Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Private Diary

With whom do I communicate when I keep a private, my-eyes-only diary? That such communication has a genuine value no diarist will ever even think to question. The mysteries of the Self are partially revealed here. Writing the diary draws out (the root of “educate” is in that phrase) something already there; the act of writing presents it to view, and an aspect of the self, seeing that something, is always empowered, reassured, consoled, or enlightened in some way. This sort of thing tends to remind me of the odd conception we find in Sufism that life in this dimension is a kind of inversion. We think that we (the conscious I’s)—are the ones in charge. The notion—I’ve encountered this in C.G. Jung—that the conscious self is but a small island produced by a submerged continent—comes to mind too. Sometimes I have thoughts in sleep that absolutely flabbergast me on awakening. I can’t imagine myself able to think on that level; and, indeed, coming out, I can’t actually hold on to all of it. The obvious conclusion is that someone else is thinking those thoughts, that the new, the revealing, the intuition has its source in some other agency. A more challenging notion is that our conscious selves are a bounded and severely limited aspect of a more extensive Self of which we are aware, to be sure, but quite imperfectly. The conventional explanations of this feeling are undoubtedly flawed. But time will eventually cause a full awakening. This view fits some cosmological conceptions (of our origins, etc.) better than it fits others…

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