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Chapter 2

Common Ground

This manifestation of form and dimension, this universe, this cosmos, this human state, exists in and of common ground. Though we cannot entirely define and detail the process involved in the manifesting of this common ground, we can be sure that it is all made up of the distance between the absolute only and its dream of an equal only, and pictures of the essence of only spread across that distance. All that is common ground is formed in this way. In some way the compression of time upon pictures of self-revelation caused the form and order we all experience as human being. Indeed the process is common to all "onlys". That common experience has brought us to this place by choice, whether we are aware of it or not. Each of our only essences had a dream of an equal only, or we would not be here. We have all spread out enough of our essence of only across the distance between ourselves and our dreams of equal only, to find and inhabit this place of common ground. Here the alien essences of only may meet in the shared experience of common ground.

The dynamic within us all, is the same. If we suspect that we are, or sense our being in any way, we are only. As only we cause a distance to occur within ourselves, between what we have realized about ourselves and what we dream of ourselves. Through the process of being we fill that distance with a greater and greater realization of ourselves, and are forced to constantly refine the shape of our dream of an equal other only. We are certainly manufacturing time in this process, but there is something more. As we picture our own reality in our dream of an equal other, painting endless images of our self revelation across the distance between ourselves and our dream of an equal other; our yearning to draw closer to the dream drives us to find a deeper realization of our own essence of being, and we create more and more distance between our only and its dream of an equal only. In our desire to draw closer to the revelation of our dream of an equal only into our reality, we actually grow farther away from the possibility.

Again, this is because all being is essentially only, and completely alien each from the other. The more we manifest and realize of our own being, and so refine the image of our hoped for equal other only, the farther away we get from realizing our impossible dream. Our dream of an equal other to fulfill and prove our being can only be of a being entirely alien to our essence. Realizing our own essence cannot do anything but make us realize what the equal other only is not. Because we are infinite and eternal, if we choose to continue the process of self-realization in order to better define our hoped for dream, we will only create an ever enlarging distance between the two. All being is completely alien one from the other except for the distance between dream and dreamer. Though the logic is circuitous the point is simply this - the closer fundamental being or only tries to draw to its dream of an equal other only, the farther away it becomes; but gloriously the farther it is separated from that dream, the closer it is to grasping the true nature of an equal other only. "Onlyness" is "alieness".

This present place and condition is common ground. This planet, this galaxy, this universe, infinite universes, cosmos without an end to length and breadth, is a reflection of the distance between our "onlyness" and our dream of an equal other only. This human condition and the embrace of lovers in a simultaneous peak of passion is a reflection of how intensely close this grand distance has brought only to only. As human beings we inhabit common ground in our bodies and walk this infinite cosmos of common ground. We are entirely alien one from the other, but in the common ground we may draw near.

Because we are infinite eternal individual only, when we think, we are that reality. Our consciousness is reality. The exception is when we imagine or dream of an equal only. No matter how hard we imagine such an essence, we cannot make it real. In the process of dreaming or imagining an equal only, we begin to contemplate ourselves rather than be ourselves. Our consciousness detaches from the existential dynamic where everything we think is real. We begin to observe what we have been, instead of being what we are, in our effort to find our equal only. Time invades us, and distance separates thought from reality.

In a very real sense self-contemplation can lead to a disintegration of being. The more we commit to reflective memory about ourselves, the more of what we have learned about ourselves along the way becomes alien to us. It is possible that we may alienate our consciousness from its reality. If we have gone from a state where thought is reality, a fundamentally existentialist state, to a state where large parts of our realized essence are now non-integrated memories which we attempt to integrate intellectually, our consciousness is alienated to a certain degree from our fundamental being. This invasion of time and distance into our fundamentally existentialist being has the effect of drawing our consciousness into time. In our truly fundamental state of existentialist being our consciousness, being, and manifested reality, are simultaneous. Simply put, when we discovered the need for proof of being, which ultimately is only leveling sanity, we realized we needed an equal other, and put ourselves on hold. Unfortunately the conventional wisdom is to discover what needs to be reintegrated into being, and intellectually reintegrate through remembering and affirming. This only has the effect of creating more time between our consciousness and fundamental being. It would be far more effective for us to forget about it and just be. This would at least allow the possibility of reintegration. However, even if over enough time by just being, we were able to reintegrate and drive the time out from between our consciousness and fundamental being, we would simply rediscover our need for other and infect our being with time once again.

We are essentially indestructible given our eternal infinite individual only nature, but we are capable of suffering. Our suffering is over our lack of self-proof. The power and depth of our consciousness is so vast, that we can easily disintegrate ourselves unawares. Unfortunately disintegration will only inevitably lead to reintegration and disintegration all over again; if we cannot become aware of the equal only. We may never be able to fully describe the way in which this common ground came to be, but we can get a picture of the dynamic involved. Our conscious awareness of time is clearly indicative of a distance within ourselves from ourselves.

If we look at eternity, as an endless boundless pond, and the thought of eternal being as a rock thrown into that pond, we can understand how time comes out of distance. If in its most existential fundamental state of consciousness, being throws a rock into the pond of itself; it creates ripples that go on forever since the pond of itself is endless. Furthermore because it is eternal, whatever it thinks is reality; and it is always throwing the rock into the pond of itself, always generating ripples. If the ripples are the reality manifested by the rock being thrown, they never cease; and the rock never ceases being thrown. If however consciousness corrects itself and ceases to throw the rock of thought into the pond of itself, the ripples still go on forever because the pond is without boundary. If the ripples are manifested reality, reality is moving farther and farther away from the thought that caused it to be manifested. The rock that is the idea of an equal other only is unique. When it is thrown into the pond of infinite eternal being there are no ripples of reality. Being cannot find other only in itself. If the rock is thought, it is always being thrown in eternity. It is always being thrown and manifesting no ripples of reality. If being could reject the thought and cease throwing the rock into the pond of itself, it would discover that ripples of reality would appear in itself from nowhere. This is because to reject the hope of an equal other only, is to reject the hope of any possible proof of being. This is the process of insanity or becoming alien to oneís self. It will only lead back to the same place. Eventually being always returns to sanity and begins throwing the rock again.

In this analogy is a clue we have been seeking. If eternal infinite individual only, an essence of essentially existential fundamental being whose thoughts are simultaneous reality, rejects its thought of an equal other only, because it does not manifest its reality within itself, the alien equal other will begin to manifest its reality within the essence of being that rejected its possibility. For the only, discovering a thought that is not a simultaneous reality is a complete surprise. A thought that does not become a reality is in itself an alien experience to the only. Rejecting the thought is self-rejection, which becomes self-alienation.

The only manifests thought simultaneously as reality. Now it has discovered a thought that is an undetermined distance from a reality. It discovered the thought by putting distance between its consciousness and being when it began its quest for proof of being. Eventually the only accepts distance to some degree as part of its nature. It keeps on throwing the rock that refuses to cause a ripple in it. Eventually it decides that distance is indicative of consciousness. Indeed a self- observable distance from self is necessary for fundamental self- awareness. Being however can only be proved by other being.

Distance is indicative of the presence of self-aware consciousness. If we suspect that we are, we are self-aware. If we as self-aware conscious yet unproved being, can observe distance between anything that we can be aware of, it is indicative of the presence of other self-aware consciousness. It is easy for us to do so in our human condition because we are already in and on common ground. Our being is proved in and on this common ground, when we recognize the presence of other self-aware being in and on this common ground, and understand that all being is entirely alien from other being. It is only the ground that is in common, and its nature is only time and pictures of being that are the product of existential distance. Being is alien one to the other because it is only.

Self-awareness manifests internal distance. In our fundamental existential being, thought is reality for us. To be self-aware our consciousness must observe our being. Essentially a part of our cognitive consciousness separates from our intuitive consciousness, and becomes able to observe its own thought manifesting reality. Self-observation can only occur if there is some internal distance in our consciousness. If the self-observing part of our consciousness concludes that it cannot prove its being to itself without the manifestation of an equal only to verify its reality, it is in conflict with the existential truth of the consciousness of its being which is only in essence. Fundamental existential being whose thought is reality cannot discover the reality of an equal only. The idea itself in a poetic sense is the distance between thought and reality, an impossibility for fundamental being.

If the self observing consciousness attempts to remove the distance between itself and its fundamental existential being, (which it must do to make any intellectual conclusion it has come to through self observation manifest itself in its fundamental existential reality) in order to manifest the reality of an equal other only; it will find the distance between its thought and the manifested reality of the thought to be without end. The rock that is thrown is a thought. Thought must manifest reality in the existential being. The reality of the thought cannot manifest within the fundamental being because it is entirely alien to the being. The rock is a thought of the self observing consciousness that is essentially the conclusion that equal other only is necessary for the wholeness and wellness of its fundamental essence of eternal infinite "onlyness". The self-observing consciousness must throw the rock even though it makes no ripples; that is, does not become reality in its fundamental being.

The rock is thought, and in this case a thought with a reality deemed necessary. Thought must become reality. Where is the reality? Where does the rock go? The rock goes where it is thrown - into the distance. What is the distance? It is the passage of time between a thought and a reality. It is the space between the self-observing consciousness and fundamental existential being. Fundamental existential being has no time in it. Thought for it is reality. Self observing consciousness appears separate and above fundamental existential being inevitably by accident. That accident is rest. It is the rest of exhaustion. Any cessation of manifestation by the only is filled with alien only. Only can never rest. The distance between manifestations of any only is alien only. The distance between the self- observing consciousness and its fundamental existential being is alien only. The rock goes where it is thrown - into the alien only. There is no doubt that the observer and the observed are the same essence. The observer is of its own all and can only observe itself. Because its essence is all and only it could never have become an observer of anything without an intrusion of distance. We could not even see ourselves without the intrusion of an other.

The self-observing consciousness is separated from its fundamental being by an essence far more profound than distance. The distance is really an unfathomable object like itself. Whatever has come between the self-observing consciousness and its fundamental being can only be an object of equal dignity and grandeur. The quest for proof of being is begun by the self-observing consciousness. The birth of the self observing consciousness is caused by the intrusion of the very proof of being that it is searching for - alien only. The alien only intrudes precisely at the point of cessation of existential manifestation - rest from being or futility. The needed proof of being precedes the nascent self-observing consciousness and is the answer to the anticipated question before it is asked. It is the intrusion of alien other only that creates the need for proof of being because it is already present as the proof.

If it was possible for the self observing consciousness to stop throwing the rock, that is the impossible thought of its need of an equal other only for proof of its own being, into the pool of its fundamental existential being; it would discover that the ripple in its fundamental being that it is hoping to observe is - its self observing consciousness. Because all only is completely alien one from the other it is only observable as cause and effect, and is essentially and initially observable only as existential distance or self contained inner distance; and in fact there is no end to being so there is no end to distance. The compatibility factors are eternity, infinity, and "onlyness". We may be certain that the distance is alien other only. Self-observing consciousness is the effect caused by the presence of alien other only. When self-observing consciousness recognizes this cause and effect as true, the impact on its essence is profound. The instant of recognition is an intellectual still point. It is the still point where reflection ends in reality.

The alcyon (my choice of spelling) or kingfisher is a bird of prey native to North America that feeds on frogs and small fishes; which it obtains by plummeting full body into the water, and seizing under the water in its powerful bill, and bursting forth from its submersion in full flight back into the air. Its hunting method is most efficient when the waters it searches for prey are calm. It is my intention, for purposes of later reference and because of poetic and mythological links, to call the anomaly I am about to describe the - alcyon anomaly. As for myself, at times it seems that the very beauty of existential truth cries out for poetic expression. I am halcyoned regularly, to use Audenís beautiful syntax.

By now it should be clear to us that the only, because it is being, can only recognize two fundamental essences: its own only essence, and the perception of distance that is alien only. There are an infinite number of essences of only, but only two fundamental perceptions of essence. Each single only can only perceive itself and existential distance, regardless of how many diverse alien "onlys" it has come in contact with. The intrusion of alien only into only is always perceived by the self-observing consciousness as existential distance.

If the self-observing consciousness is the alcyon, and the water is fundamental existential being, then the air is alien other only. The essence of the alcyon is of the water, that is, it is dependent on the manifestations of the water for survival. It finds its food submerged beneath the water. Food keeps it alive. The self-observing consciousness is of its fundamental existential being, and is dependent upon the continued manifestation of fundamental being for survival.

The alcyon is dependent upon the air. Part of its nature is constructed to soar upon the air above the water looking for food beneath the surface. The nature of the alcyon is so greatly attuned to the air that it can only dive beneath the water briefly to find its food, and must quickly return to the air. Though its source of life is beneath and in the water, it must have the air to breath, and soar upon over the water. The nature of the self-observing consciousness is so greatly attuned to the intruder alien other only that it cannot exist without it. On the other hand, the essence of the self observing consciousness is the same as the being it soars over, and it cannot live without the manifestation of the being, even though it cannot live in the being; and in fact, would drown in that being, if it stayed too long within it.

The irony in the duality of the alcyon is obvious. It must go beneath the water to live, but cannot live beneath the water in peace. The solution to its nature is motion. It must go in and out of the water. The motion allows it to continue. The motion of the self-observing consciousness is observation. Its observations of its being are its sustenance, in the same way that fish and frogs sustain the alcyon. It is inevitable that the self-observing consciousness will discover its own motion. In the process of discovering that motion, it will realize that it is observing its being over the distance of the alien other. It will also realize, that when it realizes manifestations of its fundamental being, it is crossing the distance of that alien other, to enter briefly into its own fundamental being. Eventually the self observing consciousness will realize, that it has nature in common with alien other that allows it to soar through the distance, that is alien other only, to self realization. The self-observing consciousness will understand inevitably, that a part of its nature is alien to its fundamental existential being, and that it can only grasp its own self-revelation in pieces as they become visible. Finally the self-observing consciousness will realize, that it can observe alien other only according to whatever nature of alien only exists in itself. The self-observing consciousness discovers motion in the alien only that was previously perceived as distance. The alien only is now an active entity to the self-observing consciousness. It is distance in motion.

As the alcyon soars, observes, dives, and fishes, its way through life; it becomes attuned to its environment. Its power of observation makes certain realities of its own essence, and the essence it inhabits, apparent to it. The alcyon discovers that the fishing is best when the waters are still. The alcyon discovers the relationship between the movement of the air, and the movement of the water. As it watches the water waiting for stillness, the alcyon realizes that the wind ruffles its own feathers precisely when it ripples the water. The alcyon knows that it is one with the water, and moved by the wind. The alcyon has found a still point. It no longer has to endlessly soar over the water waiting for it to be still. It rests until the wind rests.

The self-observing consciousness has become aware of movement in the existential distance between itself and its fundamental being. Because the intruder alien other only is responsible for causing part of the nature of the self-observing consciousness by its very presence; the self-observing consciousness becomes aware of a part of the nature of the alien other only. The self-observing consciousness learns to wait for stillness in the movement of the elusive existential distance in itself, in order to observe itself to its fulfillment. The alcyon anomaly is now possible.

The existential distance between the self-observing consciousness and its fundamental being is alien other only. The movement in the distance that is perceived by the self-observing consciousness, is the activity of the self-observing consciousness of the alien other only, that has itself been intruded upon by an alien other only in its own existential being. Both the only, and the alien other only, have self-observing consciousnesses caused by the intrusion of alien other only in their existential beings. If only number one has developed a self-observing consciousness due to the intrusion of only number two into its existential being; and only number two has developed a self observing consciousness due to the intrusion of only number one into its existential being; and both self observing consciousnesses are awaiting the cessation of movement in their respective existential distances; there in the mutual still point the self observing consciousnesses will inevitably become aware of one another, and clearly recognize each others existence, since a part of their natures is mutual, and at the still point they are observing their respective alien intruders, which are each other to a large degree, and waiting to indulge in self observance. This is the anomaly through which being is intellectually proved and realized. The odds of the occurrence of such a coincidental still point are not calculable, but because all being is infinite and eternal, the occurrence is inevitable. We may be certain, because there are so many self aware consciousnesses apparent in this human condition, that this anomaly has occurred an uncountable number of times, and that this is truly common ground.

The alcyon anomaly causes an effect in the fundamental existential being of each only; that is observable by the respective self- observing consciousnesses. The effect is really just a mixing of alien fundamental essences. The essences are alien to one another, and do not mutate, or assimilate, or lose that alien quality to each other. The best way to describe the effect is the essences become homogenized. The cause of the effect is the motion of the self-observing consciousnesses toward each other. As the self observing consciousnesses begin to reduce the existential distance between one another through mutual recognition, the distance is forced into their fundamental essence of being, breaking it down into smaller and smaller pieces; which on an intellectual level, is nothing more than the process of understanding. The possibility to understand is infinite. The common ground is continually refined into infinity.

The common ground that we inhabit as humans is extremely refined, and diverse to a staggering degree. If we are here in this human condition; we have as self-observing consciousnesses all experienced the alcyon anomaly with each other. The path to here is the alcyon anomaly. The potential number of self-observing consciousnesses able to be here, is as infinite as existential being. The common ground that is our body, the planet, the stars, the universes, the infinite cosmic expressions, is the homogenized fundamental existential beings, of an infinite number of self observing consciousnesses, all in the process of recognizing and understanding one another, all drawn toward understanding by the experience of the alcyon anomaly.

Recognition creates the need for understanding. Understanding creates the need for communication. Communication creates understanding. Understanding creates recognition. The circle of the intellect in action completes itself and goes onward, always refining. Self observing consciousness, that has experienced the alcyon anomaly, and become aware of other self observing consciousness, will seek understanding relentlessly; which is the burgeoning process of the development of communication, which is the relentless reduction of existential distance between self observing consciousnesses.

We have all experienced the alcyon anomaly with all self-observing consciousnesses that are present in this place. All of our fundamental existential beings are mixed, and infinitely refined in this common ground. Here in this common body, that truly contains all of us, our self-observing consciousnesses have come to learn to communicate with one another. It is time for us to remember. Our language is finally able to rise to the task. As the intellectual circle returns again and again to recognition, we will find love.

We have come far in our journey towards each other, but we have far to go. Can I sleep naked in the snow in the arctic night? Will the planet move itself to warm me? Can I stand on the moon and look back at the earth as man or woman? Will the place provide me with air? When I walk, will the grass grow beneath my feet to comfort my steps? When I hunger will the trees throw their fruit to me? When I thirst does the bubbling spring find me? In our journey toward each other we have come to some wrong conclusions. Our errors in thinking have put intellectual distance between our self-observing consciousnesses and the common ground. That is the risk of learning to communicate.

We are all in and of the same fabric. Our self-observing consciousnesses have come here in the same way. We need to talk it out, remove the foolishness in our thinking, and move on. There is so much more to know of one another.