Thursday, January 21, 2016

From Meister Eckhart, a secret of time travel and reality creation

When the soul wishes to experience something she throws an image of the experience out before her and enters into her own image.

The words are from Meister Eckhart, the medieval German theologian and mystic who knew about the laws of the larger reality through direct experience. I first read then and jotted them down as an undergraduate, eons ago. They turn up now and then unexpectedly, as they did just now in an old journal. I went looking just now for the exact source (the history professor in me dies hard) and I see that you can order a Meister Eckhart Quote Bag with this inscription.
     I'm tickled by the notion that instead of putting this quote in your bag of tricks, you might want to try packing what you carry through the day inside the thought.
     It's a thought that demands walking meditation. Travel with it, and see how it shapes and illuminates your day. Then test it against your dreams.
     The medieval master is telling us something vitally important about our relationship with time. He explains, for starters, how it is that we can see the future, especially in dreams. Consciousness - call it soul - is never confined to the body, or to linear time, except by our confining belief systems. The shared belief of most, if not all, ancient and indigenous cultures is that soul gets around, especially in dreams. It visits places distant from us in space and time. It finds itself at home in nonlocal mind (to use a contemporary expression).
     Meister Eckhart is prompting us to go even deeper. He is hinting at a secret of manifestation. He draws us to think about the confluence between what medieval theologians called the Aevum - the realm between time and eternity - and events in our world. It is in the Aevum that the incidents and circumstances of our physical lives are generated, in this understanding, through the agency of imagination, that great faculty of soul. On most days, most of us, sequestered from soul and its knowing, are merely receivers of the results of choices made in this realm that is hidden from the ordinary mind.

Who knew where we stood? 
In an aevum maybe, where time's conferred

with the beginning we gave it,
but with no end in sight.

These beckoning lines are from a poem titled "Aevum" by M.E.Caballero-Robb. They strengthen the enjoinder to walk through a day - why not today? - with Meister Eckhart's thought. That means asking, of whatever develops during the day, What image am I now entering? And, Where and how was this image created?
     Then, energized by these reflections, we go the long step further, which is to seek to be present, as conscious co-creators, in the place where soul makes its choices on what we - as its vehicles - will experience in the world.
     Do I sound like a mystic? Very well, you may call me a mystic, but I would say that I am a mystic of a very practical order. We are talking about how worlds are made.
     By the way, a more famous Meister Eckhart quote is this: "If the only prayer you said in your life was Thank You, that would suffice." That is my own philosophy of prayer, and it is the practice of people who live close to the Earth as well as the heavens, and give thanks daily for its gifts. Oh yes, you can get that on a "quote bag" too.


Patricia said...

I lost most of my dreams from last night. I woke with this thought. The soul is an on going sutra of spirit. When I looked up the word sutra: it's root is siv, that which sews and holds things together. It is related to suci meaning needle list. And to suna meaning woven. The idea of soul creating a sutra as woven threads from experience has me stepping into my curiosity for all my dreams around tapestries. Also I wonder if I lost my dream that goes with this thought because I was asking the wrong questions or because my soul hid the dream so I would look up the word sutra and not get lost in the detail of the dream?

Robert Moss said...

I sometimes find the great gift of the night is a single thread. The most common translation of the Sanskrit "sutra" is simply "thread". In Indian literature, a sutra is an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms, and sutras have been vehicles for sacred knowing and teaching since Vedic times. Buddhist canonical texts are also known as sutras, though they may be misnamed, since they do not retain the aphoristic quality of the Indian texts. The dreamed sutra – that the soul is an ongoing sutra of spirit – prompts deep meditation and research. Standing alone, it reminds us just how valuable a loose thread from a dream can be. It can be used to pull through much more. It can be used to weave meaning from the fabric of more than one reality. I think a good one-liner is always a gift, and to receive one fully-formed from a dream is just great.

The Sanskrit word reminds me of how, leading a residential training in France last fall, I dreamed that I told our circle, I “You must think about the bindu.”When I reported this to the group, they were excited and wanted to learn more. We agreed that we would all incubate dreams on the bindu. We did, and this led to extraordinary discoveries.

Patricia said...

Thank you for your thoughts and shedding light on the gift of this Robert. I like that "the soul is an ongoing sutra of the spirit" , is a sutra.