Thursday, March 23, 2006

Becoming real

To know consciousness as real, and to know consciousness as being, dissolves the mistake of the intellect in which one is identified with and defined by the object of perception. The realization of being detaches the knower from the known and gives immediate perspective on the true nature of self. But that leads to the second mistake of the intellect: that consciousness is one and the same as being. That can be a very seductive and fatal illusion.

Consciousness becomes fulfilled in the light of being, and like the moon moves into fullness with the sun's light, but the moon does not become the sun. The fulfillment of consciousness is a great thing: so great that one might think one is absolute being. But just as the moon wanes, so the consciousness will inevitably recede from being until it returns to the zero point and the long dark night of the soul.

How terrible it is to lose being. But how less confusing if one knows it is only a phase. If, however, you think you now are eternal being when your consciousness has filled to the maximum, then it will be especially painful. Consciousness is forever becoming. Whatever it becomes does not last. So when it becomes being, it immediately starts becoming not-being. Its mutability is what makes human life beautiful. Beauty resides in the veil thrown over the light. Life needs both the light and the veil.

Do not think that being and consciousness are the same. You can know being and even become being, but you are not being. You will soon lose track of yourself. And then you will find yourself again. Endlessly mutable, your consciousness plays a game of hide-and-seek with itself that goes on forever. Rest in being so you can live to play another day. But the game never ends, at least not until the universe snuffs out, if it ever does.

Do not wish to be the sun. It is too fierce; it burns too hot and will melt your delicate wings. Then you will fall like Icarus. Better than becoming being is to become real.

It is in the cool of the evening when the moon rises full that you will know (to quote D. H. Lawrence):

That beauty is a thing beyond the grave,
That perfect, bright experience never falls
To nothingness, and time will dim the moon
Sooner than our full consummation here
In this odd life will tarnish or pass away.

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