Update 2: He was beloved by the Norwegian people, and received a state sponsored funeral attended by the prime minister and members of the royal family. There is something beautiful – and profoundly right – in that happening for a life-centered eco-philosopher….
Tim Freke used the book analogy in the longer video below.
Characters in a book don’t exist as separate entities, but only in the mind of the author. And in the same way, we only exist in the mind of the author of this story, in the Divine Mind, in God. This human self does not have any separate I associated with it, but happens within the Divine Mind, as all the other characters and all the different settings and the big stage of the universe itself.
If we look, we find that what we really are is this Divine Mind, this awakeness that this human self and anything else happens within and as.
This reminds me of what came up for me when I read Sophie’s World a while back. The book is a walk-through of western philosophy, woven into a more ordinary narrative story following a young woman and her philosophy teacher.
For the first third or so of the story, they appear like ordinary and real people, to themselves and the reader.
Then odd things start happening, they encounter fairy tale characters, the weather changes to fit their conversations, a dog speaks in human language. Gradually, it dawns on them that they are characters in a story and don’t have any separate existence.
At this point, I thought the story would end with the book/Divine Mind analogy mentioned above, illustrating the view of the mystics – and opening the minds of the readers to some radical reversals of who and what we take ourselves to be – at least as just a thought experiment.
Unfortunately, or not, the actual ending of the book went in a different, more conventional/fantasy, direction. A little anticlimactic considering the promise it had about 80% into the story.
But I did get to write my own ending in my own mind, illustrating the book/Divine Mind analogy, so in that sense I got double benefit.
I am sure a book like that must have been written. If it hasn’t, it is out there waiting for the right person to make it come alive.
I used to be identified with an identity as cultured, which lead me to read a good amount of literature classics, philosophy and art history, watch obscure and sophisticated movies, listen to music such as Arvo Part, Palestrina, Bach, Philip Glass, and so on, and although I genuinely enjoyed it and got a lot out of it, it was also a one-sided life and identification.
During the dark night this identification, as so many others, wore down, and there is now more of an open space for anything… deep and shallow, artsy and popular… it matters less now.
The irony in this shift is that now, finding more fluidity within the wide landscapes of literature, movies and music, I am also more easily able to find the depth in the shallow, and the same dynamics and patterns in all of it. Popular or sophisticated… it is all reflections of the same basic dynamics and patterns of the mind.
There is a depth in the shallow that, although I was aware of it all the time, I held at arm-lengths distance. Now, that it is right here in my life with no distance, I can appreciate it much more.
Conversely, I guess I can say that there is a shallowness in the deep as well, often an identification with a particular identity which sets up boundaries where there really are none, and a self-congratulatory attitude about things that are really not that sophisticated, and sometimes not even that important.