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The still point of the turning world

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The still point of the turning world
Answer
1/18/12 4:57 PM
I thought this was a beautiful demonstration of a realization:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PUhkNoaBMI

Seems so obvious when you try it yourself and yet I´m not sure if there could be something of practical value to it.
Also..... I get dizzy quickly emoticon

Oh, almost forgot... found that link in "An Eternal Now"´s e-book.

RE: The still point of the turning world
Answer
1/21/12 12:45 AM as a reply to Martin M.
Are you familiar with the source of that quotation?

It is from T.S. Eliot's poem "Burnt Norton" from his last book of poetry Four Quartets. The whole passage reads:

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor
fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance
is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement
from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still
point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance,
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchantment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.
Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.

[quote="Martin M"]...and yet I´m not sure if there could be something of practical value to it.
In reference to the above, did you not notice where he said: "Life is like a merry-go-round: always in motion. It's not just physical things that are always changing, but thoughts and feelings too. Discover what a difference it makes to see that at center you're still, free from all change and stress. You are the still point of the turning world, and. . . you are the turning world." Is there not something you can take away from that?

Of course, you were referring to the physical exercise proposed in the video. And that was for demonstration purposes, for demonstrating the concept being discussed. What is important is the realization of that inner freedom to be still despite the movement of the world all around you and inside you.

RE: The still point of the turning world
Answer
1/23/12 9:07 AM as a reply to Ian And.
Ian And:
Are you familiar with the source of that quotation?

It is from T.S. Eliot's poem "Burnt Norton" from his last book of poetry Four Quartets.


No, I wasn´t, I just copied the title from the youtube description. Thanks for putting it into context.

Ian And:

In reference to the above, did you not notice where he said: "Life is like a merry-go-round: always in motion. It's not just physical things that are always changing, but thoughts and feelings too. Discover what a difference it makes to see that at center you're still, free from all change and stress. You are the still point of the turning world, and. . . you are the turning world." Is there not something you can take away from that?

Of course, you were referring to the physical exercise proposed in the video. And that was for demonstration purposes, for demonstrating the concept being discussed. What is important is the realization of that inner freedom to be still despite the movement of the world all around you and inside you.


To be honest, I´m not sure why I questioned the value in my post. I shared the link because it resonated with my recent experience (to a limited degree), i.e. recognizing that which is unchanging, unmoved. What I was interested in is, to what extent there´s a relation between the realization of "inner freedom" and the demonstrated perspective (the world moving through me instead of me moving through the world) and, if there is any, if at some point it becomes more obvious.

Martin

RE: The still point of the turning world
Answer
1/23/12 11:01 AM as a reply to Martin M.
Martin M:


What I was interested in is, to what extent there´s a relation between the realization of "inner freedom" and the demonstrated perspective (the world moving through me instead of me moving through the world) and, if there is any, if at some point it becomes more obvious.

I'll answer your question, although I am not sure how apparent the answer will be to you.

The point at which this all becomes more obvious is the point at which you have gained control over the meanderings of the mind. That is to say, when you can recognize phenomena for what it is rather than what the conditioned mind once thought it was.

A very good book about this aspect of the practice can be found in Bhikkhu Nanananda's Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought. In the book, he goes into great detail about the concept of papanca (proliferative thought) and the role it plays in one's delusive perceptions. When you can end papanca-sanna-sankha, you stand a chance of being able to "see things as they are" according to the Dhamma that Gotama taught. Papanca-sanna-sankha refers to "concepts, reckonings, designations or linguistic conventions characterized by the prolific conceptualization of the mind." In short, this refers to: "What one feels, one perceives; what one perceives, one reasons about; what one reasons about, one proliferates conceptually." It is a process of mind that needs to be recognized in order to halt the potentially destructive prolific cycle of wrong thought about a particular phenomenon.

By being still, and viewing things with bare attention (that is, not bringing in biases or prejudices about the object under observation, but viewing it in its own suchness, it's bare constituents), one stands a chance of "seeing things as they are." I.e. as anicca, dukkha, and anatta. For example, what once may have seemed like a threatening thought becomes laid bare, stripped of the ominousness created by conditioned thinking.

In peace,
Ian

RE: The still point of the turning world
Answer
2/13/12 8:34 PM as a reply to Martin M.
Hey Martin, have you been using this? I've been keeping this perspective in mind for most of today, I am not sure if this is useful but it seems fairly pleasant, and it keeps me alert and mindful so it is at least useful in that regard. Sometimes by immersing myself in the still point I get a sense of centerlessness/infinitude/incomparableness/purity - these things seem to lead one to the next as I immerse more fully in the still point. Do you have any more thoughts on this thing?