The Departed One

There has been a shift “to lose oneself” in the sense that familiar bonds have been loosened and a slow slipping away has occurred. Others have come to know me in terms of externally imposed constraints and conditioning that I have come to realize has caused me to be something of a “stranger”.

Such a shift has not been a movement towards a literal end but the dethronement of something of a superficial control centre that has interfered more than it has seemed to help, in the living of life; at least as I realize life to be in my more recent awareness. Escape from this way is not a decline and it is not an end, but simply an inclination to make ready a descent by which the stranger goes under and what is left is the “departed”. Along with that there is a sense of “settling in”and an expansion of awareness in what is left.

The one “who is apart,”can be perceived to be somewhat of a madman because he has taken his way in another not so conventional direction; although it being no more insane than the erratic orientation of the stranger. The madness, however, is of a more gentle quality than what the “stranger” knew for his mind has come to pursue a greater stillness and a home is now being discovered in a “groundless ground” and in that there is a wandering of another more organic essence than what has been known.

Come Forth as What Thou Art

From Pindar’s words in the Greek Lyric Odes! “to live authentically is to come forth as what thou art.”

So what is it that is involved in this coming forward. Robert Avens writes “The rose, like physis, is a self-sufficient process; it needs no external justification, no rationale for its being-there.”
In a similar way, in the seeing through of our conditioned inheritance, calculative thinking is suspended and we allow things be in their thinging, “self-resplendent with their own grounds.”
These days I am more attuned to what is beyond my conditioned inheritance. In opening to this, one has the experience of being more exposed, unveiling “what is”. Conventional discussion with self and others most often seems to be about justification and rational and literal use of concepts somehow reinforcing an illusion of self. Belief in that and related meanings that we grasp at seem to provide some sense of superficial security; not without consequence.
From the depths of contemplation there is increasing realization that something has been lost in living this way. There is aversion of something essential of me; something of the experience of vulnerability that I seem to be habitually and unconsciously attempting to cover over. Awareness grows of that aversion and from that I step towards engaging in a truly intimate exchange with myself and others. There is “self-resplendence” in this unfolding.

As Father Richard Rohr quotes “it’s precisely in our humanity that we’re able to find connection with one another — and we can only access it if we’re vulnerable. The “truly human” is always experienced in vulnerability, in mutuality, in reciprocity,”.

Self Resplendence

Contemporary life is generally hedonistic in its orientation a consequence being that people seem to be confused, dogmatically opinionated and at times grasping for something to ground them in a deeper way than an indulgent life is able to. There seems as well to be lost sense of moral purpose, or a “telos” (a Greek term referring to that which in an individual provides the moral justification for society)”.

Michael Zimmerman writes that there is a general tendency that we find it almost impossible … to regard our experience just as a series of happenings; instead, we filter it through all sorts of projections and interpretations, including scientific theories about the structure of “reality,” and religious claims about the “meaning” of it all. We tend to be so purposive and willful that the world appears only as a set of goals and obstacles. In viewing the world this way, we are shut off from its primal mystery: that events are constantly happening, and that the play of appearance is going on at all.

Hillman also rejects the idea that origin is something that lies in a literal (objective) past. Attempts to trace everything to a source do not solve anything. The fantasy of objective origins disguises the psychological truth that “the ultimate source is … in the enigma … of the imaginal … in the mundus imaginalis.” (See Henry Corbins notion https://www.amiscorbin.com/bibliographie/mundus-imaginalis-or-the-imaginary-and-the-imaginal/)

The following quote by Zimmerman explores, and requires somewhat deeper contemplation, stepping out from a conventional rational explanation to a way of exploring living authentically or in Pindar’s words from the Greek Lyric Odes, a way to “come forth as what thou art.

Play refers to a time of gnosis which can be a time of awakening to an inherent knowledge and/or mundus imaginalis; a place of spiritual mysteries especially esoteric mystical knowledge. In play we rediscover this “telos”.

“These happenings (beings, events) require a place (time, absence) to happen (to be manifest). The place does not come from outside of the happening, but is intrinsic to it. Presencing and absencing happen together, or “give” themselves to each other. The play plays because it plays. We are most ourselves when we participate in this play.”

In Order to Live Fully

We can be so programmed in ways that we ignore the direct experience of being. It seems that so many of us go through our days making choices that ignore that awareness. When I take the time to attend to the present moment it often provokes a tear; something about coming back to realization of the beauty and struggle and wonder of life; that can only be fully realized in awareness. There is always an experience of vulnerability and sensitivity in that awareness, sometimes not easy to be with but inseparable from the realization of beauty and truth. I recognize my habitual efforts to escape from the sensitivity that these moments or realization bring and at the same time I see the futility in pursuing an ever illusive place of security. I prefer to be alone at those moments or at least to be with others in a more intimate and/or authentic way; that itself often extending and intensifying the sense of vulnerability. It is something that can’t be avoided if I am to live life fully.

Revelation in Simplicity

I feel so sad that I have been hurtful to others; that my intolerance, impatience and judgement still impede me from being compassionate at times. In my heart I don’t want this. I know that I am imperfect. I am more aware of feeling vulnerable every day as I witness natures taking back of my body and I see how truly insignificant that my past notion of self has been.In this I find a compassionate refuge where I understand that love is the most relevant thing in life. I am not always capable of offering that although it is the only place that I am most open to truthful revelation these days. I am limited in my ability to be free of the human created drama and narrative that diverts me away from openness. I see the limitation in this story line and everything that I have valued to be a necessary investment in my life. It is all falling away despite something of me that grasps at those perceptions and illusions. In letting go there is a simplicity and out of that a revelation of beauty and truth that has been unsurpassed in life.

The Soul

It seems that much of what I have been taught in life has contributed to a barrier to self knowing. In recent years I have rediscovered a knowing which is not divorced from being. A more contemplative way of life with increased attention to consciousness and the objects of direct experience has contributed to a growing gnosis—a knowledge that is effectuated in the soul and by the soul.

It’s not a soul as an abstract concrete nature that James Hillman is describing here when he writes “to study soul, we must go deep; when we go deep, soul becomes involved.” As Robert Avers suggests it is important to recognize that the kind of knowing gained from a deep soulful exploration has nothing to do with Cartesian certainty, wholeness, or the like. “There are no specific or practical results that would ensue from our soulful search. Rather, one is transported into “a more problematic and dynamic experience: the concealing/ unconcealing, truth/ error process of being.” [18] The reason for this polemical state of affairs is that the circle of Dasein is endless in the Heraclitean sense of depth (bathun). There are no limits to the soul’s circulation, no actualization of darkness into light, or error into truth. There is no final healing vision (as, for example, in Hegel), no finality of any kind except the finality of infinitude. The road (hodos) the soul travels, according to Heraclitus, is an up-and-down way where up and down, like the beginning (archē) and the end (pera), are the same (frs. 60 and 103, DK). The Heraclitean “end” is not a simple or literal return to the same (a dull round) nor a unilinear messianic utopia. Miller describes it as “a depth, a peri-meter broken through like a horizon exploded. The deep ‘end’ is ultimately soul which is without end.”

In Nature

I live to walk in the forest

In silence and loosened intention

Of turning all that is Impermanent; permanent

Exposed and open

In awareness I encounter “being”

The ecstatic nature of life

Synchronicity and interconnection

Realization that all things of the earth are perishable

That all things of the earth are filled with soul,

That I myself am something of the earth

Not of the the soul that is human made