With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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This essay, as Gayle acknowledges, is hard to read. She insisted there was no other way to say it. It’s worth your careful attention.
Thought is the most precious natural resource we have at our service. In the right cultivation and use of that resource will come the harmony of life in the visible world.
Thought itself is the mercurial agent of the Infinite. It rises and falls in attunement to an infinite atmosphere. In recognizing this and cultivating a sensitive touch to the inner mechanism of thought, we cooperate in a vastly creative process.
If we are to build on earth a shelter that is a shrine to the infinite potential of humanity, we must come to terms with the roots of creativity, which is itself the art of building forms whose function reveals purpose. I further suggest that the roots of creativity spring at least in part from that highly charged synapse between the Formless Realm and the Realm of Form.
The giving of form in thought to the intuitively-sensed Formless is the jewel matrix which makes life the creative tension that it is. This process confronts us with an intensity of challenge and frustration which belies the awesome breadth just beyond the facade of conscious thought. That gap between known concept and (what is to three-dimensional mind) formless energy is the real workspace in which all our plans for manifested action are generated.
Such work is something like sculpting with clouds, and all thinkers who’ve called home the brink of an age have known the delicate artistry demanded in handling such a medium. Once one’s consciousness has discovered the elusive passageway between appearance and potential, the crucial step becomes the moulding of the newly-perceived essence into a blend of consensus reality with those bit impulses of the emerging pattern which are approaching soon enough in time to be intelligible. Simply stated, this is the combining of certain elements of the future and of the present which are in some mysterious way compatible. Otherwise the transitting energy floats inaccessibly, just out of the reach of practical application. The practical application may be anything from the process of psychological insight to the process of social, political, and economic change.
The human quest through the ages has been the problem of maintaining contact with the Source, the Flow, the energy of rejuvenation, while immersed in a world of relatively static forms. This tension between inner mobility and forms on the outer which are somewhat sluggish is what makes the spiritual life in an embodied state such a challenge. We are always engaged, in some aspect of our nature, whether actively or unknowingly, with relating the becoming and the status quo. Vigorously do these facets of being interpenetrate, and the fence we’re straddling in the formulation of forward-looking concepts and ideas is precisely an equal sign conjoining the two phrases of the equation; it is a bridge between what is and what is to be.
The form, then, which an emerging reality assumes in order to express itself is crucial. It must be cognizable to be efficient as a communicator between the “formless” and the formed. The adequacy of the form determines the degree to which status quo and becoming will be able to interrelate. Too wide a divergence, or too small a leap — either of these maladjustments and the result is that energy has been unwisely spent. And energy in all forms, from wood heat to solar fire, we know commands the economy of respect.
The utilization of form is the sheltering of an idea. A seed thought, a just-born idea, needs an environment in which to be nurtured, to grow, to come to full maturity, and out of which to pass when form and idea have synchronized their rates of vibration with each other and with surrounding conditions. Synchronization, or the gradual agreement of purposes and intents, signifies the end of the need for the form to exist, for the essence and substance have come to agreement in time and space, signifying a fusion of the formed and formless. The form would then disintegrate as far as time and space are concerned, liberating energy — life which will carry with it the gain of in-formed existence. The essence of both the form and the idea have become intensified components in an infinite system.
The formless impinges upon concrete consciousness in archetypes, abstract cognitions embodying fundamentals. There is a continual progression of archetypal ideas from the plane of potential (or formlessness) which meets and is met by the outreaching consciousness of humanity. As a result of this flow, we are always arriving at certain prototypes for human realization and endeavor. From the archetypal realm emanate the basic designs, apprehended by humanity, upon which civilizations, cultures, and ideologies are founded. Bringing an archetype to full flower in time and space constitutes an age.
There will always rest a certain responsible privilege upon those consciousnesses who, carried forward by the wave of time, evolution, and humankind’s striving, are on the crest of the bridging process, spanning status quo and becoming (such as the end of the Piscean Age and the beginning of the Aquarian). The types of forms used by these “bridges” to convey messages from the crestview occupy a central role in the social (and hence political and economical) modification which characterize the growth of human society. How nearly the form equates the content establishes the efficiency of its function as communicator, in a total beingness sense. In order that the archetype emerge as consensus reality, the bridging function must be executed with a precision of penetrative and creative insight.
Most people who read this magazine (“North Carolina’s Magazine of Ideas”) are in some way struggling to bridge their own gap into a new age of ideation and activity. The search for profound creativity in life quality is everywhere evident. All of us are looking in every way thinkable, behind all doors and in all closets, for the key to unlock the inner link. And this is why such a readership can respond to the concept of a mediator in ideas. If there is a function peculiar to new ages, this is it.
The contacting of emergent reality and the resulting expression is a life art vital to the maintenance of a worthwhile society. The realization of this, plus the recognition of an emerging archetype — that of co-operative or group effort — are two perceptible currents inspiring people to band together in groups over ideas. There is something magically productive in a successful group endeavor, something which goes beyond the sum of its parts. Celestial Seasonings on its “Sunrise” tea bag says it this way: “100 watts from New York added to 100 watts from Los Angeles yields 250 watts. This phenomenal fruit of sharing is called ‘Synergistic Gain.’ ”
Grouping units of anything together to perform a certain function contains the notion of organization. In constructing a shelter, a builder first has an idea. He gathers the needed materials, then considers the organization and interrelation of the materials into a structure. The form is conceived and built around a specific idea, representing intent or purpose, which in this example is to provide shelter.
Likewise, when individuals join in interrelating action, a certain amount of organization is needed so that the intent or purpose for grouping may be revealed, rather than obscured. The organization or method of procedure for the grouped persons serves to keep a clear space around an idea which is trying to merge as consensus value or reality into the status quo. Group work, or the synergistic gain of sharing energy, is a noticeably efficient way to transmit the energy of ideas through structure into society. And since it is partly the structure itself through which the energy is transmitted (as any artist will tell you it is partly the visible or tactile aspect of the creation which relays the message), hence the critical importance of the form. Purpose, resources, and surrounding conditions must be evaluated with clarity and care. It may be that preparatory work in one or all of these areas should precede the first steps to organization.
Front wave thinkers, thinking so often as they do in terms of the new, the spontaneous, the uncrystallized (because that is the mechanism of their very necessary perceptions) have a tendency at this point in time to reject at first glance anything that seems standardized or regimented, because it appears branded with the old stagnant mediocrity. This is because we’re pulling out of a long era in human history when organization and dogma were hardly separable. Thus by the simple law of action and reaction, public mind, especially the front waves of it in this country, seriously avoids anything that smells of doctrinal structure.
In the intensity of this aversion, co-operation gets confused with submission to authority. But willingness to experience in adjusted form, or compromise, isn’t necessarily submission to a rigid structure, and organization can indeed facilitate co-operation. We can use an organized structure without being used by it.
Certainly we have taken a good step on the Way in realizing that structure is viable only inasmuch as it provides a framework within which an idea can grow, live, and die. The death, or end of the appearance of the structure, connotes as much importance as its inception, for its true death signifies the consummation of its purpose — synchronicity of idea, form, and surroundings. It is the need met.
A long span stretches between the vast expanses of formless potential and the world of human habitation as we know it. But then, seen from a cell’s eye view it’s a long way from the heart to the little toe! What would be the gain in denying the circulatory system that implements the energy coming from the source, the heart?
We are cells in an immense body, and if we affirm and co-operate with the system which connects us with our source, a quantum leap in appreciating the significance of existence is well within our reach. And not only will we know this as an inner unfoldment, but as artists of life can we demonstrate it in the form of a new world.