We are caught in a network of words, which are symbols. We live in a mental-emotional world of images – images about ourselves, about what is going on in the world, about my wife, my friends and about my living situation. This network of symbols and images has become so second-nature that we are no longer consciously aware of it dominating our perception. When someone says “look at the tree without the word, directly”, we have a very hard time and it seems almost impossible. When we are asked to be mindful when eating a meal, it is very difficult to recognize what is on our plate and then on our fork as we take it into our mouth. Yes, we can see it is a piece of pizza, but to consciously connect with all of the elements that went into that pizza is quite another thing: the wheat of the dough; the process that resulted in the salt and the seasonings; the farmer and the land that yielded the tomatoes; the dairy farm – the cows and the grass, rain and earth that produced the cheese. Continue reading
There is only one irrefutable fact and it is an integral whole. The parts that we perceive are purely idea and idea is not real. Idea is a function of our nervous system, or one could say, of our psycho-physical stream of existence. This stream takes form as our person, among other things.
Idea is like a magic mirror that reflects to us the pictures of name and form that we perceive as the world. These pictures are put into a frame of reference by idea and thus they take on particular meaning in reference to our person. Idea can thus be understood as the connection between what we perceive as the world and our center of perception which we call “me”. Continue reading
the direct perception of Reality
In the Spring of 1953 Aldous Huxely volunteered to experiments with mescaline. His report on what he experienced is found in the short book “Doors of Perception”, which was published in 1954. The excerpt below highlights the altered quality of his perception as well as his understanding of how this shift occurred. I find his description of his perception of objects to be identical to the state of consciousness that occurs when “the veil” drops and we perceive Reality beyond the small mind. Perhaps this is the consciousness state that humanity as a whole is about to experience as the ‘quantum leap’ in our evolution that is underway? Were it so, it would instantly end all violence and wars and all possibility of domination of one being over another. Fear of injury or death or other dangers to our physical body would subside, removing the basis for controlling your fellow man/woman. Continue reading
Awakening to Right Seeing
This is a report on a shift in perception that I am in the midst of. It is not a ten-word blip on the timeline in social media. If you are interested in the shift in perception that many are experiencing at present, then read on and take your time. This is not a ‘quick read’. Without patience and a relaxed state of mind while reading this you will only be frustrated, so no need to continue. Continue reading
“My Business Is Is-ness”
Sometimes someone succeeds in putting into words the indescribable experience that can never be repeated and the memory of it is just a faint residue of the actuality. The vitality of the direct perception of Reality in this physical realm is captured in the following passages by Aldous Huxley from Doors of Perception.
“I was sitting in my study, looking intently at a small glass vase. The vase contained only three flowers-a full-blown Belie of Portugal rose, shell pink with a hint at every petal’s base of a hotter, flamier hue; a large magenta and cream-colored carnation; and, pale purple at the end of its broken stalk, the bold heraldic blossom of an iris. Fortuitous and provisional, the little nosegay broke all the rules of traditional good taste. At breakfast that morning I had been struck by the lively dissonance of its colors. But that was no longer the point. I was not looking now at an unusual flower arrangement. I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation – the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence. Continue reading
Zen – Direct Perception
“In walking, standing, sitting, or lying down he understands that he is so doing, so that, however his body is engaged, he understands it just as it is.… In setting out or returning, in looking before or around, in bending or stretching his arm, … he acts with clear awareness.”
Majjhima Nikaya, I. 56. (Discourses of the Buddha with his chief disciples)
“Complete recollectedness is a constant awareness or watching of one’s sensations, feelings, and thoughts–without purpose or comment. It is a total clarity and presence of mind, actively passive, wherein events come and go like reflections in a mirror: nothing is reflected except what is.”
Alan Watts, The Way of Zen, p. 53
This awareness is without any effort, just as a mirror needs no effort to reflect what is in front of it. t.q.