Why employ the central idea of Tefistry: the Total Experiential Field? Does its use bring us more of life’s good things: love, joy, security, beauty, poise, hope, wisdom, etc.?
People live their lives–more or less successfully–in various ways. I, too, use various strategies for living, at various times, day in and day out:
- We can just cope, going with the flow, not seeking to understand or explain or predict life. This is a kind of stimulus/response approach to life.
- We can follow an explicit formula. There are plenty of wise elders and preachers and gurus and experts ready to offer us roadmaps and rules: “Vote with our Party and you will be a good citizen…”; “Eat vegan (or paleo, or Mediterranean, etc.) and all will be well…”; “Submit to the Holy Writ and you will be saved…”. Of course, Tefistry might be seen as yet another such formula for life.
- We can pursue an ideal or a dream. Such pursuit gives life meaning and purpose and energy and focus. “Follow your bliss…”; “Climb every mountain…”; “Hitch your wagon to a star…”.
These strategies for living each have their place and time. Billions of humans across the span of history have invented and tested and refined them. But I have found that, for me, the coping and obeying and aspiring that I might do can be assisted by adopting and using an awareness of Tef. Call this by whatever name you want, Tef refers to the Whole of reality. Every part of the world, including my own body, heart, and mind, is a member of Tef. All matter, physical energy, emotions, thoughts, dreams, hallucinations, imaginations, and lies–all are parts of Tef. Tef is reality, One, Whole, and All. (There is no unreality.)
Actually, there are two contrasting versions of Tef. One of these asserts that reality is an unbroken continuum. In this sense Tef is seen as a mass of “goo”. None of its parts are fully separate, being more like currents in the ocean or like soft lumps in our yogurt. This notion accounts for why years ago I named Tef the Total Experiential Field (recalling the electrical, magnetic, and gravitational fields that Physicists study). I sometimes refer to this meaning–the continuum of experience–as the analog idea of reality.
The other meaning of Tef asserts that reality is a collection of individual, distinct entities, “marbles”, if you will. Here, the Whole is the sum of all these myriad entities. Now, when the individual parts or particles are small enough, a sum of “marbles” can be indistinguishable from a mass of “goo”: sand flows like water; gasoline molecules flow as liquid gasoline. I sometimes refer to this meaning–the collection of entities–as the digital idea of reality.
One thing I have discovered about my Perception is that it sometimes priviledges the analog “goo” (processed by the Intuition Sector), and at other times it priviledges the digital “marbles” (processed in the contrasting Intellection Sector). And sometimes–actually all the time, since both the Intuition Sector (L.2) and the Intellection Sector (L.3) operate concurrently–I use both approaches: Life sometimes looks like a continuum, and at other times it can look like a collection. Personally, I sense that the continuum is the more basic, more original, more true picture, but I also recognize that life lends itself to analysis as a seemingly infinite number of separate things (and that this view is immensely useful in engineering the outcomes we want in life).
But we don’t have to choose! We can benefit from an idea of the Whole, without choosing whether reality is “goo” or “marbles”. What are those benefits?
- Beholding the Whole gives us an ultimate context. It gives us a reference framework, a placed to stand, as it were. We know who we are because we belong to that Whole. We are part of the Total Experiential Field.
- Moreover, we can rest in this idea. At some fundamental level we can feel complete, not fractured, not at war with anything else–because there is nothing else! In Tef nothing is left out or declared illusory or unreal.
- And perhaps most important of all, the Whole is an ultimate object for expression of our Gladness and Gratitude. We can worship or honor or reverence, or just respect, that which is everything. Although I can’t prove or defend this orientation toward life and living, I think it is simply better and more useful than are the notions of incoherence or personal isolation in a hostile or indifferent world. This is a pantheistic stance, without being a full-blown pantheism.
As to the question I posed at the top of this blog, I have personally found that using the Tef concept does indeed help in gaining more love, joy, security, beauty, poise, hope, wisdom, etc. I can’t fully demonstrate this, so for now it remains a “take it from me” sort of recommendation. But I think your can prove it for yourself.
So, I say: Embrace and honor the Whole (regardless of whether it is “goo” or “marbles”). Using it, you can love something greater than yourself. (But while loving the Whole, do not forget to love every part of it, including yourself!)