Way back in the 1990’s I was hiking in the woods. As I walked I felt a ‘something’ to my left. I looked out and could see, by the top of the trees, a clearing maybe 15-20 feet in diamater about 30 feet from the trail. Becuase I felt the ‘something’ I decided to do an experiment and see what it would tell me. I used the same technique as I do with “nature-as-living” images.
I focused on the ‘something’ with my mind and could as if ‘feel’ something. I couldn’t determine it at first then I seemed to see something in my mind . . . a spring? . . . something coming out of the ground? Then I saw a hole in the ground that seemed to go very deep, so deep, in fact, that it was spewing out something like heat or gas from the bowels of the earth. What it spewed out seemed blackish. The hole seemed to go deep into the earth. It seemed I heard a groan, I think, as if coming from the earth itself, as if it were groaning because of the hole or maybe it was just the earth groaning?
Then that was all I could see. I was mystified. Did it mean anything? A hole in the ground? Could it be a spring? Naturally, I had to look. As I got closer I could see a large mound of yellow earth . . . it was an old mine shaft! I didn’t know they did mining in this area. Apparently, they did. The similarity with the image I saw was quite interesting I thought. I felt that it showed a form of awareness.
Though this used a technique similar to what I use with “nature-as-living” images there really were none in this case, but its a good example of a form of awarness of ones surroundings, of things I could not of known. It shows how it appeared in a symbolic image form. This sort of stuff often happens with “nature-as-living” images.
It does not happen all the time though. A person, I found, cannot “will” insight, no matter how one tries. It comes when it comes. My experience is that it comes best when I am not looking for it. That is to say, when I deliberately look it doesn’t work so well. I believe this is because a persons self hinders insight. When the self is strong, as when you are deliberately looking, it paralyzes ones insight. This, in my opinion, shows that insight is a “pre-self” phenemena. In other words, it originates from before the self develops. This reveals that the development of the self actually decreases awareness. Its probably more accurate to say that we sacrifice awareness for the control and integrity the self offers. In actuality, the awareness that we lose is really not that impactful anyways, even though it may appear miraculous at times.
With this we can see that there is evidence that insight is pre-self in origin for a number of reasons:
- The self hinders insight (as mentioned above).
- It appears in an image form.
- It is not something you have to think about as it appears out of nowhere.
- It is difficult to understand (that is, for the self to understand).
In many ways, this shows that we have different minds which often can’t understand one another. This trait is one of the qualities that makes the human mind so interesting, fascinating, and gives it the quality of an enigma.