[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]


Sep 26, 1995 03:04 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

> when we use this medium (the Internet) that it is easy to forget
> that only certain fragments of our prisms can be refracted though
> cyberspace - perhaps a bit of gushing about the magnificence of a
> hike, the tenderness in a friendship, or the accomplishments in
> our (often seemingly) mundane jobs, would serve to humanize this
> medium ... to make it easier to remember that we are not all just
> ideas that are either clashing or in harmony, but whole humans
> who travel the path with the entirety of our beings.

This strikes home for me in terms of the fourfold T-F, N-S
model. Theosophy is pretty insistent that thinking is superior
to feeling, and intuition to sensation. That "sits right" with
intuitive thinking types like me-- and I reckon most
Theosophists. But in my 40s I'm shifting focus to the
less-developed domains of sensation and feeling. Deemphasizing
culture and focusing on nature is one aspect of this. But on
theos-l we've pretty much stayed in the thinking and intuitive
realms. I'd welcome posts with a more earthy feel.

> far more than just the "lack of humans"). In some way or another
> (IMO) ... your move must inevitably cause profound changes in
> your entire energy system - perhaps it is indeed even an outcome
> of a transformation?

Precisely the "silence" of which you spoke. My urban
neighborhood got more and more offensive with things like
multiple dogs barking all night, occasional gunshots,
late-night pedestrians talking at the top of their lungs, etc.
Removing all that stress makes for better sleep, better
meditation, a general increase in well-being.

I'd hazard a guess that there is indeed a transformation that
led to this move. For the last ten years, my life has been
dominated by intellectual concerns. With the second SUNY book
and the resolve not to write in that vein any more, I pretty
much opted to "get back to basics."

 Do you find that some sort of reintigration
> of the civilized with the deeply natural aspects of your being
> happened prior to its outward, physical manifestation as a move
> to where you now live? (Actually, I'm kinda curious about this if
> its not too personal of a question).

For the last seven years-- exactly the period in which my
writing has been center stage-- I've been an avid, even
fanatical paddler. First a canoe, then a bigger canoe, then a
kayak. All along, it's been a compulsive retreat to raw nature
as often as circumstances allowed-- at least 20-30 trips a
year, I guess. That had a strong mystical component and met a
real need. But it sorta fragmented my being, with the
outdoorsman taking a definite second place to the bookperson.
My next writing project may be something like "A Paddler's
Guide to Halifax County" to compensate. Anyhow, the move to the country
feels like an embrace of that weekends-only outdoors person
as a fully-equal partner in this complex thing we call
> When I was first doing long hikes and learning rock climbing (to
> get to *really* inaccessable places) I began noticing that a sort
> of meditative state was being induced with no conscious effort -
> a whole distinct perspective is generated by the interaction
> between the human energy system and the natural world - and I
> think this is far more than just "another" perspective, it is the
> *orginal* perspective, the one that was the first possessed by
> our ancestors, the one so enormous and ageless that even whole
> civilizations are as blinks of an eye.

ABSOLUTELY. Last time in the woods, I was struck by the way
that finding one's path in a pathless wilderness is done by
something like an "automatic pilot." One doesn't think about
what to do next, rather everything flows effortlessly into the
right configuration from moment to moment. For a second, this
opened some kind of inner vortex. But frankly, I am most struck by
the consciousness-altering aspect of the forest when on the
verge of leaving it. There's a distinct sense of losing
something precious and sacred. Almost a sense of having one's
boundaries snap back into place around one's physical body--
while before they had expanded to include the forest.

> in the day I ran into him (he had apparently seen me too). We
> chatted for awhile, decided to have dinner together, spoke about
> completely unremarkable things, and went our seperate ways the
> next day. As I thought about this, however, it occured to me that
> something almost transcendental lurked in the event - that
> embedded within it was exactly that bond, that foundation for the
> nucleus I was thinking about: *Recognition*. That in the midst of
> a landscape as large as the eye was capable of seeing my eyes
> would have been drawn to the one other speck of humanity within
> it; that we both would have, as though by a spiritual magnetism,
> slightly altered our steps so as to meet; that there was a
> sensation, a very fundamental sensation, that existed prior to
> any of the layers upon which religion, or politics, or spiritual
> orientation, or career, social standing or past; a sensation that
> might be stated simply as "There is another *like myself*". The
> foundation for a universal family, the bond needed to tie such a
> thing together, does not need to be created ... but rather
> *revealed* - and for some strange reason, the larger the
> concentration of people, the more that sensation recedes into
> unconsciousness ... leading even the most minor differences to
> loom enormous, while surrounded by the enormity and beauty of the
> natural world, that bond of its own accord seems to unfold itself
> gently, but so strongly that *all* differences, however great,
> become of secondary relevance.

Southside Virginia manifests that kind of recognition in a way
that I find very soul-nurturing. There is a long-standing
tradition that whenever you're driving out in the country, you
exchange friendly waves with EVERY person you see. It's a
completely race-transcendent bit of country living that struck
me as quite odd and charming at first. (My origins are
urban-- coastal VA). Later, I realized it was no mere quaint
habit, but a deeply meaningful way of saying "Namaste." Or
rather, of course, saying what Namaste means-- the divinity in
me salutes the divinity in you. It's a real blessing to live
in a place where such folkways persist. Speaking of
"blessings" I'll close with one report of a change in the month
I've been living in the country. For some weird reason, I have
felt called to send loving, blessing thoughts/feelings toward
houses and their inhabitants on some of my commutes. Don't
know why, how or if it has any real meaning, but this is just
something that has started to well up spontaneously.
> Well, this has become longer than intended. I, for one,
> would be interested in hearing, over the next few months what
> changes you observe in your energy, in your perspective, in your
> spiritual practices, as your system integrates (or reintegrates)
> into surroundings that you must feel immensely blessed to be
> living in.
> Cheers, -JRC
I also feel blessed to be sharing theos-l with people who can
resonate to and encourage these changes.


[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application