Big Spaces in Little Spaces


Consciousness (or awareness, or life-force or Úlan vital or whatever the hell you want to label it as if you could anyway) and solidity are dynamically incompatible and permanently wed. And therein lies the paradox of all Time.

Spaces, as they are experienced (and there is no other measure for them, Doctor) can be voluminous or small, obviously, according to the whim of the perceiver. To some a huge old hay-barn can seem towering, drafty, unduly large within. To others, who are feeling their oats, it can seem a bit cramped. Even though the roof is three stories up, a being in full expansion might sense he is constantly having to duck under it, like a quarterback in a submarine.

Averaged-out space, with rigorous observing of the common denominator, makes up a context in which we can run the market-place of life. Much like a small village whose morals are jealously monitored by the local rabbi or minister, we all give lip service to the Church of the Common Spaces, regardless of our secret inside workings. Doing so gives us small spaces -- the inside of a head, the energy field of the heart felt through one body alone, a bedroom, a golf-course with a body walking along it -- in which to view, communicate, operate and dance.

Within these confines though, there is a fascinating door which leads directly to the endless horizons and freedoms of the soul. It can be labeled imagination, or the third eye, or the inner Self, or what-the-hell, or the personal daemon. Whatever name it attracts will to some degree color its qualities of existence. But too things are sure about it. One, it disdains the slavery of numbers and will not brook the containment imposed by our measured averages. Two, it is a gate to the universe of Q where whatness rules over how-much-ness, where sizes are junior to feels, and the winner is a pure joy and never a biggest or a firstest.

It is in these big spaces that the genius that occasionally fires a generation or moves the race ahead is born. We could ponder, with James Thurber, the paradox of which is the container and which is the thing contained. The Priest of Average insists that the soul is the contained, and the physical universe the Container. And most of us are content to politely nod to his sermon, while dreaming of a Sunday dinner not yet made. If the universe of average is the container, than perhaps the full name of this paradox is Thurber's: The Container Within the Thing Contained. The humor of his grammatical perplexity is in its resonance of truth.

Nouns are subject to the spaces within which they exist. Herein is an oddity -- what makes up a solid center of reality, a thing-ness? To those given only to the body's frequencies, a thought is not a thing. Conceptually, even emotions are nebulous, troublesome and indefinite in size when the observer is glued to the heavier wavelength of optical, tactical, olfactory and other nerve-defined perceptions.

She who sees clearly the wave and sweep of emotions may still find certain concepts nebulous, hard to pin down. A solid for her is a chunk of real passion, anger, enthusiasm -- anything less substantial is vague.

The being who perceives thoughts as the dance of form in the universe will happily have the more solid forms of light, mass, energy, emotion, but will be able to sense a broad concept as a definite object, to be measured, admired like a shiny Caddy, appreciated like a Rodin work. To such a one, even aesthetics have their form and limit, their palpable frequencies. "Beauty" and "the soul" are concrete nouns to one who can feel the God's-will in their borning.

One insight derived from this is that problems as they are measured by the perceiver have a similar scale of breadth -- from small to infinite. For one a hang-nail is a worry; to another, the waste of all the loose oxygen just above the surface of the oceans is a worry; to a third, a worry consists of being unsure about the duration of the sun's flame. Scope shifts with the freedom to perceive in comfort. One person's anger, which could be an insufferable problem to him or his spouse, could to another being be a single tiny sparkle on the immense expanse of an evening sea, a small contributory to the problem of the human race's task here on Earth.

By their limits you can Know them, or Unknow them as you prefer.

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