Monday, September 1, 2008
Emerging Enlightenment 9/01/08
In order to understand what it means to be awake,
we must first wake up.
DB - The Vagabond
It is indeed an odd thing that most of us spend a major portion of our lives somewhere between asleep and alert. Just as it is usually a gradual process from one to the other, so is it to becoming truly aware of the world around us and the people in it as well as the person inside
There is no excuse for people going through their whole lives unknowledgeable about new ideas and their importance to the world, and yet so many people do. It is also not reasonable for one to live his life without ever becoming acquainted with himself. But far too many people do that.
We live in a world of products, both tangible and intangible. We consume the products or let them consume us and give no thought to the originating mentality behind any of them. But it is becoming aware of that mentality that is the first step in truly waking up. Everything has a language and is talking to us at every moment, but we, blissfully or not, pay no attention. Why don't we listen? Why don't we look? Why do we keep missing the point?
Years ago, in a shop, I saw a little black plastic box with a toggle switch on the top. The switch was labeled "on" and "off." It was pointing to "off." If you flicked it to "on" the box shook, the lid opened and an emaciated plastic arm came out, flicked the switch to "off," fell back into the box and the lid closed. I was delighted at the message of it. I vowed that I was coming back to that shop to buy it. When i came back the box was there, but now it was a bank. You put a coin in the slot, the arm came out, and grabbed the coin. The whole point of the original box had been lost on people. Instead it was "Gee. That would make a cool bank."
I've been reading a lot about Leviathan, that creature mentioned several times in the Bible. Modern, but mostly Medieval theologians, argue one way or the other about whether it was a whale, a crocodile or some as yet to be discovered sea creature, and eventually agree that it stands for the devil. But they stop at that as if it was enough. None of them go on to explain what they mean by the devil.
I'm waiting. But, so far the best explanation I've read is that the devil is the ignorant, stuck human way of thinking and doing things and messing them up. That will have to do until someone looks behind the face of Satan and understands the idea underneath the mask.
The music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc contains great ideas. When I was a classical music announcer I used to try to discuss some of those ideas. Almost no one, including my employers, understood what I was talking about. Even now most of those announcing concern themselves with how old Mozart was when he wrote something, when Beethoven went deaf and who Liszt was sleeping with. None of which has anything to do with the music. The late string quartets of Beethoven and the Piano Concertos of Mozart describe the world we live in and the world beyond what we know of it.
If I can convince one person to really look behind a rose, listen to its song and tell me what it says, my life will mean something.