Monday, 17 April 2017

The Moon in a Mirror, the Sky in a Frame

However good the artist, the sky will only have it’s true impact upon us when beheld with our own eyes! A painting however good will never capture the vastness, be it a blue summer’s sky, a star lit night or a raging tempest. At best the painting will portray to us the artist’s feelings toward the sky as he/ she painted. A beautiful harvest moon. Radiant in a dark night, if glanced in a mirror, may cause us to wonder, yet it is the reflection that has touched us, and the reflection can never give us the experience that the full context of the moment of gazing up to a night sky illuminated by the moon’s glow.

As humans, our conscious experiencing is how we truly evaluate and process any moment.  From the mystic, who in raised consciousness touches on the presence of God to the scientist who, regardless of equipment uses their own experience to evaluate the results.  Beyond all things our sensing of reality is our basis for realty.

A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.” ~ Buddha

Our senses are not perfect, when we experience a moment the information enters our system. Our mind does not just say to us, “you are experiencing the moon.”  It also retrieves and connects us to all the memories, emotions from the past, which then influence our experiencing of the moment.  The Moon we are experiencing is not the moon of that moment, it is a jigsaw of many moments.
Imagine if you had been kidnapped, every night from your cell all you could see was the moon. Alone, afraid, not knowing if you were going to live or ever be free. Once rescued, from then on every time you see the moon it will act as a trigger. The moment you find yourself in maybe a wonderful, joyous occasion, but when you look at that moon, the feelings of fear, sadness, loneliness can flood back. So your experiencing of the moon becomes a reflection of past experiences, and not the true experience of gazing at the moon in the moment.

Alternatively, if when young, maybe you and your first true love made love under the harvest moon in a field of corn.  The warm summer air on your skin, the rich smell of the corn, the feelings of excitement, passion & connection. You felt so alive.  Many years on, when you see that same moon, in a similar situation, part of your experiencing will be recalling those memories.  Indeed, if you were the unfortunate individual in the first example, that very recall may be what helps you through your long nights of solitude.

All is illusion, from our interactions, to our memories to how we conduct our lives, all based on past experience, not on the experience of the moment.  There is, sadly just a short whilst as children that we are free from such illusion. Where our experiencing of reality is one of pure wonder. Once we enter the education system, we are conditioned to process the world in a recall fashion, cementing the illusion.

The illusion can be anything, from lack of self-worth, to not liking sprouts (although somethings I believe would be the same even without illusion.) Partly implanted by others, part implanted through direct experience. Not all of this is bad, if at an early age we put our hand in a fire and get burnt, then to have that in the back of our minds protects us from immediate pain. If though this association then leads us to fear of any flame, it can inhibit our experiencing of life. In turn causing unhappiness, holding back.

I recall a conversation with a hypnotist, a client of hers had a fear of flying. Not connected to a direct experience, but from childhood where parents had imposed a view based on their feelings. Due to this the client never went abroad on holiday. After only a short time spent with the client, the past illusion of what flying was had been removed, within the day the client had booked a holiday flights and all.

So how do we approach the illusion that is life? On one level if it is something we know that affects us we can go and see a specialist like my hypnotist friend.  If we look back some of our oldest religions tell us that reality is illusionary, that we should live our lives as such. In a modern day westernised world it is not possible to enter into seclusion, dedicating years to meditation, prayer, removing ourselves no longer provides a realistic option for most. There are some who still choose the path of devotion, seclusion, to which I can only take off my hat.

I believe that within meditation, stillness and quietness lie the keys to a less imposed experiencing of reality.

A solstice sunrise, the first hint of the glowing orb emerges. The mind subconsciously will bring into our experiencing past moments, good and bad that colour the reality of what is happening in the moment. Our conscious mind, will run this, acting upon past patterns of behaviour, thoughts and responses.  Through meditation we learn to still the rambling, conscious mind. In the same way as the hypnotist can change that reality, shifting from past experience to a more current moment experiencing, authentic to us individually, so as we develop our meditation practice we get to connect with that deeper part of our consciousness, step closer to the observer, beyond the mind lies a purer experiencing of reality.

All too often we look for the latest technique, the latest guru to help us with our experience. Yet all that we need lies within us, we just need to see within, beyond that part of us that tells us what is happening, to listen to that inner voice, divine, pure.  In doing this we step closer to that first, untainted state.
The implications of which are a more genuine, authentic experiencing of life. Prejudice, hate, ignorance fall away, we are no longer living in the illusion, but one step closer to the divine reality of oneness. The rivers of life bring us into a way of being that finds joy, happiness in every new experience, hardship becomes learning.

Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water!” ~ John 7:38

By having a daily practice of meditation, by focusing on times of stillness and peace we rise like a hawk, hovering above the situation, able to see all that is going on.  If we start to question our experiences, looking at what for us that moment was and what it was not our reality shifts. Returning to our ex-captive, looking at the moon today evokes/ triggers the experience and memory of the past. To then look and to see that this is not the past, that the moon he gazes upon today is not the moon he saw through those bars is to start to free ourselves from the illusion. Allowing him to experience the moon in the current moment and not in the presence of past demons.

Balance every thought with its opposition. Because the marriage of them is the destruction of illusion.” ~ Aleister Crowley

To draw these musings to a close, none of what you have read is how you read it. Every statement, concept and image will be based on past experience, feelings and moments. Tomorrow when you leave the house, you are not experiencing you leaving the house in that moment! It is the you leaving the house based on past experience, informing the you of today of what leaving the house was, not what it is.

Our whole life is spent looking at the moon in a mirror, the sky in a frame. What is more, we now view most of those mirrors and frames through a digital eye.  It is time to step away from the illusion, to develop our ability to dissolve the illusion, or if we cannot do that generate a new reality, a new illusion that serves us as humanity in more loving and peaceful ways. Recent years have seen uproar over the truth behind a lot of our politicians and yet we do not seem to mind the illusion we live in day today.

Step out of the illusion, reality is and can be what you choose.  More on that another time.

​Blessings, Rob

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