Living in the Pacific Northwest affords you lots of opportunities to stare directly at the Sun.
That reads weird, but since childhood we’re told never to stare at the Sun because we’ll go blind or insane. So when the opportunity to stare arrives one should take it.
This childhood proscription felt doubly true when I lived in Hawai’i because there was so much Sun. Too much Sun after awhile — and so I moved to Seattle to stare.
I was looking at the Sun the other day because the conditions were ideal here on the island. A gritty fog was dispersing off of the harbor, overshadowed by a bowl of overcast — a spread of grey punctuated by a bright white smudgy ball; a stealthy Sun at high noon.
Staring was startling because it reminded me of something I don’t think about that often, but when I do think about it I’m transported into a visceral feeling of living on a planet that is floating around in the immensity of endless black space.
The cycle of night day, night day, night day fashions reality into a false notion that night and day are equal. When really day is just a gift of a sliver of a twelve-hour moment. All else is nightness.
And when I have that sensation I’m reminded of what I felt like as a kid with my mom and dad and how tethered I was to them, always in orbit around their presences. Much like the Earth is with the Sun. And the Moon with the Earth. People, stars, planets and moons. Unions comprise cosmoses — small and personal or immense and seemingly impersonal.
In that same cloud light the other day, staring at the Sun’s nimbus, I also recalled a passage from A.H. Almaas‘s last book in his Diamond Heart series. It’s called Inexhaustible Mystery. He wrote a chapter titled Beyond Consciousness (one of those chapters that is worth the price of the entire book). And in this chapter is a poem he wrote called The Guest Only Arrives at Night.
The Guest of course is the Beloved, which is really you without an identity that is based on a relationship to a mother and a father. Imagine that. Read more
“Consider for a moment that sound does have form. And we’ve seen that it can effect matter and cause form within matter, then take a leap and think of the universe forming. And think of the immense sound of the universe forming.”
— Evan Grant
“Understanding evolves in the same way as natural systems do. Each new level, whether of being or of knowledge, encompasses all the previous levels and manifests the inauguration of the dominion of a still more powerful — at the same time more concentrated and more comprehensive — unifying principle. It is as if, as the reach of its organizing power encompasses more and more diversity, the unifying principle itself goes deeper and deeper, approaching closer and closer to the center and unifying principle of the Whole.”
“This evolutionary process is not continuous but proceeds, when a system reaches a state far from equilibrium, by sudden leaps, as if by inspiration or revelation. The moment of the leap, from atom to molecule, from molecule to cell, from cell to organism, resembles those moments when, after long and anguished searching, there leaps into the mind of the scientist (from he knows not where) a theory that brings into order a vast realm of formerly unrelated data; or into the awareness of the poet the presentiment of a poem — the almost physical sensation that there is now something inside him that will give him no rest until he succeeds in bringing it to birth and precise articulation, and within whose form all the contradictory experiences of his life up to this time will take their places in harmonious relationship so that, at last, their meaning will be revealed to him.”
– Martha Heyneman from The Breathing Cathedral
Photograph The Boy and the Lion by Elizabeth Sarah.
Emerson looks upon the universe as a witness, not as a lover. He waits for things to display themselves before him so that he can “yield to the law of their being.” Without being in the least a scientist, he is often impressively disinterested and curious about phenomena. He complained that “Now many are thought not only unexplained but inexplicable; as language, sleep, madness, dreams, beasts, sex.”
Emerson is at his best not when he is announcing the Oversoul to the people or flattering his audience, but when he is idiosyncratic, spare and strange; in those moods of almost sleepy reflection and passive wonder one feels that he is entirely open to his unconscious, that he can get it to speak through him in the same way, to use his own image, as the tree puts itself forth through its leaves and branches. “The secret of the world is the tie between person and event . . . . The soul contains the event that shall befall it, for the event is only the actualization of its thoughts and what we pray to ourselves for is always granted.”
– Alfred Kazin The Atlantic