Saturday, July 04, 2009

Becoming Conscious Through Our Senses | Peter Kingsley

Eternity. quest for awareness and reality

You have to find reality, ultimate reality, here, where you are, in this apparent body, surrounded by these apparent colors and movements, and shapes and forms and sounds and noises. And they (the ancient Greek mystics) gave the techniques. They gave the methods for using our senses, to find oneness all around us.

Because Impedocles and Parmedides, they were very, very up front, as most great mystics are, and they say - at the beginning of their teachings they say, everybody is living a totally wasted life. Everybody's life is a sham, everybody is living in a dream. We can think we are driving down the road, we can think we're shopping, we can think we're in a business meeting. We are asleep. We are never actually using our senses.

Sometimes there can be the brief moment when we look out at a tree, or we're driving down the road, and just for a brief moment we can say, "Good Lord, I'm holding a steering wheel. I have my foot on the gas pedal!" Or, "Good Lord, I'm looking at a tree!"

Usually we're just looking at a tree and thinking about something else. Or we're driving down the road and thinking about the argument we just had with our partner. It's very, very rare that we simply look and are aware that we are looking.

And that involves being aware of what we're looking at, and being aware of ourselves looking at the same time. So right now, I can be aware that I'm moving my hand, and that I'm talking, and that you there are in front of me. But it's actually not a very, very common state at all, to be aware like that.

And Impedocles gave very, very specific directions for how to start to become conscious through your senses. How to look and be aware that you're looking. How to feel your tongue inside your mouth, and be aware of it. Not just rub your tongue on the top of your mouth, but actually be aware that it's happening. And how to do this with all of the senses at the same time.

. an extraordinarily elegant way of realizing God

And this last stage, about how to do it with all the senses at the same time, this is very, very powerful, it's very, very esoteric, it is an extraordinarily elegant way of realizing God.

Not by leaving the senses behind, but by consciously using all of your senses at the same time. If you do that, if you actually do that, you start to become aware, there is your sense of sight, there is your sense of hearing, there is the sense of feeling what you feel, your backside on the chair, or you feel your shoes on the floor. The hearing, the seeing, the feeling, the tasting, the touching. And it's difficult enough even to do one of those consciously, but if you do them all consciously, you become aware of this infinite blackness between them.

There is a void that connects the seeing to the hearing, to the tasting, to the touching.

And that's ETERNITY.

And that eternity is totally unchanging, but that eternity is also what gives rise to the physical world. And it's out of that experience of eternity that people like Impedocles or Parmenides, these ancient Greeks, were actually able to bring the germs of a new civilization. Because that eternity, it never changes, but it contains the seeds of all change.

- Quoting Peter Kingsley in his Interview as part of Global Oneness Project

Groundbreaking scholar of pre-Socratic philosophy Peter Kingsley describes the sensory awakening at the root of Empedocles' writings. What would it be like to be fully, continually aware of all of our senses-and what's more, to be aware of that very awareness?

[>] Click here to watch the Interview with Peter Kingsley in full length (19 min) (for slower internet connection, pause for a while to let it load and then play)


Peter Kingsley Mystic RealityAbout | A prominent mystic of our time and student of sufi path, Peter Kingsley's groundbreaking work on the origin of Western spirituality, philosophy, and culture is recognized throughout the world. Through his writings as well as lectures he speaks straight to the heart, and has helped to transform many people's understanding not only of the past but of who they are. The author of three books, including Reality and In the Dark Places of Wisdom, he currently is an honorary professor at the University of New Mexico and also at Simon Fraser University in Canada. > More about Peter Kingsley via Wikipedia

You may also hear Peter Kingsley's speech at 2008 Sufi Conference (mp3 audio):
> Approaching the Heart | Part A: 38.9 mb | Part B: 32.7 mb
> Awakening to Life | Part A: 50.9 mb | Part B: 35.3 mb

2006 Sufi Conference talk (mp3 audio):
> The End of Silence | Part A: 42.8 mb | Part B: 33.6 mb

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