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December 29, 2006

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Could it be that when we reach for the One within our consciousness we simply come up empty, that that's the nothingness mystics encounter? Perhaps it's outside ourself we should be looking. Perhaps the real epiphany is made of something, not the nothing when I let go of everything within me.

Looking for pure consciousness without content is like looking for pure love without an object for that love. It's like listening for the other shoe to drop when it never does. Human beings vary how long they can keep that up, but eventually it dawns on them they haven't heard anything. Then that's the message, that we're hearing nothing. It is meaningful, but not necessarily profound.

The older I get the more I dislike calling God the Infinite, whether one has traditional theology or the sort of mysticism you discuss. Infinite is actually an ambiguous term. In mathematics there are different levels of infinity, infinity squared being a lower level of infinity than infinity raised to an infinite power. Which of these is God? All of them? None of them? Why are some so certain about this?

I ask God about many things. He tells me He doesn't like being called Infinite. It's too diffuse. I find God gives a particular direction, not all directions, and none of us are right where we should be regarding that. I don't think that's oppressive or in need of something egalitarian to counter it. Of course, lots of people hear something else. I'm sure that's meaningful. It is a fact of human nature that the meaning people find in anything will be different. I think the most complete meaning is outside of us rather than inside, but people find what they look for.

DavidD, you raise some good points. I haven't achieved a state of pure consciousness, but it does seem like it could be pretty, well, empty.

Except, those who say that they have experienced this state describe it as blissful. Love loving love, that sort of thing.

Eckhart and Forman also write about bringing what is inside, outside. And the reverse. So there is another stage, it seems, in which the empty experience of formless unity remains at the core of one's experience of multiplicity.

Maybe we can have our form-filled cake and eat it into formlessness too.

Absolute. Something and nothing. All and empty.

Seems like they always run out of words, after going on extensively about what not to do, and what is wrong, and what to avoid.

Realize the real by treating the divine like a pinata: put on a blind fold and start swinging.

You can probably hit it eventually, since "the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

The term "infinite" can have relevance in the context of trying to approach the mystery of consciousness from a scientific point of view. Stephen Hawking now thinks that a finitely stated physical theory of everything is impossible. We will keep getting better approximations through continuing applications of the scientific method, but the explanation will necessarily keep getting more and more complicated as it is refined. In this sense the theory of everything could be said to be infinite - countably infinite in fact. If you believe that consciousness cannot be explained without a complete theory of everything then the source of consciousness must be rooted in the infinite in a literal sense as I just explained.

Edward, having read your comment, so much now makes sense to me... I'm swinging, and blindfolded, so I am sure heaven is close.

Just please tell me I won't end up on that funny video show; that when I finally connect it will not be with the groin of the great All That Is.

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