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Self realization and the Integration of the Otherwise Than Self

It did not approach; it came upon me like the first strike of a lightning storm. Yet, where does a lightning storm begin? Is lightning not always-already, “out there” somewhere? Has it not been there since the beginning of eternity? It feels as if it has.

Thus, long before I became, “who I am,” I was he already. I have always been this person awaiting the transformation of a second birth, as shocking, and dramatic as the first in many ways.

I have worked hard to create my “self”: a distinct, somewhat different, always independent, often reclusive work. The work of a lifetime, a continuous becoming, with no preordained telos, with only the shadow of what I will be tomorrow. Yet, I have always thought this shadow to be a rather reliable guide.

That is, until I was struck by the en-lightning, which made me understand that I had always been eradicated by half. I was born with a hole in the center of my desire to become what I am. One would imagine that the bolt would have been the first cause of disintegration and the split in my being. But, that would be wrong; it would be to confuse the first with the final cause.

No this discharge from out of nowhere, coming from a place through no place to rest in me, was the electric impulse that reconfigured all such previous and constant discharges, which have always controlled every part of me, from my heart to my brain, and even my mind. It was by way of this interruption prior to the eruption, which was the realization that my self, any “self”, does not solely rely upon intersubjective recognition, but that the condition of the possibility of its shadow becoming a concrete, yet for all that a fluid conception of the becoming of who I am. “I” am never alone, never some isolated, idealized, self-sufficient atomic particle simply undergoing contingent collisions with other such sequestered particles. I was always we, my self always including an otherwise than self: preordained, a necessary contingency.

Yes, a “necessary contingency,” for there is no guarantee that one will discover the place through no place where the other resides. There is no way to force the cosmos to elaborate the abstraction of becoming into the imperative that it must follow, for even if it is seen this seeing is not always a properly attuned watchfulness. Often, all too often, one simply gazes at this mystery anamnestically, a remembrance of something already forgotten, because it cannot be taught and the experience is frightful. Thus the contingent nature of that which is required for the elucidation of one’s self, true and right, is redoubled, a concept never mediated by an idea.

In this way many drift through life becoming only abstractly and never spiritually, guided always by the intellect never by the soul. Inevitably the intellect will refuse what the soul alone can perceive as truth that is constituted a priori , and that reason will reject, being satisfied conditionally by what it finds a posteorically. Indeed, as a neologism never uttered, left unappreciated. This will leave one resenting the discomfort, which remaining unrecognized leaves a profound residual sensation of having been burnt through to the core. We must, therefore, learn to appreciate the soul’s spiritual intuition, if ever we are to actualize this paradoxical self realization the imperative of which is the conjunction of an otherwise than self. © 02/27/10

Self realization and the Integration of the Otherwise Than Self

Rusty Gentry

Joined November 2007

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