only offer my own responses to some of your observations of your life, which are
not suggestions but just another indication of how we all are different.

OS Chapter, "Original Sin" is your personal story, and  obviously seems quite real
and beyond question.  I think it will have high interest for many readers. Reminds me of
accounts of near death experiences and a subsequent desire to tell the world.  Seemingly 
forgotten sometimes is the fact that only by having the experience can one really appreciate 
the significance.  Others can only observe these testimonies as stories, adding interpretations 
of their own.  Recognizing stories as stories seems to be a bridge not often crossed. 
A bridge to No-where?  (As in religions?)

OS Chapter, "What's it All About," I found most engaging personally.  "All the world
is a stage," Shakespeare says, and we are all actors or characters.  It seems that this 
discovery is fundamental to the human race.  Until we realize ourselves as characters,
appearances, the separate individual will seem to carry the day..not realizing that this
solid belief is an illusion.  And this so-called recognition is not teachable.  It is Nothing
(No-thing) being a character named Paul.  It is a paradox. Not understandable by rational
means.  That seems to me to  relate to 3. What is this all about?  Your discussion of the
Gary Renard book expands on this theme, as does modern science, as you say, in supporting
a growing consensus of an illusory world. Science seems to be leading the way.  But again,
I would say that realizing this from a paradoxical perspective is paramount..apparently. 
If this perspective is appreciated only from a story/thought perspective, it certainly is 
important, but seemingly lacks the necessary staying power...

The "throw away world" is another thread of your discussion.  The fundamentalist idea that
some life after this one is all important, and so what happens here is not relevant, although
making our life as sinless as possible, is a prerequisite for later.  That is all separation
thinking, which has been a heavy in fundamentalist Christianity.  Should Christianity
graduate to a more holistic model, modeling Jesus' real teachings, some say that is the path 
away from the throw away world.  Perhaps even that is a bit naive.  Such a new look could
be translated into church doctrine, and public policy, without addressing the 
fundamental assumption of separation.  So, how do we process this assumption?  Likely, 
we don't, because we can't. Hopeless?  Perhaps so.  Hopelessness may be the key by 
highlighting the reality of not-knowing.  Which would also highlight our limited capacity 
to rationalize our way out. Which may bring about the revolution in perspective which
would recognize that we are already home!  We already are what we are looking for...which
is told as the cosmic joke.  OK, enough already!

The remaining part of this chapter seems familiar, scenarios with seemingly informed
possibilities.  From both science and spiritual writings, and a seeming convergence.  I would
just say that, for me, the use of language seems foremost in considering all of this.
Languages are based on the separation of subject/object, and knowing that, good writers
recognize that they are simply doing the best they can.  Perhaps what is not mentioned
often enough is the encountering of paradox at almost every turn.  The paradox seems to
put an end to the rational story, and cause the reader or writer to either search for another
path (which may be most common) or to dwell there and perhaps find a resonance with the 
not-knowing and mystery.  What may also end at that point is the notion of the individual
as a separate entity.  May be frightening!  No more "me?"  The separate entity (me, or
the ego if you like) may become desperate pulling one back from this precipice.  You
allude to this removal of the Me from being the doer in your examples of the Taos sculptor
and Philip Glass.  This orientation seems quite radical to some, but to others who have
resonated with the truth of it, it seems very ordinary.  

So, with reference to the three questions you pose at the beginning of this chapter, and 
considering how the questions are usually asked with the assumption of a reality based on
separation, there likely will never be satisfactory answers for anyone.  We apparently await
a shift in perception which shows the illusion of separation.  If and when that happens
the questions dissolve in the perspective called variously Oneness, No-thing, Awareness,
Consciousness, Wholeness, all of which are inadequate names.

OS Chapter, "Your Move," seems as a rant from time immemorial.  I feel that much of 
what I have said above relates here.  The key issue, for me, is the issue of separation.  
This issue is mythically storied in the Garden of Eden, in which the snake entices the
woman entices the man, and they are expelled to the East. The Prodigal Son expels 
himself from Home, and also goes out to the east of Eden.  Separation is generally not
questioned, and a search is undertaken, in a grand variety of forms, to restore the
wholeness of the home we left behind. This search, which is likely not even recognized 
as a search, seems synonymous with suffering.  And so, most people live lives of quiet 
desperation, as said Henry David Thoreau.  Separation is an illusion, but how can we
know?  Maybe the suffering is there to inform us we are already home.  Now there
is a paradox that makes no sense!  But it seems the crux of an unteachable solution,
for some.  It is probably most often called non duality, and the simplicity of it is found
in statements, such as No-thing being everything, or No-thing appearing as everything.
These statements, and others, point to the reality of oneness..the unity declaration
seems stark.  But intellectual processing is not resonance. Thus, the un-teachability.
And, the loss of the assumption of a separate individual can be frightening.  Susanne
Segal experienced a sudden recognition of her illusory separate self, and treated it
as a pathological condition for several years.  (Collision with the Infinite is the name
of her book).   I think it is an extreme example, but illustrative.  I find it interesting
that  young people these days are resonating with this message, which may be
an encouraging sign.  

So, I will end up by saying that all I have said in all of this rambling are responses 
(thoughts) triggered by various things you say in your writing. Thoughts are 
limited, so don't take anything seriously!

I will be first in line to buy your book, unless Robin elbows me out...😄


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