THOU, THE FRIENDLY CONSTANT HAND
ON THE BACK OF MY HEAD,
THOU, THE TRANSPARENT DOOR FROM THE PLACE WHERE ONE DIES LIKE A DOG
a comedy of consciousness
T. R. SOIDLA
INSTITUTE OF CYTOLOGY ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Everything Is According to the Way:
Voices of Russian Transpersonalism
ВСЕ ПУТЕМ. ГОЛОСА РУССКОГО ТРАНСПЕРСОНАЛИЗМА
Edited by Т. R. Soidla and S. I. Shapiro
Bolda-Lok Publishing and Educational Enterprises Brisbane, Australia ©1997
THOU, THE FRIENDLY CONSTANT HAND ON THE BACK OF MY HEAD,
THOU, THE TRANSPARENT DOOR FROM THE PLACE WHERE ONE DIES LIKE A DOG
a comedy of consciousness
T. R. SOIDLA
INSTITUTE OF CYTOLOGY ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
There is a center. I don't know where it is; seemingly incompatible addresses like "in your own heart," "at the back of your head," "in heaven," all seem to work, sometimes. This center seems to be always here; every time I manage to have a glimpse of it, there is a feeling of some very basic constancy about it [about YOU ... about THEE! (Buber, 1958)]. THOU, the immutable center, seems to be a source of all the most creative teaching that reaches me via my own life story--my only hope & refuge in a situation of [metaphysical] danger ...
Commentary 1.0 My voice changes, or what..
I start with a citation in a "message to myself." Spontaneous and honest I obviously am ... Everything about THOU is also so uncertain. My own experience is, of course, limited. But what 1 have learned via books and via all the horror stories of the XXth century mass media makes a different picture of everything concerning the Center, less naive [and often I suppose, also less true! Maybe the same difference existed between the Faith and the professional knowledge of some inquisitive Inquisitor many centuries ago]. Let's return to this not-naive picture. Now I look as serious as a real scientist must be [where is the Mirror? . . . because this is a picture of basically schizophrenic--but not schizophrenia-limited, rather oceanic, and only too all-inclusive--consciousness, a source of both ultimate sanity and of computer virus-like madness[es]].
Commentary 1.1 Seemingly different subvoices enter
(One minute, what would You say about the idea that this madness is concentrated in a blank room between the last sentence above and its end point? Like this: " ". [I must note that what I wrote is not entirely a clever trick by the author. For some seconds, I really felt this way.] And now, who is mad? The answer that comes first is obvious. But after a bit, it is no longer so clear. Is any real human activity, say, the politics of our century, really less mad than the above idea? The political madness, of course, is most obvious here in Russia these days, but possibly you—my English speaking reader-understand what I mean too . . .) Shut up, dear me, please!--I just wanted to return to the Absolute via the Collective Unconscious. 1 see. By the way, what is the Name of the Absolute You are speaking about?--Uroboros, Numinous, Nameless, Tao, I am, Thou, Source of I-thought ... I see Your point, all the madness story remains in the realm of the relative.
Commentary 1.2 Now it is almost certainly another voice
One cannot continue this way; let's speak of what is written down in the Holy Books. [Don't forget the important modality: Bible (Biblia) relates to the concept of The Book like "doggies" to "The Dog." I see, now keep silent for a few minutes, please. I am not sure that this shade changes it all so significantly, but, of course, who knows? One must certainly he aware of this.] Take the growth of Kingdom, a partisan-like genial action--obviously against someone very powerful. Does it not look like a revolt against the Center rather than an activity of the Center itself? A Strange Guerrilla-fight Coordinating Center it must be, and so clearly JEALOUS about other guerrilla groups. Or take the training for lucid, crystal clear, discriminative consciousness a la Gurdjieff. Demonic private school-like, one could say, yes, but does it not also look like an elitist school paid for by the ruling aristocracy? [allowing one to join the ruling class after appropriate training and tests].
Commentary 1.3 Possibly the first voice again [but which is the real first one?]
The ocean of consciousness seems to be too vast. Where is the center of this Ocean? I would not even say "everywhere" (or say another wise [clever/foxy] thing). I just don't know. In fighting against computer viruses, then, yes, [good] programs fight [evil] programs, but is it a so very important thing for the mind behind the computer? (Why am 1 speaking of the Mind Behind when living in the computer virus world?--0r living in the computer game world where even the Mind Behind can get TOO involved in the game?) Being with THEE gives me a feeling that one does not need these metaphors, that they are more misleading than revealing. When under the influence of these "meetings," I distrust even good labels to describe the Great Game--not only "schizophrenia," but also play ["leela"], or progress towards an Omega point. They are something to speak about, but basically I do not need any of these terms. I certainly must add, that, yes, sometimes I seem to have a passing need for some limited, but clear, ultimate, paradoxical ideas. Yes, and also I am often afraid of them. Yes, one can suppose that most of these "clear" ideas are a result of a limited mind attempting to understand a much more vast, maybe indeed limitless Mind. "Clear" means "limited." Possibly laughing at clear ideas leading to paradoxical stories also means seeing this limited nature. Laughing is a voice of a small, short living wave when resonating [and accepting] the roar--^Wake up and roar Г as H. W. L. Poonja (Jaxon-Bear, 1992, 1993) puts it--of the Oceanic Storm. But WHAT will resonate with the underlying basic Silence of the Ocean? [Am I to add: of the all-embracing Mind?] Laughing has once more rescued me. THOU—addressed in so many ways, and the ever-present Center, grant ULTIMATE help for us, doggies! I remember that every contact with THEE in a way confirms this feeling/truth.
A Message To Myself. 2
Many people I trust seem to say that THOU = me[!]. No one can be closer to me, yes. Possibly I can [who knows?] one day grow to recognize that we are really one. Maybe I would prefer to say it the other way around: that "I AM THOU." This way it communicates the feeling that "me" is a much [infinitely!] less constant part in the capitalized expression. Note, that for me there are still two of us:
"THOU" and small "I"! People (e.g., Tart, 1975) have claimed grounds to tell me that "me" can be a label either to be attached or torn away. So, once more, which one of US is the great schizophrenic mind? Schizophrenic--obviously the multilabeled me! THOU stands for REAL, and untouched by jealousy, I am the one who can feel absent and then create the jealousy "for thine name." THOU--constant center, ocean; me--a peripheral point, wave, creating both action, and counter-action, even "for thine behalf." The feeling of immutability and absence of concepts tell of THY presence; thoughts, concepts, actions [and certainly all the ideas written down in this paper] come with the I-thought.
Commentary 2.0 Who speaks?
Stop me, please! And now, who is this "THOU," maybe a "second" timeless editor of memory/consciousness (Soidla 1995b, 1996a, 1996b)? When this second editor is joined by the first editor, most, if not all, high abstraction level associative memory engrams are perhaps needed no more? Maybe they can be excluded?
Commentary 2.1 A dialogue insert
Maybe it's more important to note that, when I started this paper, I hoped to be creative & cynical enough (in the very spirit of contemporary thinking) to find out something really interesting, hypnotic, and mentally productive that would allow me to seduce (in a way) the people around me [and MYSELF], but I started to question my own heart, and again and again to reach the same quite old-fashioned quintessential apology. Then SHUT UP, YOU, transpersonal pig!!! Dear ME . .. [Here I switched my computer off.]
Commentary 2.2 A distant voice
Was the above an overly dualistic experience (Soidla, 1995с)? All this crowd of voices ... they were in me and I couldn't help myself. THOU, my source, seemingly do nothing [and still I know that the very immobility of THINE is the very stronghold for countless refugees]. Am I still in a state of error? Is something missing? And what of the damageable extra Appendix of my thinking?
A Message To Myself. 3
Help me to be with THEE [or do I mean to be able to reach THY protection, when needed?] these last years of my life, and after the great singularity point-in the after-death dream reality!
Commentary 3.0 Possibly the same voices
I almost started praying ... It is strange that I am not as afraid of total annihilation of my dear personality as of the infinity of after-death dreams & worlds. I have (for short time spans, but these minutes provide a special feeling tone for most of the remaining time) something like a total faith in THEE, but still I am not quite ready to accept what is coming. I suppose I would prefer total nothingness, which I equate with total rest. Maybe this is exactly one of my persisting mistakes. And do I really need to be with THEE all the time? Yes, shouts something in me, but another part of me continues: This is the question! Would I stand anything like permanent conscious closeness--or would I soon leave for some dark comer? Not so ... possibly I am earnestly seeking for a constant feeling of THY hand on the back of my head. I see no independent will to say otherwise. Maybe what is missing is LOVE--real LOVE to keep me always unafraid of the INFINITY ahead?! [Once more a shift of consciousness level follows.] I am an emotionally underdeveloped pauper, not a Son, not even a Slave; I don't really know who I am, clearly someone longing for THY lap as the only safe place for deep, uninterrupted sleep with no thought about awakening. "No thought about awakening" seems to be the key. ["Lap " and the surrounding text--where is this XIXth century mind that is residing in me most of the time? It seems not to be just a result of having been close to THEE. Possibly I do not quite remember; I cannot contain so many things . . .] Now I possibly understand: I don't need to be granted any annihilation; my sleep could even take a fraction of a second and then I would be--possibly--READ'Y TO CONTINUE. Who knows? ... "Still not enough LOVE, You, transpersonal Fox? "--"Yes, Sir, I am!"
A Message To Myself. 4
But one more weak point that sometimes worries me so: What is the source of my fits of hostility towards "organized religion?" My rage is usually out of any proportion, and certainly not constructive [but, happily, passing]. Does it not indicate some fundamental dualism, or at least some ultimate danger in me, and for me? What is THY answer to this question of mine?
Commentary 4.0 Many voices
Do You really expect His answer? Of what kind? Do You plan some automatic writing at your lab computer, or do You really hope to learn some Ultimate truth through the voices You evoke (during the exercise of writing this paper) under Your own overall conscious control? A savage You really are ... and a crap pot, as You wrote about Yourself (Soidla 1995с). (Am I really a bit overexcited? The above voice seems to be happily under some basic overall control just now.) We, different Me's, are writing this paper, turning our heads towards THOU [that means turning our attention inwards, towards the source], hoping, not pretending, happy with this exercise, not laying claim to any extra weight & importance for our writing due to this method.
Commentary 4.1 Many voices, an answer[?]
You have witnessed the darkness and inner paranoia that has claimed Your full attention. Wasn't it a case of misidentification? One more case of Your Mistake. It's been a long time for a simple exercise of orientation [finding the right direction towards THEE]. Yes, remember the incredible richness and distracting imagery of Prakriti's dance that rises as a wave, and then, once more, You-I feel the right direction. Now it is more clear to me, but still I am not sure. I AM SURE, but can THOU add ... ? Anyway, it seems that something is still needed. Is what's needed the very essence of IT? ... Do You have these problems when You are with me? No.
I feel mat the above answer was in a way molded after the spirit of Ramana Maharshi--a figure that is situated between THOU and me [Not as a stop but as a step, even in the worst case. I feel that in a way his voice is really THY voice, for me, at least]. But here I accept this answer. Only formless communication is not colored by any figures [between THOU and me]. Yes ... ...
A Message To Myself. 5
I am not too often involved in formless communication; my visits [darshan] fall short of really being with THEE; they are interspersed with fits of the madness of this world. (Now I see the place of real schizophrenia.) How can I stay with THEE? People say that it would mean changing something so imperceptible that no one would call it any real change, and still it would be the only fundamental change--from sleep to awakening? I feel that it must be this way, yes ...
Commentary 5.0 This I wrote in my notebook
My hypothesis of memory coding (Soidla 1993a, 1993b, 1995a, 1995b, 1995с, 1996a, 1996b, 1996с) leads to the concept of in-time and timeless [repetitive] parts of memory engrams. A resulting metaphor says, among other things, that high abstraction level associative memory engrams [say, the ones registering "good" and "evil"] are, in a way, karmic [fate-forming] engrams. In contrast to spontaneous mental activity—abstract thinking is karmic thinking. The Second Birth (awakening, enlightenment) means the joining of in-time and timeless editors, and literally dissolves [say, in a "metaphysical" exposure to nucleases due to conformational change, or so] the high abstraction level associative memory engrams. They had an important function that was realized via a karmic [cause and effect], or should one say "Old Testament" pathway. For us, human beings (and all living creatures?), the high abstraction level--ethical and religious attainment registering--engrams establishes a Salvador Dali-like "prosthetic," temporary way of compassionate contact between the in-time and timeless. But if (and only if[?]) Mind is ready [mature], it can drive away the prosthesis and become one with the Source.
Commentary 5.1 Once more, back at the computer screen
I like the end of the above (certainly too technical) commentary. I am nearing the great singularity
point and THY hand on my head is the only assurance that... You understand me.
A Message To My Self. 6
I am clowning around (enjoying, hating, paran[n]oying). THOU art the gravitational center of my follies, my desperation, and my trust. Often I think that even during the rare but most important [cardinal] occasions of THINE help, I myself do almost everything (certainly I do the speaking). Prakriti 's witness, me-atman--[seemingly] involved in the world-dance--I am growing more and more aware of the Center, of the Source-Brahman--and my [illusory] circles are slowing. There is nothing more real than this influence that keeps me slowing down more and more now. THOU, the most important, the only important one in the world, help me ... help US ...
Buber (1958), Cohen (1974), Harding (1972), Jaxon-Bear (1992, 1993), Wren-Lewis (1994a, 1994b)...
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Author's Address: T. R. Soidla, Institute of Cytology, Tikhoretsky Avenue 4, St. Petersburg 194064, Russia.