There is an intermediate room between rooms 1 and 3, between time and decision. This is the room called 5. Here, the substance of matter is time itself. The forms of things are the forms of life, sensitive sheathes transforming in experience. Here is the inside. In the finer regions of the room called 5, life is even sensitive to itself. In this room are living beings, phi-ve fingered and sometimes furry. Here you can know, you can feel, you can sense. Here there is self.
All must eat to live and nourish one another. You eat and are eaten. In between, you must pass on the codes, the information. You must pass on the material. Life is a vessel of many pasts and many futures that live thereby. Here the earth grows living wires in the depths of its oceans, beneath even the floors of its oceans; it grows wires on its surface, beneath its soil, in its atmosphere. Within even the simplest expression of life is an image of time transmitting its intelligence both from the past and from the future into the moment of contact. DNA, cell, plant, animal, human. The wheel turns round again — human, animal, plant, cell, DNA — but never turns in quite the same way twice. There is no going back. There is no re-creating of initial conditions, although going forward is sometimes going back.
Life is such a vessel that we living can be to ourselves and to others and to the unseen something of meaning. In the receptivity of mind can be scryed the archetypal expressions, the painters of Lascaux lighting the dark recesses with their transmission. There are regions of this room where life feels its own birth and death. There are regions of this room where life sees itself through the eyes of fellow journeyers of the path of life. There are regions of this room where the beloved is embraced. There are regions of this room where number speaks and where the plant intelligences guide. There are regions of room where there is the joy of remembering yourself.
Life is also nearly indelible in its efficiency to survive. The individual is the host of the selfish gene, and the gene is the host of the big picture. Life there is on this planet in particular and life there has been for longer than the shapes of the continents and oceans have persisted. It serves a need. The stayingness of life is in the transmission of itself through itself, in the alchemy of sounding into speaking. Topdown, bottomup, middleout. In the face of Life, the living dream big dreams. The imagination of an ant is elephant-sized. If it discerned this truth, it would scurry screaming from a cliff. Life burns with the fire keeper out of view and can imagine the hand of the unseen only through the touch of the fire tongs. Yet, life also has the gift of fire. And so it is that life has two faces. The self is divided. I eat and am eaten.