Presencing The Numen In The Moment
How is the Numen presenced, or how can it be presenced, for us, through us, in a particular moment of our lives?
It can be presenced, essentially, in two ways. Firstly, in that calm, peaceful silent feeling that places us in a rather humble relation to something beyond ourselves - such as some supra-personal power, or Being - in-where we feel and know a certain serenity. This, in the past, has been achieved through such things as numinous ritual, such as the monastic Latin Opus Dei and Tridentine Mass of the Catholic Church; through prayer, especially contemplative prayer, and through certain types of meditation, as well as in numinous pieces of music, whether traditionally regarded as "sacred", or otherwise. Secondly, it has been achieved through that which uplifts us and which inspires us, which makes us aware of beauty, or which is or which can be a manifestation of beauty itself, although this inspiration is always of either a gentle, or a sorrowful, type, or that strange combination of both which itself is sometimes manifest in some works of art.
One of the aims of such things, such as meditation, and prayer - in fact, the foremost aim - is to presence the Numen and so imbue our lives with a numinous quality; to bring what is sacred, what is numinous, to us, and into, our daily lives; to re-affirm our connexion to that-which-is-beyond-us. This, in truth, is a continual and necessary re-affirmation of our human identity.
Furthermore, it is in the nature of our humanity is that we do need
such a sacred re-affirmation, such a re-connexion, with The Numen for
us to remember that humility, that love, that compassion, that often
silent stillness, which is the essence of that humanity and which is
most profoundly expressed in compassion, empathy, love and - for The
Numinous Way - also through honour. In the past, we have tended to do
this through prayer, to God, or to some deity or deities, or through
some technique of meditation or self-reflexion (as in Buddhism, for
example, with its insight meditations). In an important way, we can
consider this re-affirmation as the achieving of that balance - or a
return to that harmony - which is or rather should be our natural human
state, our natural condition, or perhaps, more accurately, a fulfilling
of our human potential, a condition or potential which we lose through
failing to live in an ethical and natural way, through failing to
uphold those qualities which make us human and which can evolve us
further. We lose this harmony, this natural state, this potential, when
we lose our connexion to the numinous, to the sacred, to the Numen
itself; that is, when we ignore empathy itself.
However, for The Numinous Way there cannot be any conventional prayer, since there is no supra-personal deity or God to make supplications to or seek to become part of, no redeemer to save us, and no Master or Buddha to guide us or to follow. Furthermore, the techniques of other Ways, such as the meditations of Buddhism, are not appropriate, since, for The Numinous Way, there is an engagement with life in a gentle way, not a withdrawal from it, and certainly not the ascetic, self-denial required to sit for hours in silent stillness according to some particular technique or other - for such a concentration on technique, such precise causal detailing, cannot, according to The Numinous Way, capture or express or presence the Numen, as The Numinous Way desires to capture and express the Numen, through a natural empathy. Rather, for The Numinous Way, there is a flow, a change, a being-in-moments, and a simple reverence which has its genesis in empathy, and thus in a genuine humility, in a genuine knowing, and acceptance of, ourselves as one evolving nexion among many.
Yet in should perhaps be noted that The Numinous Way is but one answer to the questions about existence, it does not have some monopoly on truth, nor does it claim any prominence, accepting that all the diverse manifestations of the Numen, all the diverse answers, of the various numinous Ways and religions, have or may have their place, and all perhaps may serve the same ultimate purpose - that of bringing us closer to the ineffable beauty, the ineffable goodness, of life; that of transforming us, reminding us; that of giving us as individuals the chance to cease to cause suffering, to presence the good, to be part of the Numen itself. For what distinguishes a valuable, a good, a numinous Way or religion, is firstly this commitment, however expressed, to the cessation of suffering through means which do not cause more suffering; secondly, having some practical means whereby individuals can transform themselves for the better, and thirdly, possessing some way of presenting, manifesting, presencing what is sacred, what is numinous, thus reconnecting the individual to the source of their being, to their humanity.
For The Numinous Way, there is an apprehension of the Numen itself, an apprehension of The Cosmic Being - of consciousness, of Life, in evolution; of the Unity of the matrix of cosmic, causal and acausal and earth-presenced nexions of which we are but one. That is, there is a moving-out toward, a transcendence toward, the acausal: toward the perspective of the Cosmos.
But how can the new apprehension, the new answer, of The Numinous Way be manifest in our daily lives? How can we make this part of our daily routine so that we remember and thus imbue our own lives with that which is sacred, numinous, thus enhancing our lives and thus contributing by such very actions to the upward evolution of life, toward the cessation of suffering and toward the presencing of the good?
This might be done, for example, by simple, numinous, personal rituals which could involve the silent recitation of some words, and/or some simple acts, such as the lighting of a candle, where we view ourselves as gently striving, between and beyond the Light and Dark, toward that acausal existence where we become the awareness of the Cosmos. Or by listening to a piece of calming, numinous, music, or playing or singing such a piece of music, at certain times of the day such as at the rising and setting of the Sun. It can also be wordlessly done through being in a quiet place where we can feel and see the natural beauty of Nature; or when we can look up, at night, and view the stars of our Galaxy, one Galaxy among so many. What is not particularly important are the words we might say, inwardly, or outwardly, or when or where we do such things, or the actual things we might do. What is important, is the attitude within us, with the beginning of the correct attitude being the humility of knowing our limitations, our faults, knowing that we do not know everything, knowing ourselves for the simple nexion we are, one life among millions upon millions of lives on one planet among millions upon millions of planets in one Galaxy among millions upon millions of Galaxies in the Cosmos. Another aspect of the correct attitude is feeling compassion and empathy, and being aware of the beauty that is present in Life - that can and should be present in our own lives, through our deeds, our behaviour, our words, our very attitude, expressed as such beauty often is in a personal way through gentleness, through a personal intimate love, and through manners.
Perhaps, in time, some practical means will be created, or evolved, to presence the Numen in the moment for those who follow The Numinous Way, just as other Ways have created or evolved their own means of making us aware of beauty, of harmony, and aware of that ineffable goodness that is, can be and should be presenced by us living in an ethical way.