I’ve just spent around six hours in what Werner Erhard in the late Seventies would have called “a transformed space.” During the experience, I was describing it to the person I was with as “my natural state.”
As it happens, Jesus through John Smallman gave this insight just yesterday into our natural state:
“To be fully alive, fully aware, fully conscious, and infinitely loving is your natural state, the state in which you were created and which can never be changed or altered.” (1)
Werner would draw the following distinction on a blackboard and then develop it:
Unconscious Awareness (2)
Above the line, in conscious awareness, is our natural state, the transformed space, experienced experience. In it’s found spontaneity, authenticity, awareness, awakeness, aliveness, full self-expression, full personal responsibility, completion and satisfaction.
Below the line is our constructed self, the image we project, the mask we wear, the dead residue of our unexperienced experience. I was “above the line.”
I made as many notes as I could while going through the space. The strangest part about it is that it happened while I was having a conversation with a friend. I went up and up and finally blossomed forth in conscious awareness. Here are my notes.
Love is My Native State
I’m in the midst of an experience of my natural state. It crept up on me and blossomed.
And now I’m doing my best to describe it.
It came about as a result of a conversation I was having with a friend. We’d had breakfast together and were now doing an errand in her car. I suddenly felt gripped by the need to share what I was learning about transformative love.
And, for some reason unknown to me, I kept taking one strand after another and weaving it into a single account. As each strand went into place, I felt a mini-explosion of increased awareness. It was like going up and expanding, until finally blossoming, and ending up feeling certain that I was in my natural or native state.
The discussion began by my trying to set out what I meant by “transformative” love. (3) The discussion was synoptic. It was an overview that drew in more and more features of love.
It soon became a discussion of unconscious and conscious awareness and what love looked like viewed from both vantage points. Love lives in conscious awareness; it doesn’t live in unconscious awareness.
What passes for love in unconscious awareness (just think old Third Dimension) is in no way transformative. It isn’t even creative. It’s dull and lifeless, but it’s all that many if not most of us have in our lives.
Above the line, in conscious awareness, is found spontaneity, authenticity, aliveness, and satisfaction.
Below the line, there’s no spontaneity, authenticity, aliveness, etc. There’s only habit, repetition and gesture; i.e., going through the motions.
Above the line is transformative or dissolutive love. Faced with a fleeting idea of injustice or resentment, dissolutive love dissolves it.
Below the line, love itself dissolves. Faced with an idea of injustice or resentment, love flees before it.
Above the line, the divine qualities are part of the space. Below the line, they’re good ideas to cultivate.
My natural state, which is conscious awareness, is wed to transformative love, is associated with completeness, and surrenders to the divine qualities. I wouldn’t call it male or female. I’d call it androgynous.
I’ve never in my life ended up in a spiritual state as a result of a conversation I was having with another.
During it, my partner reminded me of a talk by Adyashanti in which he said that it’s the space that counts.
I almost shrieked, yes! which is why I’ve been saying jump in the lake, dive in the lake, fall in the lake. Just get into the lake of transformative love, the ocean of bliss. It’s the lake that counts, not what we do or don’t do.
That’s probably why Zen masters used the technique of startling the student. It’s the realization of the space that counts rather than how well the student is doing a technique. Of course gradual preparation is important but, in the end, entry into conscious awareness is most often sudden (a breakthrough rather than a gradual easing into the space).
Lao Tzu says the mind is a monkey. Let the mind go. Let the ego go. Let the desires go. And then sit in the space and forget about yourself.
The space one finds oneself in when one drops all of those and then forgets about the self is important – not “me.”
She said, “like the salt doll,” referring to Sri Ramakrishna’s image of the salt doll that wanted to measure the depth of the sea. It couldn’t because, when it entered the sea, it dissolved and disappeared.
Yes, we’re like the salt doll, our small-self identity destined to disappear when we enter the ocean of bliss, if not before.
Was it any of these moments taken singularly that did it or did we climb Jacob’s Ladder together in the course of and through that conversation?
Whatever it was, I’m in the lake. I’m in my natural state. Did I fall in or jump in? I don’t know. I can’t remember.
Do I care at this moment what happened five minutes ago? No, I do not. Do I hanker for something to be had five minutes from now? No, I do not. It’s the lake itself, the space, that’s important. And only the lake.
That space is love taken to … well, no one can talk about ultimates, or even superlatives. This space is irresistible. That’s about all that can be said about it. Once dunked in the lake of transformative love, I only want more of it.
If we can be said to have only one desire that will not harm us, I’d say it’s the desire for love. I ask for myself that my love for love be constantly magnified.
I love love. Transformative love is my native state.
(Concluded in Part 2.)
(1) Jesus through John Smallman, June 5, 2015, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2015/06/05/jesus-via-john-smallman-why-would-you-wish-to-change-anything-that-is-already-eternally-perfect/.
(3) I’m using the word “transformative” to mean something in particular.
I mean by it a force or energy that can dissolve a condition and leave the individual liberated from that class of events for as long as the experience of the force or energy lasts.
Transformative love dissolves resentment, anger, hatred, and other similar unpleasant conditions. Transformative love is love in conscious awareness.
Love in unconscious awareness flees before conditions like resentment, anger, etc. It cannot stand up to them. It doesn’t dissolve them. Instead, it dissolves in the face of them.
Transformative love comes from the heart. If you’ve ever thought of mining for gold, perhaps mine your own heart. A rich vein awaits you there, liberated with minimal effort. We just need to know where to look.