Is anyone reading Iain’s essay “‘Selving’ and Union”?

  • Is anyone reading Iain’s essay “‘Selving’ and Union”?

    Posted by Christopher Shinn on September 12, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    This is the title of the essay Iain briefly referred to in the last Members Q&A. I’m wondering if anyone is reading it, or is planning to read it. If so, perhaps we can discuss it here…

    Joseph Woodhouse replied 9 months, 1 week ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Mark Delepine

    September 12, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    I wonder if a link could be included to the article. I haven’t read it yet.

  • Mike Chitty

    September 12, 2023 at 1:29 pm
  • Whit Blauvelt

    September 12, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    Nice piece. I’d missed it on first publication. One place this might be taken further: Here Iain writes of each hemisphere have its own mode of attention, but associates will with the “grasping” of the left hemisphere’s mode. Does the right hemisphere hold the potential for a different mode of willing? In many spiritual traditions, on leaving behind the left hemisphere’s grasping ego the spiritual “master” then retreats from the world, contributing at most some enigmatic poetry to us from her or his remote situation. With all respect to the essential value of retreat, our world is in an “all hands on deck” metacrisis at present. More wandering sadhus are, on balance, good, but not the level of heroism we need — even while ego-based heroics are themselves among our serious dangers. So: May there be ways to establish a right-hemisphere seat for or mode of willing? I don’t mean some surrender, in which we are to be possessed by some “great” spirit from beyond, but rather a will which is anchored thoroughly in the right hemisphere’s native modes of attention to our worlds, and our places in them?

    On the self or no-self question which the essay mentions, I’ve just lately been wondering whether the better answer is fractal, rather than any binary declaration of self or no-self. I’ve long been fond of an old Chinese view, “No self in self.” The corollary of that would be “No other in self, either.” A danger of taking Iain’s books too literally, which I fell into a few times myself, is ending up where one not only seeks to identify with the right hemisphere, but to somehow sanction the presumed left hemisphere ego as an “other.” This splitting is, of course, not good. So my current view is it may be better to take the selves in self as fractal, varied, a whole best ordered resonantly, even as they take different parts in their chorus.

  • Joseph Woodhouse

    September 12, 2023 at 9:48 pm

    I think this article is highly relevant. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. A direct moment by moment coherent over time experience of the “synthesis” mentioned in this quote from the article is possible.

    “The tone of the lyre and the strength of the bow are not improved by compromise, the string going slack. They are both emergent properties of a synthesis between opposing entities, which displays entirely new qualities. Not the midpoint, but the synthesis, not avoid- ance of the ‘negative’ pole, but embrace of the apparent duality. The dual and non-dual need to work together, as Adyashanti puts it.”

    The actual experience of this “third attention/awareness” can be invoked or uncovered by art such as this video.

    Further, I think that the connection of those who are able to sustain this third attention is the countercurrent to the ongoing collapse of civilization. See what you think of this and let’s enjoy a conversation that flows from our wholeness.

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