Fables from the Fishmonger’s Apprentice II: Red-Herrings & the Matrix

Perhaps most preeminent of all points in regard to catching proverbial fishes is that not all fishes are worth catching.

Jelly-fish are utterly unpalatable—they don’t even go well in stews. Also, thinking about these enterprises without engaging them is useless—a red-herring, or jelly-fish goulash. We acquire true understanding only through direct experience, not through the intellect. Our understanding may begin with the latter, but it cannot end there.

Yet how easily we are lured into the futile pursuit of this scarlet hooligan! We so naturally fall into a symbolic relationship with our bodies—relating not to physical reality but to our ideas about it. Have you ever tried to eat a menu?
If so, chances are it tasted more like the product of a paper-mill than anything from the kitchen. And you probably left the restaurant less satisfied than you arrived, likely with dyspepsia & general malaise. Ironically, we perform outrageous analogues almost continually:

“My shoulder hurts.”
“I feel lousy.”
“I should stand up straight so people don’t mistake me for a Neanderthal.”

None of these statements bears any direct relationship with reality. Why? Because they are all mediated through the filter of our prejudices. “Hurts” is not a sensation; it’s an abstraction wrought of besmirching our experience with our biases. Likewise with an evaluation like “lousy.” With no prior prejudice by which to evaluate the conditions that invoked these hypothetical judgements, they could not possibly have arisen—that’s a good litmus test for my fidelity to the world instead of merely to my own preferences.

These statements are also like shorthand that represent embodied experience, but are not it; like pointing fingers, not the Moon. Such declarations represent abstractions from our experience; they are the products of mental proliferation—psychological derivatives of real experience. Mind-poop.

When we relate to the world only through our ideas about it, we only see what we already expect. I don’t see how the reality is, I see how I am. The world becomes a venue for the projection of our peculiar beliefs. This is distinctly relevant to Rolfing® SI in that such vicious circles serve to perpetuate habitual vortices of consciousness manifest in thought & action. Often it is precisely these habits that hinder the responsiveness & ease that we live our lives withal.

But rejoice! For Nature endowed us each with a lifeboat to escape such intellectual vortices!

Simply return attention to the direct experience of the body.
Let your bones & sinews serve as ballast, even amidst the winds of mental proliferation! No tempest can break this bond!
Take refuge in physical existence itself—embodiment within the soft matrix of matter (it seems fitting that matrix is the Latin word for “womb”).
Sensations bind us to Gaia, our Mother Earth, the environment personified as maternal deity.
Perceptions, interpretations, judgements—these divorce us from the maternal material matrix of the world.
In thoughts, we loose our ground & float away into Neptune’s interminable void.
In the body, we are always & already whole.
“Behold! [The Way of the Elbow]…who shall prepare thy way before thee!
The voice of one crying in the wilderness…to make thy paths straight!”

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