Thursday, 18 April 2013



The diagram of the triangle is a conceptual image. It is a tool for understanding UPSTREAMING and how it works and also how to put it into practice. In everyday life. Here and now.

The Apex is the point from which an impulse of energy flows out from its source. In flowing out, as at a fork in the road, it creates a duality, a pair of opposites. These manifest at each end of the base line of the triangle. They represent conflicting points of view and experience. Jews and Arabs, You and Me, Past and Future, Good and Evil, My Religion and Your Religion, Happiness and Unhappiness, Pleasure and Pain, Desire and Aversion, Birth and Death, and so on.

The space between them (the base line) represents the area in which the conflict is played out.

There are innumerable possible triangles but they all have the same Apex – the point upstream of their diverging dualities. From this departure point, they flow out (centrifugally) in pairs, along with the diverging mirror images of their opposites. To it they return (centripetally) in search of the end of conflict, for reconciliation and peace.  This happens when all efforts to solve the problem on the base line, on its own dualistic terms, have failed.

If you could lay all possible triangles next to each other with their sides touching, they would form a circle like a wheel. All the sides flow out from the same Apex, the Centre. The sides of the triangle appear like the spokes of a wheel. The base lines join together to make the circumference of the circle, the rim of the wheel.

This circumference is made up of an infinite number of individual dots. Each dot represents the point where the outward flowing impulse from the Centre materialises as form in opposition to its opposing form. These forms can be physical (bodies) – cats and dogs, hunters and hunted, me and you, or mental (ideas, thoughts)  rich and poor, deists and atheists, masters and servants, mine and yours.

These forms react to their opposites and exist in conflict with them until reconciliation is found. This puts an end to their imagined separateness by locating the apex or its counterpart at the median point of the baseline. For example:
religious or political activists abandon the beliefs which separate them in favour of an awareness of their shared humanity which re-connects them in unity;
the rich abandon 'too much' and relieve the poor of 'not enough' on the basis their shared status as fellow living beings of the One Family.

The outward impulse is outward looking and leads to identification with thoughts, feelings and sense objects. This results in the illusion of a separation into ‘self’ and ‘other(s)’. This flowing out is centrifugal. It creates the base line of dualistic activity in the world. 

Looking inwards and withdrawing upwards from the base line activity (experienced as suffering) to the Apex, the Centre (experienced as consciousness) is centripetal. The centre of a wheel is still. Likewise the Apex, the Centre, is still. It is empty like space.

The diagram is static. But it can be conceived as a moving wheel. The wheel of life. This is used in Eastern cosmologies to represent the Sangsara, the wandering on through the world of form, the world of birth and death. What keeps it in motion is Desire – the motivating force behind the outward impulse away from the Centre.

When one has had enough of ‘activity’, enough of ‘suffering’ on the wheel of life, there is an impulse to return, to seek peace, to upstream to the original state of Undifferentiated Oneness  consciousness without attachment to form and identification with form.

All problems are resolved when they disappear in the Centre. Here is the end of all wanting.
When this cycle is perceived, when the perception sinks into the mind and uncovers what lies beyond the mind, it becomes understanding  a shift in consciousness.

Seeing from the point of view of where each spoke is riveted to the rim of the wheel, a view of an infinite number of dots (separate forms), attracted and repelled by each other, competing and conflicting, comes to an end.

Consciousness shifts. Seeing is now from the point of view of the Centre, from which every thing is seen to be part of the Whole.

* UPSTREAMING DIAGRAM with Elucidation  Print version here

You ask the gardener for carrots.
He comes back from the garden with a full wheelbarrow. In it are a variety of vegetables, some soil, small stones, a few snails etc. Possibly carrots too. All mixed together.
Alternative Scenario 1:
You ask the gardener for carrots.
He comes back with a few carrots and puts them in your hand.
Alternative Scenario 2:
You ask the gardener for carrots.
He comes back and says, “There aren’t any carrots.”
Is there a name stamped on the wheelbarrow?