Mind can either rest in the awakened state of openness, clarity, and sensitivity, or suddenly feel afraid of such vastness, seeing itself as separate. This is the root of all confusion, the moment in which grasping arises. Trungpa Rinpoche suggests we could dance with space as our partner. In this dance we ourselves are part of the ever-changing magical display of appearances, ungraspable, transparent, and luminous as rainbows, which arise spontaneously and unceasingly as the creative activity of space. For the doors of perception can be cleansed. Blake said, ‘The whole of creation will be consumed and appear infinity and holy, whereas it now appears finite and corrupt. This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment. He gives us this clue:
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy,
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s surprise.
Infinity, Eternity. These are the words Blake uses to point toward an indescribable state where space and time collapse. For we do not really know what the world is at all. We each create our own world through our own sense perceptions and mind, with all its conditioning, memories, expectations, reactions, and so forth. Yet it is only through the senses that we can penetrate beyond the surface appearance of things. Trungpa Rinpoche said that the universe is always trying to tell us something, but we do not listen. Or, as Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote in words so beautiful that they surely transcend religious differences:
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flare out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Through the gateway of our senses, we can enter a realm infinitely wider and deeper, where the limitations of time and space dissolve and the whole universe is present in one moment, in one single point. In the final minutes of Tristan and Isolde, Richard Wagner hints at this state in his poetry and music when Isolde perceives the essence of the dead Tristan as he dissolves into the five elements. First she sees him become a body of light, then she is submerged in waves of sound and billows of sweetly scented air. The senses merge together as she surrenders herself to the waves of pure sensation. She does not know whether to breathe them in, to listen to them, drink them, or dive under them into ‘the billowing space of the world-breath.’ This transcends joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. To experience perceptions in this way would be like making love to the world, which is exactly what Wagner’s music suggests. As George Eliot wrote: ‘If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.’……Francesca Fremantle
elevating mindfulness to a new level through this paradox of feeling and touching to lift the veil is almost not discernible to the mind…..layers of paradox that are ill-fitting, like the contingent nature of soul-bliss…..may you feel every day of your life….