Saturday, October 20, 2012

What’s the Point?

I never know what’s going to happen next.  I have to roll the dice.
A mathematician, explaining the Chaos Game
 Fractals… They’re all over in biology.  They’re one solution that natural selection has come up with over and over again.
NOVA, Fractals the Hidden Dimension

A good friend has spent the past few weeks on jury duty – a death penalty, double murder trial.  It’s been a hard, very emotional period for her.  But, she’s approached it as happening for some reason and so she tends to look upon the trial as an opportunity for growth.  Her husband, on the other hand, feels things simply happen.  The trial is an odious even she has been pulled into and there is no reason for the disasters that befall us.  Our task is simply to survive the pain and move on down the road.  His philosophy has uncovered my friend’s own doubts regarding her spiritual beliefs. 
His doubts also reflect statements I sometimes hear from nondualists:  There is no reason or ultimate cause.  Things simply happen.

I think we all wrestle with this question.  Sometimes we simply voice it as, “Why me?” 

I find one answer to this question through the science of Chaos Theory and Fractals.  It’s simple and very graphic.  Fractals are beautiful complex patterns.  Each pattern is defined by an equation.  The equations are meant to be solved repeatedly with each iteration generating a point.  When these points are plotted graphically, their location pops up randomly.  It is from this random deposition of points upon a piece of paper that the beautiful fractal pattern eventually emerges.

You can watch this process for the pattern called a Sierpinski Triangle here.
You can view an emergence of this pattern in 21 seconds here.
[The game is following these rules:  Number the vertices of an equilateral triangle 1, 2 and 3. Start with a random initial point in the plane and plot this point.  Randomly pick a number: 1, 2 or 3. From the initial point, move half the distance towards that numbered vertex. This point is plotted and becomes our new initial point. Repeat this process thousands of times.]

Fractal geometry is the geometry which describes the chaotic systems we find in Nature.  Scientifically speaking, Life and the Universe itself are complex systems.  Such systems are Chaotic in behavior and Chaos Theory presents these simple, defining features of every chaotic system:
1. Chaotic systems may appear to be random but they are not. They are deterministic with equations ruling their behavior.
2. Chaotic systems are very sensitive to the initial conditions making them very unpredictable.  A very slight change in the starting point can lead to enormously different outcomes.  The famous Butterfly Effect and the difficulty in predicting weather are examples.
3. Chaotic systems appear to be disorderly, but they are not. Beneath the seemingly random behavior are a sense of order and beautiful patterns.  The orderly systems predicted by classical physics are actually the narrow situation.  

And thus, in the Chaos Game we find that the picture that is generated through this random process is not random at all.  And I think this is exactly how are lives are.  We may not see the reason for the situation that we're in.  But, that does not mean there is no intelligence or reason underlying the surface appearance of events.

Chaos and order are deeply, deeply linked.  In fact, I view them as different sides of the same coin.
You can call this phenomenon an expression of the Laws of Nature or the intelligence of God.  I think it just depends upon whether you are coming from your head or heart, and your ability to look deeply inside yourself, deeply inside the universe.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

If You Listen

Light Cone 1 by Seeking Tao
Light Cone 1, a photo by Seeking Tao on Flickr.
If you Listen you will go mad.
(I told myself these exact words)
And they rang like poetry.

I have been reading poets trying to find just the words
The perfect words
The perfect fit as nothing feels quite right
Except that one first line which surely isn’t mine
Someone must have said it. But they didn’t. I did.

I found this one. Perhaps the rhythm caught me, for I didn’t understand what he was really saying
Famously and Beautifully, under the Theme of Fire (surely they mean burning), T.S. Elliot:

Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight…

Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

Well, perhaps I am beginning to understand a thing or two as the poem improves the more I read along its lines, until I realize how close they come to YES!
And they sound finer than Lock Kelly's BBQ, highlighting fire and not so much the burning flesh.
So many ways to say it, a Google brought me this:

These inner voices are just crap. These are just fragments of your mind; they have no value at all...These are all your fragments. And if you go on following them you will go crazy…
Remember, God has no voice except silence. He never says anything. There is nothing to say; there is no verbal communication. But that silence, that utter silence, gives you clarity, gives you light, makes you capable of moving rightly. Not that it gives any directions, not that it gives you any maps, not that it supplies you any guides – nothing of the sort. It simply gives you eyes to see your path.

And then you start moving in life with eyes. Ordinarily you are moving blind. A blind man needs guides, a blind man needs voices, a blind man needs maps. A man who has eyes needs nothing. God comes to you as silence. God is silence. Remember it: only trust silence and nothing else – otherwise you will get trapped by the mind again and again. And to be trapped by the mind is to be in misery. To be free of the misery is to know what bliss is, is to know what benediction is.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Different Qualities of Awakening

There are different things that are seen, different things that are experienced in different types of awakenings… They all have to do with a shift in your essential identity. If it doesn’t have to do with an essential shift in your identity then what you’ve had is a spiritual experience, not a spiritual awakening…
Each of these windows has their own illusions that you awake from… Awakening on the level of the mind, you realize that you are the spacious infinity of consciousness – lovely! And, you can still be an emotional basket-case… you can still be a total mess as a human being… It’s common to be awake on the level of conscious mind and still be emotionally guarded. Awakening on the level of the heart you become unguarded in your emotional body… emotional vulnerability is different from intellectual [vulnerability].
Adyashanti, Different Qualities of Awakening

And then there is the belly too.
After a certain level of clearing, the Self moves forward to absorb the “gut” as Adyashanti put it. The divine continues the decent into the world. The core identify, long sitting sub-conscious becomes conscious. This is the core of what Tolle calls the “pain body,” the driver of the drama and the ego. It is a root fear that has been holding our story. Once seen, it can be released.

This process Loch Kelly called the BBQ, when these core drivers are seen and cleared. In the process, the sense of person or “I” dissolves. There is no longer a “Fred” or whatever name you go by. We also notice there is no longer an “inside” and “outside.” This is always a unique experience. Again, the experience can be quite short or take a little time, depending on the work that remains.
Davidya, The Journey, Part 2

I’ve been feeling this BBQ for some time now. It’s uncomfortable. And it’s OK … but uncomfortable! And mostly, I just don’t care enough to write about it here. Sometimes I make notes. But, then there’s no will to carry. Through. (or brain) There’s just this pull inwards into silence and watching the body, the cellular “stuff”: the earth, air, fire, water - just be vaporized.