Monday, October 16, 2006

the sea waits knowing ...

Monday, October 16, 2006

the following poem, penned by wch inspired this post (which used to be a blog, but which i have now condensed to this single post). the ideas of simone weil also inspired this post.

the forest marches to the edge of the sea,
challenging the waves, challenging fate.
and the sea waits.

simone weil writes about attente - translated to english as 'waiting'.

“… waiting; not motionless, nor shaken or displaced by any shock from without.”
a state in which we suspend ourselves, and allow the truth to penetrate our minds.
a state of active contemplation achieved thru suspension of any thought that powers our faculties of observation.

this, to me, sounds intriguing, philosophical and mystical all at once. its crucial in my search for truth, meaning and light, because it lies at the convergence of human complexities - knowledge, belief, spirituality, connectedness. and, at the deepest level, it echoes faintly sound hues resembling both the eisenberg and ripple effect principles. and ... in some wierd metaphysical way i think that nature waits, knowing.

this attente ... this waiting ... manifests itself even in nature. and yes, in waiting, knowledge emerges. waiting ... it does the word 'attente' a misservice. really what we mean by 'attente' exists more completely in 'attending,' than in 'waiting' ... however, even this does not fully describe the pure psychic state known as attente. distant attention ... or distant waiting. adding the qualifier 'distant' somehow brings us closer to the essence of it -- of attente eloignee.

and this distant waiting, we can see everywhere in the natural environment. if we approach and observe nature with contemplative sensing - in this suspended pyschic state. go for a walk. and you will see. the amamzing and simple way in which nature attends itself. the throbbing sea waves - beating a contemplative sigh with each ebb and flow. the hush of a spritely breeze, tickling through a forest of brooding and moss-covered giants. the glistening, pink worms burrowing in the rich, dark earth. the migration patterns of birds and butterflies. the innate wisdom of deciduous trees. how do they know? they wait ... and in waiting they know what needs knowing for their survival.

so ... 'the sea waits, knowing ...' what does this mean?

it means that state of awareness we call knowing does not come from possessing material and finite knowledge. rather it can only emerge in the light of suspended contemplation, in the light of emptiness of thought, in the light of clarity of the psyche. when we open and empty ourselves fully, then this knowing state can emerge fully and fill us.

does attending one's emotions transform how these emotions feel, when one feels them? does existing in a psychic culture that demonizes so-called negative emotions have some sort of repressive effect? and then, does not this diminish the value of self-attendance?

i find our western culture quite emotionally repressive. its stifling, sometimes, the barrage of messages we receive, that portray expression of emotion as undesireable, a manifestation of weakness. and yet, despite all the media's desensitization we humans continue to feel emotion, and with blinding intensity. and, the apathy carved into society via the media leaves us with little or no mechanism for outlet or channelling of said emotions. and we wonder why we have road rage? and tragedies such as columbine and lancaster?

we feel emotion. plain and simple. its a physiologic phonemenon that no amount of technologizing can remove. so, why all the repressivity? why the desperate need to dilute emotions? do we fear emotion? specifically, do we fear grief? anger? sorrow? it would seem so ... yes?

and so ... back to my original question. if we embrace our emotions, by attending to them - a la attente eloignee - does it make a difference? emptying oneself of all thought, of all distraction, allows for the grief, or sorrow, or rage, to penetrate the self and then, pass through. by sitting with our feelings, not resisting, oppressing, or repressing, but just experiencing them, we transform and heal ourselves. transform ... because we work through the stuff of life - the psychic manifestations of our daily existence. heal ... because we acknowledge what our psyches know, what our bodies know ... what we feel on both a visceral and spiritual level.

do you think me esoteric, in this discussion? well ... try it. the next time you feel your viscera boiling ... or the next time you feel the inertia of sorrow/grief weighing heavily upon your spirit ... just clear yourself of all else and sit with it. retreat inside yourself somehow. for whatever morsel of time you can devote to yourself. and just be in the moment. be in the sensation of feeling.

face the compulsive desire to escape, to avoid the sensation of emoting. face the compulsive. name it. and clear it from your consciousness. and emote. feel. its nature, you know. and, even though the sensation of emoting may feel unpleasant, its liberating. yes, liberating. because emotions, when allowed to run their course - ie, once acknowledged, named, experienced and then embraced in feeling - transform and strengthen the self, as opposed to restraining and impeding the self.