Excerpt About Contraction

The Expansion and Contraction of Aliveness

Life feels like the dynamism of animals, just as growth feels like the dynamism of plants. (See appendix C for the Sufi connection of the property of life to the animal soul, and appendix A for Aristotle’s view.) But the sense of aliveness feels much bigger than the body, not defined by it, and more fundamental than the physical mode of existence. Directly in touch with our aliveness, we feel like a river of life, a dynamic and pulsing consciousness. We experience ourselves as a fountain bubbling with aliveness, energy, fullness, excitation, passion, vigor. We sense ourselves as the presence of life, as life, as life outside of time. Our soul is life eternal, not in the sense of everlasting linear time, but outside of time, prior to time, independent of time. With this aliveness there is vitality, there is energy, there is movement, there is warmth and heat, expansion and contraction. There is a sense of zest, of power, a sense of health, a well-being that pulses and undulates. There is a bubbling quality, as if our cells are exploding with it. We are the life force; we are the life.

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