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giving human consciousness the slip

I stumbled upon James Taylor inevitably after researching Carole King, and from his interviews I can see where his lyric-writing capabilities come from. Just look at how he describes practicing music: People…

Because of his past

In 2006, my friend Pamela Krasney, an activist devoted to prison reform and other social justice causes, told me about a death row inmate who, she claimed, had been wrongly convicted of murder. He was unlike anyone she’d ever known—more conscious, wise, and empathetic “in spite of his past.” She corrected herself. “Because of his past.”

The idea of Buddha consciousness

The idea of Buddha consciousness is of an immanent, luminous consciousness that informs all things and all lives. We unthinkingly live by fragments of that consciousness, fragments of that energy. But the religious way of life is to live not in terms of the self-interested intentions of this particular body at this particular time but in terms of the insight of that larger consciousness.

to this energy that animates it

it means to find what is the source of your own life, and what is the relationship of your body, your physical form, to this energy that animates it. The body without the energy isn’t alive, is it? So you distinguish in your own life that which is of the body and that which is of energy and consciousness.

Life sheds one generation after another, to be born again

The power of life causes the snake to shed its skin, just as the moon sheds its shadow. The serpent sheds its skin to be born again, as the moon its shadow to be born again. They are equivalent symbols. Sometimes the serpent is represented as a circle eating its own tail. That’s an image of life. Life sheds one generation after another, to be born again. The serpent represents immortal energy and consciousness engaged in the field of time, constantly throwing off death and being born again. There is something tremendously terrifying about life when you look at it that way. And so the serpent carries in itself the sense of both the fascination and the terror of life.

the dream is the private myth

a dream is a personal experience of that deep, dark ground that is the support of our conscious lives, and a myth is the society’s dream. The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth.

The whole process is consciousness

I have a feeling that consciousness and energy are the same thing somehow. Where you really see life energy, there’s consciousness. Certainly the vegetable world is conscious. And when you live in the woods, as I did as a kid, you can see all these different consciousnesses relating to themselves. There is a plant consciousness and there is an animal consciousness, and we share both these things. You eat certain foods, and the bile knows whether there’s something there for it to go to work on. The whole process is consciousness. Trying to interpret it in simply mechanistic terms won’t work.