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.