About LoveConsciousness………………… and confusion
I chase myself around in circles, the longer I chase the deeper the rut, the more empowering the escape, and the longer the trek back to the mountaintop created by my encirclement. Circles speak of balance, like any geometrical shape. As if the lines are not postulated but really there…
Lately I’ve written one blog every several weeks instead of every two weeks. This is partly due to business, partly due to laziness and partly because it is better to write when I have something (inspiring) to say. Partly also due to unfolding events. My friend Ion is dying. I can’t really express what this means to me. I simply don’t know. I also don’t know what he means to me. I have a feeling I will continue to find out for the rest of my life.
He wrote a beautiful poem describing his death (which I don’t have acces to now), about how he fears not the nothingness that is coming, but only fears for his family and friends and how they might suffer, beseeching them to start to say goodbye while he is still alive.
I went to say hi/goodbye the other day (although hopefully I will get to do so again), he seemed somewhat morose, now that he is sedated and no longer working on his book, the news of the day no longer interests him (for the first time in 92 years). Every day is the same for him as he slips slowly into a world of less and less consciousness, or more and more (who knows, although he would surely disagree). No urgent decisions are to be made by him any longer.
I have sometimes behaved in a similar fashion lately, even though for me it is different. I am very young, and although all my decisions feel important, I don’t treat them as such, and fret over little insecurities. Don’t waste time, Ion would say, what’s the worst that can happen. He also told me, 1 year is nothing, you have a whole life in front of you. From the perspective of a 92 year old that is indeed the case.
Still lately I can’t help feeling trapped. Its not really a trap, more that I trap myself in a gilded cage but still, I feel trapped. I consume news and academic papers and music which tell of the sorrow in the world. In this way I create a picture of doom. I still experience happiness and laughter but when I think of my place in this madness I can’t help but feel trapped.
So much privilege I can barely see straight, I have to squint my eyes against the glaringly shining reflections of all the golden faucets, tea and coffee streaming out of them at my whim, I don’t even have to move a limb. The very keyboard I am typing on now, is made of liquid gold. I am actually to lazy to type so I just swirl my left pinky through the liquid, and my thoughts appear on the screen, as even the inside of my head is rich.
See I am fortunate, less fortunate than some, but more fortunate than most. If I work very hard, I can reach top positions possibly (although some are by now out of reach, never really wanted to be a banker but still). Not everybody can reach those positions, but some can, some with less work than me, some with more. What would this accomplishment then mean? Is it due to my hard work, or my whiteness, or my maleness, or my beardedness, or my tallness? Who placed this idea of accomplishment in my head?
I cherish experience mostly, and in some sense also accomplishment but not really. I like creating things, I like touching people in some way. I like smiles. I like warmth, I even like cold showers. I like learning new things. I like being alive.
More and more, I realize how very little I know. I keep building knowledge anyway, but I don’t really like knowing more than people anymore, or outsmarting them, I used too, and I still do a little. But more and more it seems like we don’t need more knowledge, but more compassion.
I don’t think the answer is giving everybody a career, which to me is basically jargon for knowing the rules of progression in society. I don’t think the answer is simply creating more jobs. An answer might be totally redefining what work is. Sure it would be better, if there was more equality, and more jobs for everybody. But so long as your worth is defined by your job status and jobs are created by exploiting nature, these things are no real solution.
I am aware, that I am privileged enough to be able to have these musings, I am aware that white guilt, or the white burden of going out to help the so-called poor people are all not the answer.
I just fervently wish that there would be some purpose, more than vain glory, to provide me with hope. I think this hope is what Ion started to represent to me, which is part of the reason I am struggling a bit at the moment.
For Ion, surviving the war, and writing to save the world was his way of escaping the trap and I think he did more than a fair job of it, he saw his life’s goal and pursued it. The world he painted for me, for us, is beautiful and I hope many of you will one day be able to read it, or better yet see it.
I am not so sure, we can out-reason the world or death for that matter. We can face it perhaps, but not through words and reason alone, we can only turn towards it as it approaches us. Perhaps that is the real meaning of facing something, turning towards it. Right now I am turning to face many different directions at once. In the turning lies the swirling interaction as we stir the world around us by moving with and in it.
Many of the wise people tend to say things like: Pick your battles (that is what Frieda Menco told me and Spencer Heijnen). I can’t help but feeling that choosing to do battle on one issue means losing another battle elsewhere. Still you can only do one thing at a time, if you want to do it well. But what if that one thing could be loving awareness, that you bring to whatever you do?
The last part of the book which we were busy writing when Ion fell and became too ill to work much more was supposed to be about the future, and the road there through love. In other places he has written about this, and he always told me he took his lead from all the great writers and poets. So in many ways, it is not his work alone, his voice is one of many, hence the pseudonym I Anyone. It is also an invitation to all of us, to carry on this work, this work of being transformation through love, bringing transformation through love in whatever way we can.
In our last work sessions we were a bit more free, than usual, I sensed he wanted to talk freely, to get in the mood for working, and recalibrate after some time spent apart. He asked me what questions I still had about the book.
He believes that humans used to have collective consciousness before they developed an individual consciousness and that humans created the world. So I asked him the following two questions which had been on my mind:
How does collective consciousness function? How did humans come on the earth i.e. if they conceived it?
The following conversation ensued, which was mainly him talking and which I present here as a kind of monologue. The energy when he was speaking, was one of pure aliveness. Now reading back, I realize more and more how much he strayed from his intellectual rational mainstay and into the realm of spirituality. Although a firm supporter of being rational, I believe this was because of his tendency to assiduously cover all the options, to be specific and concrete, so in that sense he found this text to be too general. However the most important thing was always for him, to be understandable. Language and rationality were always a vehicle for communication and interaction, not necessarily a goal in themselves, although they could serve the goal of beauty.
It is a talk on love and consciousness and towards the end, he strays into the economy while somehow staying on the same topics. Even though he covers many seemingly disparate topics in an ambling manner, to me it feels like he is saying something very true, not in the absolute sense, but in the way of resonating deeply:
“Individual consciousness, originating from human interaction (between people in collective consciousness) by seeing that other people and organisms have needs like we do. From human interaction also came time and so the awareness of death, and from this awareness came love.
Love is the possibility for another existence. Here you have everything:
Love, finititude of existence, and the existence of other people.
Love means the possibility to exist for other people. Not only for one’s self. Not only for your coffee lets say , but to exist for other people, this is essential. This is the very origin of love. Because love originates by this necessity to exist for other people.
Its always a play to what extent you exist for other people and to what extent you exist for yourself, It becomes a kind of dialectic that is very complicated. Really complicated.
Essential is to be able, to help the existence of other people, to experience the existence of other people. Can we experience the existence of other people? How finite is this existence?
Because over time when we experience the existence of other people, we cross the boundary, we go the other side of our own existence.
One has to experience these things, one has to go from one experience to another. From one’s own existence to another existence. To what extent can we exist the existence of another being? This is what means to be human. The possibility to exist the existence of other beings. Everything: you have love, you have finiteness, you have communication, you have dialectics. (Dialectics here being, the running up against limits, moving beyond these limits to new limits and beyond; the limits of existence, the limits of concepts and knowledge and using this limitation to learn, to leave this limitation behind.)
One should be prepared to compromise, love is compromise.
Consciousness, a problem is: is the way you imagine consciousness the same as I imagine consciousness? A very big problem. That gets solved, by interaction between people.
One way to imagine the world, outside our existence, then is to come to a consciousization of reality that is beyond our individuality, that is one way. The other way, that is quite different, is again coming back to love. Can you identify with the other being to such an extent that you don’t feel different from the other being? You can identify with this being, and you should not be afraid of losing one’s individuality.
Democracy and knowledge
In democracy there are some perimeters (of knowledge). What is important is that in knowledge we go from one limitation to another and then we transcend this limitation, knowledge builds up like that. One thing we don’t know is to what extent one limitation connects with another one and how it goes on like that.
Then there is the other thing, the fact that we live the economy, its a matter of compromise as well, economics in a way is something precise and its a kind of exchange. To what extent we compromise in this exchange? This is again love.
What is the exchange that takes place in economics? What is this exchange? Why this exchange? We have to try to make them simple. What people in the street mean by exchange is simple and good, we should not be afraid of it.
The fact that humans are ready to exchange their experience and to have an exchange with the experience of others. But there are many characters that intervene and sometimes they are together, sometimes they retire, they withdraw, they go back. I am ready to compromise, I shall make it simple, you exchange your experience for my experience, not so much complication. Its enough, maybe tomorrow I get more, I do this compromise.
Another dimension that comes into it, that I often think, is the dimension of power. Because and this is very delicate, even in love, even in transcending one existence to experience the existence of another being, there is some power, there is the need, to affirm one’s power, to what extent you go with this affirmation, is very delicate. To what extent in the simplest love relationship, to what extent you impose your power, to what extent you are aware of imposing this power, to what extent you are ready to renounce this power. This is fantastic for me, if you are ready to renounce your power, you are near to love.”
Although its feels awkward to pose here now my own imposition, my own creation, here is a poem I wrote for Ion, after meeting him in the hospital right after he fell (before we had the above conversation).
“The absolute incommensurability
of trying to put
a you on you
of a young man
of 90 years old.
The face wrinkly
and decrepit, almost ghastly
the one seeing eye clear wise
a supple springy
arm in a hand
that thrusts through
the waves of
of a young
with wavy hair
as sunny smile
and sunny lake.
The waves lapping
at the shore
You do not
believe in god.
But hey! that miracle
of life and consciousness
a soul like
yours is something
to be in awe
So then with true sensitivity
to finally speak of
and not only speak
but feel it
in every vibe
of our bodies.
to be aware of
not otherworldly holiness
but the magic
running through our veins.
running over into
The mind heart
but you knew that
neither the heart
nor the mind is
So when in the swelling tides
birds and humans
will sing in one
harmony of what
is what was
and what will be
see the nothingness
While not knowing the truth of things, I entertain the notion that god is everything, God as the collective consciousness out of which individuality arose and of which it is still a part. This individuality is located in the prefrontal cortex, which people who have psychedelic experiences (DMT) bypass to experience a sense of unity. The prefrontal cortex came later in our evolution, so perhaps when people experience this unity, they are experiencing this earlier stage of our evolution of collective consciousness, an earlier stage that is still a part of our reality.
I am not religious but I choose to believe in the possibility of togetherness, perhaps I need to. Perhaps the limits of knowledge show us also the possibility of there being limits and demarcations in the first place. What is necessary for that to occur? I don’t know, but sometimes this not knowing, makes me very happy!