Embedded in our Own Thoughts, Part 2

Embedded thinking, part 2

We are naturally embedded in our own thinking because thinking…at least in the West…is inherently linear.  But it is possible for those steeped in this “linear-thinking” to find the courage to “step back” a bit from that comfortable cognitive grasp of his world and in so doing find that his world view is finite but nevertheless valid.  This “stepping back” is the exercise of a meta-cognitive muscle that we have the capacity for but is frightening to use for one who has made an inordinate emotional/spiritual investment in the world view that circumstances has given him.  This is precisely what Jesus had in mind when he chided those who have “Ears to hear but hear not, eyes to see but see not.”  Jesus recognized that being conscious, that is being spiritually alive, involves more than simple regurgitation of a mind-set and view of the world that one acquired by accident of birth.  And, if I might speak for Him now, he is telling people like me who were “Christianized” by accident of birth that mindless regurgitation of Christian dogma and teachings…and doing so with like-minded souls…can easily find us amusing ourselves in an echo chamber, which, borrowing a line from Goethe, is  “like kittens given their own tails to tease.”

Thinking is linear because of our “fall” into the time-space continuum, or that which is known as “reality.”  In fact, in the Genesis Creation story, eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is an illustration of falling into “thought” which always bifurcates our world even as it “bifurcates” our selves.   At that point we have been “categorized” and begin to exercise a “categorical imperative” to carve-up into dualities what had been a unified field, creating “good and evil,” male and female, right and wrong, and…yes…even Democrats and Republicans!  Linear thinking has created this world we live in and perpetuates it….and may it ever be!  For without linear thinking, our world would crash and burn immediately.  But when linear thinking runs amok without the God-given gift of “the pauser Reason” the world will still face calamity; for, any phenomena carried to an extreme becomes problematic and even dangerous.  Ideological extremism illustrates for us daily what can happen when someone or some groups gets too carried away with their “noble” and “enlightened” ideas.

Meditation has helped me immensely on this issue.  And though my “monkey mind,” incessantly running to and fro and chattering without cease, it has been given pause and this “pause” has been pregnant, allowing me to open my heart to hidden dimensions of life.  With even my lame success at meditation I have learned more intimately that “embeddedness” in my own thought has been a cognitive prison and this insight…cognitive and emotional…has been redemptive.  And that “redemption” has allowed me to experience being “out of control” which has come to me as simple anxiety.  Of course, this “simple” anxiety is not “simple” at all as it brings me face to face with my own human-ness which is always experienced as vulnerability; Norman Brown noted, “To be, is to be vulnerable.”  And it has been fear of this vulnerability that has kept me locked in this cerebral prison, the escape from which is still in progress and will be in process for the rest of my life until at last I cast off this “mortal coil” and return to my Source.

I’m planning on this “transition” not taking place for decades!  For, “fallen” though this world may be, it is a beautiful world and I am increasingly delighted with the simple but profound beauty which surrounds me every day.  The only issue is, and always has been, “Will I pay attention?”  And, paying attention is relative to the meditative lesson of looking beyond the end of my nose, peering outside of that “small bright circle of my consciousness beyond which lies the dark.”  It is in that “darkness” that I see glimmers of light and these “glimmers” are the best that we can hope for. For these “glimmers” are the brilliant flash of light that we are blessed with when we find the humility to simply “see through a glass darkly.”

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6 thoughts on “Embedded in our Own Thoughts, Part 2

  1. Monte Zerger

    This is a great post as usual. Yet, I tend to feel that our path to liberation leads through the being of our uniqueness. We speak of following Christ’s “Way of the Cross” and reaching a state of “Buddha mind,” etc., which inherently involve copying someone else. Yet, I do wonder. I know I am way in the minority here, but laying aside our uniqueness to follow other teachers may be a stumbling block to freedom. After all, we all came here as different creations. Yes, we are all very much the same, but also very different. Does it make sense that we “get out of here” by passing through the door of our different-ness.

    This is just a thought that came to me after I read your post. I’ve never had it before, but it has had an impact on me, and I want to ponder it more. We don’t want to “religious clones.” Do we?

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  2. Monte Zerger

    Christ was surely the avatar for the Piscean age, and his message was “Take up your cross and FOLLOW ME.” I know this is radical, but I consider Carl Jung is the avatar for the Aquarian age, and his message was nearly opposite because he often advised people to go their own way, the way of individuation. he even seemed annoyed and frustrated that people wanted to elevate him to a savior role, and attempted to follow hij. One might even say that was the core of his testament. If one compares the signs of Pisces and Aquarius, there is a stark difference. The Aquarian traits are those of individuality, freedom, innovation, rebellion and even eccentricity. Oh, well. Just riffing again, Lew.

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  3. Monte Zerger

    Incidentally, Jung is an Aquarius rising. I don’t know what you know about astrology, but most astrologers and particularly those practicing esoteric astrology, consider the rising sign to be the most significant sign in a native’s chart.

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  4. Monte Zerger

    Are you aware that Anne is a Pisces? In view of Jung being an Aquarius rising, it seems appropriate this Piscean is teaching us about the Aquarius rising – from Pisces to Aquarius. The term “rising” that astrologers use seems itself significant in this context.

    BTW, yesterday I saw something in your astro chart which knocked my socks off. I’ll share it with you on Tuesday.

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  5. Monte Zerger

    This is wonderful, Lew! I look back on how many times I amused or pleased myself with some concept or poem or connection I saw. But, who did the seeing? And is there “really anything new under the sun” Did I even come up with the concept, or unknowingly copy it? Worse yet, my ego may have blinded me to the fact that I saw it some form somewhere else before. Of course, I could have seen it before, but unintentionally simply forgot it.

    A few days ago I told Susan that nobody is better at fooling ourselves than ourselves. She asked me to write that on a piece of paper and attach it to the fridge. That’s probably an unenviable and dangerous skill we all possess.

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