15092011110POSTCARD #178: Delhi: The way things are in the new place is still unfolding, and the memory of the old place, sadly enfolded, objects wrapped up, tucked away in boxes and closed, sealed with lengths of parcel tape in rolls… prrrrrp-stick! The sound of it went on and on: prrrrrp-stick! prrrrrp-stick! I had to get out of there; the prrrrrp-stick was giving me a headache. When I came back, the rooms were emptying fast; a change in acoustics, the sound of a handclap creates an echo… household objects vanishing at the same rate as large sealed boxes appear – rooms starting to vanish, the void begins to emerge through the windows, floor gives way and everything falls in, turns inside out and soon, every single thing is gone, floors swept… nothing remained at all. Our world, enfolded in packaging and placed in a truck, driven away and we left from the empty house… never saw it again.

Sad to leave that place. I was not there when it happened. When I got back, the new setting began to have a familiarity; I expected it would. The same thing in a different context, but something entirely new was starting to unfold, a ‘holomovement, indefinable and immeasurable’ (David Bohm). The world as we see it, is only part of a movement enfolding and unfolding. And there’s the paper-folding exercise with a sheet of paper, folding it many times and marking it in some way, making holes in it, cutting the corners off and opening it out, unfolding the whole pattern. ‘Enfolding and unfolding is the primary reality, and the pattern is secondary’*. Moving to a new house with a complete set of household items means the same characteristics are seen in a new arrangement and this strange familiarity, a transition, continues unfolding until you start to re-cognize it. This becomes the place where you are now, the place where you wake up every morning and gradually it becomes home.

The whole nature and appearance of things transforming, evolving, taking new shape, and the metamorphosis that moving-house entails, everything we might think it is or think it’s not, or could have been, might have been, or would have been nice if it weren’t for that something else that’s always impossibly difficult… all that is simply part of it too and contributes to the whole transfiguration. The extent of it would seem like it could break me to pieces if I tried to comprehend it in all its parts, and there’s a dependence on a subjective ‘self’ constructed out there in the world of objects, like a chess piece you can have control over, move around, and say, ‘this’ is mine, this is ‘me’, cushioned against the immensity which is held in awe.

I am infinite like space, and the natural world is like a jar
I am like the ocean, and the multiplicity of objects is comparable to a wave
I am like the mother of pearl, and the imagined world is like the silver
… I am in all beings, and all beings are in me. To know this is knowledge, and then there is neither renunciation, acceptance, or cessation of it.’ [Ashtavakra Gita 6.1 – 6.4]


*Excerpted from “Unfolding Meaning


23 thoughts on “enfold/unfold

  1. The same thing in a different context, but something entirely new was starting to unfold, a ‘holomovement, indefinable and immeasurable’ (David Bohm). The world as we see it, is only part of a movement enfolding and unfolding.

    I prefer “the dance of Mahakali” to “holomovement”.

    Have you seen Bohm’s dialogues with Krishnamurti?
    (Limits of Thought and The Ending of Time.)

      • I did listen to the start of one but found K’s assertiveness a bit disturbing. I like DB’s quiet manner. But now that you mention it, it could be an interesting interplay between them…

      • What I think I know about it comes primarily from my theophany of The Dancer but it seems to me it ties in well with both the Mahakali of Kashmir Shaivism and Bohm’s holomovement.

        As you’d know, despite being a renowned quantum physicist, Bohm didn’t believe the universe was made up of matter/energy ‘stuff’ divided into discrete entities. Rather he saw it as a multifaceted manifestation of an underlying unity he characterised in terms of motion rather than matter.

        In Kashmir Shaivism Shiva occupies the place of Nirguna Brahman in some other Hindu traditions – that of attributeless universal consciousness. Shakti (or Mahakali) is the manifestation of Shiva as a dynamic feminine creative/destructive principle giving rise to the phenomenological universe.

        During my first theophany I became aware of a dancing female goddess present in every aspect of my awareness, including self-awareness, that constantly destroyed and created every instant of awareness and instance of entity with Her dance. It was several months later that I connected Her with Mahakali.

      • I find it hard to get my head around the dance of Mahakali as a holomovement – it really shakes up the present ongoing usual idea of what’s real…

      • I don’t think She’s a form but rather gives rise to forms. According to the Kashmir Shaivites She’s identical to Shiva but manifest via action. There’s a Sanskrit pun that translates more or less as “Shiva without Shakti is inert” (the pun is in the Sanskrit spelling).

        In Kashmir Shaivism the phenomenological universe isn’t an illusion but a very real manifestation of citi. Shakti (Mahakali) is the process of manifestation.

        Kashmir Shaivism is ‘earthier’ than Sankara’s Advaitism.

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