POSTCARD#51: Delhi: Jiab left for Bangkok this morning and in the afternoon I get a text message saying she’s over there now; it’s a 4 hour flight, no jet-lag and it’s warm and nice. Later I’m up on the roof terrace and she calls me on Skype, laughing and talking… checking out, meanwhile, how she looks in the little window in the Skype frame; eyes anchored in the same position as she’s turning her head from side to side. I’m holding my phone screen like I’m inside a mirror looking at her sitting in that same room I was in just a week ago. What time is it there? 1½ hours ahead, so I’m in another time zone, one I know quite well, a kind of back-to-the-future thing. I have to think about it for a moment… the ‘now’ I experience at this moment was the future for me when I was there in the past. Pause for a moment, let’s see… there is always only ‘now’, past-time and future-time swirling around it in a vortex. I need to get some distance from it, so I think in these terms: I, as the subject, see ‘it’ as the object over there somewhere. The world is ‘seen’ and the one who sees it, curiously absent at the actual moment of seeing, is currently processing the image, and trying to locate the ‘now’, which by this time, seems to be lost somewhere in the past (or the future).
Senses interact with the outer environment, the brain conjures up the colours, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings; these inner landscapes of the mind, and I don’t usually even consider that the reality behind the dreamscapes of the senses is in any way different from what I think it is. The 7 basic colours in the spectrum created by the human brain may be sourced in a field of colours nobody has ever seen; all the subtleties between a white opalescence that’s nearly turquoise, and black that’s not a colour in itself but an iridescent purple.
I’m thinking of these exotic birds up here on the roof terrace, perched on the electric cables at eye-level and looking at me – outrageously coloured, orange, black purple, way off the scale of normality. What is it with these birds? Do they fly in and out of this unseen world we’re talking about here; into that reality where ordinary speech frequencies sound the same as the arbitrary shrill whistles, trills and pings of birdsong; an ocean of intoxicating tastes and fragrances, and a vast range of tactile sensations? You could say it’s totally out of this ‘world’.
We have to filter all this exotic disorder or we’d go insane, get it into a simple format so we’re all watching the same movie: ‘oh, I see what you mean.’ It’s an objectified reality; the world is a concept understood by the mechanism I call ‘me’. The snag is though, the constructed ‘self’ has it’s own momentum and I need to be mindful about engaging with whatever it is that’s invading sensory awareness at the time. Let it pass through like a river in a landscape, and be mindful of the tendency to fall into the dream, into the fiction I’ve created; a pleasing kind of hypnosis or an exhausted state where I find I’m subject to conditions seemingly situated in the reality I created ‘over there’. I need to be mindful that, to become me, I have to think ‘me’. The ‘me’ that I think I am depends on me ‘thinking-it’ into being. Be able to release from this tendency and mindful of the times when I forget to be mindful…
Our objective experience consists of thoughts and images, which we call the mind; sensations, which we call the body; and sense perceptions, which we call the world. In fact we do not experience a mind, a body or a world as such. We experience thinking, sensing and perceiving. In fact all that we perceive are our perceptions. We have no evidence that a world exists outside our perception of it. We do not perceive a world ‘out there.’ We perceive our perception of the world and all perception takes places in Consciousness.’ [‘The Transparency of Things’, Rupert Spira