Blog 46 – Earth’s Dreaming: The Higher Earth

(First of the Seven Sisters — Morro Bay, California)

Earth’s Dreaming: The Higher Earth

These writings concerning America, the Original People, and Earth, now continue to unfold more toward Earth-Presence — for the great mysteries of the Original People definitely concern their being as the ongoing uniting with Earth. However, the way we presently experience Earth is much more earth than Earth. I fear, because of my inadequacies, that whenever these writings speak of Earth, it is heard quite literally as what is before and all around us and beneath our feet, the place on which we live. But, this is what I mean by “earth”, a kind of narrowed and formed experience of the presence of unformed but highly alive Earth. Earth is not imprisoned earth, and earth is the view from our imprisonment.

Satprem, the author of “Mother or Mutation of Death”, provides a detailed and profoundly moving reflection on the work of Mother, the partner of Sri Aurobindo. Aurobindo had developed the imagination of the ‘Supramental’ – that is, what is “beyond” the mental, and the Mother, from within matter, where she finally arrived after many, many years of excruciatingly painful/joyful meditative experimentation, found the Reality. She did this by diving down into the cells of the body, discovering that Body is Matter is Spirit is Love is Earth.

There is no place of “viewpoint” there, nothing “transcendent” or, we might say it is all-transcendent there, becoming the cells. Free of conceptualizing and thus also in a suspension of language, Mother later found very, very few words to even approach saying what happened. She spoke of matter as far “denser” and “harder” than the earth we know — like a diamond, she said, but it is also malleable, plastic, everywhere at once, and there is no longer a within/without; it is pure freedom from the ‘prison’ of the “crust” of the dying-away body that surrounds the true fluidity and plasticity of the cells, the core of bodily being and where earth ceases and Earth begins.

The true body and Earth can be imagined as somewhat like a tree, whose center of sap is movable, the very matter of the tree, while, that malleability becomes the dying bark of a world and of an earth that does not yet know Her true being as Earth, though certainly lives it deep within. We take the ‘bark’ of the body as body, and even insert that way of thinking into the very Life of body, unable to see that our dead thinking has transformed Life into something dead. When, for example, body cells are looked at under the microscope. Here, an unconscious and profound contradiction take place: we see something living being treated as an “object over there” to be observed, not unlike we treat Earth as earth, an object over there to inspire us, to be used by us without offering the needed return of reverence. Matter is all-giving.

Bringing Mother to our conversing perhaps helps to open a beginning imagining and experiencing Earth as She truly exists as a spiritual being rather than our concepts of earth as if separate from anything of spirit.

Matter understood by physics, the study of the physical realm, and a word which means ‘being born’, clearly misses the mark by misusing the word and hearing it as “already here, done and finished”, ready now for our probing. We probe by installing a theory of matter that substitutes explanation for immediacy and intimacy. This substitute for presence with the mystery of matter results in the destructiveness of the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, the supercollider, and quantum theory, Chernoble, Fukushima, further removing us from Earth.

Then, another, more available imagination of the true. Satprem, almost in passing, speaks of the “Higher Earth.” What could he be alluding to? Something like Earth reaching for the Heavens, as the Heavens reach toward Earth, the very essence of the act of Divine Desire, both, out of which ongoing creating happens always. This way of speaking is “mythical” description in the true meaning of Myth as “something that never happened but is always happening” – and thus we can perhaps begin, not to utter about Earth, but hear Her speaking. Here, then is another imagination of Earth as always receptively creating.

Ongoing creating expresses as Earth’s dreaming – an imagination of what happens in the mythical embrace of Heaven with Earth and Earth with Heaven, perhaps even something like the Divine kiss where the two Unite in dreaming.

Here is an instance of being bodily present and noticing such a dreaming embrace always happening. A couple of days ago, I drove with a friend from Atascadero, California, over to Morro Bay, about a thirty-five-minute drive. Almost the moment we left the place of Earth’s dream we were unknowingly with, the dream where the place of Atascadero now stands, the presence of The Silence, became tangible, an actual substance, thick, permeable, mobile, immediately bodily sensed, and only then coming to recognition. If the recognition can be held off, the immediate body-sensing expands and expands, something like a spiraling sphere, not straight-lined. We shall have to begin speaking of ‘the body’, rather than ‘my body’ – and, not as a concept. Have you ever experienced, even for a second, noticing you as body, without the interference of “my”? The enfolding Silence quietly here, permeated, surrounded and embraced body.

We had not crossed into some new territory, there was no boundary. Rather, it is more like suddenly folding into and being enfolded by a different creating of Earth’s dream than the dream we were not conscious within when in Atascadero, a different dream place than here. This dream of Earth as thick, heart-opening Silence lasted all the way to the ocean.

Right at the shore, there is a huge, huge, huge stone – said to be the “plug” of an ancient volcano. One side of the stone sinks into the water’s deep waves of rhythmic back and forth, one-two, one-two, one-two musical movement. The Silence, the rhythmic unheard vibrations of the waves, the totality of the ocean, could be felt as vibrating as Silence through the stone, creating the continuance of the whole of the ocean, tangibly, for that distance where first felt and intangibly forever on. To speak of this presence as a stone, however, bespeaks a forgetfulness of what was said above. To look at the ‘rock’ ‘over there’, is not unlike objectifying the cells of the body under the microscope. The mind conceptualizes ‘stone’, but the heart bodily resonances the Silence.

The volcanic “plug” as it is geologically named, the very core of the ancient volcano, is not unlike the flow of the sap at the core of the tree spoken of earlier. Not having developed the capacities to enter matter as Earth dreaming, the subtle trailing of this dream-place nonetheless spread palpably and infinitely as the rhythmic Silence dream occurring, as if, matter, here, all Ocean water-rhythm and volcano makes the vast dream of this Silence, a dream space that can be felt until another Earth dream enfolds us.

We are folding into and out of Earth dreaming all the time. All of Nature is Earth’s multiple, really infinite, dreaming. Dreaming here does not indicate something downward and unconscious as we take dreams to be, upon which Jung establishes a whole interpretive discipline. Earth dreaming is her ever-emerging Beauty, creating landscapes, seas mountains plains, lakes, nature, plants, creatures. To attack one of them attacks them all in a murderous act focused on some pathological hatred of Earth. To be with them, even to carefully take something needed in reverence and returning a heart-prayer – then, this taking becomes a taking-in, an inexplicable sharing of Her dreaming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 45 – Earth Receptivity

 

Earth Receptivity

I apologize for the span of time between this entry and the last one. The person who set up my website ran into major difficulties which shut down the site for a number of days. That is not the only reason, however. I now find that I cannot write until something to write begins to appear. If it does not, going over things I’ve written before doesn’t work very well unless they are fully re-imagined. Some of the delay occurred because an inner shift is occurring that I could not immediately relate to this work, and I had to wait until the connections could be felt.

The last entry offered a contemplative Spiritual-Earth practice of making a connection with the Ancestors – a way of opening to the power of receptivity, according to these times and our circumstances, something like the Original People do in connecting with the Ancestors through the Sweat Lodge. Note the word LIKE, not AS.

The practice opens up the very tangible and palpable sensing of being surrounded, particularly in the region from the head to the heart, by presences of Light. The experience is immediate and bodily. We sense, though it is a subtle sensing, the presence of the community of the Ancestors – and their concern for the Earth and the world. Over time, this awareness deepens and develops…and another unfolding will announce itself.

As with all “spiritual” practices – practice does not mean – do something until you ‘master’ it. And, it certainly does not mean “sample” and then on to the next thing. Nor is it a “mental” exercise. The practice takes you into the body, right from the start, with the kind of breathing indicated. Then, the senses are relaxed and experienced as the “inner side” of the body as it is constantly being created, rather than the “concept-body” that we know about, the knowing- about that now counts as the truth of being bodily, which it is not.

“Practices” in spiritual psychology – and in particular those concerned with awakening to the Spiritual-Earth, involve and develop the capacity of “concentration without effort”, to paraphrase Valentin Tomberg, the author of Meditations on the Tarot. It is a practice of noticing within radical receptivity.

Because we are working within the Way of Wisdom, rather than any typical spiritual “Way”, and Wisdom is already fully present, it is a matter of receiving what is already present. Wisdom, though, cannot be experienced within our usual modes of daily consciousness, so we are entering a different mode of consciousness with practices like the one offered in the last entry.

When, for example, a pottery bowl is made, the Original people find exactly the right place where the living clay is present; they ask the clay for permission to make the bowl, and the actual making of the bowl is a very refined receptivity. The bowl particularizes the receptivity of Earth – in multiple images with multiple pots, and happens, comes into physical/soul existence, through the receptivity of the human body of Earth, engaged in a creative act of receptivity. We know nothing of receptivity because the mind puts it immediately into the category of the opposite of activity. And the body, too, is understood as teeming with the activity of life, and we miss the primordial receptivity of the human body.

Here, with the so-called physical body, we feel the resonance of the greatest mystery of all – what is matter? Physics gives us a theory of matter, one that removes us from Her presence. The Original people lived matter-as-spirit-as-love. It was not a perfect existence, but it was living within the Wholeness of Earth and the depths of the body, right down into the cells of the body. It is so simple it comes close to not being able to understand. It can be felt.

A little excursion into matter-as spirit-as love.

One person who felt and lived, exquisitely so, what is spoken above was called Mother (Mirra Alfassa), the partner of Sri Aurobindo, and these two people were perhaps the two most significant “mystics” in modern India. For many, many years she engaged in a meditation of diving deep into the body – ever deeper, as deep as the level of the cells. And she got there – within the very substance of the cells. It took a lot –– releasing the many cultural and civilizational forms of religion that live within every soul, all of which separate matter from spirit. Then, she also had to experience, by simply noticing, deep within the cells of the body, and just through this noticing, release any illnesses. She found that illnesses, even the slightest ones, were the ‘non-love’ within the body keeping the body from revealing itself as spirit. And, they disappeared, just by cellular noticing. She also had to release any “traumas” that imprinted in the body. This work took years and years – just to get to the point of going into the cells, and the last five years of her life were devoted to discovering the “new species of human being”.

Further, as this was done, because she had gone beyond any sense of individualism, she was not ‘observing the cells from some ‘higher’ consciousness. That is, her meditative work was wholly and completely the fullness of receptivity.

The experience was excruciatingly simultaneously painful and joyful. We might think of it as a kind of receptive crucifixion. A feminine crucifixion. She did not think of it this way, so know that this is just a way of trying to imagine what she experienced.  

Briefly, what she discovered – well, it could hardly be called “nirvana”. As she went deeper into the body, this, “her” body, was inseparable from other bodies, so she also took on their ailments, fears, diseases. And, when deeply in the body there was no separation between her body and the Earth and what was going on anywhere on earth. The Mother discovering The Mother. Mother Earth. Of the experience of being within the cells she says:

Ah, this was very interesting! It was very interesting because I could see it all change. Something would happen to somebody and it would all change… Each minute the attendants, those who served Mother changed, said certain things…..when the slightest thing changed in their consciousness, it would all start changing. It was sort of a perpetual consciousness, day and night…… no more barriers.

And, of Earth she says:

Yes, the world under construction, the future world under construction. … I lived in this all the time, all the time, all the time, night and day….. it (the body) lived in the soul’s perceptions – the soul’s perceptions translated into images. …… And they were physical, material images of the earth, not “visions” – the real earth. We perhaps do not know how beautiful the earth is.

From within the cells, these words, of course, are completely unavailable, and she could barely find words later, few, few words to describe the indescribable.

This excursion into the astounding meditative work of the Mother feels necessary here because you will find, when practices are recommended, that I always say that the practices must be done bodily. I don’t mean we will, or can, or should, attempt anything like what Mother was doing. But, I do not want the practices to be understood as doing something with the mind, or doing something that is “spiritual” in any of the senses we typically think of spiritual.

And, this excursion into the possible future of the embodied human being links smoothly, closely, beautifully, with the way the Original people lived/live. We must live in the question of what it was like to live with the Earth as new each moment – that, in fact, is the perhaps the most exquisite way of saying what living within the Spiritual Earth concerns. And we have to completely re-imagine so-called “tribal life”, which, by us, in our degradation, is understood as something primitive, when perhaps it means experiencing, in the immediacy of body, what others experience.

Quotations from Mother or The Mutation of Death By Satprem. The Institute of Evolutionary Research, 1976.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 44 – The Ancestors

 

The Ancestors

From Sweat Lodge to Contemplative Sweat Lodge 

Thank you, everyone, for your patience during this interim of moving from New Mexico to California.

The writing will begin now to pivot — into the doing, the art and craft and spiritual doing of the work — of living, in our time and modes of consciousness, the kind of soul life lived still by the Original people of this land. We cannot live as they lived/live. But, we do not, within present modes of awareness, participate in earth-life; rather we exist within a kind of simulacrum, a representation of living here rather than being here body, soul, spirit, and Earth.

This entry concerns how we are never here alone, and the manner in which the Original people maintain being here and “here” includes the spirits and the Ancestors.

The Ancestors –This term does not refer to our individual predecessors – mother, father, grandparents, great grandparents, all the way back. This linear way of imagining the ancestors is incorrect, or highly limited. We need to ‘peel away’ the assumption of linearity of relating – that is, the imagination that relating involves “You and Me” and its many variations, and that we are the way we are because of what happened to us in the past, due primarily to our relationship to our parents, which had to do with their parents which had to do in turn with their parents.

Because we have no relation with the ancestors-as-spirits completely embracing us, here, just waiting to be of help when approached in the proper manner, relations with our ancestors, which are understood linearly rather than spatially, are pathologized relationships.

Perhaps it is not the relationships which are pathological but rather the completely materialistic way of conceiving of relationships with those who came before us – that is, having no sense that they are here, together with ALL the ancestors, but, instead, living the conception that only their influence upon us is here.

And, perhaps, because our imaginations are so poorly formed, as are our memories, only very, difficult and very intense happenings are strong enough to be bodily remembered. If we can develop contemplative capacities, we also release narrow notions of the Ancestors.

From Sweat Lodge to Contemplative Sweat Lodge

The sweat lodge is an archetypal image of the Earth, with Sky above, Earth below (the middle realm), and the Underworld. The sweat lodge is NOT a symbolic representation of the Spiritual Earth, but rather a CONDENSATION of the spiritual earth. The ceremonies within the sweat lodge, then, become the EXPANSION OF CONSCIOUSNESS into the Wholeness of Spiritual Earth.

A sweat begins by heating stones outside the sweat lodge until they are red hot – these stones are called the grandfathers. The stones are taken inside to a prepared place in the center – a slight depression in the Earth embraced by a circle of stones; this impression in the Earth is called the grandmothers.

The stones(grandfathers) and the depression in the earth(grandmothers) are a unity (see the picture), and they unite as the smoke ascending/descending (sometimes a peace pipe is smoked). The people within the sweat lodge fan the fire and the smoke moves upwards to meet the sky(the realm of the Thunderbird) and then the Sky ( The realm of the spirits as here-present and of the stars where we came from, and the realm of the Father).

The rising and descending smoke unites the people, THE EARTH, the realm of the grandfathers and the grandmothers, – AND all the Sky presences and the Underworld presences at the place of the Spiritual-Earth, the Whole invisible interior of the Sweat Lodge. This Whole invisible realm, which surrounds us and is our fullness of experiencing Holy Earth, is the realm of the Ancestors. The ancestors are the “Sky People”, where the Original People came from – for example, sometimes mythically imagined as the Pleaides, and the dead.

Thus, relating when earth matters means the Wholeness of the Spiritual Earth and includes the invisible presences of Earth, not just “a you and a me”, and perhaps the immediate linear ancestors.

Entering the Contemplative Sweat Lodge

What was done as sensuous ritual by the Original people, something of that sort can be done contemplatively in our time. While some people do sweat lodge-like ceremonies, doing such ceremonies does not develop new capacities that are needed to live with Spiritual-Earth sensitivity and presence in this time and world. What is experienced in the sweat lodge cannot be called upon at any moment in ongoing life in the kind of world we live in, not unless one lives on the fringes and lives as best as possible, the way the Original people lived.

The Contemplation

Take a deep breath – on the out-breath when you come to what seems to be the end of the out-breath, push more air out – all that you possibly can. DO NOT TRY TO TAKE AN IN-BREATH as you will choke – not seriously, but you won’t be able to just take an in-breath. Instead, just wait and you will notice that air becomes to come in. Let it come in – there will be a point at which you will then be able to breath normally.

Do this deep breathing three times.

Comment: When air begins to come in – we are able to notice that we are being breathed – the Sweet Air enlivens us and when we notice that happens, really notice, it is a first awakening to our Sweet Nature, to Spiritual Earth, something more than us is doing the breathing; we are typically unconscious of this happening and ego consciousness ‘owns’ the breathing – as if we are breathing. Awakening to being breathed is entering Spiritual-Earth ancestor space.

After entering breathing this way three times, then, with eyes closed, begin, one by one, to relax the senses. Notice the feeling of your eyes – place your attention behind the eyes and you will notice relaxing occurring – and you will notice that “seeing” can be felt within the whole of the “inner” darkness. The felt experience of seeing now occurs throughout the inner space, as if everywhere.

Then do this with hearing. Relax your hearing by relaxing hearing-attention, as if “deep within the inner ears” rather than hearing being centered at sound coming into the ears.

Then relax the sense of touch by noticing one place of touch such as the surface of the hands/fingers and letting that relax and the sense of touch is still felt, now all through the inner space you are within. Stay within this ‘inner’ space for a while. (There are actually twelve senses and each can be relaxed in this manner.)

When sensing is  experienced in this manner, we are within the presence of the spirit-beings of the senses – who are, every moment, creating our senses AS the manner in which the Whole of the spiritual worlds is expressed as the sensible Earth.

Then, we are going to go deeper into this soul-sensory space, by going into The Silence. We do this by pouring attention into this soul-sensory place we are within in the relaxing of the senses. Pour your whole attention, every bit of it, into the place of relaxed sensing with a kind of force of bodily will.

It is as if a wave of the great Silence washes over the soul-sensory place and permeates it completely. This soul-sensory space expands to the intimate soul-sensory place of The Silence, intimate without being my “me”. Notice now the difference in the qualities of where you are now within, the qualities of The Silence. (Notice, I speak of “The Silence” – for this is a living presence, the Living Being of pure RECEPTIVITY, the Being of Earth.)

Then, we are going to go into the Force, the creating-Force that the spiritual presences of the senses are themselves ‘constructed’ of – the Force of Love.

We do this by, from within the great Silence of the creating soul-sensory place, gesturing with our lips, silently, the word “Heart”. What happens: another wave of velvety darkness that is alive, washes over and within the great Silence-sensory-space and we feel completely INTIMATELY within this Infinite space of unity of “Father Sky and Mother Earth” AND there is the sense of this space as inhabited  There are probably not particular visual images of WHO the beings creating this space  ARE — they are THE ANCESTORS. Their presence is felt, centered in the radiating heart.

The contemplation is now finished. Now go outside for a short walk and notice that you feel completely embraced by the space around you – it is particularly strong in the region from the head to the heart. The ANCESTORS ARE ALWAYS WITH AND WITHIN EARTH AND WITH AND WITHIN US. It is as if they are all around us – the space around us feels as if filled with radiating lights.

We are never alone. The Ancestors are the source for living in the world differently, as the ‘spacious-here’. They are the source of change in the world.