The Poetics of Light #8

mark-rothko

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Chapter Four

Human Separation

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The beginning of this series starts here

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          In the introduction to this narrative, I have been sharing my own responses while engaging in the dialogues as I piece together my reflections and attempt to integrate all I experienced. As you may have gathered, it is an ongoing practice. The dialogues themselves meandered without any seeming pattern. It was common for certain ideas to be introduced without context and then the dialogues would move on to something else.

            I’m finding that in writing this narrative as I work my way through them I am choosing to present their content in a narrative that makes sense to me. With this said, you may have already noticed that the narrative wanders and circles around itself in order to incorporate its many facets.

          In bold contrast, the very beginning of the dialogues, which I haven’t spoken of, began with material that was a linear accounting of a cyclical dystopian view of history, our dominant relationship with nature and its destructive consequences. The rules of procedure had not yet been established. I can only guess that this beginning was a test to see how and in what ways I might react when confronted with this linear recounting. Perhaps it was a test to see what heroics, or alternately, what paranoid drama I might be inclined towards? Was I feeling singled out for some important reason? I can only guess. So many “facts” were being presented. It was rather like a relentless barrage of information that I waded through with head spinning and energetic exhaustion. I must have passed this first test because I never again experienced a linear approach in the dialogues.

          After this we stayed with more personal topics and concerns. These were the early years in the dialogues and our procedures were not as strict as they became later on, although the rules were introduced and remained the same. In the early days I was presented with the opportunity, with less formality, of being able to ask questions within certain limits and receive answers.

         It was easy to become confused. Very little was conclusive, since I still tended to wander off enthusiastically into my own scenarios. I was often left with the feeling that I was missing something. I’d stop engaging for long periods and would open in Resonance only when I had a health concern or when I had a new question. Although I remained drawn to Contemplative Resonance, I was somewhat unsettled by the ambiguity I often felt. And although I trusted the Source, I often wondered what the point of this unusual relationship could be.

          Then one day the dialogues took a turn and became more focused. We shifted to a broader discussion of the collective with the introduction of the term human separation. There was no initial explanation of what human separation might refer to, or where we might be going with it, but now I felt there was substance and purpose. As the discussions wound round and round we dove deeper. When the material was too tightly woven, we loosened. When too complicated, we diverted. The topics were random, this time lacking any sense of linear order. I began to keep a sketch book finding that doodling helped me formulate my responses.

          It has taken many years to organize my thoughts about these first discussions. They seemed simple at the time, similar to a subject one might study in school. I had no idea how hard it would be to integrate all I learned.

           And so it is here, with considerations of Time and Culture, that we also begin our explorations. Here we find the vehicle and the fuel to continue exploring. As to the map we’re using? I think the map is continually being drawn……

        We began with the introduction of the term human separation with no immediate explanation of what the term might refer to. Instead we discussed the cyclical nature of cultural hierarchy and revolutions, the ebb and flow of acquiescence and dissent. We discussed how cultural archetypes are formed and utilized, such as the hero, the savior and the scapegoat.

          This led to considerations of the effects on us personally of collective consensus, where reality is formulated by agreement. Of the role hierarchy, vulnerability, and time play in the structure of our consensus realities. Of how this is mediated by our myths and stories. And then it was seeded into the dialogues that empathy, whatever it may be, is solely human and inappropriate. With this discussion we had begun opening the tightly sealed box…

          Of how we collectively cultivated a linear time orientation as we “advanced” creating our own progressive perceptual time continuum. Since this was a singular endeavor, not necessarily concerned with incorporating a relationship with the rest of life, (except as to how it was possible to fulfill our needs), it became based primarily on our own organized and singularly protective assumptions. This gradually altered our own collective perception separate from the natural order.

          We have centuries of our own recorded history to document various civilizations, both past and present. However, the real question is….what are we comparing it with? What is the natural order? To answer this, to reconnect with our native intelligence, we have looked to the creative visionaries of every age.

          We search our own hearts and look into the eyes of our children. We immerse ourselves in nature, in finding and creating beauty. We call the paradigm of creation the unknowable, give it the various names of God, or the Ineffable which can not be named. We search for this source within ourselves despite our culturally conditioned perceptual separateness, but also because of the peak moments, the a-ha moments, that remind us of the deeper understanding of our inherent belonging.

         In all actuality, because we are physical beings, it is impossible to be separate from what we are intrinsically a part of, despite the human inclination to consider ourselves in singularity, supposedly exhibiting a mental and emotional superiority over other forms of life. Or on the other hand, feeling cast off and discarded within the machinations of hierarchy.

         It is also impossible to be anywhere else physically but in the present moment, despite our inclination to mentally and emotionally slide back and forth on the progressive perceptual time continuum we have created.

        All of which introduces the consideration that we may be living collectively in two perceptual paradigms which define awareness. Within a time continuum we are perceptually held subject to the cyclical workings of cause and effect. And within the Continuum of Life?

 

“Peering through the keyhole

opening the door”

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© Jana H. White

Artist: Mark Rothko

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17 responses

  1. “. . . it was seeded into the dialogues that empathy, whatever it may be, is solely human and inappropriate.”

    I feel I want to know whether you’re referring to Cognitive Empathy (theory of mind) or Affective Empathy (emotional contagion).

    Are you able to stretch out on this Jana, or will the upcoming chapters clarify?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hariod… I know this is a subject of great interest for you and I want to thank you for your question. It’s helpful. We are approaching empathy by following the thread that it weaves through the human fabric.
      Here and in the dialogues… the attempt is to get to the heart of it.
      Since empathy is invisible though, we can only see the warp and weft of its weave. We don’t really understand it, so in attempting an understanding, we’ve given the various ways its been tracked different names (as you mention above.) Empathy is useful in a number of ways and is entrenched in the great collective tool box.
      We’ll have to see Hariod….we’ll just have to see

      Liked by 1 person

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