Tuesday, September 17, 2013

the interior of the exterior



So the contemplative becomes an avenue not only into a kind of interiority for ourselves, you know, our own moral and, say, lives of purpose and meaning and so forth that we may brood over, which is something different than meditating. But also there's an objective character to the contemplative inquiry, the kind that [Rudolph] Steiner is interested in where one's oriented towards the other, towards the world around us, towards nature.

And one comes to know — I think of it this way — that one comes to know the interior of the exterior. One comes to know the inside of every outside. It's not only human beings that have an interior or an inside, but that the world around us as well can be known inwardly. Strike a bell and you can listen to the sound, but you can also move towards the qualities that are more aesthetic and even moral in nature that deal with the sounding bell or the particular color or that painting that's there or the music that you're hearing.

So life is dense with those levels of experience, but we need to calm ourselves, get clear, get quiet, direct attention, sustain the attention, open up to what is normally invisible, and certain things begin to show themselves. Maybe gently to begin with, but nonetheless it deepens and enriches our lives. If we are committed to knowledge, then we ought to be committed also to exploring the world with these lenses, with this method in mind and heart.

You know, otherwise we're kind of doing it halfway. And then when we go to solve the problems of our world, whether they're educational or environmental, we're bringing only half of our intelligence to bear; we've left the other half idle or relegated it to religious philosophers. But if we're going to be integral ourselves, you know, have a perspective which is whole, then we need to bring all of our capacities to the issues that we confront, spiritual capacities as well as more conventional sensory-based intellects and the like.




6 comments:

  1. i hold the potential of this program as hope)))not listening to it yet but waiting so that i might pay the careful attention that it deserves.

    and so it was last night after having somewhat lost myself in the cacophonous outside world of manufactured distraction (ie, work based on consumerism and steeped in ego) we headed to the woods. does the moon know its power of resurrection? does the tree? the stone?

    i listen to the program soon but in the meantime i try to listen to the world harder))))

    xo
    erin

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    1. I think they know. I think they know.

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  2. "opening to the invisible...." feeling the "spirit" of life *in* nature revealing Itself... Yes... How different our perspective would be... I have to work on this myself - to be more fully aware, more fully open... John Daido Loori was a Zen monk who was also a photographer. He talked of this as well, in different terms, but his way was always to greet the subject of his photo, say a tree, or rock, or water, meeting it at this deeper level, and waiting in silence for *it* to respond (internally of course), waiting for the "yes", to "allow" the space between them to open before taking the photo. I have yet to experience this...

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    1. Thank you for this from John Daido Loori, Christine. I do this, perhaps with less consciousness, but with some awareness. This spurs me to be more conscious with the camera. It is a special connection to listen to what is there, to ask for what it is giving, to receive it. This quiet process you describe is beautiful.

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  3. ...something different than meditating. I like this, Ruth.

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    1. It is attention in all of life. I like it, too, Boots.

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