Some aspects of contraction…
Contraction through identity
The field of seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere, takes itself to be a segment of itself. It filters itself through a sense of I and Other, creates a more elaborate identity for this I, and allows anything else to appear as Other.
From the wide open spaciousness of the field, there is a contraction into “I” as a small segment of the field and Other as everything else.
Contraction as tension
And when there is a sense of I and Other, there is also the sense of needing to protect this I from Other, defending one segment of the field against other segments of the field. And this creates physical and mental tension.
We do this physically, protecting this human self against hunger, cold, heat, danger, illness.
And we defend our constructed identity. We maintain it so it is not forgotten. We defend against whatever arises in the field that does not fit the identity. We may even experience discomfort when something arises that is outside of the identity, and want to eliminate it, either by ignoring it, going away from it, or trying to remove it from the world (good luck.)
It is actually quite interesting how this happen, and to notice it as it happens.
Example of tension through defending identity
There is just this field of seeing and seen, inherently free from any center or I anywhere.
Then, a belief in the idea of I, placed on this human self, and a sense of I and Other.
Then, the construction of a more elaborate and complex identity, such as man, old, healthy, republican, good citizen, father, son, husband, jovial, hard worker, good neighbor, likes fish but can’t stand rutabaga.
And then something arises in the field, maybe something that is labeled “not good citizenship”, and there is immediately an impulse to make it go away – by ignoring it, placing it firmly “over there” at somebody else, changing the other person, supporting politics aimed at removing or changing the other person, and so on. Immediately, the peace is disturbed.
One segment of the field is put up against another segment of the field. The field is in struggle with itself. The knot of identification is tightened. The sense of I and Other intensifies.
The center of gravity is even more firmly in the form aspect of the field, forgetting itself as the whole field, and as awake emptiness as well as form.