Sacred Being, the Basis
All beings in this alive and awake self-dreaming universe present aspects of:
Body – some sort of shape or form manifest in location and terrain;
Mind – some sort of consciousness, awareness or intention;
Speech – some sort of communicative expression of meaningful information singing a
Living symphony of ever forming and reforming clouds and waves of Primordial Intelligence
A marvellous holographic self-mothering Song making itself up as it goes along
Saturated in interconnected living presence pervading all and everything
Manifesting no end of self-organizing life forms, living creatures imagined into sentient being
With all their co-emergent elemental and inanimate phenomena
Comprising luminous intelligence inseparably part of the universal background field continuum
Containing, including and pervading all and everything, micro and macro.
Flowers in their flowering communicate the lovely enlightened language of flowering being
With manifold qualities of form, texture, colour, temperature, scent, beauty, sensitivity;
As with flowers so with all, from microscopic universes to macrocosmic spiralling galaxies
Multifarious microbes permeating soil and all life forms, primordially awake plants
Majestic trees, incredible insects, fabulous fishes, beautiful birds, marvellous
Animals, minerals, metals, crystals, silver, gold, jewels
Rainbows, sky, stars, ocean, wind, clouds, rain, sunlight, moonlight, thunder, lightning
Mountains, valleys, jungles, deserts, farms, steppes, rural, urban, stormy, placid
Earth, water, fire, air, red, green, blue, yellow, purple, indigo
Visibles, touchables, smellables, tastables, audibles, edibles
Perfumes, spices, herbs, meats, fats, oils, vegetables, fruits, sweets, sours, fermented
Wools, cottons, furs, silks, costumes, uniforms, males, females, dressed, naked:
All such forms together weaving karmic spells of interdependent being
Living languages of meaningful qualities – which some call ‘gods’
Continuously broadcast and received throughout this dreamlike experiential continuum
All basically empty, basically luminous, basically workable, basically good.
This next section after the Preamble is entitled: “Sacred Being, the Basis.” We started off in a desert reflecting how things that seem solid and permanent (like chronic illness for example) may not be if we take the time to drill down a little, so that was a contemplation of what things are not. Now we contemplate a little about what things are. They are part of a continuum, a field, moreover one in which everything is always speaking something and everything is sacred. The text – again meant to be chanted out loud offering up a passing landscape – is self-explanatory but a few points to clarify:
Flowers in their flowering communicate the lovely enlightened language of flowering being…
Mahamudra is a tantric term which is translated in a bewildering number of different ways. One of the earliest I learned was ‘Great Symbol.’ Great means that it spans everything, is the opposite of petty, is superior, special; Symbol means that in the Mahamudra state everything is ‘a symbol of itself.’ What does this mean? It means that a flower expresses the nature of ‘flowering being;’ a scorpion is scorpioning and its form and actions perfectly express the nature of scorpioning each and every second. A smiling woman perfectly expresses the nature of Woman Smiling. A cloud expresses clouding and cloudness. Everything is a perfect expression of its essential nature. All such expression is a type of speech. We have body, speech and mind. Body is the form. Mind is the awareness quotient without which no bodies would be perceived or come to being. Speech is the field of limitless different qualities expressed by such forms and experienced by such mind(s). These qualities express the combination of mind and body – which is why a flower is so lovely and flowery and a scorpion is so scorpion-ish and why both communicate qualities of our own and everybody else’s minds since such qualities exist within the same continuum in which we all exist.
So the purpose of this section is to playfully ruminate over how everything is continuously broadcasting and receiving qualities, indeed our entire universe is an unending multisensory symphony of qualities. And underneath all that there is a sense of sacredness in that all such forms and minds are knitting together a shared reality and the cooperative mutually interdependent nature of this is primordially good for creation – or poesis – of any sort is fundamentally creative, positive, glorious on some level. And any experience of primordialness involves a sense of sacredness, something we all instinctively know and reverence but too rarely acknowledge.
The text now continues looking at all this from an ‘inner’ point of view, the realm in which we feel things, experience things.
When we pay close attention and relax into any unfolding inner feeling like
Joy, love, wonder, anger, courage, peace, sadness, grief, disgust, fear
– fetid cesspool, putrid sewer, whispered moan of pain or pleasure
– chronic fatigue, exhaustion, ache or anguish, a simple touch, taste, sound or smell
– blue jungle butterfly fluttering aslant golden sunbeam
– white daisies of detail in willowing green meadow of awareness –
Through the portal of any such particular we plunge into an ocean of experiential infinity
Where one is many, all are one, where we are all each others’ undying and unborn ancestors
All we think, say and do echoing throughout eternity, an ever-present lineage of
Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, lovers, teachers, allies, enemies, leaders, followers
Friends, rivals, predator, prey, masters, slaves, warriors, cowards, saints and sinners
So many shapes and colours, large and small, coarse and fine, fangs, teeth, claws and fingernails
All inseparable from innate wisdom, all fellow poet dreamers.
The key sentence here perhaps is: “When we pay close attention and relax into any unfolding inner feeling … through the portal of any such particular we plunge into an ocean of experiential infinity.”
The very act of paying attention immediately creates some sort of vortex, or portal. When we tune into a flower petal it speaks directly to us and there is an interchange of qualitative awareness ‘which some call gods.’ So this section is about appreciating our limitless inner realm and rather than belabour the point, we can let the journey of chanting the text explain it all for us.
When casting an I-Ching the resultant hexagram is traditionally divided into lower and upper trigrams, the lower being the inner aspect of the subject of enquiry and the upper being the outer aspect. In our lives there is always inner and outer, literally what lies beneath the skin and what is outside it being two very different but co-existing realms. We don’t really know how we breath and digest, how we are conceived and grow, age and die; moreover we are in a continuous state of experiencing, reacting, feeling, imagining, emoting and so forth whilst the world outside with which we are bound has its own trajectories and imperatives, its seemingly solid forms, shapes, textures, sounds, bodies, beings and so on. In terms of consulting about a business venture, for example, the inner guidance may have something to do with playing it cool, being humble, not being too pushy or arrogant whereas the outer reading might indicate that this is going to be a very powerful venture influencing people far and wide. There is no conflict between these two approaches but they are different because they deal with different spheres of the same overall mandala. So this section is about inner.
The portal observation is important for it’s about how we use illness, specifically all its related and mainly unpleasant feelings as medicine. By simply paying attention we dive into them and in so doing find they become a portal into vastness or greatness which in turn helps put the illness and those feelings in a somehow uplifting context which helps us begin to passage out of the dark, dreary tunnel in which protracted illness often seems to imprison us.
All fellow poet dreamers: The word ‘poet’ here refers back to the root meaning of poesis which has to do with creation, so this links back to the initial marvellous holographic self-mothering Song making itself up as it goes along.
(From an online etymological dictionary: “from Greek poēsis “composition, poetry,” literally “a making, fabrication.””)
Dreamers is the notion that reality is like a dream, it is a collective dream of all beings sharing a space time dimension with various forms in common – like the planet – but which are woven together by our shared perceiving of them. This is in accord with various philosophical schools from long ago who rejected ‘atomist’ or other materialist explanations and rather posited that both the outer and inner worlds we experience derive essentially from some sort of mind, space or consciousness principle – which in the West we call ‘God.’ So the idea here is that our experience of reality, and indeed reality itself, is part of a collective dream, something all beings involved are making up together moment to moment which the text celebrates in the final part of this Sacred Being section.
Superior or inferior, accomplished or flawed, inner or outer, sick or healthy, us or them
All beings, thoughts, experiences and moments are
Equally and primordially lovely, equally and primordially sacred
As we ever keep learning to hold this view during all phases of life
Waking, dreaming, sleeping, growing, learning, loving, struggling, aging, ailing and dying
Dwelling in this Kingdom of Infinite Present whose razor knife symmetry
Reflects in the Cosmic Mirror of perpetually simultaneous Birth and Death
The ravishing, raw beauty of the ever-fertile fearlessly Naked Feminine
From whom we were, and are, and ever shall be, inseparable.
The text is letting loose a little, perhaps reflecting how the chanting is now enjoyable and free-flowing, the passing landscapes stimulating and raising our spirits despite ourselves.
The fearlessly naked feminine: naked means utterly real, utterly honest, utterly uncontrived, which is bedrock reality we all come from and dwell in together; feminine gives birth, is the self-mothering principle mentioned earlier; fearlessly is because there is no artifice, shame, hope or, therefore, fear. So we all come from and ultimately are ‘the fearlessly naked feminine.’
In Western art for a long time you would see paintings and sculptures of naked women everywhere. One can argue this is just eroticism masquerading as respectable ‘art,’ and indeed this is no doubt partly true, but the erotic is something more than mere libido-arousing. The naked female form stops the mind, instantly triggering some sort of awareness of a primordial Kingdom of Infinite Present. That heightened sense of presence blending various quotients of beauty, awareness, tenderness, creativity and so forth is called ‘sacredness.’ The female form immediately summons this and as such is one of the most powerful and immediate living symbols of Mahamudra we can ever witness.
Below is one of the oldest Asian tantric deities, Vajrayogini, who is said to have been practiced over 18,000 years ago in the Western Himalayan regions and also around Ur and Swat. She is the mother of wisdom awareness, the mother of all, the space which gives birth to all forms and that space is red, passionate, fertile, sacred.