söndag, mars 23, 2008

Thought-flowers and thought-gardens

My spiritual search has once again taken a new turn. I suddenly realized what a great metaphor flowers are – flowers, trees and ice-crystals. Buts lets stick to the flower-metaphor. I was thinking about thinking, about how often thinking in nondual spirituality often is degraded to an almost evil and sinful activity. Lets take Eckhart Tolle as an example, you often hear him say that humanity, as the next evolutionary step, is going to evolve beyond thinking. Until now, humanity for thousands of years (I think….or is it hundreds?) have been completely identified with their stream of thoughts, believing thoughts to be something real, and therefore humanity has suffered, and created a culture that is more and more insane. He talks about the last century where such unimaginable numbers of people have been slaughtered by their brothers and sisters, mainly as a result of the technological revolution in the weapon industry. And how did weapons become so advanced, and why did we use them. Well, Tolle gives some simple answers. It’s because we believe in our thoughts, because we are completely identified with our thoughts and all the resulting emotions of fear, anger, hatred, shame, blame etc, etc.

I have to admire Tolle for making such a simplified interpretation sound like something that makes sense. And I have to admit that it actually makes some sense. It does, but there is something missing in all this and I believe I have started to get a sense of what it is.

A few sentences by Ken Wilber in the book “The Marriage of Sense and Soul” that I listened to yesterday gave me a hint. He was talking about the retroromantic impulse, about Rousseau and the noble savage, and how that is a thoughpattern that goes on even today in many New Age movement, the eulogizing of prerational cultures – for example the Mayans or the Inkas. What they often forget is that all these holy cultures, living in harmony with the universe as they did, actually sacrificed children, kept slaves and had no idea about the ideals of the enlightenment – FREEDOM, EQUALITY, and BROTHERHOOD for all human beings. Pretty interesting stuff, but the key for me was when Wilber delivered one of his favourite metaphors - I cant remember the exact phrase right now, and since its an audiobook I cant look it up – but its about Oak trees and Acorns.

Some people wrongly believe that an Acorn is more whole/HOLY than an Oak tree, more integrated. They try to make all the Oak trees become like Acorns again. They preach that Oaks shall from now on find their acorn-ness. … being an Acorn is to live in harmony with the universe, but being an Oak is to be lost in …not in thought like humans … maybe lost in branches and leaves.

Wow, there we go, there is the line –

The problem with Oaks is they are lost in branches and leaves. They have lost contact with the Acorn they in essence are.
Compare that to
– The problem with Humans is that they are lost in thoughts and feelings. They have lost contact with the newborn child in themselves. The child that dwells happily in a state of no-thought – just pure being – the essence of what we are.

I think I now start to track what is missing in Eckhart Tolles teaching, or at least doesn’t make sense to me. He talks about the coming flowering of human conciousness, how this flowering is going to manifest itself WHEN humans stop to identify with their thinking, and stop believing their thoughts are real and actually mean something. Sometimes Tolle even shares a future vision of a society where people are silent and don’t think so much, a culture of silence and immersion in BEING.
This is a strange part, at least the way I receive and interpret his core message.
Without the capacity to think AND BELIEVE in our thoughts NO ONE would have been able to read and find Mr. Tolles books to be of any value. What if everybody thought, these words are just words and they lack any intrinsic reality, these words are nothing but some symbols created out of the electric activity in the brain of Eckhart Tolle. The book A New Earth is full of “…sound and fury signifying nothing…” (Shakespear)
I do find Tolles simplified model of the formless vs. form, timelessness(The Now) vs time, to make sense. There is a formless dimension, no doubt, a dimension we can never touch with our thinking. Tolle is absolutely right. I also believe that this formless dimension of reality is something we need to be in touch with in order to obtain real wisdom and the way we can let the light, the beautiful and unimaginable light and intelligence of the formless shine in our life is to learn how to sometimes step back from our thinking and find ways out of the prison of mind. Different ways to freedom that are described in detail through all the worlds’ contemplative traditions. And here we are, talking about mind/thinking as a prison. WHY???
Well, its only natural. That is what I feels like, everybody who has been meditating knows what “being lost in thinking” means.
But for me this is a dead end!
I think its time to find a new language for thinking – at least for me. To say like Tolle, that thinking is indeed beautiful, thinking has to be honoured, is not enough – far from enough. Thinking becomes the new evil, the new devil, firmly situated right inside our skulls. What a horrible way to se ourselves.
I think we can start to see thinking and concepts and philosophy like timeflowers.

Wow, what a beautiful new word – TIMEFLOWER –

Lets take the Integral Theory by Ken Wilber like its exposed in one of my favourite books – Sex, Ecology and Spirituality – as an example. Of course this can be viewed like a prison of thought. Of course it can actually become a prison of thought because its deceptive. Every theory is deceptive for the spiritual seeker since it can prevent you from touching the formless. A beautiful theory can cut you off from your longing for the formless and the risk is that you once again start believing that form is all there is.
But what if we see clearly that form never can be more than one aspect of Truth? What if we see it so clearly that we don’t have to remember it. Could a beautiful theory be a trap even then?
I don’t think so. If we se form emerging out of the formless, if we see the oak emerge out of an acorn, if we see philosophy emerge out of a baby, then thinking can never more be a problem.

To see a philosophy emerge out of a baby like an oak emerges out of an acorn and a flower emerges out of a seed.
That’s the key. That’s my key.

Nobody believes that a flower is true. It’s not true, it’s beautiful. And the same applies to thoughts and concepts. They are not true, they are beautiful. They are the flower of our minds. Inside our skills dwells, not Satan in form of thinking, but the most beautiful garden you can imagine. And every garden is unique. The question can never more become what garden is true, the garden of Eckhart Tolle or the garden of Ken Wilber. The question doesn’t make sense. Both are beautiful. And what is it that is beautiful? Its all the timeflowers. Why do I call them timeflowers? Because the flowers are thoughtforms and thoughts are time. Without time no thoughts. That’s The Power of Now that Tolle speaks about. And he does it beautifully. In the Now hides the timeless, the formless, the source of all forms, the ground of being out of which every form, every timeflower emerges, the ground into which every form, every timeflower disappears, dies.

Today I am going to contemplate this. That all my thoughs are timeflowers. They are not obstacles, distractions, things to avoid, things to watch out for. They are beautiful. The electric activity inside my skull is not something that has to be looked through, its not something that has to be questioned. It’s a Garden of Timeflowers. And that garden can never be True. It can be beautiful. And not seeing the beauty of a great theory is to be only partially awake. You can be awake to the formless light that shines through every form, and that awakeness is what Tolle and Oprah are currently promoting in humanity. But why miss the beauty in thoughts.
Maybe Tolle thinks that the beauty of thoughts are as deceptive as a beautiful women, trying to seduce you and make you forget all about silence and being. I don’t agree. How can you honour the acorn if you don’t honour the Oak?
You can't! And thats what is missing with the teaching of Eckhart Tolle - a teaching that is otherwise beautiful. Its beautiful even without that flower. How can every garden contain every flower. No, life is full of thought-gardens/time-gardens which makes life a truly beautiful journey.

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3 kommentarer:

  1. Hej Björn!
    Jag skulle vilja kommentera det du skrivit, men det är så mycket. Men jag kan sträcka mig till att säga:

    VACKERT är ordet.

    Du är en poet.

    >>To see a philosophy emerge out of a baby like an oak emerges out of an acorn and a flower emerges out of a seed.
    That’s the key.

    Ja, vad säger man.


  2. ett fascinerande spänningsfält framträder mellan wilber och tolle, har inte sett det så tidigare. vad jag upplever händer i din text är ett försök att omdefiniera själva trädgårdsmästaren, meta-antagandet "jag" till att bli mer omvårdande och välkomnande gentemot mångfalden av växter. något annat som ligger mellan disociation från tankar och identifikation, gå förlorad i tankar framträder. ett vårdande av den tankeblomma som tillfälligt framträder, i vetskap om dess tillfälliga form, inget mer, inget mindre. intressant - tack för detta! Mattias

  3. Hej Roshi!
    Visst är det vackert - a philosophy emerging out of a baby - men det är helt och hållet inspirerat av Wilber.

    Hej Mattias!
    Just det, trädgårdsmästare är vad vi är, både för vår inre och yttre trädgård. Tack för det!