Note from Elise: Occasionally I invite guests to post their thoughts for you. I think you’ll enjoy their ideas and unique voices. At the end of each post, you can read a brief bio about the guest author. Enjoy!
Coming out of work the other day, I saw two fighter planes in tandem banking sharply toward the Air Force base to the south. In the next moment, I shuddered, thinking, there are the killing machines.
Taking the experience apart, what strikes me is the progression from mere perception to the series of reactive thoughts, as if my mind had the capacity for pure perceiving, followed immediately, but not simultaneously, by associative thought, with its own train of emotional reactivity.
It’s not significant, I don’t think, whether the associations are deemed positive, (Wow! What a wondrous event! Such amazing flying machines!), or negative, (What awful mechanisms of murder!). The point is that they are added on to the raw experience, as if each moment of seeing carries with it a bag that immediately opens, spilling out a chain of reactions, often contradictory, within a system that makes judgments on value. And may follow that with an entire, justified, philosophy.
What would the world be like were the raw experience be given enough space to be just as it is, without pondering or manipulation of the content? A way of being receptive to what is, whether it be the world’s objects or one’s own streaming thoughts? What penetration into the mystery of these manifestations would be available? When this happens, as it sometimes does, there’s a sense of revelation and wonder, perhaps a simple joy at being alive, with little or no separation from the experience. Things appear within a whole, blessed by presence.
Fred Weiner has made his living in the Healing Arts for the past thirty-five years. He attempts to write poems and songs, occasionally succeeding; likes also exposing himself to the great ideas in the philosophic traditions; watches over plants in his garden and, generally, wanders around doing nothing. He’s been known to meditate in the midst of things, catching one of the endless thoughts and following it to its source. He lives in Tucson with his wife and son always nearby.