The next time you stub your toe or otherwise hurt yourself, take a moment to become curious about exactly what the pain is like. What exactly does it feel like? Is it stabbing? Does it radiate? Is it blunt or sharp? Does it come and go? Is it cold or hot? Does it remind you of someone, or something, or some place?
As soon as you suspend the pain in your mind, the pain immediately changes. It becomes interesting. Like Keanu Reeves might stop a bullet in the air in The Matrix, you stun the pain by paying it conscious attention and then examining it like a scientist or artist might. It becomes fascinating. And then, as you describe it, its character changes more and more. It becomes sharp, specific, and beautiful. It might still be pain, but still, even as pain, it is no longer painful in the same way. Now it is a jewel. You see within it organization, ideas, intelligence.
Through the process of reflection and then expression, we can transform pain into beauty. This is true not just of physical pain, but of all pain, and indeed, of any experience. This is the essence of human freedom and power.
The most interesting and fundamental question in the world is what we’re doing here in this life. What’s the point? I spent years thinking about this question — going through psychology and western and eastern philosophy, and asking this question over and over.
I think I have an answer, at least a certain kind of partial answer. It’s certainly not totally original. Yet it is not often seen, not often heard.
My problem is how to explain it in words. I have tried many formulations on paper and in my head and none of them seem quite right. So I’ve decided to share several of them with you here, and hope you get the point. I’m trying to indicate a sensibility about the world — a way of relating to it, of seeing it, of dealing with it. What I’m trying to say cannot be wholly communicated in words (though can anything?). I need you to get the feel of it, to have the shift in perspective without which none of this will really make sense.
There’s a zen story about the monk who points to the moon. And the disciple keeps looking at his finger. ‘No, no, up there!’ the monk tries to say, but the disciple cannot understand the concept of pointing. That’s the kind of barrier I feel I’m up against.
Let me give you another example: to someone new to wine, wine tastes like wine. Maybe red wine tastes like red wine, and white wine tastes like white wine. To someone who drinks a little more, and thinks about what they drink, perhaps they start to identify sour and bitter, dryness and acidity. But to the wine connoisseur and critic, the vocabulary and the experience expand. They start to be able to detect and name notes of musk, florality, and minerality. They distinguish the taste of the wine at the front of the palate from the taste at the back. They comprehend the history and the heritage of the wine, its lineage in the soil, the effect of the sun and the rain on the grapes that made it. They taste and appreciate the various nuances of fermentation.
For the connoisseur, the wine unfolds into a much more complex, in-depth experience. It happens not just because the person drinks a lot of wine, but because they pay attention, and because they analyze the wine, and come up with labels, and break down and express their experiences.
The same way the experience of the wine reveals layer after layer with increased attention and thought, so too can the same general idea apply to life. Any particular experience you’ve had without thinking about it you’ve barely even lived. It passed by and vanished, and you missed a lot in it, a lot like a rookie misses almost everything interesting in the wine she’s tasting. If you take an experience of yours, pay it attention, and express what it is like, you will find that the experience starts to refine itself. It becomes complex, multi-layered, rich, fascinating, interesting, beautiful. It ceases to be one big blob and starts to become a multitude.
This revelation of layers of intelligence, of pattern but also of chaos—interesting chaos—is the reward for this expression.
Expression is the key.
Mere observation is not enough. Simply remembering an experience is not enough. You just remember the same pale, shallow memory you had before. But if you remember an experience and then 1) think deeply about it, 2) try to honestly and originally express exactly what it was like for you, and 3) put this expression in some form (music, poetry, film, or even just a few sentences in your journal) then 4) that will allow you to see the experience in a new light. It will force you to choose the important aspects of the experience. Those aspects of the experience will come into focus. Like a near-sighted man putting on glasses for the first time, the experience will become dramatically sharper.
Of course, expression inevitably distorts. Even a good map is partly wrong. It is still illuminating. A map has to distort and simplify to be useful. Similarly, every expression breaks down experience in a way that is partly wrong. One kind of expression will highlight certain facets of an experience; another expression will highlight other facets. Experiences can be expressed in an endless variety of ways.
This sensibility I’m trying to communicate results in the appreciation of “subtlety.” To a casual listener of music, when someone plays a key on a piano, they hear it as a single note. To a musician or a music critic or an audiophile, though, the note has at least three parts. The first is the attack, when the key is struck and a tiny hammer literally pings against a tight string inside the piano. The second is a middle portion of the note. The third is the decay, as the note fades. Each of these is different. And in fact even within each of these parts the note changes. Expression is like an instrument that allows you to see the worlds within every world.
Observing and expressing any experience streams down beautiful ideas that allow you to see it in a new way. The experience discloses connections to other experiences, patterns within it, intelligence.
To appreciate the finer and finer details of these changes — to see distinctions and discern refinement where once there was only sameness — is the spirit of subtlety. It is to see not just a thing but the presence of the space surrounding that thing. It is the spirit of the Japanese tea ceremony.
It is the spirit of not trying to overwhelm with a simple rush of pleasure, but to see deeper and deeper and quieter and quieter parts of something. It is why John Cage created an entirely silent piece — he wanted to make a statement about this spirit of subtlety, that looks for the shyest and most reluctant details. It is the spirit of, when you’re hungry, not just gobbling up food, but making food that tastes good, and then, looks good. Taking your time to do that prolongs the hunger, but then allows you to explore that hunger in a more and more elegant, artistic way.
The Magic Equation: Desire = Pain
And if you want to see these subtleties, desire is crucial. You do not fully control your mind anymore than you fully control the weather. You are at all times in a mental landscape, and the most important feature of this landscape is desire. We always want something — or perhaps to avoid something — and this focuses and defines our attention. We can use this desire as the starting point of our attention and expression.
Desire, which unfulfilled is the same thing as pain, is what allows you to appreciate anything. So the connoisseur realizes that desire is a precious thing. It should not be used up too early. It is what allows you to be interested in something. As soon as you’ve had an orgasm, interest in sex decreases. It is the desire for sex, the ache, the hunger, that can motivate you to explore subtler and subtler realms of sexuality: to be interested in those realms. And that is why celibacy shows up so often in the world’s mystical traditions. It provides the motivation to seek sexuality not in physical bodies, but in knowledge and contemplation. The subtlest sexual objects are ideas.
The artistic mindset I am trying to communicate sees emotional or physical pain — unfulfilled desire — as a precious, specific energy that we can capture like a firefly in a jar, to follow its spirals and whirls. We can use it by investigating the desire itself. The desire is an experience. We can attend to it, note its intricacies.
Let me give you an example. You fall in love. The other person seems an object of wonder and mystery. I would argue that your desire for the other person is the true object of wonder and mystery. If you think about that desire, analyze it, express it, you will find that it has a lot of detail and texture. Perhaps certain personalities or looks or backgrounds attract you. Perhaps it was something she said, or who he reminded you of, or the place where you met her that made her enchanting. There’s a lot of poetry to be had by watching these desires, particularly when they are unfulfilled, because that is when they are the most complex, and can be the most subtle.
These desires can say a lot about your personality, about biology, about culture. Most of all, investigating these desires always reveals something about your own viewpoint.
For example, when the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri was 8 years old, he met a beautiful girl named Beatrice, and instantly fell in love. For the next dozen years he pined after her, but they never exchanged more than a few words. When she was 21 she married another man, and then at 24 she died.
Dante was devastated. He might have used the occasion to fall into a deep depression, or else simply “grow up” and find someone else, but, like many great artists, chose to do neither. Instead, he delved into his feelings for her, and excavated glorious thoughts that became some of the most important literary works in Western civilization — La Vita Nuova (New Life) and Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy).
He planted his pain and turmoil in the soil of art and made from it mighty trees. He took anguish that other men would have turned away from and examined it with the gaze of a seeker, and broke it open, and found treasure.
Like Dante, we can learn that every experience is a object made of pure light. If we examine it, it resolves itself into art. Like Dante, we too are gardeners who can grow our life experiences into dense, gorgeous forests of ideas.
Now let’s go a little more deeply into the process of expression. Any experience and/or desire can become the target of this process. Indeed, so can a whole life, or a society, or an imagination. It requires taking something and making it an object of thought. You’re no longer in it, you are watching it. And then you express it. Expression always requires analysis. It always requires breaking the thing down into something smaller, finer, more detailed — or else, putting it in a different context, or seeing its environment more clearly.
You can take any experience and, through expression, release from it staggering power — blazing out in the form of illumination, beauty, and insight — from the tiniest bit of material. Even in a “grain of sand,” in poet William Blake’s words, you can see a world. In the realm of mind, everything is connected to everything else. The artist can grasp these connections, and from even the humblest objects can draw conclusions about the farthest and the most distant. This power is nothing less than a nuclear power of the soul.
Mythology is founded on this power. All of it is real. It is all a way of expressing inner human experience. Cinderella expresses the way that many people feel about their stepparents. Beauty and the Beast shows, among other things, how a woman’s love may transform and bring out the best in a man. I know these are really simplistic interpretations, but the point is: mythology documents the inner landscape. It puts words and stories to human emotions and experiences. It breaks them down and analyzes by putting them in a new, fantasy context. And the reward is that we get endlessly fascinating stories.
So any new experience, good or bad, provides a creative energy that is hurled at us. If we’re not watching, it hits us and hurts us. That’s fine, though. Anything sufficiently powerful will hit us, and knock us down. We are not going to be able to avoid pain. And pain is that feeling of being knocked down, of not knowing who we are or how we are going to escape this situation. No matter how wise we are, we will forget our lessons when we most need them.
And good thing, too, because if we did not forget those lessons, we wouldn’t have the incredibly interesting lessons of pain. How can pain be interesting? Great pain is born from great desire. It gives us an enormous interest in a particular subject. So it carries within it the most interesting and subtle connections. We can discern them if we have wise, artistic eyes, and express ourselves to the limits of our capacity. Look at all the people who have written books and made movies about their abuse, pain, torment. They wouldn’t have been able to look with such subtle eyes had they not been using their pain.
That pain allowed them to delve into their experience and express its beautiful nuances. They were photojournalists privileged to explore unique and remote domains of the soul. And when they took the opportunity to capture what they saw, their pain exploded into profusions of colors and textures. It wove together memories, motivations, dark and light, mysteries, music, and an interconnecting web of emotions of dazzling architecture. All of that is right there in your pain, if you will but take the time to look at it and express it!
Don’t get me wrong. This is not “processing pain.” How I hate that phrase. Yes, expressing your pain may in fact relieve it. But the point is not relief. The point is to see! And without pain you have no reason to look deeper, see more clearly and more subtly, to look at things from all the many hundreds or thousands of angles from which they can be seen. So if this pain fades, another will come. If this desire fades, another will replace it.
Not that we can or should try to seek out pain. That is unnatural and unnecessary. Most of us cannot do it, and we should not do it. Anyway, our seeking pleasure and avoiding pain in the certain knowledge that we are going to be disappointed — that itself is pain enough! And it is a bittersweet pain. We can seek out the pleasurable even while knowing that death, that isolation, that all kinds of horrible things are going to come our way.
Horror is beauty
But this horror need not unnerve us. Horror is beauty! That is its secret. The horror is the disappointment of all our hopes and dreams and expectations — but the consequent pain is extraordinarily complex. If we can, for a moment, stop living in that pain and start watching it, and then describing it, we can turn it on its head. We can see it in cross section like an artist or an anatomist sees a corpse or a scientist an insect preserved in amber. We can view it as theatre, distinguish its various scenes, see their connections in science and culture and history and our personalities. We can analyze ourselves. And for analysis, there is nothing more interesting than horror. It is the most complex, because it is involves the greatest, most powerful desires and pains.
So yes, we will suffer. But our suffering is not for nothing. Our suffering is creative fuel for our eyes. If we can turn the alchemy of observation and expression on it, we can view all of reality from a different angle, and watch it from a divine point of view. We can see the entire sequence of human events as a tapestry. And so all the battles, all the blood and pain and rage, turns into rich red flowers, diamonds and curlicues, textures and geometries — in a word, ideas. In our minds, through our analysis, all the worry and all the disgust and all the evil takes place in the crystalline medium of thought, like the extraordinarily complex growth of stalactites over the millennia in the silence of some ancient Arctic cave.
How can that be? How can there be beauty in everything?
Everything is beautiful because we are aware of it. This is the beauty of reflection. A glass window in a coffee shop allows you to look through it to the street. It also allows you to see a reflection of what is inside the coffee shop. That reflection is so delicate. It is pure light. The glass is not just transparent. It is also a mirror.
That is true of everything we experience. Everything we experience is an object, just like the street beyond the glass. But everything we experience is also a reflection — a reflection of our own minds.
When we look around, we think we are looking at a room, or at a street. We are not. We are actually looking at a reflection of that room or street in the mirror of our mind.
Our awareness is a giant silver surface that surrounds us. Everything we experience is in it, like the sky in the water of a lake. Even our thoughts and feelings reflect off this surface.
When we notice this, we appreciate things not just for what they are, but also for what they say about that extraordinarily delicate surface. Things are beautiful not just in themselves, but because they show the beauty of the lens they come through.
This is the beauty of origami, of the silence in between notes of music, of the space left behind when a loved one leaves the room. It is the particular way the bell fades when struck. It will fade that way only once in all of time, and only for you. This is the touch or kiss of subtlety.
What things are like can never be quite expressed. They are always strange and wondrous and elusive. That is their charm.
Things are beautiful, in other words, not just because they are, but because they are reflected in a particular way, never to be repeated, by our personal mental mirror.
And, of course, no mirror is perfect. Every mirror curves and distorts. And that’s what makes the mirror original. In the mirror of our minds, every curve or bend of its surface changes the way we see the world. And every such change is there for a reason.
That is because our mind is not a machine. It is an intelligence, an artist. We see the world in a particular way because the artist of our mind is trying to express a particular vision. That vision expresses certain connections and relationships between things. We can grasp this vision when we express these connections.
Why we are limited
We are immensely powerful in this way. We are limited in one dimension so that we can be free in the others. We are limited as human beings so that we can be free as artists to examine the beauty and the complexity of those limitations. Our desires are frustrated so that we can examine in depth all the trace capillary movements of that frustration. As complex as are the organs and pathways and cellular functions of the human body, inconceivably more complex are the pathways of desire and experience.
We are spiders who can seize any object and trap it in the web of our awareness. Then we can shatter it into all the subtle pieces that lie inside, and into all of its connections with all other things, and so reveal the fineness of the web — and of all other webs. Of course, to see the full extent of an object in thought is beyond our capacity. It is too complex to be expressed in its totality. But even a shard of that power is our divine gift. It is something that transcends all limitation and suffering, and indeed transforms them into the insightful and the extraordinary.
And the beauty of this expression is truly beyond good and evil—indeed, even beyond beauty, if beauty is thought in the conventional sense. It is the eye that can see the intricate patterns in death and illness and loss and shame—but also in joy and happiness and indifference and in the physical world, the mathematical world, the social world. It is this intricacy, it is this intelligence, that alone redeems us, and is our supernatural power above and beyond reality. It is not the elimination of pain. It is its seeing.
This is the meaning of things. Why are we kept in mystery as to our lives? Why are we here? It can only be to see. It explains perfectly why we cannot know absolute truth. To see and to experience requires us to have a viewpoint. Because every seeing is a seeing of something, which means we exclude other things. Our own mind is limited that way, and what we see is similarly limited. To see Absolute Reality, we would have to go beyond all these limits. But if that were the case, that would not be an experience at all. We could have no experiences in that state.
So whatever is there in the reality beyond the human mind has made us a trade-off: be limited, so that we can enjoy, perceive, and appreciate those limits. Those limits require a viewpoint and require ignorance. That is why we are eternally plunged in mystery, and cannot know our origins or our final destination. Any certainty to those could only be if we stepped out of human experience entirely. But then we would no longer be playing this game. And as soon as we started to play it again we would immediately have to resume our ignorance and limitation.
It can only be that we are playing this game deliberately, that we have chosen ignorance, limitation, and mystery voluntarily. We are divine children, and this is the toy we have been given to play with: the entire universe as seen by our individual mind.
I want to go more into why expression is so important and how it works, but to do that, I have to explain a little more about viewpoint. The entire universe is echoed differently in each individual mind, in each individual viewpoint. Everyone has a viewpoint. What it means to have a viewpoint is that your mind assembles reality differently. Have you ever seen that famous drawing of something that could either look like a vase, or two faces?
Well this goes on with all of reality all the time. The mind takes in information, but then has to weave it together into whatever it is that you experience.
But let me stop here. I don’t even like the word “mind.” That’s because it implies that this is something inanimate or machine-like. Our minds are not machines. Machines cannot put together the richness of our awareness. Think about it. In the above picture, whether you see it as two faces or a vase: the actual data in the picture is the same. And your experience is not of two-faces-and-white-space-in-between or a-vase-and-black-space-to-the-sides. No. Your mind is able to switch in seamless wholes between these two.
Those seamless, smooth wholes in your experience cannot be produced by machines. The visions of the picture, which leap suddenly to mind as complete wholes, which contain an infinite number of relationships between the parts, cannot be produced by an equation.
No. They are the result of something else. Call it your unconscious, call it the divine. I call it an intelligence, the intelligence behind your mind.
It is that intelligence which weaves together your experience every second. It is an artist. It has to decide how every element in that experience relates to every other, and then put all these relationships in a completely coherent, interesting whole, not something composed of bits and pieces.
Now as an artist, its decisions are always for a reason. It decides based on its artistic values, based on what it considers beautiful. So each experience you have is a kind of painting — a message — delivered to you from this intelligence that is in fact behind your own point of view.
Now let’s look at these experiences a little more carefully. Every experience is well… like something to experience. It looks like something, it feels like something, or is thought or imagined to be like something. Everything in your experience is like some things, and unlike other things. And all of the things in any particular experience relates to every other. Each part influences what every other part is like, and what the whole is like.
Each part also relates to everything else in your mind. The intelligence has to decide whether the picture above is “like” two faces facing each other or “like” a vase. It has to do the same thing with everything else in your experience. And it has to make all of these experiences flow and meld into each other into a seamless, liquid flow of experience.
Note again that this decision about what things are like is independent of the actual data — that the same world can be experienced in many different ways, just as the picture above can be seen in at least two ways.
All these decisions the intelligence makes about what something is “like” are important. They show the relationships between the things in your experience. They are an extraordinarily complex set of artistic decisions. And they are beautiful.
Your experiences at any moment—senses, thoughts, emotions, imagination—are a movie transmitted by a director who made decisions. These decisions are messages directed at the audience. In the case of your experience, that’s you.
A painter arranges the objects in a painting a certain way for a reason. If the eye is drawn to something in a painting, the painter is saying it is important.
Similarly, when the intelligence paints experiences, it creates them based on what it considers beautiful. Thus it centers in the experience what is richest and most important.
When you see a person or building that evokes strong feelings — either good or bad — this is that intelligence screaming at you to pay attention. Those things are fists clutching beautiful connections and ideas. If you can relax the fist open, glittering messages will spill out.
How can you reveal some of these messages? Through expression. When you take an experience, large or small, long or short, and try to express “what it is like” — you re-translate some of the decisions the intelligence made in creating your experience. You decode some of its messages to you.
These messages always come in the form of metaphors.
The twinkle of a beautiful fruit or of a beautiful person that your heart yearns for is actually the twinkle of metaphorical messages. Your heart yearns to read those messages.
For example, let’s assume you feel a strange emotion. If you think about it and said it felt like you were “naked in front of your classmates at school,” that is a metaphor that now expresses — and so explains — some of the strange emotion. Perhaps it is embarrassment or shame. You’ve decoded a message. Of course, there may be other messages there as well. If you try again you may see something different. And that is fine. Both are true messages.
It need not be so psychological. If you see the shadow of a barber shop chair and notice that it looks like a giraffe, that is not about your emotions. Yet that metaphor reveals something in your experience, something that was already there. It highlights a specific thing in your experience that you didn’t know, but instantly recognized as having always been there as soon as you pointed it out. You are reading some of the messages that the intelligence behind your mind left for you.
The use of metaphor to describe your experience is the most important requirement for successful expression. Just as the intelligence has to decide what it is “like” for you to experience anything, you can decode that “what it is like” decision into metaphors (or similes, really, but that’s a technical detail). You might say that an apple is as red as if it were painted with lipstick, for instance. And if you have honestly described how that apple looked to you, you will know it. You will experience a satisfaction in having seen into your experience, having seen a pattern there that you knew at some level, but had not recognized before.
Whenever you express an experience, you are revealing these details and relationships that were always there, that the intelligence put there, but that you had not yet brought to your full awareness. You are looking at an ancient inscription that is nearly erased, and you are cutting into it, making it bold and clear.
At the same time as you see these new things about your experiences — and I include your thoughts and emotions in these experiences — you are also seeing the functioning of this intelligence. You are seeing the patterns in your viewpoint, in that mental mirror which I mentioned earlier.
This pattern in your viewpoint is your style. Just as a great painter has a style, so too does the intelligence. Picasso might have many paintings, and they might not have very much specific in common. They are not all about the same subject, they do not all use the same colors, and they do not use the same materials and paints. But still – there is something “Picasso-like” about these different paintings. That is Picasso’s style, his signature. It is the expression of Picasso’s viewpoint. And if you were someone who studied Picasso, you would be able to appreciate that style and see it as beautiful.
Similarly, by expressing your own experiences in whatever form you find most appealing, you will be appreciating your own style. Your choice of metaphors will reveal it. You will see through them the signature of your intelligence behind every experience. And it may not come down to any particular common feature; still, there will be a style that is expressed in your viewpoint. And this style is pure intelligence. Only when you express yourself will you be able to see it, and to appreciate its creativity.
Imagine you are in an immense cavern whose walls and ceiling form an extraordinarily large lens. This lens is the work of the intelligence. It is your mental surface. It is your viewpoint. Light streams in and forms experiences. Now every time you express an experience, it is like using the light of that experience to see, for a moment, some of the unbelievably complex shape of this lens. The more sophisticated yet honest the work of expression, the more of the lens that is seen. And in the case of the masterpieces of human art and science, perhaps for a moment, for one person, the entire cavern is illuminated. And the sight is glorious.
And the lens is intelligent!
Capturing, observing, and expressing your experience doesn’t just get you to see the details of the experience and the lens. It also allows you to see one more thing. When you, with your art, briefly glimpse the lens of your mind, you also for a moment can see that you are wearing this lens. And that beyond that there is something else.
This lens—the intelligence behind your mind—creates your viewpoint and your experiences every second.
In fact, your entire personality is just a viewpoint. You think of yourself as being a particular person and body and set of thoughts. Yet when you sleep, all that disappears into dream, or, in dreamless sleep, into nothing at all. Your individual viewpoint exists when you are waking, and disappears when you are asleep.
Or, if you prefer, your body came from stardust, and to stardust it will return. The point is that at some level you are beyond your individual viewpoint. At some level you are continuous with the universe.
In truth, you are not just your unique viewpoint. That viewpoint is part of something beyond your viewpoint. And you can sense this fact directly.
When you express your experience, you see your own viewpoint better. And when you do that, you also see that your viewpoint is a viewpoint, and you appreciate the fact that there is more than just one viewpoint. The universe is beyond viewpoints, and the universe creates you: you, too, are beyond viewpoint.
Expression helps you appreciate the “viewpointed-ness” of your viewpoint. It’s like looking out at a beautiful garden. At first you think you see the garden itself. But if you look closely enough at the way the garden appears to you, you realize that what you can see is only one view of the garden. The trees, the fountain, the roses — they would all look different to someone standing somewhere else.
That allows you to imagine how other people might see the garden. It allows you to expand your experience that way, to empathize with other people, and to get a broader grasp of reality.
It also makes you realize that the garden is more than any particular set of viewpoints. The garden is beyond all viewpoints. Reality, too, is beyond all viewpoints. And so beyond any particular viewpoint, beyond any particular intelligence, must lie something beyond all viewpoints. Its nature must be that which enables all viewpoints. But we cannot know anything of it except what filters through our mental lenses. And that is inevitably distorted and limited. That is the price we pay for being individuals and having experiences which require viewpoints: we cannot know absolute truth.
Yet, for a moment, when we express our experience, we also experience our mental lens itself as an object of thought, and we might be able to distinguish—just sense for a second—the awareness-space that lies beyond: God, if you want to call it that, or else the Absolute, the Beyond All Limits.
It has the same relationship to our viewpoints as the viewpoints do to our experiences. That is, just as each of our experiences bears the signature of the artist-intelligence, so too each of the intelligences bears the signature of the Absolute. And what is that signature? The very quality of awareness itself. The very curvature of the lens itself. The ability to have a viewpoint at all.
I know this is very abstract, but it is nevertheless true. That quality is there, and it is pure intelligence, and it underlies and drives and enables all the other more specific intelligences. We can see this primordial quality, this beauty-beyond-beauty, this intelligence-beyond-intelligence, only through expressing ourselves again and again and again.
Through expression, we can, for a moment, break the surface of the water and see the sky. And then we return to the watery environment once more. This just gives us the chance to experience the swim upwards again, and appreciate that transition from water to sky from a different angle and in a different context. This is the purpose of our life, that mission which perfectly matches our powers. Expressed, the universe unfolds into a series of conflicts and clashes of viewpoint that are but scenes in an endless tapestry on to which we can, if we wish, direct an infinite gaze.