The Poetics of Light #7


Boot Camp… continued


The spaces in between


 The beginning of this series starts here

          And so the early days of the dialogues were primarily training. I found myself adjusting to my unusual circumstances, even to the point of forming an emotional bond with one of the teachers I was working with most often. I suppose my attachment was similar to having feelings of love towards any teacher. It was a confusing time, in the first days of the dialogues. I began receiving repeated instructions or “guidance” to do certain things. I wasn’t sure what to make of this. The requests didn’t make sense to me. Why would I be asked to do something so obviously random?

                   Giving it further consideration, I understood this as another test. It was an easy one considering… but all of the tests held layers of learning.

                 I was participating in a perceptual reality where trust and action is based on a mutual and reciprocal relationship that is insightful and creative directly in each moment.

              The difference between “procedure” and “guidance” was made clear.  I understood that although they both may seem aspects of possible future action, the choices I make that are directly relevant to my life are completely my own to make and are my uniquely personal relationship with life. Whereas “procedure” is simply descriptive instructions relevant to the subject at hand.

                I was working with this favored teacher while comprehending these early differences. I greatly appreciated a certain playfulness and humor, which gave me the much needed opportunity to relax and hone my instincts. I was better able to move a little closer in understanding how to function and communicate in this most unusual relationship.

              However, shortly after this initial period, I was also asked to refrain from personifying Divinity by name. This may be initially challenging, or even blasphemous, to those who derive spiritual nourishment from a more defined devotion. However, this is a narrative about human perception and its consequences. By complying with this new request I was now being challenged to not only learn a different level of trust, but also to question the very foundations of my organized and accepted perceptual “reality”. 

        I was becoming acquainted with the expansive equality inherent in this alternate perceptual paradigm, where no one is singled out or separated from the whole. It seems clear now that it was important that I undertake a completely inclusive perspective. In this perceptual paradigm, all aspects of God are included.

          At the same time it was affirmed that prayer, especially the communal coming together in prayer, is an important aspect of spiritual relationship and that all faiths, all spiritual paths are relevant and hold the seeds of truth.

           However this also included the relationship with my teachers. When asked to stop personifying my teachers by name I also began to realize that, aside from the need to personalize our experiences, we name as a way of understanding. We are observers. We think in terms of nouns, defining the object of our observation.

            These considerations became less and less of an abstraction as I began to be aware of the immediacy of this relationship… and of all relationship. What occurs in any given moment is multi-layered and relevant to that exact moment of actual experience. Linguistically, nouns became the activity of verbs in a mutual experience with the possibility of creating anything… depending on what is brought to that moment. Instead of two separate observers in relationship with each other, the active fluidity of the relationship itself, the space in between became the focus. I was experiencing a new level of trust, of vulnerability in relationship and my responsibility in it.

           And so… in this preliminary introduction I have attempted to give some idea of my own responses to the material in the dialogues in hopes that it might lend some insight as to how to approach all we are about to explore, for we have only just begun our work here…

          Ultimately we are being given tools, tools for the illumination and understanding of our personal and collective perception and its effect on ourselves as human beings and on our world. If my own experience is indicative, even the attempt at understanding is to radically change. This seems no small thing as it becomes no less than the most intimate personal revolution. All one can do then… is bloom.


is poetry without words

a poem about suffering the song of self

Each person carries their own harmony or dissonance

In the Continuum

it is all the same song



© Jana H. White

artist: Max Ernst





17 responses

  1. transforming butterflies
    he / she / they
    leaning on my cheek
    closeness without sound
    near my eye
    single spaces / double spaces
    fingers massaging temples
    layering light
    blossoming sounds
    opening spirals expanding
    sacred spaces

    Liked by 1 person

  2. … when I was about 12/13 at school, our Art teacher – the redoubtable and elegant Mr. Geddes, hair combed back and above the head in a good idea, like Andre Breton – had piled a whole heap of stools haphazardly together in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows of the classroom, legs and seats jammed together in all sorts of arrangements: the lesson was to draw the spaces in between, not the stools; this is Burt Bacharch’s music

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve felt it was Miles Davis’s music too. He bent my ear to the spaces in between. I admit at the time, it was hard to appreciate…a bit too real… but I took it in. We all have our own awakenings, ….Your art teacher, Mark, was/is a magician! How wonderful… at any age. To me…It’s the creatives that carry the legacy of real intelligence.

      ” looking at the white page
      like a mountain of snow
      climbing slowly to the top I go” …. September 18, 2009


    • I know….it made it real. Smoothed the rough edges….

      ” You see the lights of the factory working overtime through the night.
      You dig in the sand at the beach looking for shells to tell you their secrets.
      You leave the factory to its own chaos of churning out books about treasure
      And find your way down the dark passage of singing shells…” January 08, 2010

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The stream moves faster and the stones become more slippery, all the while awareness sharpens and steps become more sure. Like poetry… without words. Dance – without doing.

    I would have loved to respond to this one with silence. Silence true like an arrow. But no… ….whoooah!!!… splash. Not quite yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have truly had a seeming lifetime of living in the silence with this, Chris. And now…. here we all are at the evening campfire. Enjoying each others company. Sharing…for me…this is bliss.

      “looking out the window at the rain
      falling in patterns inexplicable
      I dance between the raindrops” ….January 13, 2010

      Liked by 1 person

    • …and we’ll be uncovering our rooted bits and healing our bitten nails together….

      (M-A Djeribi’s comment posted on #4)

      “I am grateful for this. Thank you.
      I like this stuff a lot. Here are shortcuts for me to do the necessary human thing to again and again remind myself that we are totally animal, that we have this amazing animal intelligence that as children we were told to discard but that we kept hidden between our toes, under our armpit to be pulled out when no one was looking—we would be shamed if seen. To remind myself we are spiritual too, that we have this amazing possibility of belonging, and the body is yes the medium that we use to touch all strands of knowing. That human is the intersection of pulls that only seem contradictory if we try and resist them.
      Your writing is precious because it makes visible what I know but sometimes doubt, namely that the most important ‘knowing’ ‘learning’ ‘hearing’ does not involve the head, it’s an infusion, a contagion, a windswept, a soaking, it touches our higher self through our physical vessel, it makes no sense if you try and explain it and yet there is perhaps nothing more essential, perhaps nothing more really, apart from a masquerade of avoidance which sometimes we mistake as life. And your words express all that to me with ease. And I am also grateful because this is what I’m at, and probably be at all my life, attempting to touch these truths with my hand and realizing they are embedded in me already”

      Liked by 3 people

  4. the first two lines of your poem at the end of the post sound like a koan (from what little i know of them.) i like it! in the poem i am also struck by the power of the metaphors. the idea of letting go of giving someone or some entity a name or label interests me. i found that as a teacher i could empower a student by saying something like “i can tell you are a thinker.” but labeling can also, of course, be terribly destructive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Michael for your thoughtful comment here. I admit… one of my favorite things about the dialogues were the occasional poem. I wish there had been more of them. I bet you were a good teacher. If somewhat had said that to me, it would have been so encouraging. I don’t see it as labeling… a “thinker” thinks. ponders. considers. It’s an action. Now if you had said this person was a “nerd”…

      Liked by 1 person

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