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the world shows up for us

"We achieve access to the world around us through skillful engagement; we acquire and deploy the skills needed to bring the world into focus.

The world does not show up as presented on a viewing screen;

it shows up as the situation in which we find ourselves."

                                                                               Alva Noë

when we look into the heart

May our eyes have the kindness and reverence of candlelight.

That the searching of our minds be equal to the oblique crevices and corners

where the mystery continues to dwell, glimmering in fugitive light.

When we are confined inside the dark house of suffering

that moonlight may find a window.

When we become false and lost,

that the severe noon-light would cast our shadow clear.

When we love,

that dawn-light would lighten our feet upon the water.

                                                                  John O'Donohue

Questions of meaning and presence

Are, in a basic sense questions of style. We do things with style. That is, there are distinctive ways we achieve access to the world around us, and to these different styles or manners of carrying on there correspond different ways in which worlds (words,meanings, pictures,people, places, problems, everything) can show up for us.

To acknowledge that presence is achieved and that it is achieved in full understanding of its manifest fragility is really to give up the idea that the world shows up as a remote object of contemplation.

Perception is a transaction; it is the sharing of a situation with what you perceive.


                                                                          Alva Noë

Perhaps the defining feature of the body's sensual presence

is the way it resides (usually) in the background. If we are to hope to bring this pervasive feature of our lives , of ourselves, into focus, then we need actively to withdraw from our habitual engagement with the world around us.

We need somehow to let the body itself crowd into the space of our attention and let itself be felt. And this is not easy to do. Perhaps it is one of the aims of practices such as meditation and yoga to enhance the kind of sense of self that arises out of a withdrawal from our worldly engagements

                                                                  Alva Noë


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