Saturday, 15 August 2015
The Five Gifts & The Sixth Sense
“This falling in love can occur in a multiplicity of ways. We have the remarkable ability as human beings to fall in love with a person, a work, or even an idea of ourselves. That is, we create a relationship that has a perfected image of what we first encounter, a sense of longing for the perfect person, the ideal work, the full potential of our own character. We fall in love through seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, intuiting and longing. These senses are constantly mediating the frontier between what we think is a self and what we think is other than our selves.
First we have eyes, taken mostly for granted, with which we see a new moon or a tiny memo. We have ears, not fully appreciated, with which to entertain a grand opera or a humble opinion, and we have these tireless hands used every day to pull others towards us or push them away; most especially we have a tongue with which to taste, to give voice to desires or to lash others with our pent-up disapproval. We also have the intellect to contrast and compare, to measure carefully and weigh things in the balance. Then beneath them all, untiring but seldom listened to, we have the sixth sense acknowledge in almost all traditions a swirling internal formation called the intuition, the imagination, the heart, the almost prophetic part of a person that at its best somehow seems to know what is good and what is bad for us, but also what pattern is just about to precipitate, what out of a hundred possibilities is just about to happen, in a sense, an unspoken faculty for knowing what season we are in. What is about to die and what is about to come into being.”
I have recently embarked on a new healthy living regime. As well as altering my diet, quite dramatically actually, I am also going on walks in and around the area I live. Each morning after my time in prayer and silent meditation I set of out into the day. Each day the walks are getting a little bit longer and I’m up to about two hours, before coming home showering and then reading for about half an hour. This is followed by a healthy breakfast and then I get on with my busy working day. I have to say I’m feeling fantastic for it.
I feel like I’ve fallen in love with life once again and as that song I so love to sing goes “There’s always something new to fall in love with.”
I offer thanks and praise.
Now I’ve also been enjoying a book these last few days, which has really tied in with my current experiences. Each morning after my walk and shower and before I eat I read a little from it. The book is “The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship”, by David Whyte. It is catching that place deep in the heart of me. At the beginning of the "blogspot" is an extract from the book. Here David talks about falling in love either with someone or something, an idea, an opportunity a calling or some new aspect of oneself. He says “We fall in love through seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, intuiting and longing. These senses are constantly mediating the frontier between what we think is a self and what we think is other than our selves.”
As I have been walking around these last couple of weeks I have felt this intuitive part of me awakening further. I feel more connected, more open, more a part of everything and through this experience life does seem to be calling to me. I have noticed I need less distraction. As I walk I am not listening to music, just to the life around me, I am letting my senses soak this up without any distractions. It’s the same at home I am less inclined to put the radio and or television on, unless it’s to listen to the cricket, either the Ashes or my beloved Yorkshire. I have noticed that as a result I am hearing more clearly that voice that is less than a whisper and yet somehow more than silence. That voice that animates all life, that breathes out everything.
Now this brings me to the following passage from the book of Kings (1 Kings ch 19 vv 11-13).
"He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’"
Elijah had been commissioned that day to set right the problems of Israel and to call a new King for Syria and a new King for Israel and a new prophet who would lead the next generation.
Now no doubt this all sounds a little strange and fanciful and beyond all reason but I hear a deep universal truth in the story. This is "Mythos". Throughout the ages we hear accounts of people being called out by this still small voice; the voice of comfort, of hope, of challenge, of support and also at times the voice of rebuke...This same voice spoke to Jesus, Muhammed, The Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mary Wolstencroft, Nelson Mandella, but perhaps it is not a voice as we understand it....less than a whisper and yet more than silence...
The still small voice of calm…The intuition that speaks to us when our own minds are silent enough…
What is this still small voice of calm?
We can never be truly certain what this is. Some, myself included, call it God, others prefer a myriad of names. But what does it matter what we call it, this is just belief or unbelief. It is truly beyond us to know what is behind this voice, this thought, this feeling, this experience but I feel sure that we have all known it from time to time. We have all known this indescribable presence at some point in our lives. This sense of being addressed by something, this powerful irresistible urge, is the source of art and poetry and not just religion and theology.
To truly connect to it requires a stillness and a silence, a bit like those deer I see when I wander around Dunham Park. I also feel that it also requires a deeper sense of connection and awakening through all our senses, filtered through our reasoning mind. For if we do we will awaken to the beauty that is life, to the joy of living in all its mystery and we will be inspired to do the good that we can do.
I'm going to this little chip of a blog with some beautiful words on silence by Mark Belletini
“Ode To Silence” by Mark Belletini
You, silence, are the ground
On which we build the fragile sandcastles of our every spoken word.
Are quicksand where curses and cockiness and
And arrogance find their end.
You, silence, are the strand of beach we stroll where loneliness
Turns into solitude,
And our small heartbeats join the much vaster
Heartbeat of tide and wave.
Are the hand in which the pearl of the universe,
Grown around the painful grain of human suffering,
Rests in heartbreaking beauty.
Are the wide, bright delta into which
The river of this prayer fans out,
Before it flows into the indigo Deep,
Quiet, dark and lovely.
Come, Silence, fill this moment.