Do not ask for whom the bell tolls

The most direct way in which we may become aware of the ground lies in what happens to us, when we are making things. We become whole, in ourselves, when we make wholeness. That is at the core of the connection between ourselves and the ground.

Experiments have shown that people do better than normal on intelligence tests, problem solving, and spatial reasoning when Mozart’s music is playing. This phenomenon appears to be of a similar order: living structure and the process of creating it, has a positive effect on the process of creation.

People have also reported that the presence of this I-stuff, in works of art, makes people feel closer to God. This has been reported not only by religious people who already believe in God, but also by those who do not. Apparently the phenomenon is of such an order that it induces a religious experience in people whose religious inclinations have been dampened. Does this then mean that God is real, and is discovered through these means? Or is this once again a psychological trick, a psychological phenomenon, in which the appearance of God is created in a maker, in an artist, in a builder?

What is undeniable, I think, is that the people who become aware of the extent that making wholeness in the world is like food for them, begin to think that this wholeness is something of vast significance. They become convinced, too, that their connection to it, too, is something of vast significance.

Somehow, a person’s own self is mobilized, liberated, made more strong by that person’s success in making life in the world. It is as if the life in the world which is created, directly nourishes the person. This is not pride working, or a sense of accomplishment. It is something more literal than that. Somehow, the creation of wholeness in the thing out in the world actually increases, intensifies, the strength of the self in the real world.

If there were indeed a realm of I, as I have suggested, an actual self in the material universe, then we could understand this in these terms: the creation of living centers in the world increases this I in those who have contact with it. Just as the centers in one part of the world nourish the other living centers near them, so the person, who is also a center, is nourished by this appearance of wholeness. It is as if each contribution to the I enlarges each other window to the I (each other person).

Each of us participates in the I. Each enlargement of the I enlarges each of us.

(Page 269)

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