Meaning and the field

by dwbennett on March 18, 2014


I gave a talk last Wednesday to the Asheville Jung Centerpoint group. This is a study group on the writings of Carl Jung. One of the great things about giving talks and presentations is that I always learn a great deal. Having to explain things to people so it makes sense to them and answering their very pertinent questions is a great learning experience. And that happened on Wednesday.

Prior to giving that talk I had been thinking a lot about beliefs and their role in our behaviors and their role in personal transformation. In the presentation I talked about the nature of the quantum intelligence and its relationship to the things we do and say here in the material world. David asked a question about meaning. He pointed out that in the East, the word for God is the same word used for meaning. So, in the East, God is meaning.

In my thinking and explanations, I describe the content of the quantum intelligence as abstract information and relationships. I arrived at that idea through the example of Mozart. Mozart wrote music, but he did not compose it in the normal sense, he just wrote it down. By his own description, it just flowed through him, as fast as he could write it down. His output at several points in his life was just incredible. My question of Mozart’s experience was, did the field compose music and arrange it for eighteenth century string orchestra? I concluded that the field did not write Mozart’s music in its final form. What the field gave to Mozart, or what Mozart got from the field, was what I call abstract relationships and information that he wrapped in 18th century string music. So, based on that idea, I characterize the content of the field as abstract information which humans and other life forms wrap in something specific, or meaningful, in our material world.

So, I was thinking when David asked the question that the meaning, the specific form of the information, is applied locally to the abstract information from the field. The field, then, does not have that kind of meaning. In response I said some things to that effect, that the field is abstract. I did allow that the field could be meaning, but I didn’t really believe that at the time.

After the talk I got to thinking about it and I realized that meaning is actually a good way to describe the content of the field. In my reply I was ignoring the different kinds of meaning. There are several kinds of meaning. The one I was dealing with was “word meaning”. If I think of a dictionary, I look up the meaning of a word in a dictionary and it describes the meaning of a word using other words. If I understand the other words, then I can probably figure out the meaning of the word being defined. That’s the sense of meaning that I was thinking about when David asked his question.

The folks in the East, and David in the meeting, were thinking about meaning in another sense. An example of that other sense popped up in my head. It was the earthquake and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean in 2004. This was one of the biggest earthquakes ever recorded and the resulting tsunamis were enormous. They did vast damage. Over 200,000 people were killed. Interestingly, it was observed that there were very few dead animals found among the wreckage. After the tsunami, reports came out about animal behavior just before the earthquake. The animals scrambled to higher ground. Elephants and bats and all kinds of animals moved to higher ground. The people, most the them, stayed on the beach. Some of them even walked out on the new beach that was exposed when the ocean retreated signaling the approach of a tsunami. They walked out on the new beach to pick up shells and things.

Bats and elephants do not have words. They do not have symbolic language. Nor do they know about tsunamis. Most of them have never been around a tsunami in their lives. All of these animals received information somehow or other, whether vibrations they felt or, as I like to think of it, as intuitive information. They received this information and they knew what it meant. They couldn’t define it in words, of course, but they knew that it meant, “get yourself to higher ground.” And they did that. They took appropriate and effective action in response to that information.

That information obviously had meaning to these animals and they expressed that meaning by taking action. This is “meaning” without the specific form I mentioned earlier. There are no words or symbols. They didn’t wrap it in any symbolic meaning, they just took action.

In that sense, then, I can see that the Taoists and Buddhists were on to something. The field, or God, is meaning, but not in the dictionary or symbolic sense. It is meaning expressed as behavior and action.

I thought about that for a while. I thought that David’s question was very good in that it pointed out this different meaning of meaning. What is the meaning of the field, in general? Well, the meaning is material reality. The meaning of the field is expressed as the forms and movement of the material world. The material world is an expression of the meaning of the quantum intelligence, or the meaning of God.

If it’s the form of the material world that is an expression of the meaning, then I think that meaning grows and changes over time. What can be expressed in the material world at any point in time evolves. It evolved from three kinds of atoms initially, –hydrogen, helium and a little bit of lithium — up through human beings and whatever else the highest life forms are today. And it will probably continue to evolve toward higher level expressions, giving different, I would like to say better, expressions of the meaning contained in the field.

So, learning things when you’re explaining something is great, but it leads to a problem. In manufacturing the problem is stated as, “At some point you have to shoot the engineer and ship the product.” I was pretty happy with the distinction I just made between “action meaning” and “word meaning”. But after I thought about it, this idea came up and I had to add it to this essay. Here’s my new idea. Bats and elephants understood the meaning of the information they received as an instruction to move to higher ground. A few people (not very many) received information and understood the same instruction and moved to high ground. Expressing information received from the field as words, music or other symbols is a kind of action. Mozart received information and wrote symphonies. That action is a unique human capability. Elephants can’t write symphonies. Humans can and that becomes another action people can take in response to the meaning they receive from the field. So, everything is an expression of “action meaning” and all things (living and not) express that meaning to the best of their ability.

I like describing the content of the field as meaning, with everything expressing that meaning in the material world. But now I’m back to where I started in that it seems that there is a difference between human symbolic expression and lower animals’ action expression. Intelligence in the material world has grown in layers, from atoms, to galaxies, to single cells, to organ systems (the gut and heart), to the brain stem (lizard brain), to the limbic system (mammal brain) and the cerebrum (human brain). All meaning is built up in layers from lower level meaning. Humans have added more layers to the “meaning interpretation stack”. The lower level meanings remain very active in humans. That means that we have more opportunities to change, often corrupt, the original meaning we received from the field.

If the field is non-temporal, then all off the meaning is already present in potential form. All that there can be already is. The material world can only express a little bit past what it has already learned. So, yes, the field is meaning. God is meaning. Thank you, David, for that question.


The NSRG Conference

by dwbennett on February 12, 2014

This was my third year of presenting at the Natural Spirituality Regional Gathering, NSRG, conference. For reasons I don’t completely understand, my talks here have been significantly different than the talks I have given elsewhere. The difference has been that I have shared more of my stuff here than at other conferences. I’ll come back to that in a minute.

The web site is here

Learning Experiences

What did I learn at the conference this year? Friday night several people told me how much they enjoyed the puppet workshop I did at last year’s conference. I actually hadn’t thought about it very much since last year. “Hadn’t thought about it at all” would be more accurate. 

That was interesting because it turned out that what I was doing this year, what I have been developing right up to the conference, was, in fact, a continuation of the inner exploration using hands that I did in the puppet workshop last year. I get an A for persistence and a C for awareness.

The thing people liked about the puppet workshop last year, and the hands workshop this year, was the insights and changes it made in their lives. I was surprised that people at this kind of kind of conference, at this particular conference, were so interested in and so affected by the experience. I assumed that people at the Natural Spirituality conference, Jungians and all, had a lot of experience with inner exploration and had explored a lot of stuff, and kind of had it worked out, or least had been over the ground enough that it would all be pretty familiar. But that is not the case. A lot of people seemed to appreciate the opportunity for inner exploration work that showed them some new insights.

I guess I learned that even Jungians are happy to do some productive inner work. I’m happy I was able to facilitate those changes. Actually, I understand the idea of “still having things to work out after all this time”. I have a thing or two on my list, too.

Sharing Stories

I said I do more sharing here than elsewhere. It continues to surprise me that people value my sharing my stuff. Where I grew up my stuff was my stuff and nobody else seemed to care very much. So, I’m learning that here at this conference, people do care about inner stuff, even my inner stuff. I guess we all take a long time to learn what we need to learn.

It’s helpful for me is to learn the value of stories, even my stories, and that they can be useful and valuable to other people. Who’da thought.

My Stuff

The thing I think that is nice about Natural Spirituality is that everybody is aware of working on inner stuff. So they are understanding of my stuff, for example. They are understanding of everybody’s stuff and their struggles with working it out. I think that is what makes this a nice conference.

So the lesson is, share more stories. I’m going to do that. I’ll start by revising my web site and by posting more information. If any of you have been keeping track, you have noticed that there has not been a lot of updating on the site. I also want to add more audio and video things to the site.


The internal consistency experiment

April 28, 2013

Two posts ago I suggested aligning my conscious, verbal suggestions with the actions that I really do. Usually my verbal suggestions are reasonable things I think I should or need to do, but that I habitually avoid doing. My usual practice is to think up good things to do and tell other people to do […]

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Learning Experiences

March 25, 2013

There are always so many things to learn. Sometimes it seems like it takes me a very long time to learn, but I guess that keeps me from running out of things to learn. So I have been working on this science and feeling stuff for quite some time, now. The big lesson is that […]

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The Current Project

March 12, 2013

Hello World, again, I’m still here, although it is hard to tell, based on my posts to this blog. I have not been idle. In fact I have been working on the same things I talked about in the last batch of posts. I like to think I’m getting better — spiraling upward toward some […]

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The Quick Fix

December 28, 2011

I believe that all inner work practices have the same goal: to help us become whole, comfortable in our skin and in our inner state. There are lots of practices in the domains of religion, psychotherapy and self help. They can be divided into two groups based on how long it takes the practice to […]

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Talks for your group

November 22, 2011

I would be pleased to give a talk or workshop on any of the ideas around quantum life and spirit. I look forward to talking to you about presentations. Let me know.

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Appalachian Dowsers November Meeting

November 15, 2011

Appalachian Dowsers November Meeting Saturday, November 19th, 2011 Unity Center, Mills River NC, 1:00 – 4:30 pm I am one of four presenters at this meeting. The other three speakers are energy and spiritual healers. My topic is “Healing and Dowsing: Touching the Ground of All Being”. I expect the four perspectives will be very […]

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Natural Spirituality Regional Gathering

November 15, 2011

Natural Spirituality Regional Gathering Feb. 10-12, 2012 Mikell Conference Center in Toccoa, GA Natural Spirituality is a ministry of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia, founded by Joyce Rockwood Hudson and described in her book, Natural Spirituality. The annual gathering features many attendees and presenters from the Haden Institute Summer Dream conference. I will be […]

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October 20, 2011

8/30/11 It has been pretty quiet in my little corner of the blogsphere. I’m still here. I have just gotten away from posting the blog. I have also gotten away from doing my work, but here I am, back on the path. I have found the work up to recently, rather tedious. It was tedious […]

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