Man in the Mandala

I was born a child of western thought. Raised in the Greeks, Hegel was the furthest I strayed from their iterations and footnotes.  Through some odd bent of my nature, or perhaps by initiation into Hegel alone, I found myself playing with thought and mind outside the mechanical routine; that game of logically possible where the major rule is consistency.  Abandoning the shores of identity, non-contradiction, and the excluded middle; I set off for what felt like the deeper waters of abstract particularity, aufhebung, and dialectic, that negativity might matter.  Alternating within limitations of various logics, thought was made playful rather than rigorous.   New images formed, things previously unimaginable, senses and images seemed to form algebras while I watched.  I practiced giving it fluidity, then fought it, tried to force structure on it and watched it mutate under that constraint.  It was imagination—indulged, as much I could.  I called this adventure metacognition.  As this parses out in an obvious way, the term was already in use to describe exactly what was done.  The overlap with meditation(as a vague a notion as I had of what that was at the time) was inevitable.  Proceeding with what felt natural and without the pressure of prohibitions, I came to an odd place after many hours.  There was a sense that a question was possible, tessellating visions accompanied this if it has to be partitioned out in this way.  The question might be any question and the answer could be given.  So a question was asked: and I asked for the structure of the universe(I was born a child of western thought).  I was kicked to hell, thrown out with a blast and pulled out of that state back to the normal data of everyday life.  It seems the mandala is not a technocrat, handing out man-made answers to man-made questions.  This is the correspondence I’ve seen, the closest thing I’ve heard of since—that might match the experience.  That thing does care for logical questions, I was told.  Only the spiritual can be posed to it.  In the years that followed, my tendency toward the rational moved me to explanation.   I considered that(in the most general of terms) that state was somehow a gestalt electrical circuit based parietally(the state had a character of a pure space to it, not like the space of a room); that the formation of a question in the usual sense, especially one so definite, originated in the frontal lobe and that this interfered with the state’s stability causing a collapse.  The psychic kick was a bad form of laughing(laughing is sometimes explained as a way for the brain to drain the energy caused by the twist in “logic” found at the punchline of much of what’s humorous).  I returned to that place again, soon after, and well before my later adumbration; this time I asked the “right” question.

Years later with many more trials tried, I came upon the position that the Ancient Greeks might not have been limited to this internal narrative in the head.  I believe there was discussion of the Oracle, and that it might not have been unusual to hear One’s own voice outside the body (the term used was extrasomatically).  After some reflection, I found it odd that I can “hear” this internal narrative and localize it to somewhere inside my skull.  Odd because many Ancient people thought the heart was the center of man, the brain something to be discarded, or to take up space—because “nature abhors a vacuum.”  Should it not be localized in the heart or unbounded if one does not think it ought to be bounded?  Perhaps it could be spread out, smeared around a person—perceptually at least.  At this time I was involved in something much like mediation.  The common enough consideration, that the walls are not really there in some deeper sense of the physics was taken to its extreme.  So that a perceptual shift occurred, to that point where it feels like one is freely floating in space, not bounded by a fixed map of the room.  An expanding consciousness that doesn’t acknowledge it has to be in space.  Coming back from this, I tried to reorder my internal narrative so that it felt external to this body.  Unfortunately I was never able to focus it outside the corner of the room.  Somehow that handle was needed, to hang the voice on.  I discussed this with a friend who told me I was going too far in strange directions with my experimentation, and that it would be best if I tried living a normal life for a while.  I took this advice seriously and never returned to that place, the verdict hung.

I find no issue with my attitude of holding multiple explanations, as dissonant as they might seem with one another.  I do not think the universe cares if I come to a conclusion, if I can form a closed loop, I’m uncertain that the universe forms closed loops, so forming closed loops seems like it might only be a tempting limitation.  The rational is only a view, its success in technic allows us to forget this.  There are limits to the rational, and we are only investigating, seeking maybe, but then sometimes not.  Crossing into the unknowable may not be possible, at least not without great risk, but the unknown can be explored with many views.  Looking for the limits of the rational, how far what is known or what can be, might be stretched.

There is much to be discussed here about holographic and holonomic theories of brain.  As if some out of phase state can produce exogenous narratives.

Artwork: Creation of the World – II; Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

©matthewludwig

One thought on “Man in the Mandala

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s