On Loneliness and Learning – The Four E’s

Andre Miller

 

The story of the four e’s began for me around the time I was 10 or 11 years old. A few years prior, my parents began letting me walk to school. Frequently, they would have to go out searching for me an hour or two after school had let out to find me in a field somewhere, crouched and searching the ground. Enamored with the complexity and beauty of what I would find, their threats of removing this privilege meant little to me and my behavior continued. One day, observing an ant, I had the most unusual experience. A great sense of wonder and relaxation overtook me and I seemed to be able to observe the behavior of the ant with such precision that it seemed I had literally become the ant, or at least had become aware of what the ant was aware of. I would find later, this state of shared consciousness to be the product of moving one’s assemblage point, or locus of one’s consciousness, beyond oneself. I took from this experience a unique understanding of scale. I understood that life and the fundamental constituents of reality were continuously and infinitely replicable. As a young boy, I expressed this notion to my mother by telling her with great enthusiasm that the world of the ant could be squashed by giants of our world much in the same way a giant of our world could easily squash ours. I told her banging my fist on the table could send thousands of worlds to their end, much in the same way a giant would someday smash his fist on his desk sending our world to its fateful end. Needless to say, she responded with a gentle pat or two and a kiss goodnight. I felt misunderstood and alone since she did not share in my sense of wonder at my findings.

Less than a year later my mother took me to a book store and allowed me to purchase one of the first books of my own choosing. I chose a book titled “The Seven Mysteries of Life” by Guy Murchie. It was a fantastic book filled with interesting information on anatomy, anthropology, biology and ecology. One night, as I was reading, I discovered a section written about “worlds within worlds,” and immediately began screaming for my mother. She came to my room and I eagerly asked her to read the section. I could immediately tell by the blank look on her face she had not remembered our previous discussion. What I had said to her before failed to resonate with meaning. I felt incredibly alone. The upside was I discovered an educated scientist shared my same views.

I decided to write my thoughts in a book I titled “The Essence of Hyclunium” from the time I was 12 until 17 years of age for the sake of anyone in my similar circumstances. The motivation to write these ideas down, much like my experience observing the ant, were born out of empathy. The ability to feel what is outside of myself was largely the product of two things. First, a sense that all was well within myself which, second, gave birth to a strong desire go beyond myself in oder share what I had learned with others. Somehow, this helped to console the loneliness I felt amidst the vastness of information I was confronted with.

I went on to study biology in college and had the tremendous fortune of coming into contact with several teachers of various disciplines including traditional Mexican Indian practices. Simultaneously, I became a student for over 10 years of a teacher who proscribed to the Socratic method, a form of education based on the asking of questions. The teachings of ancient Mexican art forms taught me to refine and direct my awareness under rigorous practices in the form of two primary disciplines, dreaming and stalking. Dreaming pertained to the understanding and movement of the assemblage point, or the seat of awareness. Stalking pertained to arranging one’s daily affairs in order to strategically keep the assemblage point fixed on a certain place of awareness. My time spent in these practices catapulted me into an unfathomable state of being in which I would at times experience mysterious and transcendental moments of consciousness such as lucid dreaming. I honestly believe without the guidance of my mentor I would have surely lost my mind. I understand now there are two primary positions of the assemblage point readily available to human beings, the place of silent knowledge and the place of rationality. Almost all humans sustain the assemblage point, or stalk, whether knowingly or not, the place of rationality. Some of the most apparently successful humans sustain the assemblage point more squarely on the place of rationality. My mentor of the Socratic method relentlessly pushed me to traverse the gap between silent knowledge and rationality in order to express and articulate what I was experiencing. I believe traversing this gap so extensively is not necessary for most people, however, my mentor knew it would help to soothe much of the loneliness I would experience.

Again, form empathy, I wanted to share and help others, and fast. I dropped my pre-med bio track 1 year from graduating and began personal training as I completed a bachelors in kinesiology, philosophy and a masters in physiology. I eventually opened my own gym and after a few years my wife and I moved to Oregon to start again. This time, I decided I would do it the way I had always dreamed, a healing arts farm where movement and nutritional medicine could be paired most effectively.

I was in for the surprise of a lifetime. I was happy and healing, experiencing life as I had never before when one idle weekday morning a crucial threshold had been crossed. I was meditating when I began to feel my assemblage point loosen. Pushing myself further and further, it became dislodged. I cannot explain in words what took place, something entirely different, even form the many profound experiences I had in my past. My consciousness seemed to be able to move to any imaginable time or place and experience it as being truly present. I was terrified, my wife, my family, my friends and the farm I had worked so hard for could be lost forever with a simple thought or desire to be elsewhere. I remembered my training and went directly to the place of silent knowledge. Resting squarely on the place of silent knowledge brought me great relief and understanding, however, I was deeper inside of it than I had ever been. I knew that as astounding as it seemed to be able to move with one’s will to anyplace or time was nothing compared to the sanctity of the moment each of us assembles on a daily basis. The world of ordinary affairs was more precious than ever to me. I could sense life itself and the force that imbued all living things with awareness. The irony of being some ragamuffin farmer in Oregon realizing this was hysterically comical, like an intergalactic fart joke.

I understood the truly remarkable feat of all human beings is to assemble to world of ordinary affairs and to simultaneously be aware of the force of life itself. I was immediately humbled, and feeling the futility of my struggles, asked this life bestowing awareness if there was anything I could do, if there was anything I could share. I could see the history of this life force, from the big bang to volcanoes erupting and species after species evolving and consuming each other throughout the eons all the way up to the present moment. What was the message? What was the common denominator which could be applied universally? It was the Four E’s. Throughout all time and within all scales life had been moving with examination, efficiency, ease and equanimity.

What a gift! I could easily see and continue to see in the most ordinary of fashions how these four principles of action could be applied to virtually any aspect of my life. How long had it taken for this force of life to get its message across to itself, to me?

I now seek to embody the Four E’s in all that I do, from enacting in the present moment, to the scope of my entire life into my death. I find when exercising, repeating the mantra of the Four E’s keeps me form building up excess tension or winding up at a dead end. The fluidity with which I accept change in my life has increased as well as the ability to save rather than squander my energies. Much greater than any of the practical benefits of the Four E’s is the opportunity they provide to be in deep connection and harmony with the world and life force that envelops it. The ability to see beyond oneself is the direct result of deep care and discipline in order to free the self from personal pain and plight. The doorway beyond oneself and into the realm of empathy, love and enlightenment are there for the taking. The question is, if we run down this path with heart, how far will it go? I am honored and humbled to share this path with such marvelous beings as yourself, capable of directly perceiving and being the very force of life itself. Namaste!

 

View from the #Rootsfitness #Garden this am. What is it like outside? When it is awesome and majestic outside the power and vastness can leave one feeling fearful and anxious. Invite the outside in with the breath. You are literally bringing what is outside in. If it is truly awesome and majestic outside, perhaps you can replace your internal fears and anxieties with informational facts from the external environment. Forming this embodied wisdom requires sensitivity, patience, clear intention and a willingness to go beyond oneself. Sensitivity known as equanimity, patience as ease, clear intention as efficiency and willingness to go beyond known as examination form the four e’s of impeccability. #foure’sofimpeccability

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