12:37 ^The pace of life in the contemporary Western culture, including this small cluster of islands in the South Pacific is such as to prevent the legitimacy of sustained contemplation. The capacity to take time out doing nothing, is seen as suspect. Others will say “you should be doing something! Why are you just sitting there?”
This is a prime determinant of the likelihood of continued practice and needs to be specifically argued against in order to bring present the nullification of the idea of continuous entertainment or continuous activity, either of which can fill a whole day rather than the not-doing of a meditative intention can fill the whole day.
It is our attempt to address this which follows:
The information contained in a life is now understood to comprise megabytes per second in terms of bits of information. The processing required for that is not onerous. To gaze at moving scenery while proceeding through space adjacent to the surface of the Earth by driving a car or being a passenger in a car, more significantly, or being a passenger in a train or any other vehicle, there is a constant stream of changing perspective and image such as to require constant subconscious processing. That absorbs and entertains the attention in a way which, taken to an extreme, can extends towards the hypnotic, as in when one can drive perhaps for kilometres and be on auto-pilot, as it is conventionally termed, having little memory of what has transpired for that period, even though successfully navigating the vehicle.
In such condition, the mind is fully occupied very often, or at least utilising a substantial percentage of its processing power. There is little alternative opportunity to receive alternate streams of imagery or other forms of information. An exception was the inventor of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) process who, while driving a long distance at night on straight American roads, and in the low information rate processing state that that comprised, was able to receive or at least absorb the ideas associated with the principles of PCR.
Other circumstances in which the processing of interior information is undemanding can be similarly successful in the receipt of apparently external sources of information and novel systems. And so because it is rather safer to be sitting still while letting the mind roam free, as it were, than entering those states while travelling at some velocity, we recommend the former rather than the latter.
And it is in the recognition that while the mind is not preoccupied by exterior input or catching up on the backlog of unprocessed experienced from other times and places, as so often occupies the attention in the early phases of the meditative practice, then the potential benefit of sustained meditation is to be open to and give space for the receipt, recognition and processing associated with completely novel and unexpected streams of information from outside the organic mind.
Given that it is attested to by many individuals through history and recognising that a busy business life may be supplemented by the time out of a meditative practice, then we suggest that rather than turning on the television, one turns on the mind. Naturally this does not include a recommendation for drugs of any kind. The interior chemistry associated with the awake mind, or at least the functioning mind, are normally entirely adequate to support both normal and supra-normal perceptivity.
So either to occupy the meditative time giving free reign to the mind in its incessant self-preoccupying chatter, or to progressively acquire the capacity to disconnect from the aspect that chatters and focus the attention instead on the more profound level where stillness is more common and where connections to other realms of imagery and understanding are available, is a simple and variable choice. And often on any particular day there is neither the time nor the inclination to proceed into the levels of deepest connection.
And by that of course we refer to the connection to the higher self and beyond. These non-physical levels are available but very commonly one's own process requires a settling period perhaps of some days of focussed meditative practice in order to access the deepest states.
And so in the preparation for the retreat from which this material was derived, the normal 2-4 days was occupied with minimal action, minimal distraction and maximised willingness to sit quietly and self-calm. Leaving aside undone projects, detached from partnership and children, dissociated from most streams of information through telephone, internet, television, smart-phone and the various other means by which distracting information is brought present including books, and choosing to concentrate the attention into the realm of mind with an attitude of curiosity and without particular expectation.
From this comes a class of freedom. Freedom from responsibility externally directed. Freedom to explore within the realm of mind and consciousness, rather than physical activity or life in the social world. And so being thus highly selective in the modes of information, that brings into prominence the capacity to concentrate internally by decreasing the noise of competing streams of information. And it is in this context that the most creative things can happen.
We wish you well in your explorations for those beginning and for those mature in the practice. May it serve you well.
P Very good!!!
Peter Calvert - AgapeSchoolinz