The mind as conduit to the divine

I have meandered around this thought a few times but early this morning in one of my characteristics bolts from beyond I had another insight from the abyss which made it seem a little clearer as a possibility.

This idea is similar to the Buddhist’s notion that ‘everything is consciousness’ but I don’t like how they call it consciousness. I think, following Charles Manson in one of his many manic interviews (in this sentiment alone! lol) I would agree that it would better be termed intelligence.

I often wonder why art has similar properties no matter what genre it is- music, skateboarding, whatever, if taken to a proper height and refinement they all seem to have a divine nature somehow. There is some sort of universal ethereal quality they all hold if taken to a proper height.

The main thought I had is that, similar to Plato’s world of ideas, rather than every ‘thing’ in this world having a ‘perfect other’ in the realm of the forms, rather, intelligence exists as a singular perfect ‘thing/non thing/whatever’ beyond the mortal realm and is the ‘stuff’ that everything comes from (not a new theory just I got a bit more of a grasp of what this might entail). So as such when honing a craft you are just training your brain to tap into this abundant resource. The wellspring of inspiration. The human body being a conduit between the mortal and immortal/material and immaterial realms.

Something which is considered ‘beautiful’ in this realm, then, possesses a high degree of that ‘je ne sais quoi’ from the other realm. It is beautiful because the artist was able to tap that resource through being in tune with it through having honed their craft and developed their mind to do so to a high degree.

So in this sense I see the mind as a retainer which is able to suck out doses of the divine and pull it into form in this world. Developing the mind is about refining your ability to do this.

Of course you can interchange ‘intelligence’ with whatever is most appropriate to your weltanschauung.

Thinking along these lines has quite profound implications. To believe such a thesis, that anything divine you create in this realm is coming from and is but an infinitesimal sliver of the ultimate divine appeases any fear of death or anything similar as you know that once you go back into non form you are just going back into the great stuff that you always draw from. But you will not believe this unless you refine your mind in this world such that you will have faith that this is the case.

So for Buddhists they develop it through meditation but I would propose that given the right mindset, ie an awareness of what is being cultivated, so that your mind is set to the right focus, cultivating any art form to a high enough level will produce the same effect. This is where Zen seems to overlap in saying you should just do the normal things but with the right attitude to attain enlightenment. I add this caveat because obviously those who reach a high degree of mastery in a given field don’t necessarily become enlightened. I would say this is due to them gaining the skill but all the while looking in the wrong direction. Finger pointing at the moon and all that. For instance someone may learn an instrument in order to impress others rather than to make a union with the divine in which case they will gain some catharsis form it but mostly it will be wasted cos they are doing it for the wrong reasons. When I watch yoyoma play his instrument it is clear that he is making some sort of divine communion, he looks like a man possessed.

So those are my thoughts. I’d like to hear what others think of it plus links to any other people who may have written about similar so I can learn more about it.

How would you define/describe this “universal ethereal quality”? Also, how can one be convinced that such a quality is a matter of ontological transcendentalism, rather than perception?

I would say that this is more about uniting with “flow” in ones life. It is about letting go and being in a thougtless state. Not thinking leads to nirvana. It allows for a relationship between man and world which was prevalent in primitive man but is lost in industrial society. And allows for harmony; a thing which has been lost with the conception of materiality.

This is a really interesting post, and I would share a link to my personal writings, but cannot do so as they are not electronic.

I strongly believe in this sense of ‘tapping into’ something that is quite beyond comprehension. There is an interesting talk on TED.com that addresses a ‘flow’.
ted.com/talks/mihaly_csiksze … _flow.html
There is that natural ‘thing’ that exists–call it consciousness, intelligence, or quality (for those Robert Pirsig fans). There are a few qualitative observations that may be made.
–This ‘flow’ is directly observable via sensation, and somehow perceived (to varying degrees), regardless of how abstract. This is an argument for those critics out there who would like to keep their job, instead of being thought of as unnecessarily presumptuous.
–(Again stemming from Pirsig’s writing) It is not able to be easily defined, for the process of defining it simply dissolves its luster. Similar to those who attempts to close their fist around a handful of sand.
–Just as it is observable one may harness it, but it can rarely be explained. This goes along with the idea that a single individual’s passion may not be parallel with your own. Isn’t this what artists strive to attain?

x.I was attempting to make sense of this to my room-mate the other evening. Something had happened to me that may be considered unconventional (or lucky) by some, and I simply explained to her that the opportunity was out there (and it always is) and I just ‘tapped’ into it.
x.Watching my hand move up and down on the smooth neck of the guitar, my fingers melt into the surface and I become unaware of the strings, and even the pattern of my movements. They are below conscious recognition. My perception of sound, blooming within a most mental (and thus intimate) coordinate plane, takes over. Then I realize that I am aware of the automaticity of the mind, my mind, tapping into this ‘flow’, seamlessly weaving together multiple sensory elements into a parallel state much more beautiful than the traditional reality. It is a realization of a ‘nothingness’ or of a ‘letting go’. Diving into a liquid pool of which you immediately become.

It is plausible in my mind anyway, that existence is literally infinity being expressed, then that this will always necessarily result in perfection*, or it would be attempting to reach that plateaux. In which case we are simply a product of that, our efforts to reach perfection are specifically relative to its efforts to be expressed perfectly [and be perfect], we succed or fail accordingly. The trick is to know what infinity is up to and where it is trying to achieve a manner of perfection, then with contemporary thought become part of the process. Such is the manner of invention and discovery, and hence perfection.

i also feel there are general trends, for example we have reached the apex of may kinds of machines, developments and other inventions. Thus when there is a collection of such we reach a level of general perfection, after which we will move onto the next set. no matter what our politics or other desires, we will move with the flow or be moved by it.

*woot, how do i explain that. :slight_smile:

i really like this part and completely agree. taoism isnt it?

Great post!
I’m reminded of these words from Zoroaster:

The Mind of the Father
riding on the subtle guiders
which glitter with the inflexible tracings
of relentless fire.

As unconscious as this illuminated action appears to traditional, rational/dialectic thought, I suspect it can be systematically understood. That seems to be what the alechemists of the mind have been doing, Netwon, Copernicus - people who had an ineffable sense for true action, true movement. How infinitely deeper experience would become if this state could not only be accessed through a particular talent (god-gift) by the blessed, but structurally known an sich.

Is it not known to all who have a eureka moment? :slight_smile:

Perhaps eternity is better glimpsed rather than know, after all the art is in the finding of truths and they are fleeting moments.

…glimpses into the laws of nature. Nature has been at work for a long long time creating extraordinary assemblies of equilibrium. Man, in his desire to understand and use nature’s laws, must ensure that he will not destroy what nature has taken so long to create. So called ‘perfection,’ in a certain area where a fortuitous concourse of events occurs, may give the appearance of progress, but within limits. We, it seems, have put into operation several perfected systems that are playing havoc with our environment.

Hey, I have no beef with the fact that progress in the material world results in a more convenient life style. Nobody wants to go back to the primitive. Also, I get a sense or a feeling that the moments when we do not want anything, when content with basic needs, when having put aside self deceiving tendencies of thinking, we can appreciate the perfection that is operating there already, the meaning that is inherent in the natural wonders before us without interfering with them. That in itself is a elemental state without, as what primitiveness suggests, going back to where we started from.

Eternity… that is another concept. Related, perhaps - at least understanding of eternity is different from within than from without. But a great piece of art like for example Bachs organ music, consists of an incredible, enduring moment of truth. Or many copulative ones.

I can understand the tendency to want to limit sanctifying moments. But I disagree. I think the more the better.

great stuff chaps!

Once we have built our instruments of devilry and all those things have reached there own apex, then we may move on to the simpler life. Alas all parts of the story must be played out, this is our spiritual inheritance, we have little choice but to be the actors performing their roles.

What is it the Arabs say; ‘my grandfather rode a camel, my father drove a car, I fly in a plane, my grandson will ride a camel‘.


couldn’t agree more, in fact I think it’s the very divine purpose to reach such moments in art and invention alike. Such are those times and places where we may touch eternity, even when all the history books and works of greatness have crumbled into dust, those moments shall remain in the hall of records.

…sometimes I feel as though they are fruit upon the tree, waiting to be plucked ~ this is our freedom, it’s all ‘there’ already, our freedom, and our success or failure, is in the taking of the fruit.

Your individuality is entirely different from anyone who has ever lived before you in the past or will live in the future. You are unique, unprecedented, unrepeatable, and unparalleled. In that sense you are perfectly …… you. Each is a unique genetic print out. But sometimes, in one in a million, things click in such a fashion that the individual becomes an ‘outstanding’ one. Leonardo da Vinci, the great scholar, painter, philosopher - -all rolled into one, the creative genius, was the so-called illegitimate son of a half-witted woman who spent a night with an itinerant soldier at a wayside inn. That clicking of genes is a rare event, but the rarity is expressed only in whatever value we assign to whatever context we consider valuable. That assigning of values is arbitrary as we make arbitrary distinctions between certain ‘significant’ areas of life.

What is there, your natural state, is a living thing. It cannot be captured by you, let alone by anyone else. It’s like a flower. (This simile is all I can give.) It just blooms. It’s there. As long as it is there, it has a fragrance which is different and distinct from that of every other flower. You are not an ‘ordinary’ flower. You are an extraordinary creation of nature. Others may not recognize it. They may or may not write odes or sonnets about it. A wandering cow might eat it, or it may be chopped down by a hay cutter, or it fades and is finished – that’s the end of it. It’s of no importance. They can’t preserve its perfume; whatever is preserved is only a synthetic, a chemical perfume, not the living thing. Preserving the expressions or words of people has no meaning. This state has only contemporary value, contemporary expression.

I enjoyed your post.

Parallel lines run next to one another, they are–if I may–in the same environment. The same environment, but not the exact spatial coordinates, for if this were the case they would not be parallel–they would be identical. This parallelism ensures that the lines may encounter a similar environment as they stream into the future but never the identical spatial, temporal, etc. coordinates… for that would violate the axiom.

What about the fact that man has quite a common and repeatable existence, it is only men who strive to break this.

I disagree. I enjoy reading stories about other’s existence, etc. for the stories are very tangible and real and ‘parallel’ my own. They lived in quite a similar environment, and while not capturing the absolute, the man himself, one may still acquire pleasure and meaning from the essence, the memory, the spirit.

Modern science of genetics has confirmed your above truth.

The remarkable thing about life is not that it exists in such a variety of forms but that so many forms maintain the basic shape and integrity for so long, despite the multitudinous environmental forces tending to disrupt them.

An elementary glance at development indicates anatomical, physiological, and biochemical linkage. At the molecular level we see a common chemical thread of life through the DNA coding. The coding linkage and the codes are similar in all life systems. Thus all living systems are similar in their basic structure and function. All life is related to other life, whether it is animal, human or plant.

What delusion and what sorrow can there be for that wise man who realizes the unity of all existence by perceiving all beings as his own self?

It probably has a lot to do with the knowledge each man holds and defends that causes an awkwardness among them

What do you mean by awkwardness? Inter-group dissension? ex. [Religion v. Evolution]?

Well … sometimes we wonder about the motives behind dialogue and whether dialogue has any meaning at all. Is it in the nature of self fulfillment, an eagerness to help someone understand, that one must help others; or is the motive direct and temporary: where someone comes seeking understanding and the only interest is to make it clear that there is nothing to understand?

You see, to me there is very little that is absolutely necessary to be understood, mainly those answers to simple question to sustain basic needs. Beyond that, wanting to sincerely understand anything else, especially those proposed ways and methods claiming to make your life a better state to live in (as if there is something wrong with you and your present life), could well be the beginning of self deception. As long as you want to understand things in that sense, so long there will be this awkward relationship between two individuals. As long as you think, accept, and believe that there is something to understand, and make that understanding a goal to be placed before you, demanding search and struggle, you will be lost and will live as if you were deprived, which, of course, is false.

There is the old adage: Those who say a lot, know little and those who say little know a lot.

Probably the only real significant questions are practical questions for everyday functioning in this world. But what we see, and many times what we partake in, is a world of people that have many, many questions. These questions all have the same source: one’s knowledge. It is simply not in the nature of things that you can have a question without knowing the answer already. Meaningful dialogue is simply not possible when we are asking questions to ourselves and to others, because we have already made up our minds, we already possess the answers. In that instance, communication would be hard pressed to come by. What would be the point of carrying on a dialogue under those circumstances?

There would be a need to be free from answers themselves in the case where the search is invalid because it is based upon questions which in turn are based upon false knowledge. That kind of knowledge would not serve to free one from his problems. It would be our dilemma if we were searching for answers to questions we already know the answers to. This is making us neurotic. If the questions we have were actually solvable, it, the question, would blow itself up. Because all questions are merely variations on the same question, the annihilation of one means the annihilation of all. So freedom exists not in finding answers, but in the dissolution of all questions. But his sort of problem-solving we are not, unfortunately, the least interested in.

What others and you yourself think are the answers usually don’t help you at all. It is really very simple: if the answer is correct, the question disappears. Sometimes, in an individual, his questions, which resolve themselves into one great question, sort of naturally fade away and even disappear entirely. The questioner simply realizes that it is meaningless to go on asking questions, the answers to which he already knows. He has foolishly created this search as an answer to his questions, which in turn have been invented out of the knowledge he has gathered. The questions that are being formulated are born out of existing answers. So what is the goal? You must be very clear about it; otherwise there is no point in proceeding. It becomes a game, a meaningless ritual.

What do you want to get? There is always somebody to help you get what you want, for a price. We have arbitrarily divided life into higher and lower goals, into material and spiritual paths. In either case great struggle, pain, and effort is involved. I say, on the other hand, that there are no spiritual goals at all; they are simply the extension of material goals into what we imagine to be a higher, loftier plane. We mistakenly believe that by pursuing the spiritual goal we will somehow miraculously make our material goals simple and manageable. Such pursuits are in actuality not possible. It may be considered that only inferior persons pursue material goals, that material achievements are boring. But in fact the so-called spiritual goals we have put before ourselves are exactly the same. If one keeps going places in search for answers, it will not help him to think he has understood that he is the search and is free of this.

Bravo.

An exceptional post finishedman.

I have been struggling with these very concepts as of late. Ironically I have a calendar on my desk and in the current month there is a beautiful picture of a gorilla who appears dwarfed by the size of a giant hagenia tree. The below caption reads:

“…an adult mountain gorilla lounges in the bough and surveys the expanse of his forest domain…a huge salad bowl that provides daily nourishment to gorilla families as they move through an established range averaging five to seven sq. miles in size. Gorillas awaken early each morning in the wet and moss-laden environment and begin to feed on a variety of diverse plant types that include nettles, goose-grass, giant thistle, wild celery, and lobelia…
Feeding at intervals, gorillas take morning and afternoon rest breaks, napping in quickly constructed ‘day nests’. As dusk approaches, each gorilla older than about 3-1/2 years constructs a more substantial ‘night nest’ in which it sleeps until about dawn the next day.”

Need I say more?