I got to thinking about pearls the other day. Layers and layers of calcium carbonate. And so beautiful and rare in nature. The ultimate narcissism of Being, in a way. Why not just a few layers to protect the organism, then let it go. Surely ten layers is enough – after that the oyster is just protecting itself from what?…from itself?…from its own lower protection layers?
Some of our favorite nondual writers talk about Self loving itSelf. Self exploring its own expressions. And some of them suggest that this business of Self exploring and loving itself is all that is happening, and all that has ever happened. May I venture, with others, I’m sure, that the emergence of “life” (and natural selection) is a “Self-motivated process.” That life is the natural arising of a self-reproducing and evolving discovery tool, if you will, so Source can explore its own sandbox.
In its human form, the tool has this useful feature called “mind” which can look at its container and even sort of look at itself…or at least look at how it works. The layers of the oyster’s pearl is the tool looking at the tool. Conventionally, we can understand something about how a psychopath thinks…and come to some dim appreciation of how a composer writes music…and even interrupt some destructive cycles of, say, depression, with behavior modification.
But then we begin to mistake the finger for the moon. We think the earth is the center of the universe. We believe that our egoic identity is who we are. I mean, goodness, look at the wondrous discoveries of science and beautiful creations of our artists. Surely mankind is the pinnacle. And in a way, it is true. The human organism is the best tool in the sandbox…so far. At least it is the best tool we know about.
Except for the toolmaker, the master clock-winder. That would be God. The guy in the sky. Problem is, God is a concept we create when we look at our natural world and how beautifully it is created, especially those living things like trees and flowers and birds. Had to be a Creator (the ultimate narcissistic thought, really.) Since we created the wheel, surely a Mind like ours created the atom, waterfalls, and Kim Kardashian. There’s us down here and Him up there. He’s just like us, except way more powerful. Like Voltaire said, “if God did not exist, man would create him.” In our own image.
But just because the big human toolkit can examine itself with the specialized mental faculty it has to explore and express its Source – that does not mean that it can discover anything besides the design and function of what appears to be its container. Understanding how to read music does not make one a composer. Understanding human anatomy and neurochemistry does not help us to understand why there are people.
To an apprentice carpenter, everything looks like a nail. But, of course, the hammer is not the best tool for everything. Neither is the mind. Sure Source enjoys itSelf. And what better way to appreciate itSelf than with this exquisite product of the natural desire to Self-explore than with the splendid, complex and richly capable organism known as a human being?
We are the best toy in the sandbox. But too many toys crowd the box. We have seen, from other species what overpopulation creates. There are better solutions than war, I think. Too many mirrors…images looking at images….where is the moon?
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