Monday, January 16, 2012
The Cosmic Mind
Meet Elliot, my condo neighbor. He and his wife Dell, treated me to a glass of cabernet and some appetizers at The Marlay, a neighborhood Irish bar. We talked of life and death, spirituality, and the possibility of an afterlife. They are followers of Meher Baba, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meher_Baba
a reincarnated divinity who “dropped his body”, as they described it, back in 1969. They have a condo in India near the teacher’s ashram. Their main home in Myrtle Beach, SC is within walking distance of a Meher Baba spiritual center. They meditate, actively practice diminishing the ego, and consider themselves Buddhists. Dell has had numerous “déjà vu” moments when she felt she was communicating with God or the spirits of the dead. They believe in reincarnation. I had to express my regret on that account. I wish I had certainty, and God encounters, but I really never have.
I’m actually creeped out by the idea of reincarnation. Coming back as a tree or a cat or a god sounds Hindu, not the Western-friendly Shambhala Tibetan Buddhism that I am following. It might be frustrating to inhabit the body of a gnat, and have my old memories intact. Would I be thinking bug thoughts? On the other hand, if I did not carry my mind into my new essence, it would be the same as being dead-dead.
This neighborly conversation spurred me to pull out drawings and spiritual diagrams I had created in the late 1990’s. I imagined visual landscapes for states of consciousness, life-death as places, continuums of being, and states of mind. At that time, I was reading Time, Space and Knowledge, the cosmic musings of the Tibetan thinker and Buddhist, Tarthang Tulku, published in 1977.
Here are fourteen of my essence sketches and philosophical diagrams done in marker on yellow or white tracing paper and one embroidery. Some have a sense of humor–others reduce cosmic conundrums to manageable possibilities through the language of drawing and painting.
1. Heart, Brain and Soul (Feelings, Consciousness, Essence)
2 & 3. Life and Death Rooms (They connect to each other.)
4. The Brain-Plain of Self Awareness
5. The Five Aspects of Self:
5a-Detail 1&2, The Ego and the Social Self
5b-Detail 3&4, The Dualistic Self and Transpersonal Self
5c-Detail 5, Cosmic Consciousness
6. The Bell Phenomenon of Birth and Death as a Continuous Entity
7. Now = The Centerless Center of Time
8. Free Will as a Melange of Interconnected Events and Choice Boxes
9. Logic Boxes of Human Perception
10. The Expanded Self in Tubular Time
11. The Apparent Self in Tubular Time #1 and #2
12. Consciousness and Being as Dimensional Levels
13. Cosmic Forces
14. The Dissolution of Self (embroidery)