Being Present
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Shiva and his consort Parvati in their role of transforming earthly love into its consummation in a higher world
Shiva and his consort Parvati in their role of transforming earthly love into its consummation in a higher world.
12—13th century AD, Orissa, India. Copyright © 2008, FOF.
June 2008


The universe is one great city, full of beloved ones, divine and human, by nature endeared to each other.

A fourth way school offers objective knowledge on the human machine for observation, and with such ideas as ‘body type’ and ‘chief feature’, one develops a consciousness that is ‘not this body, not this mind, not these emotions’ but of the ‘Eternal Witness’. Observing ‘I’ creates a distance from one’s mechanics. 

Yet this distance is not empty. The relationship of the ‘Eternal Witness’ to the machine is one of acceptance. It is a higher world that observes, a higher world that accepts, by contrast to the many I’s, whose condition it to reject every other sovereignty but their own. Sleep serves an offering to Third Eye, transformed through the awareness of ‘Eternal Witness’.

Transformation does not mean better gears and levers for the machine, but as it applies to consciousness. In the process, mechanics remain the same even as consciousness invisibly flowers. The esoteric science of Alchemy alludes to transformation as changing base metal into gold. The work of schools is an example of transformation. Schools witness periodic cycles of upheaval, war and controversy, and students daily transform human sleep. A student observes their psychology and separates from it. 

Again, this separation is not empty. Students of a school mechanically do not choose each other, yet a bond develops between them through the work. Students value the struggle of others to be awake. The work enters filial friendships and physical desires, and as a result of conscious efforts, students experience agape, the classical Greek term for conscious love of all things. Yet a rare form of love, while not exclusive to schools, often develops between students who are present with each other, the amity of consciousness. One is awake with others who are awake, truly enlightened company.
I count myself in nothing else so happy as in a soul remembering my good friends.
That one who is incapable of ill will, who is friendly and compassionate, living beyond the reach of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and of pleasure and pain, who is patient, contented, self-controlled, firm in faith, and with all his heart and all his mind gives to me—with this one, I am in love.
Bhagavad Gita
Keep company with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.
With friends, you quicken your ascent.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.
New Testament