There is something which I call the ‘passion centered point of view’. It is found in contemplation.
The concept of ‘passion’ began in about 1990. It was shortly after I discovered the ‘presence’, which I have discussed elsewhere on this blog. The ‘presence’, really, is nothing but the ‘greater passion’ or ‘world passion’. It is the ‘passion of existence’ which is really the presence of god. But, generally, when I speak of ‘passion’ I speak of it in a personal way, of a persons passion. But it shows that there is a ‘passion’ within us and without us.
Basically, this point of view is life looked at from the point of view of ‘passion’. In other words, ‘passion’ is the basis for everything. It is not belief, not knowledge, not thoughts, not emotion, not ability, not achievement, or anything else. Everything else supports, guides, or is affected by ‘passion’. In effect, ‘passion comes first’. This means that what a person thinks does not matter, nor how they go about anything.
I have always said that the important thing is that passion flows. This shows that passion is an active element, it is something that moves you. But ‘passion’, really, is not an emotion. It is not a ‘feeling’, necessarily, though it could definitely cause emotions and feelings. I’ve always said that passion is movement. This means it is the ‘force’ or energy that ‘moves’ things in life and makes you do something. It causes things to happen.
As a result, ‘passion’ has this quality of ‘reaching out into life’. Like tendrils it meanders itself into everything about you. Through ‘passion’ life is experienced. Because of this, ‘passion’ causes us to ‘be in the world’. It places us in the world and makes us a ‘fact’ that participates in the world.
Some ‘passion’ is active. This means that it causes things to happen. It makes us move, think, talk, walk, and just about any other thing we do. Other ‘passion’ is passive. This means that it is a continuing ‘sense’ of things, like an idling. Even though we may be silent and seem ‘passionless’ we are often filled with a great amount of passive ‘passion’. This is why quiet times can be so ‘magical’.
In general, I’ve found that ‘passion’ requires:
- Direction. This means that ‘passion’ must be directed in some direction, much like having to direct water from a hose.
- Form. Being that ‘passion’ is a ‘force’ or energy, it needs a form to give it ‘mass’, so to speak. Pure formless passion is like a breeze in the middle of space. It’s just ‘there’ . . . that’s all.
- A place to go. That is, it needs an object. For ‘passion’ to have value it must culminate in affecting some object.
A lot of the problems of life, it seems, is a result of ‘passion’ not fulfilling one or more of the above requirements. A large part of the ‘wisdom’, of life is basically fulfilling these requirements in some way or another.
When our passion is halted or hindered we tend to feel uncomfortable. Something seems ‘wrong’. Its not uncommon that we feel burdened or that something is upon us. It can bring unhappiness and despair. Typically, we tend to, usually unknown to us, look for the solution in one of the three qualities above: direction, form, and a place to go. We’ll often look for them in things, experimenting and doing things to make the passion ‘flow’ again. This is a significant part of life, the ‘finding of the passion flow’.
But, oddly enough, passion can cause another type of pain that may be mistaken for things like unhappiness and despair. This is the ‘pain of passion flow’. It is quite ironic how passion causes pain in flowing and not in flowing. It makes it hard to tell the difference. The ‘pain of passion flow’ can be compared, in a way, to growing pains. It is a reflection of a change in oneself to accomodate it.
There are two ways to experience ‘passion’: Active and passive.
The active experiencing of ‘passion’ consists, primarily, in the doing and experiencing of things. A person must do, but they must do more than do. They need to be aware of what they do and the force or ‘passion’ behind it.
The passive experiencing of ‘passion’ is seen a lot in contemplation, thinking, resting, or other non active things. A person could say that contemplation is really nothing but the passive ’embracing of passion’. These entail things such as:
- Awareness. Here a person opens themselves up to ‘existence’, the ‘presence’, and themselves. In general, this requires a silencing of oneself to achieve this.
- The ‘feeling’. This refers to the experiencing of the ‘inner passion’ within oneself.
- The ‘affecting’. This refers to the experiencing of ‘passion’ causing a change in oneself.
‘Living in the passion’ is a particular way of life. It entails a life without too much thought, thinking, or emotionalism.
Thought seems to impair the ‘flow’ of ‘passion’, but that depends on how it is done. Sometimes, it can help it. Typically, I’ve found that thought is impairing to ‘passion flow’ not because of thought itself but because there is too much of the self in much thinking. This suggests that too much of the ‘self’ impairs ‘passion flow’. Passion requires one to lose a sense of self in life.
Emotions have a tendency to be misleading and tends to throw one off the track. This is because emotions are so entrancing, and is mesmerizing to us. Like a vacuum, it tends to suck us up. Often, emotions are mistaken for passion. Emotions are not passion, but passion can be reflected in emotions. This means one must look beyond the emotion, the feeling, to the ‘movement’ that moves it. In general, passion feels deeper than emotions. They seem a force devoid of emotion, though not always.
I once said that passion is that ‘spark’ in us that keep us living, despite what happens. Whether we are happy, bored, or in despair, the ‘spark’ is there, usually without our awareness. It keeps us seeking life.
I always thought it was strange how, in ones worst moments, when life seems a death or hopeless, when we seem to give up on life, the ‘spark’ is still there, hidden behind all the thoughts and emotions we have. Despite what we think and feel in our worst moments, the ‘spark’ for life is still there: passion moves us. It never leaves us.
To me, ‘passion’ is like a river of ‘something’ that flows through me. Over the years various ‘images’ has been created in the back of my mind which, I think, describe the sense of it:
- I often imagine it as a stream of ‘something’ that comes from behind me, goes into my back, and out of my abdomen, and flows out into the space in front of me.
- Sometimes I see the ‘something’ going threw my back and out my abdomen and I am as if suspended by it in mid-air.
- I often see it as a flow of ‘something’ coming from my abdomen and up my throat and out of my mouth.
- I often see it as ‘something’ flowing out of me, sort of like a glowing light.
- I often see myself as something like a windmill, in which the ‘something’ flows through me. When it does this I come ‘alive’ or ‘move’ like the wind moves a windmill.
In all cases, it is always something flowing or moving from one place to another. That is to say, it ‘flows’. This is significant, I think, for it shows that, for the passion to flow, one must be open to it. You must allow it to happen. This is often very difficult to do. It is also, it seems, one of the greatest struggles with passion.
I will often stop what I’m doing and say, “Do you sense it? That force, that something, that passion, that keeps me wanting to be.” Then I peer inward. That is to say, I do not think or feel. I open myself up to the sense or awareness of passion. It seems ‘raw’, ‘naked’, constant. It seems primal. It’s almost scary. It seems that, with passion, I’m on the verge of losing a sense of who I am, as if it is going to sweep me away. There is a sense, often, of a death or dying. This is no mistake, as this is the awakening of the ‘passion self’. This is that part of us that experiences passion alone. Normally, our self is made up of a self who feels and thinks. This becomes the ‘me’, the ‘I’, that we are accustomed to. In experiencing the ‘passion self’ this self is as if thrown to the side, discarded. A new self must be born, without feeling, without thought, aware only of the passion: the ‘passion self’. In that sense, it is a dying and a birth.
On the sensing of the passion within oneself there becomes a sense that the passion is beyond us, out of us, about us, surrounding us. This is the ‘greater passion’ that we are only a part of, a ‘world passion’. It seems to me that the flow of passion is always outward, toward the ‘greater passion’. This ‘greater passion’ is the ‘presence’. It is, in actuality, the presence of god. These two passions are connected, variations of the same ‘force’:
passion within oneself >>>>>>>>passion without oneself (presence)
The passion within oneself, and without, has a quality of life, of livingness. Like a burning flame it can overwhelm us and overcome us at times. This can be very painful and frightening. It can bring oneself to tears.
On the experiencing of passion one becomes stupid, dumb, unemotional, and even cold. This, oddly enough, can create a sense of being ‘dead’ or ‘stagnant’. This, really, is the dying of the knowing emotional self. It shows that one must become accustomed to passion. It takes time. One, really, grows into it.
The ‘passion self’, it seems to me, as if opens up an aspect of the self that cannot be opened any other way. It brings a whole new perspective to life, a whole new angle, a whole new way of experiencing, a whole new conception. In so doing, it can change ones life. The ‘passion self’ can open up a whole new awareness of things one never knew was there. Through it, life can change. Through it, life grows deeper.
This new self becomes another self to add to the repertoire of selfs, another experiencing, another expressing, another being. For some of us it can be a significant part of our life and of living.