Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Every object well-contemplated creates an organ of perception in us..."

...From among the lesser ancillary organs of the animals, light has called forth one organ to become its like and thus the eye was formed by the light and for the light so that the inner light may emerge to meet the outer light." Goethe

Awareness - Insight - Enlightenment - Contemplative seeing/knowing - Nondual thinking - Open perspective Expansive Vision...

The organs needed for insight are fashioned by attention and immersion in the object of contemplation. With every repetition, the cycle of attention and formation is at work fashioning the organ for contemplative knowing.

In addition to the organ of cognition, understanding requires the light of intelligence. The Greek philosopher, Empedocles wrote, "The eye is the lantern of the body."

The light from the sun must join with the light of the mind for insight to arise. And that light must be suited to the observers level of experience. "Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of the receiver." Thomas Aquinas. "Religion at the more mature levels invariably learned an alternative consciousness, which was necessary for wider seeing and addressing the great dilemmas of life." Richard Rohr

Mechanistic thinking (dual perception) is inadequate for understanding holistic phenomena. Richard Rohr in the Naked Now tells us that the dualistic mind (the either/or thinker) cannot understand holistic concepts such as love, grace, forgiveness, faith, hope. Deep understanding ("knowing") of these concepts requires holding them, together with all the goodness and trauma that is inherent within them, in complete acceptance (the peace that passeth understanding). This awareness, this enlightenment is "salvation."  It is the by product of illuminated seeing or nondual thinking or third eye perception. It is achieved by changing the way we think!

The fruit of transformation, organ formation, and illumination is Ralph Waldo Emerson's "true naming," or Goethe's "true theory." The Greek word, theoria means "to behold." Emerson said, " Insight is a very high sort of seeing, which does not come by study, but by the intellect being where and what it sees." To "behold" is to hold together as one, sometimes disparate circumstances or feelings.

"We must teach not in the way philosophy is taught (with dualistic thinking), but in the way that the Spirit teaches (nonduality). We must teach spiritual things spiritually." 1 Corinthians 2:13

Mother Teresa never tried to convert a Muslim or a Hindu to Catholicisim. She told the sisters their job was not to talk about Jesus but to BE Jesus. That is the true message of Jesus. He shows us what we CAN be, if we are willing to love unconditionally. Unconditional loving requires a nondual perspective; an ability to hold the tension of opposites. That means we will love and we will suffer for doing so. But "we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16) "We are the lights of the world!!" Matthew 5:14.

Adapted from
Arthur Zajonc, Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry (When Knowing Becomes Love). Professor of physics and interdisciplinary studies, Amherst College.

Richard Rohr, Naked Now. Franciscan priest and author, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, NM

© Peggy Beatty 2010

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