Norman Allan
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  three thoughts : chasing enlightenment  


Several friends have told me some interesting things lately... There was Dan, a few days back, asking me to ponder laughter. It isn't just a resolution of "cognitive dissonance", and the release of tension that comes with that, because that doesn't explain the banana skin splat. Is the release in slapstick "thank God it isn't me"! I don't quite see... but, we can sense that release is... Hmm?
    So then Dan asked, as a follow up to the release of laughter, asked me to ponder "enlightenment" : did he point towards zen koans tacitly positing that, again, there is indeed "release" in the light bulb "a ha!"
I don't know if I can explain why I found this so "brill". I guess it gave me a little ping of release....

Then I found what Brittany shared with me yesterday delightful: but... I feel I have to fill in some background here: so, with apologies, a list...
     Spinoza's substance: my intellectual friend, Terry, tells me that Spinoza said that everything can be reduced to a single essence, a substance, the God stuff.
     Quiet abiding: Philips said that half a century ago, when he was first out east chasing enlightenment, meditating with gurus, he had a transportation into bliss, into ecstasy, and it lasted a full eighteen months, the high, it did indeed abided, but it was exhausting. Ecstasy is an agitation. And Philip says that the Buddha says, beyond bliss, beyond ecstasy, is quiet abiding. Tranquility.
     Ananda: my friend Tee gave me a book on meditation by her guru, swamiji Nityananda. On page two Nityananda explained that the literal meaning of ananda is that which cannot be lost or divided /diminished. (And that makes sense: the a is Sanskrit words denotes a negative sense of the whatever.) Ananda is quiet abiding, the God stuff.
     "Kundalini awakening", which In my circle might rather termed a "Spiritual Emergency", is a rather sudden, often startling, overwhelming "waking", associated with the subjective experience of "energy" flowing (usually) upwards. (Stanislov Grof edited an interesting collection of essays on the matter with the title: "Spiritual Emergence")
     And I want to mention Wilhelm Reich's model of psychosis - Reich say that when the body, and the self, can't contain the energies flowing through them, they overflow chaotically.
     Finally let us note that there is an overlapof the several phenomena, psychosis, kundalini awakening/Spiritual Emergency , drug induced psychosis, and the mystic's spiritual experience (awakening, ecstasy) they are overlapping sets.

Brittany is a young woman, mid twenties: a musician. We just recently met at a writers circle. Yesterday we had our first tete a tete.
     Brittany listened well while I spoke and spieled, and then told me, when I was ready to listen, some of her story. Four years ago, following on a moderately severe concussion (bicycle and an opening car door) that led to a troubled time of headaches and pharmaceuticals (pain killers and mild tranqs/diazepam's) for some months : and then... what sparked it? She decided to cozy up to her existential and her personal; pain... and then she said, and for her this was the key, she didn't try to transcend them. She cozied up, and got "intimate" with her woes, and hung in there : no rejection, judgement, and she woke! And Brittany said that the energy, the light, just fountained out of the top of her head, like water from a hose, pressure rising to the sky: and here Britany gestured with her hands above her head, a fountaining to the heavens. Then she said, "But if you try to stop it, like putting your finger in the hole to block it," and she gestured again, finger to skull, "it goes thbbft" (something like that, like Bill the cat) ... *
     (Now note! this guidance, this story, isn't for everyone. You have to ask yourself, always, about anything, "is this safe?" And, we live and die by our intuition.)

Finally, I saw Terry today, and I checked on my representation of Spinoza. Terry pointed out, added, that for Spinoza, "substance" was indivisible, like ananda, an indivisible God stuff.
     Then we were talking about "oneness" and multiplexity. My realisation that in a literal sense there is no actual "duality". There is, in some sense, oneness, and there is multiplicity. And Terry said that the mind is a singularity. Mind experiences the multiplexity: but mind itself is a oneness! Interesting. I will have to ponder this, but - curse of the intellectual - "oneness" surely is ineffable, imponderable and, quite possibly, just an abstraction. Mind, and God, as "singularities". Hmm?


  * Calvin sometimes said "THBPBPTHPT", but I think he was quoting Bill the cat.  







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