A person I know recently lost a loved one which caused me to ponder the meaning of life and definition of consciousness. While I am certainly not qualified to describe any of it with authority, I want to provide a few humble thoughts.
If we look at quantum physics, we see within every atom are quarks and within every quark are vibrating strings of energy. At this level, everything is the same. Everything is one. Perhaps this explains the phenomenon of quantum entanglement where when we separate something the parts remain mysteriously connected; what happens to one affects the other instantaneously. We also see that two lovers or a parent and child separated by walls and distance remain connected. When they create a physiological reaction in one person by showing images, the other person reflects the physical reaction even when they are not seeing any images or their partner.
In essence, there is something that connects us all together; perhaps this is what some people call “God”. There is a realm that exists of which we cannot see, touch or measure.
I am reminded of a wonderful metaphor for life…..
We start from a river. Our life, as we know it, begins when we pass over a waterfall and see ourselves as separate little drops of water floating down until we reach the end of the waterfall and once again join the mighty river.
Consciousness can be transposed on a spectrum of transmission and reception; of projecting and receiving energy, wisdom and knowledge. This is comparable to the difference between speaking and listening. When we are speaking we cannot listen. When we listen we cannot speak.
Just like anything else in life, transmission and reception must be balanced for the greatest efficacy.
When a person is predominantly in a state of reception, the person accomplishes little in life and would likely be overly dependent on others for the three dimensional necessities in life.
When a person is predominantly in a state of transmission, the person accomplishes many things but lacks a depth of understanding, a broader vision and can end up burned out.
Transmission and Reception balance is somewhat analogous to the production vs production capability balance outlined in the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. This is also referred to as “P and PC Balance”. Productivity is the end result; and production capability is the thing that produces that end result. An example of this is a car … with driving as the production (p) and mechanical soundness is the production capability (pc). We can drive our car non-stop around the country with no down-time for preventative maintenance. For a period of time (20-40,000 miles), production is incredibly high since there has been no down time, but soon that lack of maintenance causes your production capability to have major break downs. Now the engine requires a complete tear down resulting in major expense and loss of time. This could have been avoided by caring for the production capability as much as the production. Production is about short term yield whereas production capability is about long term sustainability. This relates to many areas of our lives. We can over-work our bodies and neglect our health resulting in burn out after an initial increase in productivity. In relationships, we can take more than we give, resulting in a fizzling relationship. Managers can whip their employees into shape for short term quarterly increase in sales but resulting in higher turnover rate and low morale. Life is about balance.
As a workaholic — where in the face of obstacles or stress I work harder — I know this lack of balance all too well. In 2014, I had two of the largest sculpture projects in my life with a tight deadline of completion. I did heavy fabrication work of which there was no precedent from 8am in the morning till 9pm at night every day including weekends and holidays. I had to push myself with caffeine to pull every last drop of productivity out of my body and mind. While the sculptures where successful, I was left depleted. I even had to go a naturopathic doctor because had lost my mojo. It took me over a year and many supplements to rebuild what I had lost. This lack of balance is not worth the short term gain because ultimately long term sustainability will wane.
Back on the transmissive and receptive state of consciousness … It is the while in the transmissive state when I produce. It is when I take action. When I affect the external world. When I speak. It is when I project energy and when I give. These are all critically important things to live a successful and well-adjusted life. But even good things can become out of balance.
If we put any polar opposites on a gradient spectrum, we can achieve balance in two ways. We can have a strong positive and a strong negative. Both are equally powerful and together they combine for maximum potency. There is weight at both ends of the scale. Conversely we can put the weight right in the middle this scale for complete neutrality. This centerline neutrality lacks potency … it is listless.
When we can harmoniously combine the qualities of two disparate things we can exponentially increase the potency greater than the sum. We can distinguish these two forms of balance as “Polar Balance” (weight on both ends) and “Neutral Balance” (weight in the middle)
These two different ways to approach balance can be applied to transmissive and receptive mental states. I naturally tend to put more weight on the transmissive side of the scale. If I were to utilize Neutral Balance, I would remove weight from transmission. Whereas if I were to utilize Polar Balance, I would add weight to the reception. When I add high levels of receptive wisdom to already high levels of transmissive action, it potentiates greater results.
How do we add to the receptive end of this balance?
It is taking time to sit and be. To meditate. To be present. To close your eyes.
Thoughts still exist in this receptive state, but they are different. Thoughts come from a deeper space in of wisdom and intuition. Receptive state provides answers.
The epitome of being in a state of reception is a tree. The tree exists. The tree breaths. The tree listens to wind in it’s canopy. A tree watches. A tree is still. A tree is strong with roots deep into the earth, synonymous with tapping into the collective unconscious. Sometimes I envision myself being a tree to remember the feeling of the receptive state. It is a powerful visualization.
Creativity comes from a receptive state. Creativity cannot be forced or willed into existence. Just like how authentic play cannot be forced. It must be gently allowed to manifest in waves like a mushrooms sprouting up on a rainy day.
We can begin meditation with questions then allow the answers to come though silence and presence of mind. Another excellent visualization is to imagine particles of energy being attracted towards our body and absorbed. Let me give an example of how powerful this is: During an eye gazing exercise where I looked into my partner’s eyes and she looked into mine for an extended time, I attempted a receptive focus (also referred to as yin focus) by visualizing my eyes actually receiving energy. While doing this I had glimpses of perfect vision with what are normally very farsighted eyes. I have learned that the eyes are not merely passive observers but also powerful transmitters like lasers. I have learned that my eyes are a form of bio-feedback where I can understand my state of transmission vs reception by noting how well I see.
Prioritizing the practice of entering the receptive state though meditation and presence aids physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual well-being.