What is God?
The ‘New Age’ movement, and the evolution of western thought, has progressed to a point when many people are confident enough to say “I know the Divine is within me.” However, many people are not confident enough yet to admit, “I have really no clear idea what that means.”
Reclaiming not knowing, being able to hold an open question, is the next step in the evolution of consciousness. For the last couple centuries, humanity has developed the ability to think rationally, a very important and valuable spiritual capacity. However, pre-conceived ideas do not constitute true understanding, which must be of the present moment, the only thing that is real. So, no matter how smart someone is, how much knowledge one has acquired, being able to see with fresh eyes is essential.
Pre-conceived ideas are constructed in the left hemisphere of the brain. Seeing with fresh eyes is the mode of the right. The left side of the brain, governing abstract thought, language, intellect and the like, could be characterized as more “yang.” The right side has more “yin” attributes, enabling pure awareness, intuition, perception and creativity. One side is not better than the other, although the right side has been rather left in the dust historically. That is why honoring the Sacred Feminine, in people of all genders, experienced as inquiry, receptivity, wonder, reverence, humility, and gratitude, is so important.
The corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres of the brain, our mindfulness and wisdom faculties, (to borrow terms from Buddhism). This unifying part of the brain does not develop without effort. To be truly discerning, both forms of knowing need to be exercised, weighed and balanced. All together, this forms an instrument which can be of great service to the mind, the mind itself being the archetype of human consciousness which fashioned these organs of perception in the first place.
In my teens, I was lucky to spend time in France. The French love to play with double-entendre, double-meanings. The word divination can be expounded in this way. In English it connotes predicting the future. In Romance languages, ‘deviner’ or ‘adivinar’ means to guess. Guessing is not fixed like making assumptions. Guessing is actively formulating a perspective that acknowledges uncertainty. I like to compare this process, the shamanic approach to life, evoking the being-ness behind the veil of ordinary appearances, with the word divinity. Understanding divinity and abiding in the mystery are parallel ways of a human becoming clairvoyant, seeing things as they are, being enlightened. Learning to think with an asking, rather than in a presuming, final attitude is divination. Thus, we align ourselves with the truth, that we are largely oblivious, and cease to abuse our power as humans. Taking this asking stance alchemically transforms us from being a conditioned corpse of pre-conceived notions into to being a curious co-creator dancing with other sentient beings. This practice of ’asking’ is the foundation of my work, whose primary intention is not cause harm.
This month is the grand opening of Together To Get Her Studio, the space I am opening up in my home for people interested in developing these different, interdependent forms of awareness, both yin and yang ways of knowing. We all are undergoing an initiation through everyday life experience. The difference between mundane change and alchemy is the power of consciously placing attention. What we don’t know is always infinitely greater that what we know, which is why Together To Get Her is a spiritual organization, not simply an art center or a therapy office. Art and psychological healing, at their best, include the spiritual practice of honoring forces much greater than us whose footsteps are revealed in the laws of cause and effect. This doesn’t require adherence to any denomination. The tradition of being brave to face with honesty what arises in every moment, mostly confusion and the need for guidance, belongs to everyone.
Through group work, art, meditation, and exploration of individuals’ biographies, Together To Get Her is an initiative designed to support people interested in finding the universal within personal experience, through personal experience. ‘Divining’ is dousing with the conscience for a feeling-tone of peace. Peace is often not what we are experiencing, thus holding our attention like open palms, or palms in prayer is a way of being real, present, enduring whatever tension or discomfort happening right now. In Buddhism it is wisely extolled that to wish things were different than they are is suffering. That does not mean we should not suffer. Nor does it mean that we should not guess what freedom from suffering would entail. We do not know, but we can imagine, divine. We must practice this kind of imagining in order for a safe future to be possible for this planet and for the freeing of humanity. Consciously developing this felt sense, seeing with the heart, imbues the world with love.
Imagination happens automatically, projection of our subjective life into inner and outer pictures. They key is to be aware of the projection. We can contemplate this, inquire into this, relate with this as the chance to resolve our own karma. Through this kind of contemplation, divination, we paradoxically are able understand the phenomena at work within our ‘story.’ The ‘one who knows’ is the one who knows they don’t know. To make a good guess, one draws upon informed opinions, (left brain) and new observations (right brain). Most importantly, we must balance giving and receiving. Like a skilled musician, we can all practice presence of mind. This allows us to pay attention to context (receiving) and heart (giving). The song and our sentiment are constantly interweaving like the flow of a stream. Being able to see subjective experience objectively is to ‘adivina’ what it means to be reflections of the Devine Human.
“And I guess that all you ever want is Love,
and I guess it all amazes you because
Life is full of uncertainty.”