Some say that the world is a vale of tears.
I say it is a place of soul making
I had dream where I was discussing, “the secrets within secrets,” and I awoke feeling as if I had seen through the layers, everything was crystal clear to me, however when I reached out for my notebook and pen, (always next to me when I sleep) suddenly what seemed so clear was not clear anymore, yet I could still feel the understanding of it. Then my eyes fell on a book that I had not looked at for years and by now I know never to ignore sudden attention on something. So I opened it at random, on the following:
“Like Heraclitus, Chunang Tzu speaks of a hidden principle of truth, the Tao. Why does it remain hidden, and yet seem so obvious when we are able to open it? Chuang Tzu suggests that we are misled by partial understanding. We do not think, feel, or look with the whole of ourselves. We tend to base judgements on distinctions which we have not held up to examination.” – Wing-Tsit Chan
So much of life is like this. So often I am hit with a “vow”, only to later, after living with the “vow” of understanding, to realise that there is more to it than I thought. What I thought I understood, I understood with only partial understanding. The fragmented mind is not capable of understanding the whole, yet it is the fragments of understanding that leads us closer, layer by layer to understanding of the whole. As Heraclitus of Ephesus said, “The Lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor conceals, but gives signs.” Our understanding of the whole can only be perceived in symbols, it awakens in us a new paradigm of understanding.
“The pursuit of knowledge always takes place within a given paradigm, within a conceptual matrix – a womb that provides an intellectually nourishing structure, that fosters growth and increasing complexity and sophistication – until, gradually that structure is experienced as constricting, a limitation, a prison, producing a tension of irresolvable contradictions, and finally a crisis is reached. Then some inspired Promethean genius comes along and is graced with an inner breakthrough to a new vision that gives the scientific mind a new sense of being cognitively connected – reconnected – to the world: an intellectual revolution occurs, and a new paradigm is born. Here we see why such geniuses regularly experience their intellectual breakthrough as a profound illumination, a revelation of the divine creative principle itself, as with Newton’s exclamation to God, “I think Thy thoughts after Thee!” For the human mind is following the numinous archetypal path that is unfolding within it.
And here we can see why the same paradigm, such as the Aristotelian or Newtonian, is perceived as a liberation at one time and then a constriction, a prison, at another. For the birth of every new paradigm is also the conception in a new conceptual matrix, which begins the process of gestation, growth, crisis, and revolution all over again. Each paradigm is a stage in an unfolding evolutionary sequence, and when that paradigm has fulfilled its purpose, when it has been developed and exploited to its fullest extent, then it loses its numinosity, it ceases to be libidinanlly charged, it becomes felt as oppressive, limiting, opaque, something to be overcome – while the new paradigm that is emerging is felt as a liberating birth into a new, luminously intelligible universe.”
The Passion Of The Western Mind – Richard Tarnas
Within each of us, we progress from paradigm to paradigm in our personal self-evolution. Each stage of this evolution is brought about by a personal crisis, a turning point, a dark night of the soul, a soul encounter. Our personal evolutionary shifts reflects the evolutionary shifts of the greater whole.
The thirteenth century,Persian mystic Aziz Nasafi wrote that the spiritual world, standing like a light behind the bodily world, shines as through a window through every creature that comes into being. According to the type and size of the window, more or less light enters the world. Each one of us is a window on the Universe, the whole of understanding. Physicist Raynor Johnson even suggest that while in ordinary states of awareness we view the world through five slits in the tower, our ordinary senses, there are states of consciousness in which we open the roof to the sky. It is in these moments of consciousness that a new paradigm is born. Suddenly a light is lit in the darkness of our understanding.
The concept of dry intellectual knowledge can only bring you to the first layer of understanding, whereas wisdom is the essence of understanding. There are some that say that true intellect should be defined as an ability to interact with the world around you. The ability to reach out in a gesture of wanting to understand. Wisdom for me is born out of this reaching out and interaction with the world around me, and through this an inner reflection, an inner understanding of the whole is brought about. One could say that out of the bitterness (Mara) of experience, the sweetness of wisdom is born.
In Ancient Egypt the word Ais is for brain intellect, and Sia for intelligence of the heart, in other words intuition. Intuition literally means “knowledge coming in.” Yet neither wisdom nor intellectual knowledge can be gained without love, for to know something there first need to exist a desire, a love for something, for if you feel love for something there is a need to unite with what you love. In uniting with something, or at least a reaching out towards something an understanding is brought about. Knowledge means to unite oneself with the object, concept or idea one requires to understand, hence the term carnal knowledge.
“Consider the prodigious physical and evolutionary studies of Teilhardt de Chardin, which conclude that love is the underlying movement and pattern behind the universe: atoms calling each other in search of union so that they begin to constellate and form molecules; molecules in resonance yearning for the Beloved of the next stage so that they can form more complex systems; these systems yearning to form bodies; bodies attuning until they find their partner and produce more bodies with more complexities. We yearn for the gods and the gods yearn for us, so that as we are becoming enspirited, godded beings, the gods are becoming human. Likewise, earth and nature long for spirit, and spirit longs for nature; out of this longing emerges a deeply physicalized spirituality and a deeply spiritual embodiment …
Consider, too, process philosopher Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy of God as the loving lure of becoming the Divine Lover calling the world into becoming, as any great and true lover does with any beloved.”
Psychologist Jean Houston
“Mathematical cosmologist Brain Swimme and cultural historian Thomas Berry write of a cosmic allurement that is the bond of all matter and what we humans experience as love. It is this lure between things that drives evolution. Love is what evokes in us the desire to make our own next evolutionary leap as a species. The longing to find and join with the beloved of the soul is the allurement that pulls us toward becoming fully human. “
It is this allurement that entices us out of our cocoons of isolation, and allows us to experience life. In the experience of life we taste and absorb experience as nourishment of the soul. Its sweetness and bitterness both alike enrich our being and creates depth to our insights and brings us wisdom that has grown through the tasting of life.