Monday, November 05, 2007

Hidden Agendas

First, what does it mean to be "conscious" and "aware"?

What does it mean to have a "hidden agenda"?

What are "ulterior motives"?

Until we recognize ourselves as energy beings creating matter, creating our physical world and physical lives, we have "hidden agendas" too that are solely physical and therefore manipulative of our own energy fields as "our world."

I think of this as I am learning to know myself as an energy being with an intelligent design of creation, an evolving consciousness. Recently I was in a restaurant for dinner with a few friends. We waited for a table and consulted with the hostess about the choice of tables and our preference. We were seated in a section with a waitress we have interacted with many times in the restaurant, but not for a few months. When she began working there we were among her first customers, and she was charmingly young and engaged as she opened our wine bottle for the first time as customers. It’s a good memory for us. This recent night she came to our table and we were all smiles to see her again and she was happy to be waiting on us again too. We asked how she has been, she gave us a brief update of her activities, and opened a bottle of wine for us, remembering that first time. As our dinner went on, the band began to set up and then play, and the number of people in the place increased. It was a Friday night, and the loosely reckless air of weekend freedom began to build too.

As the noise increased and we had to lean over our round table and talk loudly to be heard, I paid attention to the many different energies I felt. The physical tension of energies building – the music, the voices, the sound of chairs scraping the floor, the energies of the many people getting together and communing, those gliding in and through carrying food, the kitchen staff in their focus of preparation and momentum – was itself orchestral in the crescendos and changes. I felt the verses and chorus of the song my friends and I played as we were together, even as the physical energy in our space increased, with the activity of the larger space, the crowd gathering, music playing. I looked around and saw some familiar faces, people talking, eating, some drinking. As I made eye contact with a few familiar people, those nodes in my mind felt different than when I passed through other fields physically unfamiliar.

The joy I felt in the familiar energy of our waitress was delightful, and we hugged as our party left. I remember this lilt of energy inside like buttercups appearing in a field, blips on my screen, my archival history of moments that have lit me up. As I contemplate this energy, the energy of this physical person with the charming smile and innocence of youth which still holds the wonder of actively creating life, I smile at this feeling and remember – as a child, my brothers and sister and I running in circles, or down the dirt road of the compound, arms out, just making sounds in the wind, sometimes barefoot, sometimes with soles kicking up dirt. I understand more now why these giddy streams of memory, energy, are what they are, and why we make them into other images in our urge to feel that way again. When we open our minds to our infinite memory as energy, the streams are there to wade into spontaneously and also to be consciously explored "as they are," no manipulation required. What joy this is.

Seduction and manipulation are physical energies that are the "totems," the stock exchanges, of what we come to believe are the tools of our trade as human beings that need and want to be loved. The "hidden agenda" within us is our intelligent design as long as our minds are not open to the reality of us as energy beings creating our physical world in every aspect. The inspiration and motivation of the soul and spirit is to create, to evolve. I see now how a belief that "I am responsible only for myself" can be a manipulated and distorted image of the belief that "I live only one life."

As I sit in silence by the open window on this beautifully brisk Fall morning and think about this carnival of energies, I think of a book I’ve read called Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood (2001), by Sandra Steingraber. Sentences she has written came to mind as she describes the narrowness of focus in amniocentesis, for example – the whole enterprise implying that the future life of a child can be read by counting its chromosomes and scrutinizing their architecture. She writes about having her amniocentesis and the process as science interprets it. Only about 10 percent of the captured cells are alive, but these can be coaxed to grow and divide if carefully nurtured in an incubator at human body temperature. Then they can be harvested for genetic analysis. She explains that chromosomes can only be studied if the fetal cell’s growth cycle is interrupted just at the point where the cells are about to divide. Only when the cells are about to divide are the chromosomes changed from the loopy threads that are impossible to study to the pictures we see in science books of fat, distinct bodies. Chromosomes have to be compressed and contracted and then stained to be examined for their individual characteristics. Steingraber shares a great image: "A geneticist friend of mine claims that a properly stained human chromosome that has been captured in the moments preceding cell division should look like a headless man in a striped prison suit." Given my fascination with mannequins and manufactured body parts, I now understand my relationship to these internal images more clearly. Steingraber’s epiphany was this: Whatever is in hummingbird eggs is also inside my womb. Whatever is inside the world’s water is also here in my hands.

In his new novel, Tomorrow, Graham Swift's character (Paula Hook) describes her twins imagining what it was like before they were born. She found them one morning trying to form a positive single ball of flesh, giggling, saying they were practicing not being born yet. A stage beyond the stage of not being born yet was still beyond physical imagining – but that sense of "being there," one, of having been one and divided remained, and remained a delightfully giddy sense that prompted giggles and never-ending smiles.

Having been born a triplet, I now easily image beyond what our physical division as growing children, then adults was and all it portends – over and over. This is a pattern of cell division and capture made real, with a special signal to me as an image of my own creation in this life and an invitation to feel the exuberance of this process of creation that continues endlessly, simply captured in moments, stained and otherwise.

My heart pumps away, tireless, part of my intelligent design of life, and I feel both the giddy and quiet shades of joy with it. Whatever is within the seed of my thought, is what I share with the world. I am the maker of my world as caretaker, caregiver. My epiphany is this: staining an image I’ve captured to study simply shows me creation is eternal and constant. Not to know this is to remain cold-hearted and huddling by the hearth without a sense of the world. A blind man was one of the greatest known explorers in history. Imagine walking a mountain range the width, to scale, of a human vertebrae high in the air, without physical sight. Imagine stumbling into furniture in the dark when you open a door or get up in the night to go to the bathroom. Indivisible. Images come to us in the same way we capture them before cells divide, to study their characteristics and what they tell us of life and its development. Now, we go beyond that narrow way of rods and cones alone defining our world for us. Our chemical environment is constantly in motion, interactive, not just in one image, or at one level we have learned how to capture and predictably interpret. Life goes on.

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