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The Information Line

Part Three: The Ocean Metaphor

One way to get a sense of how the bodies and languages can exist as a two that are one is to consider an ocean and its waves. Normally, we experience ocean waves as individual objects, each with its own course, life span, and nature. Certainly, these ideas are true. At the same time, we can also see that each wave is part of a larger, single object; part of an ocean. Certainly this idea is true as well.

Here again, both views are simultaneously true. Thus, we can see waves as separate entities, each of which washes up onto the shore and then returns to sea, and we can see waves as aspects of a larger, single entity; as aspects of an ocean..

Now, if we were to use these two ideas to create a metaphor, we could say that waves are an ocean's language, in that waves communicate an ocean's existence. We could also say that the ocean itself is the body which expresses this language.

In this metaphor, then, we have a physical body, the ocean, which is communicating in a physical language, the waves, and together, these two things comprise a living entity which expresses its life through its movements

Now, consider what would happen if you were to try to separate the waves from this ocean. Say you were somehow magically able to remove and contain the water which comprises each wave. Obviously, each container of water would cease to be a wave the instant you removed it from the ocean. At the same time, no part of an ocean is perfectly still and so, if you removed all the waves (the water which moves back and forth), there would be no ocean, and the ocean would also cease to exist.

Form this simple story, we come to the first truth of the two that are one: that nothing in our existence can survive the separation of its parts.

Obviously, this truth actually does apply to oceans and waves and so, no one could actually separate an ocean and its waves (the water and its movements). In truth, these two things are an inseparable natural creation, a two that are one; two entities that exist both separately and together in the same space and time. But there is also a deeper truth hidden in this metaphor as well. To see this deeper truth, we need to consider what would happen if a two that are one actually could get separated; in this case, an ocean and its waves.

If we were to actually separate the waves from this ocean, and if we were to then try to recreate this ocean simply by recombining the parts, what would happen then?

We, of course, could not do this either. Why? Because an ocean and its waves are never just the sum of their parts. Together, they have a life and a nature which extend far beyond their mere sum.

In reality, then, it is this nature, that which is beyond the sum of the parts, which makes thing in our world separate and yet inseparable, a two that are one. The existence of this nature is the second truth of the two that are one.

Obviously, my main point in telling you these things is that that these two truths apply to us as well. Thus, if we were to apply the ocean metaphor to ourselves, we could say that in our lives, the physical and spiritual worlds are the oceans in which our physical and spiritual bodies exist, and thought (the physical body's information) and emotion (the spiritual body's information) are the waves of information which flow through us, the living movements we sense which inform each of us that we exist in each of the two worlds.

Now, if we were to examine this personal metaphor in the same manner in which we just examined the ocean metaphor, we would find that the same two truths apply to us as well: that if we were to separate our parts, for instance, the physical body from the spiritual, that we would not survive this separation. We would literally cease to exist. Further, should we actually be able do this, and should we then try to recreate ourselves by reassembling these parts, we would also find that like the ocean and its waves, we can not recreate life merely by summing our parts, as we each have a nature which extends far beyond the mere sum of these parts.

Here, then, are the ideas which define the two that are one:

First, that neither we nor anything else in our lives ever exists in only one of these two worlds at a time. Not ever. So, for as long as we are here, we each exist in two bodies simultaneously and speak two languages simultaneously.

At the same time, we also exist in these two bodies separately and speak both languages separately, and these ideas are also true for as long as we are here.

Finally, we each exist, not as the sum of our parts, but rather as a two that are one, as an ocean and as waves, with a life and a nature which can not be defined or created simply by combining the parts.

This last idea, by the way, that we have a nature which extends beyond the sum of our parts, is actually the essence of the word holism. Here, again, like the "zoom function," people rarely if ever notice this truth either.

Finally, because these three ideas are so important, let me briefly restate them:

[1] we each exist simultaneously in two worlds (in the physical world and in the spiritual world) and in two bodies (in a physical body and in a spiritual body), and these two worlds and bodies are where we exist.

[2] we each communicate our experiences in these two worlds and bodies in two languages (in the physical language called thought and in the spiritual language called emotion), and these two separate and unique forms of information are how we express our existence. In other words, they are our physical and spiritual sensations expressed.

Lastly, [3] everything we experience; the worlds, the bodies, the languages; everything; exists as a two that are one, as a holistic entity with a life and nature which extend far beyond the mere sum of their parts.

Now, at this point, I would guess that most people will believe they comprehend what I just said. If this is you, and if you believe you understand what I have been saying about the two that are one, try this (and please be gentle with yourself).

Try consciously experiencing BOTH concepts, both the separateness and the oneness, both the single frames and the continuous movie; both, in the same instant. By this I mean, try to consciously and holistically express (think and feel) both concepts, internally or externally, in the same instant.

If you still think you have it, try this. Try seeing and feeling a blue tennis ball coming at you in slow motion. At the same time, try seeing and feeling an identically sized red tennis ball of energy coming at you. Now try to see them both coming at you, simultaneously, in the same space and time. No alternating visions allowed. (Hint: you would see a blue tennis ball AND a red tennis ball shaped ball of energy and every combination of these two, all in the same vision.)

Too hard? Try picturing an enormous spiral staircase, one which grows infinitely larger as you descend and infinitely smaller as you go up. Now try to consciously see the view both going up and climbing down in the same instant. Again, no alternating visions allowed. (Hint: making this vision the focus of a series of meditations is one very good way to learn to see the two that are one.)

Now, to be honest, unless you are currently having a near death experience (which is, as you remember, how I first consciously experienced the two that are one), then I would suggest you merely note these concepts and then put them aside, with my promise that I will offer further hints as we progress.

The Information Continuum Menu

[1] the "Two That Are One"
[2] Zooming
[3] the Ocean Metaphor
[4] What is Information?
[5] Points on the Line
[6] How Information Wounds