Consciousness

The field of consciousness stands beyond time, space, or any known dimension and instead includes all dimensions, without being altered by them. The infinite field is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and uniquely identifiable as the Absolute … There is no “here” or “there”. There is no “now” or “then”. The totality is equally and permanently present everywhere.

David Dawkins

Alrighty then. Given this immensity, what should I do with my life?

Well, anything that my dear heart desires, while sensing that my mind is in the middle of something vast and timeless. Can I even get my head around a realm that’s beyond time and space? Not really, all that much. But that’s okay.

I have things to do in life, stuff that’s structured within minutes and metres. I better obey red lights and income tax deadlines or there’ll be trouble. But what of the rest of reality? When I’m planning the events of my day, the mind is doing certain things. However, when I’m thinking about someone I love, the mind is in a different place. A very loose place.

Perhaps I’m not just suspended in the huge bubble of everything. Maybe I am that bubble. And there’s nothing outside of that bubble.

I don’t care if I’m making any sense. The bubble is not one of reason. I’m deeply here – in the London Public Library – and everywhere as well. I’m also suspended in everywhen, rather than being tied down to May 18, 2019 at 4:35 pm Eastern Time.

All-present, all-powerful, all-knowing. Not Bruce, but the being in which we all stand. And it’s not a stillness. It’s a moving forward, a being pulled forward into the perfectly unknown. Being at home on the journey.

Could it be that on one profound level there’s no deficit, no problem, no angst? From this space, what can we humans create? What gifts will be given in the coming days? Who is it that we say we are?

It may be simple. We walk together, holding hands and hearts. We gaze into each other’s eyes. We smile.

California

I’m off again, this time for ten days.  My destination is Pacific Grove, California, south of San Francisco.  The Evolutionary Collective is meeting there for five days, starting on Thursday.  We’re staying at an oceanside resort called Asilomar.

It doesn’t really feel like a vacation – or does it?  The scenery on the coast of the Monterey Peninsula is spectacular – crashing waves, towering cliffs, the endless Pacific stretching towards Japan.  But I’m here for the relationships.  I’m here to join with fine human beings in extending love across the planet.  I’m here to look deep into the beloveds’ eyes.  And actually, that does feel like a vacation … from the daily round of daily life.  True contact between people animates us.  It makes life glow.  Sounds like a rejuvenating week to me.

I could turn my analyzing mind on and predict what “growth” I will experience over the next ten days.  What “learning”, what “improvement” on the way to being a better person.  But that’s not it.  It’s really not about me.

On one level, about a hundred of us will turn up in Asilomar to enhance each other’s lives.  But it’s even broader than that.  How can our love reach over the horizon to touch folks in Paris and Istanbul, in Sydney and Morocco?  Is such a stretching outward just pie in the sky or is it true that we are able participants in the evolution of consciousness?  Could it be that every one of us is a blessing, that together we can banish the loneliness in this world?  Can we all belong?

Five days in Asilomar.  One hundred people.  The unknown could very well be unleashed.  And I get to be there.

Day Three: Loving Strangers

Our Evolutionary Collective orientation started today. Thirty-two of us gathered in a hotel meeting room to feel our way into “unity consciousness”, the sense that “we” is so much more powerful than “I”.

I knew about half the people in the room. Many of them I love deeply. I expected that when we’d do spiritual practices together, I would experience big differences in the depth of connection I’d feel with loved ones compared to strangers. The actual result? Not so.

Our first experience centered on two concentric circles of human beings. Our leaders had figured out a way for us to spend twenty seconds with each person, looking way deep into their eyes. Silent communion. Melting. Being with. It was a stunning cycle of love.

Later a new configuration was presented to us. Four chairs made a cross shape. After each was occupied by a fine human, another four folks took their places behind each chair, with their hands resting on the seated one’s shoulders. The lower people each looked into the eyes of the person across the way, while those standing did the same. The seated folks took turns describing what they were experiencing while all these eyeballs up and down met their partners. A multi-level lattice of sweet energy amplified by a sequence of voices. Immense power flooded me, and I was in love with humanity, especially the unique versions in the room.

As the afternoon flowed along, I “saw” a broad ribbon twisting around the room, festooned with all those lines of energy crossing at right angles. At the centre of each intersecting line was a human being and there were many, many intersections. A glowing community of life … stretching worldwide.

After day one, we’ve already created a holy space together. More opening to come on the morrow. To love and to be loved is a blessing beyond compare.

Day One Some More

So many vibrant moments as Scarlet and I wound our way along highways and byways. Imagine this: straight ahead is a roiling grey sky. In the near, however, the sun shines bright, animating two rows of yellow and orange trees. The contrast takes my breath away. I think of the three days ahead of me with other members of the Evolutionary Collective, and how we often reach stunning levels of consciousness.

Speaking of which, I had supper at Crosley’s Pub in Cincinnati, Ohio. John and Rich were sitting with me at the bar. “Why are you going to Asheville?” The most common thing that happens as I respond to a question like this is that my answer leads to an immediate change of subject. Not this time. These guys were interested.

It’s such a challenge to tell folks about “consciousness”. This is usually what I say:

“Let’s say you’re doing some job at work [or reading the menu at Crosley’s]. What’s going on in your mind is nothing special … just ordinary. But what if you’re thinking about someone you love? You want the absolute best for him or her. You want them to be supremely happy. Whatever is going on in your mind right then is different – richer, sweeter. Our group is heading towards experiencing that expanded consciousness far more often.”

Rich and John nodded and then shared moments of openness from their lives. John talked about the ecstasy he feels when playing the piano and I added that he was likely “being played”. We had a fine time.

When they got up to leave, the three of us fought over the bill. John said “You’re the visitor. I’ll pay.” I smiled and let him do that. “Besides,” he added, “you just got bit by a dog.”

Sadly, that was true. I had just settled into my B&B, and was walking down the street towards food. An older fellow came walking along with his mini-something doglet on leash. Little one took one look at a Canadian stranger, rushed me, and set his teeth into my right calf. Oww! Blood dripped, pain exploded and an apology flowed. “I’m so sorry. But you need to know that he’s had his rabies shots.” Yes, I did need to know that. Still, what a welcome to Cincinnati.

On we go. (Scarlet and me)

Day One: The Journey Begins

It’s a journey down roads and across borders … to Asheville, North Carolina. It’s also a journey of the heart. I’m heading to an orientation to the work of the Evolutionary Collective, a network of people from around the world who are exploring consciousness.

I’m a member of their Global Community where we meet several times a week on our laptops and smartphones. We ponder questions: What are the possibilities of relationship between two or more people? What is the future pulling us towards as we evolve? The heart of our work is a 30-minute practice where two human beings face each other and ask the question “What are you experiencing right now?” And on Friday, Saturday and Sunday I get to do this in the flesh, three-dimensionally.

To fall into this loving consciousness for an hour online is a blessing. What in heaven’s name will it be like when we’re in a room together for eight hours a day? That’s twenty-four hours of communion. I can’t even imagine.

I walked into Amy’s Restaurant in Strathroy, Ontario a few minutes ago. They just opened and breakfast beckons. I’m the only customer. A woman who I’m guessing is Amy just walked over to me, smiling. I returned her greeting and turned to face the empty tables.

“Welcome to Amy’s, one of the finest places to eat in Canada. I’d highly recommend you make a generous donation to her in your will since the food is so great.”

Amy just stares, and then breaks into another huge smile. She rushes over and gives me a sweet hug. (By the way, she is indeed Amy.)

We humans touch each other, if both parties are willing. And I’m so willing.

Thank you, Amy. We’re on that precious road together.

A or B?

Unity – the state of being made one; a condition of harmony

Separation – a break; a place where a split happens; an intervening space

Awakening – an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something

Dormancy – something that is not active or growing

Intrinsic – belonging naturally; essential

Extrinsic – not part of the essential nature of someone or something; coming or operating from outside

Mutual – feeling the same emotion, or doing the same thing to or for each other

Unilateral – (of an action or decision) performed by or affecting only one person involved in a situation, without the agreement of the other

Emergence – the fact of something becoming known or starting to exist

Stagnation – the state of not flowing or moving

Contact – the act of touching each other

Avoidance – the act of keeping away from

Resonant – something with a deep tone or a powerful, lasting effect

Muted – not expressed strongly or openly; (of a musical instrument) having a muffled sound as a result of being fitted with a mute

Transcendent – describing the rising above something to a superior state

Mundane – very ordinary and therefore not interesting

Include – to make part of a whole

Exclude – to shut or keep out

Love – an intense feeling of deep affection

Apathy – lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern

Allowing It to Emerge

I’m in a global community called the Evolutionary Collective.  All told, there are probably two hundred of us exploring consciousness within a structure created by Patricia Albere.  Fifteen souls were on a live video call this afternoon.

Part of the experience is in pairs, with eyes open and connected.  For ten minutes, one person answers the question “What are you experiencing right now?” while the other silently moves her consciousness inside the speaker.  Then the two switch roles for the second ten.  During the third segment, the partners talk back and forth, responding to “What are we experiencing right now?”

It’s a mysterious process.  It’s easy to rattle on about concepts and ideas, feelings and bodily sensations, but Patricia is pointing elsewhere.  I was with “Mary” today and here’s where I went for my ten minutes:

I’m experiencing a lake, perfectly smooth.  I’m swimming with my head up – it’s the breast stroke – and you’re beside me doing the same.  Our motions are so smooth, so effortless, and we smile at each other.  Ahead is the horizon.  It’s a simple line between sky and water.  There’s no land.  I look around and see the same horizon everywhere.  I don’t know where we are but there’s a great sense of ease, of safety.

And now I’m diving, my hands touching ahead of me … down and down into the dark.  Hundreds of fish, of all shapes and hues, come to say hi.  They dive with me, with little smiles on their faces.  The water is cool and lovely and I can breathe easily.

Soon all is black and I continue to descend.  No fear.  Just a sweet sinking towards I know not what.  And now I’m experiencing a light way down below and I’m excited to see what’s there.  As I near the ocean floor, there it sits – a tiny gold ring.  Magically, I move my hands and arms and head through it and it settles around my waist.

I’m so happy to have found a golden friend.  Yes, the ring is alive.  It holds me gently on my stomach and back, just a tender pressure that’s so comforting.  I gaze down in wonder at the glowing and pulsing entity encircling my waist.

“Who are you?” I ask.

No words come back but the ring smiles just a bit and holds me some more, a touch firmer now.

***

Mary and I don’t analyze.  There’s no figuring out.  No evaluating.  Just the sense of something opening, inviting us to explore.  And we’ll continue to do that.

 

Meditating

I did so for a long time this afternoon.  I sit in my cozy turquoise chair in the bedroom and gaze out at the field beyond.  Then I close my eyes.  On my better days, worlds open.

Today, I started with lots of thoughts coming through – about the British Open golf tournament I’d just watched, about the Mutual Awakening global community I’m a part of, about my swollen left foot.  I’ve learned to watch it all without further editorial comment, and usually I’m successful there.

After maybe half an hour, a sweet curtain came over me and all the words receded to the back forty.  A type of fullness came over my face, the sense of there being a huge space around me.  Somehow I was watching and wondering at the absence of thoughts.  It was so quiet.

Today, saliva started dripping from the corner of my mouth and I just sat there with the dribble, having no desire to wipe it away.  The liquid was just a natural part of the sitting, easily included in the whole experience.

Later, there was some humming noise nearby.  And eventually a thought did come: “That’s my neighbour’s generator.”  One thought led to many more and I wondered if I was in the middle of a power failure.  There was no sense of being disturbed by the sound.  I opened my eyes, tried my lights (they worked), put on my shoes and went next door.  Sharon and John’s generator simply does a test for fifteen minutes every week.  No sweat.  Back home, back in my chair, eyes closing and peace returning within a short time.  Goodbye again, dear thoughts.

An hour or so later, my eyes just opened.  No planning.  I sat there, watching the birds flit to and fro on my young tree.  Everything was lovely and I wondered if I could reach this space when talking with someone.  I think I can, and in fact I sometimes do when I’m on one of the online Mutual Awakening sessions with folks from here, there and everywhere.

My quiet times are influencing my times with people.  The solitary softness melts into the conversations I have.  And the connections go deep.

Alone and together … I need them both.

Home County

Tonight is the beginning of this weekend’s Home County Folk Festival in London, Ontario. I just showed up at the bandshell in Victoria Park. Maybe thirty folks were scattered among the sea of folding chairs and I did what any self-respecting folk purist would do. I gave a speech.

“Welcome to Home County. This is my 80th time here [the festival is celebrating its 45th anniversary!] I’m happy to announce the results of our draw. One of you lovely couples has won an all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico!” I then pulled a nickel from my wallet and flipped it. Looking at a middle-aged couple in row six, I approached them with handshakes. They smiled a lot and didn’t believe me for a second … but it was fun.

And then the music started – a duo of women with lovely voices and sweet lyrics. But all around me people were talking, and they kept doing so song after song. Yuck! What about respect for the performers? I wasn’t brave enough to tell the folks to be quiet and just watched the situation, fascinated with what I was tempted to call a lower state of consciousness. But really, yapping during the singing is just another way of being. I decided to let it go.

And the skies started dribbling. A drop here and a drop there, and suddenly the umbrellas were up in full force. I wanted to feel superior to people who are so protective of their comfort, but I realized there was no cheese down that tunnel. So more letting go. The drops doubled and so did the umbrellas. I was enjoying the refreshing spatters on my arms and shirt and reflecting on the differences among us.

Halfway through the performances, I thought it would be cool to throw my consciousness inside all these festival goers. I tried, which is never a good sign, and nothing happened. Oh well. You’re such an idealist, Bruce.

An hour later, Donovan Woods was wrapping a song, and I looked out over the crowd. Zap! I was there, inside them all. And within the band members too. Bruce was beyond the edges of Bruce’s body. Bruce had spread himself wide. He was inside all those heads.

Then the rains really came and guess whose umbrella was up like a shot? And … the expansion into other folks’ souls had gone poof.

Ain’t life a mystery?

1 … 2

I am me.  Could I be we?

Walt Whitman knew a thing or two about relationship.  His poems often sang with love, and although many words passed through his fingers, my favourite ones are these:

We were together.  I forget the rest

To create a girl or boy, you need a partner.  All the solitary wishing on your part won’t bring forth a new life.  It takes two.  And to create the most exquisite spirals of consciousness, I also don’t think one is enough.  We are meant to unfold each other into realms unknown.  The whole thus revealed is way beyond the sum of the two parts.

Last night, I had a dream
We were inseparably entwined
Like a piece of rope made out of two pieces of vine
Held together, holding each other
With no one else in mind
Like two atoms in a molecule
Inseparably combined

So true.  May we entwine each other.  May ribbons of light float between our eyes.  May we see the beauty.  I sat quietly tonight and waited for the majesty of communion to emerge in a song.  What a marvelous thing – this brain – for the title came to me: Old French Lane.  From somewhere in my past, a very long time ago.

“Yes … this is what I want to share with my WordPress friends.”  But Google was silent on the matter.  YouTube was no help.  And I abided, feeling into the way home.

“Bruce, you wrote about Old French Lane years ago in your blog.  Search.”  And so I did.  And so it is here.

Seven jewels lie in the channel
South of England’s shores
Where you and I once walked together
Where I’ll walk no more

Hand in hand we would go
In the sun and in the rain
Through the streets of St. Helier
Down the Old French Lane

With Jersey sunshine falling on your hair
Shines in strands of red and gold
And eyes of green like the emerald sheen
Of your ancestral home

That was so long ago
Red and gold turn silver now
But eyes of green will never change
In my memory somehow