Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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

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

…The sage is guided by what he feels and not by what he sees…
~Lao Tzu
Chapter Four: Becoming The Natural Self in The Natural World (p1)
 

At this point in the book we have softened the hold the false self in the false world has on you by making you aware of its existence as falsely representative of what reality really is. But you will begin to experience the natural self more fully as you orient your moment-to-moment perceptual mode to it. With the practices of exploring resonance, recognizing emerging awareness, single-point meditation and exposure to natural rhythms, you will start to actually shift into the natural self as your primary mode of perception.

Resonance


Resonance is one of the two primary aspects of the perceptual mode of the natural self. It is how we sense what is real and what is not. Resonance is the sensation of something existing that is not accessible by your other senses. It might help if you think of resonance as the first sense instead of a sense that exists after the so-called primary senses.

Active and Passive Resonance


Just as with your other senses, there are different components to resonance and to developing your use of it, starting with two main types, active and passive. Active resonance is defined by the conscious intention of putting it into motion, of consciously using it to learn how it works, as well as to achieve glimpses of your natural self. Passive resonance is achieved when enough blocks are removed from your moment-to-moment experience and what comes through you from the natural world does so primarily of its own accord.

Active Resonance


Active resonance is practiced by simply sending your awareness through your own body as if it were a small wave of water that starts at the top of your chest and moves quickly to the base of your pelvis. Just practicing active resonance is beneficial, as it brings a heightened consciousness of what your body feels like, something many of us completely ignore. But what we are really seeking here is the occasional reflection that comes back to our awareness, a sign that something is there you weren’t aware of.

At first, the reflections just provide location information—where in the body you feel it—but as you get better at it, other aspects of what you are sensing will show up and you will become aware of the nature of whatever it is. It could be something that needs to be released (e.g. particular abstractions) or it could be an aspect of the underlying structures or dynamics of the natural self or natural world.

Now, once you start to sense these things your first response is often to try to attack this curiosity you have discovered within yourself by analyzing it. Using what you will learn from meditation, let this impulse go. Once you have made direct contact with your natural self, it will start to release itself into your consciousness and experience. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of this path—that once the doorway is opened by your own actions, the natural self will begin to reveal itself more and more actively and then the natural world will begin to reach through that natural self into your experience.

Confirming


Confirming is simply checking what you have found or observed using resonance by letting the sensation disappear and repeating the process. Finding the same feeling again lets you know there is something legitimately there. Once again, the act of confirming is not about attempting to analyze what you found—just acknowledge it and it will begin to take care of itself.

Passive Resonance


Passive resonance is simply the awareness of what you are, what your potential is, what your relationship to reality is, what the nature of reality is and what is passing through you without abstraction. It is experienced across a spectrum of quantity and quality, from little bits to torrents, from things that don’t make any particular sense to things that are deeply meaningful. A bit is just a small piece of a specific awareness that appears in your consciousness, while a torrent is a huge stream of awareness that may erupt within you like an eloquent and extemporaneous poem, beautiful, concise and unquestionably real.

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 (p2)

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 fl owing 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.