‘SPACING IN’ AND ‘SPACING OUT’ OUR BODY OF SPACIOUS AWARENESS Peter Wilberg 2004
The Spacious Body • Some people don’t feel comfortable in their own skins. Others don’t feel comfortable outside their own skins – in open or social space. • Some people feel the spaces inside them to be too full and crowded. Others feel the spaces inside them as empty and lonely. • Some people feel their bodies have no spatial boundaries.Others feel imprisoned within their sensed boundaries. • Some people feel their bodily boundary as open and porous. Others feel it as a closed, impermeable or insensitive ‘thick skin’, or alternatively as sensitive, edgy and irritable. • The ‘inner body’ is the way people sense the spaces within and around their own subjectively sensed body surface or boundary. • Our true body is not our so-called ‘physical’ body – our body surface or boundary as perceived ‘objectively’ from without – ‘exteroceptively’. It is our body as subjectively sensed and experienced from within – ‘enteroceptively’. • The subjectively sensed body is not a body ‘in’ space, but a more or less porous surface boundary between the sensed field or spaces of awareness within and around it. • This body of spacious awareness is not bounded by the flesh. Nor is it just what we sense going on inside or within our own skins or heads. It is also all that we sense with and around our body surface as a whole. • Our inwardly sensed bodily surface is that which both distinguishes and unites the ‘spaces’ of awareness within and around us. • It is our body of spaciousawareness - our spacious awareness body or body of spacious awareness.
Surface Sensing • Attend to your direct subjectively ‘felt’ sense of your body’s surface boundary or skin.
‘Spacing in’ from your Surface • Sense the bounding surfaces of your head, chest and belly respectively as hollow vessels – each bounding and containing a clear inner space of awareness. ‘Space in’ – sensing the ‘insideness’ of your body as a singular hollow space of awareness.
Sensing Three Inner Centres of Awareness • Sensing three distinct centres of awareness within the inner space of head, chest and abdomen (your head centre, heart centre, and hara centre respectively), each centre leading both deeper down and deeper into the sensed inner space of your felt body.
Centering Awareness in the Abdomen (Hara) • Let your awareness down to your lower abdomen or hara. Sense a centre of awareness within it just below the level of your navel. This centre – the tan tien - is the spiritual and physical centre of gravity at the core of your subjectively sensed body.
Surface Sensing of the Space Around You • Sensing your entire body surface, use it to sense the space around you – in front of and behind you, to either side of you, above you and below you.
‘Spacing out’ • Aware of the cosmic expanse of space around you, sense it not as an empty void as a expansive spacious field of awareness.
Expanding your Sensed Body • Attend to your awareness of the walls around you. Feel your sense of your physical body surface becoming porous and dissolving. Instead begin to sense the bounding walls or horizon of the space around you as the boundary of a larger body – the body of your spacious sensory awareness.
What Colour is the Circle? • What colour is the circular disc below? White or black? If we say ‘black’ we have forgotten a fundamental fact – namely that the circular boundary of the disc is also an inner shape of the white space around it. In this sense the circle is just as much white. • We can either see the disc as a black disc set against a white background field or alternatively we can the disc it as a circular black hole marked out by the white space. • If we take the disc as a representation of any body ‘in’ space, we can see its circular boundary as an inner shape of the white field or space around it and not just as the outer shape of the black space or field that it marks out.
Sensing your Spatial Counterbody • Your sensed body consists of both the inwardness or inner space of awareness you sense within your body surface and the outwardness or ‘outer space’ of awareness you sense around it. Sense the outer surface of your felt body (black) as the inner surface of this space around you. Identify with space of awareness surrounding your body surface (grey) rather than with the inner space of awareness it surrounds (white). In this way you become your ‘counterbody’.
counter-body body of the other body Sensing Other Bodies • We are not self-enclosed consciousnesses looking out at each other’s bodies through the peepholes of our physical sense organs. Our sensed body is our most basic sense organ. Its surface does not ‘contain’ or ‘bound’ our awareness but allows it to extend into the entire space around us. This allows us to sense our awareness as space – not just a space surrounding our bodies but those of all the things and people around us.
self other Seeing and Sensing the Body of the Other • The space round us is not empty – it is but outer sensory field or ‘feel-d’ of our sensory awareness. We feel the surface of a body by touching it, just as by touching it, we feel it. Awareness itself feels and therefore touches everything it surrounds. We can not only see or perceive the face and body surface of others with our eyes. We can also sense it directly – feeling and touching from our own sensory surface through the spacious external field or ‘feel-d’ of our sensory awareness.
self other Sensing the Soul of the Other • Through the surface boundary of our own sensed body we can not only see and sense the body surface of another but also sense and breathe in its inwardness or ‘soul’ - the feelings tones and textures of their sensory awareness of themselves and the world around them. We can sense the soul inwardness of their head, chest and abdominal spaces with and within our own, sense how unified they are, and sense also the degree to which their awareness extends into the space around their own physical body surface.
Reciprocal Body Sensing • Two bodies (counter-hatched) embracing and sensing each other in the overlapping outer fields or spaces of each other’s sensory awareness (cross-hatched).
The Spatial Wave Dynamics of the Body • Our sensed body surface is a spatial field-boundary of awareness between the outer and inner spaces of our sensory awareness. • Awareness itself is the very ‘aether’ pervading all of space. • Wave motions in this aether are not waves of ‘subtle energy’ or ‘fine matter’ but waves of sensory and sensing awareness –awareness waves. • When we ‘space in’ and go ‘inside’ ourselves we intensify an in-wave of awareness. • When we ‘space out’ beyond our fleshly boundaries we intensify an out-wave. • The spatiality of the sensed body is a combination of centrifugal out-waves of sensory awareness from a centre and centripetal in-waves of sensory awareness towards a centre. • The ‘physical body’ as an oscillating standing wave resulting from the combination of out- and in-waves of awareness. out-wave standing wave in-wave
References • Rudolf Steiner The Fourth Dimension • Nick Thomas Space and Counterspace • Peter Wilberg Head, Heart and Hara – The Soul Centres of West and East • Dr. Milo Wolff On the Wave Structure of Matter