exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
|Part I, Existential Beauty: Noting a sunrise as messenger of a new day is not the same as discerning the dawn as dreamily enchanting. The sublime awareness allowing for such is untainted by utilitarian concern.
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Editor's prefatory comment:
In a lecture, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake asked “Why is there so much beauty in the world?” A provocative question.
In Beshara Magazine, Cambridge PhD student Hina Khalid wrote, "Participating in the Divine Playfulness, exploring the theological aesthetics of Rabindranath Tagore.”
Hina’s prose often reaches for such marvel that it reads as poetry. She speaks of things I’ve addressed elsewhere (in the "Beauty" articles), but her treatment of the subject takes us deeper.
Winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature, Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) was a Bengali poet and writer. I’ve reviewed his “On Art And Aesthetics” and will be sharing salient excerpts.
Below, Kairissi and Elenchus explore these topics – how beauty and art reveal, not only a hidden dimension of authentic romantic love but, an access to deeper understanding of the nature of God.
References to Hina’s work will be appended with “HK” and “RT” for the Bengali poet.
Immediately following now, prior to the K&E dialogues, is an inset-box providing summary of Hina’s writing in Beshara Magazine.
the beauty of the world, a streaming song, God’s ‘love letter’ to us
Hina Khalid writes in Beshara Magazine, "Participating in the Divine Playfulness," exploring the theological aesthetics of Rabindranath Tagore:
One of the most enchanting notes of the world’s polyphonic ‘love-call’ is that of beauty, which silently streams through the spring flowers and the serene night sky. Tagore presents worldly beauty as a constantly streaming song and even as God’s ‘love letter’ to us...
God could have set forth a regal display of the divine power, Tagore writes, which would force us to turn to Him, but instead He seeks to gently woo us through the innumerable beauties of the world – the delicate dreaminess of dawn and the soft serenity of sunset...
'this tender abundance,' this beauty born of a spirit of 'excess'
Outlining this tender abundance, Tagore writes that whilst we must acknowledge and align ourselves with the fact that the sunrise heralds a new day ... we are not under any compulsion to discern the dawn as ‘beautiful and supremely peaceful’.
Our loving attentiveness to its beauty is thus entirely free, but this [free-spirited non-compulsory acknowledgement of underlying and sometimes-subtle beauty in the world] is itself a freedom to which we are, in a higher sense, bound [that is, intimately aligned with, in that we ourselves are expressions of God's delight to freely create beauty; a beauty which is non-utilitarian in nature, for God did not create us as private advantage to Herself] – for it is only in our free submission to beauty’s call that we inhabit the infinite truth of human life...
Like God’s cosmic lila [artistic playfulness], art has its origins in the realm of ‘excess’, because we create art not as a means to an end but for freely delighting in the beauty of the world. In other words, when we renounce utilitarian or instrumentalist imperatives...
[instrumentalism: the variety of pragmatism developed by John Dewey, maintaining that the truth of an idea is determined by its success in the active solution of a problem and that the value of ideas is determined by their function in human experience]
... in and through artistic creation, revealing the ‘wealth’ of our inner life, we reflect the God who ‘takes joy in productions that are unnecessary to him’...
Endowed with this vision into the plenitude of finite reality, the artist sees more truly, and this is, in short, because she sees with the illuminative lens of love...
In [philosopher] Pieper’s words:
[…] what do we really perceive when we look at, say, Durer’s ‘Detail of a Meadow’? It is obviously not the blades of grass, which we can observe, even more realistically, also in nature or in a photograph. It is not the blades of grass, not ‘this particular object’ at all…
Albrecht Dürer, “Great Piece of Turf” (1503)
'through her creative offerings, the artist responds to, and reflects, the divine, and, in this way, art approximates something akin to worship'
The artist gazes on the world through the eyes of the heart, and through ... her creative offerings, the artist responds to, realises and reflects, the divine, and, in this way, art approximates something akin to worship.
The worshipper, like the artist, suspends her quotidian [usual, daily] self-orientation to give herself to the God who is perpetually giving Himself to the world.
Kairissi. Let’s remind everyone that this discussion takes place within the context of “Omega Point.”
Elenchus. And tell everyone what this means.
K. “Omega Point” was coined by Chardin to indicate humankind’s future maturity and evolvement. On the “Epigraph” page, we said this:
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the Omega Point
Chardin spoke of a future nexus of humanity via unitive consciousness which he referred to as Omega Point:
“Remain true to yourself, but move ever upward toward greater consciousness... At the summit you will find yourselves united with all those who ... have made the same ascent. For everything that rises must converge... joins them by what is deepest in themselves.”
“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision... in the future, a critical state of encounter will occur... love will grow into Divinity.”
E. “Everything that rises must converge.”
K. "Love will grow into Divinity." This is all so wonderful, Elenchus. And we feel it, don’t we? - within our deepest selves, this desire and longing for unity and harmony.
E. “Omega” is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, and so with “Omega Point” we mean to say that there’s a goal and destiny toward which we’re pointed.
K. And you and I have come to see, and experience, that Twin Soul love represents a good portion of sacred destiny which we call “Omega Point”. And now we’d like to talk about how beauty and art relate to humanity’s “final stage.”
E. Earlier, we discussed related topics: the Dazzling Darkness, the mystical experience, existential beauty, the condition of “no you and no me,” and the “rest of God.”
K. Can we offer something more in this present discussion?
E. I think there’ll always be more to come.
lila, the divine playfulness
E. I hate to be contrary right off the bat, but I don’t think “playfulness” is the best translation of “lila.”
K. But you’re not a Sanskrit scholar.
E. No, but I am a human being, and “playfulness” just doesn’t feel right.
K. Well, commentary on “lila” offers several meanings – “sport,” “spontaneity,” “play” or “drama” -- but most center on the playful or effortless dynamic between God and the material world.
E. Here’s my problem with the traditional “lila.” It’s supposed to describe God’s state of mind as She creates the world, looks at the world, deals with the world. And yes, ok, there could be a small element of “whimsy,” let’s say. We can grant that God might or would have a sense of humor – because, where did we get ours if not from the divine mind? All this conceded, it doesn’t sit well with me that the primary disposition of God’s mind is one given to an impishness, a frolicsomeness as predominant outlook. And I’ll tell you why these epithets turn me off. To bring sentient creatures, endowed with volition, to an “Omega Point” state is a project fraught with great misery and untold suffering. The world of human development will not be a play-field but, instead, a vale of tears for a very long time, until mature sons and daughters come through the system.
K. (softly) Yes… and in view of all the chaos and trouble experienced by God's children on planet Earth, it seems incongruous that the major portion of God's mind should be expressed by the whimsical.
the world's great religions began with someone's mystical experience
E. Here’s how I think the misunderstanding happened. A long time ago, some shaman or mystic discerned, via psychic abilities, that God’s nature should be defined by – and a word was invented – “lila.” But, as with all mystical revelations, the message from the shaman was distorted. The listeners didn't get it. And it came down to us as carefree “playfulness.”
K. So, what did the ancient shaman really mean to say?
E. I think it’s like this. There is an element of carefree spirit, an unconcerned, worry-free aspect to God’s mind - actually, it’s all unconcerned and worry-free. But here’s where the listeners went wrong. When the shaman said God is “care-free” and “worry-free”, they took it to mean “playful” which some interpreted as frivolous and never serious – but this widely misses the mark of the shaman's mystical message.
sunrise is fact, beautiful dawn is editorial comment
whilst we must acknowledge and align ourselves with the fact that the sunrise heralds a new day – and pursue our daily work accordingly – we are not under any compulsion to discern the dawn as ‘beautiful and supremely peaceful’. Our loving attentiveness to its beauty is thus entirely free, but this [free-spirited non-compulsory acknowledgement of underlying and sometimes-subtle beauty in the world] is itself a freedom to which we are, in a higher sense, bound [bound or intimately aligned with, in that we ourselves are expressions of God's delight to freely create beauty; a beauty which is non-utilitarian in nature, for God did not create us as private advantage to Herself] – for it is only in our free submission to beauty’s call that we inhabit the infinite truth of human life (HK)
K. When the shaman said “care-free” and “worry-free” he meant that God doesn't do anything for utilitarian purposes; which means that God isn't pursuing private advantage by creating the world and its beauty. And this is what HK refers to when she says "it is only in our free submission to beauty's call that we inhabit the infinite truth of human life."
E. And that “infinite truth” is that God was a disinterested party to the creation and management of the world.
K. We talked about this aspect of “disinterest” in the “existential beauty” article.
E. It means that we won't “discern the dawn as dreamily sublime” unless we look at it with God’s disinterested mind.
K. And that godly mind has no mundane concerns, is care-free about needing anything, and lives with a sense of abundance.
E. We do all this naturally when we see a beautiful dawn - because we don't gaze at the rising sun in order to gain some other benefit.
our truest self lives totally free of necessity
There is yet another man in me, not the physical, but the personal man; which has its likes and dislikes and wants to find something to fulfill its needs of love. This personal man is found ... where we are free from all necessity — above the needs, both of body and mind — above the useful. It is the highest in man [and] it has personal relations of its own with the great world... (RT)
E. RT uses the term the "personal man" for what we call the "true self."
K. This is an important characteristic of a mind devoted to art and beauty. The true aesthete sees beauty through the eyes of the "true self" and is taken to thralldom in a completely disinterested manner. There is no private advantage in play.
E. We’re reminded of Oscar Wilde’s quip “The fine arts are utterly useless.”
awakened heart, personality in flood-tide
It has to be conceded that man cannot help revealing his personality, also, in the world of use. But [here] self-expression is not his primary object. In everyday life, when we are mostly moved by our habits, we are economical in our expression; for then our soul-consciousness is at its low level, — it has just volume enough to glide on in accustomed grooves. But when our heart is fully awakened in love … our personality is in its flood-tide. Then it feels the longing to express itself for the very sake of expression. Then comes Art, and we forget the claims of necessity, the thrift of usefulness — [and now] the spires of our temples try to kiss the stars and the notes of our music to fathom the depth of the ineffable. (RT)
K. This “flood-tide” comment makes me smile. It reminds me of something you said not long after we “first met.” Your heart was so bursting that you wanted to “tell all the world” and “shout it from the rooftops.”
E. That must have been someone else.
K. I don’t think so.
E. There's much to comment on here. Notice, in "everyday life," when activity is led by "habits," we're hardly alive, consciousness is at a low ebb; just enough energy to float along in "accustomed grooves."
K. Sounds like a certain comatose boy I met a long time ago.
E. I wouldn't know about that. But, RT says, "when our heart is fully awakened in love, our personality is in its flood-tide."
K. Suddenly, even formerly comatose ones are on the rooftop shouting.
E. But what’s really interesting here is RT’s etiology: “Then comes Art.”
K. You know, buddy, you were always – not shy but – “a boy of few words”; not flashy, not given to sensationalism. But when you “met me,” this whole new side of your personality came out. Reticence gave way to the voluble. And that’s just part of it: “Then came Art.” Your natural proclivities toward philosophy and literature now blossomed into your own personal art-form as you sought to give expression to your burgeoning heart.
E. You’re confusing me with someone else.
K. I doubt it.
definitions made easy
What are literature, music or fine arts? They are all media of artistic self-expression through the language of the word, the sound, the line and the colour. And all of them seek to record but one thing — the wonder and joy of man’s discovery of the True. (RT)
K. I find this rather amazing. If someone had asked me what is literature, what is music and art? I’d have been hard pressed to offer succinct answer. But it seems clear now.
E. Explain it to us.
K. Each of us harbors a spark of Divinity. This “true self”, as we call it, resides untouched by the necessities of the world – for this is how God lives. And in this spirit of abundance, we sense, we feel, we see beauty everywhere in the world.
E. I must interrupt to ask, what is beauty?
K. Beauty is a perception of harmony, unity, and clarity. These elements of integration stem from a deeper view that “God is all, and in all.” And in this perspicacious frame of mind, yes, we will see beauty everywhere in the world.
E. Darling Dear, your definition of beauty as expression of hidden interrelatedness is well in line with the poet's conviction:
consonance with the whole
The Good, I repeat, is beautiful not merely because of the good it does to us. There is something more to it. What is good is in consonance with creation as a whole and therefore also with the world of men. Whenever we see the Good and the True in perfect accord, the Beautiful stands revealed. (RT)
K. Thank you, Elenchus, and with all this in view allow me to ask, what is Art? It is the media of “the word, the sound, the line, and the colour” – all of which give wing, and expression, to the burgeoning heart “in flood-tide”. And therefore the message of sacred Art – not what RT calls the ‘rudely loud and cheaply lurid’ of ‘realism’ -- becomes “I have seen a far country, I have enjoyed a flash-view of eternity, I have glimpsed the promised land of sacred destiny and ultimate reality. And now my spirit cannot be restrained but to share this vision – in my Art.”
the endless horizon, overwhelmed by images of eternity, wishing that others could see what I see
“When facing a flat landscape, I see nothing but eternity. Am I the only one to see it? I want so much to share what I see.” Vincent van Gogh
beauty is not in the thing
Jiddu Krishnamurti, September 24, 1967, London: “Like love, beauty is not the cultivation of thought. A thing of beauty is not beauty. Beauty is not in the thing, in the building, in the person; but there is that beauty which is not the result of conditioning, in which thought in no way interferes.”
The sense of beauty is an opinion, a judgment, concerning the good and the true.
Beauty issues not from one's “hardware” but “software,” the “programming.”
See more discussion in the “waves” article.
E. This entire field of thought, “consonance with the whole,” is greatly unappreciated. It's our truth-detector, a means by which God communicates direction for our lives.
K. It’s a powerful concept but most people don’t know about it. Even so, at times, I think everyone has experienced it. For example, when we say that something “just feels right,” what we really mean is that our perception of it is integrated with the main, there’s “consonance with the whole.”
E. For example, instead of solely relying on sense organs to choose a mate, which often means choosing the prettiest face, one’s companion should be selected on the basis of “consonance with the whole.”
K. And when we do this, the resultant feeling of “consonance” is really a form of beauty, a sense of harmony and clarity.
follow the beauty
E. It's interesting, isn't it - God communicates direction for our lives by pointing us toward beauty. It's virtually a sign-marker toward destiny.
K. It's a program of "follow the beauty." The great scientists said this, too. And this tells us something about what's important concerning the underlying structure of the universe and also the mind of God.
why does one's opinion of beauty change at times
Beauty can never be truly realized in all its purity unless it is viewed apart from our sensual desires. Our incomplete understanding of it arising out of a lack of poise and restraint whets our thirst but does not give us any satisfaction.
When sense organs regulate our sense of beauty, there is bound to be a sharp contrast between what does and what does not appear to be beautiful. When sense is reinforced by [a higher grade] sensibility, the distinction ceases to be so pronounced; then our mind may feel attracted by something which may not please the eye at first sight. [For example] When we discover a subtle harmony between the prologue and the epilogue, the primary and the secondary, the part and the whole, and the discovery of this relationship gives us joy, we no longer remain slaves of external appearance. Further, when our moral sense joins hands [with the perceptions of sense organs], the horizon of our mind extends to an extent where the conflicting notions of beauty and non-beauty fade away. (RT)
K. Where RT is good, he’s really good. I don’t like everything he’s written, and much of his book I could easily set aside, but this section here brilliantly extends the logic of our discussion of beauty as non-utilitarian.
E. The question “Why does one’s sense of beauty change at times?” is an important one.
K. Every couple named “John and Mary” has been troubled to ask this. In the beginning “we got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout”.
E. But lately “we’ve been talkin’ ‘bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out.”
K. RT gets it right: The purest grades of beauty cannot be apprehended if regulated by the sense organs – or, as we recently said, the “zeal of the organs”, as per Dr. Campbell. Elenchus, make this plain to everyone.
E. The sense organs are led by animal inclinations; they live by the dictum “follow your belly.”
K. Which is quite different from "follow the beauty."
E. In other words, the base passions are hunger-driven bodily needs. Nothing wrong with that as long as eyes are open and we understand what’s happening.
K. "Eyes open" to higher beauty, RT says, happens when “our [higher] moral sense joins hands [with the perceptions of sense organs].”
E. But when the sense organs act as primary advisors to our lives, what the needful body deems to be beautiful will fade in and out of importance, depending on one’s current level of hunger.
K. Right - "ever since the fire went out.”
E. In other words, any trace of self-interest will immediately short-circuit the possibility of higher-level perceptions of beauty. This is so because God's mind, the archetypal lover of aesthetics, sees beauty with total disinterest.
K. Higher-level, non sense-organ related, views of beauty are solely a function of God's mind and cannot be apprehended on a lower level of consciousness.
E. Sense-organ based judgments of beauty are not beauty in the fullest meaning of the term but merely hunger-fulfillment opportunities.
K. And allow me to emphasize a logical extension of all this: authentic romantic love is not founded upon the bodily sense organs.
E. We've talked about this over the years, but now we see it from a new angle.
K. I would say it’s a perception of beauty linked to the "consonance with the whole". And when two find each other on this basis, well then, the fire won’t be going out. And let me embarrass you again, buddy, with the reminder that before “we met” you didn’t see much beauty in me, even though I'm naturally ravishing.
E. Now, I could embarrass you, as well, by suggesting that, in those early days, you gave me substantial cause not to like you.
K. I think you’re confusing me with someone else.
Woman, is to be judged by her delightfulness, not her usefulness; by nature, she presents herself as musical and picturesque
A man’s [attire], as a rule, shuns all that is unnecessary and merely decorative. But a woman has naturally selected the decorative, not only in her dress, but in her manners, she has to be picturesque and musical to make manifest what she truly is, — because, in her position in the world, woman is more concrete and personal than man. She is not to be judged merely by her usefulness, but by her delightfulness. Therefore she takes infinite care in expressing, not her profession, but her personality. (RT)
K. See, this is why you can get away with dressing like a 1950s farmer, but I can’t.
E. Yes, but you gave the "noon-time livestock report" so professionally in the "dazzling darkness" article. Any farmer would be drawn to you.
E. I really love RT's paragraph here. It’s really you - everything about you is “picturesque”, “musical,” and “delightful.”
K. (small smile) And that’s why you could never possibly mistake me for someone else.
the rest of God
Where in this world of fleeting forms do we have a taste of the True? Wherever our mind can find its repose. (RT)
E. This “repose” of the mind is reminiscent of the “rest of God” of which we spoke in the “existential beauty” article.
K. We said that this “rest” comes by shutting down the ego’s “chattering in the head.” All of which suggests that “rest” and “repose” are fundamental to any definition of ultimate reality, and also to beauty.
E. I think we're seeing that ultimate reality and beauty are closely related.
K. RT had been talking a lot about the animal-need state of mind, ever driven by cravings and utilitarian concern. But, we gain "a taste" or a glimpse of "the True" when we look at the world in a disinterested way. This is the mind at rest from clamoring bodily needs. And this mind at rest is now prepared to perceive higher-level beauty - which is a reflection of "the True."
E. Very good, Kriss! I love it.
“Why is there so much beauty in the world?” Only those of a particular level of consciousness will see the ubiquity. As Anais Nin asserted, "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
summary and conclusion
E. I’d like to somewhat modify my statements on “lila.”
K. Is it still “playfulness”?
E. What I said earlier, I believe, stands as patently true. And yet there’s an overarching principle that's also valid:
the entire world as art-form
The world as an art is the play of the Supreme Person revelling in image-making. (RT)
E. Despite the systemic trouble to be encountered by a Supreme Being endeavoring to bring sentient, volitional creatures to maturity, the fact remains that God is the quintessential artist. We know this because there’s so much beauty in the world.
K. Yes, of course, and it didn’t need to be that way. God could have designed the world as a sterile black-and-white production.
E. No singing birds, no blossoming red roses.
K. No glorious crimson sunsets, no dazzling darkness as the midnight canopy of stars.
the God with an artist's heart
E. The examples of beauty in the world are endless. It’s abundantly clear that God has the heart of an artist.
K. And I would think that God as consummate artist would have some bearing on the definition of "lila".
E. "Playfulness" isn't altogether wrong, but the nuance isn't quite right.
K. I can say from personal experience that there's a lot of hard work in creating art. And, yes, ok, the artist's heart does engage in a certain playfulness, but even so this view of "lila" needs a little work.
E. I'm thinking that the Sanskrit can't be accurately translated with a single English word. I think we need a short phrase for "lila".
K. Something like "lover of beauty."
E. Or even "delighted with beauty."
K. I think these take us closer.
E. These remind me of something. When we "first met" I'll always remember how effusively excited you were. I called it your "extreme delight." I'd never seen you like this, and I couldn't get over how different you were.
K. I believe that... when we finally encounter the real love, an entirely new vista of a wonderful future opens to us.
E. That's the "consonance with the whole" you talked about.
K. And the ensuing sense of elation "unlocks a long-barred door of the soul" allowing the true person, now more confident, to emerge, to blossom, as never before.
E. I was astonished, and mesmerized, at the beauty of your true self; but then (sighing), I'd never "met" you before.
K. In receipt of all these good things, we glimpse ultimate harmony and unity -- this flash-image of the "beauty" of sacred romantic togetherness -- and it's so overwhelming that no other pleasure in life can compare to it.
E. And this is why I used the phrase "most erotic moments of my life" though we didn't even touch hands.
K. And so I think "extreme delight" well captures the sense of one's euphoria.
E. It feels so incredibly good, not just to have found one's eternal mate -- which is devastating enough -- but also to see oneself as fitting in with God's plan and destiny for us.
K. Truly this is "consonance with the whole."
Is love the 'heartbeat' of reality?
Endowed with this vision into the plenitude of finite reality, the artist sees more truly, and this is, in short, because she sees with the illuminative lens of love. To see through love is not to veer away from truth but to enter more fully into it, for love ... is not a fleeting sentiment or subjective fancy but constitutes the ontological heartbeat of all created reality. As Tagore affirms, love ‘radiantly reveals the reality of its objects’, and ... the contemplative gaze is only truly itself when it is ‘guided by love… for a new dimension of ‘seeing’ is opened up by love alone’. (HK)
K. Poets, even some of the mystically-oriented ones, speak of love as dominant focus in the universe. This concept has become a kind of untouchable “sacred cow,” in that, who would dare argue against the primacy of love?
E. We addressed this issue in the “existential beauty” writing, but since it’s so easily misunderstood, and especially since HK and RT bring it to our attention, it might be best to review this one more time.
K. Before we do, let’s introduce one of the most beautiful principles in RT’s work; that, the artist enjoys opportunity to reflect the nature of God in a profound manner:
the true artist reflects the God who delights in works of art unnecessary to her
Like God’s cosmic lila, art has its origins in the realm of ‘excess’, because we create art not as a means to an end but for freely delighting in the beauty of the world. In other words, when we renounce utilitarian or instrumentalist imperatives in and through artistic creation, revealing the ‘wealth’ of our inner life, we reflect the God who ‘takes joy in productions that are unnecessary to him’ (HK)
K. I love this. It means so much to me. I mean, it’s where I live. In my art, I help other's envision the beauty I see everywhere. And it’s just as RT says. There's no thought of utilitarian concern. It’s all about “freely delighting in the beauty of the world.” And though I hadn’t really put it into words before, he’s quite correct: all this emulation of a God with an artist’s heart becomes, for the artist, for me, a form of worship.
E. It's a wonderful concept: to live one's life, to emulate in one's artistry, the God with an artist's heart - all of which becomes a natural form of worship.
K. And now, if I may, I’d like to disagree with the proposition that “love is the heartbeat of the cosmos.” Well, in one sense, of course it is, because it’s what we all want. We all want to love and be loved. But, again – and we must refer the reader to the “existential beauty” page – love comes to us with the knotty problem of “subject and object”, “lover and beloved”. And why is this a bad thing? I’ll offer a short answer but with a preface:
insatiable hunger for love
“It seems to me that I have gazed at you from the beginning of my existence, that I have kept you in my arms for countless ages, yet it has not been enough for me.” (RT quoting a romantic poet)
E. Now, this poetic statement of love’s allure, and chains, will seem right and proper to most. It will be said, this is just how it is: if you’re in love you can’t get enough, and you want to be with the beloved all the time. And when you’re apart, all you can think about is getting back to her.
K. And so, many would say, why should any of this be a problem? It seems clear that love is the “heartbeat of the cosmos.” It’s the most important thing. Case closed, they say. However, though I hate to spoil the party of shared consensus, something's not right.
E. Here's the stumbling block: none of this talk about love’s hegemony is true. Well, it’s true on a certain level of consciousness, and those who live there will swear by it. But there’s something even better.
K. We offered much discussion in the previously referenced writing, that, in the higher forms of love, there is no existential distance between “subject and object,” there's no “you and me,” and therefore, no “lover and beloved.”
E. I might quickly add that when we're overwhelmed, for example, by the beauty of the midnight Milky Way, we experience in microcosm what you're talking about.
K. Yes, there, too. In those peak moments of nature's beauty there's no "subject and object," no inner dialogue, no thought of technical knowledge about stars, no evaluating anything, just oneness with all creation.
E. And, needless to say, when two destined lovers authentically meet they experience the ultimate version of no "you and me."
K. There's total immersion into oneness, harmony, and unity. And in this state of wholeness, there's no fretting about “not enough”, as RT's quoted poet suggested. When the dysfunctional ego is eliminated from the process the ancient prophecy of lovers as sacred “One Person” becomes reality.
E. And so, just to clarify, what's wrong with the "insatiable hunger for love"? Isn't that normal when you're in love?
K. Actually, no -- not in the authentic eternal romantic love. Let's recall that higher-level beauty can be approached only with disinterest. In the truest love, all neediness has been swallowed up by an accessing of God's mind which, as we've seen, knows only abundance. No more fretting about "I can't get enough" - because the "distance" has been eliminated.
E. And look at the implications: when the "insatiable hunger" has been removed, when cravings and utilitarian concern are no longer the issue...
K. ... or, when the ego stops demanding "you must feed my hunger, you must make me happy";
E. ... then - guess what - we are able to perceive a higher-level beauty; in this case, the Sacred Beloved, the authentic romantic mate.
K. This is really ironic. It seems that RT himself missed this important logical extension of his own insights. He didn't bring what he knew to the discussion of romantic love when he quoted the poet and his talk of "it's not been enough for me."
E. That's odd, how he missed this big point. In other words, he's the one who saw clearly that you need disinterest to see true beauty, but then he didn't apply this to the realm of authentic romance.
K. So, is love the "heart-beat of reality"?
E. More the "life-blood", I think, with Universal Consciousness as heart-beat.
K. Darling Dear, why don't you conclude this short discussion on love.
E. Strange to say, as we've discussed at length elsewhere, love is not what's most important, because love is a natural by-product of something else, something more fundamental -- which would be the enlightened state of mind and being. Therein, love flows automatically, freely, and cannot be shut down. In other words, we don’t need to go seeking for or jump-starting love. Love is not the problem. Like a bubbling artesian spring (John 4), love, part of the soul's nature, part of God's mind, is always ready to percolate upwards from the depths. We just have to learn how to set it free by removing egoic blockages.
Restatement: The concept of psychological “distance” is extremely important but difficult to understand for those who’ve not experienced it. Whenever there is “subject and object,” including “lover and beloved,” then “distance” remains.
This is so even for those intensely absorbed in the intimacy of love. What does “distance” mean for those compellingly associated? It means that, in this “distance”, the ego has room to inject disturbing memories laden with doubt, hurt feelings, accusations of past untrustworthiness, and the like. One might be plagued with these dismaying images of one’s partner even in the midst of intense love.
These might be images of actual misdeeds of the past, or imagined ones, or the images might be of potential loss in the future, a fear of betrayal or "you have failed to make me happy". As long as there is “distance” then the ego will use this psychological sense of separation to create negativity.
And this is why love is not the highest virtue, but must surrender the crown to ultimate oneness, a state of “no you and no me,” wherein “distance” does not exist. In this most sublime state, lover and beloved "become each other."
K. Elenchus, we know that most will not experience the empyreal love in this world. I don’t know why this privilege has come to us and not others. And so it’s hard for those still waiting to understand.
E. And now the question will be asked, what makes you so sure that you have the real thing?
K. How do I know? Well, here’s my deeply philosophical answer: I just do.
E. Sounds convincing.
too wonderful to be untrue
K. Well, it is convincing; at least, to me. A long time ago, in the closing scene of "Prometheus," I stated that "some things are too wonderful to be untrue." This means that the real love is so overwhelmingly compelling, so magnetic and insistent, so forcible and dominant, that its tidal wave of influence sweeps away all doubt and concern.
K. It's so hard for me to express just what it feels like. It's not John-and-Mary thrill-and-comfort to the body. It includes those, for sure, but it's so much more. In those moments of "no distance," "no you and no me," an extreme delight of oneness so captivates one's being that it's almost too much. One feels oneself on the verge of shattering. All I can say is that when this outsized euphoria invades, there is no possibility of questioning. It comes with its own absolute certainty. And therefore, one knows, as one knows nothing else, that "some things are too wonderful to be untrue."
E. Sounds like a mystical experience to me.
K. Of the highest order. And it's not a one-time event, but it "makes a home" in one's spirit. It's always there, at least in dormant fashion, but, as you and I well know, all we need do is focus on this inner "life and truth" -- all that we mean to each other -- and it bursts into glorious flame, and can overwhelm, all over again.
E. Reminds me of Einstein's letter to Roosevelt, on the hidden power in just many grams of matter, how it could take out a big city.
K. They didn't believe him, and not many believe us when we say that the real love is exceedingly far in advance of John-and-Mary "pepper sprout" fever.
Editor's note: While all aspects of truth are related, the following articles are most germane to the subjects of the Dazzling Darkness, the Mystical Experience, and Existential Beauty:
Kairissi and Elenchus discuss how lovers' perceptions of existential beauty lead them to ultimate intimacy and oneness
Touching foreheads, entering a condition of "no you and no me," a quality of sacred silence, the Dazzling Darkness, with no space or separation, an Omega-Point intimacy
The Mystical Experience: 'silence your ego and your power will rise'
Part I, Existential Beauty: Noting a sunrise as messenger of a new day is not the same as discerning the dawn as dreamily enchanting. The sublime awareness allowing for such is untainted by utilitarian concern.
Part II, Existential Beauty: Consonance with the whole: “What is good is in consonance with creation as a whole and therefore also with the world of men. Whenever we see the Good and the True in perfect accord, the Beautiful stands revealed.”
We feel uplifted at the singing note of a bird, a blossoming rose, and with a woman’s grace and loveliness. But can any of these bring about a transformation of heart and mind? Is her mystical allure a basis for authentic love and marriage?
Over the years on WG, we have referred to Twin Soul love as founded upon “soul energies.” However, as Tesla asserted, to know the universe, one must think in terms of “energy, frequency, and vibration.” As such we may be able to further clarify Twins’ affinity as oscillating waves of Consciousness.
plus some extra notes on the Dazzling Darkness in:
Aloneness 1-Minute Essay