I am exploring a beautiful new website on the Great Story, or Evolutionary Spirituality, or New Cosmology: Global Mind-Shift. The presentation is excellent – simple, sexy, to the point, deeply felt, and for the general public – and the videos in particular are very well done.
It reminds me of the beautiful relationship between stories and no stories, and between knowing and not knowing.
Stories and no stories
On the one hand, we need stories to explore, communicate and navigate in the world, as human beings. And the more accurate these stories are, according to our current knowledge, and the more appropriate they are to our current needs, the more helpful they are.
On the other hand, when we find ourselves as pure awareness – as the witness – there are no stories. Or rather, stories unfold among all the various contents of our experiences. They are revealed as what they are, just stories – just abstractions and maps of temporary and limited value.
Knowing and not knowing
Similarly, from the layer of abstractions, there is a certain conventional knowing. We know how to brew a cup of coffee, how to walk, how to do our job, how to relate to other beings, and so on. All the various skills we need for daily living. And collectively, we have a certain worldview and information and knowledge from science as well, which also help us navigate and orient in the world. There is a certain knowing here, but also not knowing. All our ideas are just abstractions, temporary and limited maps. The world is always more than and different from our ideas and maps of it. This is the conventional not knowing, which opens for a certain humility and receptivity.
When we find ourselves as pure awareness, we see that it is distinct from the knowing that comes from abstractions. It is an effortless receptivity and not knowing. This is the transcendent not knowing.
Awareness and no I
Coming to ourselves as pure awareness is often the simplest and most accessible way of coming to no stories and not knowing. But there is still something beyond this: what we find when there is a realization and actualization of no I.
First, there is the belief in the idea of I, applied to our human self and/or pure awareness, the witness and so on.
Then, there is the realization that this too is a belief in an idea, and it erodes and falls away.
Now, there is just what is – sensations, emotions, thoughts, focus, awareness, actions, the wider world and so on – but no “I” to be found anywhere in all of this.
There is only the doing, no doer.
And in this too, there is a not knowing and no stories. The knowing and the stories arise within this context, and are as always useful for navigation, but they just happen along with everything else. There is no way to attach to them, to see them as “true” in themselves.
They are merely tools of temporary and limited value, but also very useful as those tools.
Facination with abstractions
From this context, it seems difficult to image that it is even possible to take abstractions as true.
But it is also easy to understand, as the ability to develop and play with abstractions has been the leading edge of evolution for tens of thousands of years. It is one of the newest ways for the universe and earth to reorganize and explore itself, so no wonder there is such a facination with it. And no wonder there is a certain attachment to it and blindness around it.
Now, the leading edge is moving beyond – to finding ourselves as more than the stories and the layers of abstractions. To see these as very useful tools, and their particular expressions and content as of limited and temporary use.
As our situation change, our stories and abstractions must change with them, to still be of value and use to us.
There is such as beautiful interaction between that which is distinct from stories and the stories themselves, between us as pure awareness (or what is with no I) and the abstractions.
A beautiful dance giving birth to all the richness of our human life.
The larger whole is our true nature, and an aspect of this – allowing for a new level of operation in the world of form – is the capacity for abstractions.