ISLANDS IN THE SEA OF BEING
(The Ghost danse)
Near as I can determine, all a person is -- is awareness located at a
specific spot in space. The awareness looks outward in all directions,
though inhabiting bodies has biased most of us into the habit of
concentrating our attention in two directions: forward through the face,
and down the length of the body itself.
At this point I should establish a definite word to use for it. This point
location of awareness that is each of us, can be referred to as a spirit.
I do not use the word "soul", except rarely in a poetic sense. "Soul" is
much too ill-defined and fuzzy of a word to be useful except when writing
poetry. The Hindus use a term "atman", and the Hubbardites use
"thetan", but these are too specialized and obscure for most people.
I've also heard the word "nameless" used, and that is very apropos.
Unfortunately it is too obscure for most people. Therefore I usually say
"spirit" when I talk about you and I and all that is aware in the universe.
The ancient Hindus more properly should have used the word
"sat" = "I am." Therefore "being" might be a useful English word to
describe what some have called "The Nameless" -- a term I find hard
to use also because of the overwhelming sense of irony I feel when
naming something "nameless".
This focused point of awareness, this spirit, has more than attention
turned outward in all directions -- it glows constantly with energy that
flows outward in all directions as well. The ancient Sanskrit word for
god is "deva", from which we get our words "divine" and "devil."
Deva means "shining one". This may not make much sense to you
that the ancients would have used that name, but it's because many
of them could see glowing spirits in the air. Almost no one in modern
times can still do this, but it used to be an easy thing for many people
to do. I'm not going to go into long explanations about why and how
we have degenerated intomaterialistic meat robots.
Some other time, okay?
A human being is a spirit operating a meat body, which organism is little
more than an organic machine, sort of a mobile vegetable. A nice
analogy for a person and their body would be a person driving a car.
A spirit does not possess any mass, though it readily creates both
mass and energy. A body is matter, that is to say, atoms and molecules
organized into systems. Between the spirit and the body are at least
three major levels of control which I can perceive. These three
lumped together could be called the "mind." The body itself possesses
its own mental machinery, physically located in the obvious place, the
brain. It also possesses many other less obvious mental mechanisms,
most of which are the ductless glands. Please note that these ductless
or "endocrine" glands are composed of modified nerve cells. These
other sites taken together seem to roughly coincide with the Chakras
of the Hindus. This brain and these glands interact with the spirit's three
levels of control to produce all phenomena associated with humans,
from emotion and reason, on up to clairvoyance and "magic."
The brain allows reality to be organized in the familiar fashion that we're
all accustomed to, but reality is quite different from what you think it is.
The spirit's point of view when bodiless is often radically different from
what most people regard as "normal" reality.
Mind consists of consideration, of idea -- plus energy. Thought at
almost all levels consists of consideration, which is to say "meaning",
attached or tagged to matter/energy. A mental image is an energy
field that has been given form, with just enough meaning attached to
it for the person to identify the form. Visualize a chair, and "know" that
it is a chair. This is a lot of energy, a literal "force field", with a small
amount of meaning attached. A thought on the other hand is the
reverse of that. A normal thought is a very small whisp of matter/energy
with a proportionally larger amount of meaning to it (I perceive two
levels of thought. There is coarse thought at a level below emotion,
in the effort range. This is thought as you are familiar with it. But just
before you think a visible thought a knowing occurs. That knowing
is the actual thought at a high level above emotion and effort, with the
visible thought its lower echo.). Think "chair" without forming a mental
image, and all the meaning of "chair" is attached to a microscopic flicker
of mass. The concept of "chair" contains such ideas as seat, legs, back,
armrests, etc -- everything that makes up a chair. But the thought itself
is all that significance stuck onto a microscopic bead of matter/energy
that is flicked into existence by the spirit, only to vanish instantly,
unless held onto by the attention.
The lowest level of control is that contained within the body's aura.
This is sometimes referred to as the etheric body or etheric double;
sometimes as the astral body. It is shaped roughly the same as the
physical body, but is a little larger, extending outward through the
skin a few inches in all directions. It is an energy field often containing
images (mental image pictures) most of which are memories, emotion,
effort, and maybe enough meaning to identify the images. There also
seems to be some sort of machinery, as evidenced by the
aforementioned chakras. All too often at this level, the images, ideas
and machines are unviewed and unidentified by the spirit, and therefore
they tend to persist and obsess. This is what Hubbard was describing
with his "engrams" and other mental junk. These unviewed pieces of
the past can be placed anywhere in relation to the body (out to a
surprisingly great distance), but are usually spotted close to or within it.
The next level is the one that a person probably thinks of as their
thinking mind. It is roughly spherical, centered around the location in
the space occupied by the spirit. In most people that means centered
on the body's head. It is a sphere of awareness that in most people
seems to be anywhere from a foot to three feet in diameter. It contains
focused attention and organized awareness. It is at this level of energy
that thinking (more than visualizing) occurs. It is characterized by big
meanings tagged onto small matter/energy. (Let me digress for a
moment and point out that there are two sorts of "personal space":
one is this spherical space of a few feet in diameter, which is a space
you HAVE, and the other is more like a sphere two inches in diameter,
which is a space you are BEING. The two together form the area within
which you do those activities you call your mind.
The next level above that, the one just below pure spirit as an absolute,
has no shape, no limits, and effectively is as large as the area within
which the spirit happens to be interacting with the universe. As an
inflow it appears to many people to resemble a vast ocean of living
universe, as though the whole physical universe were alive. As an
outflow I perceive it as an infinite number of infinitely long rays extending
outward. The oddest thing about them is that these rays appear to have
zero diameter and be completely transparent -- despite looking sort
of like white lines. I can see them, but I can also see right through them!
Odd. This level is characterized by considerations and ideas that are
not attached to any mental energy at all, but instead are applied directly
to the physical universe. This is the real sphere of influence of a spirit
within the universe, and is the reason mental images may be found a
considerable distance from the body. It is at this level that a spirit
causes direct influences on the physical universe itself.
The "size" of a spirit is usually judged to be its reach, at what distance
it can affect the universe. Another yardstick is the size of the space
they are being. A third yardstick for judging the "size" of a spirit is by
the diameter of its personal havingness space. Most people seem to
be about 2-3 feet in diameter. Some are only a foot in diameter. People
that are a foot in diameter can be very annoying to others because
they have no sense of violating other people's personal spaces. If
you're no bigger than your body's head then you don't feel that you are
pressing in on someone else until your head is literally up against theirs!
This pisses off people who are three feet in diameter when standing
in line at the bank because the one footers stand too damn close!
Occasionally one will encounter a very large being. I have met people
who can fill rooms, or even fill entire houses. Usually a person like this
will not make others uncomfortable by their presence, just the opposite.
In the past many large beings have been regarded as saints.
A fourth measure of a spirit is its amount of energy production -- its
"glow" -- but that can be trained into a person with exercises. A better
one, in fact the best, is how clean and clear the spirit's space is. If it's
empty and the person is serene and THERE, you know you have
met someone special (I did, and his name was John McMaster.).
The body is hypnotic. Hypnotism is the fixation of attention in one
direction, usually at one object or person. The body acts to hypnotize
a spirit by focusing most of its attention forward through the eyes
(most of the rest is directed down through the body). This in turn
gets the spirit into the habit of only using enough attention to fit its
one directional needs. But if you close your eyes and fan your attention
out, you will find that you can "look" with your mind's eye in all directions
at once. This will be a strain for most people because they don't have
enough attention to spread over that wide an area. Practice at looking
at many objects simultaneously. This will span the attention and create
more of it for use. Remember that a spirit has unlimited potential.
Stretch and multiply your abilities by practice at holding in the mind as
many separate objects as possible. The average person can usually
only focus their attention at first on 5 things at once.
Let me make one thing clear, I do not believe in the Judeo-Christian-
Moslem God. Whether one says Jehovah, Yahveh or Allah, I see no
evidence that any such personal and patriarchal being exists.
Nevertheless, I have considerable subjective data which indicate that
the physical universe is a creation. It also seems in an odd way to be
itself alive, as a part of something which penetrates it and contains it.
Call it "God" if you wish. I don't give a damn. Not only does all physical
matter seem to be alive in some odd way, but it appears that we
spirits have the ability to infuse more life and beingness into matter,
and into already living organisms. This ranges from dull students
"coming alive" under the influence of a particularly attentive teacher,
to pets which are "almost human" as a result of constant attention from
a human, to potted plants which grow like crazy because their owner
talks to them, to weird shit like a dilapidated car which runs perfectly in
response to a loving owner. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
There have been cases of cars which refuse to start when their owners
are angry. People can screw up anything, even make a house nearly
uninhabitable due to their ugly influence.
The medium through which this influence is transmitted is attention,
and the flows are either love or hate. Extrapolate that ability to larger
spheres of influence and it looks an awful lot like some of the abilities
ascribed to "God." Since I have personally witnessed a human walking
around with a clear aura of tremendous size as a result of spiritual
enlightenment, then I have to assume that we are all capable of such
godliness. (God, I hate that word "god"! It just irks me to no end to have
to use it.) The implication of my observations is that we are all,
But it does NOT resemble the puerile superstitions of ignorant
merchants, herdsmen and carpenters.
My problem with the word stems from my clear perception that
worshipping God represents a state of moral collapse (not moral in the
sense of rules of behavior, but rather, moral in the same ballpark as
morale.) and a complete subservience to something more powerful.
Sorry, but I refuse to submit graciously and willingly to any higher anything.
I can be forced to submit by force or the threat of force, but I would
regard any beingness which did so to be a tyrant and enemy. Besides,
I clearly perceive that any contact I might have with any infinite beingness
would have quite an opposite effect, and help me stand tall, free
and independent of control by force. That being said, there is something ...
That "God" -- whatever it is -- has an almost infinite number of eyes.
And those eyes are us. You and me and the guy down the street and
the green skinned fellow living on a planet in the Andromeda galaxy.
In addition to all the spirit-eyes inhabiting meat organisms, there are
many more spirits that have no bodies. We are living in a sea of
being. Spirits are everywhere. This fact is the foundation of all animist
religions, like Shinto in Japan. Those who have not lost their spiritual
sight due to disuse can see spirits floating in the air, clinging to fence
posts, glued to framed photos on livingroom walls, inhabiting the
heads of statues in parks or the headlights of motorcycles. Spirits are
everywhere. And though I suppose that their number is finite and
countable, in practical terms there are so damned many in this huge
physical universe that their number is effectively infinite.
I said above that we are living in a sea of being. I was being poetic
rather than precise when I made that statement. The sea of being is
what we apparently split off from. Before we were individuals, we were
perhaps part of an undifferentiated beingness that just is, but which
doesn't ever say "I am." Or to be exact, the moment the sea of being
says "I am only me" a new spirit separates from the None, the Nameless.
At that moment a new eye of God has formed, a new point of view from
which to look. The act of a new spirit entering the physical universes is
symbolized by trump 0 of the tarot deck. The Fool represents a new pal
foolishly entering the universe, with no suspicions that going into
agreement with its rhythms will subject it to joy and sorrow. (Hubbard
did not understand The Fool because he had a misunderstood caused
by his familiarity with the tarot deck designed by Aleister Crowley. His
remarks in the PDC are incorrect.)
Your body is not you. Your mind is not you. Your memories that you
hold so dear are not you. All the organization of your thoughts and
ideas that you have carefully built up are not you. Your personality is
not you. Your desires are not you. Your emotions or feelings are not
you. Everything that you think you are, you are not.
You are a nothing. You are awareness at an arbitrary location in space,
a location that you can change at any time. You surround yourself with
thoughts and emotions and mental images but you are none of these
things. They exist a few millimeters, inches or feet out from your
location, with just enough space separating them from you so that you
can look at them, experience them and manipulate them. They also
often occupy not quite the same space as the physical universe, as if
they weren't quite inside it somehow. If they were to exactly occupy
the same space with you who are an eye of God, so that you would
perfectly "be" (duplicate) them, they would vanish instantly. No thing in
your mind may be duplicated by you and survive.
A spirit is almost like a hole in space. It is very much as if a small
punched in space and time, yet the space and time where it is still exist
untouched, with a fresh creation of energies pouring continuously out
through the hole. A spirit is nothing. It is not made out of matter and energy,
and neither is it limited to any time. It creates time and is in command of
it. Only in one way can it be said to have a time, in a weird manner: its
mind has a time that it exists in, and that time seems to me to be the
moment of the spirit's entry into this universe. The implications of that
particular fact are unsettling in this manner: it implies that the
physical universe is as much a person's mind as their thoughts, emotions
and memories. The universe is your mind? Yes, apparently. But if it is
then it's everyone else's mind too!
The Fool (tarot trump 0) is a fool because he is entering this dark mind,
forming it in accordance with the rules of this damned universe of ours...
But he is still a god, a dreamer who dreams with eyes open, whose
dream is the universe.
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