I'd like to try to answer some messages on the threads that I started...
Date: Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:49 am
Subject: RE: [SufiMystic] method and story, poem and analysis
h: Deconstruct if you wish (though I don't have a problem with the
rest of your
t: That, my friend, is a surprise and a delight...
h: but "The Word" doesn't mean that in the context of the Scripture.
There are multiple meanings to scripture. I try to bring that
out, but it is difficult, and my skills limited.
I might also tactfully suggest that people may see scripture in
different ways, and that one person's view is not necessarily flat
wrong if it is not another person's.
Epistemology finds its end in the realization that knowledge
(and thus philosophy, or Truth) has its roots in the Word,
interpreted as I do as the Light of the use of language-concepts to
understand things. Wittgenstein essentially wrote the final word in
Western philosophy in its classic sense of explaining reality:
"Whereof we cannot speak, we must remain silent." We turn to the
nature of language itself for the limits of human
knowledge. Language - once we have detached from
language-as-environment, a veil over reality often likened by mystics
to how fish regard water, as invisible and unimagined, but
nonetheless actually being the very matrix of their reality - turns
out to be much more than what we imagine it to be, while concepts
themselves turn out to be less.
It is referring to a phenomenon, well-known in yoga and in the oral
tradition of Sufism called "Nada Brahma" (by the yogis) and "Saut-i Sarmad"
(by the Sufis). It is the primordial vibration of the universe, and it is
literally audible in high states of meditation ("shabd yoga"), heard usually
in the center of the head or in the right ear.
Once this is opened by particular breath and sound techniques or by the
bestowal of the teacher (depending upon the tradition), the sound begins as
a sine wave, like tinnitus but sweeter. As consciousness becomes more
refined and follows the sound, it becomes more complex and begins to sound
like one of the Tibetan "bowl bells" that are played by running a wand
around the rim of the bell. With continued practice, the sound goes through
definite stages (sounding like rushing water, crickets, carillon bells,
etc.), and the practitioner's consciousness tunes to the various planes of
consciousness and is finally carried into the classical Samadhi states of
Read "The Music of Life" by Hazrat Inayat Khan for more info.
I will look for the book, and pick it up if it comes to hand.
Nothing I said was meant to undermine the *concept* of the Word
as the primordial vibration... in fact, I spoke of enthusiasm,
quoting Wilhelm thus:
"From immemorial times the inspiring effect of the invisible
sound that moves all hearts, and draws them together, has mystified mankind."
The Word, including the concept God and the concept Love...then
moving to Love as actuality, beyond the concept, a clarity of seeing
which is non-conceptual...then the *transmission* of love from one
being to another, via words which point to that which is within, this
common vibration which mystifies us but makes us know we are One, and
One is us...all of this was in that letter.
Why has this vibration been called "The Word," and in many
cultures? And Hinduism has long deconstructed A-U-M in order to
discuss it with each other.
The grasp that Helen Keller had of the mysticism of words is
generally forgotten by most of us (maybe yosy remembers), but every
child at some point knows that "water" means water. And when the
connection between spoken sound and thing is made, the endless
usefulness of language lights up a child's world. The word "no" and
expressions of pain utterly transform the infant's world from a unity
of love to a disunity of conflict, but that is life using language
for means other than communicating understanding.
There are many interpretations of those words, "In the beginning
was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." Many
Christians refer to the Book itself as the Word (of God). And they
would say that Jesus is the Word made flesh. In this multiple usage
of the word "word," they seek to arouse a sense of the mystery
whereby Jesus, a human being, could be Lord and also Yahweh the one
God could be Lord. The mystery of the divinity of humanity, and the
unity of God and Human. Admittedly not a Koranic approach, which is
why I am surprised that you authoritatively interpret Christian
scripture, and in such an unchristian way. And you didn't refer to
any christian sects who used "Word" in the manner that you do.
Nonetheless, I freely admit that your understanding is a true
one. I in fact have extensively practiced meditation based on a tone
that your 'sweet tinnitus' describes quite well (though I wouldn't
presume to compare my experience with yours). That was in the days
when inducing samadhi was of interest to me. The practice and
similar ones also help one remain aware of the divine in the midst of
the crowd; rather as I imagine prayer beads or rosaries might. There
are other methods perhaps more appropriate to our post-modern times.
The Buddha has a parable about a man crossing a river, the
river of samsara, and using a raft, the raft of the dharma (or
whatever expedient means an individual finds works for them), in
order to effect the crossing. Once the man crosses the stream, he
casts aside the raft, that is the practices and views he used to
cross the stream. In respect to this discussion, my views and your
practices are both expedient means. My light is my light, and your
light is your light. Both practices and views are necessary, and
each individual must use what works for them.
A physician of the spirit might be able to discuss with a group
the background and nature of disease and its cures, but he would not
supply everyone in the group with the same medicine for their various ailments.
Practices and views designed for one culture and time cannot be
transplanted whole into a new world culture. Our world *requires*
that we respect incompatible views as (at least conceivably) equally
True; as Buddhism has always done. Views are never totally right;
the only Right View (in the Middle Way) as abandoning attachment to
all views. Believing what is expedient, what serves love in the current time.
We no longer live in a world where the only source of spiritual
truth a person has is a church, temple, or monastery; perhaps a club
or group. We have *media*. We don't have to serve some teacher for
twenty years before we are allowed to study a scripture...for "all
that was once hidden is now made plain. And what was once spoken in
the ear is shouted from the rooftops (paraphrasing)." And we have
new ways of finding fellowship, as well.
Thanks for your comments.