Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gosh, the loose ends around here...

Got so many things to talk about, so many things I could have already said. So many things that I've set up to talk about more later, but it seems later never comes. Well now is later. Forgive me my paradox.

I'm writing to return myself. I kept the receipt. Whoo-- what a deal THAT was. I think I was a bargain. But then, I don't think I adjusted for inflation... Anyway, there's plenty for me to write about right now. So here we go.

I've been becoming more familiar with the work of Dr. Wayne Dyer, specifically The Power of Intention, one of the audiobooks I own and have a chance to listen to while at work. It's good to keep my mind engaged in something, since my job doesn't require a lot of brain power. My wandering mind seems to run into trouble more than it runs into inspiration or motivational bliss. Especially over the last several years as I've struggled with my bipolar disorder and tried to get the right mix of medications... For some reason I'm left wondering about some metaphor involving a V-8 engine with a 4-barrel carburator, a rich fuel mix, and an in-process game of Jenga(c)...

I won't go into great detail in recounting Dr. Dyer's work-- he's better at representing himself and I couldn't do him justice. I will attempt, however, to summarize one of the ideas that struck me and rattled me in a way that only truth served in a large helping can do.

The idea is silent knowledge. Another way of saying intuition, perhaps, but I think it's more than just your inner voice. When a person experiences silent knowledge, it involves more than words. It's an experience beyond words, accessing wisdom that exists outside of language. One experiences it silently, and the words that attempt to describe it come later.

Dyer relates a story about an experience he had on a beach, where a woman's body washed up in the surf. Although he and the others there immediately began life-saving techniques, it was evident that the woman had expired. Dyer then explains how a silent knowing came over him, as if the woman's spirit were present and communicating to him. He stopped the life-saving and said a silent prayer to this woman he had never met, and yet felt a closeness with at that moment. This is what he describes as silent knowledge.

Forgive me, Dr. Dyer, if I misparaphrase you.

In another passage, I believe he's describing the power of intention, when he indicates that the force that is at work, beyond our intellect, beyond our consciousness-- the silent wisdom that runs the show-- is the same force that turns acorns into oaktrees, and a fetus into a human being. There is a greater knowing at work than the one that man has created. The ego and the intellect make grand attempts to tag and catalogue the universe, and have so far come up short with the cause and effect, logicical reasoning approach. Meanwhile, the universe just keeps on going, like a bullet train on an infinite track, barrelling in and of enlightenment.

Or so I've heard.

I had a similar experience on a beach on the Greek island of Samos. I couldn't sleep, I was so excited about how beautiful the island was, the thoughts I was having, just everything was going so well. We were having a really great time, me catching up with my college buddy, and Suzy and I both meeting a lot of very nice people. But I was the only one awake at three o'clock in the morning. So I went for a walk, down to the edge of the water at the beach.

The hotel was carved into a fairly steep hillside. I got down to the beach and paused for a few moments. It was so beautiful and peaceful. There was a slight breeze that rustled the leaves in the few, small trees that lined the outer edge of the beach. There was such a sense of calm in me, as if I no longer felt any pain or fear. The beach was not of sand but white pebbles. I picked up a few of them and tossed them, individually into the pristinely quiet and still water. I found it hard to believe that the ocean could be so quiet.

I let my mind wander... or perhaps it decided to go off on its own. I tried to imagine what had transpired here, in this exact spot, hundreds-- or thousands-- of years before me. The mythical constructs of love, death, and lust streamed through liquid colors in my mind, and I began to envision a woman, dressed in flowing white regalia, walking down the hill much like I had. Reasons for her actions were not known; only speculated. Instead of pausing as I did, she continued her pace, on into the water. It was as if she carried no breath with her, as she slowly disappeared, swallowed by the ocean.

I considered walking in myself, taking the next step. Would it be suicide? I didn't know. It would probably be seen as such by those left behind. I wondered about the netherworld region, about the regal woman in white. Should I explore the dark depths on my own? Would it be prudent to risk my demise?

I didn't ruminate long on a descent into the ocean. I returned to my hand and my mind and my body and remembered the pebbles in my hand. Wordlessly, silently, I asked the universe for a sign. "Do you exist, God?" was the sentiment, but those are words I put to the experience now, as I recount it.

I tossed a pebble out into the water. My eyes settled on the horizon, where the ocean meets the sky. Soon, there was a small flash of light, like someone on a distant shore turning a light on and off.

Without thinking, I reacted by throwing two more pebbles, one right after the other, in rhythm. Again, I looked at the horizon. The flashing light mimmicked my rhythmic pebble tossing. One. Two.

That was my moment of silent knowing. I felt it and smiled. I knew without question. There was no need to be skeptical. I knew. I knew.

What I knew I have no other way of relating to you. Further experiments may have shown many coincidental discrepancies, but I did not need further tests. A friend said that he would have thrown multiple pebbles in an ornate pattern to see what the flash did. But you can't do that-- you can't just jump into the experience as a hypothetical and make truth happen. Truth has to happen. And it happens despite all the Monday morning quarterbacking that goes on ad nauseum.

Anyway. So that was an example of my silent knowing. Do you have one?


Suzy said...

More good stuff for the books. I love reading your memories. It brings about a lot of my own, too. We shall get to those in time. Love you - keep writing.

Gerri said...

You have such a way with words. Keep writing, cause you are REALLY good at it!

Yes, I have experienced that feeling where you just know something but have to words or means to explain how you know it.