Something interesting happened when I was playing with my niece some time ago. We were downstairs making up tunes and songs. I was swinging in a swing we have suspended from the rafters, going as high as I could go, touching my toes to the ceiling. While doing this a feeling came over me. I felt it often as a child playing and could be almost like a religious experience. When I felt it as a child I found that play had great depth and intensity and there was an incredible sense of profoundness. It is associated with a great sense of ‘living’ and ‘being’ in the world. As a result, it has had great impact on me and is a sense I continue to ‘seek’ even today.
‘FLAT’ AND ‘MASS’ AWARENESS
It is primarily a particular sense of an awareness of existence. It is an awareness of being-within-existence, an awareness of that-which-is-about-us. This sense of that-which-is-about-us I often call the ‘presence’. Because of this, it is really the ‘awareness of the presence’. This ‘presence’ surrounds us and is in us. This makes it a generalized sense of awareness. It does not refer to an awareness of something specific, such as an object. It also is not describing an awareness of something within me, such as an emotion or thought.
It has unique qualities and characteristics. This awareness I speak of as ‘Mass’ awareness (sometimes I call this the ‘confined presence’ and I have written another article in this blog site called “Thoughts on the ‘confined presence'” which talks about it from another angle). Some of the unique qualities of ‘mass’ awareness include:
- There is a sense that existence has a ‘substance’, a ‘mass’ to it. I’ve often described it as having a ‘thick’ quality.
- There’s a sense of being within a ‘fluid’. This ‘fluid’ is all about me, surrounding me, as if I am suspended in a fluid. This would mean that the sense of ‘mass’ I feel is not of ‘matter’ and objects, as we’d normally think, but of open space . . . air . . . the space between me and ‘matter’.
- This sense of ‘mass’ makes the world seem three-dimensional.
- Things seem like they are ‘felt’ more so than ‘seen’ or perceived through the senses. Sometimes, I have this weird sense that I ‘feel’ objects and their shapes.
- Because of this, it seems like the ‘mass’ awareness is sensed more by ‘intuition’. It is not perceived through the senses, or by thinking, philosophizing, or knowing. It has a quality of being ‘sensed’.
- There seems to be a demarcation of “what-I-am-aware-of” and “what-I’m-not-aware-of”. This often gives a sense of ‘confinement’, of being ‘contained’ in “what-I-am-aware-of”. This does not lead to a claustrophobic sense, though. In fact, it comforting. I’ve often compared it to a blanket.
- Because of the sense of “what-I’m-not-aware-of”, there is a sense of the fact that things go ‘beyond’ ones awareness. It’s an awareness that there is more beyond what I am aware of. This gives a sense of ‘beyondness’.
- Because I cannot sense the ‘beyondness’, there is a sense of mystery, that I do not know things.
- Everything else in the whole world seems to disappear and only anything in the “world of what-I-am-aware-of” seems to exist . . . or matter.
- The sense of self seems to disappear. I seem to ‘blend’ or dissolve into this ‘mass’ awareness.
- In the “what-I’m-not-aware-of” there is a sense that there is ‘someone there’, beyond where my perception is and which I cannot see. There is often a sense as if it is watching over me. This has always been a comforting feeling to me.
- If I focus my mind on the “what-I’m-not-aware-of” I often see images of things in my mind. In other words, there is a ‘deamworld-like’ quality in the “what-I’m-not-aware-of”. These images appear much like a dream, as if coming from nowhere.
- There is often a sense of ‘life’ or ‘livingness’.
- There is often a sense of ‘primalness’, as if the world has just begun and this is the first day. I have always loved this feeling. It is a feeling I still prize.
- Sometimes, things like thoughts, passions, and emotions can have a quality of a ‘mass’ of their own. They have such a ‘mass’ that it seems like I can reach out and touch them.
It’s interesting how I describe ‘mass’ awareness as having a ‘mass’ or as being ‘thick’ or as having a ‘substance’ and that it has the quality of a ‘fluid’. This shows a unique quality with this awareness. It shows that existence – the presence – is not simply an awareness based on sensations, such as light, heat, sound, etc. that originates in our senses nor does it originate from our mind, such as thought. It shows that it is based in a deeper, almost intuitive, sense-of existence.
This shows, to me, that there is a deep inner sense of existence that transcends our sensation of existence coming from our senses and mind. Normally, we speak of existence as something-to-be-perceived which hints that we need to sense it before we are aware of it. ‘Mass’ awareness, on the other hand, seems to show that we have an innate “awareness” of existence before we sense it or formulate ideas about it in our minds. In fact, it seems to me that this innate “awareness” of existence is what all the sensations of awareness rest upon and which give all these sensations order and place. On its foundation we build our ideas of existence. Without this innate “awareness” of existence our sensations would be a ‘garbled mess’ of senses, so to speak, having no order or meaning. As a result, the innate awareness of existence can be compared to something like a ‘mould’ of the awareness of existence. As we live and experience existence this ‘mould’ is refined and modified to fit our situation. As we modify this original ‘mould,’ based on experience, we create an “image” of existence which is what we generally describe as ‘reality’ and becomes our perception of life, existence, and reality. And so it follows this path:
The ‘mould’: the innate awareness of existence.
The modifications to the ‘mould’: the sensations and experience of existence.
The modified ‘mould’: the creation of an “image” of existence
The “image” of existence creates what I call ‘Flat’ awareness. Because it is the “image” created, based on experience, it is this awareness that we actively use in life. As such, it can be described as a ‘standard awareness’. That is to say, it is what we normally experience in daily life.
‘Flat’ awareness is remarkably different than ‘mass’ awareness. Because it is an “image” created through experience it looses much of the ‘mass’ and ‘substance’ of ‘mass’ awareness and, in so doing, it becomes ‘flat’ . . . or, perhaps, “watered down” is a better description? Not only that, it becomes very much associated with things associated with ‘active living’ which are:
- Becoming sensation dependent.
- Becoming rooted in conceptions and thoughts.
- Becoming rooted in emotions and feelings.
- Becoming rooted in a sense of self.
It’s interesting to note that the development and creation of the self shows that the sense of self originates from the experience and “idea” of existence. That is to say, ‘active living’ creates the self. In fact, it seems to me that, in ‘mass’ awareness, the sense of self is ‘blended’ into the sense of existence. It seems ‘gone’. In other words, in the ‘mass’ awareness the sense of existence is the “self”. It seems that, as we ‘actively live’ and an “image” of existence and reality is created, the self begins to separate off from the awareness of existence. So it goes like:
- The “one self”: our self and existence are one.
- The “shattering of the one self”: ‘Active life’ and experience shatters the “one self”.
- The “shattered self”: The self shatters into separate pieces.
This “shattered self” splits into 3 pieces:
- The “personal self”: this is a sense of us, as a person-in-the-world. As a result, we now sense our “personal self” as distinct from existence-as-not-a-part-of-us.
- The “spiritual self”: This is the ‘remnant’, so to speak, of the “one self” that remains within us. It has a quality, really, of a fog that surrounds us, someone indistinct and vague in its manifestations. This is because it is the ‘remnant’ of a former self, our “‘one self”. It is the “spiritual self”, really, that senses the ‘mass’ awareness. This is because this self is in between the “personal self” and the innate awareness of existence (the ‘mould’). Because of this, its qualities are a ‘mixture’ of the two qualities.
- The “existence self”. This is the awareness of existence and how we accept existence as a ‘part of us’. This is that part of us that accepts existence as if it is an extension of us, as if it were our hand. In other words, existence is not just something ‘there’ but something we ‘feel’ and that ‘becomes a part of us’, an extension of who we are. This ‘self’ places us in the world and in our situation, making it more than just ‘events’ or ‘happenings’. It makes our situation ‘us’, so to speak. It is not to be confused with awareness-as-not-a-part-of-us, when existence is perceived as being distinctly separate from us.
I should emphasize that I stated that the self that perceives the ‘mass’ awareness is the spiritual aspect of us. This means that ‘mass’ awareness is a spiritual-like awareness.
The ‘mass’ awareness is an awareness that seems to come at certain moments or times, reflecting a change in a state of mind. Often, it can last for only a few moments but its effects are felt long afterwords, greatly affecting ones overall self. Some of the things that cause the sense of ‘mass’ awareness’ include:
- Moments of calm.
- In playing, as when one is a child or playing like a child.
- In times of great directness. For example, in doing some activity that seems to absorb oneself.
- Some religious-like experiences.
The ‘mass’ awareness seems to have a number of important associations. It’s interesting that many of these are ‘spiritual’ in quality. They include:
- ‘Mass’ awareness is associated with a sense of god or ‘spirits’. As I said above, there’s a sense of a ‘somebody’ in the “what-I’m-am-not-aware-of”. This is a quality I have always loved and sought. To be frank, the ‘mass’ awareness, really, is the ‘sense of god’ or ‘presence of god’. It even goes beyond that, and there is often sense of ‘other things’ which could be called like ‘spirits’ or similar things.
- The ‘mass’ awareness often has this comforting and secure quality about it.
- ‘Mass’ awareness seems associated with a great sense of ‘living’ and ‘life’. Life seems more real and more experienced.
- It also creates a sense of ‘profoundness’, of ‘beyond human’.
These all describe its ‘spiritual’ quality.
‘MASS’ AWARENESS AND THE ‘TWO WORLDS’: THE HUMAN WORLD AND THE WORLD OF ‘GOD AND SPIRITS’
As I mentioned above, ‘mass’ awareness has two forms of awareness:
“What-I’m-aware of”. This is the world of what is immediately perceived. As a result, it becomes the ‘world of humanity’ because it is here that we live.
“What-I’m-not-aware-of”. This is the world not immediately perceived. As a result, it is the ‘beyond human’ sense, which gives a sense of ‘god and spirits’.
These, in a way, create a sense of ‘two worlds’ which are:
The ‘human world’ of the immediately perceivable.
The world of ‘god and spirits’, which is not immediately perceived but ‘sensed’.
These two worlds create what can also be described as a sense of a ‘common space’ and a ‘sacred space’ in life, respectively. This ‘sacred space’ creates a sense of an ‘other world’ that is co-existing with this ‘human world’.
But, since the ‘mass’ awareness is a change in a state of mind it shows that the sense of ‘sacred’, or the ‘sacred space’, or the ‘other world’, is a state of mind. It is not,really, a ‘physical place’ or being. The ‘sacred’ is found only in a change in one’s state of mind, reflecting perceptions and awareness of that state of mind. This need for a change in a state of mind shows how many things associated with the ‘sacred’ requires something to help our state of mind change in order for the sense of the ‘sacred’ to appear Some of these include:
Any physical place assigned as ‘sacred’, such as a church, temple, a grove of tree’s, etc.
A concentrated awareness of a belief system, such as by recitation, reflection, reading, etc.
A formal ceremony and ritual.
Some forms of music.
Some forms of dance.
Practicing being ‘aware’ of the sacred.
Usually, the ‘sacred’ is something one must ‘initiate’ to happen. A person may sporadically experience the ‘sacred’ in their life but any real “involvement” must always be ‘initiated’ by the person. This means, basically, that we must do something. Many people in the modern world will never know the ‘sacred’, or what it is, because of this absence of initiating. They often think it’s just supposed to materialize in front of them.
ON HOW EVERYONE SENSES THE ‘SOMEONE ELSE’ AND THE IMPORTANCE OF BELIEF IN AWARENESS
Everyone, I’ve found, has this sense of ‘someone else’ within them. It is part of the human character and reality. There seems to be a number of ways people react to it though:
They ignore it.
They do not admit to it (which is usually a denial, showing that they are aware of it).
They accept it but they don’t do anything with it.
They believe it (usually, when this happens, it’s founded on a belief system of some sort).
Even though someone may say they don’t believe in the ‘someone else’ they will reveal this sense at certain times of their life. In a crisis or during hard times, for example, they may say that they feel like “someone is creating problems for them” or something similar. In a happy time they may feel that “someone is watching over them” or similar things. This sense of ‘someone else’ is an innate human tendency. I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t display this quality.
But the whole question surrounding the ‘someone else’ is if you accept it or not. Basically, if you accept the sense of ‘someone else’ you accept the existence of ‘god and spirits’ in some form or another. In the modern world such things are hard for people to accept. My experience is that a lot of people ‘refuse’ to accept. This is done for a variety of reasons. Probably the most prevalent is that it is associated with religion which, as we know, has caused a lot of problems in Western history. It also goes against scientific mentality which is so prevalent nowadays.
Once it is accepted, it’s a question of what form it takes, of how you interpret this ‘someone else’. It’s interesting to note that when things are accepted they are usually based on a belief system of some sort. In other words, in dealing with the perceptions of the ‘mass’ awareness we tend to need a world conception, a belief system, to give it place and meaning. This means that there is a correlation between a belief system and accepting the ‘someone else’. Without a belief system it is hard for people to accept these different forms of awareness. In fact, the belief systems is critical because it makes it so that the ‘someone else’ is within ‘grasp’, so to speak. Otherwise, it has an ‘unreachable’ quality about it. This makes sense as the sense of ‘someone else’ is in the “what-I’m-not-aware-of”, an area of mystery and unknowingness . . . an area hard to grasp.
It shows that there is an association between belief systems and awareness in life. When we do not have a belief system we become impaired in our perception and awareness of the world. This is probably why that, from my experience, the people who have a viable healthy belief system see much farther in life than people who don’t.
Almost always, this sense of ‘someone else’ becomes a sense of god, usually, or spirits of some sort. This, in turn, creates a belief system in these things. The fact is that the sense of ‘someone else’ almost always leads to religious belief.
‘MASS’ AWARENESS AND A SENSE OF ‘LIFE’
Within the sense of ‘mass’ awareness there is a sense of ‘life’, of a ‘livingness’. In many ways, ‘life’ is felt there most. In fact, it seems that the sense of ‘life’ is found in the ‘mass’ awareness more so than in the ‘flat’ awareness. In comparison, ‘flat’ awareness is ‘dead’, or ‘mechanical’. It seems to be just ‘there’, almost lifeless.
There is a spectrum to the sense of ‘life’. It ranges from the ‘worldly awareness’ to the ‘non- worldly awareness’ and has gradations like:
A sense of “livingness-as-I-in-the-world”. This is the sense of “I am in the world” or “the world is about me”. This is the sense of “I-in-the-world”.
A sense of a “livingness-as-I”. This can be a sense of being ‘awake’, or ‘there’, a sense that one ‘is’. This is the sense of “I”.
- A sense of “livingness-as-I-in-the-mystery”. This is often a sense of mysterious profoundness. Here, it is religious-like. This is like the sense of the ‘life’ of god. This is the sense of “god”.
When one looks at these, one can see that these reflect the three different self’s: the existence self, personal self, and the spiritual self. This is no mistake for it shows that one lives through the self, through the “I”. It shows that ‘livingness’ is felt through the “I”.
I should point out that the “I” is a reference to the awareness that ‘I exist’. It is not the ‘me’, which refers to a self-concern or a ‘looking after me’. The ‘me’ is more worldly, concerned about the affairs and issues that revolve around ‘me’. As a result, it tends to be more of a mundane awareness. The “I” is more of a generalized feeling of oneself above all the mundaness and issues of the world.
The “I” is felt most dominantly in the “livingness-as-I”. Here, the sense of “I” is strongest. Here, the ‘personal self’ is reflected. When one goes to the “livingness-as-I-in-the-world” the sense of “I” fades and the sense of ‘existence’ becomes prevalent. Here, existence, and what happens in it, becomes a part of our “I”. When one goes to the “livingness-as-I-in-the-mystery” the sense of “I” fades and the sense of mystery becomes prevalent. This can be so extensive that the “I” may even seem to ‘die’ or ‘disappear’. In reality, it does not. Here, the “I” merges with the ‘one self’. The self and existence become one. This is generally described as a religious-like experience and is associated with the awareness of god.
This is important as it shows that the awareness of god is one part of a greater whole, one end of a spectrum. It is not something removed and separate from other phenomena of life but bound up with it. In effect, the awareness of god is NOT the ‘ultimate’ or ‘everything’ but PART OF a greater phenomena. It shows that, in seeking god, one must seek the whole, not just one part of the whole. This is why any real ‘pursuit’ of god entails the whole person, ones whole being, and not just a part of it . . . God requires the whole person.
The importance of the ‘livingness’ is very critical. When one is aware of the ‘livingness’ one is more than aware. Awareness is just like an ‘observing’, as if we are on the side lines watching. ‘Livingness’ is a participation, a movement of oneself. In ‘livingness’ one is ‘moved’ to live. This quality is because it originates from the “I” and not the “me”. With the “me” one chooses to do something, to live, to become something. Being more mundane it is motivated by mundane reasons, which tend to be more selfish and limited in their scope. With the “I” the self is ‘inspired’ to live. It’s as if one see’s life and is ‘compelled’, as if by instinct, to do something. In many ways, we do not choose life . . . life chooses us! We follow it, listen to its call. This requires an attitude of following, of submission, and of a willingness to listen to the call. In many ways, livingness is the next step after awareness . . it turns awareness into action and reality.
‘MASS’ AWARENESS AND CONTEMPLATION
Contemplation is the deliberate attempt at reaching ‘mass’ awareness. It requires, to some extent, the breakdown of the qualities that make ‘flat’ awareness. Because of this, it is like an ‘undoing’. It’s this very fact of ‘undoing’ that makes it so difficult. In many ways, its like a ‘retreating backwards’. Some of the things that must be ‘undone’ are:
- The effects of sensation.
- The reliance on thought.
- The control of emotion.
- The reliance on conceptions.
- The sense of self.
With these we see the familiar traits seen in contemplation:
- Developing an ‘unknowing’: emptying the mind, having no thoughts or conceptions.
- Losing a sense of self, forgetting that one is there.
- The absence of sensations.
These show that contemplation, really, is nothing but an attempt at “retrieving” the ‘mass’ awareness because it is there that the ‘sense of god’ is felt most purely. In so doing, we as if ‘regress’ to a more primitive state of our mind, in a sense.
I’ve always felt, though, that there is more to contemplation that “retrieving” this sense. We are not just trying to ‘re-experience’. In many ways, we are trying to “start over”. By this I mean that, in contemplation, we do “retrieve” the innate ‘mass’ awareness but we do this as an expression of life. In other words, we express our life through the “retrieved” sense of ‘mass’ awareness. It shows that contemplation is an avenue for the expression of life. But we don’t seek any life, we seek the ‘livingness’ of life. This is because, in contemplation, we experience the ‘livingness’ more purely.
This seeking of the ‘livingness’ becomes, in many ways, an act of love, of the love toward life, existence, god, the world, etc. As a result, it becomes a display of ones life and being. Because of this, it becomes “one’s life”, so to speak. This shows that contemplation is more than just an act but something that encompasses ones whole life. This shows that contemplation is actually a way of life, a ‘contemplative life’.
‘MASS’ AWARENESS AND IT’S ‘DREAM-LIKE’ QUALITY
As I said above, the “what-I’m-not-aware-of” often creates a sense that there is ‘someone else’ there beyond our perception. This sense has a range with these extremes:
A vague ‘hint’ of ‘someone’. This is often almost imperceptible. For many people it’s so imperceptible that they are completely unaware of it. Often, the only way they will be aware of it is if they are somehow are directed to look for it. It may be so vague, even, that it may not be a sense of a ‘someone’ but more of a ‘something’.
A defined person or thing. Here it has names, a shape, stories surrounding it, qualities, etc. I should point out that when I speak of a ‘defined person or thing’ I do not necessarily mean the image created by tradition or a belief system, which generally has, ready-made, a perception of what this ‘someone’ is. I speak more of that which naturally appears in life, the perceptions we develop for ourselves, and which is a product of our own experience.
When the sense goes to the latter extreme it often creates a ‘dream-like’ quality, which can have many interesting effects. By ‘dream-like’ I mean that they create images in one’s mind that seem to have a ‘life’, much like a dream. These images aren’t just any odd image one creates in one’s head, such as seeing a car you like. When images are like this I call it a ‘dead image’. Generally, these are of things existing but they can be things you imagine, as well, which is usually motivated by mundane wants and wishes. I speak of the ‘living image’ when it has this ‘dream-like’ quality. Here, they seem to have a ‘life’ that motivates them, that is independent of us. This is because it originates from ‘beyond us’, in the “what-I’m-not-aware-of”.
The ‘living image’ creates many things in our life, such as:
An active imagination.
- Inspiration to do things.
The ‘living image’, in a way, “injects” our life with ‘life’, and it injects it with a ‘life’ from ‘beyond awareness’. This gives it a ‘magical quality’, of something ‘from beyond’, in the land of who-knows-where. This reveals an interesting fact: that, to truly feel ‘life’, we need to feel an ‘unwordly life’, of a life that does not originate from ‘this world’ and that does not have origin in ‘this world’. It means that ‘life’ is not really found in the “here”, in reality, but in the “not-here”. This, really, is referring to what can be described as a ‘mysticism’, that we need the ‘mystery element’ in our life to truly live.
The ‘dead image’ and ‘living image’ create different world conceptions. By this I mean conceptions of how the world works. The ‘dead image’ is, typically, a ready-made image. It’s already there so we just follow it. It also tends to be lifeless. Much of education and learning, in actuality, is nothing but learning ‘dead image’. The ‘living image’ generally comes from living and experience. It is that part of us reacting to the world, establishing a framework of how it works. As a result, it is a conception created from within us. Because of this, these tend to be ‘personal’ and are often never expressed to other people.
One aspect of the ‘living image’ is that it must come out naturally. In other words, the ‘living image’ is a product of inspiration. It just ‘appears’, often as if from nowhere. I’ve found that the most creative of people work from an inspiration. It’s not ability or skill, usually, but the ability to be inspired that makes them creative. In addition, I’ve found that the happiest of people often work the same way, they live a life of inspiration.
This shows the importance of the ‘living image’ in life and the importance of being inspired and how it can affect ones life. It shows that there is a correlation between ‘living image’ and inspiration.
Inspiration is often something we must “allow” to happen. As a result, inspiration is often an issue of not what one does but what one doesn’t do. In many ways, inspiration requires us to ‘move over’ in order to let it happen. Our self tends to hinder and stop inspiration. This shows that there is a need to develop a ‘selfless’ attitude in inspiration. It’s interesting that this ‘selflessness’ is a quality that reflects the “one self”. This is no mistake. It shows that the “one self”, our ‘primal self’, so to speak, is where life is felt most pure. This means that there is great life in the “what-I’m-not-aware-of”. It shows the power of mystery.
Inspiration, though, has many forms and qualities. It has a range that can be one of the most productive things in life to bordering on madness. The latter shows how it tends to take us ‘out of ourselves’, often making us lose hold of who we are.
The madness of inspiration can be seen in some forms of creativity, being seen in poets, artists, musicians, and such. It is also seen in contemplation. In many ways, contemplation is a form of madness, of halting thought and ones mind, seeking to be removed from oneself. This, in many ways, is a madness. But it is ‘mad’ only in the sense that it is a ‘loss of self’. One does not go ‘clinically mad’ and lose control. It’s a madness that, really, leads to oneself and to life. It’s for this reason that I speak of these as a ‘wonderful madness’.
But there is something that seems even more ‘mad’: shamanistic journeying.
Very early, I found that I began to have certain types of experiences when I went out into the woods and silenced myself. They were, as I’d later find out, experiences similar to what the shamans or medicine men did in many primitive tribes. In these experiences I was ‘awake’ but I would close my eyes and as if separate from myself. It’s like my self changed when doing this and I would go into the blackness. This blackness seemed to turn into another ‘world’, and images would appear. They were more than images, as they were often very real. In this world, which I called the “interior land”, I would have what can only be described as ‘waking dreams’. In these I could have some control over what I did. It was not like a night dream where I had no control over what I did. What I was experiencing, really, was a form of shamanistic journeying.
In these situations the ‘living image’ seemed to become almost ‘real’, encompassing a ‘world’ and ‘real beings’: the ‘dream’ became ‘reality’.
But, in this ‘dream’, the ‘reality’ is a manifestation of inspiration. The ‘dream’ is inspiration, coming naturally from within, demonstrated with great intensity through a specific aspect of ones self. In so doing, the ‘dream world’ becomes ‘alive’. This makes shamanistic journeying a unique phenomena, probably achievable only by a minority of people.
Looking back on it now, it seems that what I would do, in shamanistic journeying, is to go into the ‘presence’ of the “what-I’m-not-aware-of” which is found in ‘mass’ awareness. There, the sense of the ‘someone’ turned into a shape, a place or, that is to say, a dream. This is the ‘living image’ it created. To me, it’s a variation of, say, writing a story or painting a picture, but done more deeply with a specific aspect of ones self. This means that I consider shamanistic journeying similar to the creation of something from inspiration, be it a story, a painting, or what have you. But it is done by a form of ‘deep active imagination’ that lies deep within the self. The ‘creation’ of this inspiration became the experience of the ‘dream’. Afterwords, I would write them down and I often found myself doing nothing but writing down a story, one that I experienced in shamanistic journeying. In some respects, shamanistic journeying is a form of ‘story writing’ or, rather, ‘story revealing’, that hits on issues deep within ones self.
It seems that shamanistic journeying is taking the ‘dream-like’ qualities of ‘mass’ awareness to the extreme by the creation of a realistic ‘waking dream’.
An interesting point to note is that I often stated that I could tell I was in the “interior land” when I felt as if I was in a ‘fluid’. This, I think, shows definite parallels between the “interior land” of shaminizing and ‘mass’ awareness.
‘MASS’ AWARENESS, AWARENESS-IN-THE-WOMB, AND OVERSENSITIVITY: some speculation
I have often speculated that ‘mass’ awareness is a sensation that originates from when we are in the womb. This would make it, probably, our ‘first’ sensation as a person. It also would explain some of its qualities, which are somewhat ‘womb-like’: a sense of a ‘fluid’ with ‘mass’, wordless, a sense of someone else ‘beyond’ our awareness, the sense of ‘primalness’, etc.
If this were the case it would seem that some of us are predisposed to this sensation and are more likely to experience it. I tend to think a big factor in the awareness-in-the-womb is oversensitivity and that it takes an oversensitive person to ‘remember’ it in life. Most people, I think, forget it. If there is a slight remembrance it is just a ‘hint’ of it, a sense in ‘something’. But, I think to practice it and use it for growth takes an oversensitive person. This oversensitivity makes these experiences more ‘real’ and noticeable which helps them to be remembered. Not only that, being so predisposed to them makes them ‘linger’, so to speak, in life.
I also have often felt that, being oversensitive, our ‘minds’ tend to begin to ‘work’ while still in the womb. Because of this, we begin to experience and formulate a perception of life and what it is. In short, we begin to create an ‘image’ of life. As a result, it creates a sense of not only an awareness of existence but of a ‘living’. After we are born and wake up to life we are confronted with a whole other ‘reality’ which we must be aware of and so we develop a new ‘image’ to fit this situation. This ‘womb-life’ then creates something like an ‘inner life’ for the oversensitive, that is removed from ‘actual reality’. In a way, it creates ‘two lives’:
The life begun in the womb. This becomes dormant during childhood but tends to resurface later, usually in late childhood. If we follow it we will as if begin where we ‘left off’, developing an ‘inner life’.
The life after birth. The realities of life create and formulate and image of life and what it is. This is ‘life in the world’.
Those of us who develop the first life become ‘spiritual’. Those who do not develop the first life become more ‘wordly’, with their focus on the outer world, which is the only one they know.
AFTERTHOUGHT: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE AWARENESS OF GOD
‘Mass’ and ‘flat’ awareness show how we have a multitudes of awareness in our life. It shows that life is not lived in only “one” form of awareness alone but on many different levels and in many forms. It shows that, truly, the awareness of life is very varied and, like our fingerprint, each persons awareness is unique to ourselves.
But, despite what some people may think, we all use the great breadth and length of awareness . . . they are, after all, part of the human ‘reportoire’ of experience. In the past some odd centuries, one of these forms of awareness – of things associated with god – have been greatly hampered and hindered by certain beliefs and attitudes. But, we must remember, that this ‘sense of god’ is a part of human experience. It is natural. It has been here, the world over, since the beginning of time. By neglecting the sense of god, we neglect our humanity, we neglect our natural inclinations, we neglect our awareness, we neglect our life. The awareness of god is a wonderful thing, giving our lives a depth and life it could not otherwise have. Watching its neglect is like watching a death. Only by regaining the sense of god can we fully be aware and experience life as human beings.