I thought I’d share a little narrative of my recent experience. I leave the interpretation of it up to the reader.
I lay flat on my back, eyes closed, on an inflatable mattress in my spare room. Physically, I’m tired, but in a particular way that feels healthy and good. After laying still for a short while, three-dimensional reference points soon disappear, as the “outer world” is replaced by a warm darkness.
I may have dropped into a brief sleep. Nevertheless, like a sapling slowly emerging from its protective seed coating, self-awareness gradually returns. My internal clock, not guaranteed to be correct in this quasi-timeless somewhat catatonic state, says that three minutes have passed.
Still in my state of absorption, I notice the sensation of a subtle but definable “spatial field” around my head. It spontaneously and ceaselessly “shapes” to the activity of my mind, as if they were one-in-the-same, or as if it were a mirage created by my own nerve endings. Its “form” is delicate, analogous to an invisible vapour rising off a warm cup of tea, or a beautiful flower made of air. The quality of my attention is also delicate and gentle. Imagine a tightrope being walked perfectly, by a 3-month old baby. I can see why this sensation would be hard to locate behind the background noise of normal waking states. This was not an emotional, intellectual, or “willed” phenomenon.
This “spatial field” sensation is a fascinating “object” for the mind to focus upon, and not unnatural or “other” at all. Rather, it seems to be an inner mirror of oneself, arising naturally, in the same way our outer actions mirror us to others. I can see why the word “aether” was used by occultists in the past, and current day “Chopra-Oprah” followers talk of “living quantum fields” and the energetic interplay of “mind and matter”. But perhaps those are just poetic metaphors used to describe the sensation of electrical mental activity, when observed from “outside” of them. I don’t mean “out-of-body-experience”, though I don’t rule that out as a possibility. I mean, observing those mental patterns from a direct physical sensation level as “spacial fields”, instead of getting caught up in “thoughts” and “thinking”. I believe this is the meaning of “directing one’s attention to consciousness itself”, which is what the eastern sages say to do for self-realization, as opposed to merely being aware of, or caught up in, the contents within one’s consciousness.
(See Plato’s Cave: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave)
The area outside of that personal “spacial field”, to me is “outer space”. It’s more or less a mystery to me, but I relate it to as a clear night sky. I like to entertain the possibility that there’s a perceptible and working relationship between my “space” and “outer space” (the microcosm and the macrocosm). In other words, connection to the divine. Hence the words, “cosmos”, or “universe” used in many belief systems and practices.
The concrete curtain of “time and three-dimensional space” returns to envelope me as I slowly leave my meditative state. The clock shows that only twenty minutes have passed. Refreshed and feeling inspired, I stand up, walk to my laptop, and begin writing this journal entry that you’re reading now…
“Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.” ~ Bruce Lee