GORDS CONTEMPLATIVE BLOG

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

No Limits or Boundaries to Soul

I think of “soul”as a metaphor for a subjective experience, as opposed to something with concrete boundaries or objectively conceived and the spiritual journey is about the private relationship involving the reconnection to the mystery of being alive. At points in my life it has very much involved rebellion, with suffering. . .often connected with resistance to the public self. Even  attachments to the subjective experience can be misleading taking one astray if grasped as an ultimate indication.

James Hillman envisioned “seeing through” as a psychological process of “deepening, interiorizing … the apparent,” a “moving from the surface of visibilities to the less visible.” Hillman also insists that this process never stops because, as Heraclitus—whom archetypal psychology regards as the first depth psychologist of the Western world—has said: “You could not discover the limits of the soul, even if you traveled every road to do so; such is the depth of its meaning”

We are admonished to see not more but better—to see that which we already know and always did know but which has been obfuscated by our subjectivistic attitudes, by lack of attention.

Where longing Leads Us

Martin Heidegger wrote that man as a subject derives the meaning of the world from himself and his own meaning from the extent to which he conquers the world. In the Nietzsche quote that “there cometh the time when man will no longer launch the arrow of his longing beyond man—and the string of his bow will have unlearned to whizz” he as well realized the limitations of human longing.

Through the work of awareness there is a possibility that we can come to realize the limitations of our past ways of thinking and to see through the fog of our conditioning. To arrive at a place where we can realize what it is that impedes us from clear seeing is not something to be acquired and held as one’s possession. It is not a thing but an event, an occurrence and is more a matter of riding oneself of something that impedes it from being itself. It is more a matter of setting something free to be what it is. In learning to let go, in coming to think in a way that is non-conceptual and nonsystematic, is not to think without rigor and strictness. James Hillman says, “there is no necessary opposition between clarity and imagination, no need to believe … that deep ideas must be dim, while clearness is founded on shallowness.”

“To say that this is something “in the soul,” however, does not mean that we escape from the world into soul. As we saw, the soul, in addition to being “my” soul, is also the soul of the world. “Salvational knowledge, therefore, is concerned with re-souling the world as well. It is a recollection, a remembering of a worldly soul and of an ensouled world. So-what are we to do? Nothing. We have to let the soul be. We have to let the world be. We have to let Being be.” – Robert Avens

The soul lives contented by listening

If it wants to change

Into the beauty of terrifying shapes

It tries to speak

– David Whyte

La Poesia

…And something ignited in my soul,

fever or I remembered wings,

and I went my own way,

deciphering

that burning fire

and I wrote the first bare line,

bare, without substance, pure

foolishness,

pure wisdom

of one who knows nothing,

and suddenly I saw

the heavens

unfastened

and open.

Pablo Neruda

An Elemental Reverie on the World,s Stuff

Gaston Bachelard was a poet, philosopher who sought a more intimate revelation and expression of human experience. He wrote about the “Imaginal” a creative energy that is an integral part of our nature but due to the influence of what we have come to collectively value we have lost touch with it. It can be once again revealed to be fundamental to our human sense of being. Poetry is a way to unravel what blocks our deeper awareness and when the “Imaginal” is no longer ignored we are freed from aimless wandering and a sense of incompleteness. It is related to “knowing” of a different quality than we have been taught to think of it. Henri Corbin referred to it as being essential to “gnosis”, which he wrote about it being a salvational, redemptive knowledge, because it has the virtue of bringing about an inner transformation. In contrast to all theoretical learning, it is “knowledge that changes and transforms the knowing subject”. He explores the idea that gnosis points our awareness to a place that has been missed between the traditional categories of “belief” and “reason.” Belief (or faith) is usually associated with the emotional function, and reason means ordinary reason or the thinking function. In Corbin’s view, what is overlooked here is that “between believing and knowing there is something that we can refer to other than these two conventional processes connoting “inner vision.” Corbin suggests that in awareness we can become conscious of something of our being that “cosmologically corresponds to an “intermediate and mediating world forgotten by the official philosophy and theology of our times: the mundus imaginalis, the imaginal world. Corbin’s mundus imaginalis is the necessary mediatrix (theologically conceived as Deus revelatus, revealed God) between the hidden God (Deus absconditus) and man’s world. It is the world of the soul or psyche.”