This may not be easy to articulate, as in doing so we may feel we cannot do justice to fully describe the true nature of desire. This is why I have chosen the word ‘infinity’ !
Infinity is vast, expansive, but also of an indefinite, indeterminate nature, and I find such uncertainty appealing. The disadvantage of using such a description is precisely that it is uncertain, indefinable ; it is difficult to find the right words to talk about it. Have you ever listened to people discussing something indefinite. You will hear them say something like, ‘ when I finally reached the summit of the mountain and took in the view, it was …umm … how can I put it … immense, grandiose, incredibly beautiful beyond words.
Yes, words are often insufficient to express our deepest feelings, especially when trying to describe something that is infinite. So I thought, ‘there must be something missing’. These are the kinds of questions that keep nagging at me until I find an answer – those sort of questions that wake you up in the middle of the night, suddenly, dramatically.
‘What are we doing here ? What is the point of life ? What is this feeling that something important is missing ? The kind of questions that I am personally interested in finding an answer to. And I have learnt that sitting in a meditative position saying to myself, ‘come on, relax, let infinity fill your being, forget about your parasitic mind ; inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale …’, just does not work. The nature of my ignorance is in my very cells. And when I breathe out, instead of calmness, I see my breathe transform into a question mark.
So deeply does my seeking go, that subconsciously I even created a new yoga position I called a question mark. The curved back, the arms arched in the extension of the curve, the hands joined towards the ground. The pelvis tilts forward, thighs at 30 degrees, knees semi bent, calves upright, on tiptoes, balancing on a large gymball. My body expressing my inner state. Can you picture this in your mind ?
The key I thought was breathing ! You breathe in very, very slowly, and then when you breathe out, you whistle from high to low, like when you simulate an object falling from above. And now I see that this too was a subconscious expression of my feelings of having fallen.
So if I now take away the superfluous meanings of the physical posture, and what remains is only the breathing, I find that this is the key. But this twofold breathing in and out, is still missing something. Is it then possible to create a threefold form of breathing, is there an element in all this that I have missed ?
And it comes to me – our relationship to this earth - when we walk for instance, it is only our feet that touch the ground, all the rest of our body is in the air. Our bodies are immersed in the sky, in the universe, with infinity. Jump in the air, and for 2 seconds our whole body is floating in infinity. When we breathe, we take in this universe into ourselves, and it merges with us. And if we now look down, we see a world full of questions, seeking desperately for answers, but finding none. But the answer is so clear to me now.
Aspiration – Inhalation - Exhalation
Only breathing in and out is not the key, but they must include aspiration.
Aspiration triggers breathing, and the door to infinity is opened.
When I aspire to be infinite, I inhale the infinite, but what do I exhale ? Here is a question not easily answered. So I seek an answer on the internet, and I discover that when I breathe out, I breathe out carbon dioxide which contributes to the greenhouse effect. I breathe in infinity, but my exhalation is considered as pollution ! What a cruel system. Up until now I believed that the human body was a marvel of creation, of enormous complexity and ingenuity. So why the dichotomy ? What a disappointment !
If we extrapolate the concept of breathing, we can see how it reflects all sorts of human activity. Inhalation – I take, I capture, I collect, I compile. Sometimes I take in so much I run the risk of suffocation. And what I have taken in, captured and amassed, I also transform by mixing it with everything that is in me – my thoughts, my feelings, my will. But then when I exhale, I express my inner self, I create, I destroy, I build, I demolish, I give birth, I take life. Such is my existence.
But if I aspire before inhaling, before taking, this will be different because I will add understanding.
Aspiration opens the door, the door to understanding, humility, compassion. It opens the door to another form of living, to a renewing life. What I breathe in, I receive, and what I breathe out, I now give back – understanding, humility and compassion. Thus we reduce our polluting aspects, and through this act help others, and bring ourselves closer to them. Thus we see that infinity is all inclusive and I am only a small part.
This also brings to mind the mathematical symbol for infinity. Like the number eight on its side, so we see the two aspects of inhalation and exhalation, yet togther forming the universal link that gives us aspiration. If we now place the symbol for infinity upright as we would the number eight, we can also see reflected in this the symbols for the dulaity of our nature order, birth and death, good and bad, forwards and backwards, and hence the wheel of incarnation.
So what is missing for us in this nature order, what gives the number eight its third aspect, what gives the endless cycle meaning ? Just as the inhalation and exhalation of infinity is guided by aspiration (knowledge, humility, compassion), so also the cycle of duality is broken by self-knowledge, humility and compassion.
When we have reached the nadir of our life experience, when we have come to the realisation that our life of inhalation and exhalation sits on an eternal wheel without end, then self-knowledge becomes a key that will open the door to infinity, eternity. Then the empty grains of sand that represent our life’s actions, slipping endlessly through the hourglass of time, will dissipate as our knowelde of self opens the door to infinity.
Aspiration – Inhalation - Exhalation