Denis Fitzpatrick

This conversation is closed.

We act while awake as we do in a dream: we invent and fabricate the person with whom we associate: then we immediately forget this fact !

__________________________________________ ~ Nietzsche

Any thoughts....?

... and not so much w.r.t. Nietzsche, but with respect to how we communicate with friends, family, and everyone we meet on a daily basis, both on and off-line !

... and please note, to those of you who have read or contributed to the Facts and Symbols conversation, I hope to keep my commentary to a minimum this time !

..."Promise" is a word "I need to let go of."

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    Nov 29 2011: Denis, is it that you clarify how we approach another person by producing the image of that person and start to interact with that image? If someone breaks through with an unsuspected act we can be shocked.

    Our whole perception is built like you make an animation. Every new picture isn’t drawn anew but only the part that’s moving or changing. In our day to day life, if we aren’t attentive we miss a lot.

    The mind is like a painter that is constantly adding the details onto his canvas without distorting the picture. In life we share the same dream as at night we have our own. There are many levels of dreaming and the human dream reflects in the mind.

    The mind is the place we hold things, it’s our canvas. It is born out of language and the source of time. With it we control our own memory while the universe has its own for everything in it leaves its trace to reshape it anew.

    Is it this you had in mind?
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      Nov 29 2011: Frans...

      Your insights are wonderful, and I love the metaphor of the Imagination being a painter !
      And of course, the Intellect would be a Cartographer !

      And the animation metaphor ... Wow!

      We do not need to forget the fact that both the interpretation AND the reality of the Other, are a work in progress !

      And as you say... if we are not attentive, we miss alot. We start to relate to our own projected image of the Other, and then of course, we will be shocked !

      And every Image of the Other, both conceals and reveals... !

      Do we ever truly KNOW the Other ?

      Even the deepest Love is alive to the mystery of each other !

      "The mind is the place we hold things, it’s our canvas. It is born out of language and the source of time. With it we control our own memory while the universe has its own for everything in it leaves its trace to reshape it anew."

      What a wonderful thought !

      Symbolically speaking, do you mean that everything lives in the Imagination of God ... nothing is lost !

      Thank you Frans ... but please help me with your last thought...k?
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        Nov 30 2011: “Do we ever truly KNOW the Other ?”

        We know the other as we know ourselves. In the other we can discover more of ourselves and see the otherness as yet another expression of our innermost being. For nothing is outside that one being, ever changing its appearance from which I can only see what reflects me.

        Love indeed is the attraction towards the missing parts of our wholeness.

        God or whatever name to depict that ideal of wholeness holds any image ever constituted by the constellation of its parts. The fascination that ties consciousness to the movement of outer appearances keeps us afloat like a ship on a stream. If we shipwreck and sink into the depth of that conscious stream nothing is hidden and we see ourselves moment by moment and from every perspective, from the dawn of the ages until now and beyond.

        From our thoughts we act and from our actions we shape the world layer onto layer into a field of experience that allows us to know our true selves and in it rediscover love for if we have forgotten it this world will reflect all harshness necessary until we open our heart and start to feel again.

        Hi Denis, I hope this will do for an answer.
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          Nov 30 2011: .
          “We know the other as we know ourselves. In the other we can discover more of ourselves and see the otherness as yet another expression of our innermost being. For nothing is outside that one being, ever changing its appearance from which I can only see what reflects me.”

          I could not agree more...and this is the field that Rumi knew so well, where all sense of self and other disappears, and what remains is Who we are!

          “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
          there is a field. I'll meet you there.

          When the soul lies down in that grass,
          the world is too full to talk about.
          Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
          doesn't make any sense.”

          There is an expression in English, that when two lovers truly meet... they “complete” each other... and this is about as far from co-dependence as is humanly possible!


          “The fascination that ties consciousness to the movement of outer appearances keeps us afloat like a ship on a stream. If we shipwreck and sink into the depth of that conscious stream nothing is hidden and we see ourselves moment by moment and from every perspective, from the dawn of the ages until now and beyond.”

          Yes!!! What seems to be the greatest tragedy, becomes the greatest joy! There never was a separate ship!

          To switch metaphors slightly :

          In the West, the predominant path has been to attain to this unity through merger - as if a wave could become one with the Ocean!

          In the East, it was through immersion, identification - the wave seeks to know itself, as the Ocean!

          But what is already the case cannot be attained...only realized !

          So there is a sense in which every spiritual path is designed to exhaust the “ego” (the feeling of being a separate “self”), in that such paths frustrate every attempt to attain to the Oneness, or whatever other almighty Symbol we use!

          The eye tries to see itSelf...
          The finger tip, to touch itSelf...
          The consciousness, expand itSelf...

          until it Sees what its doing to itSelf!

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          Dec 1 2011: Wow, what an astounding dialogue you two have created....

          Frans, thank you for your beautiful responses. Denis, thank you for another good question.

          I can't help but wonder if Frans is in his sweetspot here. Frans, is this where you live?
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          Dec 1 2011: Frans...

          Just ignore her... she is Trouble !
        • Dec 1 2011: "We know the other as we know ourselves. In the other we can discover more of ourselves and see the otherness as yet another expression of our innermost being. For nothing is outside that one being, ever changing its appearance from which I can only see what reflects me."

          Beautiful ! I think I've heard it before :

          ...Nothing in that abyss is alien to you
          Sleep at the tree's root, where night is spun
          into the stuff of words...

          Frans, thank you !
        • Dec 1 2011: Denis ! Wonderful insight !

          "until it Sees what its doing to itSelf!"

          To be insight of this understanding, one must experience a kind of shift in perspective, let's call it a "paradigm shift" or evolve to "cosmic consciousness"/I haven't read the book yet, I am still Alice :) /
          If you tried to insult a person who had made this kind of transition completely, you would see in his eyes not the protective reflex of indignant ego - 'How do you dare do this to me!' -but the reflected face of understanding; ' Why are you doing this to yourself ?'
          I am far from this place and and maybe never will be there, but not far from now I've started to understand what it is about.
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          Dec 1 2011: Thanks Natasha !

          And I am glad you are enjoying the Merton clip... he was also a good friend of the Zen writer D.T Suzuki, whose works have helped me immensely in my paradigm shift.

          But tell me... where did you find these gorgeous words :

          ...Nothing in that abyss is alien to you
          Sleep at the tree's root, where night is spun
          into the stuff of words...

          Some writers truly have the Gift !

          And as to the Cosmic Consciousness book ... I came across it in my twenties when I was deperately seeking a way out of my personal hell.

          We see in individuals such as those described in that book, a different way of Being, beyond the forms of egoism that developed within each of us.

          Hafez put it this way:

          When I first began to love God
          I thought I had fallen into the ocean
          but was only on the beach.

          Then I entered the water
          and was thrown back on shore
          and then washed again into the waves.

          why did I want this love ?

          And what's with this back and forth ?
        • Dec 1 2011: But tell me... where did you find these gorgeous words :

          ...Nothing in that abyss is alien to you
          Sleep at the tree's root, where night is spun
          into the stuff of words...

          Denis, you can find much more..
          Kathleen Raine
          "As you leave Eden behind you , remember your home,
          for as you remember back into your own being
          you will not be alone; ....'

          She was the first from whom I've heard " Eden is not a place, but state "
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          Dec 2 2011: Ah Natasha ... WOW !

          Thank you for this... she is British right ? I heard of her a few years ago, but did not look into her work at the time.

          I am so happy to know that there are writers out there keeping these Mythological images alive !

          I guess I know what I will be doing tonight !
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          Dec 2 2011: ( 1 of 2 ) from Kathleen Raine :

          Message from Home

          Do you remember, when you were first a child,
          Nothing in the world seemed
          strange to you?
          You perceived, for the first time, shapes already familiar,
          And seeing,
          you knew that you have always known
          The lichen on the rock, fern-leaves, the flowers of thyme,
          As if the elements newly met in your body,
          Caught up into the momentary vortex of your living
          Still kept the knowledge
          of a former state,
          In you retained recollection of cloud and ocean,
          The branching tree,
          the dancing flame.

          Now when nature’s darkness seems strange to you,
          And you walk, an alien, in the streets of cities,
          Remember earth breathed you into her with the air, with the sun’s rays,
          Laid you in her waters asleep, to dream
          With the brown trout among the milfoil roots,
          From substance of star and ocean fashioned you,
          At the same source conceived you
          As sun and foliage, fish and stream
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          Dec 2 2011: (2 of 2) from Kathleen Raine

          Of all created things the source is one,
          Simple, single as love; remember
          The cell and seed of life, the sphere
          That is, of child, white bird, and small blue dragon-fly
          Green fern, and the gold four-petalled tormentilla
          The ultimate memory.
          Each latent cell puts out a future,
          Unfolds its differing complexity.
          As a tree puts forth leaves, and spins a fate
          Fern-traced, bird-feathered,
          or fish-scaled.
          Moss spreads its green film on the moist peat,
          The germ of dragon-fly pulses into animation and takes wing
          As the water-lily from the mud ascends on its ropy stem
          To open a sweet white calyx to the sky.
          Man, with farther to travel from his simplicity,
          From the archaic moss, fish, and lily parts,
          And into exile travels his long way.

          As you leave Eden behind you, remember your home,
          For as you remember back
          into your own being
          You will not be alone; the first to greet you
          Will be those children playing by the burn,
          The otters will swim up to you in the bay,
          The wild deer on the moor will run beside you.
          Recollect more deeply, and
          the birds will come,
          Fish rise to meet you in their silver shoals,
          And darker, stranger, more mysterious lives
          Will throng about you at the
          Where the tree’s deepest roots drink from the abyss.
          Nothing in that abyss is alien to you.
          Sleep at the tree’s root, where the night is spun
          Into the stuff of worlds, listen to the winds,
          The tides, and the night’s harmonies, and know
          All that you knew before you began to forget,
          Before you became estranged
          from your own being,
          Before you had too long parted from those other
          More simple children, who
          have stayed at home
          In meadow and island and forest, in sea and river.
          Earth sends a mother’s
          love after her exiled son,
          Entrusting her message to the light and the air,
          The wind and waves that carry your ship, the rain that falls,
          The birds that call to you, and all the shoals
          That swim in the natal waters of her ocean.
        • Dec 2 2011: Hi! Denis,
          Thank you for Kathleen Raine poems !
          Isn't it the very quintessence of all our conversations ?!
          Poetry taps directly into our intuitive self and we recognize, re-cognize, start to know again what we've always known.
          Why are there always two images we can relate to, in understanding who we are : 'ocean' and 'wave' ?
          What do you think ?
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          Dec 2 2011: Wow...great question !

          I've never really considered it before... but you are so insightful ... there are often two images operating simultaineously !

          Here is a poem that I wrote awhile ago, and regardless of its symbolic power, I believe it illustrates your point.



          In the depths of my being
          I feel my sacred roots.

          Imagining: I am a leaf
          I am the Tree in truth.


          So perhaps it is through the juxtaposition of TWO images, in a SINGLE poem, that the reconcilliation of opposites takes place... and the subject/object duality is transcended.

          I'm just guessing...

          Here is a much better poem by Juan Ramon Jimenez in which this occurs as well!



          I have a feeling that my boat
          has struck, down there in the depths,
          against a great thing.
          And nothing
          happens! Nothing...Silence...Waves...

          --Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,
          and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?


          Wow... there's Genius at work !

          So help me understand this if you can... because now, whether I like it or not, I will be seeing it everywhere...!
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          Dec 5 2011: Thanks Frans!
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        Dec 1 2011: Denis, Linda is the best trouble you can stumble upon.


        Thanks for asking and for your kind words.
        And yes Denis is helping. I like those kind of questions, they help me to formulate my thoughts.
        Or better to say thoughts that were given, for I possess nothing that wasn't first given to me.
        • Dec 1 2011: Frans, thank you for being here ! You truly "live as you preach" !
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          Dec 1 2011: Ha !

          Frans : I've stumbled upon Linda before ... she is one of the first people I met here, and was very encouraging ! I hope you realize I was only teasing her, as she was teasing you ! That is why I capitalized the "T" in Trouble.

          I am glad you are enjoying the questions ... topics such as these are sometimes difficult to articulate... but you certainly have the Gift!

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          Dec 2 2011: Hi Frans !

          I just noticed that the word-play conversation posting has disappeared... not sure why...but I made an e-mail inquiry to the TED conversation team... and hopefully they will get back to me and let me re-post it.

          Anyway... thanks for your participation ... it looked like a good funny start to me !

          Who knows... maybe a technical error ?

          I'll let you know what happened !

          - Denis
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          Dec 17 2011: I just now saw these comments..thank you Frans. Your words hit home for me above, and I so deeply appreciated them. Your clarity on the subject caused me to ask if it's where you live...there was a congruency and depth in your words that made me wonder if it's where your passion lies.

 always make me smile. As I always say, you're a great addition to our community.
          Hope you're all enjoying the holiday season... :)
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        Dec 2 2011: Thanks Denis,
        Like Natasha I can appreciate the poem of Kathleen Raine.
        Very special for this mystery is seldom revealed.

        Mystery for most people because they, now and again feel that awe as they connect with nature but can't relate it with their own existence. For Kathleen this must have been crystal clear.

        This subject of remembrance is a virgin territory in literature, as far as I know. The closest I know of is dreamtime as the Aboriginals in Australia understand it. I’m pondering about a way to picture it in an understandable way.

        I sometimes try to bring it to the surface without any response for it is like “dark energy” invisible and unknown. On the other hand it’s most used source for stories. An example is the following comment , maybe you saw it already. Sometimes people speak about what they call the Akasha chronic but I’m not sure if they understand it much.
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          Dec 3 2011: Wow...thank you for that !

          “Mystery for most people because they, now and again feel that awe as they connect with nature but can't relate it with their own existence.”

          I grew up a stone's throw away from the Atlantic ocean, and the sense of awe has never left me.

          It was the conceptualization process that I learned in school, as well as the INTERPRETATION of symbol through religion, that created my sense of separation from the Ocean.To me, the “ego” IS this sense of separation that you and countless others, bring to the attention of the modern mind ... dominated as it is by Reason, and often to the neglect of the Imagination and Intuition.

          The Re-membrance, or the re-integration of our divided Self, in the psychological / spiritual sense, is a work in progress... despite the rampant nihilism to which so many of us succumb.

          There is a very simple, though often painful, way out of this condition in which we find ourselves as a culture.

          It is the return to Who we are ... and writing such as yours serves to beckon the reader to inwardly turn around, and venture towards the Ineffable... “in whom we live and move and have our being”... where the sense of alienation is healed... and the words “God,” “self,” and “universe” become entirely superfluous, to the joy of Being here.

          Its good to know You Frans!

          Also : I am looking into the Akasha chronicle that you mentioned above... Rudolph Steiner ... correct ? Also: Marcel Proust wrote a book entitled "Remembrance of Things Past"... but this may be a different territory... I don't know. Perhaps each "individual" is drawn to whatever Alarm Clock that is s/he unconsciously needs ?! I think it was Mark Twain who said that there is no way to convince a person who is sleeping, that they are actually sleeping ! I love what Nietzsche said " I found my where is yours?" Or Buddha's advice : "Be ye lamps onto yourselves!"... Same thing...!
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          Dec 3 2011:'s one that always rang true for me !

          Its from Antonio Machado:


          "Wanderer, your footprints
          are the only road, nothing else.

          Wanderer, there is no road;
          you make your own path as you walk.

          As you walk, you make your own road,
          and when you look back
          you see the path
          you will never walk again.

          Wanderer, there is no road;
          only a ship's wake in the sea."


          Or as Jesus said :

          "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

          ...but look how that ended up..Ha!
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        Dec 5 2011: Denis, how long can this thread be? We'll see.
        Did you see that your contributions are difficult to respond to because there's no reply button.
        For some order it may be good to start anew sometimes maybe with those beautiful poems you can produce.
        I’m a bit speechless. The way you handle language is refreshing.
        This page can already be a source for inspiration for many. More difficult is it to construct a bridge for all those that are imprisoned in their beliefs and concepts. Such jail often has just a little barred window that's too high to allow a view outside.

        In the past we’ve tried some spiritual groups to teach and guide those that were interested. They often like it, yet are not in the least capable of comprehending what it’s all about. And of course we’re all learning but the hardest lesson for me is to built that bridge. Have you experience with this issue?
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        Dec 5 2011: Maybe this is the answer.



        of what

        I would want my child to know

        my poems attempt.

        We are infants before each other, are we not,

        so vulnerable to each other's words and


        A school I sat in cured me of hurting others.

        I have come to see that all are seated at His table, and I

        have become His


        Sometimes God is too shy to speak in public

        and He pinches me.


        is my cue--

        to fill in the blanks of your


        the best I


        Rabia of Basra

        Love Poems From God
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          Dec 7 2011: from Rumi :

          It's the old rule that drunks have to argue

          and get into fights.

          The lover is just as bad:
          he falls into a hole.

          But down in that hole he finds something shining,

          worth more than any amount of money or power.

          Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street.

          I took it as a sign to start singing, 

          falling up into the bowl of sky.

          The bowl breaks.

          Everywhere is falling everywhere.

          Nothing else to do.

          Here's the new rule: break the wineglass,

          and fall toward the glassblower's breath.
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          Dec 7 2011: Frans...

          The very effort to interpret this poem, or any symbol, somehow reduces its potency to open the awareness of the reader. I have had poems, songs, and stories dwell in my heart for years before they Opened !

          Building the bridge is an act of Love ... an Intuitive engagement, without attachment to result.

          I do not have much experience in this respect, except with loved ones, nor have I affiliated with any movement, traditional or contemporary.

          A deeply personal tragedy, that brought me to the brink of complete despair, was the starting point of my quest...for which I am now deeply grateful !

          Here is a story from India, which you may already know...?

          This version of it comes via the comparitive mythologist Joseph Campbell.
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          Dec 7 2011: The Tiger and the Goats

          "The story I'd like to give is that of a tigress who was pregnant, and starving hungry. She came upon a little flock of goats. And in pouncing upon them, with the energy that she expended, she brought on the birth of her little one and her own death. So she died giving birth to a little tiger. The goats, meanwhile, had scattered, and they finally came back to their little grazing place, and they found this just-born little tiger and its dead mother. They had very strong parental instincts, and they adopted the little tiger, who grew up thinking he was a goat. He learned to bleat, he learned to eat grass, but the grass was very bad for his digestive system. He couldn't handle the cellulose. By the time he was an adolescent he was a pretty miserable specimen of his species.

          At that time a male tiger pounced on the little flock, and they again scattered. But this little fellow was a tiger, he wasn't a goat. So there he was, standing. The big fellow looked at him, And he said, "What, you living here with these goats?"

          The little tiger goes Maaaaa and begins nibbling grass in a kind of embarrassed way. The big fellow is mortified, like a father coming home and finding his son with long hair; something like that. So he swats him back and forth a couple of times because the little fellow could only bleat and nibble grass. Then he takes him by the neck and carries him to a pond. There was no wind blowing; it was perfectly still...
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          Dec 7 2011: So this little tiger is now being introduced to the principles of yoga. And the big fellow says. "Now look into that pond." And the little one puts his face over it. And for the first time in his little life he sees his actual face. The big tiger puts his face over there, and he says, "You see! You've got the face of a tiger, you're like me, Be like me!" (Now that's guru stuff. I'll give you my picture to wear and you'll know who you are.)

          Anyhow, the little tiger's beginning to sort of get the message. The big fellow's next discipline is to pick him up and take him to his den, where there are the remains of a recently slaughtered gazelle. The big fellow takes a chunk of this bloody stuff, and he says to the little one, "Open your face."

          The little one backs off. He sways, "I'm a vegetarian."

          "Well," says the big one, "none of that nonsense." And he shoves it down his throat. And the little one gags on it, as the text says, "As all do on true doctrine"
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          Dec 7 2011: So, gagging on the true doctrine, it's nevertheless getting into his system since it is his proper food, and it activates his proper nervous system. Spontaneously moved by his proper food. he gives a little tiger roar, sort of Tiger Roar 101. Then the big guy says, "There we are. Now we've got it. Now we'll eat tiger food ! "

          There's a moral here, of course, It is that we're all really tigers living here as goats. The function of sociology and most of our religious education is to teach us to be goats. But the function of mythological symbols and meditation discipline is to introduce you to your tiger face."
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          Dec 7 2011: Now Carl Jung believed, as do I, that Eastern liberation techniques are for the East... and Western techniques are for the West. This does not, however, exclude cross-fertilization, or a comparative approach to the Wisdom available.

          In fact, at the contemplative core of the various traditions, the same truths are being symbolically expressed.

          But unfortunately for us, the western mentality has become so "fact" oriented, and our religious tradition so bogged down with the INTERPRETATION of symbol and in-fighting, that the wisdom of our own spiritual path is viewed with considerable skepticism, or associated with the occult or paranormal.

          We have our own Gold mine ... and we are sat on it.

          But we want to stick to the facts...

          How few of us are willing to explore the inward depths in light of our mythology... and NO!!!!... I am not being elitist, and claiming some clandestine access to the TRUTH, or the Noumenal, or the Absolute, or (damn it !) GOD or whatever other ridiculous term we want to blaspheme the Sacred with !

          It saddens me... because we are Rich beyond our wildest dreams... but we haven't even looked at the Ticket !

          Even Freud used myth !

          But to suggest to a mainstream or Fundamentalist Christian that the most holy of stories is a myth... and a damned good one...well... not so long ago I would have been tortured and burned for having said this !

          "Christianity is a stone, rolled across the Tomb, preventing the Resurrection."

          Thank you Nietzsche... for ALL you have done for the Human spirit ... and naming the real causes of Nihilism !

          Those LIARS !
    • Dec 1 2011: "Our whole perception is built like you make an animation. Every new picture isn’t drawn anew but only the part that’s moving or changing. In our day to day life, if we aren’t attentive we miss a lot."

      Thank you , Frans ! So insightful, so true !
      What we think another person is, is only a snapshot of reality, a single time frame in a movie reel.
      Is it actually possible to be so attentive ?
      I guess i know the answer : LOVE , it encompasses all.
  • Dec 13 2011: Amidst the world’s diversities
    a Radiance
    so silently
    all that
    All sense of self and other
    of freedom
    and of fate
    dissolve inside this
    where past and future
    It's an amazing verse, Denis !
    You said that you wrote it long ago, years ago...Anything new since then ? Could you share ?
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      Dec 13 2011: Thank you Natasha !

      I appreciate that... and yeah... there's plenty more where that comes from... so I will give it some thought... and get back to you soon !

      Sorry... gotta go!
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      Dec 14 2011: Natasha...

      Here is another older piece that I thought you might enjoy.


      Almighty Entanglement

      In this one

      not between
      past and future
      but containing both

      a dynamic stillness
      of ancient originality
      of unceasing creativity

      is arising
      from itSelf
      and dissolving
      in itSelf

      in an ouroboral manner.

      Infinite patterns

      the appearance

      of separate forms
      of objects and subjects

      while within it all
      and behind it all
      and beyond it all

      for the metaphor
      does not matter :

      the uninhabited unity
      of pure Presence


      Thank You Natasha ! The title gives a wonderful context to the poem ... and I am happy to hear that you are not attached to your creativity ! The privilage is to be the Opening and the Energy !
      • Dec 15 2011: Hi, Denis !
        Thanks a lot ! Your poems are like chantings... They don't create image but convey the idea through rhythm and maybe sparkles of symbols one can relate to...
        OK, you know , it's always very personal. I like them, they talk to me.
        Thank you!
        btw, I thought that "almighty entanglement" is my own recent invention :)
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          Dec 15 2011: Yeah...

          Often my writing is much more descriptive than symbolic. In any case, I certainly wouldn't consider myself a poet... but I do enjoy the creativity involved in giving word to what I intuitively See !

          The best of my writing seems to come spontaineously and complete, which certainly did not happen with the above poem(?) ... regardless of how many times I re-worked it... well ... rhythmic abstraction is a good characterization !

          It certainly doesn't deserve such a wonderful title as “Almighty Entanglement” ... which I have removed... but I am delighted that this expression came to you ! When compared to a poetically impotent term like the “Big Bang”, I can only hope that such an expression as yours will gain circulation in the language !

          Perhaps you have some private writing that you would like to share... poetry or prose ... it doesn't matter !

          There is an English expression, translated from the Latin, which says :

          “What is this in the face of Eternity ?”

          It helps to keep me from getting too attached to particular outcomes !

          Thank you Natasha!
      • Dec 16 2011: Hi, Denis !!!
        You shouldn't remove “Almighty Entanglement” from the title, it was in its right place there !
        What can belong to me in a foreign language ? !
        I could claim " cosmic consciousness " is also my opening, because i have no idea where did I take it :)
        And speaking in general, what is actually 'mine' for all of us ? “Almighty Entanglement”...nothing belongs to you and everything is yours !
        Having no attachment to the result is very important, it is freedom, you enjoy your dance whatever... and the way you have your writings ''complete" speaks for itself. It is a moment of opening, as if someone gave the piece to you and you need only to put it down. Do you call yourself a poet or not makes a little difference...I don't have any problem with defining myself, though. I am not a poet , i am not a writer, i have a 'gift' of enjoying poetry and prose and music and ballet and painting...and life.
        The last hobby is especially time consuming :)
        Denis, thanks a lot for that beautiful piece from Rudolph Otto's book " The Idea of the Sacred " , I found it in the net and I wish I had time to read everything you gave me the links to. Some day I will !
        I am very grateful ! Sorry for not sharing... I would be glad to, but , as one Russian bard sings " ...but empty purses are falling down from my hands..."
        But I am a responsive audience, and I do love what I've read of yours,if you could share with your" more descriptive than symbolic ", something more cyclic... or anything, I'd be delighted !!!
        Thank you !!!
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          Dec 19 2011: Wow !!!! :

          "...nothing belongs to you and everything is yours ! "

          If people could only realize this... when we let go of everything...we are Rich beyond our wildest dreams!

          When you said : " The last hobby is especially time consuming " ....
          did you mean painting or life ? Ha !

          Tell me about the Creative in the art of painting... I haven't tried it since grade school ! Is it a similar the dynamic in writing or music or ballet... geez... you ARE talented !

          Talk to me... I am capable of listening, despite the length of my comments ! Ha!

          You see... for decades I forgot how to play... what a Joy it is the second time... when the "innocence of becoming" is restored !

          And when "empty purses are falling down from my hands" ... I grasp at nothing... and wait...

          It is in my willingness to be empty... to be the emptiness... the uncertainty... that creates the place of Eruption!

          I'll see what else i have that you might like !

          Good to know ya Natasha!

          ~ Denis

          I also replaced the title of that poem, [ THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!! ] and left another note at the end.
      • Dec 19 2011: Hi! Denis !!!
        I urge you to loose any hope with me, I do not create anything ! : (
        NO thing. I wrote prose and poetry long ago at my last teens, who didn't ? But the time I fell in love with Russian literature I couldn't bear the comparison, my own weak writings seemed not worthy to be born. Maybe I was not right, as somebody wise mentioned : " Everything is said , but not everybody has said it yet"
        I don't know... I do enjoy art, but I don't do art. You are right, though it sounds weird, my the most time consuming hobby is life. : )
        Usually I wake up in the morning with a feeling of anticipation of a miracle, not because I am waiting for something to happen, simply life is a miracle.
        OK, it sounds pathetic... I told you I am not a poet to put it into words. I said 'usualy' not 'always' , because bad things do happen, otherwise how could I possibly recognise this feeling ?
        I am slightly synesthetic , and have a good chance to be creative, but oops... it didn't happen. That what I meant by quote "empty purses are falling down from my hands" I can't deliver... produce... express.. materialise in writing, painting or whatever the genre, what I would like to reveal. I do have a passion though, apart from breathing :) I like to think. I want to understand, truly understand : How this world works ! I don't think it's possible, but I enjoy thinking a lot, and I have some glimpses or I think I have.:)
        Thanks for your interest ! If I disappoint you too much, I am sorry. Aha ! The conversation turned to be very fruitful, may I remind you the topic we are discussing here :
        "...we invent and fabricate the person with whom we associate..."

        It seems to be always the case :)
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          Dec 20 2011: Natasha...

          You really are an Angel... and its your nearness to G-d, not your efforts to express what you see, that defines who you are !

          And its the depth of contact with the Real, that fills your purse to overflowing.

          It is the Seeing, Listening, Tasting, Touching the simple Mystery of being-here that counts ! You could say that we ARE the creativity of the One manifesting ! And its the break through of the Radiance, transforming ordinary awareness, that makes this Life extraordinary... not the Art work... that's only an instrument, a medium, nothing more!

          When paradox speaks... you Listen... how wonderful !

          Here's one from Sengsten, the third Patriarch of Zen Boddhism :

          What is, is not.
          What is not, is.

          And here is something more...
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          Dec 20 2011: from my favourite Zen writer D.T. Suzuki :

          We cannot all be expected to be scientists, but we are so constituted by nature that we can all be artists—not, in deed, artists of special kinds, such as painters, sculptors, musicians, poets, etc., but artists of life. This profession, “artist of life,” may sound new and quite odd, but in point of fact we are all born artists of life and, not knowing it, most of us fail to be so and the result is that we make a mess of our lives, asking, “What is the meaning of life?” “Are we not facing blank nothingness?” “After living seventy-eight, or even ninety years, where do we go? Nobody knows,” etc. etc. I am told that most modern men and women are neurotic on this account. But the Zen-man can tell them that they all have forgotten that they are born artists, creative artists of life, and that as soon as they realize this fact and truth they will all be cured of neurosis or psychosis or whatever name they have for their trouble.
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          Dec 20 2011: What then is meant by being an artist of life?

          Artists of any kind, as far as we know, have to use one instrument or another to express themselves, to demonstrate their creativity in one form or another.  The sculptor has to have stone or wood or clay and the chisel or some other tools to impress his ideas on the material.  But an artist of life has no need of going out of himself.  All the material, all the implements , all the technical skill that are ordinarily required are with him from the time of his birth, perhaps even before his parents gave him birth.  This is unusual, extraordinary, you may exclaim.  But when you think about this for a while you will, I am sure, realize what I mean.  If you do not, I will be more explicit and tell you this: the body, the physical body we all have, is the material, corresponding to the painter’s canvas, the sculptor’s wood or stone or clay, the musician’s violin or flute, the singer’s vocal cords.  And everything that is attached to the body, such as the hands, the feet, the trunk of the body, the head, the viscera, the nerves, the cells, thoughts, feelings, senses—everything, indeed, that goes to make up the whole personality—is both the material on which and the instruments with which the person molds his creative genius into conduct, into behavior, into all forms of action, indeed to life itself.  To such a person his life reflects every image he creates out of his inexhaustive source of the unconscious.  To such, his every deed expresses originality, creativity, his living personality.  There is in  it no conventionality, no conformity, no inhibitory motivation.  He moves just as he pleases.  His behavior is like the wind which bloweth as it listeth.  He has no self encased in his fragmentary, limited, restrained, egocentric existence.  He is gone out of this prison. 
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          Dec 20 2011: One of the great Zen masters of the T’ang says:

          “With a man who is a master of himself wherever he may be found he behaves truly to himself.”  This man I call the true artist of life.

          His self has touched the unconscious, the source of infinite possibilities.  His is “no-mind.”  Says St. Augustine, “Love God and do what you will.”  This corresponds to the poem of Bunan, the Zen master of the seventeenth century:

          While alive
          Be a dead man,
          Thoroughly dead;
          And act as you will,
          And all is good.

          To love God is to have no self, to be of no-mind, to be “a dead man,” to be free from the constrictive motivations of consciousness.  This man’s “Good morning” has no human element of any kind of vested interest.  He is addressed and he responds.  He feels hungry and eats.  Superficially he is a natural man, coming right out of nature with no complicated ideologies of modern civilized man.  But how rich his inward life is!  Because it is in direct communion with the great Unconscious.
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          Dec 20 2011: And BTW Natasha :

          My days of "inventing and fabricating" are long behind me... actually Seeing the uniqueness of another is far more fulfilling ! And the true Self always manifests in the most unexpected and delightful ways !

          So thank you again... for your Friendship... this has been one of the strangest ventures that I have ever undertaken !
      • Dec 20 2011: Denis !!!
        WOW !!! It is such a relief and joy to be accepted and loved for who you are, not to strive to be somebody else ! Though I don't deserve a one tenth of what you have written I am grateful for you for telling me this. I have never thought about it this way ! So, let's celebrate life ! I'll try not to be distracted from this 'job' whatever... I must confess, sometimes I am. I am not an Angel. I am not 'aware', I experience only glimpses of awareness and it's true, it's Beauty beyond MY means to express it, but some do manage !
        That's why,when getting in touch with great poetry, music, dance we can recognise it and re experience, re live this feeling, it's the generous gift of a genius.
        We experience Beauty, wherever we can find it,wherever we are tuned to see it, for it is always here and we give this Divine energy to the 'system' all circling around energy of the Whole and when there is enough of it plus God knows how many ingredients are on their right places... comes the time when a new genius is born to give a 'word' for what I can't express. So, we are all involved, genius is us and we are genius. It's how I understand the 'Almighty Entanglement " works. Any claims for intellectual or any other property is vanity, nothing more... Everything belongs to you and nothing is yours.
        Denis, thank you! Right now I shaped into words my vague guesses where geniuses come from, I seemed always knew that, but now I have it, or I think I have :)
        A new day can bring another vision or maybe not !
        Have a wonderful day, my friend !
        Thank you !
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          Dec 20 2011: Natasha...

          There is this ridiculous idea in modern society that "we are what we do."

          Add to this the fact that we have grown up in a "reward and punish" world ... and I am not at all surprised at the feelings that sometimes emerge within myself... about my"self". Believe me...I am no Angel either ! I have been to hell and back quite a few times !

          Having been judged...we judge ourselves... and far too harshly at times !

          It is the knowledge of "good and evil", the comparison of some aspect of my reality to some imaginary, human-created ideal, that induces both pride and shame ... expelling us from the Garden!

          To be Who we are, in our deepest Identity, requires letting go of this evaluative tendency, and dwelling in our hearts with the Wonder of a child... and its this Wonder that comes shining through in all your postings!

          And those glimpses... how privilaged... and in your heart you KNOW where they come from !!!!!!

          Have a wonderful day Natasha!

          Thank you for being here !
      • Dec 20 2011: My pleasure !
        The iconic question : what do you do ? Was born or at least gained its iconic status at the dawn of the industrial age. At the very core it means : Are you worthy my attention ? I agree with you , it's a shame ! But thanks God , the world is changing. I believe the 'paradigm shift' is not only a possibility , but a current reality of now.
        We are not Angels, we are HUmans , not bad, isn't ? :)

        It's quite late here and rainy :) Good night !
        Have wonderful tomorrow !
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          Dec 20 2011: Good Night Natasha !

          And you know... God is in that place where dreams come from !

          Talk to you soon!

          Your Friend,
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          Dec 21 2011: Wow... that question "What do you do?" was born of the need to know who a person is in terms of the social hierarchy... that certainly makes sense .... and with the diversity and specialization of work that emerged during the industrial Revolution ... I see how it gained circulation.

          And YES! We are HUMAN ... and we don't know what this means conceptually ... but the symbols, the stories, the music, the art... all strike our awareness in a transformative way... and have the power to Open our awareness to much deeper/higher ways of Being human!

          Thank you for this...

          Happy Solstice !
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      Dec 14 2011: And so Natasha...

      You know, as well as I do, there is nothing more difficult to capture in language, or mathematics, than that fleeting sense of Reality, of some kind of unity, behind the sensory event.

      Perhaps paradox has that effect on you ? Symbol does it for me !

      Once we see through the illusions that thought and language create, and sink into that silent abyss of being-here, a different kind of awareness occurs, which many have called contemplation, to which meditation is only a means.

      To express what is seen at this Depth, we resort to metaphor and Symbol... otherwise we would be speechless... in Awe !

      This is from Rudolph Otto's book " The Idea of the Sacred " :

      'We are dealing with something for which there is only one appropriate expression, 'mysterium tremendum'. The feeling of it may at times come sweeping like a gentle tide, pervading the mind with a tranquil mood of deepest worship. It may pass over into a more set and lasting attitude of the soul, continuing, as it were, thrillingly vibrant and resonant, until at last it dies away and the soul resumes its 'profane', non-religious mood of everyday experience. It may burst in sudden eruption up from the depths of the soul with spasms and convulsions, or lead to the strangest excitements, to intoxicated frenzy, to transport, and to ecstasy. It has its wild and demonic forms and can sink to an almost gristly horror and shuddering. It has its crude, barbaric antecedents and early manifestations, and again it may be developed into something beautiful and pure and glorious. It may become the hushed, trembling, and speechless humility of the creature in the presence of - whom or what? In the presence of that which is a mystery inexpressible and above all creatures.'

      This much I Know... that what the poets and mystics often tap into, can also dissolve our sense of acquired identity, and if handled well, can also restore the "paradisical" state ! Eden is !

      There is NOTHING other-worldly about it !
      • Dec 15 2011: 'mysterium tremendum'. I like how it sounds : epic, something for ever, encompassing all. I have some thought I'd like to share with you.
        I'll be back on the page as soon as i can.
        Thank you !
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      Dec 14 2011: Hmmm...

      There is a Moment
      that never ends

      in its endless

      in which we journey
      though never depart

      in which we seek
      though never find

      until we return
      not having left.

      There is a Moment...
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    Dec 5 2011: This jewel I found.
    Thanks Denis!


    In the depths of my being
    I feel my sacred roots.

    Imagining "I am a leaf"
    I am the Tree in truth.

    I often use the metaphor of a tree.

    All our life’s are like the leafs of a tree that fight for the light and grow by it.
    If a leaf falls, it's returned to the stem, first its essence to the twig then its body to the roots.
    As long as it still breaths and thrives it's converting energy into more tree.
    Born from memory of former leafs it adds to the tree all news it can find.
    From sun and air it cooks sugar to support all leafs.
    For they sustain the tree and the secret that it first had found as a seed.

    Yes indeed as I understand it all memory is present from birth to death from all known imagery but it is latently available until it is highlighted by impressions brought in from the senses. Then it assembles again actuated and updated to the present. There are different levels, to start with the bits and pieces with which we put together the material world but also emotional levels of the animal world and on top a myriad of life scenes from all kinds of life’s.
    As our separation as spirit into a body is mere virtual we can loose it up a little and if we do we can contact other life stories by all kinds of things. Fill in yourself. It can be tools people worked with, things dear to someone. It is as every happening is imprinted on everything that was part of it. Somewhat like the totality of a hologram is present in every part and splinter of the original image holder.
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      Dec 6 2011: Frans...!

      Wow... thank you for the compliment!

      Tonight I hope to be able to respond to you more fully... sorry for the delay... such beautiful thoughts !

      My outer world has been in need of my attention... but all is well again!

      I hope you understand...?

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      Dec 7 2011: Well Frans...

      When I absorb writing such as yours, it softens my position w.r.t. the interpretation of Symbol, and I see in such beautifully lucid details, a way of seeding the understanding of the reader.

      Perhaps if we use symbol as analogy, it stands a better chance of Opening the awareness... I do not know.

      With our culture's current preference for fact, I can certainly see the value of the bridge ... as long as it breaks, and we end up in the River !

      As you Know, our language sustains the very illusions that spiritual writing is attempting to dispel!
      (It was my assumption of independent realities... subjects, objects, attributes, events... that dissolved !)

      Its as if Symbol has the power of slipping past the Intellect, and striking the Intuition directly... prior to conceptualization !

      The leaf, the roots, the tree, the ground... all One !

      Whereas words fragment the awareness...symbols restore the Oneness!

      Any thoughts...?
  • Dec 4 2011: Denis,I like your enthusiasm !
    And agree with you about the Almighty Present Moment !
    I am just trying to challenge myself :)
    The thread is too long again, I didn't find the reply button ...

    My favourite T.S. Eliot... Thank you !
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      Dec 4 2011: Its ok...!

      Gotta go... see ya soon !
      • Dec 5 2011: " What is the special gift of childhood that is destroyed by the act of growing up ? "

        Simply, it is our capacity to wonder.

        Have a wonderful day !
        Hope to see you soon !
  • Dec 3 2011: "So help me understand this if you can... because now, whether I like it or not, I will be seeing it everywhere...!"

    Hi, Denis!

    The thread is too long, I decided to start a new one.
    Look here " ...the universe was in darkness, with water everywhere... " The primordial state, before creation, before duality, before separation, before Time...Prenatal state. Before Land Was, the Ocean IS. Ocean is a symbol of equilibrium, the state of a perfect simplicity.
    In English there is an expression 'body of water', I like it, we dont' have it in Russian, only 'water' ,it somehow exists only as a stuff or in an abstract, the "body of water', at least for me, presuggests physicality, the emptiness, which is yet full,a shapeless form, from where everything was born through separation.
    Kathy, mentioned the seventh human sense , 'equilibrium',
    It evoked in me the image of the Ocean. Maybe we have this remembrance of the precreation moment and can experience it,momentarily through this sense. Sounds crazy !
    And 'wave' , it hits the shore and comes back to the ocean, and hits the shore again... endless, still motion. Rhythm, when it is stretched in time became unchangeable change, timeless.
    I live by the sea and I know this sensation. Wave goes in both directions, backward and forward,backward and forward... what is done can be undone, no Time reference.
    Ocean is also perfectly democratic,/sorry for the term :) / I mean " the center is everywhere " and everything is interconnected, not homogeneous, but living one life.
    Does it help ? :)
    I have some ideas about the ' quantum wave ' and a 'particle'. But maybe it's too crazy for the early Saturday morning :)
    One more association; Mona Lisa's wave smile of a whole, as if she knows about equilibrium yet she is here and now, her eyes radiate a soft wisdom of a part.

    Have a nice day !
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      Dec 3 2011: Wow !

      Such a wonderful medley of images... music to the Ear !

      There comes a Moment, and its always near, where the musician is so completely at one with the instrument ... that both disappear... and all that remains is the Music !

      I like how you Play!

      • Dec 4 2011: Hi! Denis !
        I am glad you've enjoyed this nonsense ! I don't write poetry, but you do and it's good, really good.
        I appreciate your musing on Time issue :

        The present is not becoming past.
        The future is not becoming present.
        The present is becoming present.

        Cleaver ! I like it ! Ironically it is written in a rhythm of a wrist watch ticking, if you still wear one, I do, I am old-fashioned :)
        The question is: How to reconcile our awareness of the unbroken time continuum, / or at least a vague notion about it :)/ with the time - obsessed world we live in ?
        Time is the most precious commodity, we are always run out of it, we need more of it , it is always slipping flies by...
        I mean do you have a picture, where Past and Future are there in the picture? We can't neglect our everyday experience; we have memories about the past, nostalgia even,
        we plan our future, I am the last who do it , I live in the third world, where everything is shaky and unpredictable, but still even I do.
        So what is it Time? Change and fixation, fixable change ?
        The concept of everlasting present is great, but Present is but a thin line, I don't know how thin, taking into consideration that even the speed of light is not the fastest, maybe.
        But this thin line, we can only inhabit, divide our life into Past and Future. What is done can't be undone, it is frozen forever in the Spacetime and every moment we create Future,
        which is not certain, with every act or even thought we opt to this or that Future. Remember Butterfly effect ? It's about importance of everything, the thing of no importance does not exist for Future.For Present maybe, but not for Future.
        Sooo, maybe you agree with me, that Past and Future do exist for us, inhabitants of Time dependant universe. Past is fixed, Future is yet to be fixed, by Present.
        Hoppi, wouldn't agree with me, maybe you too, I don't mind, I can't say I agree with myself, it's just thoughts about Time :)
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          Dec 4 2011: Hi Natasha !

          I am starting to get a better sense of who you are !

          I am so elated that I have met "individuals" like you and Frans here on TED... we share the same passion for the Indescribable Present ... the simple gift of Being here !

          Now... I want to take some time to consider your posting before I reply....

          Sorry Natasha... this could take an hour or more... so many thoughts are flooding in... but I want to be concise in my response...
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          Dec 4 2011: (1 of 3)

          "The question is: How to reconcile our awareness of the unbroken time continuum, / or at least a vague notion about it :)/ with the time - obsessed world we live in ?"

          As young children, “we live and move and have our being” in the timeless Moment.

          As our lives become regulated by those around us, and by learning language, a sense of separation from the timeless Garden begins to develop.

          We start to think of ourselves as independently existing, and that our universe is composed of independent realities...we start to lose our sense of connectedness to it all... and the sense of Oneness fades away.

          Through reward and punishment, praise and blame, we are taught to live our lives according to a set pattern... somebody elses idea of what is “good”.

          We are told that life is about “achieving success”, and that we are to strive to “become” something other than what we already are. We are to create “goals” for ourselves...and if we cannot do that, we are to conform, at the very least, to the norms/laws/patterns of the society in which live.

          In short...we are trained to structure our lives according to ideas.
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          Dec 4 2011: (2 of 3)

          But that is not how it was “In the Beginning...”

          What moved us originally... was our Being the oneness... not some idea of what we “should” or “should not” do. Every day...every moment...the present moment was an Adventure... and can be again... if we our willing to “ become as little children”, and re-integrate... and re-discover Eden in our midst.

          This requires a willingness to make the inward journey, through all the parts of ourselves that we lost touch with along the way.

          In modern terms... can we stop repressing ourselves ?

          The instant we start to think in terms of “good and evil”, we bite the Apple... and the rest is history, as we say in English ! Shame!

          If only we could let go of our fear, our desire, and our obligations... but we want CONTROL of our lives instead.

          Gotta get up...gotta eat...gotta go to work...gotta make something of my life...gotta read The Myth of Sisyphus...

          All of this is a result of the Cultural programming !

          The ''ego” is created, but it CAN find its way back to the Garden...

          Or to switch metaphors... the Prodigal can return !
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          Dec 4 2011: (3 of 3)

          Here is something I wrote years ago :


          Amidst the world’s diversities
          a Radiance

          so silently

          all that

          All sense of self and other
          of freedom
          and of fate

          dissolve inside this

          where past and future


          There is a Place, inside of each one of Us, where Life becomes a playground, done for its own sake...where there is nothing to be attained ... where time is an Adventure...and Love dances in rhythm with itSelf !

          (And hurts so deeply sometimes...and as Cat Stevens sung “ the goodbye makes the journey harder still.”

          But the Radiance of which I wrote is very real... and can break through at any time...if “we become as little children” again !
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          Dec 4 2011: You stated...

          "The concept of everlasting present is great, but Present is but a thin line..."

          or the Present contains the fullness of eternity... like what we experience in esthetic arrest, or when the separate self sense dissolves in wonder, or Love, or as Wordsworth put it his Tintern Abbey poem :

          ...I have felt
          A presence that disturbs me with the joy
          Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
          Of something far more deeply interfused,
          Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
          And the round ocean and the living air,
          And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
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          Dec 4 2011: I am sorry Natasha... my enthusiasm for this topic knows no bounds ! Forgive me if it sounds like I am challenging your ideas or beliefs... not my intent... nor am i trying to promote my own... but when you discover something as Delicious as this, I can't help but share it...ok...?

          My wordiness is often the downfall of my intent...

          So here is Eliot :

          At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
          Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
          But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
          Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
          Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
          There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
          I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
          And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
          The inner freedom from the practical desire,
          The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
          And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
          By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
          Erhebung without motion, concentration
          Without elimination, both a new world
          And the old made explicit, understood
          In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
          The resolution of its partial horror.
          Yet the enchainment of past and future
          Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
          Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
          Which flesh cannot endure.
          Time past and time future
          Allow but a little consciousness.
          To be conscious is not to be in time
          But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
          The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
          The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
          Be remembered; involved with past and future.
          Only through time time is conquered.

 seems to me... our problem becomes the difficulty of remaining at the "still point" in the turning world...
      • Dec 4 2011: Take your time, Denis !
        Now I am watching the Aboriginal paintings, it's great !
        It's amazing how easily we could relate to them and experience a sort of dreaming state.
        It's so quintessentially human !
        Thanks, Frans for reminding me about Australia!
      • Dec 4 2011: Thanks, Denis
        It's also true, the best way to understand things is to develop "and ...and" approach not "either... or"
        I've mentioned already that I think the whole Universe rests on Paradox, reconciling the opposites is the way to a bigger picture, I don't say the way to Truth, though I like these words, somebody has said:
        " it is not Truth... How could it be, but it is my truth '
        I don't quite agree that life after the 'fall' is a shame. BTW, do you distinguish 'ego' and 'self' ?
        Language is but a clumsy thing when we go into this depth, especially for not a native speaker like me, but sure you can distinguish these two things.
        So what is the difference ? I have some feeling that the key for understanding why still it's so great to be here, alive somewhere there, in this difference.

        Denis, thanks for the topic, it has got a quantum quality, it goes around...what did we start with?
        Jazz conversation, I like it !
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          Dec 4 2011: "I don't quite agree that life after the 'fall' is a shame"

          No... it certainly isn't a shame ... I was trying to be humourous again... w.r.t. the Myth ... where the knowledge of G&E resulted in shame, self-consciousness, and hiding etc... nothing more!

          And I too dislike the either/or approach... and love the coincidence of opposites active in all Art !

          And as to "ego"... well ... I think of "it" in many different ways... from the acquired identity, to the sense of "me" in here vs. "you or it" out there... to a particular kind of awareness that happens "in" the Self etc.

          I think of true Self as the Original Awareness, prior to all the distortions which resulted in the ego state.

          When the word Self is capitalized as opposed to "self" what do you think that is suggesting ...?
    • Comment deleted

      • Dec 4 2011: Jesus said, "Except you become as little children you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven'.
        The Chinese philosopher Mencius said, 'The whole purpose of education is to recapture the mind of a child.'
        What is the special gift of childhood that is destroyed by the act of growing up ?
  • Nov 29 2011: I have some thoughts. :)

    I agree that we create" the person with whom we associate " , but I am doubting about the second part of the quote "we immediately forget this fact " How could we forget about the things we are not conscious of ? It is again the old age question : what is real ? The complex issue of the relationship between subject and object, between the world 'out there' and the world 'in here'.

    I think our friends, family members, people we meet are made of that 'stuff' we are made of. We can't recognise something we don't have and we usually create people according to our own image.

    It doesn't imply that they are not real, they are real in your real world. "Dynamic world within a dynamic world"
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      Nov 29 2011: Thanks Natasha !

      And yes... this is a very complex issue.

      It could be that we simply “reify” the other, and attribute independent ontological status to what is a pure process, creating the appearence of something “static” that really is not there ! These “unities” , in my opinion, are mind-made... it helps reduce our anxieties, and helps to make everything more calculable... so that we may act !

      In other words, we populate our worlds with subjects, objects, and attributes... and forget that we have placed them there.

      But as you Know, there are other modes of Awareness besides the subject-object one...still... how seldom it is when we are NOT projecting, and we really See the other !

      In a comment near to this one, Frans has shown us a way out of our everyday errors in judgement... and I am wondering if it relates to this catchy expression of yours “Dynamic world within a dynamic world" ?

      So Natasha ... thank you very much for addressing the above Question.

      I cannot tell you how grateful I am to feel that unconventional ideas such as these are welcome, and discussed, here at TED !

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      Dec 1 2011: Natasha ?

      Sometimes I try too much to get MY point across ... sorry about that !

      " How could we forget about the things we are not conscious of ? "

      I think Nietzsche is using the comparison to dream in this sense : we are often UNCONCIOUS of the fact that we create images of those around us, and act with respect to our image of the other, rather than with respect to the ACTUALITY of the other. Just as we do in dreams, we forget that we were the ones who created the image to begin with.

      And altough we are all made of the same "stuff"..."Conciousness is the Content" ... "each" of us is a unique manifestation of this "stuff" ... but more often than not, we do not See the Uniqueness of the Other, but only our version of the other.

      By being aware that the other is a work of art in progress, we can adjust our portraits (or animation) accordingly.... at least, that is what I think Frans was suggesting ?!

      The more I get to Know a person... the sooner I can rid myself of all the images !

      Natasha... I hope I am communicating ... for in my efforts to express myself, I can sometimes lose sight of the Person to whom I am communicating with.

      If you feel this has happened, I am asking Your forgiveness... I don't want our dialogue to end because of my clumsiness, or my intense desire to express my ideas. We had problems once before... and I don't want this to happen again...ok?
      • Dec 1 2011: Hi! Denis !!!
        I agree with you and Frans, honestly I do !
        It's funny how unwillingly I assisted Nietzsche to illustrate his point ! I fabricated his quote. I saw in it what I wanted to see at the moment, I replaced the word 'fabricate' with 'create',it was more appropriate for my idea and removed "we forget about it..." because it didn't fit to my idea and VOILA , I heard what I wanted to hear !
        Denis, there is no need to ask me for forgiveness ! I enjoy our conversations and appreciate highly your attempt to get your point across !
        I'd like to stay here on the page to go through comments, but you know, 10.30 AM. Thursday ! I hope to be here tonight !
        Have a nice day !
        Thank you very much !!!
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          Dec 1 2011: Wonderful Natasha !

          I'm so glad that you are here !

          Your English is so good that I sometimes forget its your second language... but if you ever need clarification on an idea, an expression, or how a word is being used, please do not hesitate to ask... ok?

          I see now what happened with the Nietzsche quote ... I do the same thing sometimes !

          My ideas of reality can be my own worst enemies... and it is only by examining them, through comparison with alternatives, that I become aware that my ideas are often merely assumptions... and that there are other, equally valid ways of mapping the territory.

          What I enjoy most... are moments of esthetic arrest, and infused contemplation...and there is certainly no need for interpretation on those occasions ! Reality speaks volumes at times !

          Soooo...I will look forward to your further participation... and I hope you had a very interesting, and deeply rewarding day !


          Here is something that might interest you... if you are comfortable with the G-word and Christian terminology. If you listen to this, just remember that Merton is using the word "God" in a symbolic sense, for that Reality which is "beyond" the category of Being and Non-being...that neither "is" nor "is not"... and perhaps it is symbolic of what you mean by "one summit", the "Ultimate Truth " or the "Mind of God ". I hope you like it !

      • Dec 1 2011: Denis ! Thanks for the link !
        "Contemplation" is not exactly what i thought ' it is ' :)
        I am listerning to Thomas Merton, his thoughts resonate with me.
        Thank you !
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    Nov 28 2011: (2 of 2)Now with respect to Faust, which I unfortunately have not read, I absolutely love the Devil's response ! This passage reminds me of the Book of Job in the Christian Old Testament, where God and the Devil make a deal to test Job's loyalty... a fascinating read... especially the ending !

    Also from this same Scripture (King James Version) comes the following passage from Isaiah 45, written in the voice of God:

    5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

    6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

    7 I form the light, and create darkness:
    I make peace, and create evil :
    I the Lord do all these things.

    Now in this UNIQUE Biblical passage, the writer of Isaiah squarely places the origin of “good AND evil” in God.

    And to me, this co-existence of potentialities exists within each human heart, or to speak Symbolically, in the very Heart of our Being !

    To separate into two, the source of Good and Evil ... enabled the justification of countless destructive actions down through history... a Mythological catastrophe, that was used, and is still being used, for ideological purposes! There is so much UNNECESSARY suffering because of this!

    So now... help me to understand that there is "a particular sense in which " good " is only created by the " evil ' it seeks to overcome." I am not disagreeing... just curious about how You view these interesting words...

    ~ Denis
    • Nov 29 2011: Hi, Denis !
      ". help me to understand that there is "a particular sense in which " good " is only created by the " evil ' it seeks to overcome." I am not disagreeing... just curious about how You view these interesting words..."

      "When the belly is full, and the mind has its sayings, then I fear for my soul; "

      Could you comment on this ? :)

      Suffering is a tricky subject, nobody wants to suffer and everybody who understands the duality as an essential part of our human perception of the reality agrees that it is almost compulsory for happiness.
      "One is only exist by the virtue of the other"
      What makes us humans? Compassion, maybe. But how could I possibly be compassionate if I hadn't ever suffered and couldn't relate to the person who is suffering ?
      How is "good" created by "evil" ? I think because we are pushed to change to evolve to outgrow our limitations. You know the saying "The worst the better" / sorry for punctuation :)/
      Why so ? Maybe because we have no choice, but to change from inside, from within? It's like a physical matter reaching the "point of transition" obtains another qualities. But ,for us people, most certain, this transition involves suffering.Everything has its price. But still it's only the surface, there must be a deeper level to it. Why do Buddhists teach: "Value your enemies as your precious jewels, they teach you how to be kind "/sorry, loose quotation/ Why did saints subject their bodies to physical torture in order to elevate their spirit ? Isn't it all manifestation of "evil" that creates "good"?
      Why do people do extreme sport ? 'Adrenalin rush' is only the surface, the situation of stress somehow clarifies our mind or maybe opens the third eye ?
      Make no mistake, I don't want people to suffer, and I don't want to suffer myself, but if it still happens and all it is from God, I'd like to develop some understanding what is it, why do we need it .

      Thank you for a new interesting conversation !
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        Nov 29 2011: (1 of 4)No problem...

        ...and thanks for stepping away from that other conversation ... I still do not know what is appropriate, and what is not appropriate, in this chat-room experience... and if you see any obvious blunders, or have any suggestions, I am ALWAYS open to input...k?
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        Nov 29 2011: (2 of 4)

        “When the belly is full, and the mind has its sayings, then I fear for my soul..."

        Well Natasha... it took me many years to let go of my efforts to attain security and certainty... to accept the fact of impermanence, and all the suffering that this entails. All that we cling to, both inwardly and around us, is dissolving, yet at the same time, re-creating !

        It is when I start to think that I am “on top of it”, that I know what is really going on here, that I have found “the truth” ... that I lose touch with the mysterious manifestation of this Moment. Even the very effort to attain spiritual experience, inhibits the spontaineous emergence of the Sacred.

        You mentioned Faust yesterday... well, I read somewhere that Goethe once said “Everything transitory is a symbol” To me this means that at any moment, an experience of the sacred can break through our senses ... because “there is a crack, a crack, in everything...!”

        Now my good friend Nietzsche went one step further by stating that “everything Eternal is a metaphor”, which to me means that all of our sacred symbols are metaphors for the potentialities existing within each of us.

        So... to live a “soulful” life means that I frequently have my ear to the Ground, and life takes care of itself ! I prefer the insecure way, the uncertain direction ... heart and soul wide Open... listening, moving, expressing the great Silence “in which we live, and move, and have our Being !”

        But the moment I take credit for this, as if to claim “Look at me ! I have found the Way”, I lose the Awareness and the sense of separation returns, and I start to fear for my soul, and once again I try to save myself... through whatever means... setting up in my mind, the very structures which inevitably disappear when “ the Light gets in! ”

        “I” cannot save myself... a fiction is not Real.
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        Nov 29 2011: (3 of 4)

        And as to suffering ?

        Well... this is indeed the source of our compassion, and when our hearts are truly Open to the suffering Other... we come to realize that it is the One Self in each of us that is being Crucified on the eternal cross... to use a Christian symbol.

        In this respect, each “center” of consciousness can be thought of as the innocence of pure Love, forced to suffer, through no fault of its own, this harsh and terrifying reality of life...that each of us is dying with every breath, that the house we live in, is burning as we speak...

        Soooo... could it be that it is the acceptence of this universal suffering that Awakens us from our intellectual slumber ?
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        Nov 29 2011: (4 of 4)

        You wrote :

        “Maybe because we have no choice, but to change from inside, from within?”

        Definitely...Yes... a point of desperation must be reached, before the spirit cries out !
        I think that is why Dante placed the exit from Hell at the very center of Hell.. just guessing !

        Buddhists teach: "Value your enemies as your precious jewels, they teach you how to be kind "

        Jesus taught this too : Love your enemies...

        Everyone you meet can be seen as an expression of the Sacred ... even the aggressive face of God.

        The opportunities to awaken in the midst of the dream are all around us, and within us... if we would simply slow down, silence ourselves, and listen as we did as children...

        What appears as "other" is actually one more perspective that Reality is taking on itSelf... and in our deepest Nature, we are the "other"!

        And through Compassion, we feel that Oneness !

        Fortunately however, I have not had to deliberately subject myself to the discipline of ascetism... and honestly, I think it is the most bizarre form of self-will that I have ever read about. Even the Buddha rejected it !

        But I have been blessed with plenty of losses in my life, to open my eyes to the sorrowful truth of impermanence, and the joyful liberation that comes with the acceptence of it.

        Now... what was that Taoist expression :

        " Those who speak, do not know !
        Those who know, do not speak ! "

        Oops ... and I lie too!
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    Nov 28 2011: (1 of 2)Yes Natasha...

    I thoroughly enjoyed my short visit to their homeland in northern Arizona... and although I only had the opportunity to chat with several of them, I certainly loved the depth of Silence that we shared together... they were so easy to be with, and very much at peace... “very real” as we say here in Canada ! And yes... I did get a sense of the timeless Moment !
    As to the language/consciousness question, I like the double helix analogy ... and if the sense of the Sacred was due in part to the time structure of their language... well... all the better ! I know English is a challenge in this respect !
    How Americanized are they ? Way, way, too much for my liking ... but they keep their sense of humour about it, having lived in poverty for countless centuries. Most of them now live in the valley below the Mesas... and drive cars..etc. etc.

    This might interest you though !

    In 1901 a Canadian psychiatrist named Richard Bucke wrote a book entitled “Cosmic Consciousness”, in which he documented incidences of individuals down through history who he believed had experienced this phenomenon ! He was also friends with the American poet Walt Whitman, and included him in this study. I will try to find an e-book link for you later. Here it is :

    Just wondering where you first heard the term “Cosmic Consciousness” ?

    Wow ! I just love how “the Blues” has translated into your language ..."in folk jargon it is something like "groan'', when a soul cries in a deep suffering."

    This totally resonates with me ...

    ...and to be able to artisticly express this suffering, enables us to accept and transcend it, for there is Beauty here too ! And Art can help us to develop our ability to say "YES ! " to all of Life, with our entire Being !
    (This “groan” is even active across all the various genres as well ! eg. )

    Thank you for this Natasha! Its good to know you !
    • Nov 29 2011: "Just wondering where you first heard the term “Cosmic Consciousness” ?"

      No clue !
      You know how it happens. Almighty Entanglement ! I am so grateful for the book !
      Maybe I am like Alice use the word only because I like how it sounds ! :)
      Now I have the oppotunity to check my understanding.
      Thank you !
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    Nov 28 2011: Natasha...

    In another conversation you stated :

    "I think, the Hopi are really conscious, awaken people, it's what T.S.Eliot meant "To be conscious is not to be in time" What comes first their language, that shaped their consciousness or their consciousness that created their language? I guess it's a spiral movement where cause becomes an effect and vice verse. Double helix. That's why you saw humility, gentleness no sense of resentment,and, sure, Light in their eyes ! I've seen the pictures !This light is the fulfilment of knowing, analogous to what Buddhists call The Spirit as Ground (Svabhavikakaya ) or what science is coming to call " cosmic consciousness ". Truly "soul people "

    Denis, you are one who knows the power of Symbol, "soul " is a symbol and speaks to everyone. In Russian it is " душа " Though "soul music" has come into Russian as it is, without translation.I like Blues music, but naturally I feel closer to Russian variant of it, in folk jargon it is something like "groan'', when a soul cries in a deep suffering. There is a definition for it " ...and this groan is called a song"
    And talking about suffering there is something about it, that drives us , humans to grow, to rise above themselves. Remember, Faust asked the Devil : " Who art thou ? " to which the Devil offers the paradoxical reply, " I am part of that spirit which always wills evil and always creates good " Is there a particular sense in which " good " is only created by the " evil ' it seeks to overcome ?
    OK, it's a bit off topic here, though honestly I think nothing is off topic in any topic. :)"

    In the following comment, i will try to respond to your very interesting remarks.

    • Nov 29 2011: Denis! Have mercy, I never state anything ! It is not my verb. ? /Isn't it a statement ? :)/
      Seriously I am always the first person who can disagree with my own statement or at least find flaws in my argument.
      But thank you for the generous response !
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        Nov 29 2011: Natasha...

        You know how to make me smile !

        And I am just like you... everything is "maybe / maybe not"... so do not hesitate to challenge or critique me ... I am old enough to take it ! Ha!