Friday, April 18, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Three: The Natural Self in the Natural World (p2)



Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)
 
“Only in the last moment of human history has the delusion arisen that people can fl ourish apart from the rest of the living world.”
~Edward O. Wilson
Chapter Three:  The Natural Self in the Natural World (Part Two)

The Natural World


The natural world is the world as it is after the false world has been recognized; at the very least a vast and probably indefinable stretch of something that is far more dimensional and interconnected than space or time as we are taught to perceive them. It contains a subtle symphony of rhythms and flows we are extremely isolated from in the false world.

The false world creates a small, distorted pocket within that vastness that is definable because we have made it abstract by the very act of defining it. Envision the false world as a small, hollow egg we live within, thinking that the inside of the shell is the edge of the world, the edge of reality, everything that defines what we can and can’t do, can and can’t be, can and can’t feel. The natural world is everything without abstraction.

The Relationship Between the Natural Self and the Natural World


It is very important to understand that the natural self is an extension of the natural world. As such, it is simply an instrument of localized consciousness, an organ of expression of the natural world. The rhythms and cycles that flow through the natural world also flow through the natural self and inform it of where it is, what it is and what its relationships are. As you use the simple practices included in the next chapter, you will find that the natural self is a dynamic conduit through which consciousness is experienced at whatever level you allow it.

The natural self and the natural world sit nested together and function as parts of the same whole. If the natural world were a mountain, the natural self would be a river flowing from it. If the natural world were a patch of earth, the natural self would be a flower rising from it. If the natural world were a star, the natural self would be its light.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Three: The Natural Self in the Natural World (p1)

 
Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)
 
“Only in the last moment of human history has the delusion arisen that people can fl ourish apart from the rest of the living world.”
~Edward O. Wilson
Chapter Three:  The Natural Self in the Natural World (Part One)

The Natural Self


When we strip away the abstractions, the false self that we have held as real for so many years and the so-called primary senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing, what is left other than simple consciousness? At first, nothing at all seems to be left; but as we relax into this nothingness we begin to become aware that it has its own properties, chief amongst them a deep fertility. What remains may be thought of as a purer state or a simpler mode of experiencing, but it is a critical one to achieve to find fulfillment and everything that lies beyond fulfillment. Welcome to the natural self.

Once we are beyond perceiving just these basic properties of experience that lay underneath the false self, we start to sense interesting shapes, flows and rhythms. And even more importantly, we begin to sense potentials and opportunities, the aspects of the natural self and the natural world that beg to be enjoyed and brought into our lives with action. Indeed, these aspects of the natural world are actually shared with the natural self, and their presence within the self brings us to the realization that there is deep common ground between us and the outside world.

The natural self is fertile, expansive, connected, dynamic, subtle, emerging. The natural self is what shows up when the false self is gone.

Perceptual Mode of the Natural Self


The natural self experiences neither abstractions nor the processing required to distill meaning from abstractions. It experiences through resonance and learns through emerging awareness. While the false self experiences abstractions in place of reality, the natural self experiences reality by being part of it. The natural self learns by observing the shapes and flows moving through it and allowing them to emerge into consciousness.

This perceptual mode is deeply informed by natural rhythms around us and through us if we allow it. The natural self resonates with these rhythms and we find our place within them.

In the next chapter we will define the perceptual mode of the natural self more fully and discuss the primary methods of orienting to it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Two: The False Self in the False World (p5)


Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)

The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.”
~Arthur C. Clarke


Chapter Two:  The False Self in the False World
(Part 5)

Simple Exercise: The False Self vs. the Natural Self


Take two sheets of blank paper and lay one on top of the other. On the top sheet, take a long time to write everything good and bad about yourself, how you measure up, how you fail, why you have failed, why you have succeeded, what your hair color is, what your weight is, what your IQ is, what your job is, what your ambitions are, what your age is, crimes you’ve committed, wrongs that have been done to you, relationships you have and have had, how much education you’ve had, and so on, until every last drop of what you know about yourself is on that top paper. Go ahead and write in the little spaces that are left—just don’t write on the bottom sheet. Continue reading when you are done.

When you are all done, look at that top sheet as a totality of you and take it in for a few minutes. Now, lift up just the corner of the sheet to see what is underneath. Wow, a blank page. Now put the top sheet back over the bottom sheet for a minute and consider the layer of blank page underneath with a layer of everything you know about yourself on top. Now, remove the top sheet and safely burn it or otherwise destroy it, leaving the blank sheet. (If you are worried about destroying some of what you are symbolically, realize that whatever is really you will always be really you; it can’t be folded, spindled or mutilated.) So, what’s left? Just the you that is waiting to emerge.

Now, before we leave this exercise, let’s consider the blank page one more time. Is it empty or just not marked on with symbols that reflect, but aren’t, you? It is really just what it is, with all its potential intact and ready.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Two: The False Self in the False World (p4)

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)


The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.”
~Arthur C. Clarke


Chapter Two:  The False Self in the False World
(Part 4)

 
Illustration exercise: The Sentence of Disappearing Potential
I discovered this simple illustration years ago when I was trying to figure out how to re-write sentences and paragraphs that didn’t seem to come out right the first time. It’s an extremely revealing illustration of the mental mechanics that keep us inside the false self in the false world.
Read the following sentence and quickly mentally fill in the first few words that come to you for the blank spot at the end of the sentence:
The cat caught a: ___________.            


What did you come up with? The cat caught a bird? The cat caught a mouse? Not too original, right? Okay, maybe you immediately thought of something creative, but whatever you came up with was caught and caught by a cat.

Let’s try it again with this:
The cat: ___________________.


What did you come up with this time? The cat played with a toy? The cat jumped off  a roof? The cat ran up a tree?

And, finally, let’s try this:
The: _______________________________.             


Well, you get the point. Each time we remove specific context and assumptions by removing more of the abstracted structure (words as part of a sentence), the potential opens up. What was fixing you to the original sentence and forcing you to maintain some kind of imaginary continuity? Nothing, actually. You only assumed the sentence was fixed to a certain point and that the remaining potential was limited by that.
An interesting twist to this illustration shows how the tiniest of changes can close down our potential. Let’s go back to the first example sentence. This time there is no trickery and you must write down things that fi t into the sentence as written. Do the exercise one more time and quickly write down a list of five things the cat could catch.
The cat caught a: __________.
 
I can almost guarantee that the items of your list all start with a consonant, simply because you were probably adhering to the rule in English that the article “a” precedes words starting with consonants. My poor example cat can’t catch anything that starts with a vowel! In other words, a rule (an abstract limitation) limited our thought process and output.
What is trapping us is our adherence to the abstractions we assume to be real. We take our cues about reality from what we are presented with, usually without question. In this case each partial sentence seemed to limit in one way or another what could be conveyed in the sentence. But that limitation was false.
I discovered that when I had truly gotten lost in my writing I often needed to erase the entire sentence or paragraph to let what really needed to come out not get trapped in what I had thought was supposed to come out or had tried before. None of the natural self or potential is trapped behind anything stronger than these flimsy assumptions.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom: Chapter Two: The False Self in the False World (p3)


Finding Fulfillment with Intuisdom
(Original publishing date: November, 2009)


The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.”
~Arthur C. Clarke



Chapter Two:  The False Self in the False World
(Part 3)

Communication and Learning with Abstraction

Let’s be clear about how we define what an abstraction is. We define anything that is a reference to something else, but is not that thing itself, as an abstraction. The mind is exposed to this in many forms, but the most obvious and the most pervasive abstractions we encounter on a daily basis are words. A brief study of how we use words and language demonstrates that the false self not only mistakes abstractions for reality, but also must process abstractions in sequences in order to communicate with them or learn their meaning, sequences that are fraught with problems.

In all written languages, there is a sequential nature to the abstractions we call words (or symbols). In spoken language there is more versatility, but words are modified by certain rules set out for each language to help indicate the relationships of the words to each other and the overall meaning of a sentence (e.g. which is the subject, which is the object, etc.). These systems for teaching and learning imply there is distance and time in experiencing and learning, distance and time we cannot escape.


Sentences are constructed of words that each have a multitude of meanings and relationships with each other. They are constructed by the writer or speaker and then deconstructed by the reader or listener to hopefully find the inner meaning. This process is not only extremely time consuming, but it also can lose immense amounts of meaning through the multiple stages it goes through to finally be digested. And we mistakenly take this process and all the associated abstractions that accompany it as our primary method of communicating and learning.

Potential Lost

Mistaking abstraction for reality, perceiving through abstraction, and attempting to learn and grow through sequential processes of constructing and deconstructing language all hide potential. That is to say, these problems so disconnect us from reality and what is real that we miss reality because we are busy believing something else.

Simply put, we don’t try to do what we don’t know is possible, and if we mistake abstractions (remember that abstractions include beliefs, values, expectations and so on) for reality we never attempt to step outside those abstractions, and therefore can’t find the parts of us and the world they have excluded.


The net result of this is that potential is only uncovered accidentally or by incrementally eating away at the edges of what we think we are, and our lives suffer tremendously for this.