I have sat down with the promise to myself of “just write” and post whatever.
Whatever. It was been a quiet (strange?) whatever kind of week. My difficulty with writing has continued.
For one thing, I’ve kind of given up on thinking – though my mind is filled with thoughts. I find “intellectual activity” (and yes, that is actually behind most of these post) – intellectual activity in the form of thought after thought has become at times unbearable.
Why? Because I cannot stand how all the thoughts seem to pull me out of myself and away from the knowing discovery that “feeling” can provide. Driving into work the other morning (just about the only morning I made it into work last week) I saw quite clearly how thinking pulls me up and out of myself. I didn’t like that and was looking at the phenomenon closely. Then, I realized, “Well, at least that makes it very clear – You are not your thoughts.” Of course, this s a philosophical belief of mine, but just that moment, belief gave way to direct experience.
Thoughts are like these skyrockets I send up from the Silence of myself. Skyrockets are great fun and colorful delights. But, they are no more “me” than my body is. Though I (whoever that may be) do live in close proximity to both thoughts and physiology. In fact, we intermix.
I didn’t stay at work for long that day. My body has had its own struggles. Last Saturday a bunch of old friends and I went for a kayak float down a river in north Georgia. It was a perfect day. The river carried us along and required little work. We linked kayaks up in continually shifting combinations and caught up on each other’s lives. We picnicked on a gravel bank, floated pass turtles sunning by the dozen, gazed up into the blue, blue sky and inhaled the greenness of the trees. After seven miles of these delights we got out, dried off, and regrouped at Pod’s house overlooking a lake just outside Atlanta. I haven’t had such a good time in months.
The next morning I woke up with a migraine; too many nitrates in the potato salad? I don’t know. (Well, yes, in part it was the nitrates.)
But, I was also suffused with Silence, apparently absorbed from all that Nature and enlivened by all the happiness and laughter. The Silence sickened me as much as any migraine. For below all the muscle, blood, skin, and bones, my body was also composed of Silence and my insistance upon moving, thinking, focusing on task painfully torn into it and ripped the Silence into shreds. “One layer up” my inner body energetically became a silence scream. A layer up from that was a “migraine” of sorts.
I called in Monday with the migraine excuse. Though none of the drugs I took relieved the symptoms: low grade headache, nausea, trembling, poor balance, eyes not working. It was enough of a migraine to use as a somewhat honest excuse. But, it was something else too. My consciousness was wide open. I spent a lot of time sitting on the back deck, watching two robins tend their nest. I also caught up on cleaning and laundry, with naps freely interspersed. When I slept, there was pure wakefulness. When I went to work, I couldn’t understand my protocols – the instructions for my experiment. I would reread each sentence, moving my finger along below the words for emphasis, but nothing would compute. I couldn’t figure how to do things I have done several times before. Meanwhile, continually shredding Silence became a roar of jangled, chaotic energy. I soon had to return to my bed.
As long as mind is associated with the object, so long as is it experiencing mind; but when the object of experience has diminished to the point where it has disappeared, the mind ceases to be experiencing mind. Conscious mind becomes consciousness. But during this process of transformation, it first gains the state of its own individuality…
The verse does not speak of the mind but of “thought” as being steady. The Sanskrit word is chitta, which signifies that aspect of mind which is a quiet and silent collection of impressions or seeds of desire. Chitta is like water without ripples. It is called manas, or mind, when ripples arise.
When the mind gains the state of chitta… It holds its individuality in the void – the abstract fullness around it – because there is nothing for it to experience. It remains undisturbed, awake in itself.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, On the Bhadgavad Gita, a New translation and Commentary. Chapter 6, verse 19.
I think that physiologically my body/mind was ready to sit quietly. However, I live in the world. I have a 9 to 5 job. And so that which would melt silently … “Imagine a silent wave on a silent ocean, ready to merge into the silence of the deep” (MMY) – imagine taking a stick to that water and whipping it into a frenzy. That’s what moving in the world felt like all week. That’s what forming thoughts coherently into writing feels like just now. It nauseates my body and sets everything to trembling.
So, OK. Enough for now. I’ve kept my promise.
I have this one thought, RE: Why bother doing this?
I hope that this chronicle might be of use to someone, somewhere, someday.
Adya says if the question is occurring to you, then you also know the answer. So, when I ask myself, “What is going on?” I look to see.
And, I think I see. I think I understand. And so might someone else. But, the answers often seem so outlandish that doubt arises. Doubt is weakening and we don’t need that. So, from time to time it helps to discover that someone else has passed this way. And perhaps, this is the path... and then thorns and brambles don’t matter quite so much.