THE SPACE BETWEEN THINGS

In INSIGHTS by Martin Fernandez Cufre0 Comments

It is like a space that seems to emerge from between usual activity. It is like starting to hear the sound of silence that was always there but our attention was focused on the different modulations. It is like attention itself, but we didn’t know, or we knew too much, too many things and our cognition was on overload working with objects and subjects and their supposed objective interactions. We usually find our orientation exclusively among those designations and objects, considering that as reality, but eventually discover that such interaction doesn’t hold the key to real realization.

It is the greatest paradox, because it is the mystery itself, as if moving, dancing, projecting light through a liquid. There is nothing that we have ever known, or ever been that is other that this mystery.

All attempts to communicate or point out this mystery are inherently and unavoidably paradoxical. Why? First, because an act of communicating this is impossible. This is not a thing, not an object of knowledge, so it cannot be recognized. Reification, the process of constructing perceptual processes as things that are supposed to exist out there objectively in and by themselves, is deeply ingrained in human consciousness, and comes back in subtler ways as consciousness recognizes more and more of its limitation. It is, for example, transformed into a thing called spiritual realization, or spiritual path, or Tao, or God, or Buddha. Of course, relatively these labels can help as placeholders to a mystery that seems too big to process. And meanwhile, as we realize that there is no-thing and no-one to process, that there has never been anything other that this. As symbolic placeholders, even synergizers of the energy of spiritual processes, these are useful keys. But also, there is always the possibility of getting hooked on these as concepts. The concept can be nonduality, the concept can be even going beyond concepts. There is no escaping this infinite paradox. It is really like a maze of mirrors, where no-thing is what it seems, or even any-thing! And yet, relative symbolic efficiency manifests. We have the relative magic of matter, of form, of energy, of emotion, thought, interrelation, social process. Yet all, like a dream, like a rainbow, arises from the interdependence of interdependent causes and conditions, but just as a rainbow, it is nothing other than transparent light (and nothing less!).

So, religious or mystical or nondual concepts are no different from ordinary mundane concepts. They point to beyond, but beyond is not an objective place, and who are they pointing for? Reification doesn’t only work outwardly, it is fundamentally based on the substantial idea that there is some-one here inside, somewhere behind the eyes and inside the head, that is going through this and that, and eventually has to go beyond this and that. Who is this ghost in the shell?

It is like a space that emerges from between ordinary objects of experience, thoughts, forms, contents, tramas and dramas. Some aspect of us seems to wake up and notice it. Then we see that it is not this or that. It is not about getting something or losing something. It is not about failing, or winning, or becoming, or falling, or being better or worse. It is NOT about QUALITIES. It manifests in/as all possible qualities, but it is not one particular quality. We notice this, more and more. But as soon as we take this as a concrete process that I can achieve through effort, we lose it. Like trying to remember a dream, it seems to slip between our fingers like sand. We can’t put our finger on it, yet it seems the most real we have ever experienced. IT is not so concrete, so it is difficult to talk about it with people. We may make efforts to forget about it, as if from a bad dream, focusing on real things and filling our mind and activity with more things, real people, etc., and maybe here there is some karmic connection operating, because for some people this seems to work, or at least for a while. For others, it doesn’t, and this may be the cause of profound sadness, depression, frustration, isolation. Some individuals may feel as if they are sick, some bad thing has fallen on them and they just want to heal and be normal again. Others may feel that they have had a glimpse of something infinite, infinitely more true and real than any other ordinary experience, but then lost the track, the golden thread, and fall into sadness and melancholy for that lost track. They can’t really explain it, but they can’t believe in the normal world again. It is painful, because they have felt directly the root of magic, and yet they seem to be trapped in a dark dream where it is difficult to find motivation.

All of this may be, and temptations are infinite. To get stuffed with some concept, ideology, lifestyle, institution, religion, but somehow, even if symbolically we may have some satisfaction, for example in the image of God and eternal life, or even in the apparent transcendence of limitations that drugs and alcohol lend us for a while, in the core of our being we know that this is not it.

It takes a living transmission to pick up the pieces here. It takes strong commitment to our deepest intuition in our time, to remain without being hooked into this or that object as essential satisfaction, whether it is a set of rules, a belief system, an individualized partner or lifestyle, it requires that secretly, our temple is reserved for the greatest mystery. This may also become a trap, because we may turn our feeling of longing into an ego-centered version of melancholy, and become addicted to our sadness, building an infinite set of lifestyles, fashion styles, dialog lines and scripts, life situations, just to confirm this, because secretly we have lost faith in our secret knowledge. We just need to have something to hold onto, even the fantasy of a longing for something long lost.

But it takes a real transmission to point us to the paradoxical mystery that there was never any of all of these events, processes and explorations that hasn’t been the golden thread. It had always been the material of which our experience was made, and fundamentally the space in which experience arises. It is as if we had been looking for some magical script for the true story, when we discover that the key was in the light projecting the movie and the empty space in which the light travels. The manifestation of the light in the spaciousness, consisting of the potentiality to manifest any and all stories, ideas, situations.

And we discover that it is not about this or that object, or any possible object, being or quality, but rather the living spaciousness out of/in which any and everything self-arises. And that is another key, that little word: self. It doesn’t mean that I myself make it happen or arise. It means that it arises and manifests by and of itself. The spaciousness, the vibration and the arising of the shining transparent display, is and arises in and of itself. Spaciousness is intelligent, in a way much beyond our ordinary idea of intelligence, of somebody being intelligent as a postive quality. It is intelligence itself, arising in/as/of the infinite myriad of organic light that we perceive as nature, beings, processes, space, universe, consciousness, light, sound.

You just start to notice all of this, not as concepts, not as some idea that you start to believe, but as if spaciousness itself, the song of the bird and the spaces between the notes, are some inherent knowledge. And it doesn’t really make a big thing out of it. It just happens, in/as/of space also. It is space, the same way that it is things, and no-thing of it in particular, yet without ceasing to be any and all of it.

It starts to arise as a kind of space, spaciousness, between ordinary objects, thoughts, situations, tramas, dramas, subjects, objects, that seems to swallow them, become them, reveal having always been nothing other than them, and infinitely more, and less. It is experienced as such, but not as the quality space that can be lost. It may appear in such way initially, and we experience the notion of losing it, and having to stabilize it, but how is it possible to stabilize what has always been reality? Who is stabilizing it? The weak and feeble construction made of thought and emotion will try to stabilize reality, the infinite organic spaciousness that is its nature? Such presumption, such pride…

About the Author
Martin Fernandez Cufre

Martin Fernandez Cufre

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I don't know what I am, beyond a curious human with a life-long thirst for the ubiquitous mystery and awakened multidimensionality and desire for creative expression. My main amplificatory vector into this mystery is Dzogchen via Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, with great influence by Keith Dowman and other great teachers and visionaries of this dreamlike liquid matrix of light. I studied and dabbled in maybe too many things to mention, but to mention some: Hermetic Kabbalah, Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Jungian and Gestalt Psychology, computers, music, poetry, dance, painting, philosophy, martial arts. I make my living through translation, recently developing an aspiration for Tibetan and assisting Keith Dowman in translating and publishing into Spanish (my Spanish rendering of Dowman's translation of Longchenpa's Treasury of the Dharmadhatu, "Espaciosidad", has just been published through Amazon). I love fringe areas, gadgets, fire and cats. Which is probably more than enough. I was born in Argentina but recently have been residing and/or traveling in/through Mexico, USA, Russia, Italy, Tenerife and the world.

Photos by Jean-Louis, France.

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