Sunday, July 11, 2021
2:15 a.m. So, the prime mover.
Now, bear in mind, the Buddha himself refused to pronounce upon the question of whether or not a personal God existed. Rightly so, because how could he know? How could we? What he, and we, and you, can know is how you feel about the subject. It is one thing to have an opinion, and an experience, but if any one thing should be clear by now, it is that opinion may be firmly rooted in experience and yet may be misinterpreting it.
So, you can realize that a prime mover exists, without being able to prove that it is personal or impersonal or both. And in fact, what difference does opinion make? Let’s stick to what we can know, and build upon that.
Don’t opinions have consequences?
Indeed they do, but they remain opinion.
Jung was asked if his experience over a long lifetime had led him to believe in God and he said, “I do not believe. I know.”
And elsewhere he pointed out that it is not possible to prove the existence (nor, of course, the non-existence) of God, but that his medical and psychiatric experience proved to him that people experienced, or let’s say shared a need to believe in, God, which fact he regarded as significant.
In just that way, we say, we can’t demonstrate that the prime mover is God – nor that, if it is God, this means this or that. Nor is it necessary. Let each person believe what its experience of 3D and of non-3D (via intuition) suggests. Rather than push for an unobtainable unanimity of opinion, let us stick to phenomena.
Specifically, the existence of a present moment that is qualitatively different from all the other moments in existence. This is the cosmic metronome, the conductor of the celestial music, the coordinator.
If you can clarify its nature, I’ll be very grateful, because I can’t help thinking I’ve never seen it explained or even addressed, yet I know I must have done somewhere.
Let’s summarize by bullet-points, as usual trying to hold many pieces simultaneously in mind.
- All moments of time-space exist and are alive and are capable of interacting.
- Nonetheless only the moment that is peculiarly “now” is spotlit with some quality that allows it to dominate.
- However, each moment experiences that special aliveness.
- The puzzle presents itself: How can each moment of time be the center, be the “real” present moment?
- And underlying this, one needs to remember that all of this has been projected from a “realer” reality. This is a big clue.
It’s so vague, and so only-just-barely-out-of-reach. “Life is but a dream” is part of it somehow.
It is indeed. When you remember that life is a projected experience, you can remember that it isn’t a matter of you v. some external reality, which would imply a fixed nature, a center-and-periphery relationship, and
Lost it. Go ahead.
Remember, there is no “external world” in the sense that it appears. There is, instead, a shared subjectivity that maintains itself only because its elements maintain themselves. That is, if we – you, we, every psychic structure that exists – did not continuously maintain the world, it would cease to exist. But of course we do, so it does. And this is not mere playing with words, but it can be hard to convey the reality of the situation unless the reader has attained to a certain point of view.
Let’s assume we are there. Let’s assume we see that our inner and outer world is the same thing seen through intuition and sense. That’s the point of view you refer to, isn’t it?
It is. It is the idealist rather than realist position in the great philosophical debate. Well, proceeding from that position, you see that there is no question of “rocks in space,” so no question of things that are objectively “there” separate from yourself – from us. So now the question resolves itself to, “What makes things go?”
That is – I take it – instead of questioning Where, we question When.
That’s clever, but not transparent. Perhaps you should say it again, at greater length, because it does touch on something.
Well, if we take the external world to be “objectively there” instead of taking it to be part of ourselves experienced as if external to us, it is natural for us to seek the source of reality “out there somewhere.” Once we shift to seeing “it” as part of ourselves, our question becomes, “What is this that we are enmeshed in?” And that becomes a question of process.
Very true. You see that time is not what it appeared to be, nor is space what it appeared to be. Nor, therefore, are you what you appeared to be. So what you know has been reduced to something like this: “I don’t know what I am, nor why I am, nor how I came to be, nor where I’m going. What I do know, or at least believe, is that I am part of everything, and that everything is intricate, structured, and proceeds according to certain rules, some of them discernible, some conjectural. What I cannot know is whether the universe (that is, the totality) has purpose or not.”
It seems unlikely that anything so elaborate would be without purpose, but yes, it is impossible to prove it logically. Or, if it can be proved, I don’t see how.
But in any case, you are living in the world and there is one major division in terms of the life you lead. All reality – for you – can be divided into your 3D life and everything else. And this division can be made in two ways: (1) by chronology (first you weren’t, then you are, then you won’t be, in 3D existence); (2) by extent (there is your 3D life and its associated sensations and experiences, and there is the rest of you).
We suggest that things will clarify if you look at it this way: Your life’s division matches the division between present-moment and all other moments. That is, you, like everything else, are particularly alive in a certain way while you are in the present moment – right now. Nothing else has the same immediacy, the same aliveness, the same potential. There is an absolute division between now and all the rest of life.
I get it and yet, I’m afraid, maybe I don’t get it. Ram Dass said, “Be Here Now,” and eventually I realized what he was saying. But you are going beyond that, in a way; you are generalizing it beyond us as individuals.
We are and we are not. It is – or can be – difficult to realize both that the present-moment-ness is as fleeting as common experience recognizes it to be, and that nonetheless all the rest of time does not cease to be. It is this inability to realize the reality and permanence of everything and the unique quality of the present moment that makes it impossible to see life clearly. And this difficulty stems from experiencing internal and external as separate and even unrelated. So now return to the bullet-points we provided earlier in this session.
Well, the clue?
We will pursue the clue next time.
Thanks for all of this.