Sunday, February 27, 2011

A recent e-mail exchange. . .

A. - My friend M., the icon painter I may have mentioned to you, just returned one of my books, and later asked to send her a quote she had bookmarked. I found it, and thought you might be equally... galvanized? Sending you my translation and the original.

The relation of the Creator to the creation (or, the Not-created to the created) is called the Father, the relation of the created to the Creator is called the Son, and their shared essence, the Holy Ghost.

This is from Yakov Druskin's

How does this strike you? It really impressed me, since we tend to, it seems, assume that if something is an essence it must, then, be a substance; so we then tend to mistake relations for substances, and that's how we get our overly personal Western God... I have the feeling that we generally have a preference for substances in the West, while Eastern philosophies may overemphasize relations at the expense of substances... But, without going too far afield, I think this is the first interpretation of the Trinity that makes even remote sense to me.

B. - Kind of weird that you sent that yesterday; completely blew the top of my head off, last night. Seemed to be exceptionally appropriate with regards to a subject that came up last night at a Bennett group meeting, i.e. the subject of "what is I" and "what is not I".

The idea of this, in pretty straightforward 4th Way work, is that if one takes one's feelings, thoughts, and body (the emotional, intellectual, and moving centers) and then asks where "I" is in this, it's seemingly impossible to say "I" is here, or there, or anywhere. "I" is not one's feelings, or thoughts, or any part of one's body, even though one might be completely in that part (for instance, getting into an argument and essentially being one's frustration at losing the argument, such as what happened to me a couple of weeks ago). When one is able to separate from that, one is able to observe that thing not being "I". (Making sense so far?)

But then who am I? It becomes increasingly difficult to say who "I" am, or what "I" am. Eventually one might see that "I" can not be seen or found. But one might be able to see action from "I".

So, how does this relate? Well, maybe it's that sort of thing where god has a particular relation to man as creator-->created. Similarly, one would see man:god::created:creator. But we might not actually be aware of the relation outside of a direct observation of action.

What excites me about this is the idea that the action might have a sentience and a consciousness itself, which sort of goes along with a hunch I've had for a bit. ("God" being not necessarily an entity or a condition but an action).

Oi, that's enough. . .


Well, that was interesting. Just finished the morning sitting. The JGB group here in Boston has been working with an extended relaxation exercise that finishes with relaxing the mind, body, and emotions together as the whole self. I felt it all slot into place, and for not much more than ten seconds was aware of the whole. Then something triggered and I lost it, and was very aware of the thoughts trying to relax themselves, the mind trying to relax itself, and not being able to not identify as the body. That is, I moved from a clean and separated observation of the complete self in relaxation, to a slightly panicked inability to not be my body.

Kind of glad I picked up on that.