Saturday, June 30, 2007

Suzanne Segal

Abalone Cove Stormset
Originally uploaded by Dan90266
I picked up Collision with the Infinite by Suzanne Segal this morning. I was looking for a particular passage that I never found.
Instead, I opened to these words that slay me.

Maharishi’s description of the three stages of awakening - Cosmic Consciousness, God Consciousness, and Unity Consciousness - now appeared to be incredibly relevant. The initial months of my experience, in which witness awareness persisted throughout waking dreaming, and sleeping, was clearly the state of Cosmic Consciousness…this state of consciousness horrified the mind.

The dramatic shift to Unity Consciousness was also self-evident… However, I still found myself wondering what Maharishi had meant by God Consciousness. He had always described it as a state in which all creation is perceived to be infused with the sacred, the divine… Nothing I had ever experienced fit that particular description. Nor had I ever heard Maharishi describe anything resembling the experience, so clearly delineated by the Buddhists, that one is not an individual self.

It was not until I discovered a story about Shakespeare written by Jorge Luis Borges that I entertained the possibility that God Consciousness was really the consciousness of being no one. “In him there was no one,” the story begins, and goes on to explain what, when he was a child, Shakespeare thought that everyone knew they were no one as well. When he talked to his friends about the experience, however, he encountered blank looks, which “showed him his mistake…” The story describes a life lived in the wintertime of the emptiness, where the mind, juiced by fear, tried every thing my mind had attempted to spark the return of a personal reference point…

When Shakespeare became an actor, the story goes on, he found the prefect profession, where he got to “play at being someone before an audience who played at taking him for that person.” Although he spent his entire life attempting to reconstitute a sense of being someone, he never succeeded…

The story concludes: “The tale runs that before or after death, when [Shakespeare] stood face to face with God, he said to Him, ‘I , who in vain have been so many men, want to be one man – myself.’ The voice of the Lord answered him out of a whirlwind, ‘I too have no self; I dreamed the world as you dreamed your work, my Shakespeare, and among the shapes of my dreams are you, who, like me, are many men and no one.’”

Tears are streaming down my face even as I transcribe and edit words.
They hit me hard in ways I do not fully fathom. Yet, it makes so much sense to me.

I know I like the term “witness awareness” - so much more preferable and accurate than “Cosmic Consciousness.”
And I like the phrase, “the wintertime of the emptiness,” though I change it immediately to “wintertime of witnessing” and we are well into the heat of summer and I lie in bed each night in a sweat never going all the way to sleep.
And as we come on to the Fourth of July it self, I chuckle, “It’s a free country.”
I see the flag flying like some rightwing bumper sticker that I can appreciate.
It’s a free country and I have a free will.
And with my Free Will I seem to be screwing up my life just the way we all have screwed up this country.

Why can’t I just accept the witnessing? Why can’t I just relax, accept, drop all the lame excuses, and have the courage to look even deeper? Because, it’s a free country and I have free will and so I seem to be persisting in resisting.

Or as Suzanne Segal writes:
He took the presence of fear to mean the emptiness was a “strange ailment” and therefore spent his life trying to make it appear that he was someone.

Actually, as I write now, I have a grin on my face.
It’s nice to have the words, little navigation bouys out in the ocean.
It reminds me that Suzanne referred to we who get together and discuss all this as “buddies in the vastness.”
I like that.

And I do know the mind cannot figure this out. But, somehow, it must make it’s peace with it All.
It (I) need to slip past the fear.
I need to find more love. … as it all comes down to that… maybe…

I hope that you are smiling. I am.

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