Памяти Рона Курца - его краткая статья о просторном уме:
“Surely we ought to be a little more upset than we are over this great universe that has
just died so suddenly.”
“Why, yesterday’s universe, Newton’s universe. Hitherto, the various cosmic systems
have fitted inside our skulls. This new one refuses to do so. From the point of view of
the man in the street, it is absurd. That is what is really great about it.”
—Anatole France to Nicholas Ségure (c. 1920)1
A spacious mind relaxes boundaries and certainties. A quiet mind is not buzzing endlessly with concerns. The inner voices are mostly still. The body, too, is relaxed. This constitutes a lowering of the noise when the signal is the subtleties of the present time and place.
Spaciousness is availability, being here and nowhere else, right now. It’s also a freshness, a clean slate without mental short cuts or parallel processing. It has the full concentration of an artist looking at a scene he’s painting, a cat listening to the sounds of the night. Not searching for one thing or another, but waiting to be surprised. It’s a matter of being there with you whole mind, not just the narrow searchlight of linear, thinking consciousness.
It’s different from most people’s ordinary states of mind. It’s not task oriented. It’s not
selectively filling in the details on a situation whose nature is already determined. It’s not
theorizing or justifying or explaining. (As I am now.) It’s not motivated by issues like survival, reproduction or status. It’s about high resolution and fine distinctions. But mostly it’s about just being, staying open, present and relaxed.
With any new sound or sight we suddenly become aware of, there’s an orientation period, a small amount of time where we stop whatever we’re doing and judge the new situation. If we can identify the change and it’s not dangerous or important in some other way, we go back to what we were doing before the interruption. Prey animals in the wild do kind of orienting constantly. Just watch a bird on the ground for a few moments. This orientation phase is about identifying. Once identification is over, the quality of attention changes, listening and looking change (smelling, too). The freshness of spaciousness is the freshness of the orientation phase, of remaining undecided, the “still-looking, not-sure-yet” phase. It’s the openness to more information.
If you want more details, take more time and up the resolution. Stay awhile. Listen with an open mind. Feel the situation. In therapy, keep looking at the person, keep listening ... not just to what they’re saying ... but the sound itself, the pace, the music of it. There’s all kinds of information there. Subtle information, full of implications about who this person is and what they’re really about. Information that goes way beyond what they’re saying or even could say.
Practicing spaciousness and a whole new state of consciousness might suddenly surface. A sudden breakaway occurs, a letting loose of the ties that bind us to the ordinary and familiar. We’re not bound up in worried minds or troubled flesh. Spaciousness becomes continuous and we break away from all that is stale, like stepping from a crowded, noisy, busy room into a quiet garden, filled with surprises that delight the senses and the soul.
This practice alone, some say, leads to a kind of enlightenment. Not the mystical one, with sidi powers. The other one, the one that brings simple joys and peace of mind. That one.
1 Quoted in from Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun (pg. 750)