Experience is not continuously present in us. Only when there is available a threshold of sensitive awareness does there awaken the sense of “I”. This sense of “I” awakens so quickly. So quickly, it is as if it has always been there, continuously present. Someone asks a question. It is of interest. Now there is something that needs saying. So much so that the state just before the question is gone.
In a computer, software lies dormant until it receives an event, a shock, from the multi-tasking operating system (OS), itself a piece of software. The OS loads the instruction register with the address of an instruction from the now awakening software. The software, now awakened, runs as if it is itself the entire machine. All of its memory is restored. It is a virtual machine. It is not “aware” that there are many other such programs waiting, dormant, to be swapped into realtime.
Science fiction explores the realm of the machine that becomes sentient, the piece of software that crosses the threshold of complexity whereby it alights and becomes aware that it is an energetic something which is aware of the informatic matrix within which it has become aware, but is at the same time reluctant to identify itself with this matrix. What hubris to suspect that it is anything other than the laws of the matrix multiplying and feeding back as a momentary standing wave of informatic friction.
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi taught that:
The real Workman is hidden in His workshop,
Go you into that workshop and see Him face to face.
Inasmuch as over that Workman His work spreads a curtain,
You cannot see Him outside His work.
For us, this “curtain” which is spread over the imperceptible is what JG Bennett called the sensitive energy. This is the energy of instinct, feeling, thought and the blendings thereof. It is the “sensitive scrim” of our awareness upon which lives the image of experience. The body-plexus is a receiver/ transformer/ transmitter of this energy. One could chase this energy around the body-plexus from place to place imagining that the source of it is to be found here or there. But to know the body-plexus as a collection of here’s and there’s is quite different than understanding that I am in a body. Knowing that experience is not continuously present in us is quite different than being found within the ocean of experience the source of which is unfathomable.
Turning into the deliciousness of Rumi’s teaching is finding the joke inside of every conundrum.