Monday, September 25, 2006
EYES ON THE POTATO
Gathering the proper words to express revelation requires that one is torn by simultaneously trying to create and dissemble the same thing. The process of precise expression is one of making a metaphor for the inspiration which most exactly fits both the idea realized and the most likely to be grasped by the same light in the recipient as that from which the awareness dawned in the speaker originally. It is the original social motivation: to be able to speak from the soul of ones inspiration to the depths of the soul one sees to be common to all. The idea of a soul needing to express itself to itself occurs at times when one feels too separated and alone in search of belonging where one is. Soul communicates with individual incarnated manifestations no more selectively than the sun shines on the earth or a person is aware of their own particular cells. The moment of inspiration comes when the mind forgets the "reality" of the physical world that demands awareness of the otherness of all perceptions. Before I write the next sentence I had in mind, I have a few experiences to relate which may create a more sensual context in which to couch it.
The I Ching is a wonderful trick to bring the timelessness of eternal truth into the moment by writing sixty-four metaphors for realizing the truth and assigning each one six names made of two symbols, — and – –, for the possibility of sixty-four titles. The mind preoccupied by concerns of transient importance is blind to ancient, eternal wisdom so a game, a tradition, a trick is played in which one tosses three coins six times or casts yarrow sticks or any other method of making an either/or decision based on the chance of the moment in order to build the name of the particular truth to be read. The trick reveals the depth and beauty of the culture within which such wisdom can be disseminated. The use to which this ancient ritual is commonly put is as a source of advice, much as one might let a book fall open and heed whatever page is there. But this book is hedged by coming to it with a quandary believed to be serious enough to need advice and the ritual of choosing one of sixty-four ancient truths invests enough attention to the words that the metaphor selected connects to problems in the present, because truth is timeless. When this dawned on me I began to see every day as another truth in plain sight whenever I can get my head out of the rat race. Some few years after the revelation about the I Ching, Sri Krishna Menon, a wise man, my guru, told me, “Enlightenment comes when everyone is your guru.”
Just before I sat down to work this page out I was playing a computer version of Mah Jong which seems to serve the same function as tossing yarrow sticks as a way to become physically and mentally detached from time bound concerns of “out there.” Usually I indulge with no more idea than to kill time or get away from something I’m fed up with, which invariably, if not interrupted by inattention or external distraction, brings me to a state where I see myself recognizing personalities I have given these tiles and following a tecnique of succeeding developed from the rules in my experience of them over the years. I watch totally inanimate objects play out my social mechanisms and lay them bare to scrutiny. I have to say that I know absolutely nothing about the original game. I play a solitaire version where the object is to maneuver matches for an ultimate clearing of the board either racing the clock or at analytical leisure. I sometimes use it as a barometer on my competency level. Should I go putter around in the garden or tackle yet another attempt at a coherent expression of the metaphor the mobius loop is for the mechanism of existence? That sort of thing.
Okay, so now we have the couch, now let’s see if I can remember the damned sentence I so lovingly built it for. In going back over the paragraph leading up to the delayed sentence I was once again put off with how different the word soul seems between writing and reading … a totally inadequate word. So instead of soul I will use potato and for its incarnations I will use its eyes. In order to make my point I fear I must rephrase that first paragraph from the first mention of soul:
“It is the original social motivation: to be able to see eye to eye. The idea of a potato needing to express itself to itself occurs at times when one eye can’t see another and feels restricted to the outside of the potato. The potato communicates with its eyes no more selectively than the sun shines on the earth or a person is aware of particular cells. The moment of inspiration comes when the mind’s eye forgets the physical world that demands that the eyes be crossed.”
The perceptions of the eyes are as the symbols on the on one hundred-forty-four mah jong tiles or the sixty-four names of the I Ching’s metaphors for enlightenment in endless, infinite awakening metaphors contained in the here now of any moment three-hundred-sixty-five days a year, twenty-four hours every day, sixty minutes every hour.
The potato awaits in timeless here now.
For the eyes to see light beyond soil blinders
To take root, make home
And raise a new family of potatoes
For those, intrepid enough to still be following this free flowing stream of thought and who should realize the potato/soul of which I speak has no religious connotations, I’ll paraphrase the potato back to soul:
The soul awaits the myriad perceptions of its incarnations to show the perceiver that what they see is what they are, disguised in “other” world uniqueness.
It occurs to me that this line of thought has just begun, having realized there is a “for what?” and a “why” implicit in a waiting soul. I will chew on those question while you either digest or gag on these ideas. …until such time, maybe.