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The Gift Of Threshold Moments

--by Sam Keen (Dec 18, 2017)


The thrush’s song belongs to a family of experiences that usher us into a threshold where sound trails off into silence, time disappears into timelessness, and the known world is engulfed by the great mystery.

The family includes the reverberating echo of a temple bell that dwindles off into the void; the polyphonic chanting of Tibetan monks that merges into an endless communal chorus; the electric interval between the crash of thunder and the flash of lightening; the awful emptiness when the exhalation of a dying person is not followed by an inspiration; the deep sigh and profound calm that comes in meditation when the mind finally stops chattering; the timeless moment, before sleep or after awakening, when we enter a dream world in which it seems perfectly reasonable that we should fly, change gender, or simultaneously be ourselves and our parents.

In these threshold moments, the spirit slips between the synapses of the mind. The normal illusion that there is nothing beyond the tyrannical march of profane time (chronos) is dispelled, and we have a brief intimation of eternity, an awareness of sacred time( kairos). In these pregnant voids we come to understand the limit of our comprehension. We gain a tacit knowledge that our modes of experiencing time and the world are nothing more than the mechanisms, categories, and paradigms created by our limited minds.

Like monarch butterflies confined on their migrations to low altitudes, our wings will not carry us into the vast regions of outer space.
The proper name for the experience of unknowing is not mysticism but wisdom. When Socrates was told that the Oracle of Delphi said he was the wisest man in Greece, he replied that it could only mean he knew what he did not know. Wisdom comes from the certain knowledge of our ignorance, and it teaches us that we dwell within a small circle of light surrounded by an immense mystery. According to tradition, the owl--- the symbol of  Athena, the goddess of wisdom--- spreads its wings only with the arrival of dusk. Wisdom is the paradoxical art of seeing.

There are no Wood Thrushes in the sparsely wooded area of California where I live now. But there are Great Horned Owls aplenty, and when they begin their low, uncanny hooting just after dusk, I am transported back to an earlier time when I stood quietly at the threshold, listening to the thrush’s invitation to evensong, and heard a faint echo of the silent music of the spheres. Over the years, the thrush’s shaman song has gradually transformed me into an agnostic. Unknowing. Amazed.

From 'Sightings' by Sam Keen.

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On Dec 28, 2017 alan wrote:

 



On Dec 19, 2017 Donna Kuck wrote:

 When I was a very small child, we lived in a lonely part of New Mexico next to U.S. 40 and the railroad. The fading echo of the train whistle at night would bring me to a threshold of wonder, anticipation . . . looking up at the night sky filled with innumerable stars on a clear night. I had no doubt that the universe was vast and unknowable. I felt simultaneously very small and yet very much a part of the vastness.



3 replies: MORIS, MORIS, MORIS | Post Your Reply
On Dec 19, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 A threshold moment to me is that magic often fleeing moment of both aha and I don't know wrapped up together in a  twinkle. It is the awareness of magic and not being able to completely understand it and realizing, that's what makes it magic <3 As the days are darker (soon to be lighter!) I find that I curve in more into introspection. Sometimes brief moments of insight happen, like this Saturday night driving home after a gathering and I felt totally at peace and totally in my heart, this huge love pouring out. I cannot entirely explain. I felt warm in the cold and I felt joy. The opening up comes from not seeking to hold onto it, but in a sort of release and a trust in the magic. I hope this makes sense. <3 



2 replies: Lois, Amy | Post Your Reply
On Dec 18, 2017 Barbara wrote:

 IT IS YOU! © By Barbara J W Jack IT IS YOU! " TODAY, TOMORROW  AND ALL THE DAYS AHEAD! "IT'S YOU!"   "YOU" LIGHT UP OTHERS, "YOU" HELP SPIRITS SOAR!  PERHAPS, NO ONE TOLD  "YOU" BEFORE,  JUST HOW HONESTLY BEAUTIFUL  INSIDE, OUTSIDE " YOU" ARE!  "YOU" NEED TO BE TOLD,  "YOU" NEED TO KNOW IT'S TRUE!  I COULD BE SLEEPING OR READING,  INSTEAD, I AM TELLING THIS TO "YOU!"  OTHERS FEEL THE SAME,  OF COURSE, I DO NOT KNOW THEIR NAMES!   I JUST KNOW THAT  "YOU" ARE HERE TO GLOW,  HERE TO LOVE, HERE TO HUG AND HERE TO SHOW,  ALL I SAY IS TRUE!  IT'S "YOU!"  I  HAVE COME HERE, I JUST HAD TO SHARE,  WHAT MY OWN HEART SAYS, IS TRUE!   I LOVE  "YOU!" THOUGH WE MAY NEVER MEET,  SHARE A CUP OF TEA, THAT'S SWEET!  I, NO STRANGER TO "YOU!" I'M JUST A SOUL,  THAT NEEDS TO SHOW "YOU" THE TRUTH!  MY BELOVE  See full.

 IT IS YOU! © By Barbara J W Jack

IT IS YOU! " TODAY, TOMORROW 
AND ALL THE DAYS AHEAD! "IT'S YOU!" 
 "YOU" LIGHT UP OTHERS,
"YOU" HELP SPIRITS SOAR! 
PERHAPS, NO ONE TOLD  "YOU" BEFORE, 
JUST HOW HONESTLY BEAUTIFUL
 INSIDE, OUTSIDE " YOU" ARE!
 "YOU" NEED TO BE TOLD,
 "YOU" NEED TO KNOW IT'S TRUE!
 I COULD BE SLEEPING OR READING,
 INSTEAD, I AM TELLING THIS TO "YOU!" 
OTHERS FEEL THE SAME,
 OF COURSE, I DO NOT KNOW THEIR NAMES! 
 I JUST KNOW THAT  "YOU" ARE HERE TO GLOW,
 HERE TO LOVE, HERE TO HUG AND HERE TO SHOW,
 ALL I SAY IS TRUE!  IT'S "YOU!"
 I  HAVE COME HERE, I JUST HAD TO SHARE,
 WHAT MY OWN HEART SAYS, IS TRUE!  
I LOVE  "YOU!" THOUGH WE MAY NEVER MEET, 
SHARE A CUP OF TEA, THAT'S SWEET! 
I, NO STRANGER TO "YOU!" I'M JUST A SOUL,
 THAT NEEDS TO SHOW "YOU" THE TRUTH!
 MY BELOVED FRIENDS, IT'S  "YOU!"
 "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, SO WITTY AND CHARMING TOO! 
THE WORLD HAS BEEN WAITING FOR "YOU" 
AND I HAVE TOO! PLEASE REMEMBER, I SAID " IT'S "YOU!"
 SO NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER FEEL ALONE,
 NEVER THINK, THAT NO ONE LOVES "YOU!" 
FOR I AM CLEARLY SAYING, "IT'S NOT ME MY DEAR, 
IT'S  "YOU!" "I LOVE YOU!"
 NOW SPREAD THAT LIGHT OF YOURS! 
BOND WITH OTHERS ,TOO! FOR LIKE ME, 
THEY  HAVE WAITED FOR " YOU!" 
PLEASE BE KIND TO YOURSELF ALWAYS, 
AS YOU ARE TO OTHERS! 

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2 replies: Amen, Ahilya | Post Your Reply
On Dec 16, 2017 david doane wrote:

 I appreciate Sam Keen's essay.  A threshold moment is a crossover moment, a moment of transformation.  It's the point when the water reaches 212 degrees and transforms to steam, or when the caterpillar breaks through the cocoon and emerges a butterfly.  The threshold moment is the moment of entering a new reality.  Moving around during a group therapy, I was tiptoeing and someone asked me, "Do you tiptoe through all of life?"  That was a moment of awakening for me, an aha moment, a threshold moment.  My taking in a therapists's words that I have a right to be powerful was a threshold moment for me.  What helped me open up to the immense mystery was feeling safe, seen and encouraged, and once I had a personal threshold moment, I wanted more.  The first one was the critical one.  They're addicting.



On Dec 15, 2017 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 " The thrus's song belongs to a family of experiences that usher us into a threshold where sound trails off into silence, time disappears into timelessness, and the known world is engulfed by the great mystery." Reading these words took me into the sound of silence.Such voyage into timelessness happens when I take time out for my in-time.I call the in-time zone the being zone. In this in-time zone, I do not feel bound by the out-time world.It is an experience that transcends the boundaries of space and time. I like the phrase "a family of experiences." Meditation is one of such a family of experiences for me. Meditation ushers me into such timeless state of mind, when the chattering mind becomes calm and quiet. When I chant, I feel totally absorbed in it.  A few years ago, we were on a pilgrimage to Amarnath some 15,000 feet above the sea level.We all felt a deep sense of awe and wonderment when we saw the clear sky with luminous stars.We all felt profound sense of silence.  See full.

 " The thrus's song belongs to a family of experiences that usher us into a threshold where sound trails off into silence, time disappears into timelessness, and the known world is engulfed by the great mystery." Reading these words took me into the sound of silence.Such voyage into timelessness happens when I take time out for my in-time.I call the in-time zone the being zone. In this in-time zone, I do not feel bound by the out-time world.It is an experience that transcends the boundaries of space and time.

I like the phrase "a family of experiences." Meditation is one of such a family of experiences for me. Meditation ushers me into such timeless state of mind, when the chattering mind becomes calm and quiet. When I chant, I feel totally absorbed in it. 

A few years ago, we were on a pilgrimage to Amarnath some 15,000 feet above the sea level.We all felt a deep sense of awe and wonderment when we saw the clear sky with luminous stars.We all felt profound sense of silence. We all were in the timeless zone in deep silence for a long time. I will never forget this experience of a threshold moment. 

May we take time out from our busy and hectic life to receive gifts of a threshold moment!

Namaste.

Jagdish P Dave








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