View Full Version : no ordinary moments

solomon levi
03-28-2012, 11:49 AM
There is nothing mundane; or as Dan Millman said, "no ordinary moments".
Castaneda spoke of ordinary and extraordinary reality, but it isn't reality that is such and such -
only so much as reality reflects the consciousness of the observer.

I was watching the college basketball competition towards the finals a couple days ago with my Dad.
It was amazing. I mean, I can see how illusory it is - entertainment, sports, competition, put a ball through
a hole and be a hero, etc... I can see how that may look like the opposite of spiritual to some, because I've
thought it before. But it was totally spiritual. It was the art of awareness. Awareness of your body and the
ball, and your teammates and opponents positions on the field, and all of it relative to the hoop, the goal.
Aware of the time clock, aware of the coach yelling or the fans screaming. The art of the player excels
with his art of awareness.
And there was the whole psychological game going on too. The intentional patting on the back or handshake
to let someone know they did well; or to let them know their error was forgiven and to get back in the game -
not to dwell on the past. The whole art of being a team, and watching them fall when they forgot that.
And there was the equilibrium in a good player, and their ability to expand time. I mean one second they're
running down the court aware of all these options and then the next moment they stop and jump, perhaps for
a fade-away, and everything and everyone disappears and the eyes and the legs and the hands and the perfect
touch... the racing down court and then the stopping and the stillness and the air... and swish - all net.
It's amazingly spiritual. And the balance of forces - the chess game - whether they are playing zone or man-to-man;
the constant tension and wrestling to find a weakness in the defense or to force the offense to turn it over or take a bad shot...

Anyway, I experienced heightened awareness while watching basketball on tv.
And I knew that it was everywhere, all the time - up to me to see it;
to extract the gold out of saturn.

And I don't mean positive thinking. I mean bare perception.

03-28-2012, 04:42 PM
It's like everything, you can play it vulgar, or you can play it Philosophical.

Seeker of Truth
03-28-2012, 06:54 PM
Loved the movie based on the story of Dan Millman. I have never had such an experience myself, complete awareness. Intellectual awareness, yes - but true and free in the moment, just being aware, no/yes. I know it exists, my moment will come (and it has, as all time is one:-)

I have read several posts that you have written Solomon Levi and I must say that I am in awe of your personal experience with awareness and how you describe it. I have heard the mention of Castaneda many times in your posts and I have read some of his work, now I will read more.

Many thanks

I just like definitions thats all :-)

Definition provided by thefreedictionary.com:
awe ()
1. A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might: We felt awe when contemplating the works of Bach. The observers were in awe of the destructive power of the new weapon.

solomon levi
03-28-2012, 11:56 PM
It's like everything, you can play it vulgar, or you can play it Philosophical.

Yes. Nothing is exempt.
A lot of time can be spent searching for an appropriate matter, the initial subject,
to begin the work. But the beginning is here and now. The matter is this;
whatever one sets their hands to. The work doesn't follow the matter.
The matter is everywhere before one's eyes when one understands the work.

Just wanted to stress that. :)

Thanks Seeker of Truth. I am very fond of words and definitions too.

These books are very enjoyable, and some practical, (eventually Castaneda became very practical for me)
but looking back, some of the most direct exercises for me were/are Gurdjieff's self-remembering and
Ramana Maharshi's self-inquiry.

"In your quest for the Self, the one infallible clue is the Aham-vritti ("I" thought) , the “I-am”-ness which is the
primary datum of your experience. No other clue can lead you direct to Self-realization." - RM
"If the first person, I, exists, then the second and third persons, you and he, will also exist. By enquiring into
the nature of the “I,” the “I” perishes. With it “you” and “he” also perish. The resultant state, which shines as
Absolute Being, is one's own natural state, the Self." - RM
"The feeling, “I have not realized,” is the obstruction to realization. In fact, you are already realized; there is nothing
to realize. If there were, it would have to be something new, not existing so far, that would occur sometime in the future.
What has birth will also die. If realization were not eternal it would not be worth having. Therefore, what we seek is not
that which must happen afresh. It is only that which is eternal and which is not known, due to obstructions, that is what
we seek. Ignorance is the obstruction. Remove it, and all will be well.
The ignorance is identical with the “I”-thought. Find its source and it will vanish. The “I”-thought is like a spirit which is
not palpable, and it rises up simultaneously with the body, flourishes on it and disappears with it. The body-consciousness
is the wrong “I.” Give it up! This is done by seeking the source of the “I.” The body does not say “I am.” It is you who says,
“I am the body.” Find out who this “I” is. Seeking its source, it will vanish." - RM

03-29-2012, 05:45 AM
[Pythagoras stated that] "There are three kinds of men and three sorts of people that attend the Olympic Games. The lowest class is made up of those who come to buy and sell, the next above them are those who compete. Best of all, however, are those who come simply to look on. The greatest purification of all is, therefore, disinterested science, and it is the man who devotes himself to that, the true philosopher, who has most effectually released himself from the 'wheel of birth.'" (this is taken from "Life of Pythagoras" by Iamblicus)

It is funny that a random man some thousands of years ago experienced mostly the same thing through a very similar (or almost identical) experience... the result was that he had to invent a word for what he experienced: PHILOSOPHY.
At least the "myth" of Philosophy is that Pythagoras invented the word after going to the Olympic Games and thinking mostly the same thing that you wrote.
You seem to be on the right path then... :)

solomon levi
03-30-2012, 04:50 AM
I hadn't heard of that zoas23.
Thanks for sharing it, for making that connection.
Perhaps another is in "all the world's a stage..."
Because I also experience sometimes watching films -
great acting, good story, but also seeing the whole blend -
the directing, the makeup, the editing (editing really makes a movie),
so many people working together to just get one scene...
and then a string of perfect scenes to make a great movie.
"No country for old men" is a good example IMO.
I love that they didn't mess it up with unnecessary music - that took insight as well.
It's rare a movie with no music.

03-30-2012, 07:57 PM
I hadn't heard of that zoas23.
Thanks for sharing it, for making that connection.
Perhaps another is in "all the world's a stage..."
Because I also experience sometimes watching films -
great acting, good story, but also seeing the whole blend -
the directing, the makeup, the editing (editing really makes a movie),
so many people working together to just get one scene...
and then a string of perfect scenes to make a great movie.
"No country for old men" is a good example IMO.
I love that they didn't mess it up with unnecessary music - that took insight as well.
It's rare a movie with no music.

One of the most interesting modern philosophers, Gilles Deleuze, had a very interesting theory about Cinema:
His theory is that after its "experimental origins" (when cinema was invented but people was still trying to figure out what to do with it), cinema quickly evolved into a machine of action-reaction-action-reaction-action-reaction-etc... or cause-effect-cause-effect-cause-effect-etc...

The machine of cause-effect-cause-effect was a way of perceiving the world and perceiving the objects of the world: a gun to shoot, a chair to sit, a cup to drink, a door to open and so on... and the main character of the movie was the Hero that could shoot the gun, sit in the chair, drink the cup and open the door... the world was full of objects that he could use and there was a reaction for each object. The problem was that in the machine of causes and effects something was getting lost: the world. This is a cinema that was based on editing... and was interested in "movement".

However the machine was broken by Italian neo-realism, movies like "Bicycle thieves" (Have you seen that? It's simply the story of a man who needs a bike to work and it gets stoles, so he wanders all over the city in desperation trying to find the bike, but he can't find it). These new movies were no longer lead by strong links of cause and effect, the Hero was replaced by a wanderer* who was no longer the "boss" of the causes and the effects, but a witness of the world as a whole, the objects were no longer little "useful" machines, so instead of seeing what they are for, we begun to see what they are as they are, their internal history... and thus the movies gained a new perception of the world: the world as a whole. This new cinema was no longer based on editing, it even worked against editing... since the point was to "weaken" the links that unite each shot.

*the wanderer can be seen as a person who suddenly became a "stranger" or a "foreigner to the world" (which is a feeling that the Gnostics really understood)

This "new" cinema based on time had amazing heirs... one of my favorites would be Resnais ("Hiroshima, mon amour" and "Last year at Marienbad" are amazing movies, truly mystical movies... in which the world becomes a WHOLE, specially in Hiroshima).

Directing a movie is quite insane... it's about being both Mussolini and Gandhi, a Poet and and Engineer, a madman and a rational person all at once.

03-30-2012, 09:21 PM
solomon levi - I wonder to what extent your enthusiasm [Greek: enthousiasmos, from enthous ‘possessed by a god, inspired’ [theos = god]) has colored the perception of what I perceive to be a psychophysical, and psychosocial phenomenon, and to what extent your enthusiasm derives from the emotions of bonding with your Dad. My own father was crippled as a child, and never took even a spectator's interest, let alone admiration for sports. The only time I saw him watch any sports was during some Olympic games, and then he probably just watched the women athletes. The father of my best friend from early childhood, Paul, also didn't have any interest in sports (I saw them both recently at the funeral of my friend's sister, the father is now 88). So I didn't have any sports input from there either. Then, at age 8, I met another friend, Sam, (my older acquaintance attended a Catholic parochial school), whose father was also crippled as a child (lost a leg and wore a wooden one). He had been an engineer who worked on the Manhattan Project in WW II, and my new friend was a science buff (turned out to be a molecular biologist/geneticist). For the next 3 years til he moved across town, his influence bolstered my science interest. When he moved, I was temporarily lost, but I still never compromised my interests. I just spent a lot of alone time in experimentation.

Now, I am an INTP by MBTI analysis - a stubborn type who will not compromise Introverted values for Extraverted social values. That means that in grade school, when the baseball game from the preceding night was all the talk, and the boys had obviously been watching with their fathers, had been bonding with their dads, it seemed obvious to me in elementary school that their animated enthusiasm was coming from 'elsewhere,' because without having been shown how to appreciate some outrageous outfielder's catch through social learning, and a father-figure's demonstration of emotion and enthusiasm, I could never fathom just what was so 'interesting.' I mean, I could hit and catch a ball if I wanted to. My grandmother even bought me a nice 1st baseman's mitt, but I had no interest. There was nothing 'cognitive,' or phenomenologically intriguing, like making gunpowder, or doing an electrolysis of water, then igniting the hydrogen and oxygen, for example. A HUGE, insurmountable chasm formed almost immediately. I had allowed Sensing and Thinking to outweigh Sensing and Feeling functions. I was lacking the visceral component of social life in latency, in pre-pubescent malehood.

I never did form a close emotional bond with my father. Perhaps I even resented the fact that he was unlike most of the other fathers, whose boys used to boast about what their fathers had done in WW II (while he was 4F). Sports was an outcropping of the 'warrior archetype' which was absent in my dad. he knew that, so he'd send me to one of my uncles, especially the one with 3 boys (vs. the one who lived next door with 3 girls of corresponding ages, in mirror-image houses no less). My male cousins' dad had been in the European theatre of war, and he took me fishing and camping at my oldest cousin's Boy Scout jamborees. My two uncles weren't into sports either. So, I wonder, if it's possible to determine whether you 'caught the spirit,' so-to-speak, through social learning processes, or whether you remember developing it independently of paternal influence. I don't mean to get personal. This is the developmental psychologist in me thinking.



solomon levi
04-01-2012, 12:15 AM
I enjoyed watching football, boxing and tennis with my dad when i was growing up.
But I don't think that has anything to do with this. This is my own thing I've been
experiencing more and more beginning about two or three years ago, due to alchemy
and nonduality. It's an ability to merge with what is being observed. I don't think it
has anything to do with fondness, because a state of non-judgement is a precursor IMO.
I think it is what Gurdjieff called objective art, and it's not always there. I'm watching the
quarterfinals today and there's a lot of crap playing going on in the first half mixed with
some moments of fine art. So it's seeing what is there, and if it's not there, it's not seen,
or seen for what it is. There was something about the cohesion of the teams in that first game
which prompted me to write this post. Today I'm seeing a lot of individual efforts interspersed
with some teamwork.
But we can find this art in anything - all sports, music, dancing, poetry, movies, cooking...
I don't really listen to country music, but there are some great artists there.
Sometimes a horror film is done very well.
It has nothing to do with what we prefer or like, and nothing to do with the past and
reminescence - it is a very present thing.

Perhaps it wasn't accurate to associate this with no ordinary moments which can be anytime.
It is more accurately objective art, recognizing equilibrium or perfection, attainment of one's aim.
We may not like the aim or feel it is a worthwhile thing to aim for, but we can recognize the
artistic achievement of it when it happens.

04-01-2012, 11:09 AM
Hi Sol

I think I feel where you are coming from as I love to watch a music program called "Later with Jules
Holland", I don’t know if it is known outside of the UK, but what Jules does is invite people from all genres
of music form all over the world who are the best in their field, IMO, of their particular genre.

I may not like the particular type of music being produced, but I can enjoy it through appreciation of the skill
they possess in their art.

My boy gives me some funny looks when he walks in to find me listening to some particularly strange
music. I have tried to explain my view, but he fails to see it.


solomon levi
07-19-2012, 03:40 AM
Something very ordinary and non-ordinary is speech.
Without even thinking about it we vibrate our vocal chords
and thus the breath/air which travels to the ear of another, sometimes
inches away, sometimes hundreds of yards/meters, and the ear gathers
this sound/air vibration and the ear drum vibrates and the brain
deciphers this as it was programmed to into comprehensible language.

This gives some insight into the Word/"God" speaking things into being.
If our words affect vibrations on this level, what do our thoughts affect?

07-19-2012, 12:23 PM
This is why some think prayers work. It is only voice and thought sent out at the same time.

I think thought is more powerful. Language is an invention.