30 August 2008

The First Mystery: Stuff of Life, Part II

As we saw in Part I of this post, the body is nothing more than a riverbed, or maybe even a river itself, through which flows a host of compounds in such a way as to provide an illusion of relative material permanence. The gene, which we may have considered the basic building block for material existence "is also abstract as a pattern, independent of the atoms that implement it in any given moment, a meeting point between matter and energy, a message that moves in a wave of meaning through life, an acorn harboring an oak, an egg containing feathers, menu, songs and a map of stars."

In one of his many talks to youth, Krishnamurti exalts us not to fear this same flow of life, not to seek permanence where none exists. Paraphrasing him, he says that seeking permanence means desiring the pleasure of indefinite continuity and having everything that does not bring us pleasure to end immediately. For this we have built a society that guarantees permanence of property, names and fame. But life is not like that. In reality, life is like a river that moves and is eternally swirling, exploring, pushing and bouncing off its banks. Our mind, however, perceives this as dangerous, risky, unstable, insecure and so it builds a wall, a wall of tradition, organized religion, political and social theories. The gods within these walls are false gods; they are projections of our own desires and their writings and their philosophy are unfounded because life penetrates the walls and tears them down.

Only the mind without walls, without established position, without barriers, without resting places, that freely moves with life, beyond time, pushing and exploring, only this mind can be happy, eternally new because it is in itself creative.

This brings us back to the First Mystery of Life as Murchie corroborates with Krishnamurti by establishing that "an independent 'I' bounded by life and death is an absurdity..."

"...we are in the same hard-to-visualize field Einstein explored when working out his relativity theory along with its contingent concept that every individual's personal orbit through life is representable as a 'world line' framed in the common four-dimensional crystalline coordinates of space-time. And in case you didn't notice it, a prime philosophical deduction from world lines is that, if relativity be true, an independent 'I' bounded by birth and death is an absurdity, since ... the field concept now so well established as a foundation for relativity implies continuums in virtually everything, including space-time and most certainly its best-known derivative: life. In my view, furthermore, the key to comprehending space-time is the obvious (to me) fact that space is the relationship between things and other things while time is the relationship between things and themselves. The time relation thus requires some establishment of identity (between things and themselves) seeing as identity is indispensable in temporal continuity. But if identity is of the essence of time, it follows that when a human being gives himself to a cause, letting his identity be absorbed in something larger than himself, he is proportionately liberating himself from the field of time. Which tells us something about the relation between mortality and immortality and between life and death, for it presumes that, as one's self is swallowed by universality, to a comparable degree one becomes immortal."

So, it seems prudent to ask at this point, do only certain causes qualify as immortality generators? I can only guess that any cause that seeks permanence would not. However, I'd like to differentiate between seeking meaning, perhaps the most fundamental human impulse, and seeking permanence. Finding meaning or purpose in something sticks us in the middle of the raging river of life and frees us from the clutching, limited mind, only if this meaning does not need to be held up or justified by any of the barriers mentioned by Krishnamurti. True meaning opens us to further learning, is inclusive and universal, builds unity and justice and above all implies attitudinal and behavioral change as it leads us closer to living a life with fuller purpose. In this sense, meaning is life, which is what the 'I' not bounded by life or death seeks fervently.

Thus, giving oneself to a worthy cause, to meaning, through a circle of action-reflection, transcends the "I" over time, gently sets one in the torrent of life, and permits the seeker to comprehend both the abstract nature of body and soul and their mystical, impermanent fusion. The following quote from 'Abdu'l-Baha, explained brilliantly in the video below, perfectly captures the spirit of this conclusion:

"Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves."

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Guy Murchie - The Seven Mysteries of Life
Krishnamurti - The River of Life
'Abdu'l-Baha - Paris Talks

1 comment:

itz mAk here said...

Thnx 4 giving such way...
I dint read much abt krishnamurti but explord a lot about David Bohm...
I'm impressd about d research he had made..
But whn i think how i can use all thze for d benefit of whole world, i jzt get confuzd..i gues many of us thnk abt it nd they keep it limited within us...
I knw most of d time yr own ppl wl screw u up bt stil i wana show thm its light in ther way...
N last wl look forward 4 yr nxt post
glod bless u..