• March 14, 2016

    Yesterday, you asked us if we could “listen to space, not the sounds within space but space itself”. I had no idea what you were talking about but, oddly enough, when I tried to do it, my state underwent a major shift in a way I can’t describe.

    You encountered the abstract. You had an engagement with the formless.

    What do you mean by abstract?

    The abstract is a quality or characteristic apart from any specific object or instance. In common usage, it refers to a concept or idea, something with no specific physical existence like, say, justice. But I am not asking you to indulge in conceptualism, which is already one of your favourite past-times. I am asking you to experience the abstract, the abstract beyond thought, and it seems that you did, at least for a moment.

    Is it possible to experience something that has no existence in time and space?

    Our most important experiences such as feeling, attention and presence, are formless; they do not exist in the ordinary way. They do not occupy time and space. Our work places considerable emphasis on observation of gesture and the extraordinary power of sensation, experiences which do occur in time and space. Factual experience is a necessary anchor for attention and presence. But transformation also requires engagement with the abstract.

    Our habit is to tie the abstract to a specific. We have feeling but the feeling is associated with something or someone. The specific then takes over through the power of attachment and the abstract is lost. The specific is extraordinarily valuable itself and it can also suggest or invoke the abstract. They are not enemies but they are also not the same. A feeling needs no object, no attachment, no reason to exist; in its essence, it is universal. Even more so, the capacity for feeling does not need a specific feeling; the capacity in itself is an extraordinary reality and to experience it is nameless ecstasy.

    Presence is existence without identity. Existence as what? Find out. Is it the miracle of being? And does it not bring with it a quality of joy and an experience of exactness without any exact thing? This is difficult to grasp and even harder to express in thought. I apologize for being obscure. All I can do is point and suggest that you work with this.

    To listen to space is to direct attention to the formless. Does space have sound? If sound is a physical vibration in time and space, space makes no sound we can hear. If space is not an absence but rather an active medium for presence and attention, perhaps space can be heard. One form of hearing is the attention acting through the ears. Another form of hearing is with attention acting directly but with the same quality or setting as listening with the ears. You may find that the abstract is musical, that it vibrates at another level as the music of the spheres.

    Can you see not only what you see but also see that you are seeing? Can attention attend to itself? These are ways to remove the mesmerizing power of the specific for an engagement with the abstract. They are somersaults into the unknown. The universal is embraced and the personal is overturned.

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