So. What is your practice? What qualities and potentials do you nurture in the particulars of your commitments?
Starting in January, the Consciousness Explorers Club dedicates each month to a particular path of practice: concentration. mindfulness, inquiry surrender, art, emotional health, the body, nature, story, action, devotion, and finally – in December – Rock n Roll, our path of celebratory freedom and jackassery, where we explode the whole year, and start over again with some new configuration (parenting? sex? medicine? nonduality? politics?).
Our in-house name for this ever-shifting model is the “CEC Diamond.” Or, if you prefer, the “Pluralistic Pizza.” Here are twelve slices for 2020:
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The idea is:
- almost any domain or activity in life can be approached as an intentional practice
- the people who specialize in these domains or activities have learned important things about their own lives and – we can imagine – human life more generally
We want to draw this wisdom out. Not from the perspective of some other path, but from the perspectives of the actual people who live inside their paths. What does a professional poet have to say about how their art has helped them find connection and fulfillment and understanding – and what might they say about how it hasn’t? And what about an athlete, or a field naturalist, or a book-besotted analytic philosopher? Can we speak honestly about the gifts of our commitments, as well as their inevitable deformations?
The Invisible Centre and Why It Matters
We find it thrilling to champion the integrity of different paths, obviously, but also to defend the possibility of an “invisible centre.” This is Mysticism 101, wildly unpopular in the largely secular intellectual mainstream. Call it “Absolute,” call it “zero,” call it “God” or “source” – a fundamental direction in experience that cannot be named or grasped, and yet it can be oriented to, expressed in different facets.
Facets like “oneness” in the path of unifying concentration. “Wisdom” in the path of intellectual inquiry. Synchronizing “flow” in the path of the body. “Meaning” in the path of story, “inter-being” in the path of nature, “justice” in the path of appropriate action. And so on.
Each of these is real as an experience (not simply an idea). Real, yet also, paradoxically, ever-more real, for “reality” in this sense is on a continuum, stretched towards an organizing singularity. Dropping in, we feel a quickening – a renewed intimacy with the weird fact of our own existence. And this matters. These potentials help diminish our fear and alienation. They liberate our fulfillment. And – take note all caregivers and would-be activists – they can supercharge our capacity to make meaningful change in the world. It is how we come into our truth.
But don’t take our word for it. What facets have revealed themselves in your experience? What do you orient to in your life, and how did you figure it out?