Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Limiting Definitions

So far with these blog entries I’ve been doing what I consider to be “laying the groundwork”. I’ve tried to lay out a rudimentary understanding of the basics of energy awareness and the philosophies underlying my beliefs. There may still be a thing or two here and there that I’ll need to back up and explain a bit further but for the most part I believe that we’re ready to go deeper. Given that, if you haven’t read all of the blog entries preceding this one, I’d highly recommend that you do. They will give you a context for understanding the information more fully from this point forward.

In regards to work, I define myself as an “energy worker”. Yes, I do erotic work but that’s just a surface issue, the real power from the work comes from the energy work involved beneath the eroticism. Recently I received an email via Facebook from an old high school friend. She read in my bio that I was an energy worker and shared with me how she was just learning about energy work but that she didn’t understand really what it meant. At first it had me shaking my head and thinking “where has she been?” but then I remembered that just because something seems common place in my life doesn’t mean it’s common for everyone. My life has been oriented around energy awareness, understanding and work for the past 10 years. In the same way that someone working in politics would be surrounded by others in that field and their lives would ultimately revolve around the inner workings of our political system, my life has been focused on energy and spirituality. The email was a good reality check for me and really got me to thinking about the limitations of definitions and labels.

It’s important to remember that we are physical and energetic (non-physical), human and spirit, mortal and immortal. We are “force” inhabiting “form”. It’s important to keep in mind that we are both rather than simply thinking of ourselves as only these amazing bodies that we move about in. We’re born, we eat, we grow, we play, we work, we love, we grow old and we die. It’s easy to believe that that’s all there is because it’s all that we can see happening. We get attached to the physical and assign all things non-physical to religion or spirituality. We then dismiss it from there because we’re anti-religion or we get locked into the dogmatic belief system of one particular religion. Further we limit our understanding of the bigger picture because we believe that the religious doctrine has spelled it all out for us. End of story.

It would be great if it really were that simple so that we could just pick up a book, read it and believe that all the answers are there. But they aren’t. It isn’t that simple. Life is constantly evolving, changing and growing. It is one big mystery that defies understanding because as soon as we try to define it, we limit it to that definition. Conversely, to begin to understand anything though, we start by defining it and describing it.

Imagine if you had to try and define yourself to someone who had never met you or seen you and you could only do it by written or spoken word. Think about how very complicated that would be. Sure it would be easy enough to describe your physical dimensions and characteristics. You could list your height, weight, hair and eye color, skin tone and on and on. When you finished the list of all your physical attributes however would they really define you? It might describe you but it tells nothing about you as a person. You might then try listing all of your past experiences; the books you’ve read, the places you’ve been, the things you’ve seen. These things give insight into who you are but they don’t define you fully either. You might even try describing what you believe and why. Can you imagine how challenging that would be even though it’s you that you’re describing? Each of us is unique and complicated as individuals yet we have so much in common because we’re all human.

Imagine how much more complicated the description would have to become if you were trying to explain it to someone on another planet on the other side of the galaxy. You couldn’t just say “I have blue eyes” because you’d have to define eyes, their function, structure and define blue as well. The task of self description would increase in complexity beyond the capabilities of most of us especially if we were trying to describe how our brains and bodies work. Imagine just how big the book describing you would be just based upon the information that you know, let alone all the things that you don’t know about how you function. No single piece of the information fully describes you yet each one helps to further define you in some way.

Now imagine if you were trying to describe something infinitely more complex like “Life”. Even though we are part of Life because we are living, the very act of trying to explain something which is beyond our comprehension would be so challenging that most of us would give up before too long. Now imagine trying to get that description of Life to be brief enough yet detailed enough that it could fit into a single easily consumable book. In order to do that you would need to limit your definition on so many levels to try and get it your description to fit in the book. Your definition would limit the description of Life by every word you chose to define it yet you would know that it is so much more than a series of words could ever explain. For every word you chose, there would be an infinite number of words that you didn’t chose that still define it. In the world of quantum physics, this process is known as the “collapse of the wave function”. (I recommend watching “What the bleep do we know” to get a better understanding of that function/process.)

In essence though, this is the process that underlies every one of our world religions. Each one has tried to define Life and the Creator by their own limited human descriptions. In order to help others understand the experiences of the enlightened ones, we have to use words to describe the indescribable. Yet despite the challenges presented by this task, those who founded these religions had to make an attempt at it in order to be able to pass this information along to future generations and to further define their religious belief system.

Once that task was complete, now those down the line who read the information are taught to believe that this is the one and only truth (often as “written by God”) and anyone else who tries to say otherwise is wrong. Yet look at the number of world religions and their sacred texts. Can they all really be wrong and only one of them is right? Or could it be that they are all right and each one is simply another way of attempting to explain the unexplainable through the experiences, words and metaphorical stories of other individuals?

These definitions are what lie beneath much of the major conflicts in the world. The followers of these religions believe that their sacred texts define the whole truth and are the only “right” way to see it. Each of these religions were founded based upon the experiences of a few individuals who had some sort of mystical experience that helped to shape the belief system that defines each religion. As I see it, none of them are the whole truth, yet none of them are wholly wrong either. They are all just another piece of a puzzle which lies just beyond the edge of our comprehension. If we begin to find the similarities between them despite the different methods used to describe and define the experience then we can begin to appreciate each one of them for their contribution to the puzzle. However as long as we choose to fight about the differences we are only deepening the divide which separates us.

I invite you to examine your beliefs, perhaps even try to write them down for yourself and see if you can begin to see which of them move you into greater alignment with the whole of Life and which move you into disharmony. Ask yourself which of these makes you feel better and more loving and try putting your focus there even just for the next hour. At the end of that hour notice how you feel and then ask yourself the following question: “Can I release my limited understanding of the limitless and just focus on love?” That one change can completely transform your life in an instant. Change your thoughts, change your life.

How do you limit your understanding of the Infinite by holding to a single finite definition of it?

1 comment:

  1. Very thought provoking, Michael! I've never thought about my beliefs in this way, but now I shall. Thanks!