My conflict of science vs experience

Union by Kit No Comments »

Dear Maude,

I wants to start a discussion here with you about our spiritual experience together – another way of describing our union. We reach this through sex, which for us has a tantric quality, but we have both expressed clearly on a number of occasions that this is not a sexual state, but instead is one that is reached through sex, which is acting as a gateway. Other people may use other gateways – golf, talking, hiking, nature, cooking – that offer a shared experience where the ego can drop and the sense becomes not just of acting in concert but of being part of something larger.

There is for me a considerable conflict between my direct experience of this and my scientific / materialist view of the world which, starting with Plato’s cave and Descartes’ suspicions about the senses, is more and more showing that our beliefs and perceptions are weak and malleable. To get past this requires stepping past words and logic, to move into the trans-rational, to use Wilber’s term, and I cannot consistently make that leap.

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Being positive

Our path by Kit No Comments »

Just before leaving this morning you said something upbeat (and I can’t even remember what) that reminded me how much I appreciate your positive nature.  It also stood out in contrast to a friend who called with a tech support problem and bitched and moaned through 30 minutes of phone calls.  The difference is that I’m not responsible for your mood; it’s not my duty to fix it, lighten it or live with it.  It’s not that I’m expecting you to be a perpetual Pollyanna, either.  You were frazzled this evening, for good reason.  That doesn’t bother me, and I’m happy to be a voice of stability at such times.  That might sound like I’ve changed my position, but I think the difference is not one of degree, but of attitude, that some people have a wilfully gloomy streak that emerges when problems arise.  You don’t, and for this I am so grateful.  It’s yet another reason why life with you is so easy and weightless.  XXXX Kit.

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Avoiding Being Right

Our path by Kit No Comments »

This factor of not needing to be right is indeed one of the major things that makes it work for us, but it’s still hard to dissect.  I can think of two factors; one is that you don’t do stupid or annoying things, so I don’t have to try and change your behavior.  The second is that you, in turn, don’t try to control me, which is wonderfully liberating, but also stops any need for me to defend myself by counter-attacking with the same accusations because you’ve pushed my hypocrisy button.

So does that mean we’re both perfect?  That seems unlikely to me.  More probable is that we have a higher tolerance level, or to put it another way, other people have a lower tolerance level.  So what’s that about?  Well, neither of us are locked into things having to be a certain way; for example, last time we were away, we slept on opposite sides of the bed from usual.  How do we do this?  It’s not as if we drift through life in a zombied state, having no preferences at all; we do, but either our preferences coincide, or else we’re not so attached to them, because there are other choices that would work, so it’s easy to find something that’s mutually acceptable.  In the event that one of us has a strong desire, the other is happy to go with that; there is, after all, a distinct pleasure in seeing the happiness of the other.

And there we have it.  We’ve never reached a point where the two of us have strong and opposing desires, and though I can dream up dark scenarios, I can also imagine ways past them.  The bottom line is that neither of us see any benefit in conflict; it’s a waste of energy, it leaves damage that can take a long time to heal, if ever, and it has to be resolved eventually by putting one’s soul on the line, so why not start there?

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Staying connected

Our path by Kit No Comments »

We always feel connected.  When you leave physically, I don’t feel that anything has changed between you and me, and when we come together again, there is no need for any adjustment.  This happens after sex, too; there is no break in intimacy.  All this contrasts with former relationships, which interleaved connection and alienation.

So what are we doing differently?

I think with others, I withdrew to regain my sense of self, because I had lost it in several ways.  One was the limitations on behavior that many people impose.  Another was the need for silence; as an introvert (and I was more so in those days), too much company too long was exhausting.  Lastly, the experience of merging with another, though ecstatic, was a different unfamiliar world, and maybe after a while I had to return to the familiar.

To stray from the personal a bit, I think many people connect from a sense of incompleteness; they want the other to assuage their needs, substitute for their inadequacies, fix their sense of loss, grief, pain.  This only works for a while, as the underlying needs reappear; they must be confronted on their own, not salved by taking from another.  For the partner, the constant supply of support can become a Sisyphean task.

With you, none of these happen.  I do not have to watch myself when I am with you, because you let me be who I am.  Oh, thank you!  I cannot say it enough.  You have your own need for space and silence, as do I, and because we remain connected, it is effortless to separate, and to rejoin afterwards.  And lastly, I welcome the ecstasy and experience it as an addition to myself, not as an alternative.  Whether this is due to knowing myself better or how you take part, I cannot say.

So to summarise, we remain connected, yet I always feel completely myself.  It is paradoxical, yet indisputable.

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Our path by Kit No Comments »

You ask about the origins of empty-mindedness.  One was my experience of long, drawn-out arguments with shouting, crying, begging, with-holding, accusing, sulking, withdrawing, and attacking.  Words and acts from the past would be dragged in to make a case.  Threats and demands would be made to gain the advantage.  Finally, through exhaustion, we would reach a position where each of us would abandon the attack and just express our needs.  It felt like a summer squall had blown in and passed over, leaving flooded paths, downed branches and litter all over.  At that point we were able to hear the other person and accept their needs as real.

After a long time, I saw that the argument was merely the precursor to this place of communication and potential resolution.  I never liked arguments, and these days, I choose to go directly to that post-squall place of self-expression without attack, where I can clearly distinguish between what I want to happen and what other people should do.

A second contribution to empty-mindedness has been a decade or more of sitting.  I won’t give instruction here, but through repeated practice, the ability to separate thoughts and actions, still the mind, be present and distinguish between thoughts and direct experience makes access to a center point of stillness easier and easier.

Lastly, I have done a number of Enlightenment Intensives, 3-day events which excel in removing the fog of language and revealing the truth underneath.

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Our path by Kit No Comments »

One of the remarkable things about you is how much I am drawn to being present when I am with you.  I attribute that to your total acceptance: you offer a place for me to be myself — more than that, you encourage and rejoice in it.  This is so rare a quality in this world that I joyfully respond to it.

I am present when I respond and react to what is actually happening, rather than using what the past has taught me, or reacting in order to bring about some future outcome.  I don’t claim to be anywhere near perfection in this; presence is a matter of the degree to which we are focused on the events in front of us.  Neither do I claim that being present is always the most desirable state.  Sometimes the future needs attention, too, so we try to control the world in order to make our imagined future come to pass.  There are times when that is appropriate, but often it’s like always ordering the next meal while you’re eating the current one.

Being present is an important part of non-interference.  By being present, the world just is, so I can let you be who you are, which in turn gives you the opportunity to be present.  It’s a virtuous circle, and having experienced it, why would either of us ever want it to be any other way?  That is why I was so sure early on, even though I could not articulate the reason, that not only hadn’t we argued, but that we probably never would.

There is another aspect of being present that we have both remarked on, which is the experience of newness that it brings.  Nothing is ever the same, and it is very mysterious and counter-intuitive.  You would think that settling in for a movie or walking around the park would become drab through familiarity.  They don’t.  I surmise that they are intrinsically different – there is no Groundhog Day.  The walk I am taking on Thursday is never confused with the walk I took on Tuesday.

Another way to put this is that we are not constrained by our past, which gives us an extraordinary sense of potential, change and growth.  By being open to what is present, we are open to change.  It is not suppressed in favor of what has been, nor rejected in fear of what might happen.  The result is a sense that we always have more to do and more to explore.

P.S. In writing this, I really enjoyed some of our earlier posts on the subject:

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Total Freedom

Our path by Kit No Comments »

You use that wonderful metaphor of a thumbtack on the dance-floor, and how inhibiting even one can be.  I want to expand on that a little.  We’ve talked about this as 100% acceptance, and how different that is from 99%.  It’s not just 1% better; there is a qualitative difference to it.  I can be myself without any little voice inside checking what I say and what I do.  I can admire other women.  I can say I want to work late.  I can wear the same jeans all week.  It’s not that I am oblivious to your needs, for I enjoy doing things that bring you pleasure, but they never turn into expectations.

It is so liberating to have the space to be myself.  In other relationships, after a while I found myself to be partially missing, as if small chips of myself had been destroyed over time, and I had to leave to experience my self again.  I didn’t see it in those terms so much at the time; it was more the experience of being in a cage and needing to roam free.  I interpreted that (or my partners did for me) as a resistance to commitment, but now I am not so sure of that interpretation.

I don’t have any of that with you.  This is amazing to me, and I still cannot decide, after all this time together, how this has come to pass.  I do know that an essential part of it is the total freedom that you grant me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Our path by Kit No Comments »

For me, it starts with non-interference — the position of allowing you to act as you choose, without my attempting to influence your decisions, big or small, as you travel through life.

I do this because I do not want to control you.  Why would I take on the burden of that responsibility?

I do this because you are not a child who must be taught the ways of the world for your own good.

I do this because of the pleasure of experiencing your views, pleasures and desires.  Why would I want to narrow my world by making those more like my own?

I do this because I do not feel threatened by you, physically, financially, emotionally.  I started with an assumption of trust, and the more time passes the more I am confirmed in this.  Another way to put this is that you are practicing the same non-interference.

How cool!  I am not assailed by criticisms or put-downs; I feel accepted, seen, honored.  Because of this, I am able to express myself, be myself, live my life without feeling in any way diminished.  On the contrary, I not only remain completely myself, but my world is added to by the intimate communication that flows between us because this complete acceptance means there is nothing to inhibit its passage.

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Introduction: 1

Our path by Kit No Comments »

We know that good relationships can exist, because we have one.

But we’re not going to write and tell how relationships should be, because we don’t believe in telling other people what to do.  Instead, we have chosen to tell how we are and let the conclusions speak for them selves.


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Dialogue by Kit No Comments »

Dear Kat,

The experience of union we have during sex is so intense and other-worldly that it confounds my brain, so I loved this morning’s conversation and I want to record it here.

Since Aristotle, Western culture has been based on classification: something is A or not A, and this viewpoint is a tool for the scientific method and a premise of Western culture.  In contrast, much of Eastern philosophy believes in the essential oneness of the world, and that the self is illusory.  Based on our experience of both being conscious of union and yet retaining full consciousness of our selves, we suggested that this paradox applies to the competing world views, too; that the world is at the same time both separate and unitary.

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