Another Rhythm

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My last blog post was titled Purely Sublime. Really its true my life is so good, I can barely comprehend it, am only beginning to fully surrender to joy. The joy of growing our own food. The joy of steaming up food (lambsquarters!) that grew wild - that the earth just gave. The joy of having my man reach up to grab my little titties as he sits on the chair and I bend over across the table. The view to the volcano and its white snow in this summer heat. Being my own boss, owning my own business. Studying what I truly love: craniosacral therapy.

Enjoying the uniqueness of my man: he hasn't masturbated once since meeting me eight months ago (so he claims, so I believe him). He does not watch porn. That is not part of our life. We are turning into simple country folk in not so simple times. Where the situation is so globally precarious, it makes little sense to do anything but become a farmer. Or so my life has led me.

Although this is my life, it is not most people's experience. Most people are having an urban experience. Porn seems to come part and parcel with the disconnection between people and land. And pardon me for my facetiousness, and check me please if this rings false. But the more and more that I live here, close to the land, the more I see that the distortions of being an urban dweller run so deep that most manifestations of it come from the nervous tension built up from being separated from The Lover, which is the land, which is nourishment, which is fresh air, which is the integrity of being responsible for one's own food, which is the responsibility to care, which is the integrity of caring for oneself. Or so I see it in my framework, my worldview.

I have been watching my body and psyche slowly begin to decompress itself out here. I have lived in some of the largest urban centers in the world (NYC, Istanbul) and coming back to the land, to the mother, to the Beloved, informs me in ways that are so subtle and deep, they don't compare to the magnitude and speed of the city life. Because this life on the land is teaching me about what it means to be human by learning the ways of the nonhuman. Whereas living in a city means learning what it means to be human amongst the man made and in the midst of other humans. Which leaves little perspective for what we are really here for, which in my opinion is NOT money, accomplishment, prestige, etc etc. The only reason we are here is to care. Because if we don't, we simply won't survive. Having a garden teaches you this in a really real way: you must care. You MUST, if you want to LIVE. The basis of life is caring for something larger than yourself, and caring for yourself through your love of that thing larger, which is wholly mysterious, and certainly cannot be condensed into a pixel.

In craniosacral therapy lingo, there is this recognition of a phenomenon called "The Breath of Life". It is a very slow and very subtle and very deep tide in nature that moves at a 100 second cycle and which organizes life systems. Our bodies are made mostly of fluid, and there is a longitudinal fluctuation of fluid called the Long Tide that is another layer and "sleeve" of the Breath of Life as it expresses itself through our fluid body. Within this Long Tide is another, faster tide, called the Mid-tide. Our tissues, cells and nerves organize themselves in this Mid-tide frequency though the ever deeper and slower sleeves of the Long Tide and Breath of Life. Which means that the nervous system is encased in and regulated by slower and slower organizing forces and tides of nature.

Hang in there with me folks.

So, it turns out that this Mid-tide frequency of the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse, which is how the craniosacral fluid in the center of your spine pulses, is very sensitive to stress. My teacher told me that he has palpated people who live in nature and close to the land and they do not have the same Cranial Rhythmic Impulse that urban dwellers do. It seems that the high-stress environment of the urban landscape compresses the nervous system and causes the CRI to try to adapt by speeding up.

Here is an excerpt that explains what the CRI does: "The CRI represents the conditioned nature of the human system. It is a rhythm that is conditioned by genetics and experiental processes. It is the wave form of our experience, it is not a direct expression of the Long Tide, yet it is driven by these deeper forces. It is like the wave forms that ride on the deeper tides. This rhythm expresses the patterns of our unresolved experience. The quality and rate of this rhythm is an expression of the action of genes as they unfold, of the state of the central nervous system and its autonomic functions, and is further conditioned by the various forces and experiences we meet in life. The quality and state of the CRI is directly affected by the state of the autonomic nervous system. It is also strongly affected by unresolved shock states held in the system. Its rate of expression will change due to the forces of unresolved trauma and teh nature of the unresolved experiences held in the system." (Franklyn Sills, Craniosacral Biodynamics)

For whoever has read this far (hello Marnia), I would propose that what is actually happening in Karezza is that the lovers are dipping down to the Long Tide, the slower nourishing tides which are self-regulating and which affect the Mid-tide and overall functioning of the nervous system, calming it down. I would also propose that most people watching porn or having goal-oriented sex are caught up in the faster pulses of teh CRI, which is holding genetic trauma and unresolved shock states that are trying to be ejected from the system. The problem is that when the CRI level of stress becomes the tide that is identified with as reality, it becomes uncoupled with the slower tides, which emerge mostly through stillness, and which are ultimately nourishing, because they are the ground of our being.

According to this idea, karezza lovemaking affects the nervous system but operates from a system that is pre-nervous system. The tides that I described above are real and have been observed as different levels of embodiment as the embryo unfolds. There is a period of development that is part of the continuum of who we are and how we are still unfolding that is NOT nervous system. As Sills says, "perception is not dependent upon the presence of a fully formed nervous system."

Interestingly, the perceptive tool that craniosacral therapists use to help people to re-couple with these very slow tides is Stillness, the same principle that Marnia focuses on, and which the Dao De Jing also describes as the ultimate ground of reality:

"Great De and its features
Flow entirely from Dao
Dao objectified
is only intangible and illusive.
Intangible and illusive,
yet within it are images.
Illusive and intangible,
yet in it are forms.
Shadowy and obscure,
yet within it is essence.
Essence so real,
That within it is true potency."

and . . .

"Attain complete emptiness
Hold fast to stillness
The then thousand things stir about
I only watch for their return
Things grow and grow
But each returns to its root
Returning to its root is Stillness
This means returning to what is."

Comments

Very Lovely

I personally hate the city. Those I find most drawn to it have also been those uncomfortable with themselves. It is certainly not the case for everyone in the cement jungle, but then again there never is a one size fits all.

Quote:The only reason we are

[quote]The only reason we are here is to care. Because if we don't, we simply won't survive. Having a garden teaches you this in a really real way: you must care. You MUST, if you want to LIVE. The basis of life is caring for something larger than yourself, and caring for yourself through your love of that thing larger, which is wholly mysterious, and certainly cannot be condensed into a pixel. [/quote]Let me add, as so many here have shown us, caring for each other.

*deep breath*

Thanks Hotspring. I think I'll post part of this over in the comments to the article about the parasympathetic/sympathetic nervous systems and karezza.

I bet you're on to something Important...as usual. Smile

There's so much correlation

There's so much correlation here. The craniosacral methodology is very elaborate and very sound, as much of it is grounded in an understanding of our fluid body through a very close study of embryological development.

There is another aspect to all of this which I want to mention, and that is the concept of potency. In craniosacral therapy, it is described that the breath of life is the blueprint that helps to regulate all systems of the body, and it does so through an inhalation and exhalation phase. Each phase is a rebirth, a reincarnation as the body learns to regulate and find its continuity on the edge of the present moment. And what allows this reignition process is the fact that the tide is being moved by the spark of our conception, which we call "original potency." Our original potency, or "conception ignition", continues to move through our fluid body in pulsation. It is literally the act of our spirit manifesting in the matter of our bodies. It is, in this sense, our very spirit that regulates us. The more we get out of touch with our Spirit, the more dysregulated we are.

There are also electromagnetic correlates to all of this. There is an electromagnetic level to the perception of fluid tides, and there is an electromagnetic "spark" (read: potency) that happens when people sink into deep stillness. It is this spark that can activate healing and reorganization on a soul and anatomical level in a person in a cranio session. It is quite beautiful to watch. There is an intelligence deep in the core of our bodies that we have lost touch with but which, when it can come to the foreground through deep stillness, is healing and nourishing and self-organizing (on a form level, on an implicate level). I have been so humbled watching these forces at work in people. It is a sight to behold spirit coming into a treatment session and gently helping people to find their midline and self-regulate.

In some of my cranio reading I've also found interesting references to Bohm's notion of the implicate and explicate order (see Franklyn Sills' work). What we perceive as implicate order is actually shaped and formed by the explicate. The process of the explicate becoming implicate and vice versa is the process of consciousness manifesting itself. (There are even more deep analogies and correlations bewtween implicate and explicate, yin and yang, foreground and background, form and emptiness, birth and death, conscious and subconscious, that would be interesting to explore at some point.)

My hunch is that karezza is a practice of deep stillness that allows the original potency of the spark of conception to rediscover itself. Purely mechanical and technical and overly-genital obsessions with orgasm can just be seen as the implicate order and world of form trying desperately realize its relationship with the explicate order, that mysterious ground from which all form emerges. We long for the mystery of the explicate more than the tangibility of the implicate, because we want to be reconnected to this deep mysterious potency that pervades all space. Most of us do this by obsessively compulsively trying to exhaust the world of form so as to find that glimpse of empty, mysterious potency at that moment during orgasm when we can finally stop frantically searching.

Karezza, on the other hand, simply goes to the source - the place where the explicate background that is constantly emerging finds its consciousness in the world of form through dynamic stillness in the implicate order. The potency and mystery within that can simply unfold when we acknowledge that this enfoldment of form and emptiness, implicate and explicate, is ALREADY coupled. We needn't do any work because the universe is already perfectly potent, self-organizing, and continuous (read: holy). If we stop and listen, there is an upwelling, an expression of genius and creativity sparking its way on the edge of every moment. To share this deep awe and participation means to know that we are already expressions of this intelligence, and that to share this with another human is perhaps the greatest blessing and opportunity in this life to know that we are god, and so is everyone and everything else.

Aspiring urban refugee

I emerged from my mother in one of the larger American metropolises, but from the ages of 7 through 17 I lived primarily on the original earth, visiting the distant urbanized zones less than once each week, seeing a video game for the first time at the age of 10, etc. Urban organization nonetheless managed to reach out through the trees to capture me. That is, I attended public school, where I learned competition, witnessed poverty, and heard some incredibly uninformed narratives about human sexuality from both teachers and fellow students. More than a decade after leaving 'home,' I am currently hopelessly lost in urban life, estranged from my own memories and alienated from the land because of, at least in part, my failure to acquire sufficient capital. I write this post in an attempt to identify whether there is some causative correlation between my surroundings/sources of sustenance and my problematic emotional states / relationship issues. I must first review some personal history in order to properly introduce the question that I'll ultimately ask.

Every person who instructed me in any subject emphasized the idea, usually intentionally but sometimes otherwise, that the only legitimate goals included extensive education and full engagement with the urban system (either in the city or by extruding a car-based tentacle and establishing an urban outpost away from the city itself). Even my parents, who moved out of the city because it was destroying their will to live, unfailingly encouraged me to study, excel in college, and engage with the system (i.e. 'get a job'). As I created an ever-stronger umbilical link to the industrial system, I was also trying to nurture a romantic and sexual relationship. This relationship began in late childhood, when I was 18 and she was 19. Neither of us had ever been 'in love' or had sex, nor did we understand that personalities evolve. We were originally brought together solely by infatuation, not by mutually shared fundamental goals or vision. Our childhood experiences were very different--she lived a quintessential suburban existence (parents with corporate job, extracurricular activities, friends, the mall, a harmless amount of religion, etc.) while I was gardening, creating toys out of rocks and sticks, and living a double life engaged both with what grew on the land and with what emerged from the indoctrination machine of western urban culture via mediocre public education. Given the destructive forces unleashed in this culture, it is miraculous that we remain committed to each other. The relationship has weathered many instances of prolonged, work/school-based separation, and years of inept, uninspired sexual exploration and sexual dissatisfaction.

During an introspective moment shortly after college, I witnessed an utterly desolate hallucinated vista of my future: a vision of myself working in the profession for which I had trained, returning home in the evening to my wife, herself working in the profession for which she trained, both of us earning money, living a spectral life mediated by conceptual exchange, aimlessly 'contributing' to a parasitic society. I was deeply disturbed by that vision, but I felt powerless to enact any policies or devise any strategies to create a more compelling future. Only one aspect of the original vision seemed changeable, and that was what I had seen when I watched my ghostly future self embrace my future wife. My mind directed us through a sexual scene involving all of my most cherished fantasies, and I felt, at the end, that if I could ensure frequent, exciting sex then there was at least the possibility that the mind-numbing, cash-mediated, earth-estranged existence might almost be tolerable.

I started to seek the kind of sexual activity that I thought would make life less beige, but almost immediately my plans were wrecked (for which I am retrospectively thankful, because had I been sexually satisfied then perhaps I might have tolerated the anxiety caused by living in this culture). My then-girlfriend was not interested in any of the sex that I had envisioned. Shocked by this flat denial, I descended into the pornography universe for half a decade. Only when the cognitive dysfunction of living completely disjoint physical and fantasy lives prompted me to seriously consider sexual infidelity did I unambiguously realize that something had gone drastically wrong with my trajectory and my ego. After a two-year battle I defeated both the promiscuity compulsion and the pornography habit. For six months, I have been free from the illusion that sufficient sex can make life tolerable.

Unfortunately (why must this clause always appear?), without the endogenous drug of hyperactive sexuality, I have been forced to confront a more fundamental problem. Specifically, that desolate vision from many years ago has begun to unfold exactly as I imagined, except now without crazed sex to temper the futility. Moreover, a new (or more accurately, latent) relationship problem has arisen: the future vision that to me seems forsaken is precisely the vision that, to my wife, appears filled with joy, contentment, security, and love. As far as I can reconstruct, her vision is this: that an absolutely sufficient married life includes two salaried careers, an urban or sub-urban dwelling of comfortable size in a geography with a minimal population of Nascar enthusiasts, two or three weeks of leisure time each year, movies or reading in the evening, a small flower garden, good physical health, and enough cash to patronize the grocery story and the mid-level fashion outlets and to finance occasional international travel. In content, her vision is nearly identical to mine from years ago, but our interpretations are totally different.

In our late teens, we were too immature to suspect that our backgrounds could potentially lead us to such diametrically opposed impressions of a single proposition. Nor could we guess that my vision of a fulfilling life would diverge so fundamentally from hers despite similar educational experiences, basically compatible ethics, and what, through all of the psychological mayhem, remains a very close and comforting friendship. Freed from the fog of pursuing sex as a means to alleviate essential dissatisfaction with participating in this culture, and with additional years of experience, I can now envision a consistent, ethical, rewarding life. This life strongly resembles aspects of my formative years--rural, minimal cash income to guarantee maximum freedom from the tyranny of clocks, and above all not mediated by cash, screens, and outsourcing responsibility for basic necessities. I see a clear path to achieve this vision. The alternative, meekly following the cultural course plotted for me since I entered school more than two decades ago, is so abhorrent that I become physically ill when I think about spending even another year in this track. I am thankful that I did not lose more of my awareness to the numbing effects of sexual overindulgence, and humbled by my susceptibility to cultural conditioning. But just as I have solved what I thought was the foundational rift in our marriage, I am being confronted by a terrible problem with no apparent solution. Eliminating habitual masturbation and pornography use by decreasing the frequency of orgasm was a serious challenge, but saving my marriage relationship was well worth the effort. In contrast, what technique could I possibly use to alter my interpretation of a proposed lifestyle? It is comparatively trivial and harmless to excise a sexual predilection. But it is neither trivial nor harmless to embark on a life that is inconsistent with one's ethics and convictions.

Finally, I think I have reviewed enough information to ask a relatively succinct question. I love my wife more than ever, our friendship is strong, we are compatible in many important ways (demeanor, politics, ethics, diet, leisure preferences, education, etc.), and I am at long last content with our sexual relationship. My wife loves urban life and has already started to live in exactly the manner that makes her fundamentally happy. The problem is, I hate urban life and I have a five-year plan to radically simplify my connection to industrial society, but this plan is incompatible with my wife's preferred lifestyle. What the fuck am I supposed to do now?

Urban vs Rural - is there a middle way?

I have thought much about this myself, and I have no specific advice, other than don't throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. We would not be communicating via the internet, nor would we have vast libraries of books to choose from, nor the exposure to the many cultures, spiritual paths, alternative medicines and innovative ways of thinking.

There are urban areas which are much less "soul sucking" places than others. I am fortunate to live in one.

Here is one man's story of his departure from, and return to an 'urban' life. You might find the links in his editorial note at the bottom of the article useful.
http://energybulletin.net/node/3757

Also, someone who's writing and life I found inspiring also lives in this city. He manged to quit a job he hated and developed his talents into something he loves doing, and is helping others in the process: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/

Quizure

Because life is not about who you were, it is about who you are becoming.

I get too hasty

Thanks for advising caution. I often, when I first realize something, too rapidly identify an extreme conclusion. I should learn from this tendency (and perhaps I am learning more as I age). For example, when I first fully realized that I was not satisfied by the sex that my wife offered to me, my hasty conclusion was that I would have to be unfaithful. Fortunately, I did not follow that path, and I eventually arrived at a much more satisfying, compassionate, and morally consistent solution. With this new ideological challenge, my first conclusion (that our visions are incompatible) is probably not informed or reasonable.

A note: I believe I may have directed this thread more towards the biophilia aspect of hotspring's original post, which was only a minor component. I apologize for this selfish deviation and hope that emphasis can be brought back to the karezza-relevant ideas that are more generally useful.

Yes, thanks Hotspring

I find that whenever I think about these posts of yours, my whole body automatically takes a deep breath. I know you're onto something here. Could I explain it to the readers of my "Psychology Today" blog do you think? Smile

Feel free to share these

Feel free to share these ideas, giving credit to my Avatar. They germinated here. I hope they are clear. I realize the world of craniosacral therapy is obscure.

There are four sleeves of fluid all moved by the original potency of conception, which layer within one another and form our morphology and organization, and which correlate to embyological stages of development, to different fluid frequencies, and hence to the electromagnetic fields of those fluid frequencies. The elecromagnetic field frequency is like the blueprint of our spirit and how it holds imprints and seeks to resolve them. They are holographic. Health and self-regulation comes from the ability to sense and identify with all four sleeves, especially as they express in the midline (which exists in all sleeves) and through which the spark of life moves.

1st sleeve = The Breath of Life. This is the slowest tide, an inhalation and exhalation cycle of 50 seconds in each direction. There can be a pause at the end of each phase, where the spark of conception reignites itself. This tide is PRE-nervous system, is a force of nature, and exists indipendent of the human system. It is the Life Force at work, bringing spirit and matter, implicate and explicate together in union. It is loving and benevolent and very tender. It is organizing. Tuning into it is tuning into the deepest connection with source. It is the force of incarnation. It is always available, always at work, and particularly noticeable in when one has slowed to its tempo, which is always in the present tense. To see an example of this tide at work, rent "Protoplasm of a Slime Mold" and the work of William Seifritz (http://somaticjourney.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=William_Seifriz).

2nd Sleeve - The Long Tide. This is the fluid body within the human body that moves at the tempo of the Breath of Life. It's my theory that this is the electromagnetic and fluid body that is activated during Karezza. This tidal force is activated during the first few weeks of embryological development, BEFORE the nervous system is formed. Even after we have nervous systems, this tide and frame of reference is still available because we are a continuum. This is not a conceptual idea but an actual, physical and electromagnetic frequency that can be attuned to. It calms the nervous system because it is the mother of the nervous system. It is also associated with the Heart, since the Heart forms first in embrological develoment, before the brain does, and it is the force of the fluid body that starts the beating of the heart. Therefore, it makes sense that this sleeve is what correlates to the practice of Karezza, which is heart and generosity based.

3rd Sleeve - The Mid-tide. This tidal frequency is a bit faster at an average 70 second cycle. It comes into place during the deveopment of the brain, foregut, midgut, and hindgut, and the beginning developmental stages of the liver and major organs other than the heart. I would equate this level of development to lovemaking that is of the Mantak Chia style, or valley orgasm or edgeing approach. The lovemaking is more genitally oriented than heart oriented, produces strong and powerful rushes of nervous system energy, but does not dysregulate the nervous system in the same way that orgasmic sex does.

4th Sleeve - The Cranial Rhythmic Impulse (CRI). This is a sleeve within the Mid Tide. It is the craniosacral fluid pulse, and can get quite fast as an attempted adaptation to stress states. It is the representation of the fluid bodies ability and need to reconcile shock, trauma, cultural conditioning, dna inheritance. I relate it to conventional orgasmic sex. The CRI in a person who is well-regulated, lives close to nature, and gives and receives a lot of love and nurturing touch is likely to result in a calmer CRI and perhaps less hangover or neurochemical side-effects than in someone whose CRI is speedy and dysregulated or is having a lot of shock, trauma, or negative genetic imprinting to manage. When this tide has too much to manage, its faster cycling can distract the person from their deeper sources of nourishment and regulation (the Breath of Life, the Long Tide), and they will begin to see the world mostly in terms of fight or flight and survival. (In other words, this tide can become so speedy, that it will compromise the ability of the slower tides to do their work, to the point where there is no knowledge or cultural reference any more for such slow tides or states. They are perceived as boring or nonexistent, too subtle, "nothings happening.") Hence, the need to orgasm: release of sperm and orgasm are a last-ditch effort to survive under stressful conditions, and also a way for the nervous system to discharge stress. In this case, the emphasis is not on the beloved or on the sense of unity with the cosmos, but on survival and the nervous processing of stressful conditioning and imprints that are so confusing, only discharge seems to bring relief.

An aside: Because these fluid bodies have an electromagnetic correlate, I would also suggest that the electromagnetic "body" of a persons behaviors, wounds, genetic holding patters, etc, will actually form ENTITIES or ARCHETYPES that serve as the matrix or worldview through which the person navigates their lives. So that is the beginning of a discussion of how our fluid body is in actuality just a different representation of our archetypal or psychological body and experience. And from there on out, we get into the realm of mythology and the stories we tell ourselves. . . .

Vanishing the time illusion

Short answer:
Yes.

Long answer:
I identify three general themes from your original post on this thread--non-urban living, karezza, and craniosacral therapy (CST); you have presented the thesis that these are all techniques fundamentally slower than typical modern life, which includes urbanism, orgasm-driven sex / pornography, and commercial medicine. I have no authority to comment on the efficacy of the CST methodology, but the most important feature apparent to me from what has been explained here is that the nervous system of stressed individuals functions at some higher frequency, putting such individuals into a state governed by, principally, the experience of rapidity. From personal memories of rural life and my current urban experience, I would contend that the perception of duration is substantially slower outside of the city. Similarly, from my limited experience with karezza, removing the goal of orgasm dramatically slows the activity, both in physical terms and again in perception of duration. These different areas of experience are related by the recognition that slower is often better, but I am concerned that even this idea is not necessarily the most basic reason why CST / escaping from the city / changing the purpose of sex all seem to improve psychological health.

I would like to explore an idea that might unify activities that have the general effect of slowing. These kinds of activities all seem to operate by altering the perception of time, suggesting that perceiving time to pass quickly, for whatever reason, causes some measure of psychological distress. Clearly the opposite claim can be made about other activities. For example, being imprisoned or tortured causes psychological distress by slowing perceived time. Initially this seems like a paradox, but perhaps there is a solution: the perception of time is itself the origin of distress. For example, a relatively wealthy urbanite concerned with a work deadline might suffer because she experiences rapid progression, which causes the problem of not 'having enough time'. In contrast, an impoverished slum resident might suffer because he experiences slow progression, which causes the problem of 'having too much time.' Conventional solutions to these problems might be (for the urbanite) to change careers or (for the impoverished person) to emigrate. But these solutions address symptoms, when the basic disorder is time perception. A potential solution that could work equally well for either situation might be to eliminate the perception of time.

This likely seems irrational and / or impossible, but I would contend that, first, time is an intrinsic property neither of the universe nor human awareness, and second, that slow-oriented techniques (meditation, karezza, abandoning the city, shuffling through the woods) bring us peace because they help to destroy the illusion that our constant, immediate, present experience is somehow only an infinitesimal, trivial passage between past and future. Far more effective minds than mine have, I believe, successfully shown that time is not objectively real. Clocks measure time in the same way that money measures wealth--time and money are consensus abstractions that simplify negotiations in a complex society. Neither time nor money are independent forces. When we talk about the passage of time, we are really talking about the change in displacement among objects in the universe. By convention, we refer to seconds, days, etc, but this is simply because it is easier to say, for example, "wait five mintues" instead of "wait until the shadow next to this leaf moves over to that rock." As far as I understand, the unreality of time is supported by physics, which has abandoned time-dependent formulations of most modern theories, and is perfectly capable of writing time-free expressions of classical equations that assumed the existence of a universal time progression. I also said that time is not intrinsic to human awareness--this again appears to be patently false, but I challenge you to perceive time with the same certainty with which you perceive space and objects. It is impossible. You can never identify an instant of time, but nonetheless you continue to believe that it exists. In most areas, rational individuals reject beliefs that are impossible to verify, but nearly everyone has a stubborn and/or unexamined belief in time. If you can recognize that your perception of time is actually belief in a consensus abstraction, then you realize that what you had thought was a forced march toward death through time is actually an abiding presence with no trajectory. I probably do not have the intellectual capacity to present a very compelling case for the unreality of time, but as one last effort, I shall claim that time, like money, has been extensively reified in our culture. Recognizing illusions is often seriously challenging, so it is not surprising that the culturally instilled illusion of time persists as a kind of collective hallucination.

Assume, momentarily if I did not convince you with the preceding argument, that time is an illusion and that much of our suffering is a consequence of believing otherwise. Techniques, activities, or strategies that dispel the illusion of time thereby alleviate suffering. For example, watching a television show reinforces time because television presents the illusion of motion combined with a time-dependent narrative. In contrast, sitting meditation provides the opportunity to observe the present as it is, without extrinsic reinforcement of progression. Nonetheless, meditation is not guaranteed to eliminate suffering because it provides only the opportunity to observe, not a detailed explanation of what it is we're actually seeing. Similarly, having orgasmic sex or using pornography reinforces the perception that time has direction. If orgasm is the goal, even subconsciously, then the present loses some of its importance and, paradoxically, begins to feel illusory. On the other hand, an activity like karezza, which emphasizes only the immediate sensation and interpersonal connection, provides an opportunity to notice that there is no 'passage of time,' but rather an enduring presence.

I would be grateful for any critique of these thoughts. It is quite probable, since we are a virtual community and feedback is not immediate, that I have profoundly lost my bearings while exploring complex ideas that many of you have been contemplating for far longer than I.

Aha! The space-time

Aha! The space-time continuum conversation, one of my favorites! Too bad I gotta go to bed. I will be sure to get back to this thread tho. Thanks for your intelligent posts.

Aphrodites, its been too

Aphrodites, its been too long hombre, where you been? The space time continuum has gotten the better of me, I haven't found the time to post here in response to that query yet. But I am very curious about how you be doin'. Pray tell love.

And Brick - Good question. I will think

And Brick - Good question. I will think on that. Seems like a pretty deep incompatibility.

You and I both write long posts. Maybe we just need to talk on the phone? I still haven't gotten back to you on some of the Ayahuasca posts. There's a LOT to talk about.

Ask for guidance?

I think the human ego (even an unusually brilliant one) is limited in its abilities to see solutions...in part because it can't see elements of potential solutions that aren't "on stage" yet. Thus, serious conundrums like this call for thinking outside of the box.

I bet there is a solution that you can both be content with, even if you have to metamorphose toward it for a bit of time. Do some inner listening, however you go about it. Be patient.

Believe me, this problem will be no where near as hard to solve as sorting out the sexual tangle. (Bravo!) But it may take time. I know that as I stayed with the karezza practice, my whole life changed in ways I could never have foreseen. The changes have been really beneficial.

Hold the intention of co-creating a solution you're both happy with, and then listen up. Keep listening. Be optimistic. It's precisely these "hopeless" situations that bring the most delight when the solution appears.

In case I'm not being clear, don't try to solve this problem with logic. Just wait for the solution to appear, and realize that bits of the new future may appear before the full picture comes into view.