Posts Tagged ‘father and i are one’

an ancient sacred metaphor: the vine of many branches

March 23, 2012

The vine of many branches

Notice any distinctions now: anything. Notice the distinctions of the colors of green and anything that is not green. Notice the distinctions of the ideas of loud and quiet. Notice the distinctions of the words quiet and quite, or the letters O and Z, or the following shapes: O and Z. There is a distinction between a shape and a letter, one word and another, different ideas or labels, and different colors.

Notice the distinction between all of those contrasting distinctions and the act of perceiving itself. Perceiving is what makes the difference between a shape of a Z and a letter Z. There is no external difference between the shape of a Z and the letter Z. One is witnessed as a shape without any label of it being anything but a distinct shape. The other is not just that shape, but that shape as a symbolic representation of a buzzing sound: “zzzz.” The symbolic representation of the buzzing sound is a letter. That same sound could be represented by a different shape (and in other  encodings of written alphabets, a different shape is used to represent that sound).

So, the process of perceiving is also distinct from whatever is perceived. Further, the process of noticing is itself distinct from the process of perceiving, which can go on by itself with or without any noticing.

Further, can there be a shape present without noticing it? Just look at the following shape and then focus on it briefly, then focus on something else: Z. Notice if the shape changes even when noticing comes and goes: Again, here is a Z shape. Look at the Z and focus on it, then, without removing the Z from your field of vision, simply stop focusing on it briefly, and then focus on it again: Z. Does the presence of the shape depend on noticing it? Isn’t the shape itself entirely independent of noticing it?

In ancient poetry, these distinctions have been made of the actual process of perceiving, the various particular objects of perception, and the process of noticing. Noticing is referenced in the poetic language of psychology as “conscious attention,” as distinct from processes that are unconscious or subconscious or even something called super-conscious. However, that terminology is rather abstract.

Here is some simpler poetry for the distinctions of perceiving, perceptions, and noticing. Perceiving is the capacity to perceive, and that is like a parent or Father. Without the capacity to perceive, there would be no perceptions. The perceptions are like a child or Son- an experience resulting from the originating Father of the capacity to perceive, what we might even call the ‘fruit.”

Finally, completing the trinity of the major psychological traditions of the last several thousand years, the process of noticing is like a Spirit or Ghost (or what modern psychology calls consciousness or attention). Sure, the capacity to perceive and the perceiving of various perceptions may happen by themselves, but when one notices not just the various external objects of perception but the concept of the process of perceiving, that perceiving of the concept of perceiving as distinct from external perceptions is like a rebirth of sorts.

When noticing the process of perceiving itself, then all perceptions are recognized as mere transitory effects. One may have identified with particular transitory perceptions (as in concepts or words) or even against particular transitory perceptions (as in concepts or words).

However, noticing the process of perceiving itself, which is not transitory, but boundless or everlasting or eternal- that is quite distinct! The process of perceiving persists even as a seeming infinite multitude of transitory perceptions come and go.

When one notices the process of perceiving itself, then one may identify with it directly- rather than identify exclusively with a particular transitory object of perception, such as the temporary appearance of a physical body. In poetic language, one might say that “the Father and I are one” (I identify with the eternal process of perceiving, which, by the way, is the same for all creatures). One might even say that “I am the vine” while the various multitudes of transitory perceptions are the branches.

Even closer may be that there is a single process of perceiving, with many distinct noticings of that same singular fundamental processes (like branches of a vine), and then an infinity of transitory “fruit.” Of course, all of the vine is the vine. The branches are all part of the vine and so are the fruit. By the way, the fruit do not so much belong fundamentally to any particular branch, but to the vine itself.

Published on: Dec 29, 2009

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reverse psychology 101: “focus on the anti-negative” (the language of taboos)

March 18, 2012

Hope wrote:

…Each of us has the power of creation from where we stand, and positive focus is a powerful tool for creating a better and better reality…”

Hi Hope!

So, is something wrong with reality? Is something insufficient (you know- perhaps just slightly unrealistic!) about some particular part of reality?

Are you sure? (As Byron Katie might say: “can you be absolutely sure whether or not that is definitively true?”)

English: Portrait of Byron Katie

Image via Wikipedia

I know what focus means, but doesn’t “positive focus” imply… focusing on fixing something that is judged negative? How do you know which focus is just focus and which focus is not just focus, but positive focus? (Also, which focus is “negative focus?” Which awareness is “negative?” Which alertness is “negative?” Which consciousness is “negative?”)

So, maybe the only thing wrong with reality is the idea that something is wrong with reality- or that anything ever could be wrong with reality (including with you or with me). Consider that nothing is wrong with reality- perhaps even including any idea that something is obviously wrong with reality, with the heroic savior of all the world being a cat chasing its own tail, looking for something else to declare wrong and then fixate on fixing, then something else, and so on and on and on, never again and again and again….

Let’s consider a distinct model from “the world over there vs me over here, who may think that the world is out of alignment with me and it should be aligned to me and I am going to fix it!” Yes, that is a model for personal conflict- not just conflict between me and the world, but between all these various judgments by the various “me” objects/processes (i.e. “me” vs “you,” “us” vs “them”).

Which me is right? Which model of how the world should be is right- the right-wing or left-wing (of the angel?), the Sunni or the Shiite, the Lakers or the Bruins?

That’s all fine and can be fun, but it’s not the only linguistic model by which to process things. Here is another model.

The sun shines. The radiation of the sun blasts into the snowcap of a mountain, melting the icy mass into drips of water, gathering into streams, making mud out of dirt as the water slams down towards lower elevations, plowing over ants and leaves, leaving mass destruction in its wake. the streams gather into raging rivers with rapids and then are trapped and come still into lakes, perhaps behind dams made by strange creatures like beavers or humans. Then, some of the water trickles down out from behind the dam. Some spills all the way into the oceans. Some sinks into aquifers. Some bubbles out of a faucet and then steams in a container as someone makes tea. The steam eventually forms into clouds, then falls into snow caps, and so on.

That is a model of unity or holism. The river did not decide to form. The beaver did not decide to build a dam. The human did not decide to use the word decide in describing anything.

A bunch of things just happened in a particular sequence, including the humans saying “oh, I did that. That was my choice. I am the one who produced that dam.”

Or, did the hands of the human produce the dam- or did the earth produce the dam and just used some of its beavers and humans and stones to do it? Humans do not choose to grow fingernails or toenails. The growth just happens.

There is a cloud. Did you decide to make it grow like that?

There is a fingernail. Did you decide to make it grow like that?

There is a sequence of decisions that you call your personal history. Did you decide to make it grow like that? In other words, do you deny the influence of genetics and of social conditioning and of the existence of anyone else but you who could ever have had any influence on you whatsoever? Did you create not only your own ancestral lineage, but every cloud that has ever happened and, well, every single thing that has ever happened- even any of those things that are obviously wrong that you are going to do better next time?

You created all the stuff, including creating the idea that something was wrong… with you personally? Or did you just possibly inherent a few things- like maybe… the English language, for instance?

We may use a model of language in which choice (and the ego) is worshiped as the fundamental truth of the universe. Did the snowcap choose to melt? Exactly how fundamental is choice?

If the ego and choice are such fundamental truths, then how could anything happen without them? Obviously, the sun must have chose to shine and then to intentionally melt that particular snowcap, because the sun is very interested in all the effects of all of its radiation, right? It is a very conscientious and responsible and caring sun, right?

For instance, I have noticed that it only melts the snowcaps at any given moment that are on the side of the earth facing the sun. See how conscientious the sun is! And so consistent!

Or, perhaps change is the fundamental truth. Perhaps language itself is the fundamental truth. Perhaps conflict if the fundamental truth- after all, the stream was obviously quite rude and personal as it demolished the antbeds and eroded the fields… not of every farmer, but only of the ones who dared to place their fields along the path of that particular stream. Personal antagonism is obviously fundamental to the universe, along with shopping malls, hypocrisy and parody, right?

So, it is ONLY the Tao which acts. Or, in other words… God: it is not I that do these things, but my Father (my Source) which is working through me.

“My focus” is in operation before there is any linguistic process identifying a “me object” to claim any focus as “mine.”
God focuses through me. The Tao informs the earth and, in turn, me. “I” am merely the expression (or “Logos”) of God, the presence of “I am” (at least as most Judeo-Christian-Muslims use that Abrahamic term “God.”)

So, I enact economic behavior like brushing my teeth. It just happens through me- not to me, because there is no “me” in the fundamental sense at all.

The “divine” presence of God is the simple, mundane, “hidden in plain sight” awareness that is looking at this screen and recognizing these little shapes as letters and words and decoding it all into instructions for the refinement of focus. These words come through God (“me”) and return to God (“you”), informing “your” focus.

Hope, do not think of a pink elephant… or at least not yet. Okay- were you thinking of one before you read those words? How about as you read them? How about… right… NOW!

If you were not thinking of a pink elephant before, but then you “mysteriously” did suddenly, then perhaps the words guided or informed your focus, your attention, your experience. And, we could remove the word “your” and it would all still make perfect sense. Words inform attention. Language informs attention into… experience.

So, anyway, God was talking to herself one day- rather like a mentally ill chap discussing toenails and philosophizing about choice with an imaginary friend- and noticed herself saying this, apparently to no one in particular: “I forbid you to even think of forming into your attention the possibility of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and eve.”

Regarding whether we have the power of creation or not, perhaps the power of creation has each of us “from where it stands” as us. There is no boundary between the power of creation and us. We are entirely the power of creation.

There is nothing us of which is not of God, of the Tao. We are forms of the Tao. We are the images of God, her imaginary friends in her dream in which everyone seems not to be her personally, at least as long as there is a dream having a dreamer.

They asked: “When did I see you and not clothe you or feed you?”

He replied: “Whenever you see anyone and do not clothe them or feed them, you see me and do not clothe me or feed me.”

That is not a condemnation or a curse about guilt- “oh, you should have clothed me, you horrible sinner!” Yes, in Genesis there are the words of a God cursing the woman and the man, but those are just (translated) words… after all.

Consider that the teaching of “everyone is me” is actually just the presentation of one possible model. In that model, there is no guilt. Indeed, the concept of guilt rests on the foundation of a premise in the fundamental existence of separate individuals. Certain religious teachings directly contradict that model. Certain ways of focusing that God instructs “us” to do may be quite “impersonal” – not this particular hungry or naked rabbit or grandmother as better than that one, but that they are all forms of the only one, God.

Even the samaritans, who everyone knows are the most untouchable of despicable foreigners, might be compassionate toward a fallen Jew… while the High Priest Pharisee or Sanhedrin might walk by quickly… too scared to stop and help. “Why do you fear, O ye of little faith?” The Pharisees lacked faith, so they felt threatened, so they killed the perceived source of threat.

Did Jesus condemn them as personally sinful? He just kind of blew it off: “Yeah, well, they really did not even know what they were doing.” It was like he was saying they were in a trance, yeah?

“I am the vine and you are the branches [of me]. I abide in you and you abide in me. Let each of them be one, just as my Father and I are one. “

None of this is a condemnation of the ego model. It is just a totally different model. God does not go around condemning people for growing toenails the wrong way or for clothing only their own children or feeding only a few grandmothers and not various others. There is nothing wrong with anyone and all blame is already forgiven. The kingdom of heaven is not the cemetary. 

“Be as humble [prideless, guiltless, shameless, innocent] as a little child, receiving the kingdom of heaven which is within you.” He did not say to receive the Holy Spirit eventually- or wait until you are baptized or dying or dead. He said to receive it instantly- without delay, do not even finishing type this sente….

John 20:
21 And Jesus said to them again, May peace be with you! As the Father sent me, even so I now send you. 22 And when he had said this, breathing on them, he said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit: 23 Any to whom you give forgiveness, will be made free from their sins; and any from whom you keep back forgiveness, will still be in their sins.

(Yes, here the word “sins” is used, but let’s go easy on the translators. They probably had absolutely no idea what they were doing, okay? Are we going to rely on the translators to understand and communicate to us a fundamental truth which they even describe with the words “beyond understanding”- possibly an experiential truth? Wouldn’t relying on them be rather… silly?)

Re: “the father and I are One,” there is absolutely no guilt in the model of “there is only one of us.” There is in fact no competition between “this model and that model.”

The tree of life includes all of its branches automatically. The tree of holism includes the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The forbidden tree, apparently is the one in which the humans (Adam and Eve) can “become God(s).” At least that hope of becoming God(s) is specificied in Genesis. God tells the humans that “you” will die if you eat it, but is that a reference to physical death or the metaphorical or linguistic death of “the personal ego” as the primary filter of experience?

In that model of “good vs evil/ better vs worse,” apparently God believes that there is more than one God, so they could be competing against each other. In fact these diverse gods must be in conflict- you know, to know which one is the real one and which one is the imposter- and so one God must be distinct from the other(s) somehow- such as by declaring the existence of good and evil… so each of these so-called individual gods judge themselves to be good and the other branches to be more or less evil or good (relative some particular linguistic model of how the tree should be as distinct from how it is forbidden from being): “ah, roots are bad and leaves are good… ah, females are holy and men are not…. ah, oaks and pines are equal, but some are more equal than others….”

So, the branches which JUDGE THEMSELVES to be separate… are ironically JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER BRANCHES. It’s almost as if all the branches are just variations of the exact same program….?

From the trunk, there is a single tree. From the branch, there is this branch vs that one, protestants vs catholics, boys vs girls, and so on. Both models are valid: the language of the ego and the language of holism. However, only one includes the other. Consider that the one which includes the other is the fundamental one.

“I did not come to judge the world, but to take away the sin of the world.” What is the sin of the world? Sin is missing the mark, an error, a worshiping of the letter and neglecting of the spirit.

Sin, however, is not something that should not be. The belief that anything that should not be ever could actually be is sin (judging the world). In other words, sin is the belief that anything that ever could be obviously shouldn’t. Sin is judgment. It’s not wrong. It’s just optional.

Sin is just sin… and yes we could say that it is natural. Every branch, in order to know itself as a branch, must experience sin and guilt and the entire language of the ego.
To really get the language of holism, oddly enough, God apparently sets up this language of ego, which is dualistic, for “us” to have some point of reference to actually “get” what holism is- not as a contradiction to something, but as a container which is so pure that it can contain the perception of impurity, imperfection, evil, sin, judgment, guilt, shame, antagonism, consumerism, winter, snowcaps, and so on.

However, sin is optional. By forbidding it- like being instructed not to think of a pink elephant- sin (or evil) is made into an object of singular importance, i.e. worshiped. That is just one way that focus may shift: by forbidding something, denying it, repressing it.

So, to me, you do not have the power of creation. You are the power of creation. You are creation itself.

In fact, you and I are the same power of creation. To me, you might be a different flavor of power of creation, or a different function, or the hand or the heart, or the thumb or the ring finger, but the power of creation is incomplete without you just as it is incomplete without me- in other words, it includes “us.”

In terms of the ego, you have the power of creation- but perhaps you did not have it before and then you got it and then you lose it and then you get it back again and then you struggle with it and try to use it and keep it and control it and so on. That is all “the consolation prize” – like when you were a kid and get to turn the steering wheel while you sit on mommy’s lap and imagine that you are actually driving. You are just turning the wheel of a car that is still. However, that is a perfectly valid thing to do.

When you are ready to drive, you will. When you are only ready to have the power of creation, rather than be it, then you will experience only having the power of creation… like as a concept of mere words.

So, Hope, perhaps you misquoted the Bible (i.e. Jesus, i.e. me). Take away the sin FROM the world would be that same old model of duality that over here is sin and over there is the world. The saying I quoted is “take away the sin OF the world.”

Now, I am not saying that if God were just to speak into the English language directly right now that God would be saying it quite that way. God might be saying to her imaginary friends “Hope” and “J.R.” something a bit more like this:

The focus I give you now is to stop taking the speck out of “the other’s” view. Take the blinders out of your own perspective, your own linguistic models, your own beliefs, even your own worship of the existence of a personal individuality with a personal will and evil and sin and guilt and blame and “how reality should obviously not be how it is, but maybe we can make it better, you know, if we really try hard!”

Everything that happens is the Way of God. There is nothing but forms of Creation, of the Tao, of the Great Mystery, of the Holy Spirit of the Whole.

So, do you get that or not? It’s so simple! Jesus Christ, sometimes I fucking feel like I might as well just be talking to myself over here….

“Teacher, what is the most important teaching?”

Jesus answered them, quoting the Old Testament to them AGAIN (How many times to do I have to tell you people this….): Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is One… DUH!”

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