I think, therefore I am. Yes, I know I am: I have all the physical senses to be aware of myself – the body parts. I can feel the sand beneath my feet on my Deserted Island and I can feel the freshness of the breeze coming in from the ocean, with a slight salty smell; I can even taste it on my lips. It is not good to drink and gives me a raging thirst; I know it is ‘salty’ (a word I happen to remember) because it is different from the fresh water in the spring behind the trees. I can feel the warmth of the sun, which disappeared as it went down below the horizon last night,when my body reacted to the chill night air by making the hairs on my body stand upright,on little bumps. If I had more hair, I thought, it may have kept me warmer, trapping the warmth against my skin. Now, the sun is not just warm but hot and I move instinctively into the shade to sit down under a tree because it seems my skin is leaking water – not good, I think.
From here I can view my world. It is colourful – predominantly blues, greens and browns,with bright colours in the flowers and fish. I wonder why these colours are there: does the world want me to notice the bright colours for a reason? I am also very aware of movement and to sense it more keenly I momentarily turn all the colours in my perception down to just view the motion in a grey world. Hmm – the ocean is waving at me and the clouds are passing by; the trees also seem to wave and a winged being flies past. That was exciting and caught my attention – because it was very fast – faster than all the other movements. Does the world want me to notice the bird in particular?
Then my attention turns to sounds. Most of them are gentle and mix together in a kind of rhythmic music which is gentle and soothing. The breeze rustles the leaves and the waves lap the sand as though they are counting, like the subtle beat of my heart in my ears. Then a sudden squawk makes me jump, followed by a roar that makes my heart beat very fast and all my senses are on alert: I feel my ears flick back slightly; I am breathing faster now and my eyes are open wide as I look around me. Should I stand and fight whatever is making this loud noise, or should I flee and hide? That was an interesting response and a sudden change from my peace.
Then I notice my body is giving me internal sensations: one is discomfort in my bladder (which I will see to), another is a dryness in my mouth (so I will go to the spring) and then a rumbling in my stomach – time for supper!
And so I have found that my environment and my self have a dialogue going on – a kind of symbiotic response, where all that is in me is responding to all that is outside of me. Now I feel as though I have gone back in time to a beginning, where Google, books, newspapers, TV and debate have no relevance at all. I find I can ‘sense’ the information I need.
This satisfies me for a while until I notice a new sensation, or is it a thought? I start to wonder. I watch the stars and the movement of the moon and sun, the diverse creatures and the changing weather; the food that makes me feel satisfied and the food that makes me vomit. I have everything that I need but I wonder about others like me – where are they? I feel a need to find at least another one.
After some time I do indeed find another one like me, but He is different. We are basically the same, but there are body details that just don’t quite match. And He is stronger than I, and can break the wood for the fire more easily. He is also quite good at catching the fish but He hasn’t got the hang of making our shared space look pretty and comfortable; I do a better job. In fact I can do lots of things that He can’t and v.v. We keep each other warm,though, and we like each other very much.
Now that there are three of us, with the little one, we find making noises to each other makes communication a lot easier and we invent signs. I can make a huge noise like the parrot if he is a long way off and I need him to return. He makes a noise like the bear if a bear comes near and makes it goes away again. The little one giggles, which is very catching and we all end up rolling in the sand laughing. Sometimes we run around making our own sounds and rhythms to dance to. We feel new sensations: joy when we are together and fear when one of us is away.
One day we meet another three like us and at first we are surprised and pleased but the men argue about who should do what and so we decide not to share our space but live at opposite ends of the island. Later, the other woman brings me a cloth she has made and I wonder how she had created it: it has shapes and colours on it. She says she will show me, if I show her how to make the fish last longer without it going bad. We then swap other bits of useful information.
One night we have a party because the sun and the big moon are in the same place they were in the night we first welcomed our little one into the world. We bring things to share and make a lot of rhythm and dance all night. We decide to make some marks in our favourite tree to show our world that we are celebrating,and then everyone who comes our way will see it and understand our history.
Now we have words, music, information, knowledge, a way to record times and dates, symbols as a language and writing and we think ‘what else could we possibly need?’ But have I found enlightenment?
Having sat on my deserted island and reverted to a state of mind that resembled the humble beginnings for Man, when First Man and First Woman could identify with the simple yet miraculous world around them, I pondered on how I could proceed from there towards ‘enlightenment’.
I returned to my State of No-thing, being in The Now, and re-directed my thoughts.
How and why did Adam and Eve leave their Garden of Eden – a virtual Paradise from whence they were ‘driven’ in, as we are told, disgrace for having eaten of the the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge? My mind, now hopefully clear of conditioning, imagined leaving my deserted island. Why would I want to do that, when everything seemed perfect? ‘It is the Need to Know’, came the answer, just like Adam and Eve.
It seems that Man, not content to live in a world that provided for all his needs, was driven by an inquiring, curious thought to explore and learn – not just how to drive his physical vehicle, but to get to grips with both his engine and the road map.
So I let my virtual imagination choose where to go next. Sitting in my Stillness, I became aware of a spacial map around me; like the rays emitting from the Sun, my potential directions for exploration radiated out from me. To simplify the choice I imagined six possible routes – forwards, backwards, left, right, up or down. To save the effort of doing this physically, I continued in a virtual reality. I chose to go forwards.
To do this I had to leave my island and cross the ocean. I skimmed across the clear blue, gently undulating water as the bird flies, and quickly approached land. Undaunted, I continued, glancing down at changing scenes of terrain – plains of grassland, inland lakes and rivers, forests in broad green swathes and rising peaks of mountains. Again I came to ocean and continued. Eventually, I arrived back at my island, only enlightened to the fact that my world was spherical and consisted of land masses and oceans.
I then took the direction to the right, in the same fashion. This time I encountered a great land mass of white, after the familiar green and blue, and after more of the same, another white area. This time my circular route had divided my world into two poles, like a top and bottom to the sphere. I now had a clear image of my spherical world, from a bird’s eye view.
After returning to base, I then flew straight up above me into the sky and just kept going. I flew up past the highest mountain and then out through a band of what looked like blue air; going higher still I went until I could look down and see the whole of my world below me, with the Moon orbiting it. I could now see another perspective of my reality – one from outside my world. From up there I became aware of silence and vast space between my world and other spheres, the most prominent one being the Sun, a bright star. But on I went until the small cluster of spheres orbiting our Sun was in the distance. I felt very small and alone and all I surveyed seemed mysterious and endless. And yet there was an inaudible ‘sound’. My virtual super-ears tuned into a range of vibrations. This Outer World was very much alive on another level of existence. I could have gone on and on, but I was pulled back to Earth by a sense of belonging there and returned to base on my island. Out there, our Earth seemed very small and insignificant, yet back here, ‘out there’ seemed too huge to be fathomable. There was a differentiation, a demarcation, which seemed to define where I belonged, for now. It may be possible to explore some other spheres out there, but I would leave that for another time.
The direction yet to explore was below. The land beneath me seemed solid and more difficult to penetrate, so I searched for an opening. I found a cave. In my virtual reality I adopted night-vision, for the light of the Sun did not penetrate far into the cave. I descended into the Earth by way of a tunnel, from which other smaller tunnels led. I followed one, noticing a sense of silence again, but again with a super-sense of a range of vibrations. This underworld was solid and hard, rough in some places and smooth in others; water dripped and trickled. My direction was limited by the length of my vision and I felt insect-like, crawling slowly through little crevasses. Now and then the space opened into a great cavern with clear rock pools and sculpted mineral deposits.
Crystals large and small glistened and glowed in subtle colours, forming clusters of small faceted points or huge erectile monoliths. I dug deeper, slithering and sliding downwards through more cracks and crannies. It was getting hotter and less dense. The rock formations took on a steamy fluidity and I started to feel I was getting out of my depth. I did not belong here either and left the pulsing heart of Earth to return to my starting point.
So now my knowledge had broadened into being able to define where I felt most at home – on the surface of the Earth, somewhere amongst the green land masses, near the blue oceans, not too near the cold poles, not too high above the land and not too far below the surface away from the sunlight.
This was a spacial definition, not a temporal one. Time gave life another dimension which needed to be investigated.
When I started writing Part 2, I had a vague idea of where I was going with it – taking a whimsical saunter to find a scanty view of where my perception, my reality and my understanding of life may be – what is true and what is relevant and whether that has brought some enlightenment to me. It seemed a reasonable idea to attempt to erase for a minute or two all the accumulated thought-junk in my mind and hopefully find a clear and uncluttered place to start again and find an overview of ‘Life’.
It is not that easy!
The very fact that my thoughts were in English with terminology and some descriptive phrases to relay what my inner eye would see, set me at a decisive and very limiting starting point, and not a beginning that everyone would be able to relate to. For instance, if I had already been a solitary English person living close to Nature on a deserted island, I would have found it an unlikely place to ‘get-away-from-it-all’.
And if I had never traveled by plane, seen a map, or had an out-of-body experience, I would not have known how to describe my circumnavigation of the planet Earth.
So to completely clear the mind of data, and then find the means to describe something I had never envisaged was, of course, an impossibility. Which, strangely, brought me to some enlightenment.
What I hold in my memory bank gives me specific parameters to assess my world. In other words, I can only know I have been somewhere and arrived ‘here’ by remembering the journey; and I can only understand the usefulness of that journey if I can appreciate that I have learned something from that experience, and remembered it all.
Aha! This really was enlightening. In that one realisation I was transported through time in a nano-second, from the beginning of All-that-is to the present moment. Glancing around me, from my humble look-out post, I could see no-one else exactly like me. I could see millions of others similar to me, but all looking and living and thinking differently. And not just the humans (of each gender, of every nationality, of any age, in any place), but absolutely everything – animal, plant, element, mineral, both on and off the planet.
This answered a common question for us thinkers – why doesn’t everyone know what I know, and think like I think? Why do some people seem less – and some people seem more – experienced, knowledgeable, wise and understanding? Has the journey for them been longer or shorter? Has the journey taken a different route? Have the lessons been more, or less, appreciated? Has the memory held its information well, or lapsed?
Scanning the World of Politics first, I saw the uphill struggle of governments trying to gather their populace into a common set of laws and social behaviour to keep the peace and create conditions for everyone’s own good. The leaders could gently outline their manifestos, put their legal feet down, turn deaf ears on those who disagreed and point determinedly through their term of office in the hope that they will have managed and guided the people well during their leadership. Some of their subjects will quietly comply, some won’t care and go their own way while trying generally to stay out of trouble, and some will shout and scream in disagreement and personal outrage. You can please some of the people some of the time…
The World of Religion is very similar, but here the arguments are more emotive and psychologically manipulating. If, as the priest (or similar) says, we listen to their words of wisdom, we will all be looked after by a non-physical somebody-or-other, but we must all do as we are told and make certain acts of devotion to prove our faith. The arguments are strong and interesting, because not only will we be looked after here, on Earth, but up there in Heaven too. And as that place is full of uncertainty, it may be good to have some insurance. But which to choose, out of all the available options (religions)?
The World of Commerce is similar. If you need to buy something, well you can go for style, quality, value or economy; you can purchase from the other side of the world, or down at the local corner shop. Wait – it’s not quite that simple. If you buy one, you may get one free. If you buy that one, you may get special discounts. If you buy this one, you may get it quicker. Even when you have found what you need, there may be things that you would like, want, desire, lust after…just got-to-have. The World Market is your oyster. Go for it, but don’t count your pennies. When you have all you need and much that you desire, don’t think that is the end of it. If there is still cash in your pocket (or credit on your account) someone, somewhere will be after it – you can bet your bottom dollar. The World of Trade, of exchange, will rely on values too diverse to ever unite in a simple truth; it is between only the two parties of one transaction where the agreement can be made. The World of Finance is a labyrinth you will never emerge from.
The World of Love. Here, we have a choice of loves. Young love, carnal love, parental love; the love of friends and unconditional love; the love of Self and Divine Love. All expressions of the heart which nourish the soul; each as individual, unique and so unlimited to be completely unfathomable.
So how can we all think the same, want the same, feel the same, behave the same? That, when it is realised to be the impossibility it is, answers an age old problem – that of how to agree, be of one mind, unified. To be enlightened to this fact may be the answer to enlightenment itself. To stop, before we have any expectation of another being exactly like ourself, and accept that there is no other, only a similar or compatible, or two halves of a whole, or an interesting opposite; then suddenly there seems to be a rather satisfactory way forward. Perhaps the Truth is a conglomerate of an unimaginable number of different truths. Perhaps all information is a potential or a possible truth. Perhaps this kaleidoscope universe is changing so fast facts disassemble before our very eyes as new ones are formed.
I have traveled thus far; I have experienced this and that; I realise some things I have learned from those experiences; I remember some, not all; and armed with this much enlightenment I shall proceed to find some more. But before I go, I will ask myself this question:
If the Truth is that the world started out as a manifestation of some Divine Plan, and it had the potential to recreate itself sublimely, as we see in Nature, how did the Human Race get so lost, so corrupt, so violent, so full of pain, so fearful and unhappy? At what point in Time did a bad idea start to take hold?
For an insight into this sad situation, I invite you to visit the post ‘Where did it all go wrong?’