Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
clear morning sky
sun rising fast overhead-
still cool in the shade.
watching people walk by-
warm sun on my back.
tall red rose
alight in the afternoon-
still beneath a tree
wind blowing through it's leaves-
time does not exist.
pink evening glow
clouds stretching across my view-
nighttime once again
waning moon high in the sky-
the hum of traffic.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
head resting on arm-
warm breeze blows my hair.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The emergence of dynamically different human beings, human beings capable of living in harmony with the marvelous movement of life, the Earth, each other, and themselves. Is it possible?
In fact, this blossoming is not possible without you and I, together, cooperating today. For it is through our willingness to expose our hidden process of individuality to the light of a collectively passive awareness that opens the door to the possibility of this blossoming taking place.
If you think this is religious work, you're mistaken. If you think this is spiritual work, from long ago or recently discovered, you're mistaken. If you think we are following some authority, living or dead, you're mistaken. If you think this is political, social, environmental, Western, or Eastern, you're once again mistaken, for seeing a fact is timeless and without ownership.
This interest is a human interest, plain and simple. Not yesterday’s interest, or last millennium's, but today’s ever-burning interest. So please ask yourself, as a human being, living in the world today, with the pettiness of our narrow human-to-human existence, the self-centeredness, waste, squander, ignorance and escapes, sorrow and suffering, can an entirely different human being non-violently emerge?
Is that possible? Not tomorrow, not after 20 more years of this or that, but today, with you and I, right now? Are you willing to be this human being? The one that bares the exposure, vulnerability, pain, honesty, compassion and responsibility necessary to free life from the grip of delusion? If you are, then you provide all of us the space to distinguish, together, that which is fundamentally true from that which is not and our relationship takes on an entirely different significance. We co-create a mirror where each of us can observe the movement of individuality operating collectively, as well as, internally, for ourselves, directly. This mirror objectively reveals a unified field of common, shared phenomena, a process. And when that process is entirely perceived there is the possibility of welcoming what lies beyond it into our lives. And since our discovery occurs through the mirror of relationship, we will naturally create a different world with each other, and be a different human being within it. So what is it that you see when you look in the mirror?
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Have you noticed how broken apart our day to day existence as human beings has become? Everything, from the largest galaxy to the smallest quark has been isolated, named and remembered by one human or another. And then we put these named parts back together to form relationships. All these named parts seem to have a relationship with each other to some extent. Everything is connected is what religion, science, economics, politics, and commercials keep telling us. And we except this as fact because we experience it in our everyday lives. Even those we thought had no relationship, over time, end up having one we never expected. Whether symbiotic or resistant, everything seems to relate in one way or another. There is, in fact, nothing experienced that doesn’t have a name and a relationship to something else. It would take but a moment, right now, to see how true this statement really is for everyone, everywhere. Every child born onto this Earth is taught to name, identify and recognize objects around them and over time, objects within them. Not one child escapes this indoctrination. I’m not suggesting it is wrong, that would be silly, just that it is taking place, all the time, everywhere. And yet when you take a closer look you may begin to see more at play then just the natural laws of the universe working.
The first thing that comes to mind when ‘taking a look’ at this subject is the individual, you and me. You are at the center of your life, your experience, your circumstance, your thoughts, feelings, you name it, and you do always, there you are at the center of it. And I am at the center of mine. Again, in a somewhat different dimension, there is this separation, naming, recognizing, and bringing back together to form a relationship. And we take this to be natural, the way things are. So it should be obvious that the individual is intimately wrapped up in this phenomena we are speaking about. The next thing that comes to mind is thought. Now thought is more than you think it is, or at least I would like to suggest for the sake of our investigation, that it is more than you think it is.
Thought is the word, the naming, but also the recognition of the word, the image of the object named, the feeling, the physical sensation, the neuro-chemical functioning. The remembered word recognizes itself the next time it experiences the object the word was attached to in the first place. And even at this level you can begin to see the individual and thought begin to blur together, merge. Most would say that I, the individual recognize an object when I see it, but when you look closely you can see the naming of it playing a decisive role in the recalling of the memory and therefore the recognition of the object a split second later. And there, of course, is the third factor we bring into this investigation, time. It takes time to think, it takes time for the individual to change, to improve, time to compare oneself with another, time to measure one object against another. And so now, hopefully, through this rather tedious description, you can begin to see how these three are so interrelated as to maybe not be separate at all. And yet, to not separate these three would be revolutionary to the psyche of the one not separating them.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Not feeling the desire to write today. Lately, I've really been wondering why we attempt to communicate with each other about matters of consciousness, spirit, life, truth, or what have you? Is it all about play, entertainment, self-interested opinions, or are individuals actually interested in living a totally different life together? Because what I see around me is entertainment, whether people claim they are fighting for the environment or human rights or presidential politics. Clearly most people continue to live petty little lives concerned with only themselves and what they think about this or that hot button topic. Why? If we are not hear to love each other and throw off every form of imprisoning mental limitation what are we here for, a Ferrari? Man-made trinkets? Approval from the ignorant audience? This life in a human form passes, it is here for a short period of time and then it vanishes. If I have something that I know may be taken away from me at a moments notice, what is my response? How will I treat it? What will I do? Is this pathetic human existence on Earth today the result of knowing life may be taken away in any moment, or believing life is here endlessly just waiting to be pissed away in any manner one wishes to piss it away in? Because it just seems to me that we are pissing life away. Have a lovely Sunday.Read more
Saturday, September 29, 2007
What if everything happening around the world today is happening within a much larger context than I am presently aware of? Without being aware of the context that the world's events are occurring within, what are the chances of me making anything but a mistaken move? Especially if I'm moving according to an image already established in the mind. Images already existing in the mind are remnants of partial understanding, which, of course, is just another word for misunderstanding. When we react to an image we set in motion yet another manifestation of misunderstanding which, in turn, bears its own fruit. The consequences of this manifestation are, again, remembered and reacted to in what becomes a ceaseless chain of cause and effect. It is precisely because of our improper responses to life over time that we have accumulated so many images that attempt to mold our future actions according to what happened, or did not happen, in the past. And it is within this mental mess that human relationship is born, takes shape, and flounders within. For it is these same images held in the mind that compel us to attempt to change each other into better forms of ourselves. I certainly have tried my best over the years and failed miserably.
Nevertheless, the entire world quickly and dramatically shrinks to become the context for the change I want to bring about, thus being reduced to having no meaning or purpose in and of itself. First, we are led to believe that our perspective is true, right, and proper while an other's perspective is faulty. So what is there left to do but attempt to change the faulty into the true, right? Each perspective, mine and yours, simply arise and create the context for its own standard of truth, but it is not objectively so by any stretch of the imagination. Just because we can rationally piece together images in a way that blinds us to any other option or outcome doesn't mean it is true, even though it seems that way. It seems that way because we are not being given any other information to form or re-form our position. Our position is formed by images already held in the mind, gathered from the past and interpreted according to our conditioning so we are stuck with a rational, linear, narrow frame of reference created by the very idea that came up to be proven right or wrong. Therefore, each action someone takes sets in motion an outcome pre-determined by those who take part in it. Each participant views the action from their own perspective and reacts accordingly. Therefore, life becomes a battle to indoctrinate each other in order to spread our particular perspective on things. For when you share my perspective I feel safe, secure, and comfortable around you. So, besides the pettiness of needing to have my own perspective validated by others, does life present an entirely different challenge?Read more
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The wonderful, and often challenging, aspect of myself is how disillusioned I naturally become with myself, with my own self-image. This whole play of spirituality has grown tiresome and old. There is really no difference between what one would call spirituality and any other self-made pursuit occupying ones time. Spirituality is no closer to truth than any other man-made invention. All there is, is belief. Belief is the only thing that makes what you hold in your right hand any more valuable than what you hold in your left. Belief is self-deception, pure and simple. And wherever you turn, you will turn to find belief digging its trench once again, planning on holding on for the long haul. Are we all just occupying time and space until we are wiped out? Are people happy and free from fear or are people simply isolated, alone, and hiding their pain? I want to know people. I want to meet with people and get to know them all. I want to communicate with people without the contextual backgrounds of their particular crippling beliefs getting in the way. I want to strip this life down to its fundamental core and expose it to everyone so that all may know for themselves just how silly this play-life we're currently performing actually is. I want to be free of my own self-imposed limitations. I want to live without the image I form in order to fit into the society I imagine is out there waiting for me.
So what does it look like to live without the image?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The land you see is not land. It is a very thin layer of volcanic sand floating on the surface of the ocean near an active underwater volcano.
"In inquiring into ourselves we are not isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. It is not an unhealthy process. Man throughout the world is caught up in the same daily problems as ourselves, so in inquiring into ourselves we are not being in the least neurotic because there is no difference between the individual and the collective. That is an actual fact. I have created the world as I am. So don't let us get lost in this battle between the part and the whole. I must become aware of the total field of my own self, which is the consciousness of the individual and of society. It is only then, when the mind goes beyond this individual and social consciousness, that I can become a light to myself that never goes out." J. Krishnamurti, "Freedom From The Known."
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Let's suggest every other mammal on this planet instinctively 'knows' what it is to be doing throughout each day and night of its life. That somehow nature runs through these mammals in such a way as to hard wire them to act how it is they act nearly all the time. Would you say the same about humans? Are we hard wired to act the way we do nearly all the time? Thought seems to create the space necessary to free oneself from the mere instinctual urge, but is that what it actually does? The space that thought creates is unique to thought because the space exists in relation to the thought that arose to create it. In other words, a thought creates space around itself, which affords it time to judge what, when and how to do something. The problem is that most of us believe there is a separate self independent of thought that is 'in charge' of what goes or does not go.
However, in my experience, each thought creates its own center, meaning there is a 'new' self with each passing thought. By 'new' self I simply mean a different perspective each time, a different landscape, a unique desire. One can begin to catch a glimpse of this phenomena by zeroing in on conflicting desires that arise and are fulfilled within oneself. You want something to happen every night before you lay down to sleep but each morning 'someone' else wakes up and wants the complete opposite. What if we have been mistaken about the individual entity capable of choice, change, and an independent will? What would that mean to each of us? We clearly believe there is a unique, independent entity that remains both the same throughout time, as well as changing and intelligently adapting to circumstances as they arise. It is the backbone of our sense of continuity and quite possibly our sense of suffering. The fact that we ignore how any two thoughts have completely different centers around which they create space is the basis for our self-delusion.
Each thought creates a 'sense of self' at its center but this 'sense of self' is created by the particular thought arising. Therefore, each 'sense of self' is formed and maintained by the particular thought of the time, when the thought changes, the ingredients change, the 'sense of self' changes. For it is only when thoughts are thought to have the same center that the idea of a permanent 'self' arises and it is this permanent sense of 'self' that suffers. To go beyond thought one must only observe thought free of a centralized 'thinker.' Disjointed, mechanically wired-in thoughts arising on there own reactive promptings and fading just as quickly unless its own 'sense of self' steps in to hold and maintain it through time. The more thoughts are maintained, the more thoughts are acted upon, the more thoughts are considered, the stronger the 'sense of self' becomes. Human life on Earth has become just as much a fight for thought's survival as it has for our own. The unfortunate aspect about it is how we mistake ourselves for thought and thought for ourselves. For it is thought struggling to realize itself.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
How important is peace in your daily lives? In the relationships you maintain, is peace a priority or is it easily kicked aside when a bit juicier emotion or thought comes along? Why should any one of us be interested in what an other does or does not do? I mean, it's one thing if I want to pour myself into observing the workings of the mind but why must I include you? Is it that I see all of us destroying something beautiful without knowing we're doing so? Or is it that I need to feel as if I'm doing something useful while trying to stay afloat in a sea of ignorance and disinterest? Maybe it has something to do with the way life unfolds through an insecure human brain, the fact that at no time, in no place, is there firm, secure ground that one can sink themselves into. I mean, if my desires change on a daily basis, if what I want flickers in and out of view, if reality seems to morph from one perspective to another, how can there be an independent entity that would feel secure in such an environment? There cannot be. If the environment is insecure, the one living within that environment will be insecure as well, right? That is, as long as that someone depends upon the environment for their survival.
So, there is this movement out into the landscape in order to attempt to secure the environment, for the thought is that when the environment is secure, I will be secure. Civilization, as it has evolved into modern society, is that attempt to secure the environment so that I will be secure within it. But it doesn't work. I mean, it hasn't worked for everyone, but that's not to say it doesn't work for a few. So the question is, does it work for anyone? In other words, if you attain all you have desired, if what you want is always firmly within your grasp, and if reality seems to stay as fixed as an inanimate object, are you secure in yourself? Is this state of mind even possible? Does anyone ever stop having desires that beg to be filled? Does the perspective of reality ever remain fixed? Ever since the dawn of civilization, have we been caught up in one big fairy tale?
I'd say the mess within the environment that is seeking security is the root problem to be faced. But so what? Why does it matter what one person thinks when there are so many other people thinking in such diametrically opposed ways? Am I here to convince you to believe me, to follow what I say instead of what they say? What a waste of time that would be. So, really, what's the point? Thoughts, like physical bodies, come and go in such quick succession, is there anything to actually do here during our life together? All the knowledge we have gathered has not made us happier or safer. We're told to live for ourselves yet all along we know each of us effects the other and therefore to act as if we are independent agents is to bring suffering to bear on each of us in all sorts of different shapes and forms. I'm not so sure there is anything for us to do here on Earth. I'm not sure there is anything like evolution in psychological terms, for psychologically speaking, humanity has hardly moved an inch. It would seem that we could live our lives here in peace and simple enjoyment of the wonders of such a beautiful life but so few seem interested in pursuing such a stance. A stance totally free of all that humanity has gathered and muddled its mind with. I guess there's just juicier thoughts and emotions that most of us would rather act out.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Let's start today off with forgiving everyone for everything they have ever done. No, I do not need to know what everyone has done before they are forgiven, what's the difference? People are forgiven, not because they deserve it, but because there is no one at the center of the deed needing forgiveness in the first place. Every act is but a conditioned response to an act that came before it based on acts already recorded in the brain of the one conditionally responding. It is a near totally blind process occurring in the brain, not the independent act of an independent entity doing it for an independently drawn up purpose. Is the whole world crazy? How about stupid? Sure, it might feel good to suggest so from time to time, but it is, of course, not true. However, the whole world is most certainly ignorant. Extremely, dangerously ignorant of a process unfolding closer than their breath or heart beat. A process, whose by-product creates a sense of self where there is none.
It's so funny to watch the brain conditionally response to everything it takes in by finding out how it can compartmentalize it. Where does it fit so that it doesn't disturb my delusional sense of equilibrium? Maybe what I've suggested above is spiritual in nature and therefore given a certain amount of attention before being thrown into the spiritual pile of garbage you're currently collecting. Or maybe it is psychological by nature and you don't really care or believe much in the findings of psychology so it is left alone and forgotten. Or maybe you consider it too conceptual for you, you're a 'down to earth' kind of person, and so you discard it immediately. Maybe you agree or maybe you disagree, but either way you have defused the fact sufficiently enough to proceed in your unconscious state of existence once again. Unfortunately for you, it is none of these things. It's purpose is to simply call you out. It is putting you on notice, your ignorance cannot hold off the onslaught of intelligent light being shed onto this dark process of the brain. It is only a matter of time before more and more people see the dangerously ignorant state of their own being and demand that it change immediately. And the demand is the change! And so, for you who are open, seeing your own ignorant position exposed, can you not see the forgiveness of all things through all people? And doesn't this forgiveness for all people open up the door to forgiving yourself? Forgiving yourself for mistaking a mechanical process for an independent being is allowing intelligence to move full circle. Intelligence is therefore in a position to live life, the very same position you used to believe you held.
Friday, September 21, 2007
I can feel change coming up from the inside. A new element bubbling forth and being released into the atmosphere of my perception. I'm breathing it in now. It's warm and has an extremely grounding effect on me and my body. It's taking over, moment to moment. Pretty soon it will tip the balance in my environment and erase all remaining marks of what has come before. For there are only images in an empty mind. Do yourself a favor though, do not overlook the word empty. For this emptiness is full of everything 'you' have been searching for. And you will know this emptiness when you empty yourself, for you are the content you keep.Read more
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Today, it seems as if there is no one left to communicate with. Everything has revealed itself to be images conditioning other images in order to rationally resemble the way I think reality is to look. Has reality been reduced to a battle to condition the mind? And how would that work, billions of different perspectives attempting to condition one, shared mind to behave according to their own, particular needs? For instance, when you do something that hurts my feelings, maybe you didn't show enough appreciation for something I did for you, I usually believe I must hold on to that hurt, because it's real, and not immediately drop it until you understand what you did to me. You know what I mean? I couldn't, I mean, reality wouldn't let me immediately drop this hurt as if the entire circumstance had no weight or reality to it at all, right? For then you wouldn't know that I like things a certain way and don't like things another way. In other words, then I wouldn't be conditioning you on how to behave around me. So, let me put this straight, whenever I believe something is real, I must, in turn, condition other people to experience it as I do. That is, other people must realize it is real as well, otherwise, maybe it is just a delusion of my on making and therefore utterly useless, empty, hollow, fake, and false.
So let us examine this hurt I feel when you don't recognize something I did for you. When I say you hurt my feelings what do I mean? I've done something for you and therefore there is an expectation that you will recognize it and show your appreciation towards me in return. First of all, I'm acting with an intention. No one but me knows my intention, nor the assumed expectation wrapped tightly within it. But regardless of what you know or don't know, I always feel as if you will recognize what I've done in a similar manner to which I recognize it and therefore will give me what I feel I deserve, acknowledgment. So, there is an image of what I've done for you in my mind, an image that was there even before I did whatever it is I did for you. There is also the feeling that you will recognize the significance of the act and intention in the same way as I do, which justifies creating an image in my mind as to what you will do for me in return, an image based in the future. Next, you come along and do not even notice what I've done.
What happens? I get hurt. What gets hurt? Well, the first image isn't recognized for what it is, it isn't even seen, so in a very real sense it is dead to the world of meaning now. It lived for as long as I clung to it but without your recognition it is worthless and left go of. I may bring it up to you, once I'm already hurt, but it's significance is being recognized on its own by another, not through me describing it to you after the fact. Also, the future image never materializes, so it dies into oblivion as well, never to be brought back to life in this particular form or expression. So, the hurt I feel is the death of images that I clung to as reality, that I clung to as signposts of what should happen. My expectations have died. Images that would have made me happy if recognized make me hurt when not recognized. The accumulation of the consequences of so many passing images continually play on the image I hold of myself, my own worth, and my recognition. And now, to add on to this image of me, the image of me being hurt right now. For feeling the pain of images lost moves one to recognize this hurt as being the next image demanding my attention. My next move is the attempt to change this image of hurt into an image of assuring it will never happen again, an image of security. We can all dream, right? I move to condition you as to what you did wrong that made me feel this way. My tools may be tears, may be shouting, or calm stern discourse. You know, conditions I either can't control or have come to believe will convince you. Of course, all along, it is what I'm doing wrong that causes my own hurt. Clinging to images in the mind and believing they are not only reality itself, but intimately related to me and my well-being is a total misunderstanding. There is no self in the interplay of images, only an image of one. There is also a reality free of the influence of images. It's just never how you imagine it.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Conditioning rules human life here on Earth. I'm not here to say that conditioning is right or wrong or anything like that, only that it has dominion over all animate life, including humans. And humanity, realizing to some degree that it is conditioned, attempts to recondition itself according to self-created images held in the mind. And of course, the images held in the mind are based on ones particular conditioning as well. It all seems to beg the question, 'is there any way out?' When you go to sit in a cave for seven years you are attempting to recondition yourself. When you're brought up going to church it is also an attempt by someone else to recondition you. When you stop going down to the local bar for a drink every night you are, again, attempting to recondition yourself. Every move humanity makes is a move to either recondition itself, or strengthen the conditioning already in place. In other words, conditioning encapsulates the mechanical aspect of human life. The question is, why do we go about ceaselessly attempting to recondition ourselves and do we have any idea WHAT IS ACTUALLY THERE, in the first place, before we set about conditioning 'it?' So, it seems to me that we, you and I together, would have to come to understand the actual movement of conditioning within the mind in order to find out whether there is an 'entity' being conditioned or just the movement of conditioning itself? For instance, an image, held in the mind, of being incomplete could set off a never-ending chain of reconditioning 'incompleteness' for the purpose of transforming it into another arbitrary image called 'being complete.' This entire movement, which can easily take over your life, may have nothing whatsoever to do with who or what you actually are but you will, nonetheless, be giving all of your attention to it day after day.
Most people are generally unaware of the fact that they are exceedingly more conditioned then the dog that wins 'Best In Show' or the pedigree horse that wins the Kentucky Derby. We train ourselves, and each other, in an endless exercise of futility and call it everything but being conditioned. How to act around others, how to speak, what not to do, how to do it, you know, on and on people expressing their needs, feelings, thoughts, and opinions. As if each demand and need is anything more than a bunch of conditioned responses needing to recondition others around them in order to feel comfortable and secure. Critics and atheists alike are always pointing out how religion has this uncompromising need to convert everyone into their particular flock. Of course, religion, in this instance, stands in as a clear example of the movement and nature of conditioning. A movement you will find beneath every unturned rock, if you would only go and look. I mean, I know this may come as a shock, but conditioning conditions, therefore it is always prone to strengthen the present 'flock' as it sets out to convert more. But before you tear down religion you will find that both you and I are guilty of the exact same thing with respect to ourselves, our self-hood, our me-ness. We are constantly strengthening our sense of 'me' as well as attempting to convert others into believing that I am who I say I am. So the movement and power of conditioning can be found at the core of 'me,' all the way out through the world of 4.9 billion believers, and back again. That's right, conditioning runs the show. A show pitting unconscious player against unconscious player in a battle to the very last breath. A show of confusion, built upon delusion, created in the mind that's transfixed on conditioning itself for a battle that does not exist. A battle with none other than itself.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Approximately 25,000 tons of shark were poached in 2003 off the Northern Australian coastline alone. When the sharks are caught their fins are cut off and they are thrown, fin-less, back into the ocean where they sink to the ocean floor and essentially bleed, or suffocate, to death. This practice continues to grow, and exists almost exclusively, because of the demand by certain Chinese to eat Shark Fin Soup. It seems the soup of choice for China's ultra elite of long ago has become the soup of choice for the growing class of prosperous Chinese today. Why do we overlook the fact that the brain holds an image of this soup and believes it signifies prosperity? And believing as such distorts perceiving the consequences of marketing this soup for the sake of feeding so many delusional people. Instead of dropping fin-less sharks back into the open ocean, why not drop useless images back into the empty mind? For this soup is but one of countless images crippling humanity.Read more
Monday, September 17, 2007
Let us think together just how much change would we be willing to see transpire in our world today? How comfortable, or even happy, would you be if the world changed radically tomorrow? Or, put the other way around, you changed radically tomorrow? That would mean your entire pattern of living would change, your habits, needs, desires, goals, security, well-being, you know, everything. Would you welcome such change? If you are at all considering these questions don't you think your feelings on the matter might depend on how this radical change came about? I mean, wouldn't there be a difference between change brought about through intelligent, open, honest self-reflection and, let's say, a shower of 4 ton bombs? And yet, leaving honest self-discovery 'off the table,' as we most certainly do to any measurable extent, means the path we always take, that of ignorance, must inevitably be lit up by the exploding of shrapnel and debris.
I mean, when I look around I see madness, everywhere. What do I mean by madness everywhere? Am I implying the ocean is mad, or the trees, birds, or mountains? No, only people pretending to be 'human' are mad. Everyone pretending to be 'who they think they are.' And my pointing it out is so unwelcome most of the time. Well, most of the time it is just ignored, of course, but other than that, it's just plain unwelcome. I've heard things like, 'this life is for me to play in, right?' 'I can be whatever I want to be, right?' Now, answer me this, how is it that I believe I can be whatever I want to be while at the same time I'm compulsively acting upon images already established in the mind? It's like asking how much choice does an addict have when they don't know they have a problem? The addicts choice is based upon what's perceived by them to be a desire for the drug, not the enslavement of addiction. And so people continue to 'desire' the expression of themselves as the addict 'desires' their drug of 'choice.' Is this desire or dependence?
Now, you'd think we would be human by birth, but apparently it takes many years of constant indoctrination to become the fine human beings we are today. But really, seriously, who says? If I were to drop all reactive responses based on my conditioning would I not still be human? I mean, who says this product of thousands of years of ignorant conditioning has anything, whatsoever, to do with being human? In fact, it seems the evolution of ignorance is far more interested in becoming something more than merely human. Ridiculous monstrosities like my race, my nation, my education, my class, my religion, my political party, my opinion, my beliefs, blah, blah, blah. This is what we call 'being human' today. From my perspective, if it is 'human' at all, this manner in which we've evolved, it most certainly is a sick human. A human with a nasty, contagious virus; a human hardly recognizable to someone who loves humanity. Because when you identify yourself with the nation, some religion, or any other form of conditioning you don't give a fig about humanity. You've lost all contact with being human for humanity shares a consciousness. To pretend to divide that consciousness by paying sole attention to your own images creates conflict, distortion, and suffering. In other words, it creates the world we currently share, the world where the becoming of the ideal is all we care for and the means of arriving there are inconsequential. Pretending to be an individual without any self-reflection is the most dangerous act one has the unfortunate privilege to be born directly into. Today's face of individuality is a slap on the face of being human. A fairy-tale told through images, built upon the backs of countless 'lesser humans,' during a period of ignorance where the individual believes they're evolving. The Gift, in such times, is seeing through the extraneous.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
"Why do I write? Why do I share my perspective on life with people I know and do not know? What motivates me to share myself in this manner? I would have to say the first thing that comes to mind is that I want to feel as if I'm different. I don't want to be the same as those who seem to operate on autopilot their entire lives. You know, the slave mass. I guess I hate them, despise their comfort with ignorance, and their lack of ability to shake themselves awake enough to stop acting like the virus on Earth they are. Another thing that motivates me is the fact that I have no money, am not earning any money, and have no prospect of a future or career. How is this a motivating position to be in? Well, it motivates me to tear down the whole ill-conceived concept of the modern, useless world 'they've' created. What else? I just can't seem to fit in, so instead of wasting any more time attempting too, I feel it is in my best interest to not fit in as much as possible. Besides, fit into what, this mess most call their life? But the biggest reason I am motivated to share myself in this manner is I am terribly unhappy, just plain miserable and ungrateful at that. The meaninglessness of this modern life is so palpable to me that I want nothing more than to throw the whole thing away, but mind you, not to start over. I want everything to just remain over, done, finished. I mean, could you imagine being born again, into another body, and having to start this whole useless charade all over again?! How awful! What a mess of a world 'they've' created! An incredible ability to turn something whole and beautiful into something cold and arbitrary. Well done silly fools, well done."
The lines written above are thoughts. You may think they are my thoughts but your thinking so is just another thought. Thoughts have an effect on the brain. The brain has an effect on your life. Any questions?
Saturday, September 15, 2007
When I'm out and about I really enjoy coming across random people talking to themselves. Of course, that's what it always looks like, until I see their Bluetooth wrapped around one of their ears. They are, in fact, speaking with another human being after all. But there certainly are plenty of times when we listen to a voice, that seems to originate in our head, and we are the only ones listening. We listen through an internal Bluetooth, so to speak, and only one person has the phone number...me. I obviously have a plan with unlimited minutes, call anytime functionality, with no roaming or long distance charges, otherwise I couldn't afford to talk to myself so often. There is the occasional dropped call and the service fades out in certain situations but all in all I'm pretty satisfied with my carrier. Even when I'm not satisfied I don't have far to go to reach the one who hears my complaints. That's service. The one who is always calling me is, well, me, and we talk with each other about everything. I'm like a prolific painter filling in all the grey and empty spaces of life from a palette of uniquely colored commentary when I'm speaking to myself. I mean, how dull and boring life must be when I'm not constantly adding myself to it, right? That's what I used to tell myself, but recently I've come to see it somewhat differently. Seeing differently I decided to do something about it.
Clearly this internal Bluetooth is one of the tools of Life's Personalization Department. If you listen to your service agreement it states so in line 34 of page 107. Not so long ago I called the L.P.D to see about an upgrade to my existing Bluetooth plan. You see, I've had my current plan for as long as I can remember and it's served me so well for so long, but, like I said, recently I have been growing increasingly unhappy with the quality of service and commentary afforded to me. Where once it was exciting and fun it now seemed incapable of keeping my attention or interest and there was even a feeling that there may be serious health issues associated with using my Bluetooth as much as I have. It is with these, and other, concerns that I called the L.P.D. Well, after spending quite a bit of time on hold I was funneled through a series of automated steps in order to deliver me to the right section in the department. Apparently, the right section was an abrupt busy signal and a permanently locked re-entry to the internal number of the L.P.D. Out of luck, I decided to drive down to the L.P.D myself and speak with the head, whoever that was. Upon arriving I walked straight into the building, past the front desk and out onto the main floor of the L.P.D. Phones were ringing off the hook, countless voices could be heard through monitors asking for assistance for this or that and yet NO ONE was there. The L.P.D was completely empty of life, everything was run through a network of phone-lines set to a series of automated responses. Walking further inside the department I saw several large office rooms with large windows facing the ocean. All of then empty, of course. I sat down in the CEO's plush leather chair but before I had time to enjoy the view I received a call from my internal Bluetooth. I answered and heard myself say, 'Only you, you're the only one in here. Everything else is automated.' Right. It was easy to change my internal Bluetooth plan after hearing that kernel of truth.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Let's talk about conditioning today, shall we? Conditioning is such an interesting subject of inquiry, partly because it is irrefutable but also because so few seem to give it a moments notice. 'You' and 'I' are the products of conditioning. There would be no sense of 'me' nor any sense of 'you' without this continuous process of being conditioned, reactively conditioning, and being re-conditioned endlessly. Our bodies come into this plane of existence incapable of surviving on their own and yet through time, repetition, observation and the formation of habit we are conditioned to survive here. From the moments preceding birth it takes a close association with other humans in order to train our brain to meet life with 'a center in need of protection.' This knot, this center, is initially formed through what is retained by the brain during conditioning. Very basically, it begins as an association of a name, an image held in the mind, with the physical body. This association then acts like a small snow ball which grows bigger as it's rolled through more and more snow. The snow, in this analogy, is further conditioning, while the ball being formed is formed entirely of conditioning. There is no actual substance in the middle other than snow. So this 'center' is formed and through it's near constant reaction forms a relationship with the conditioning environment around it, as well as, those within that environment. As you can see this conditioning process never slows down, never stops, and never changes in structure or nature. In fact, it becomes internalized at a certain point so that no other human being is needed to train it, for the movement of conditioning conditions itself. It is simply happening all the time, as a matter of human life itself.
In fact, most humans throughout time have seemed to believe that change, revolution, enlightenment, God-realization, beauty, truth, evolution, freedom, heaven, you name it, is actually reached or attained through re-conditioning the physical body according to an image already held in the mind. We are still doing this today, all over the globe, with our fellow human beings and internally with ourselves. All of our holy books, what a joke, are guidelines for re-conditioning according to images already established in the mind. It's so obvious, isn't it? All of them, wherever you find them, by whoever wrote them, including 'God himself,' are nothing more than manuals to re-train, re-condition the hypnotized animal to act according to the image. All of your self-help, self-improvement, self-empowerment is but the same old, sad excuse to re-condition the animal to act like God, see like God, feel like God, know like God, or at least be good enough for God. Conditioning says, 'become the image.' Our entire sense of an evolving individual stems from our attention moving towards or away from these mind-made images and acting, embodying, and fulfilling them accordingly. We are that sense of 'becoming the image.'
You may ask, 'what is the relationship between images and conditioning?' They are one in the same, images condition the brain to act as if it is the image. So in a very real sense, images already held in the mind condition the brain through their nature alone. Another interesting point is how images already held in the mind are what become attracted or repelled to the next image that arises thereafter. So, the very thing we call 'choice' or 'free will' may be nothing more than images already held in the mind being attracted or repelled by the latest incoming information, which takes the form of an image, of course. When an image attracts the minds attention it becomes self-possessed and 'lights up' while those that repel the minds attention become self-less and 'fade out.' You may refer to this phenomena as 'your path' or 'your story' but it is based entirely on the conditioning nature of images already established in the mind. Therefore, even your laws of attraction, secrets, and all the other new-age craze is but the same reconditioning of the animal to accept pre-determined images held in the mind. The next image you hope to embody may be a lot of things, but it won't be freedom! As you can see, just as the universe, 'out there' can be found to function with absolute coherence without the need for an individual 'overseer,' so the human being functions as it does without the need of a individual 'self' doing it. Mind you, I am not denying individuality, only pointing out the fact that what we currently refer to as the 'individual' is nothing of the sort. What we currently refer to as the 'individual' is but the mechanical march of images already held in the mind conditioning the brain to accept images as one's 'reality.' In my opinion, it is a completely fruitless, frivolous, and destructive waste of precious time.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
It seems it is all to easy to get caught up in the life that unfolds beneath the street lights, so to speak. The life of the human narrative. Yesterday's post spoke about the 'reality we know' being completely formed from images already established in the mind, and our internal narrative is no different. The human narrative is the way all these loose-end images are tied together in order to form what we hope is a coherent linear progression of 'actual' events called 'my life.' The human narrative itself is but an image, a self-image, put together in the exact same fashion as every other image standing in as reality, for there must always be a 'self' aware of 'reality.' It's no wonder we seem to hold a certain unconscious disdain for the natural world, for our narrative and endeavors are not what put the natural world together. We may have named them but we didn't create the conifers, or the ocean, or the grasslands. And in fact, all we do, have ever done, or will ever think up is but an imitation of the natural world and the order found there.
It seems we'd rather surround ourselves with a man-made environment, fill it with other people and a few domesticated animals, and play out our pointless, self-created dramas in front of a live audience. Streets of asphalt, rivers of cement, skyscrapers of steel, and homes of plywood all encircle the traveling human caravan as it rolls through another pocket of this most beautiful Earth. Lights that never sleep, that's what it is like to live in the cities, towns, districts, and neighborhoods of large populations of humanity on Earth. Lights that are always on, creating an almost encapsulated bubble filled with an ignorant glow. Last night, sitting outside and looking up, through the ignorant glow, at the sky, I saw several stars shining down on me. Living in Venice California, I saw more airplanes than stars, but there they were for those out looking for them. On this clear night I began to allow myself, once again, to feel the sense of this deep space that surrounds our beloved planet. Space, that can only be conceived of as going on forever in every direction and dimension. Seeing but a few bright objects didn't deter me from feeling the countless other bright ones I couldn't see swimming around in this deep expanse of incredibly immense space. And as this space expanded, so did the mind. The same mind that constricts around the images created to support our human drama expands to travel with space as it reaches out for boundaries that do not exist.
Just the simple fact of looking up, out of our own sense of a purely linear existence, is enough to explode the rigid confines of this self-serving view of life. Everything that man has put together, everything that man has achieved, all that has been thought, penned, and passed on is but a self-imposed form of imprisonment. Even our demand for health and old age is but a cramped cell in an overcrowded prison, for it is only an image that demands 'more life, more life!' If we allow it, life itself, will seep back into the world of static images, shatter our self-imposed 'reality' and replace this stagnant existence with the dynamic movement of an untamed river of love. Of course, you'd have to move away from the street lights in order to see this river raging your way.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
It seems to me one of the biggest problems we face today is how we go about defining reality. Everything happening in the world today is happening because of the way we, as human beings, have been trained to define it. That's right, the implication is, if we defined reality in another way the entire world would radially change to reflect this new perspective. Does this sound to far off, hokey, or new age for you? I promise it is none of these things; it is a basic, practical fact that the way we define reality creates the reality we experience. Like the way you interpret what you see, in turn, informs how you will see it in the future. So how are human beings defining reality and can I really sit here, alone in front of my computer screen, and explain how you, yourself, are defining reality? I can and here's how. We all, the world over, define reality in the exact same manner. Not WHAT we consider real but HOW we go about constituting it as real. The exact same 'internal' process rules humanity.
'Reality' is defined through subjective images created in the mind. In fact, images are all we ever know of reality, they are all we experience, inside or out, and they are what dictates the defining and remembrance of events. Every brain on Earth shares this image-making process. If I were to ask you what is going on in the world today you would tell me by conveying to me a series of images. Maybe those images were from a television screen, maybe they were words on a page, maybe a conversation with a friend, or maybe an image you created of yourself that reacts to another image you've just observed. Of course, there must be images in place and already defined in order to interpret, compare, or measure such images with others. In all ways, through all mediums, images are dictating 'what is' and 'is not' happening in your life. Not only your life, but the lives of those you learn about through the continuous feed of images on display around you and in your own head. Every form of stimuli, from a thought, feeling, or musical note evokes an image in the mind and the mind, holding onto that image, creates a reality it can relate to it through. In fact, it would be unfair to not call the very stimuli itself an image, for that's exactly what it is. This is the exact same process whether we are talking about images on a television screen or the images you form when sitting across the table from your husband or wife. Images form 'me' and images form the 'world' this 'me' encounters and relates through.
Everything is image based and the more images one holds the more restriction, limitation, one feels. Therefore, whenever someone attempts to change the world, or themselves, or their spouse, it is always based on an image already formed in the mind. So, in fact, there is no change at all even when images change shape or form, for the image-making machinery goes on. Every move one makes is towards, or away from, an image and therefore exactly the same process is occurring, fundamentally speaking, no matter what is seemingly taking place.
Furthermore, we have been trained since birth to accept these 'external' images as 'reality.' By external, I mean images already formed and holding meaning. These images are not merely representing reality, or a possible reality, but are taught to us as if they were reality itself, an 'objective' reality that the one observing must except and adhere to in order to survive. WOW!! This image based existence is, in fact, a totalitarian state of mind! We accept any and all images as being real, even if we declare them as being wrong, and we accept a total ignorance as to the source of these images that create our reality. It's as if our response to reality is, 'it's reality!'
This particular post was jump-started by watching a young child at the beach with her mother and father. She couldn't have been more than a year and a half old and was so passively curious about everything around her. No sense of time, no sense of a self who needs improving, no sense of a fixed reality that holds all of humanity hostage in its grip. Watching her relate to her body and her surroundings I was confronted with the fact that her perspective was almost entirely free of definition. There was so little meaning, if any at all, held in any form around her, including her own body. It was all open, unknown, and intimately related. Her mind was probably incapable of forming images yet, or only very crude ones at that, and therefore no fixed reality was set for her. In effect, nothing was actually happening to her because her mind was incapable of recognizing images as holding meaning, including the image of 'myself.' Everything would simply move through her with hardly a trace. Of course, once her brain develops a little more she will begin to create and hold onto images in her mind in order to inform her as to what is and is not real. However, the images she will create in order to inform her as to what is and is not real will be taught to her from the 'outside,' the space where images are already dictating reality.
So the creation of images in her mind is more along the lines of re-creating images already in existence, with there meaning already developed for her. So the brain, trained as it is from birth, forms a dependence on receiving images, from its surroundings and fellow humans who are already enslaved to them, in order to create a reality to relate within. Biologically speaking, it makes perfect sense, in order for the body, a relatively stable physical form, to navigate the world of other relatively stable physical forms. I mean, that's why the one and a half year old girl totally depends upon her parents for survival. She cannot hold any sense of a fixed reality surrounding her body and her body's needs yet. But it may also, in fact, be this immense dependence on her parents for physical survival that opens the doors to the 'setting in wet cement' of the reality she will come to accept through the forced implementation of countless already agreed upon images of 'what is.' So what of the source of these images that create our reality? Subjective, imaginary, past interpretations of 'what was' which, in turn, depends upon still further past subjective, imaginary, interpretations of 'what was' which, in turn...well you get the idea, all the way back to sheer and utter ignorance of all things. The radical, immediate possibility of true revolution is freedom from image-making, not freedom within image-making. For images form the basis of 'reality' and 'reality' always locks a self-image within its imagined boundaries.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
My apologies for not writing down where I found this photo but it was being shared online.
"If I may suggest, never under any circumstances ask 'how.' When you use the word how you really want someone to tell you what to do, some guide, some system, somebody to lead you by the hand so that you lose your freedom, your capacity to observe, your own activities, your own thoughts, your own way of life. When you ask 'how' you really become a secondhand human being; you lose integrity and also the innate honesty to look at yourself, to be what you are and to go beyond and above what you are. Never, never ask the question 'how.' We are talking psychologically, of course."
J. Krishnamurti, May 30, 1983 "Krishnamurti To Himself."
It's funny how the familiar, no matter what it is, calls me to come back and play for a while. I say no matter what it is because the familiar can be healthy or unhealthy, good or bad, create joy or sadness. The familiar has no guidelines or rules it must adhere to. It is only interested in its own repetition, and in that, it is quite persistent. One can analysis themselves till they're blue in the face and it will not necessarily stop the familiar from calling you right back into the corner you KNEW you'd never go again. It seems the familiar is at the foundation of what it means to be 'something.' I mean, obviously, right? If you are 'somebody,' there must be a sense of familiarity surrounding you. Your actions, outlook, emotions, thoughts, perspective, habits, etc. must all exist within the realm of familiarity in order to enable you refer to them as myself, or at least under my control and will. And yet, therein lies the trouble. Therein lies the fact we try to do away with, all the while clinging to what's familiar. We want to do away with certain familiar ways, thoughts, and experiences, to name a few common manifestations, and yet hold onto others.
This brings us to the phenomena I spoke of in the Christopher Hitchens piece a few days ago. It's as if I belief I can figuratively lay all that's familiar out in front of me and separate what I like, and would like to keep, from what I don't like, and would not like to keep. We seem to belief we possess a number of independent 'objects' that we are free to do with what we want. As if, for instance, sadness was an object that I could do away with because I no longer 'like' feeling that way. This would, of course, imply that I'm always acting from an independent source myself, for if I weren't independent I could be unknowingly influenced, by any number of circumstances, into feeling sad before I'm able to recognize that I don't want to feel sad. So the real question is, am I an acting, independent agent, or a reactive sense of familiarity?
The beauty of a solid question is beyond measure. A solid question, one that does not imply an answer, is such a gift because it has its own movement. If it is not arrested, by my own interference in any way, a solid question will take me on a journey without the need for me to find an answer at the end. The question itself holds the power of sustained inquiry. For me, this morning, this question is one of those questions. 'Am I an acting, independent agent, or a reactive sense of familiarity?' Now remember, I cannot answer this question because it is concerning the very nature of me. Whatever I offer up as an answer could be painfully inaccurate or a downright self-serving lie. Therefore, I am incapable of answering such a question and so the question is left alone to find its own resolution. I am only observing, not directing, where the question wants to go. And, if allowed, the question itself takes this observation into an expanse of freedom beyond the call of the familiar.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Now that my ankle is feeling much better I've had the opportunity to walk and bike down to the beach and along the shoreline. There are always so many people out and about in the Venice area so it should come as no surprise that people watching is another passing pastime of mine. I have to say, the human being is such a strange species. And it ought to become obvious to anyone observing it that the world we live in, the structures, rules and habits of being, are all man-made. Made from where, you might ask? Out of thin air, so to speak? Of course not, out of thought. And so the process that creates a sense of 'self,' within, also creates the world around this 'self,' without. Of course, this process of thinking, self-centered as it is, creates a self-centered world to make its own. That is, each 'individual' is made up of self-centered thought that reacts through a particular body in order to shape the external world in its own particular self-centered fashion.
The world, naturally, is completely and utterly broken apart. That's not to say it was ever whole, obviously it NEVER was. The world has always been broken apart, fragmented, in pieces, with each individual coming along and trying to put the pieces together to form a whole, that is, in their own unique and utterly divisive manner. The world is in pieces for two basic reasons. First, it is created, built, and maintained by a process that, in itself, is broken apart, fragmentary, and ultimately false. Second, this process, pretending it is a unique and independent being, acts upon the world with its own isolated perspective, thus tugging the world into further pieces by fighting every other 'individual' attempting to do the same. You may believe, 'well, I don't do that, I'm not trying to fix, change, or alter the world.' You're probably right, in a way. For most of us, the world, being too large of a concept to adequately grasp, simply gets reduced in the individual's mind to their particular corner, their country, their land, their family, their lover, their children, etc. And it is from here that they attempt to put the pieces of their isolated world together. You couldn't find another endeavor that begins with the degree of certain failure as this one does. Just look at the utter incoherence of this divisive movement called thought. And yet, it unconsciously goes on. Why? It's simple really, it goes on because the 'self' you take 'yourself' to be is made from this very same process you see operating in such a divisive fashion everywhere around you.
That is, the madness of the world begins exactly where 'you' and 'I' am. The madness of the world is, in fact, the by-product of our utterly false notion of individuality. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting there is no such thing as an individual, there most certainly is. Only this, the 'thing' we call 'me' or an 'individual' is exactly NOT what individuality is. This is such a clear example of the power of the word to hypnotize the mind through believing the word represents the thing it is said to describe. This is such an incredible discovery, for instead of the mind observing, first-hand, the process of its own thought it has been trained, hypnotized really, to look only at the words that describe this movement. In doing so, the mind essentially 'turns aways' and relies solely on the word accurately describing the thing it is 'standing in for.' Is that clear? It's revolutionary just to see that taking place in the mind.
So let's take a look at the word 'individual.' The word individual means indivisible, whole, one, not broken apart, independent, not depending on anything outside of itself. And we take that to accurately describe this mess called 'me!' What a complete joke! 'Me' is so obviously the exact antithesis of individuality, that is, except in the brains of those who believe otherwise. Individuality is totally different than this mess called 'me.' There is nothing in common between 'me' and actual individuality. And no matter how hard you try, there is no separating 'yourself' from the 'world,' for that is exactly the nature of that which has put you and the world together in the first place. But if you stopping trying to do so you may just discover, through observing what is actually taking place, what true individuality actually is, through being a true individual.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Today was further confirmation of what I have been more and more aware of as of late. When I look someone in their eye, anyone, I see absolutely nothing there! Do let me explain, for it is not some fantastic feat. It is simply beyond my ability to doubt any longer that the 'internal' world is a complete and utter make-believe, a self-fabricated reaction to the 'external' world when met in an entirely self-centered fashion. The 'internal' world essentially duplicates the 'external' through creating images of it that it can, in turn, manipulate and reintroduce, or re-enact, externally for its own sense of being and progress. So, in a very real way, you and I are not having a relationship with anything other than our own imagined creations when there is a sense of 'somebody' relating to 'somebody' else. It is all completely made up. However, it doesn't seem that way to most of us. It seems as if the 'internal' world is simply informing us about the 'external' world, 'as it actually is.' It doesn't lead us to believe it is creating that 'external' world we see, experience, remember, and react to. It leads us to believe the 'external' world is objectively 'there,' exactly as we experience it, with or without our thinking/feeling about it. True or not true? Mind you, there's no wiggle room here, opinion doesn't count. It either is so or isn't so. Now why, you may ask, am I so convinced of this fundamental fact?
Well, simply because when I look you in the eye I see nothing. Here we go again!?!? When I'm not looking you in the eye, I can be aware of judgment in the mind. I can be aware of opinions, gossip, interpretations, implied meaning, remembered images, words, feelings, thoughts, past experience, all of which seem to color, accentuate, and define the 'objective' world around me. I can be aware of how when I think of someone, I feel I know them, or when I think about a situation, I feel I know what is right. I can be aware of how I feel religion to be an absolute poison in the mind, just as easily as I can be aware of how nationalism, racism, and selfishness poison the mind. And yet, when I see a hare krishna singing, clapping, and dancing around, or a woman exiting a church, or a politician speaking on television, or a soldier serving in Iraq, I see none of these things. Not when I'm actually observing the individual, eye to eye, so to speak. I see nothing 'there' at all and no one 'here' seeing it. The internal creations of mind do not exist. I would say there is a love present, but too many people would not understand what I mean. There's nothing personal about this love. In fact, there is nothing other than this love when in the immediate presence of being, any being. Looking these people in their eyes, or any person, for I've had this eye-to-eye experience countless times with every walk of humanity throughout the world, I see myself, and by myself, I mean nothing created by the mind at all.
Most people labor away trying to convince themselves, and others, that their 'internal' map of reality is coherently in-line with the external world around them. Most people slave away at improving the relationship between the inner and outer. Most people suffer beneath the weight of maintaining an inner, isolated sense of self that will reflect its nature, externally, through its words, actions, and deeds. Most people believe the inner and outer perfectly aligning with each other is humanity's purpose, journey, and path to evolution and fulfillment. Either that, or the inner completely overtaking the outer and replacing it with a world of its own making. And most people are dead wrong. Careful observation of the mind's movement alone reveals exactly what is, and is not, so. To follow this observation is to lay down your weapons, walk off the battlefield of self-deception, and observe exactly to whom, for what, where, how, and why this battle is taking place. For when I look you in the eye I see nothing.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
I've been reading Christopher Hitchens latest work, God Is Not Great, and thought I'd share my own perspective on the work so far. I went out and bought his book after watching a debate between himself and Al Sharpton over it. What immediately struck me about Christopher's stance was just how limited it actually is. I mean, don't get me wrong, it is wildly entertaining to hear someone tear down institutionalized religion. And I do indeed side with Christopher, 100 percent, on what I would consider the painfully obvious, religion's presently needless existence and its destructive nature, but the inquiry into what is true seems to stop there for Mr. Hitchens. Now what? His book relies heavily on his own accumulated knowledge and the knowledge of those before him, particularly in the science and humanities departments. Knowledge is obviously his weapon of choice, and it is an excellent one, as far as it goes. And although he believes the world would be better off without religion, I concur, he seems to admit we will probably not live to see that day. Fair enough.
Furthermore, he has definitely done his research and systematically drives his point home with example after example of each particular religions failures, oversights, shortcomings, brutality, and downright lies. But do we really need a 300 page book to point out the obvious? And this really brings me to one of my main points, although highly entertaining his view takes the reader no where. "God is not great," agreed. "Religion poisons everything," why yes, it does. And...? Maybe the book is written for those who continue to refer to the dark ages of their mind for guidance and light but what about those who see through religion as easily as seeing through a perfectly polished glass window? This work seems to take the first step, the easiest step, and then takes a break. I'd like to pick up, if I may, where I feel Mr. Hitchens has 'taken a break.'
First of all, maybe Christopher's intention is only to entertain, get people talking around the water cooler. Who am I to judge. But if he intends to give us more than mere entertainment he has failed, in my humble opinion, to do so. Although he does a great job in dictating what religion is and is not, he doesn't seem to grasp how most of the 4.8 billion or so religious people on this planet today would not perceive themselves as relating to their religion, much less God, in the way he has presented it. Now, I am by no means defending these people, simply pointing out a phenomena that is far more significant and interesting than anything Christopher points out in his diatribe on religion. That is the ability for an individual to seemingly separate themselves from anything, including an aspect of themselves or their own, long held to, belief. For example, a Catholic can still call themselves a Catholic, feel as if they are a Catholic, see the world through Catholic eyes, and yet not adhere to the way Christopher portrays Catholicism. Right? I could simply say, 'yes, some Catholics are that way, but not me, I'm this way.' So, you see what happens? Instead of dropping Catholicism, I simply create an artificial divide in my own mind and remain Catholic. I suppose many have done just that while reading his book, if they have, in fact, read it. So, this internal separating mechanism highlights a still further shortcoming of Christopher's view, that there is an objective world that isn't influenced by me, the subject. He seems to almost imply that if someone were to drop their belief in God they would see the same world he currently sees. Never mind the fact that he, himself, views the world through the filter of his very own acquired knowledge of it. This idea in an objective world that each individual would join once the poison of religion was excreted from their veins is just more of the same fairy tale thinking that religion is built upon. The way you see depends upon the knowledge you look through. The knowledge you hold influences the way you perceive and, therefore, what you perceive. There's no actual division between the subject and object.
Instead of directly seeing and inquiring into the subject/object relationship, whose foundation is belief itself, all belief, including, in part, his own 'non-belief,' Christopher bases his entire book solely on an object of many peoples particular belief, religion. Concentrating on the object of belief creates a blindness to the movement of belief itself, as well as the subject who believes, both being far more significant and powerful than any particular object itself. I like how he attempts to sidestep his own involvement by stating on page 5 of his book that he and his co-thinker's "belief is not a belief." Really? Maybe not in the way he is narrowly defining belief but when you look at these human issues from a broader perspective his stance is most certainly a belief. This stance depends upon the knowledge he has stored in his brain. Knowledge strengthens the belief in a separate subject independent of the objectified world around it. You, therefore, begin to think the way you see is right and the way someone else sees is wrong, for you belief the knowledge you are privy to has no relationship with the way you perceive the world. In other words, you believe the world is objectively "there" and you are subjectively "here" and the information in your head only informs you about that "objective" world, but doesn't influence it. Is this so? Have you looked into it Mr. Hitchens? Science has. Science quite clearly states that the observer of an experiment effects the observed experiment, and I know you know that. But you do not seem to apply that fact when it concerns the relationship between the one who beliefs (observer) and the world their belief takes shape within (observed). If you did you would naturally see a far more fundamental truth than any you put forth in your book. The poison runs far deeper than any particular form it takes.
In other words, you're naturally overlooking the fact that belief itself distorts the brains ability to function clearly and therefore it only makes sense that one would have to discover the nature and movement of belief, within themselves, in order to be free of distortion and disease. If not, you are simply adding knowledge to a pile of already accumulated knowledge that contradicts the knowledge that came before. This process creates no lasting change except increased conflict and defensive reaction within the recipient. In other words, all the knowledge in the world does not penetrate the organizing principle of knowledge itself, which is belief. But, then again, maybe you have just transferred your faith in God to a faith in knowledge and therefore must defend it and ignore all less in order to remain the identified somebody you believe yourself to be.
One must put down the battle between beliefs in order to pick up the inquiry into the nature of belief itself. Part of that nature of belief is the ability to separate oneself from any threat. Like I stated earlier, if I'm Catholic and you threaten Catholicism, I simply separate myself, my belief, from the Catholicism you define. But I don't change!!! And so, like I said, if your intention is to entertain, you have done so, splendidly. And I enjoy your entertaining knowledge on the nature of the religious belief. But if your intention is to have some greater effect I'm afraid you have not gone far enough yourself for that. You must dive deep into the mechanics of the self-serving brain that seeks security through manufacturing belief in order to touch such possibility as radical change. I would never deny that you may have had a breakthrough insight when you were young concerning the nature of God and religion. That it was all made-up, all man-made, self-created from the infancy of a frightened species, but your reliance on the knowledge you've acquired to expose this myth has actually hardened the cause of the myth-making machine itself. I'd love to have an ongoing discussion with you about such matters, but I'm afraid I will have to resort to writing more about you, your book, and this subject matter on my own. I thank you, however, for the near endless fuel supply.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Greetings. I wanted to kick this latest post off with the age-old adage, 'out of sight, our of mind.' It seems quite apparent that for most of us the mind exists solely within the confines of the sensory world. In other words, the mind, of which I cannot define for you, is reduced to the content of what one is aware of through their senses. In this regard it is utterly foolish to artificially separate an inner world from an outer, for both worlds are one in the same movement of sensory stimuli. Your thoughts, feelings, memories, and internal images are no different than the external experiences you are aware of in any given day. All are made of matter, all are mere objects in one's sensory consciousness. And so this prison of our senses is the very landscape where me and my life flourish or flounder.
Viewing life from this perspective one can quite easily see how every belief ever held to, by anyone, anywhere, is but a simple, mechanical reaction to a particular sensory stimuli. Take, for example, religion, a particularly powerful belief that cripples the mind and its ability to operate coherently. Religion is a reactive, mental mechanism to the sensory experience of death. Fearing death, one's brain is thrown into a state of heightened insecurity. Needing to find a way out of such insecurity the brain invents an idea that will assure itself a return to a sense of equilibrium. That's right, the brain seeks security and comfort through the belief in delusions of its own making. This, in turn, sets up a system of acquiring security from an absolutely insecure process, the perpetuation of self-illusion. It twists life into the attempt to secure the validity of insecure, impermanent, unstable, and completely fabricated illusions. The argument that others see, belief, and know as I do is utterly insufficient, for we all share the human brain, the center of this delusional apparatus. Therefore, it is all to common to see masses of people enjoy the same delusion.
Is there no escape, no way out? There is no escape from this delusional life in the realm of belief, in the realm of reaction. You can call religion by any other name, like spirituality, and yet arrive at the same place, delusion. You can react to any number of sensory objects, like war, and be in the same place you started at, delusion. You can acquire all the knowledge yet brought forth and take not one step out of delusion. Whenever you attempt to objectify yourself, or any other aspect of being, so that you may observe it, you are creating delusion that will necessarily collapse beneath the weight of its own absurdity. Science may make incredible sensory advances for our species, or incredible setbacks for that matter, but it is at its foundation an objectifying phenomena. In this regard, it is more closely aligned to a play you may watch for mere entertainment than an escape from delusion. For science cannot promise to bridge a delusional gap between the observer and the observed, for it only hardens the delusional belief in a separate observer as the one who knows. No, the end of delusion is far to simple for all these brain games to comprehend. The end of delusion is the end of creating delusion, and the end of creating delusion takes place in the brain of the one reading this post. So what do you say, time to end delusion?
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
If people want to find peace...
If people want to live a life free of untold personalized suffering...
If people want to live with each other instead of against each other...
If people want to have countless moments to enjoy those they love...
If people want to walk the Earth with respect and awe for its boundless beauty...
If people want to end the toil of improving upon misplaced and mistaken ideas...
If people want to smile instead of frown, laugh instead of cry, share instead of hoard...
If people want to nurture and care instead of being right or wrong...
If people want to walk hand-in-hand rather than face each other fist-to-fist...
If people want to know what's true instead of protect what's false...
If people want to forget about forgiveness instead of forgiving but not forgetting...
If people want to die with a celebration rather than a funeral...
If people want to end all fear instead of fear the end...
If people want to see through illusion and live without confusion...
If people want to allow what passes to effortlessly pass...
If people want to shout to the heavens of the joy pervading Earth...
If people want to end their struggle to be other than they are...
If people want to be everything they feel they're not...
If people want to deny that the past can ever define...
If people want to tear down the walls of their darkened despair...
If people want to refuse the tradition and habit of their books...
If people want to be happy as if it didn't depend on their looks...
If people want to live as if the poison of self-interest evaporated...
If people want to witness the end of institutional thought...
If people want to be true individuals...
If people want to walk the mine fields without so many mines...
If people want to breath clear air and drink clean water...
If people want to acknowledge what they've always known...
If people want to admit they've been so sorely mistaken...
If people want to confess how lost they've been...
If people want to end the isolated sense of existence...
If people want to welcome the nameless masses home...
If people want to end all war...
If people want to create a sane society...
If people want to look at each other eye-to-eye...
If people want to trust each other and stop telling petty lies...
People need only look within and reflect on their own lives...
The title of this post comes from Bob Marley's legendary album of the same name. On the cover is a picture of Bob rising up like a mountain breaking the chains that bind him. I'm not hear to speak about Bob though, at least not that Bob. I'm hear to speak about my own breaking free, the breaking of several long held conditions that rigidly guided the waters of my life. A reader prompted this post by writing to me, 'I really want to know what inspired this post Robert.' She was referring to my post Disclaimer: I Have No More, Or Less, Authority Than You. This post, like a few others I have written, come from a place within that has more to do with my own sense of self than anything else. These posts are like markers in the mind, revealing where I have made decisions to be free instead of simply settling for being liked, comforted, befriended, or known.
Here's the thing, I've noticed this tendency in my mind to water myself down once a few people begin to show interest in me. This could happen out in the 'real world' or even through my blog site. Once someone shows an interest in me, in any small, inconsequential way, I begin to notice how this safe, comforting persona begins to move in and take my place. I no longer 'stir things up,' I no longer 'unleash myself on the world,' I no longer stand ruthlessly free in the face of humanity. No, it seems I'd rather shrink myself into a save size and relate to these few people who give me their attention in ways they will find comfortable. It is a 30+ year survival mechanism for me, one that was unveiled and perfected somewhere on the playgrounds of those care-free, pre-school afternoons.
Now, what is different is how quickly I have been becoming aware of this ever so slight movement in the mind. This movement of thought gradually replacing the ruthlessness of freedom with an image more appealing to the survival of my physical body and polished personality. And I have to say, as I've stated before in several previous posts, the reactive mechanics of survival are not what I am existing today to consciously serve. This precious lifetime, for me, is a manifestation of ruthless love, unbound freedom, and the expression of 'true' individuality. To all of those who appreciate my sharing, I thank you for joining me on this ride. But please take notice, it is not a ride of comfort, nor is it a ride of security or safety. I truly feel as if I've grown quite tired of apologizing for being myself. It is a ride that will take you far away from the centre of 'yourself,' into the unknown depths of possibility, that is, if you let it. For I am here for the journey, not the life we often create in the meantime, decorating a home, we've built at a rest stop, next to the road, that goes on forever.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
"Our chief concern is the transformation, the radical change, of the human mind. The human mind includes the brain, the heart, the organism as a whole, the mind that has created this world around us, the world of corruption, violence, brutality, vanity, and all the structures that bring about war... Unless that radical revolution, that psychological change, comes about, there will be no end to conflict, no end to suffering and all the violence that is going on throughout the world." J. Krishnamurti, 'Total Action Without Regret.'
Monday, September 3, 2007
I am blogging today to let you all know that I never speak or write with any more or less authority than you, the reader, have. I am not an expert, nor do I hide behind childish stories of superiority, spiritual, or otherwise. What nonsense! I am not here to separate myself from the herd, I am the herd. I am not here to distinguish myself from those who read my posts, nor am I here to teach or persuade you in any way. I truly feel all such behavior is absolutely destructive to the natural blossoming of human life. I am not here to convince or convert you with some shiny new belief, nor a dusty old one resuscitated back to life. For it isn't actually authority I speak from, it's observation, and I promise you all, I will never deny what I directly observe.
So how is it that observation can be mistaken for authority? This can only take place when one person is observing something and the other is not. Take, for example, the sky. If I go outside and see that the sky is clear today that is a direct observation. Anyone else free to walk outdoors can do so, look up, and see that the sky is clear. If, however, you cannot go outside and look for yourself you must take someone else's word for it. They, in turn, become the authority on whether the sky is clear or not. They become the authority because authority implies having personal knowledge that isn't open to an other's direct observation. Do you see the difference? So, for instance, if any of my posts seem to be laced with an authoritative thread it may just boil down to not directly observing, for yourself, the truth or falseness of what we are discussing together. Because here's the great psychological secret...all matters of mind, body, and consciousness are open and freely available for every single human being to directly observe for themselves. If you're stuck believing otherwise, you will continually experience the authority of another telling you how things are, or aren't, within your very own consciousness.
Remember, authority implies you cannot observe for yourself, you must be taught or told by an other. Authority tells you that direct observation is some special gift for the few, or ability that must be learned or passed down through some lineage. Observation is not handed out by those with authority, for authority, of any kind, deny observation. So why not simply discover, through finding out for yourself, whether or not what someone tells you is true or false? You can start right now, right here, with me. Is what I have shared in this post today true or false? No amount of knowledge can take you any closer than you currently are, nor will any amount of hope, progress, or belief take you any closer than you currently are. For authority, of any kind, is not the vehicle, direct observation is and nothing stands between you and direct observation. That's precisely why I have absolutely no more, or less, authority than you have. I am simply observing that which is open and accessible to each one of us. But it's entirely up to you whether or not you look past the words on a screen and observe that which is being described alive within you.