The miracle of the existence of the world
isn’t limited to the origin, the moment of creation.
It is a miracle, each instant, that it keeps on going
and doesn’t fall back into non-existence.
Like the origin of things, the continuation of things cannot derive from anything within the physical world.
We’re delving into the qualities of life, aliveness.
First, “gift.” The word “gift” originally meant a power or talent, given by the grace of God. Only later did it come to mean a physical object handed over from one person to another, like a tea kettle. Yet we normally think of this use of “gift” to mean a talent (e.g. “a musical gift,” “a gifted mathematician”) as metaphorical. We have it precisely backward. The physical object kind of “gift” is the metaphorical use of the term.
So with “life,” “alive,” “living.” What we now think of as its metaphorical use (“a lively conversation,” “resistance is very much alive here,” “a living language”) comes closer to the meaning of life we’re exploring in our meditation. The physical notions we have of life (DNA, Krebs cycle) are the derivative metaphors.
So the life we’re exploring, which has many levels or layers or qualities, includes the life of completely non-physical entities like the dead, the angels, and other beings, but also the non-physical or not-only-physical life of the things we perceive physically. We are interested in this life within the plastic bag and the piece of gravel and the puddle, as well as within the river, the mountain, the poppy, the panda and the Earth or Gaia as a whole.
In our last meditation session, we experimented with sensing the life of objects around us and the life of space itself. (A poem by DH Lawrence helped inspire us – you’ll find it at the bottom of the page).
The homework from now until next Tuesday is to go through the week and intentionally allow its units of time to be alive for you.
The times of the day, the days of the week, the months of the year, and the years and aeons themselves were originally thought of as gods – a hint toward this aliveness of time. Whatever lives in this sense can be addressed, so the challenge is to go through the week allowing for a conversation between yourself and any unit of time you choose to address: this conversation, this car-ride, this turn around the grocery store. Notice what happens when you orient toward the addressable life, not only within the persons and things of space, or space itself, but within the hour. Greet the day. Speak with the afternoon. Share news with the evening.
All blessings to all,
When the ripe fruit falls
its sweetness distills
and trickles away
into the veins of the earth.
When fulfilled people die
the essential oil of their experience
enters the veins of living space,
and adds a glisten to the atom,
to the body of immortal chaos.
For space is alive
and it stirs like a swan
whose feathers glisten
silky with oil of distilled experience. D. H. Lawrence