Tag Archives: Experience

Transcendence and our Dome of Heaven -Thoughts continued

Dome of Heaven is visualized as a hemisphere that encloses all the people, places, events, experiences, achievements, beliefs, and philosophies that define you. You are the one who determines what is included beneath your DOH. You stand in the centre of the array of all that is contained, beneath the vertex of the dome. Once established, your Dome of Heaven can continue to grow until the last breath of your last day.

Transcendence has many meanings. Transcendence implies rising above and beyond in some way, but after that, there are many ways to look at the term. There are many contexts, religious and not so religious, within which that term can exist. Perhaps the greatest impact of a transcendent philosophy in modern times was seen in the growth of the practice of transcendental meditation. How can  we relate transcendence to the Dome of Heaven concept?  Here is how I see it.

We collect all the positives of our life beneath our Dome of Heaven. If you look at the list in the first sentence of this post, you will notice the conspicuous absence of any mention of material objects, although I readily admit that material objects may be intrinsic to all the items listed as inclusions beneath a Dome of Heaven. We are integrally attached to all that is gathered there, but at the same time we can take a transcendent view. While standing  in the very centre of the dome exactly beneath its vertex, amidst all that is contained, we cannot help but feel attachments. However, if we allow ourselves to float up toward the vertex (metaphorically and in our minds eye actually), we can detach ourselves from everything and survey the contents we have gathered in that place. As I survey what is gathered beneath my Dome of Heaven, in my minds ear I hear myself saying, “I see all the people that I love over there, and there are the places that I visited which I enjoyed and meant something to me, and there are some things that I have done that I am proud of……”, and so forth and so on. As I look around my dome, I don’t have to analyze or judge anything that I see, because that analysis and judgement was part of the selection process. I can literally transcend all that, and just sense all the feelings engendered by what I see.

I believe there is much to be gained by creating a Dome of Heaven and taking the transcendent view of your worldly universe of life’s influences. The essence of this blog is about preserving the self. That which is contained beneath a DOH is assembled from our memories. By selecting the memories you collect, you examine them and value them at the same time. By floating above them, sensing them, and letting all you “see” generate strong feelings and emotions, you give all those memories a permanence. We remember best what we feel most deeply, and what we remember is our actual self, hence we are preserving the essence of self in the process.

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An Argument for Emphasizing the Positive

In the last post I touched on the idea that one should include only positive elements under their DOH (Dome of Heaven). On reflection, that idea deserves further illumination. Our personal DOH is intended to be a stress free zone, thus there is no room for stress inducing recollections. Life experience always has its negatives; some are of our own doing and some just happen and are beyond our control. If allowed, negatives can dominate our lives and impair our sense of well-being.

When negative experiences are consequent to our own actions, the superego never lets it us forget them. Sure, we can push those experiences to the back of our mental shelves, but they are always going to be there if we choose to look. Hopefully, we listen to our superego and avoid repeating the same mistakes.  Others may choose to remind of us of our transgressions from time to time as well, so there is no reason to purposefully include them beneath our DOH. Our super ego and other individuals will surely remind of those events. Some negative experiences in life are beyond our control, and may be very painful. These too will be difficult to put aside, but a positive DOH can help us in those circumstances. Correctly developed, a DOH acts as a shield from the negative and a refuge in times of stress. When required, it acts as a personal sacred spot that lowers blood pressure and provides a setting for contemplation and reflection. Such are the strengths of a DOH.

We all stand under our own dome of heaven whether we generate it with intention, or we just end up with whatever develops over our lifetime. Try this exercise. Think about your life experiences without much in the way of deliberate focus. What stands out in your thoughts, positive elements or negative elements? Chances are, you need to think a bit more to generate positive recollections as opposed to negative ones. Which of those types of recollections do you recall in greater detail, positive or negative? The trauma and detail of negative events are closer to the surface of memory than the pleasure of positive events. Read the brief article that appeared in the New York Times on March 23, 2012 by Alina Tugend titled, Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall, for some insight. This is one of many references that address this topic. Simply put, we need to work at resurrecting positive memories if we want to hold on to them, and include them under our Dome of Heaven. More on this idea to follow in my next post.

The Dalai Lama might want to add to this post. What do you think he might say? Please comment…

As always, your faithful blogger,

L. Alan Weiss – Author – Through a Lens of Emptiness: Reflections on Life, Longevity and Contentment

Please visit my website at www.lalanweiss.com

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