There is something which I call ‘fullness’. It is something that originated from my own experience and perception of things. It refers to a sense of something ‘about us’ and is one of our first awareness of existence and our self. It is also very influential in religious or spiritual-like feelings. I consider ‘fullness’ a stage in the growing awareness of life. I tend to think it comes after the sense of “is” (of which I wrote an article in this blog site). I often feel it as a sense of a fluid, as if we are all immersed in a fluid. This is actually where I got the term “fullness” meaning that things were “full”,or thick-like, all about me. I also felt it as a ‘presence’. I also felt it in shamanistic ‘journeying’ as well. Experiencing this in many different ways led me to reflect on it and its nature.
“Fullness” is an awareness that is largely forgotten and seldom felt as one gets older. Very few people are aware of it, I don’t think. I discovered it only by accident when I began to wonder about certain feelings I had.
“Fullness” tends to have these qualities:
- It is a three-dimensional sense . . . a sense of space.
- The boundary between us and the world is non-existent . . . a medium of projection.
A sense of space
It seems that ‘fullness’ originates from a sense of space. I’ve often speculated that it originates from when we move around in the womb and after birth. Most people tend to think that we learn the sense of space visually. In actuality, a sense of space originates from the sensation of our muscular system. That is, through the muscles and movements of our body and through these sensations we can “feel” where our body is at, such as where our hand is, without even looking. This gives a sense that there is ‘something about us’, that there is a space that we are in – the beginning perception of the world. The world, then, begins as a sense of ‘space about us’.
But, early on in our life, we have no awareness of our body, arms, and legs. We do not know they exist or what they are for. Despite this, we still feel the ‘sensation’ of our muscular system. As a result, what we ‘sense’ is a general “sense of space”. Only later, when we develop and grow, do we begin to associate thise sense with our arms or legs or body. This means that the perception of space has two stages in its devlopment:
- The primal sense of space – a sense of space before we know of our body: creates a general sense of space.
- The developed sense of space – a sense of space after we know our body: creates an awareness of where our body is located.
This primal sense of space, I think, is far more important than we at first think. Perhaps this sense of space is our first real perceptions of the world? It seems it is the base for many of our world perceptions and the framework for much of our mind. It is the origin of the awareness of reality as something that ‘stands before us’ and ‘all about us’. Through this sense of space we perceive that a world is ‘there’. Because of this, the space sensed in our mind becomes the “slate” that all our world perception is laid upon. It gives the framework for a world perception and a world image.
In addition, this primal sense of space has a unifying effect on all later perceptions, as all these perceptions are as if ‘overlayed’ on top of the awareness of space. This helps create a unified world perception and image.
Not only that, since the sense of space is continually “discovered” as we move, there is a sense that the space is ‘alive’, so to speak, or dynamic. What I mean by this is that it is not a static sensation of a static thing. The ‘world about us’ is perceived as something ‘on the move’. This also gives a sense that there is always ‘something more’.
The sense of “fullness” also can have an effect on the sense of the size of things. It often creates a sense that things are ‘big’ or ‘massive’. I generally consider that this does not originate, in actuality, on a perception of size but that since we have nothing to guage the size of things in our early years, the sense of space appears very ‘marked’ or ‘there’, giving it the quality of being massive. This ends up creating a sense of ‘all’ or ‘eternity’. This sense leads to many religious and god-like sensations.
A medium of projection
At first, the primal sense of space makes us aware of the ‘space about us’. It is ‘there’ before us. But, in the course of things, we feel various impulses (hunger, discomfort, etc.). These are impulses that erupt from within us. But, at this early stage of development, we still have no sense of “I”. We do not feel a sense of self. As a result, there is a tendency to identify our impulses with the space: we “are” the space. As a result, there becomes an identification of us and the space (the world). This is the “fullness-as-us” or “projected fullness”. In effect, “fullness” is our awareness of existence through a sense of space and our projection of ourselves into that space.
Because of this projection, existence becomes alive and ‘personal’. It is more than just something ‘there’, a sensation. Existence becomes a matter of ‘heart’ or ‘soul’. It makes existence “ours”, something that is “mine” and that I possess and that is dear to us. It strikes a chord deep within us, of who we are. It is our first sense of a ‘center’. From this projection, and its effects, the first sense of self begins to appear. This would suggest that a sense of ‘heart’, ‘soul’, or a ‘center’ is the earliest self we have. This, no doubt, is why its always been looked at as something ‘sacred’ or important in life.
Projection is significant because it means that the sense of space is not just something perceived. It is a actually a medium for which our first impulses of self are projected. In that sense it creates our first self, a “fullness-self”. This self is a self originating in impulses coming from within us projected into the sense of space. As a result, it is not associated with the “I” that develops later on. But it is our first display of who we are as it is WE who is projected. Through this projection we make our first contribution to life. With this, really, we make our first statement of “I exist”.
But, as we grow and develop, a sense of “I” or “me” begins to form. This creates a new awareness of “fullness”: the “fullness-as-separate-from-I”. Originally, with our projections we identify the space with the projection, as I mentioned above. Now, with the sense of “I”, many of our impulses and emotions are felt as an individual form of “fullness”, separate and removed from one another but having qualities of “fullness”. It becomes a ‘specific fullness’ revolving around a specific thing. Being a “fullness” we can still project our selfs into it, just as we have done before. As a result, these ‘specific fullness’ become avenues for more specific and meaningful projections of our self. This makes them develop great meaning.
The coming of ‘specific fullness’ causes a number of effects:
- The creation of “living images”. This creates a sense of things like spirits, or gods, or that there are unseen things that are alive in some way or another.
- The creation of “living themes”. This creates meaning and purpose in things. We assign meaning and give a value to happenings, events, and things in life. We create stories and tales about these things. These often becomes things like myths.
Because of these things the “fullness-as-separate-from-I” becomes the source of the mythological world, a symbolic world, or a ‘dream world’. It, really, becomes the platform for all our phantasies and symbols and meanings in life. Through these we end up creating a world view and world image.
SOME OF THE ONGOING EFFECTS OF “FULLNESS”
“Fullness” affects us all our life. No matter what we do its shadow is there somewhere. It has an impact on a number of things such as:
- How we perceive the world.
- How we perceive ourselves.
- Our perception of meaning in things.
It is greatly manifested in religion and religious-like thinking. Any spirituality, really, is a result of “fullness”. Being that “fullness” is rooted in space and projection it becomes the source of many things such as:
- The sense of ‘mystery’, of ‘something beyond us’.
- A sense of a ‘life’ beyond us, beyond our perception (a god).
- Unknown understandings.
- Symbolic representations.
- A deeper life.
These are all religious or spiritual-like senses.
LATER TRANSFORMATIONS OF “FULLNESS”
Later, as we get older, we tend to forget our earlier awareness of “fullness” and it is replaced by things such as:
- Intellectual thought.
- Emotional feelings and perceptions.
- Sense of self.
When these appear our awareness goes in a whole other direction. Generally, “fullness” tends to be forgotten as these other awareness begin to appear. In fact, the more these awareness are developed the more ‘fullness’ disappears. Accordingly, when they are not strong then the sense of “fullness” is felt more strongly.
RETURNING TO “FULLNESS” – SPIRITUALITY
We often return to ‘fullness’ later in life because of its association with primalness and lifes beginning. Generally, it appears as a form of spirituality.
Returning to “fullness” is much like a regression to our former early years. We begin to do a number of things:
- To model our life on these earlier qualities.
- To undo the effects of later developments.
These two qualities, to me, are basic to any spirituality, at least in some form or another. Very few people, I think, will sense it as a “fullness”, though. They will only seek a ‘hint’ of it, trying to grasp a wisp to as if ‘relive’ it again.
“FULLNESS” AND SHAMANISTIC ‘JOURNEYING’
I felt the “fullness” very strongly with shamanistic ‘journeying’. I often considered that I was in the ‘interior land’ or the ‘dream world’ of shamanistic ‘journeying’ when I felt this sense of a ‘fluid’. I tend to feel that the ‘interior land’ or ‘dream world’ was really a regression to this early state of mind. In other words, shamanistic ‘journeying’ was when a person did these things:
- Abondoned their current self.
- Regained the primal sense of space.
- Developed the ability to project themselves onto this space.
- Have this projection create insightful images and dreams.
In other words, shamanistic ‘journeying’ is like transgressing the different states of mind and going to a former state of mind. In effect, its like a ‘mental regression’.
“Fullness” appears to be an early perception of the world and our self. It reflects a phase in development that has effects on all later development and the creation of a world image. It has a large impact on the creation and perception of religion. With our development in life we tend to forget “fullness” but some people we seek it again in the form of spirituality. This spirituality can go so far that some people (namely, people like shamans) will as if regress back to it and use it as a form of inspiration. This makes “fullness” more than just a phase in development. It is a state of mind that persists in our minds with a useful cause.