The last time I was in here, I had glimpsed something. Insight had flickered and shifted as the concentrated presence of John and, surprisingly, Rose, had nudged me none-too-gently towards my moment of ‘seeing’. Now, I wanted to know more …
“It’s about where you put the “I”, isn’t it?” I asked John, as he sat down, late with latté, and smiled, apologetically, at me.
“Where is the “I’ now?” he asked, smiling over the hot coffee he was trying to sip, to catch up with mine.
“That’s what I’m wrestling with,” I responded, trying not to lose the thread that I had carefully assembled in the past week, parts of which were trying to sneak away in the face of the lovable but infuriating man who might just help me unravel it.
I fought to remember the moment of revelation, wanting to replay it. “If the real adventures of Heracles begin when the adventurer realises that they are soul in body, then that shift is one of perspective,” I paused to sip my own coffee. “And that shift empowers something within us to start acting in a different way?”
“Or something else to just to get out of the way,” he said, flatly.
“Out of the way?”
I watched him dig deep, “Or empowers what we think of as ‘us’ to get the hell out of there and let something more authentic have its say … or maybe just its ‘look’.”
This was all moving too quickly. I pondered the idea of ‘it’s look’. “Wouldn’t that have always been there?” I asked; reasonably I thought.
“So what changed in that moment,” he probed, leaving me to grapple with the subtlety of this razor’s edge.
I thought long and hard before responding, “The power of the ‘I’s’ position changed” I said. “Moving inward, it moved beyond the limitations of the ordinary world, revealed, with its new vision, as the limited sphere it always was.
“And what else did it move beyond?” John asked, fixing me with that look, again.
Something surged; an excitement, a rushing sense. I knew the answer.
“Reaction!” I exclaimed. “The location of the sense of ‘I’ moved beyond the place of reaction … and felt empowered because it was somewhere more real!”
“So ‘more real’ simply reveals a better, a truer, perspective, whose power …?” He left it dangling. I was working for my coffee, even though I had bought them. Within the silk blouse, I could feel my skin glistening with the effort of concentration.
“Whose power …” I replied, grasping the torch. “Is the removal of illusion …”
“And how did we draw habitual illusion,” he pressed me, leaning closer. My heart was racing. I wondered if Rose had come to stand behind me, again. Draw it? What could he mean.
Before my eyes, he was flicking his fingers up, one by one, from his coiled fists. He stopped with the second thumb unused.
“The enneagram?” I asked, incredulous. “The enneagram is about the removal of illusion?”
“I did call it a truth machine,” he said, fully opening both hands in a gesture that reminded me of wings unfurling. “So we know the nine-fold nature of what has to be removed,” he paused to take a long drink of coffee, choosing his words, carefully. “Or, rather, refined – since much of it will be needed for the new ‘seer’ to be effective in the world – much like the triumphs of Heracles …”
I sat back, conscious of the time, and wanting to use my last Monday moments to harvest the right insights to take away for the week.
“So the Heracles stories are a special kind of adventure?” I asked, draining the coffee before continuing. “One that would have an effect beyond the normal way of learning in the world?”
He smiled in a way that beamed warmth. “One might say that they would attract the disciples of learning.”
The moment was complete. The bombshell to be taken away, uncommented on. We both knew it; no further words were needed. A new and often silent language of interaction was developing between us.
I hefted my black bags onto the chair, and then, still wordless, I leaned over to kiss the old curmudgeon on the cheek. I could feel him chuckling at my departing back as I opened the venerable, art deco glass door and re-entered the world beyond our cafe.
Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.
All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.