The Inner/outer worlds of the Everywhere and Everywhen of Experience

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The fractal universe

 

At a men’s group one morning we were discussing the topic of reconciliation and someone brought up how feeling of reconciliation never seemed permanent in that when they achieved it personally, the experience of being reconciled went away over a short time.

I think we all have had experiences, feelings, or ah ha’s where we experience joy, or satisfaction only to have it disappear over time. I’ve often heard about people who have experienced a transformational moment that seems to have changed their lives only to have it slip from their grasp in almost no time at all. Why is this? Why can’t we hold on to these moments? Is it because they’re not real?

I think it’s because the mind always objectifies things e.g. all input, so that it can be dealt with, and worked with. An “experience” is a subjective, non-concrete, almost ethereal “feeling.” The experience transcends the time and space in which it occurs. To objectify it, that is, to think about it is to lock it in time and place i.e., to try and hold onto it and then it loses its “experiential” quality.

This reminds me of the theory in quantum physics that suggests that every thing exists in superpositionality (everywhere and everywhen at the same time) until the field of superpositionality is collapsed into one place, one time. This, I think is a metaphor for what we do when we objectify an experience, we take it out of the realm of the ineffable, the everywhere/everywhen and fix it into one place and time. In the Australian Aborigine culture all time is the everywhen, for all time is the present, no past, no future, only now. And this idea is not limited to the native Australians for some physicists time is believed to be an abstraction, it’s not real. All that’s real is in the now (shades of Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now”).

The every when and where can be likened to a fractal image where every portion of the image reflects the total ad infinitem. Everything is in the one image–nothing of the whole is outside the parts, e.g. everything is recursive in that it repeats itself indefinitely, kind of like a recurring dream.

For those who have meditated and entered that state where all thoughts have ceased, time seems to stand still and space becomes infinite. It is only when we try to think about the experience do we collapse the super-positional everywhere/everywhen quality of it into an object locked in time and space.

We can have a memory of an experience, but it’s nearly impossible to live in the experience without putting a box around it e.g. by trying to understand it and categorize it. But even the memory of the experience is further polluted every time we bring the memory down from the bookshelf of our library of experiences and open its pages for review. For every time we look at a memory, who we are at that moment changes the memory. Because we grow, because we change the filters through which we observe our memories this also changes and effects not only the quality, but the substance of the memory. This change in ourselves is then projected onto whatever we observe and alters our experience of the reality.

Reconciliation, for some the process of becoming whole, of including differences and accepting diversity, is on-going and never remaining still, always a moving target. But every experience changes us, noticed or not. We are never the same person from moment to moment. What we are changed into then affects how we experience our past and our present. That is another reason the experience cannot be held on to because that which is holding on is not the same as when the experience was, well…experienced.

The whole idea of superpositionality, time and experience is dealt with in the book The Dragon’s Treasure: A Dreamer’s Guide to Inner Discovery .

Venturing out from the past

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For those of you who crave returning to the past i.e. the way it was, get over it!

I’ll tell you a secret: It never was the way it was!

Life, time moves in one direction only and while living it only exists in the present. The past only exists in memory and that has been polluted with all your projections, feelings, judgments, biases, wishes, desires, beliefs, personality traits and socio-cultural constraints. The future hasn’t happened yet and is colored by the same attributes that color the past. What you’re left with is the here and now.

Life flows. Life keeps coming at us with all its chaotic variety. Get out of the way and flow with it, act not as a barrier by “damning” the flow i.e. to judge it an improper flow. Help it to flow. Life requires evolution, we are either evolving or we are dead, devolution or standing still are often just other words for death.

Take from the past what works, but only if it continues to work. To dam up the process with what no longer works only because you liked it better when it did causes turbulence until the waters break free and cascade jubilantly, chaotically once again down stream. Be nostalgic, the soul loves the good in what was, also learn from it so as to better the present, but in the end … let it go!

Be like Thoreau and walk into the forest every day as though you’ve never been there before and let life pour into you newly. Live in the world but don’t forget your companion. Let the emptiness in your heart stir in you an old friend who was with you before you came, is with you now, and will go with you when you leave. Awaken to who you really are, not who you’re afraid you are, or wish you were but who you really are. Let go of all those branches and debris that collects along the shores of the river’s flow and venture out into the unknown. There’s where true freedom lies.

Our emotions have colors

 

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To the left is a gift created by my  teenage granddaughter for my birthday.

Dark strings of twisted gray fear, aimless light blue swirls of sadness growing darker into the deep, red hot blobs of oily anger, and the sparkling pink cotton of happiness these are the containers of “bottled emotions” a potpourri of the feelings of not just adolescence, but of us all at any age.

Our emotions can be painful whether they reflect the pangs of love, the searing pain of anger and loss or the heavy blanket of depression. Is it any wonder that we tend to shove them back into the darkness of our unconscious when they conspire to overwhelm us?

But they never stay down there, they’re never fully hidden or forgotten, never quite out of sight or out of mind and hovering just below the surface of our consciousness ready to wash over us like a tidal wave and drag us out to sea and into the deep chaos of our unconscious selves.

Un dealt with these creatures of the lower world control our actions in the upper world. Our relationship with them colors our reality in a kaleidoscope of ways effectively blinding us to what is all around us and informing our existence in ways we seem to have no control of. And yet, we have control when we don’t manhandle and stuff them below consciousness.

We are very much in control when we allow them to be by not resisting them. We can have anger without becoming our anger, feel sad without being our sadness and express our love expansively and creatively without reservation or trepidation of losing it in the next moment. It’s simple really i.e. being what we are when we are being what we are– no judgment, nor critique, no should or ought projected onto what we’re being.

Try quieting the “little judger”, the voice in your head that’s always tempering your moments. “Be here now” said Ram Dass i.e. be what you’re being when you’re being it. This is how YOU run the show.