Robert Augustus Masters

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Making More Than Sense

  • June 25, 2015
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Sunny Lightning_845988084_n


I’m walking slowly along a colorfully crowded sidewalk feeling both right here and all over the place. There’s a rising pleasure in each step, starting in the softest underparts of my feet, slowing me down even more.


Nowhere to go, no one in particular to be, no effort to be free, no pull of any history. Naturally easing into now and a deeper now…


Abruptly, there’s a sense of unveiled communion with everyone I see. My heart and belly splay open and my back softens between my shoulder blades, as if making multidirectional room for all that I’m experiencing. My mind is speechless, my movements untranslatable ease, as complex as they are simple.


I move just fast enough to flow through the bustling crowds, weaving my way in ever-novel ways. My body knows what to do. Each life is displayed in astonishingly vivid color, eloquently rippling with its unique history. I don’t register the details but feel them, like they are my own.


At the same time, I recollect many people from my past, all in just a few seconds, also experiencing them the same way. No sense of time, nor any sense of timelessness. No evaluation. Each person, here now or here from another time, is lit up with a reality-unlocking clarity. No thinking, no reflection. No way to preserve this.


Things intensify. I recognize that I am in good hands. No tension or ambition, just an opening that is immensely soft, spacious, edgeless. My interior softly explodes out, widening, blooming in all directions with no dilution of care or love.


I’m a sieve for the breeze and sunny warmth. My mind is not blown, I am not in rapture, I feel extraordinarily ordinary, centered not by my usual sense of self but by the raw presence of self-aware Mystery. The usual me is but more color and movement, ever so briefly here, just like everyone else. Nothing special.


The personal has not been shed, but has become so transparent that the mysteries of the obvious are radiantly obvious.


Now the doors really come unhinged, and language falls into its nonconceptual roots: I am both everyone and no one in particular. This is only paradoxical to what’s left of my mind. All things, all appearances, are but brief blossomings of uniqueness, so soon to fade, to disappear, leaving only Life, only Mystery, only unspeakable Presence. No ultimate arrival here, only endless discovery and revelation.


Now I am happysad. My sense of poignancy is the presenting surface of a vast grief, shared by all, a grief that coexists with the inherent joy of being, the absolutely nonconceptual wonder of simply existing in this impossibly thin personalized slice of forever.


In this I am me and I am you, and I am also more than I can imagine, more than me and you and them and it, not stranded or intoxicated in a sea of oneness, but rather feeling an endlessly evolving intimacy with all of it, knowing that I don’t get the full extent of it, and that what does get the full extent of it is ever present, offering not explanation but revelation.


A moment ago I was not here, and a moment from now I will not be here. We are all in the same position, the same existential boat, members of a transitional species that is leaning into its own destruction.


We continue to war with each other on a watery heartbreakingly beautiful speck in one of innumerable galaxies, blind but not completely blind, all too many of our hearts not broken open but hardened and thickened, held in place by a collective myopia behind which coils a collective trauma that will not be healed until we are able to fully grieve together, grieve so deeply that we remember where we’ve been and what we truly are.


Each life I see is so different, so unique, so quickly gone, its history fading into tattering information and memory, and then nothing. This is a kind of hell when seen only through the eyes of our everyday individuality, but far from hellish when we see through the eyes of what we truly are.


The sidewalk rises up to meet my feet, carrying tidings from the earth below. The sun’s warmth is all over my face. A short time later, I am back to at least some semblance of my everyday sense of self, internally bowing in gratitude.