Swallowing the ocean

 

I started reading Nondualism: A Brief History, which so far seems interesting.

Early on, there is a quote from Ken Wilber where he says:

…. you can drink the Pacific ocean in a single gulp, you can swallow the Kosmos whole…. everything continues to arise moment to moment, the entire Kosmos continues to arise moment to moment….

To me, this seems like it’s written by someone who either has had a glimpse of it and is a bit drunk on it, or someone who knows (about) it mostly intellectually.

It seems exaggerated. And I know well the feeling of being blown away by it, wanting to try to put it into words, and going a bit overboard. I did that shortly after the initial opening, before it had settled more.

What’s real here is that there is no longer any distinction between inner and outer, apart from as an imagined distinction for navigation and communication purposes only. So whatever I see, or hear, or smell, is “within me”. It happens as the field of awake experience that I am, and which is always changing.

Unless I see the WHOLE Pacific ocean, in other words – unless I am an astronaut in Earth orbit – it doesn’t really make sense to say that I can drink the Pacific ocean in a single gulp. The whole Pacific ocean is not part of my experience, apart from as an image.

Talking abut drinking the Pacific ocean seems a mix of a real recognition of being this field of experience, as it is here now. And ideas and images of the whole Pacific ocean, or the whole of Kosmos, and then transferring the first to the second.

In other words, it seems a bit exaggerated, or misleading, or even confused. Although I, as mentioned above, have full sympathy with people expressing it that way since I did too initially.

In my case now, I can say that this field of experience – as it is here and now – is one, it’s what a thought may call awakeness, or aliveness. It’s what a thought would call a room, a window with light coming through it, sounds of construction work, a computer, legs, belly, a taste of minestrone soup. All of it as a seamless field. All of it happening within and as what I am. There is no Pacific ocean to gulp down. No Kosmos to swallow. That seems exaggerated.

And I am fully aware that my experience and insights about this is quite limited.

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