Sunday, 21. June 2009
Have you seen part 1 yet? It’s here….
The world changes all the time in size and scope; the same world becomes friendlier or more hostile, lighter or darker, according to our moods. This is obvious now, but not when you are caught up in that mood. Only from a distance can we see where we really were, usually a distance in time at the very least. This book has distance as one of its purposes; it seeks to be a kind of meditation.
The building blocks of life have mechanisms that link all creatures to all other life through chemistry and energy; cells allow liquids to pass; plants convert sunlight to nutrients; sound resonates structures. The sun that shines on us, the air we breathe, the quality of the foods we ingest – the heat, the cold, the quiet of the night – there it all is, and we let it all in, noticing or not, according to how our senses are tuned. Some people can experience their normally hidden autonomic functions; others, by contrast, cannot experience grotesque ill health until it finally threatens to kill them…
A new concept of self, the personality, has been developed during the twentieth century, observing the passage of subtle messages and tangible emotions between people, leading to new theories about patterns of behaviour and the nature of the individual. In this model we each have a complex set of reactions that were programmed in and went on to determine how we reacted to the world. Anyone who believes in that, which almost everyone does, is intellectually committed to maybe an energy, to at least a space, to a domain of some sort in which we affect each other, in which we touch each other. All of which leads us immediately beyond the idea of a line or fence around Me, the individual self, which cannot become solo behind a safe boundary, though perhaps what we call autism is an attempt to do just that.
Imagine a little further along the spectrum of energies and you may enter other realms of interchange which are probably not yet understood. We know that some situations add to our liveliness and others appear to exhaust. We sense that there is something more out there and occasionally we feel it more powerfully. Every civilisation that has ever existed has included some kind of awareness of the mystery, the breath of life, the divine – or at least some unexplained forces of destiny.
Even mental activity is a form of touch – out into the world and from that world into the heart of where we live. There is no place where reason prevails over emotion. There is no pure intellectual space. There is no frontier between the mind that is thinking and the body it resides in. The verb “to feel” is not the same as “to detect”. We are not sitting inside ourselves, monitoring the life outside; we are feeling and reacting with it, both, simultaneously: I feel tired; I feel the braking force of the car; I feel the sun on my face; I feel happy; I feel inspired; I feel the answer coming… I feel it and it touches me.
Later comes the explanation, the science and the logic; later comes the plan for success and the strategy to avoid failure. For now, the feeling is all there is; that feeling is the starting point for everything.