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Seeing by not Looking

A

Anonymous

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As humans we function on many levels but the two main ones are the explanatory and the experiental .. the discussions and even arguments about the existence of God are really arguments between these two perceptions of reality .. the ones who access the experiental also access the explanatory but those who function by the explanatory alone do not even believe that the experiental exists, despite literally millions of testimonies saying that it does and that it is real. ..

so I thought .. well, it is the Camino, the Pilgrimage .. plenty of sitting time, and time to be alone, to be still ... so, why not try this...

When you are in the countryside and you take a break and sit still you look at the world and see it all laid out before you in three dimensions, somewhat like one of those pop-up books that we had as children, with a series of objects, discrete from each other, further and further away.
As we look our eyes, our hunter eyes, automatically focus on anything that moves or is still but does not quite blend into the landscape .. it happens without thinking and, without our realising it, separates us from the unity of existence ... it is our hunter gatherer legacy, you cannot hunt after all unless there is a separate hunter and a separate hunted.
When we are walking, in what we think is an 'empty' landscape, it is only we who are moving - or rather, it appears that it is only we who are moving and there is the I and the other and we are alone within the other - which is why, deep in our being we are all lonely, all crave connection, all crave love - a religious would say it is being separated from God.

so .. for another way to be in the landscape, try this ... it takes a bit of doing but practise sitting still with eyes open but don't allow them to pinpoint focus on anything .. at first this is very difficult .. then we start to get it and something moves and we focus on it and have to start again ..
but, be comfortable, be silent, be still, and still the eyes from focussing - just look without looking.... when you blink your eyes will refocus but you will master it ... eventually you will perceive the landscape in a 'wholeness' that allows creatures such as birds to move through it without your eyes focussing again - at this point what you will notice is that the whole landscape will be seen to be moving - you will be aware of blades of grass moving, of crawling insects, of stirring trees .. and as this happens so too will you become aware of many noises in the landscape that you weren't aware of before and at this point you will feel that nothing is discrete from anything else, the rise and fall of your chest, the blood pumping, your own tiny movements, all one thing - all one constantly moving thing and then you will recognise that all of it - this phenomenom of existence - is one multi-formed thing of which you are an indivisible part - and you are then aware that you are what the Hindu name "not One, not Two"

This is not eyes closed concentrate on breathing meditation, this is eyes open utterly relaxed total concentration ... this is not the Buddhist separation from the world because it is not permanent, this is deep connection with a created universe ...

At this experiental level of existence all the questions disappear ... and the God argument disappears too ... but then something moves fast and your eyes focus and there you are again, separate and alone - but still smiling.

Just a Camino sitting tip .. you will sit many times and it takes practise - don't stress to do it, relax to do it - or, do it by not doing it . ... you cannot do it if you are with someone who chatters .... :wink:

Once you learn the technique you could then try it sitting in a refugio garden with your back against a warm wall .. with pilgrims interacting with each other ......

and if you are not celibate and have a partner when you get home your lovemaking will be like nothing you could have expected it could ever be - :wink:
 
D

Deleted member 3000

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"The echo of the completely empty valley bears tidings heard from the soundless sound." This is something that can by no means be heard with the ear. If conceptions and discriminations are not mixed within it and it is quite apart from seeing, hearing, perceiving, and knowing, and if, while walking, standing, sitting, and reclining, you proceed straightforwardly without interruption in the study of this koan, you will suddenly pluck out the karmic root of birth and death and break down the cave of ignorance. Thus you will attain to a peace in which the phoenix has left the golden net and the crane has been set free of the basket. At this time the basis of mind, consciousness, and emotion is suddenly shattered; the realm of illusion with its endless sinking in the cycle of birth and death is overturned. The treasure accumulation of the Three Bodies and the Four Wisdoms is taken away, and the miraculous realms of the Six Supernatural Powers and Three Insights is transcended. Yabukoji
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Yes, and if you click your heels three times repeating the sacred phrase you will return home...sarcasm is a real weakness of mine, but it is also a weak attempt at humor. Falcon, I read it, but the terminology does not relate to any point of reference I possess. Though it sounds interesting.

The amount of material that has been written about enlightenment is astounding. Each culture possesses some teaching (often many) about man moving beyond this existence to a higher state of being. Within Christianity we find St. Athanasius of Alexandria describing theosis in a bold way, "God became man so that man might become God." There are a multitude of different ways to describe it, but they all lead to man becoming better, finding greater peace, joy, and happiness.

Brother David's words are focusing on a similar concept but changes the focus from immortality to mortality. Though I think it certainly is more esoteric (moving to a more hyperactive sense of awareness), fundamentally it counsels to move beyond our current state to a higher nature.

Thank both of you for sharing different concepts for a similar process. Now, I just have to find those red shoes. :D

Cheers,

Michael
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
Another way of seeing the mortality/immortality focus might be to see Br. David's undertaking as leading us to be at one with manifest creation - and Christ's being within it - whilst perceiving that our true being is beyond what we can reach with our sense-perception.
Within those limits, I thought it might be an exercise worth pursuing.
chinacat
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
China, and what do we call a higher state of being or higher state of perception.......yes, that is right, to become more like God. If not, then logic demands that God does not possess this degree os perception.

This is sort of a meaningless conversation because we are splitting hairs.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
"God became man so that man might become God."

Michael
I'm sorry my post caused you to think I was arguing with you - for me, this quote holds wide and far-reaching significance.
I don't really understand why you think we are 'splitting hairs'.
chinacat
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
No problems China. We are not arguing. We are interpreting Dave's initial edit. Perception is as varied as there are individuals.

I am still trying to find that sparkley red shoes. I have been turning around all day, but haven't found the shoes. I am sure if I stopped, squint slightly, not focus on anything, they will pop out of the ether and I can try them on...dang that penchant for sarcasm.

Splitting hairs is another way to say that the discussion is unproductive; that we aren't really saying anything; or better yet, that the topic is without merit, which was my meaning. Cheers,

Michael
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
that we aren't really saying anything; or better yet, that the topic is without merit, which was my meaning.

With the greatest respect (not meant sarcastically) I do not agree with you.

chinacat

PS Do you know what you'd do with the sparkly red shoes if you found them ? :wink:
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Well, first of all if I found those red shoes I suspect I would have a difficult time cramming my fat feet into them. I have always envisioned them as being only for dainty feet; mine are more of those short, squarish ones thought best belonging to Cromagnon man. However, once I found them, I would be twirling up a storm thinking that surely they would take me home if I only click them three times.

This type of format is very difficult to discuss serious matters. Your comments, IMHO, would demonstrate that you took David's comments at face value. I took them and extrapolated it to a logical conclusion. Is one better than the other? Of course not. I don't believe that this is an area where judgment applies; our perceptions simple are in different areas. Attempting to split this hair is without merit.

On the other hand, Theosis is a fascinating topic, but one which David did not consciously intend to discuss. The Eastern Church fathers never stopped talking about it whereas within the Western church is seem to lose its value beginning in the 8th century. Regardless, it never ceased existence, doctrinal value, or teaching. My personal belief is that it is of infinite importance because it focuses (sorry David, but this is an occasion where you really need to focus) the relationship of the individual with God. I am reminded of Christ's prayer that his disciples become one as he and the Father are one. That we might one taste feel that union in any degree is a joy I humbly strive to embrace. I fall comically short, repeatedly, but it is a process that begins and ends with one step. Much like the Camino, we must begin to become like Christ one step at a time. His command was to "be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect," was not given idly, but with the understanding that we begin one small step. I am not adequate to do justice in explaining the concept, but I hope that you get the gist of it.

I dislike contention and where possible I choose to deflect it. Things lose merit for me in many ways; contention being one of them, but also topics that I personally deem a little...out there or of dubious nature. For me, David was getting a little out there. Anytime we begin to discuss a hypersensitivity on the Camino and one's sex life (for goodness sake why would they be discussed in the same topic?), I pretty much think the individual is getting into some pretty odd ground. But, hey, if it works for him great. I seem to recall that the Apache achieved a higher state of perception by using peyote, but I would not recommend it. I have begun to babble so I will close.

Chinacat, may you be blessed with His Spirit on your Camino and may you see all that He is on the Way.

Michael
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
Anytime we begin to discuss a hypersensitivity on the Camino and one's sex life (for goodness sake why would they be discussed in the same topic?), I pretty much think the individual is getting into some pretty odd ground. But, hey, if it works for him great. I seem to recall that the Apache achieved a higher state of perception by using peyote, but I would not recommend it.

Actually, (pace Br. David) I ignored that part of his post.
And I do agree that being blissed out, away with the fairies etc. is as bad as being too bound to the material (in all its manifestations - often almost impossible to perceive).

It is, I would agree, very difficult to discuss these matters in any way which could do justice to them, on a forum. But I will try Br. David's exercise - otherwise how can I evaluate it ?

There is much in your post that rings true for me.

Thank you for your good wishes for the Camino - I wish the same for you.
Chinacat
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Something I have found on the Camino is that if you visualise something that you need it will appear. The Law of Attraction, I suppose. The trick is being ready...and "listening" very carefully. The rest seems to get done without you having to do very much.
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
Priscillian said:
The trick is being ready...and "listening" very carefully. The rest seems to get done without you having to do very much.

Like opening a book and finding something you really need - often without consciously knowing beforehand that you did need it.
perhaps it all comes down to trust ?
chinacat
 

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