Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Fountain Metaphor
Coming Closer to Understanding how Our Experience Occurs, how Potential Becomes Actuality
Experiencing the soul as a bubbling stream brings us closer to understanding how our experience occurs, how potential becomes actuality. When our potential is streaming out freely it discloses, as part of this flow, how it manifests into actual experience. The sense of a bubbling or shooting fountain indicates a movement out, a displacement from the inside out, or from the depth to the surface. It is felt as a displacement of a fluid, vertical instead of horizontal. This is the experienced sense of flow, conveying the impression of a hidden potential that is making itself apparent, as if it is coming out of hiding and exposing itself to the light of experience. This impression is accurate, but still not completely objective. This experience of flow is the beginning of the disclosing of the actual mechanism of manifestation. We can glimpse this mechanism by contemplating the experience of the out-flowing fountain of perception. When we inquire into this outflow we may see that there is no displacement of fluid or substance from depth to surface. (This perception might also occur spontaneously.) There is actually no displacement of anything; the sense of flow appears because we are not yet completely abiding in the conscious presence itself. The center of our experience remains mostly at its surface, which is constantly changing and transforming, which gives us the impression of flow. When we are fully the presence itself we recognize that the forms appear not because they emerge from deep underneath and bubble up to the surface. Rather, the field of presence itself opens up and reveals another layer to itself. The process of uncurling, unfurling, and opening up is often experienced as a sense or image of an overflowing fountain. This is similar to a rose opening up as each petal uncurls and spreads out, all at the same location.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 83
Soul Manifesting as a Continual Stream of Discoveries
The experience of flow as a continual fountain of manifestation whose very body is the presence of soul brings an awareness of freedom and spontaneity. The soul experiences release, ease, and freedom from inner constraints. Along with the sense of lightness and freedom, of spaciousness or emptiness, the soul manifests now as a continual stream of discoveries, new perceptions, dimensions, and capacities. So opening the flow of the soul brings freedom, liberation, and effortlessness, as well as richness, fullness, and texture.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 82
The Soul Transforms by Molding Herself into the Various Forms of Experience
It is the essence of life to change and unfold, evolving into new forms and functions. The life of the soul is inseparable from her dynamism and changeability. The pure knowledge of the soul manifests as the various forms of knowledge, giving pure life her inner content. This morphogenic property of the living soul indicates another basic property: malleability. The soul transforms by molding herself into the various forms of experience. She can move from experiencing herself as an adult man with arms and legs, to a chubby baby, to an empty sense of being a formless self, to a sense of being a bubbling fountain, to being a torrential rain of tears, to being an empty vast space, and so on. All these phenomena are the same soul changing her form to be one thing or another. Malleability is the property of the soul necessary for her to change from one form to another. This is what some ancient thinkers were referring to when they called the soul a chameleon. The soul actually is more plastic than a chameleon. Her plasticity and malleability are closer to the changelings in science fiction novels. She can change not only her color, but the totality of her manifestation, across all the dimensions of the inner Riemannian manifold.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 94
When the Things We Seek Flow Like a Fountain
When things are happening spontaneously, there is no need for struggle. So there is no need, for instance, when you are investigating something about yourself, to keep squinting at yourself with your brow tight. Just be there and be aware. The insight will emerge by itself. There is confidence that things will just work out. Whatever perception is needed will arise like a flowering. It’s a natural process, and it will happen. This openness, this freedom, is both the end result of allowing our natural functioning, our true will, and the method itself, the way to go about our work. When we don’t need that hardness as a stepping stone, the emptiness will be an openness in the heart, for the fulfillment, the love, the joy, satisfaction and contentment—all the things we seek in our lives. It will simply manifest and flow like a fountain. But we are closing the fountain by creating the hardness that we think is what we need to accomplish our fulfillment. Then we ask “Why doesn’t it work? I’ve done this and this, and still I’m not content.” Well you are actually working to block it, all the time. Ultimately, true will manifests as an understanding. It’s not as if something is there that will do something for you. It’s an understanding that the organism, the life force, knows what needs to be done in the best, most efficient way. It’s a confidence in yourself. If the true will is operating you experience it as confidence and trust. There’s a complete harmony.