Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Plenum

  It is too bad that you can't get inside my head. If you could, we could save a great deal of time. This C.P.E. is a difficult one to discuss because a mental state can only be indirectly described. So be it.
  If words were oranges, then we would know just the right ones to use. Think of a navel orange, one of those big juicy and sweet ones. Now imagine trying to verbally describe the flavor to someone who has never tasted an orange. Or how would you go about correctly describing, to a man born blind; that royal blue which appears briefly in a clear sky overhead, just after the sun goes down?
  It seems to me then, that a shared context and parallel sampling are our usual methods so to direct the attention of others to the point in which they say; "Ah! I know just what you are talking about.", otherwise it remains pretty tough sledding.
  Often (it seems to me), when we are thinking about the state of mind of another person, we are actually referring to a state of emotion. Yesterday, a woman was going berserk because our plumbing crew was "making noise". She was irrational, angry, loud and rude. We did not inquire as to her mental state at all (inferring that she is insane), and focused almost entirely upon her tirade of anger. This sort of estimating is more or less normal I would guess, humanly speaking.
  Of the mental states I recall hearing described, such as confusion or clarity there is enough experience with my own mind to be able to more or less grasp the idea. The plenum (my descriptive term coinage) is another type of mind state, and the only similarities which pop up in the vocabulary today are in the "mystical"; category-wise.
  I certainly do not think of myself as a "mystic", and so there appears to be an orange type of problem involved in this essay. Whether I surmount the difficulty is up to you to judge.
  Have you ever read any "awareness" type of literature? I have looked over a few things, and a word which frequently bobs to the surface is "oceanic".
  I have never been on a boat in an ocean, but have stood by the shore a few times. There is a kind of noise, and there are motions and colors at the seashore which (in me at least) induce a very calmed and yet "ready" state of mind. It is an "up" similar to caffeine, minus the jitters and excessive talk. If you know what I am talking about, then you might agree that it seems at oceanside as if one doesn't need sleep, or one is in a repose better than a nap? Does any of this ring a bell for you?
  The plenum is similar in some facets to an oceanic, but not precisely so. If you were to compare the flavor of ripe cantaloupe, as a known; with that of a tree ripened peach as an unknown that might serve as a parallel? The plenum is something I find myself "in" occasionally. It is an awareness yes, but I generally distrust urges or imperatives which tell us to "raise awareness" in any case, so that is a dead end.
  In my book, there is nothing special about being aware. This can only mean that one is temporarily unaware elsewhere! When you stub your toe in the middle of the night, your awareness is quickly raised sure enough. But in those moments, you are (by definition) deeply unaware of the vast screaming majority of everything else. So, if awareness is a Boyscout flashlight, then we typically move it about in the dark in order to notice now this feature of the real, and next that one. The premise that we can and ought (morally?) raise awareness generically speaking has just never made much sense to me. But, there is an aspect of the plenum which also rings this bell . . . lightly.
  The feel of the state of mind might trigger words such as "transported", but that seems a bit iffy. "Here and not there", so to go from one to the other is not actually that acccurate a telling.
  So, perhaps we could get Mark Twain to sit down with John Calvin for a cup of coffee? The story teller meeting with the man-giant, so to speak; might be the gist?
  A recurring theme in my writing and thinking is the meta-story which theoretically could arise if Mark Twain ever met one of his own characters. The idea of cognition such that Huck or Tom realize (somehow) that Twain is their author and that they have never done and shall never do anything "not written" fuses with their memory of having "freely chosen" their deeds. It would be a tough book to write, that much is certain! But, this crosslinking function of John Calvin vigorously defending the "destinating" of the "pre" variety, comes into play; just here. Simply, what if the Twain type of scenario is in fact the reality of which we partake? If so, what then describes this fruition of insight (outsight?) in terms of human language? I am calling that "The Plenum".
  How many times I have entered this mind state in the past is really just a few. When a tyke is yet small enough for the Dad to hoist him up overhead, the little guy is being carried, and he remembers that. The idea of "carry" seems like a good enough way to convey this to you.
  You are somewhere where there is "much busy", call it walking beside a crowded highway, or attending a colorful and loud football game. Recall the seaside with the constant motion, color and sound. You are "there" and not there. A kind of "lift" occurs. And one of the problems of the oceanic description is a mention of "timeless". That is not this mind state at all, but rather a kind of effortless swinging to the rhythm of the seconds as they pass? The plenum is not "disorienting" in the least, but rather a rooting down, a real and solid orientation briefly enjoyed.
  The mind state never lasts very long it appears to me, but yet remains quite memorable. It becomes like a breadcrumb left on the trail which can be viewed from miles further down the road? If you have any memories of sitting snugly in your mothers' lap, as she pointed out words to you in a childrens' book (I have one or two), it is a bit like that. You are learning, you are grasping ahold of the patterns and connections of the actual world, by using a mirror of it.
  There is nothing infallible or permanent about such connections, a small boy both understands "everything" and not at all, at the same time. We are larger and older, that's all. No, I am not talking about some type of guru-like last word from heaven kind of thing here. It is more like the difference between reading a driving manual, and doing the driving yourself. Suddenly the rules which were memorized "come to life". And with all this said, I shall now atttempt to describe from "inside the plenum".
  Lifted now, I see. There are persons, the flags are waving, the noises of cars and birds and children giggling, I detect. All of the motions, of all of the atoms, just here in this moment in time were written beforehand. Every aspect which I can notice, plus all of the others; were more than "predicted", they were decreed!
  Each beat of each heart, each flash of smiles between friends, every eye following the focal points of range, this entire thing is a kind of "drama"! The Playwright has built the sets, written the lines, laid out the plot, and also, (and also!) each character feels very strongly that all which they do is because they have so chosen, and so it is! The plenum informs thus, that free will and destiny were never foes, but glad partners in a strangely eccentric dance.
  One partner outweighs the other by an infinite range, and the dance is merry indeed. One Partner calls all of the steps, writes all of the dialog, and the other spontaneously joins in. I hope I am speaking clearly for you, so to grasp the concept?
  The plenum is that state of mind, after lift in which we briefly grasp that this high level awareness is not really about the activity about us at all. We have a moment, a shining wink of time in which we turn to the Master of the play, and so to speak "introduce" ourselves! The plenum is an awareness yes, and we are aware also of the Twain entering to speak with the Huck. But this conversation in the plenum, is also of the plenum. That is, this lifted moment is part of the pattern preset, and for a whisker of time, even I can see it! The plenum lift was decreed prior to things, and in it, we are freed to thank the Author, in person!
  A gift is a gift, and the youngster who so enjoyed the brief hour with Mom "learning all about things" is not in a position to make demands. That is, we cannot (at least I can't) summon, we cannot make the plenum "happen again" at our own direction.
  On a dark and moonless night, the flash of lightning off in the distance allows in a fraction of time, the view of "everything", and then dark returns. I did not make the light flash, but I can (more or less) navigate afterwards upon the basis thereof. The plenum shares some similarity with lightning in this sense.
  The problems with mysticism are many, but the main one of which I object to, is the premise that in this sort of mindset we see that "all is one". Hogwash!
  The uncountable aspects of everything which is just this second occurring each remain distinct. If image we want here, then the wildly differing man to woman being shaped into a new harmony would serve far better. The plenum is much more a feast at a marriage supper, with all the guests and the banners and the music and dance. Somehow The Author conspired from prior to things to "join" not only them to them, but them to Him!
  That is, there is a hugeness, an alarming aspect here. When a second grade girl sets her sights on a second grade boy, and boldly announces that one day they shall marry, the boy has the option to beat feet and get lost pronto!
  But this joining which we speak of here, this lifting does not have an "escape clause", and as such, is the original arranged marriage.
  At this time of our development, we are unable to say with any pungent clarity what the joining will (one day) "be like". This (I think) is because we have it backwards. It will not be like anything we know, for the excellent reason that everything of which we know, is but vague whispers and hints of it! The original versus the copy directs us away from finding what the original "is like", rather; the copy is only a bit like it.
  To describe a three ring circus to a three year old as; "It will be like when you jump up and down on your bed" would be entirely misleading. But after having gone to the circus together, you might say; "You little acrobat, you are just like the tumblers we saw last night!", and that would be correct (enough for now).
  That is, the plenum is directional. Like time, it flows one way, and it brings to mind occasionally that there is an omega point, a goal to which things and persons are being directed. The plenum then is a bit like a dress rehearsal, a finding of the steps, a reciting of the lines, with solid conviction that we are learning such; for good cause!
  Our schools flounder, and our students end up confused in the study of things which will never again in their lives have any application. The plenum is the opposite end of that spectrum. Our ancestors taught their young to plant and to harvest, to aim and to shoot, not for love of trivia but to raise them up into the order of adult life. The plenum is that . . . on steroids.
  Some folks speak of mountaintop experiences, and perhaps that would be the overlap in your experience, so to better grasp the plenum? The problem I have with the term is that such episodes appear to me to be discussing an emotional release, a peace and joy. Gosh, who could be opposed to that anyhow? But, the plenum is a mind thing much moreso.
  We are suddenly astounded when we first realize that the Father Almighty actually does hear us when we call for help. Why are we surprised? And in my opinion, it is the busy-ness, it is our getting lost in details which is so completely normal for us, that we begin to surmise that; "Nobody is out there".
  We begin to believe the lies we tell ourselves;  that (for instance) the insane woman "needs medication", and not an hour in her Papas' lap as He reads the words aloud, pointing at each in sequence. We confound self-talk with conversation, and we lose the delight in hearing from the Other.
  The plenum restores delight!
  If you could get inside my head (it would be a tight squeak) then you would know what I discuss. But until that day, trust me as a friend; we not so much find, as are found. We not so much know, as are known. And we are more and more coming to know this.
  And to know that we are embraced!

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