August 18, 2019
The Experience of Light
Bill Isaacs: We are continuously surrounded by abundance. I had the pleasure this morning of picking some peaches off the trees in our yard. So far, we have collected hundreds, and there are many more. It has taken years for the fruit to come. We had nothing for a long while and then got a very modest crop a few years ago. Suddenly now the trees are full of fruit. I put them in some bowls on our kitchen table. They were luminous. How amazing it is to see and taste something so sweet and fresh and full of life. We have spent years pruning and staking and fertilizing these trees, looking after them, caring for them. There are several other kinds of trees in our yard. Some of them became pest infected and didn't make it, and some have never born fruit. It has taken a great deal of care to get this far.
I think this is an apt metaphor for the reconditioning process in human consciousness. The scale is different. Years of pruning and care in an orchard translates into centuries with human beings. But there is a fundamental transition occurring now, a shift from mind to experience. The reconditioning of consciousness is apparently quite difficult. To begin to accommodate the abundance, the richness, that is actually present takes a great deal of meticulous effort. Human beings have lived under a cloud of darkness for a very long time. Absent any experience of the multidimensional nature of life, they have felt the need to invent their own meaning. In this state things are rather confusing. The primary ambition is to gain security. Once a modicum of security is achieved then people turn to "success," as defined by their particular context, which often means climbing to the top of their local heap, something that varies from person to person and place to place. The meaning of security and success has changed over the ages, but the fundamental endeavor hasn't. What's remarkable is that all of this effort has taken place essentially underground, in the dark.
Some level of life has obviously been present, and there are echoes of all kinds of true factors and much beauty throughout the earth, but all this is still only a very small portion of the wider whole. One of the primary modes of navigation in this endarkened state has been through the acquisitive processes of the intellect. Particularly over the last several thousand years, the notion has been that the gaining of objective knowledge will allow the quest for control, for survival, and ultimately success, to be more effective. There is apparently much to know. The knowledge that the human intellect seeks appears to have all kinds of fascinating components and is seemingly boundless. There is a small problem, however. This effort takes place in the absence of any experience whatsoever of the multidimensional nature of Being, and so leaves out an enormous portion of the picture. It is invariably incomplete and partial. While at times it can seem quite enlightening, knowledge gained in this way invariably creates trouble. There are all kinds of examples of innovations generated by the intellect that have produced dramatic unintended and disastrous effects further down the line. Creative ideas that seemed valuable at the time subsequently turned out to be not so wonderful.
Famously, some years ago Rachel Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring in which she pointed out that abundance of environmental pollutants—primarily DDT, which had been intended to cut down the mosquito population and the diseases they caused—had all kinds of detrimental, and outright devastating impacts on the environment. These subsequent effects are typically not obvious at the time the innovation is launched. This is one of the dilemmas of operating in the partial state. One doesn't see the impacts down the road. And yet apparently this has been the best we can do.
The very notion that there's an alternative way to function, and a more expansive whole picture in which we could participate, is actually still quite fantastic to most people, a fantasy, something that one might dream about but is more seen as the stuff of science fiction and not at all practical. That has been the dominant view down to this day. People who are inclined to seek an alternative often will uncover ideas—let's call them spiritual concepts—and the intellect imagines that it knows something because it has been informed of the idea that there are alternative ways to function. It now imagines it knows something about all this. What's interesting is how ultimately useless all of that is because it's still part of the state that is not complete. It's very easy to confuse oneself into thinking one has actually understood something when it's not quite yet the case, or at all the case.
The distinction between the living state of Being and the partial state is really quite absolute. Now I suppose it's the kindness of Life—certainly this has been true in my experience—that this distinction wasn't brought too sharply or too quickly. This is the kind of realization one has to come to for oneself. But ultimately the difference between living with an awareness and experience of an identity in the undimensional reality of Being and everything else is complete and total. At the same time, this results not in a sudden single stable experience but requires a continuous moment by moment transformation, a continuous download or reconditioning of accepted habits and ways of seeing things. The restoration of human consciousness is not an event. It's not a single moment. It's a continuous process of intensification and clarification that allows the light to shine more fully into the world.
The question becomes, "How does that happen?" and the answer is simple. The only way it can happen, the only place it happens, is in my consciousness. There is nothing else. There is no other aperture. The ability of human consciousness to receive and accommodate this multidimensional reality has been quite constrained. I can certainly see in myself that having a robust ability to receive this intensity involves strengthening in all kinds of ways. It requires the unburdening of various illusions. It requires the release of the insistence on all kinds of opinions and interpretations—the baggage of one's historical conditioning. This is not something that happens overnight, and it is not limited it seems to one's personal background. To the degree that we become candidates for receiving and operating in this way we become a point of focus for the transformation of many factors, some of which we see and many which we don't. The willingness to take this challenge on has apparently been only relatively reluctantly taken up over the ages. The trees haven't born much fruit.
Some years ago, I read a book by the Nobel Prize winning author Doris Lessing, called Briefing for a Descent into Hell. While it's nice to describe the joys of the transformational nature of human consciousness, the reality of working through these factors does require backbone and understanding. In her book, Lessing outlines what it's like to awaken in the midst of this difficult state, and what it takes to navigate through demanding conditions. The book has been interpreted in all kinds of ways, but her intent is really quite clear. At one point she writes from the perspective of beings who were not on the planet but who outline what it takes to traverse the challenges. She writes about the proceedings of a conference that takes place apparently on Venus, saying this:
"Now, the Permanent Staff on Earth has always had one main task, which is to keep alive, in any way possible, the knowledge that humanity, with its fellow creatures, the animals and plants, make up a whole, are a unity, have a function in the whole system as an organ or organism. Our Permanent Staff's task is always extremely difficult, the main feature of these human beings as at present constituted being their inability to feel, or understand themselves, in any other way except through their own drives or functions. They have not yet evolved into an understanding of their individual selves as merely parts of a whole, first of all humanity, their own species, let alone achieving a conscious knowledge of humanity as part of Nature; plants, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, all these together making a small chord in the Cosmic Harmony." -Doris Lessing. Briefing for a Descent into Hell (Vintage International) (p. 139). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
There have been buds on the Tree of Life for many, many, years, but rarely do they ripen fully. We have the interesting job of both allowing our consciousness to be the fruit of the labors of Life, and of being the gardeners, doing the pruning ourselves. We take the stance that I am here to allow the reconditioning to actually occur in this mind and heart. From my perspective as part of the voice of Life I see that it is possible to allow perfect expression to emerge in every moment. Now this is somewhat inconceivable for human consciousness. There would be debate about what perfect is, and what's really possible, could I really do it, and all the rest. But from the perspective of looking toward the "Permanent Staff," which are the minds and hearts and capacities of human beings throughout the planet, we see this is the cultivating job—to allow this perfectly formed already operative reality of Being to find meaning and life and action here in me and among all of us.
The undimensional state is immense, complex, rich, whole. It includes all aspects of the whole and is operational so completely and fully that there really aren't human words to describe it. There really aren't even metaphors that work to articulate the nature of this cosmic vastness. We can however meditate upon and listen together to this immensity.
The difficulties in the human state really are not what they seem. Often there appears to be a lot of power and effectiveness in the drama of the human state, whether it's the political drama or a personal one. Even the planetary ecological drama, when seen in perspective, is not as large and intractable as might seem to be the case. For instance, often one may notice emotional reactions that appear to be almost impossible to overcome, either in an interpersonal difficulty or in a political polarization. And yet what becomes evident is that underneath all of this there are really some quite small factors that are pumping themselves up to look like there's something there when there isn't. The image that comes to mind here is of the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard appeared to Dorothy to be a "great and powerful" force, containing awesome energy. Often factors in our consciousness or in our world appear that way. We, with Dorothy, are warned to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," to not notice that something else is going on here. Often there is not even a man behind the curtain but a wounded little kid, in each of us, making trouble, putting on a show.
These emotional factors, frozen in our emotional history can appear to be immensely powerful, but they're not. Not only are they not powerful they can be handled and healed quite easily. This requires bringing a tone of compassion, a quality of energy, of love straight from the undimensional and applied directly into the situation. And, in that current, things are easily handled. Human beings have been thoroughly hypnotized by these factors, to the point where awareness of anything else was virtually obliterated. The ability to continuously call upon the immense resources available in the reality of being gradually settle all these things. This is the secret to success—not the version invented by human beings casting around the dark—but the one that comes through accommodation of this transition from mind to experience, the experience of the whole which is light.
The undimensional seems dark to human consciousness. In recent years physicists have noticed that the visible mass of the cosmos ought to be flying apart but isn't, given their understanding of gravitational forces. They have posited the idea that there is something called "dark matter," which is holding the visible cosmos together. This theory is becoming increasingly widely accepted. Estimates vary but scientists think the cosmos is made of up to 96% dark matter. Dark matter apparently doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation, meaning it is invisible to human eyes. We literally do not have the eyes to see it.
I had a colleague some years ago who was leading an experiment to detect dark matter. He and his team had constructed an observatory—a dark matter detector—some 2500 feet below ground. Bizarrely, he was an astrophysicist doing astronomy underground, trying to detect dark matter shielded from the influences of cosmic radiation that would disturb his sensitive instruments. There are many such laboratories all over the world. If this is not a metaphor for the human state, I don't know what is: going below ground, trying to detect, in the dark, evidence of undimensional invisible Being.
The point is that awareness of this reality does seep through into consciousness. Because what else would it do? There is nothing else but this reality, so sooner or later it is going to seep in. The question becomes whether it actually gets accommodated because some people let themselves become aware of the immensity of this alternative way of functioning. There is an irony in speaking of it as an alternative, when really, it's the only way of functioning. But we've insisted on the split screen view for so long it appears that we have a choice.
Becoming open to having an awareness in this way seems to require a certain flexibility and open-heartedness, and this is often catalyzed only by a crisis, where a person realizes that their efforts below the line of awareness eventually prove futile, to the point where they give up and surrender.
As the tide begins to turn, our function in the world becomes not only significant but strategic. Life has an aperture in us through which factors can come together to synchronize what might not otherwise do so. If one has an interpretation of one's actions and purpose locked into a human frame—a career, a role, an idea about what is appropriate at a certain stage of life, a conditioned human identity of some sort, then one could quite easily miss what was seeking to emerge: connections to be made, either at the level of essence, or in form, get overlooked. We are really not here to be spiritual bumps on a log.
Some people have the notion that if one comes to some kind of understanding, the job then consists of somehow radiating to the world and it all gets better. I think we are meant to play a more active role than that. The harvest has been quite limited. Perhaps now a bit more momentum begins to put in an appearance. It becomes quite vital as that is the case that one doesn't send it away. In other words, as response appears, it is received, and not rejected because you weren't ready, or because you believe there isn't an adequate support system or whatever the reason. Everything that is required is present because the whole is coordinating it all anyway.
We are part of the rich circuitry of the cosmic whole, participants in an unprecedented restorative process, with an active role to play. What that role is only you can know, but it always involves the factors in front of you exactly the way they now are. We deliberately invite the perspective of undimensional Being ever more directly into our experience, to see what we are meant to think, to say, and to do. It is very easy for human beings to operate from pre-existing momentum, from memory, on autopilot. We need to re-create each moment, step by step, without assuming anything.
There is some wiggle room here. Perhaps this was covered in the briefing before we came (to stay with Lessing's story). We have some creative latitude to handle our circumstances as we see fit, to see who we might meet, to stabilize our minds and hearts and bodies, to come to accept what we are here to do and to learn to do it in the company of friends. But we must also not allow our minds and hearts to shy away from what we are here to do, to know confidence in the authority of Being. Allowing an experience of the magic and fullness and simple absoluteness of the reality of life is the mission.
An image that conveys this is a crossover point, an "X", with the undimensional above and the dimensional below, where we live in experience in that precise point. As one supposedly from below gets closer and closer to the crossover point there is less and less wiggle room until there finally is none. In other words, the human capacity is completely absorbed and held by one's own undimensional reality. No freedom, and yet complete release into the true freedom of Being which is so much more immense and creative than anything that can be imagined in the human state.
This is how the orchard of human consciousness begins to bear fruit. Life begins to emerge and perhaps after many years of cultivation we see something appear that hasn't been present for a very long time. We are here together as active participants in this undimensional space, having been briefed and prepared, and now being ready, actively present to do what there is to do.
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