"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

22 April 2017

Neutral Buoyancy and the Boundaries of Reality

Neutral Buoyancy and the Boundaries of Reality - the experience of consciousness

In a short essay titled “The Suspension of Belief”, I suggested that a buoyancy can occur between opposite forces, much like an object hovering between two magnetic fields. Such things are not hard to imagine, because science has placed superb examples before our very eyes. A well known example is that of a hot air ballon which, upon reaching neutral buoyancy hovers perfectly, neither ascending nor descending. There, it hovers, suspended between two worlds; in this case, the worlds of up and down.

In matters of consciousness, we can consider that the same holds true. In other words, with consciousness we envision a place of neutral buoyancy between that which can be seen and that which is unseen. Stray just a bit too far on this side, and all that we experience is the visible. Descend a bit too far in the other direction and all that can be seen actually cannot be seen. It remains unseen.

To overcome this blindness, we need to develop sufficient finesse — or neutral buoyancy — wherein we find ourselves perfectly balanced between the seen and the unseen. Tilt slightly in one direction and we are forcefully pulled back, awake inside our current reality. Tilt slightly in the opposite direction and we typically fall asleep or lose our bearings in a far different reality.

With neutral buoyancy, however, we can establish a perspective that allows us to travel along the thin thread between the seen and the unseen. Hovering in such a place, we use our senses to experience that of which has long been said, “You cannot see such things.” Or, “Such things lie beyond words.”