The Self as we know ourselves consists of an idea of who we are. This idea of who we are is not who we are, at least it is not the entirety of who we are. The soul of humankind is well hidden, as if eclipsed by the Ego. Although it is present at all times, it if far easier to see the idea of ourselves which we have invented through the years than it is to see the spirit that connects us with all other sentient beings.
The idea that we are alone is an idea that stems from the Ego. It comes into belief because as we grow to experience the world we perceive, wrongly that we are separate from all else that we see. This feeling of separation appears to be the reality of the human condition; but in fact it is a rather elaborate distortion that clamps onto our consciousness and prevents us from seeing the most elaborate miracle of life–that we are all connected in a oneness, that we are all a member of the stuff that the universe is made of. We are not separate, we are not only witnesses to the universe, we are the universe.
This idea that we are one with the universe does not reconcile with the idea of the ego that it is a separate condition and as such must protect itself from connections with other sentient beings. In fact this separation is the source of fear.
In this essay i would like to demonstrate that the closer we become to the nature of our spirit, the less we need the ambitions of the ego. By not needing the ambitions of the ego we become free to experience the wonders of the universe from within rather experiencing the world as if it was entirely outside of us.
This slight shift in perception organizes our minds in such a manner that what is seen is experienced as part of the oneness of the universe. The need for fear is lessened and the condition of the spirit takes over where the self-creation of our ego was previously in total control.
It may seem strange to some readers that the act of writing which is a product of the ego can lend itself to accessing the soul or the spirit hidden in the shadow of the ego. But writing being just another form of thought production has the capacity to view the internal spirit as well as the external world. In part this is the case because writing can become an automatic condition. Some writers have declared that their writing has come to them in the form of a dictation. They might say that it feels as if the words were be dictated and the hand is simply taking dictation.
In this form of automatic writing, the ego has little to do with what is being produced. As such the material that that emits from the process is one in which the ego has had little or no contact with its content. When writers speak of this kind of automatic writing they frequently consider that an entity outside of them is communicating. I do not agree with this perception.
The dictation comes from within as if it were coming from the ego, but the source of the dictation is from spirit not from ego. At first it may seem to the writer that the words are not so different than when writing from the ego, but in time a subtle difference occurs and the language become more precise, the words are less deliberate and the product can seem to the author as if it were written by someone else. In fact in rereading what is written, it can feel to the author as if he were reading this for the first time. The uncanny feeling of thinking that the material has come from another source can be one of the first indications that this kind of automatic writing is taking place and that the ego has been temporarily displaced.
In these situation there appears to be no censor. There is no judgement taking place that demands of the author that he/she change anything. Instead the words keep coming and the pages fill themselves up with words and phrases that eventually concludes in a finished product that is unrecognizable to the ego, but nonetheless feels very familiar.
In this way, writing can act as a bridge to the spirit, to that knowledge that is built into the very fabric of being. There is no need to attempt to do away with the ego as if it were a bad energy. The ego has its place in our individual worlds and is the source of important human dimensions such as language. The ego because of its central place in our psyche maintains a default position. In other words we do not need to deliberately invite in the ego. It is there as a consequence of our birth and our DNA.
The spirit on the other hand, can only become visible to us when we intentionally invite it in. Consider the Spirit as that which function between you and another sentient being, be that another human, an angel, a god or your dog or cat. The Spirit is the dynamic that exist between you and the other. It is invisible tissue in the same way that a thought has no matter and a feeling has no matter, but we nonetheless experience thoughts because there is “spirit” that connects that thought to you in some permanent manner.
Professor Freud, among his multitude of articles in his 23 volume opus, wrote a piece about a man’s delusion that became attached to a statue in Pompey. Freud follows the protagonist through his internally tortured delusion until he meets a woman while obsessively visiting Pompey.
The article shows Freud’s versatility, in as much as the piece is really a critique of a piece of literature. He follows the protagonist, Norman Rhienhold, in much the same way that he would analyze a patient. Psychoanalysis as an applied theory has frequently been used in the study of literature.
The watercolor that accompanies this post came from my unconscious. It was not until it was done that I recognized the man in the park looking at the statue was Norman from the short story of Gradiva.
We are not always ready for a sea change. We are not always ready to embrace and allow progressive thinking. We tend to want to hang on to our ideas as if the were precious. Sometimes we hang onto our ideals with the same tenacity that we use to hang on to a person,or things, or a drug.
Life has a way of presenting itself in such a manner that we believe that the act that just happened in front of me is the cause for my emotion. That simply is not the case. All kind of terrible events happen to us or in front of our eyes. But our reaction to these random events do not cause us to have an emotion. Our emotion colors how we see the act or how we perceive the person in front of us.
The more powerful our reaction is to an event gives that event its significance its meaning and it value in our lives.
I have experienced several se-changes in my life. I want to say a few words about the most recent which is still resonating with me today.
When Francis was elected to the thrown in Rome, I had a violent, somewhat vicious and totally uninformed reaction to him. One more pompous man dressed in a white dress, covered in gold lame, accessorized in crimson red and wearing Prada shoes…parading around dispensing judgements that were in fact condemnations to hell.
I have to apologize to Francis. My partner was very stern when he told me I was spouting out language that had no bearing on the man himself. I was prepared to condemn him as I has felt condemned by the church.
I was wrong, or at least I now have hope that perhaps I was wrong. His tone and his peace manner imparted in me a serenity and formed a cavern in my heart that left room for reconciliation, forgiveness. I watched with tears as this humble man moved a high liturgy from inside the basilica, adorned in ancient marble and gold and paintings by Michelangelo, to a juvenile detention center in Rome where he proceeded to wash the feet of 12 inmates instead of washing the feet of twelve old Cardinals.
I listened in disbelief when he made poverty into a global issue that we in all nations needed to come to a better understanding of. I read his encyclicals where he instructed his bishops and priests to support civil unions for Gay couples, advocating that we be afforded all the rights and legalities that belong to marriage. He asked that we might keep the sacrament of marriage as unique to the partnership between man and woman, because it was a venerable tradition.
My decades of resentment toward the Catholic church has created a cold spot in my heart, one that I was no longer aware of. But when Francis with his insistence on peace and poverty and humility entered into my consciousness, I had an immediate desire to emulate that humble nature that smiled out of what looked like a man very much at peace with himself….
Who knows, he might be exactly what the world needs at this point in time….I have no need to forgive the church for the insanities of the Spanish inquisition, nor can I forgive yet the insane position that condoms would increase the spread of AIDS.
This one had a very ominous beginning. It was a mis-conception, a birth unwanted and unplanned that yielded a happy accident of colors, shapes and by some fluke of nature looks like a statue of liberty.
Its very birth is an indication of liberty. it says that anything goes, we can think outside the box, we can live with no agenda and we can allow the universe to show itself to us in any manner that it chooses. Art emerges from a creative impulse. Each artist renders his/her own manner of treating the theme of liberty. Some are tight, small squiggles that become a section of a pen & ink rendering that may have taken hours or days to execute. Others are slow, meandering creatures that move from one task to another the way a turtle finds its way back to the sea. Others yet, proclaim their right to nude, pornographic images depicting scenes from a random bed-room one among many that constitutes the red light district of towns that tolerate such activity.
Every, every thing that we encounter is either an opportunity to externalize or an opportunity to scrutinize. The inward
looking for answers is nowhere as natural as our human tendency to look out-ward for the source of the conflict. Getting
to believe that every conflict is a conflict within is not an easy task and it requires vigilance and persistence as well as surrounding
ourselves with people who want to be on the same spiritual path….
The path is one in which we believe ourselves to be the source of all perception, in other words, the maker, the creator of our realities.
We are a herding animal. We do best in groups, loosely formed groups that help us to make corrections in our perceptions. Although
it may feel initially easier to want to believe that the source of our pain lies in somebody else’s drama, it really always lies in our
response to the drama that we see in the world…
Every inter-reaction that we encounter comes from a place within that is trying to make sen …
Woman in Pain:
This pen & ink with a watercolor wash depicts a woman in deep pain looking out into a world that looks as painful as the world she lives within. She is both angry and sad, but her appetite for vitality is seen in her eyes–they are deep and dark and attentive. The original is a 16 x 20 painting on Bristol paper.
Once painted, the image was imported into Topaz and rendered in simplify, a plug in for i photo.
you have to be kidding me–i just shed my winter coat and now you bring me here…..