“The purity of the moment is made from the absence of time.”
In the stillness between,
in the quiet instant,
there lies a treasure beyond compare,
a song of piercing beauty,
penetrating the deepest secret chamber of my soul.
Within dusk and dawn arise subtle hues
memories of the night
Possibilities of the dawning day.
Within the breathless moment,
in the moment of infinity,
in quiet wonder
I know the miracle of being.
“… commune with your soul on your bed, and be silent …” Psalm 4:4
I awoke this morning and I did not move, neither did I open my eyes. I remained still and became aware of time moving from my past to the present and to the future. As I remained still, and allowed the past and the future to swirl around in the moment, I became aware that even in my stillness, by simple being aware everything is continuously changing. Even in my stillness a present moment is being created that is always different. Yet, here I still am, and while I am doing nothing I am changing. Just as a rock that remains unmoved for thousands of years in one place, is never the less still changing. Perhaps in another thousand years it will become grains of sand, and perhaps through some fierce burning fire even change into glass.
I continue to remain still and motionless seeing thoughts and emotions swirl around my awareness. As long as I remain still, I remain between being asleep and awake and am just a being in becoming. As soon as I move I will be incarnating into my being a set of beliefs of who and what I am, of what I am becoming. As long as I remain still I abide in just becoming in the fluidity of moment, but as soon as I move a paradigm of meaning will shape my awakening and as such I will embody a set of beliefs. In truth my beliefs are based on arbitrary hopes of possible becomings birthed in hidden desires. All I can really know for sure is that I am becoming whether I remain still or not. Right now I have a choice to remain still and still become, or I can consciously awake within a chosen paradigm of becoming. I can choose to be in the eye of the storm of my becoming, or on the extremities and experience suffering.
“Pain is unavoidable, suffering is not.”
No becoming is without pain, knowing and observing our becoming ease the suffering. Being a being in becoming, we observe our pain and happiness as flickering moments shaping our becoming which still remains an essential mystery.
In the Kabbalah Binah consciousness is the mind and heart actively engaged in thought and desire, akin to our ordinary state of consciousness, and Hokmah consciousness is the mind and heart completely silent, without thought or desire – a state of pure awareness, thus just being.
There is a term called Hashmal which indicates the simultaneous experience of Binah and Hokmah consciousness and is called “Speaking Silence,” or Dynamic Silence. There is silence and there is voice, and there is no contradiction between them, but they are one and the same. This “speaking-silence” appears in Ezekiel, at the culmination of Ezekiel’s vision, when it says God speaks to him out of silence. In Exodus 20:18 it is written; “and all the people saw the sounds.”
In this state of consciousness, one actually experiences a silence of the mind and stillness of emotions and desires, yet, at the same time, thoughts and desire-energy continues to flow. It is a supramental state of pure awareness, yet, at the same time one continues to experience the mental and vital states. The experience of Hashmal or Speaking Silence is the experience of being in the now – a zone of complete silence in the mind and vital, which is in the midst of the mind yet also beyond it, and at the same time there are thoughts and images and emotion – a complete stillness and motion at the same time. This allows a linking of the various levels of consciousness and thus a free flow and exchange between them.
Although Hashmal is a very lofty attainment and requires a radical change in consciousness, we can relate to this experience through the experience of love. Just as we cannot actively seek out love, as seeking it directly often obstructs it all together, we rather have to cultivate the conditions necessary through which we may naturally and spontaneously experience love, just so it is with Hashmal. In the Mysteries the social identity of the neophyte, the focus of the self-aware person, was temporarily dissolved so that the individual could experience “wide-field” cognitive ecstasy in the presence of the Other, the Beloved. For initiation to be undergone in a way that assured that the content of illumination would be retained, a long process of depersonalization was required, thus a process of clearing away all unauthentic concepts of self.
To experience love we must first clear what will obstruct our ability to experience true love, otherwise will not see our beloved as they are but rather we will see the projections of our needs and our desires and be sorely disappointed. The experience of Hashmal is the state within which the Gnosis Mind manifests and we are able to behold the true nature of reality; hence Reality as It Is. Within the Gnosis Mind the knower and that which is known becomes one. In the moment of sexual ecstasy the beloved and the lover becomes one, yet continue to exist as two distinct individuals simultaneously. Just so it is with Hashmal. We can only “run and return” to this state of being.
“The god Eros lives in the gap between
what we have and what we seek,
what we are and
what we are becoming.” –Connie Zweig
Eros perhaps, it could be said is the passion for transformation, the passion that transfuses and transfigures all forms, sweeping one form-thing-being through another, interfusing self and other, human and divine, perpetuating the eternal mystery of these brief encounters.
Diotima, a seeress and midwife from Mantinea in the Peloponessus, is famed for telling Socrates that “Eros is a mighty daimon, for its power mediates what is divine and what is mortal.” (Symp. 202 E) When Socrates proposes that “Eros is a part of the beautiful (to kalon),” Diotima corrects him, saying “No, love – that is, Eros is an esthetic bent, the passion for engendering and expressing the Beautiful – tes genneseos kai tou tokou en to kalo.” The “esthetic bent” as Diotima called it, is intimately linked to our capacity for love. Love and Eros enhance and complement each other at every turn. Love includes the capacity to embrace and transmit the Beautiful.
Thoughts returns to their arising. A bare tree in the icy winds of winter. All drawn within. In days long ago a mighty wizard cut a wand from its branches, gathered Mistletoe clinging to its limbs. Owls reared their chicks in its safety. Lovers whispered sweet caresses in its shade. Be quiet now and rest in a winter’s dream as your acorns dreams in the dark body of the Mother. Dream of mighty trees swaying in the Spring’s enlivening breeze. Softly I heard the Mother hum a song of dreaming, of dreams arising, within her womb.
Drifting in the Dark Sea
Formless potency of the Primordial Night
Chaos envelops me
and I surrender
In this night
a dream arose
Images rising from
the dark depths
of my soul
and stirs fathomless
What image will you choose
to represent those desires stirring
in the womb of the night
What will be the colours
of your wings?
What does your voice cry out for
in the night?
so that together we may
weave a bright new dream
Let us play for a while longer
in the starry night skies
of our imagination
before we give birth to a new dawn.