On the Great Marriage

comments 47
Christ / Course Ideas / Reflections

The description I love best is that each of us is an intersection of matter and spirit, the above and below, the eternal and the present, of knowledge and mystery.  I am tired of materialism—so very tired of its laborious absurdities, the dead ends it tries to pretty-over, the delicate faculties of the human being it would all but silence.  Even so, I would not discard logic or rational thought.  I would simply hold them in their proper place.  I would offer them a new beginning, a more expansive starting point on which to build, and partner with whom to play.  I would add unto them the faculties of inner knowing, the resonance of the heart that awakens us, the trust in the unknown that reveals us.

There is something wrong with the notion of self that we have had, but nothing wrong with the notion that we can know who we are.  There is only one Self and we are it, even as we extend from it to embody particular movements of differentiation and expression.  To disavow the power of identity so completely that we become trapped in an ineffectual lingering is merely to keep a circuit closed.  It is a way of hiding.  But to let the self of form and its myopic viewpoint drive us willy-nilly over the landscape, discontented with all it sees, arguing and pushing and nullifying, is to not exist at all.  It is to be a ghost.

Identity is as fluid as beauty is.  Identity has no bounds.  Identity gathers itself for an instant into a loving smile, the reflections of a mountain lake, the plunging of a falcon, the fruiting of a tree.  Identity is forever, and forever just beginning.  We are it.  Over and over.  We are.

The description I love best regarding the current age is that spirit and matter have yet to fully join.  The marriage is incomplete.  We know a little but not a lot.  The marriage must be consummated within our own hearts and minds, and then something new will emerge.  We don’t know what it is.  I can get carried away with ideas, with hints of what could be that I have seen even in this life, but there are those who would scoff and write me off as one of those.  It is better today to rest on the abstract—the feeling of the sun, the softness of rain, the whirl of emotion, the heaviness of despair and the moment it resolves into something you can hold in your hand.  Something with wings and a pulse.  Something that takes flight.  There is no need to say what will be when it is already being.

It’s okay to know things you cannot prove.  Let us not rob each other of this sublime right, this creative necessity.  When two people know something they cannot prove, and they each set it into words that cannot be reconciled, they merely haven’t dug deeply enough into what they know.  They have dug into the soil and hit something hard.  To one it is a field stone.  Look at the wall our ancestors built that borders the property.  To another its a buried trunk.  Debate is no good without digging deeper.

It is just no good discounting what others know.  It is arrogance, which leads to war and poverty.  We are as much invisible as we are visible, as much holy as profane, as much animal as divine.  We can see across time, and bring to bear a great Love upon the moment if we so choose.  If we let the mystery balance the known.  Or we can insist there are limits on what is knowable– on what may be known and who can know it and how.  This is the cause of every poverty.  This insistence.

47 Comments

  1. I think, Michael, that everything we could ever need, along with everything we could ever need to know is here…inside each one of us that makes up the whole! I think, and I could be wrong but this is what I understand from your post, that all the little pieces to the puzzle are provided…provided we have the wherewithal to look not only where the obvious answers lie, but to look with the openness of mind that each and every one of us contributes a piece.
    I can sometimes find it difficult to believe this wholly. And that only means that I am judging others instead of accepting each being as an integral, necessary, part of the whole.
    Thank you for reminding me of the very human error of my thinking. May we all recognize the part we offer to the whole! Much love and admiration ♡

    Liked by 9 people

    • Hello Lorrie,

      I would agree that our judgment clouds our ability to see wholly as you describe, and I love the vision you paint here with your comment. I was thinking of something similar, but more like a verb– how we each have this knowing we have to trust, we each have this thing inside us that needs to come out, and we have to trust that. And when we do, and when we let one another be who we need to be, something can happen. Not perhaps to assemble a puzzle, but to further expand the whole. To blow the puzzle up and add a dimension to it. To give it a color it never had before. To wrap the puzzle into a circle and watch the pieces fall down onto the floor into a new picture altogether. The puzzle doesn’t have one way of assembling. It discovers it fits together in ways it never did before. It turns inside out, grows legs and walks off, turns to water and pours out through the floor of the world that once was. And our judgments freeze this beautiful movement solid. It’s like hitting the pause button… Trying to know too much about it… 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful vision of it. We are definitely each necessary and perfect in the moments we are in…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ah! I will respond more to this as soon as I stop crying! And I mean crying in a good way…perhaps the tears I shed will link up to the water that pours through the earth’s floor!! Yes…I would like that. And maybe when they form a circle, they may bounce, like a tennis ball, and drop off each piece into its new and beautiful position.
        Ah, my friend, I think this response…right here…is my favorite group of words that you have ever written to me!! There is a beautiful synchronicity of the mind and the soul and the words you used to reflect the thoughts are nothing compared to the FEELING that is behind it…and in front of it…alongside it…and most importantly INSIDE IT!!
        Thank you for the crystal clear beauty you share with us!!
        ♡♡♡

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you, Lorrie! I’m glad you felt that little bit of magic… Ha! You have a lovely heart and I thank you for sharing it… The feelings are quite important I think, and of course they come from inside of you! They fill in the gaps in the words, with the information they carry inside of them. Some potential. I’m touched by your words, and glad my own were helpful!

          Peace
          Michael

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  2. footloosedon says

    Hey Michael,

    Thank you for yet another of your very thoughtful and thought-provoking posts. I was reminded when I came to your line “It’s okay to know things you cannot prove.” of my own insight many years ago while I was in graduate school studying to be a scientific researcher, while at the same time training in the techniques of shamanic healing. I realised that I could trust the validity of the unique experiences I had as a shaman just as much as I could trust the validity of well conducted empirical research. Just because my unique experiences were not replicable did not invalidate them. From that point on I’ve thought of myself as a subjective empiricist.

    Love as always,

    Don

    Liked by 6 people

    • I love that, Don! I do think we must be flexible like that. We have to walk between the worlds. I’ve been thinking lately where we sometimes get sideways is in calling the relative absolute– in trying to find objectivity in subjectivity, but refusing to let the mysterious, the absolute, the all and the nothing, have its place. Science over-reaches when it tries to define what it is to be human without admitting that grace and glory happen, that what we don’t understand has a purpose, that it always comes together in the end, and the laws we know always have a higher, deeper, lower, hidden law to which they must answer…

      Love to you too, my friend,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  3. remembering to say
    i do!
    i do, i do, i do!
    peek a boo, i see you
    as you are,
    a flicker.
    heart quietly knowing
    of our eternal marriage.
    as mind is preoccupied
    with om’s & smartphones,
    heart is remembering,
    smiling,
    saying
    i do 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    • Time for the celebration, David! That’s the rest of it…!

      A mind distracted with music is key to what lies next. I firmly believe it… The heart does something subliminal, pirates the music, and the mind says, “Oh yes, I knew this all along… Why didn’t you just ask…?” Ha!

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Identity is as fluid as beauty is. Identity has no bounds. Identity gathers itself for an instant into a loving smile, the reflections of a mountain lake, the plunging of a falcon, the fruiting of a tree. Identity is forever, and forever just beginning. We are it. Over and over. We are.

    simply sublime MIchael

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Linda! I like that part, too. Identity is being poured from shaker to shaker, mixed and tossed and swirled. It is a mistake to think we are discrete, a mistake to think we are not at all. We are beakers in a grand chemistry set, and the stuff of us is passed from one to the next continuously… what concoctions are made!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  5. May we join in the beauty of a heart that knows, regardless of what games the mind plays. May we celebrate the differences, while remembering our ultimate truth is unity. Peace, love and mystic ponderings brother Micheal! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Brad! An excellent echoing of heartfelt sentiments you have shared here. That’s it! May we live that until it is visible in plain site, dressed up as all us beings!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Eric. Much appreciated and glad you enjoyed it. I feel the clear way you honor and resound with these sentiments, and it expands us all.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is quite beautifully written, Michael, and more than that, the piece displays a naked honesty that I can greatly respect. It may just be my imagination, though it feels some deep and raw emotion went into producing this one. Insofar as it’s possible with such subject matter, you’ve reached a point of clarity here in your writing, I think.

    Is it Materialism you’re tired of, or is it rather Reductionism and Scientism – perhaps you see them as the same? I had a bit of a moment some years ago when I (as awareness)was at once disabused of this idea of consciousness and the material world being their own discrete ontological categories. It wasn’t that one or the other ceased to exist, or was negated, or sublated, by the other. Both remained, yet were seen as aspects of each the other.

    The Eliminative Materialist would claim this was none other than a brain state, the Transcendental Idealist would insist that all was, and ever is, consciousness. The Monist pops up and interprets that experience as Dualism. The Dualist arrives and tells me I must be confused or unwell, as if both mind and matter do indeed exist, then logically they can’t be identical in any sense.

    For myself, I fail to argue convincingly against any of these positions, because experiences such as that (not so rare for readers here, perhaps?) simply don’t make sense to rationality. I wonder if this is what you describe as “an intersection of matter and spirit”? What does that phrase mean to you, or are you as unable to describe it as I am my ‘moment’?

    Yours, most definitely as one of those,

    Hariod.

    Liked by 9 people

    • Hello Hariod,

      At the level I wrote this, materialism, reductionism and scientism blur together I think. But in terms of addressing them, I simply do not believe that only material things exist, that reductionism can offer anything but a part of the picture, or that science as presently bounded can be anything but an incomplete path of knowledge.

      I would say that the notion it’s all brain states is incomplete, as is the idea that it’s all consciousness, if by the latter we mean there are only images in dreams (as one interpretation of that) or that there is only one form of consciousness and everything is somehow “it”.

      What I do think is that there is something like an original differentiation, analogous to the day and night in terms of its completeness, which I could never explain fully or accurately, but which goes something like this: there is awareness that is frozen into rule-abiding elements. Don’t think of it too hard, but think of the tiniest element of awareness as a magnetic stone or something. It doesn’t make any decisions of its own. It is merely an element forever conforming to a system of rules. It is attracted, repelled, spun, lifted, combined, etc. according to rules that are its nature. It can no more change its nature than can anything else. But if we ask what is it? What is it made of? We have to say nothing, or awareness. I say awareness, but this is only one side of the coin. What results is finite, time bound, “physical”, dimensioned, bounded, rule-expressing, logical, contractive, etc.

      The other side of the great divide is dimensionless. It is free, intelligent, not physical at all, motive, flowing, rule-giving, idea-forming, expansive. It is what many call spirit. If we must ask what it is, what is it made of? We have to say nothing, or awareness. I say awareness, but this is only one side of the coin.

      Awareness/nothing/everything simply exists along this spectrum from ice (matter) to steam (spirit), though that analogy is clunky and missing far too much. The marriage is when the two meet again. As you say, they really can’t exist apart from one another, and much of this is a conceptual construct perhaps, but I think it is important in the sense that no system of knowledge can deny the validity of any part and hope to be complete. There simply is a dimensionless, timeless, eternal element to our being. The marriage of the two is the emergence of life, it is when the timeless takes up residence in time, when idea animates matter, when awareness returns to itself.

      I did begin this piece with a certain emotional chip on my shoulder. In a way I needed to let my heart speak simply– to say plainly, that the systems of knowledge on which we rely are broken in my opinion. I think I am entering a time where I will be blatantly one of those… 🙂

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Very beautiful, and worthy of fleshing out in one of your fine essays. You go further than I am willing or able to in saying: “The other side of the great divide is dimensionless. It is free, intelligent, not physical at all, motive, flowing, rule-giving, idea-forming, expansive. It is what many call spirit.” Some of that sounds purpose-driven, almost animated, and I simply don’t know if that’s true.

        All I know is my own experience, my ‘moments’, and there what’s seen – seen by itself of itself – is a deeply pervasive and utterly passive ‘Silence’. ‘Emptiness’ isn’t quite the right word for me, and in fact ‘Fullness’ would be closer, but both have spatial connotations which don’t fit the experience. Maybe I’m missing something, but I’ve never sensed any ‘intelligent’ (your word) spirit. It seems nonsense for me to talk about ‘seeing silence’, but there we have it.

        As you may recall, Michael, my stock position is non-teleological, and side with Jacques Monod in thinking that life’s all ‘chance and necessity’; though that’s as much a stab in the dark on my part as any teleological perspective is to others, it seems. In any case, drilling into the actual line of distinction between chance and purpose might seem an endlessly regressive task – turtles all the way down?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hello Hariod,

          What I thought when I read your second paragraph is that when you say the words ‘agency’ and ‘intelligence’, perhaps those words may bring to mind the familiar forms of those ideas– the willful human, the problem-solving automotive engineer, the chimpanzee using peeled sticks to trap a few insects, the film director who creates an image on a moving screen… And then I thought that when these notions are ramified to the fullest scale possible, which I warrant exceeds both my ability to explain or to fully behold, it has the feeling of a natural law. Am I alone in suggesting that the discovery of natural laws can produce a feeling of harmony or pleasure in the scientific mind? When I read the works of the greatest human thinkers, and see with them what they are able to extract from the void as rules of engagement, as natural laws seemingly self-existing, I have that feeling. And it isn’t a feeling like, “Wow, someone must have sat down with a sheet of paper and drawn this up,” it is a feeling like, “Wow, behold what is…” Maybe there is no traction to this thought, but I wondered if in your moments emptiness-fullness, if the sensation of a natural law, existing but not created, comes any closer to the nature of your experience?

          Teleology of course is only one half of the coin I mention above. Causality is the other. They are wed I think. They are not and cannot be separate. Means and end are also married. Again, if you take teleology to be the idea that an intelligence like that of a presidential candidate drew up a design for a universe, it makes no sense to me either. If, on the other hand, I might suggest that what is arises because it is the very nature of what is to do so– to arise and express according to its nature– then maybe we are closer. Maybe not. But that is close to the best I can do I think, to suggest that it is the nature of what is to arise as what it is. In such a conception what seems to be pure chance is simply inevitable.

          Peace
          Michael

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          • “. . . when these notions are ramified to the fullest scale possible, which I warrant exceeds both my ability to explain or to fully behold, it has the feeling of a natural law.” – This is where, in the wider field, I tend to be sceptical, Michael, meaning when others talk about feelings as then inferring from them spirit worlds, or soul-possession, or cosmological theories. Thoughts, beliefs, intuitions, all bring along both mental and physical feelings, but the latter surely can’t be seen as endorsing the former, can they?

            As I said, I simply don’t know if we live in a purpose-driven, universe. But if some claim we are, then the onus is rather upon them to demonstrate the fact of it, rather than the non-believer to disprove what is in any case, it seems, not subject to proof. One thinks of Bertrand Russell’s Teapot:

            “Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”

            – Russell, Bertrand. “Is There a God?” [1952]

            Now, I know you’re not positing a simplistic theology, or indeed a discernable theology of any hue, so I’m only suggesting that such Natural Laws as you posit, and as we jointly speculated upon only recently as regards Karmic Law, need more evidence than instinctual feeling. Every Saturday night I have an instinctual feeling that tonight I could well win the lottery; I feel that there’s ‘something in the air tonight’, and I’ve had this instinctual feeling for 20 years or more. Of course, it’s no more than misplaced hope, and I know that, but I take pleasure in the hope, in the ‘faith’ of pursuing my misplaced hope. It costs me £2 a week to buy this pleasure, so it’s an investment in my emotional well-being that’s an affordable write-off. Similarly, I could invest some belief in there being a Natural Law of Light and Love, and in fact I may be better off doing that as my hopes are not temporarily dashed each Saturday as the results are published. It just isn’t in my nature to take that route.

            As to the question at the end of your first paragraph, then I can’t say those ‘moments’ – they may stretch out over time, of course – carry with them a sense of any Natural Law being revealed. I think we should ignore that though, as we may get tangled up in different interpretations of what constitutes any such thing. The ‘feeling’ that comes along changes with each experience, but to generalise, it’s a mixed sense of a very mild surprise that this starkly irrefutable obviousness had been (or could be) occluded, an all-pervasive Peace-Silence, and odd though it may sound, something like a knowing smile and shoulder shrug to the fact that the rational mind can never understand it – it’s simply outside of its remit. I know that reactions differ for each of us though, dependent upon our psychological disposition. Some cry, some laugh, some shrug their shoulders.

            I think we’re largely agreed on the content of your second paragraph, which seems not dissimilar to what I said before: “In any case, drilling into the actual line of distinction between chance and purpose might seem an endlessly regressive task – turtles all the way down?” Monod’s book is called ‘Chance and Necessity’, so he’s suggesting chance is always mediated by necessity – the necessity (or purpose) being the continuation of life. That seems pretty close to you saying that what appears to be chance is in fact an inevitability.

            Great discussion here, as always, my dear friend.

            Hariod ❤

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hello Hariod,

              Thank you for sharing your further thoughts, which are always appreciated and very good conversation starters. The first thing I feel compelled to offer in reply is that I don’t think it is appropriate for any of us to think we are in position to tell another one of us who it is that bears the burden of proof in matters such as these. These are matters of the heart, and I think it is both arrogant and inappropriate to assume that in such matters anyone owes to anyone else a justification of their present location along that spectrum of knowing, thinking, and being. With one caveat: when a person insists others think, know, feel and act as they do, then I would submit that a burden of proof is quite a reasonable request. But in open-minded discussion I don’t believe it is. I felt as though you may have been implying that if I was to say that I believe in an eternal, timeless, and non-physical loving intelligence, that the burden of proof was on me to explain why I could possibly do such a thing.

              The next thing is that I was not meaning to imply that the existence of natural laws should be arrived at on the basis of feeling alone, and I don’t think that is what I said. If that was your conclusion, then we haven’t communicated fully. If we imagine that particular states of awareness are the summit of a mountain, then I was suggesting that although we may approach from different directions, and face paths to the summit of quite differing gradient, weather conditions, vegetation, length, lighting, geological structure, etc., it does not change necessarily the experience of reaching the summit. I was hypothesizing simply that the experience of wonder and joy that, for me, sometimes arises when contemplating natural laws, and which I find to be quite similar when encountering beauty, truth and love, might also be familiar to the experiences of unity you have had. I was attempting to explore the idea that although language and conceptual notions may differ, the underlying experiences at particular points may not be as different as words would suggest. You have misinterpreted me if you thought I was trying to say, “I woke up and felt good today, therefore the nature of the universe is [insert your favorite here].”

              But I would like to say that I do feel these are matters of the heart, and as such are sacrosanct. The diplomatic immunity status I suggest we ought to concede to one another becomes null and void when one requires others to submit to their own views and ways of understanding. That said, I believe there is something holy in each one of us, available to us only through our personal experience, that above all merits respect and consideration. A great many, myself included, appreciate the arising of their inner life through channels of both thought and feeling. The relationship that we cultivate in our inner lives may very well allow that particular symmetries of thought and feeling serve as means of navigation, of both inquiry and validation, of question and answer. In my opinion it takes both thought and feeling to reach a stable footing. To navigate by one or the other in isolation is in my opinion futile. So having said as much, let me be blunt, I also think the inner relationship we cultivate with our thoughts and feelings, and the conclusions which we choose to draw thereby, have about as much to do with cosmic tea pots as they do the quantity of red-colored buttons on a nuclear submarine.

              The issue regarding feelings in my opinion is hardly to do with their trustworthiness, for in my experience they are always quite trustworthy, but what is required is the development of relationship with them so that we understand what they are actually saying, and who is saying them. They are a bit like children sometimes—quite raw and simple and unsophisticated—but I also think we put words in their mouths all too often. When a feeling translates into a particular image or scenario, if the scenario does not play out we quite as we envisioned, we often assume the feeling was incorrect, when in point of fact the feeling might have had nothing at all to do with the mentally concocted scenario. One faces a choice then: to discount the feeling, or to revisit it in the light of new information. This is why I think the heart and mind must navigate this journey together, but I do not accept that feelings are without an intelligence of their own—(not saying you said they were unintelligent, but I took your example to mean you felt they were foolish or deceitful at a certain level)—or are not vital to us as beings, particularly as it relates to becoming more whole, healthy and compassionate persons. I find them to be indispensable.

              I think a very important issue this exchange has touched upon is the interpretation of feelings, and how thoughts and feelings interact. But I know I have already gone on too long so I will rest, and let you do the same, my friend.

              Peace
              Michael

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks Michael, this is all lovely and I meant not to take issue with the individual’s right or need to hold beliefs of any kind, on any matter. I have always defended liberty in personal religious beliefs, in fact, and do that quite frequently within the blogosphere. I am not essentially anti-theistic, as I think you know, and nor am I theistic in my outlook. What Russell was saying, and what I too feel is reasonable, is that should others’ beliefs need testing for veracity, for efficiency, then the burden of proof lies with those who assert such beliefs. I can’t see there’s any arrogance involved in placing that burden of proof (again, should it be needed) upon the proponent, especially as we have so many institutions, across the globe and in differing cultures, promulgating pernicious religious ideologies, not as vehicles for faith, morality, and emotional solace (all perfectly reasonable justifications), but as imperatives and absolutes which, if not accepted, result in the casting out from society, alienation from family and friends, or far worse still punishments.

              As I said in my previous comment: “This is where, in the wider field, I tend to be sceptical. There obviously can be no obligation in the least for any individual to convince me or others of the truth of their beliefs, unless they are trying to persuade me or others of their truth. Specifically, I said that the onus to prove the case lies with those who claim that we live in a purpose-driven universe, but again, only if we are being led down a path of assumption and persuasion of the same – the presupposition of a teleological theory. If I am being invited to follow that line of thinking, or worse, if it is demanded of me, then surely I owe it to my own sense of reason (insofar as reason applies) to feel sure-footed along that path, not to take as givens the inherent assumptions. This all falls in-line with your own caveat, as far as I can see.

              Once again, thankyou for your lovely comment, and I hope to have clarified my position here as regards this business of obligation, or otherwise, to others.

              Lots of love,

              Hariod.

              Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello beautiful soul,
    as always your words set my mind off on a tangent and I agree with Hariod of noticing the underlying power with which you wrote this, almost like a retort in some way to something, and of course I can see Hafiz there, must be poking you with a stick, saying “you see?” and you saw and had to come up with a beautiful marriage of thought and word of which in the end is all a part of the whole anyway. Kind of like having a bunch of ingredients, blueberries, flour, salt,etc…and each ingredient is it’s own entity of course, but when brought together, an amazing hot bubbly pie of goodness comes out that everyone can’t wait to take a bite, but knowing it’s scalding hot, as we were taught as small children, we wait patiently for the right time to indulge. You my friend always seem to find the right time to share your goodness. Thanks you for you 🙂 Hi Hafiz….
    Peace, love and all good pies begin somewhere,
    Kim

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Kim,

      You are quite perceptive my friend. A retort is not a bad way to describe it… I feel as though I will be doing more retorting for a little while, as I feel drawn to speak with less pre-meditation for a little while. As if I would like to free something that lives beneath the mind, and has a thing or two to express. But don’t worry, it will be fun and positive and enriching I hope…! Thank you for reading and sharing such a lovely image in response to this piece. You are able to sink in between the lines, and understand what is emerging, and I am grateful for that my friend. So grateful…

      Peace and love
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

      • Change is good, we are constantly evolving, just don’t forget to have fun along the way. I know you’ll soar with whatever you do, how could you not? Peace and good things my friend, Kim😊

        Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Ellen. Glad you shared in this offering and shared your presence here as well. Hope you are well. Sending love, my friend.

      Peace
      Michael

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  8. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    I so love the paragraph about identity that starts with “identity is as fluid as beauty is…” Just lovely. “There is no need to say what will be when it is already being.” So why worry about anything, really.
    You know how hard it is for me to define how your words touch me. Always. It’s beautiful what you do, Michael.
    Peace, digging deeper, and gathering myself up into into a loving smile. 🙂
    Mary

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Mary! I am preaching to the choir here– am very grateful for the beautiful people who have shown up here and are able to answer my heart’s call. Gather yourself up into that smile, Mary: it illumines the whole world!

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Michael
    Your beautiful ” naked honesty ” that Hariod writes of is such a clue that brings forth richness and touches both mind and heart . Your bringing forth ” the hints of what could be ” bears fruit of divine intention and today , this day when I feel alone , you cover me in a blanket of comfort and hope … Your love is fluid , I am so grateful to know you ….love , megxxx

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hello Meg,

      I have missed you, my friend! I know you’re out there, surfing the waves of beauty and grace your own heart generates. I am glad the words were helpful and hope your toe-dip into the waters of loneliness has passed. These seasons of our souls come and go, do they not? We are what is coming to be. It is pretty amazing to see it budding in one another… Sometimes we can help one another see the way…

      Much love, my friend.
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Last night Michael I felt your words come to life …” a budding ” of spirits traveling together … I’m writing again , your spark of understanding , a flower blooms …..thank you dear friend

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wonderful, Meg! I look forward to catching up with your latest movement into expression… And so, the door opens… 🙂

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  10. “When two people know something they cannot prove, and they each set it into words that cannot be reconciled,” reminds of the story of “The Blind Men and The Elephant.” Each blind man touched a different part of the elephant, and so each described the elephant in very a different way: like a rope, like a leaf, like a big snake, like a tree trunk…. Each, from his limited perspective offers a part of the whole. If we can learn, as Lorrie writes above, to accept each being as an integral, necessary, part of the whole we will have much less war and poverty.

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    • Yes, I agree JoAnna. There is an important wisdom in that I am prone to forget. The thing we so often forget is that our knowledge is partial, and what we keep trying to do is insist that it is complete! The funny thing is that if you want to take the elephant tail and the elephant eye, and mash them together… if you don’t know what the whole thing is it makes no sense how these parts fit together. So we need those moments of grace, or insight, or aha! to enable us to place our pieces in their proper relation, and there is a great challenge in this… For if I have decided what a tail means, and I have decided it is the very last segment of a gigantic earthworm, then I cannot admit for the existence of this eye… So these moments invite us to see more deeply and that is perhaps their greatest gift, if we are able to receive it!

      Peace
      Michael

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  11. Priceless:

    “If what is authentic about us is that we are tarnished, defiled and helpless, then Jesus and the Buddha and many other wise and loving beings have wasted their time. And I don’t believe that is so. There may be honesty in admitting we find ourselves in these patterns. Again. And again. But our addictions are not authentic expressions of our given nature.”

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  12. Hi Michael,
    Seeing this post, your comment on mine now makes perfect sense. Just so you know, my post was in no way a reaction to this one, which I’m just now seeing and is very well written.

    My only comment specifically about this post is that I think we can have identity within a scientific understanding of the world. It’s possible to understand the physics of the rainbow and yet still marvel at its beauty, to appreciate it as a thing in and of itself. As I responded to someone on my post, there is a difference between reductionism and eliminative reductionism. The first is productive for certain types of endeavors, but doesn’t require dispensing with everything in the world. The latter reduces everything to fermions and bosons, and perhaps not even that, which I find a bleak and unproductive outlook.

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    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts. I didn’t presume any relationship between the posts, and like yourself, enjoy engaging with these various ideas.

      I thought about what you’ve written here while I drove home from work, and I related it to my experience as follows: when I read about the mathematical perfection of electron orbitals, or the way matter curves space, or the way students made an electron fountain once in an old brick building to prove red-shifting of particles in a gravitational field, I have a very expansive feeling. And when I read about how brain researchers observed that a blind person’s brain would reroute sensory data from their back (when resting against a grid of lightly electrified nodes whose pattern represents an image) to their cerebral cortex to produce a grainy image, I have the same sensation. If I rest on the purity of that feeling of joy, which is what it is for me, a perfectly joyous feeling that comes from recognizing the sublime workings of this universe, then I can also understand how one might identify with that nebulous, magnificent logic of things. Or that at the very least, one can feel good about beholding these insights, and identity can be found in joining with or at least standing in the awareness of a great “knowledge of things”.

      I think perhaps we would share a similar sense of wonder and sense of connection when beholding these things, and I also feel, for myself, that this wonder and desire to know fuels the collective scientific search for deeper understanding. And I can recognize that a profound awareness of identity can come from being part of that. Part of that appreciation. That wonder. That movement towards understanding. If that is what you are describing, or similar and admittedly on your own terms, then I agree wholeheartedly with your notion that a scientific understanding of the world can yield a beautiful sense of identity.

      Please supplement your comment if I have over-reached or misinterpreted what you meant.

      Peace
      Michael

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      • Thanks Michael. I think we definitely agree on the sense of wonder that comes from scientific insights. But what I meant more specifically in my comment was that I don’t think that scientific understanding necessarily takes away from other types of, for lack of a better word, spirituality.

        For example, even though, analytically, I see our sense of community as the evolved instincts of a social species, it doesn’t diminish the actual sense of community I have when I’m participating in any large group effort, the sense of belonging, the camaraderie, the togetherness. Learning the evolutionary theory behind the feeling doesn’t diminish the feeling, at least not for me. (Although it does sometimes help when dealing with undesirable feelings.)

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        • Thanks for the additional explanation, Mike. That made your point clearer to me. I have never really felt that scientific understanding or discovery detracted from my spiritual understanding; rather, that they somehow worked together. Likewise I do not find that my spiritual understanding detracts from my appreciation of the science. But I maintain open doors between the two within my thinking-knowing-feeling experience. I would further say that “in the moment” of collaborating with others we get out of our thinking minds by and large, if I understand you correctly, and slip into a sort of free-flowing presence. It sort of renders this question moot. We could write essays on just about whatever philosophical perspective we wanted, but in moments of joy and connection with others, perhaps we’d agree the joy is not arising because of how we think per se, but in the pure presence/expression of being. We lose ourselves, if you will. Our earnestness and our efforts at figuring things out. It is only later that we might try and reconstruct it, if we chose to do so.

          What I have felt personally is that an exclusively materialist view as an explanation of human experience is unsatisfactory, but I don’t think this is the same as saying that a scientific appreciation of phenomena need not diminish particular feelings. They are not exactly the same thing for me. I think there is a difference between a closure at the boundary of scientific methods of knowing, and an opening at that boundary. That for me would be the critical distinction. But again, in a moment of friendship, it is sort of moot! In moments when we are having fun, for instance, it hardly matters.

          Peace
          Michael

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  13. Michael, something very wise and also quite elegant about this posting. The toy in the Cracker Jack Box is much of you are writing stirs a vivid response in me, I think it’s the feeling of learning, or enhanced learning, or is this what we really mean when we say complimentary therapy.

    I was just about to cut and paste the whole post and say this is the part that I went, I think that goes with that, but I will jump on two salient points (and if nothing else, salient is a fun word to use from time to time)..

    It’s okay to know things you cannot prove. & Debate is no good without digging deeper.

    I often wonder, do I feel love, am I loved. I am, but how do I prove it in those dark moments when it feels like it’s just me. I wake up and I see the light, I avoid the inner dialogue and I love myself a bit more and that is the channel.

    Oh and another juicy one, and this is just so brilliant universally:

    This is the cause of every poverty. This insistence.

    Fine work and an excellent meal of food for thought an food for my soul.

    Peace, Harlon

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    • Hi Harlon,

      Thank you very much for your reflections here. They are very apropos. Reminding ourselves we are loved when we are in moments of feeling unloved or unlovable is quite a trick. But we navigate it somehow. With the inner compassion that you have described, we walk the path and recover the good graces of our genuine nature. The other night I was feeling this way– perplexed, confused– and I sat in the darkness on my back porch beneath the stars, and I took a few breaths, and a cold wind blew. And there weren’t even words. But the fire was lit. It’s the fire we carry, and that we each must tend… I think it gets better/easier/more familiar with each round of encountering the darkness…

      And of course, the encounters cause us to dig deeper, and we emerge a little more patient, a little more understanding, a little more free…

      Peace and Love
      Michael

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  14. Beautiful post michael… I love what you are reflecting… the madness of materialism as part of the Human game that we have played for far too long… in our endeavour to discover what is important, what makes us feel alive… and in moments of reflection we can feel the integration, the allowing of the divine and human coming together at the point of the conscious breathe. It truly is a beautiful love affair if we allow ourself to observe this and feel in each moment.. AND as everybody knows this embrace and magical dance gives birth to something quite wonderful… that we cannot yet grasp with our mind… but I know IAM about to give birth to something wildly sublime… I write about my own love affair with my Divine and Human selves in my book Your Magnificent Self…A Journey to Freedom, sharing my vision of the NEW that is about to be given birth too. On another note I have published our Free E-Book today via my post http://memymagnificentself.com/2016/06/13/feel-something-life/ You can download the book by clicking on the first photo. Thanks again for joining in the great WordPress Awakening Adventure. Love to you x Barbara

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    • Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for this lovely response. I agree with you on feeling the integration of the divine and the human coming together in that beautiful love affair. It is the heart and mind of life, reunited. From this marriage, as you say, comes the new, the furthering of love’s expression, the discovery of our nature at peace in its true environment…

      Very cool that Book II is out! Will look forward to checking it out. Thank you for the light you shine, Barbara!

      Peace and Love,
      Michael

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