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An interesting description of spiritual attainment

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Moreover that wonderful eternal life of everywhere was still there, right behind my eyes, or more accurately, at the back of my head, continually recreating my whole personal body-mind consciousness afresh, instant by instant, now! and now! and now! That's no mere metaphor for a vague sensation; it was so palpably real that I put my hand up to probe the back of my skull, half wondering if the doctors had sawn part of it away to open my head to infinity. Yet it wasn't in the least a feeling of being damaged; it was more like having had a cataract taken off my brain, letting me experience the world and myself properly for the first time, for that lovely dark radiance seemed to reveal the essence of everything as holy.

I felt like exclaiming, "Of course! That's absolutely right!" and applauding every single thing with tears of gratitude, not just the now sleeping Ann and the small jar of flowers the nurse had placed by the bedside, but also the ominous stains on the bed sheets, the ancient paint peeling off the walls, the far from hygienic smell of the toilet, the coughs and groans of other patients, and even the traumatized condition of my body. From the recesses of my memory emerged that statement at the beginning of the book of Genesis about God observing everything He had made and finding it very good. In the past I'd treated these words as mere romantic poetry, referring only to conventionally grand things like sunsets and conveniently ignoring what ordinary human consciousness calls illness or ugliness. Now all the judgments of goodness or badness which the human mind necessarily has to make in its activities along the line of time were contextualized in the perspective of that other mension I can only call eternity, which loves all the productions of time regardless.


As an aside, it occurs to me that this ("eternity...loves all the productions of time") could be a fairly reasonable way to understand what highly attained people are talking about, and perhaps what theistic traditions are trying to cultivate (in the myriad forms of the East and West), when they talk about "Love".

RE: An interesting description of spiritual attainment
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4/15/12 5:39 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
As an aside, it occurs to me that this ("eternity...loves all the productions of time") could be a fairly reasonable way to understand what highly attained people are talking about, and perhaps what theistic traditions are trying to cultivate (in the myriad forms of the East and West), when they talk about "Love".

This is an interesting point and it's something I've been contemplating for a while now, the main problem when it comes to reconciling these things is understanding the metaphors and maps of each tradition and what they actually refer to experientially. If the person involved comes from a theistic background then they're likely to relate their experience in "god language", whereas a person from a non-theistic background would likely choose more scientific or psychological metaphors.

Although both may be describing the same experience, the way in which they're described will be different depending on the underlying belief system involved. This appears to be the main reason for pretty much all of the hassle over AF and Buddhism, while we might be talking the same language, perhaps even describing the same experiential territory, our understanding and interpretation of the material will be coloured by the belief systems we have/had prior to encountering them.

Ah, the joys of language... emoticon