I like to look at an issue in the national papers from time to time in order to flush out a few underlying aspects that may be missed in the rush to form our opinions. The Michael Vick story to me highlights our often times blatant dismissal of life. In fact, it points to not holding anything sacred anymore, basically desecrating life on Earth. Now before you agree with me, hear me out, because from my point of view, if we're fighting someone in order to protect something else we're desecrating life just as those we condemn are. 'Anti-this' and 'anti-that' is no different than the 'this' and 'that' we fight against! We've simply lost the way! We've become unconscious participants in the desecration of life.
Which brings me to Michael Vick. For all of those who have been living in a cave the last few weeks, or do not live in America, Michael was a star quarterback sitting at the very top of the sports juggernaut know as the N.F.L. With advertising endorsements he was easily worth several hundred million dollars. And yet, having it all, he got busted in an extremely ugly dog-fighting ring and in a matter of days is now a federal felon staring down the possibility of several years in prison and a lifetime ban from football. His endorsements, gone, colleagues, gone, hundreds of millions of dollars, gone, integrity and respect, gone. I remember first hearing about this situation surrounding Michael and immediately thinking, 'good, he deserves it.' I mean the reported abuse, torture, and death of so many dogs was absolutely appalling and the ignorance of someone taking part in such heinous crimes seemed worthy of harsh punishment. And yet, feeling the way I did, thinking the thoughts I did, having the angry impulse to strike out as I did, all such internal movement was simply suspended. Do you know what I mean by suspended? I mean I witnessed the arising of all of these thoughts, feelings, and impulses and that was it. They led to no action, they led to no conversation, they led to no believable opinion or judgment, they were simply experienced as 'internal phenomena,' and impartial ones at that. In other words, there was no belief driving them into action. And then as a few more days went by Michael held his press conference to express his regret and remorse for his actions. I listened to him, I saw him, I felt him, we had a connection as he spoke because both he and I are human beings and I forgave him. Forgiveness is not the right word. I understood.
You see, Michael and his friends obviously dismissed the life of so many dogs. They dismissed the dignity of so many people, they desecrated the sacredness of life by thoughtlessly abusing it, but so do all the hate mongers who wanted him burned at the stake. So do all the human beings who act upon their internal impulses of hate, aggression, righteousness and violence. So did all the humans who voiced their judgment, reacted from impartial emotions, and stepped out to dismiss yet another life, Michael's, without understanding it first. Now don't get me wrong, understanding someone does not mean hearing their life story, processing their psychological jargon, or rationalizing their past behavior. It means knowing yourself! It means paying attention to the actual, moment to moment, movement of life.
All action that is driven by unconscious, impartial, and reactive internal phenomena is the manifested perpetuation of the dismissal of life. That holds true for me and you just as much as it does for Michael. It shows an immaturity, an inability to face life as it is so that one fully understands its indivisible movement. The hate I act upon is only different than the hate you act upon when perceived through a delusional construct in my mind. Without the delusional construct there is only hate. I hope Michael can find his own personal redemption. I hope those who hate Michael can find their own personal redemption. I hope those who defend Michael can find their own personal redemption. As for the many dogs lost in this hideous circumstance, I promise you they are free from the pain and torture inflicted upon them. How about you? Are you free or are you a slave to your thoughts, feelings, impulses, and past experiences that continually beckon you to dismiss the sacredness of life?
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I like to look at an issue in the national papers from time to time in order to flush out a few underlying aspects that may be missed in the rush to form our opinions. The Michael Vick story to me highlights our often times blatant dismissal of life. In fact, it points to not holding anything sacred anymore, basically desecrating life on Earth. Now before you agree with me, hear me out, because from my point of view, if we're fighting someone in order to protect something else we're desecrating life just as those we condemn are. 'Anti-this' and 'anti-that' is no different than the 'this' and 'that' we fight against! We've simply lost the way! We've become unconscious participants in the desecration of life.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Does wine have a relationship with the bottle it is in? Does Coca-Cola cease to be Coca-Cola if poured into a Pepsi container? What is water's relationship with the jug, glass, bottle, cup, sack, or hand it is sipped from? Obviously there is no relationship between the two, wine is still wine, coke, coke, and water, water. The container that holds each simply holds them, the container is empty space that wine, coke, and water fills...or doesn't. And so let us move into the realm of our physical body, the psychological me, and what many refer to as the soul. I'd like to say, right from the beginning, that the psychological me is a mistake, a misrepresentation, an aberration. What could I possibly mean? Most people love this 'me' more than anything else in their lives.
Let's start with the obvious, each of us has a physical body. This physical body has certain needs, demands. We can call these conditions, conditions for the survival of the body. They are not only obvious but absolutely necessary for each and every body, everywhere, equally. Now the notion of 'me' is a psychological reference point which refers to our particular body as opposed to an others. So 'me' refers to the physical body in a psychological sense, 'me' refers to the body within the realm of thought. And here in lies the problem. 'Me' becomes more than just the reference point of our physical body within thought, it becomes a product of thought as well. Not only a product of thought, but a never ending, unfinished, incomplete product of thought. And so just like the physical body it has manifested to refer to, its existence is conditional. Certain conditions must be met in order for 'me' to survive, be safe and comfortable. And so we begin to climb the slippery slope of denying other people their physical needs in order to accumulate our own psychological ones, for the 'me' and the body have a direct relationship, albeit delusional. They give and take from each other. Now where does the soul come into play, if there is such a thing?
Most people seem to believe in an individual soul, unique to themselves. Even if you believe a Universal Soul is within you, it is still merely a belief. It is just more 'me,' isn't it? For then there is a 'me' who must progress towards it, cleanse themselves, heal themselves, purify themselves, transform themselves, improve themselves, and all that 'me-made' non-sense, right? Do you honestly believe the soul has a give and take relationship with the physical body? Where have you learned such a thing? This would be the equivalent of believing Coca-Cola will turn into Pepsi simply by pouring it into a Pepsi bottle. Does it? Of course not. The soul, being poured into any container, will always remain the soul. Now wait, it gets better. So then, there's no progressing towards the soul, no fulfilling the soul, no need to become better to reach the soul, because there are no conditions set upon the soul, for it has no relationship with the container its in. Only the container has conditions set for its relative existence, as does the phantom 'me.' The psychological me has come about through a belief that the body has a relationship with the soul within it, or God, or what have you, and therefore the 'me' will be the vehicle to bridge the gap. There is no gap for there is no relationship, no in between and, therefore, no need for me to be anything other than a psychological reference point for the physical body. Now, just see what that does to the muddled mind of modern life.
We've all grown up in such a complicated world. And no one grows up free to discover what this world is all about on their own. We grow up being conditioned like farm animals, who we are, how we respond, what we believe, what we do, how we do it, etc. Even our rejection of such things is conditional. From birth, all the way through life, there is this ceaseless conditioning of the human brain taking place. And of course, at a certain point in this warped development, we become the conditioners of ourselves and others, for we know no other way. That which was inflicted upon us, we in turn inflict on others. We call this shared burden, relationship. Now, maybe it strikes you as funny how the world seems to grow in its complexity along with the individual. I mean, even though the young, innocent child's brain is being personally molded by the dangerously unqualified hands of another, this child's world remains far less complicated than yours or mine. I know, I've heard the 'truth' just as you have...that is, the 'real world' is complicated. The child is sheltered from this 'real world' for a time but must eventually join it and survive there. I personally feel as if that's bull****.
The world is complicated because are conditioning makes it so. And yet, we are the conditioning agents! Conditioning, quite simply, is the scar of the past. Conditioning is what is left over and passed down through the past experience of others. Conditioning runs and rules our very existence as human beings and yet when you look at it, how it comes about, what it is made of, and how it effects our present perception of life, it is just plain poison! I mean, certain basic conditions rule the world of physical survival. O.K. No problem. But beyond that...big problem! And this is the best part about conditioning, everyone covets it! Most hold conditioning up as the greatest of human accomplishments, or better yet, straight from God itself! Our religions, rituals, books, knowledge, practices, cultures, beliefs, thoughts, history, nations, tribes, sects, clans, you name it, all are made of the same substance...past conditions. The habit of repetition. It is quite simply a self-imposed optical illusion making whatever is repeated seem permanent, unchanging, real, everlastingly true and totally independent of your personal involvement in making it so. Right up to the God of institutionalized religion.
If you resist what I'm sharing, it's a conditioned response, if you agree with what I'm sharing, again, conditioned response. I stated earlier that most people covet conditioning. We covet conditioning because we believe we are our conditioning. We have been taught to identify ourselves with the conditions that mold our brain. It's what makes life so dreadfully personal. Therefore, no one grows up free to find out for themselves what this world is all about, we are forced into relating to it through the interpreting filter of the conditions we're born into. That is, unless we can see this fact presently operating within us. If we see this fact operating, as it is, without any conditional interference with said observation, there is another life waiting. If we see the conditions held within forming the complicated world without and how the complicated world out there, in turn, reconditions what's held within there is a break from the conditioning process. One is no longer identified with the conditioning of their particular brain. Interesting, huh? Care to share your own observations on this subject?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Not sure why Wordless Wednesday has become Wordless Tuesday, unofficially, but when the bells tolls?!?! This collage of photos is taken from a lunar eclipse back in 2003. Last night I witnessed a spectacular total lunar eclipse, which I've written about in the post below, but have no photos of. Enjoy!
"The beauty of truth and its subtleties are not in belief and dogma, they never are where man can find them for there is no path to its beauty; it is not a fixed point, a haven of shelter. It has its own tenderness, whose love is not to be measured; nor can you hold it, experience it. It has no market value to be used and put aside. It is there when the mind and heart are empty of the things of thought." J. Krishnamurti - "Krishnamurti's Journal"
Dearest Readers. Last night, beginning at around 1:51am PST, the Earth passed between the sun and our moon casting its shadow across the entire face of the moon. It was the longest total lunar eclipse in seven years and it was truly a sight to me. I wasn't sure if I would see it though, as that hour of the night is not one in which I am normally awake. So here's what I did. Despising alarms, I told myself, as I lay down to sleep around 10:15pm PST, that if I wanted to see the lunar eclipse I should wake up at 2:30am PST. I then proceeded to fall asleep. As best as I can recall I was dreaming that I was sitting in an old car, one from the 1950's or so. I was tuning the radio knob when it came to a point where nothing was being broadcast. I looked down at the face of the radio tuner and saw deep, black space. I was 'sucked' into this space and for some time there was only space, no sense of me or a story developing. Then, straight out of empty space I could here this message being broadcast: "The total lunar eclipse is now taking place. It looks as if the Lord Maitreya has overshadowed the moon. It's slightly red in hue, quite beautiful. It is now 2:30am." Having heard that I remember thinking that I should wake up and go outside. Then I thought, well, sometimes I dream that it's a certain time only to wake up and find out that its not. So I decided, all of which is happening while still asleep, to wake up in order to check the time, and that I did. I awoke and reached over for my small bedside clock. Finally finding the light on its face it read 2:30am. I looked out my window and could see the moon being eclipsed in a crystal clear sky, with a slightly red hue. Smiling to myself, I went outside and sat under it to watch the beautiful show.
Here are a few thoughts that passed through my mind as the Earth's shadow engulfed the full moon. Several lights were on in homes along my block and I could hear people speaking with each other, quite loudly at times. I could hear at least three separate conversations from three separate homes all talking about themselves, being in some sort of situation with another that they were uncomfortable with. Now, don't get me wrong, I could very well be heard saying the same or similar things at one point or another, so it wasn't about judging the circumstance. It was, however, of interest, and a certain degree of privilege, to be able observe from a wider perspective than the one solely centered within 'me and my life.' Sitting under this ever-increasing expanse of sky, as the moon turned more red, the cosmos turned on, and the night insects sang in all their glory, the self-imposed isolation of humanity was so apparent. This movement of following thought further and further into the recesses of an isolated, separate, and self-perpetuating 'me.'
It is no wonder the world, meaning our relationship with each other, seems to be pulling apart at the seams. Each looking to their own isolating thought process for salvation, security, identity, and comfort. Each breaking pieces of life off from the whole in order to hoard them in their own dark corner of existence. Each believing they are safer in the darkness of ignorance then the light of understanding. For in the light, you are seen for what you actually are, where as in the dark, you can pretend to be whatever you wish! Being the only one on my block admiring this planetary event, the possibility of which is shared equally and at the exact same time by 3/4 of the planet, I felt as if our behavior, yours and mine, is the only problem we face on Earth. There is no hiding from the consequences of our actions, no matter how dark the corner is we stand in. Until we come together in the throwing off of delusion, great and small, comfortable or not, there will be no end to the increasing demand for displacing sorrow and unending suffering on all those who cannot play the 'board game of life' as well as we can. Yes, witnessing this beautiful event taking place above us in a sea of silence, I understood how the noise of our own existence overshadows the silence of divine love. Of course, the shadow we cast hasn't passed in an hour and thirty-four minutes!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Well, I'm finally back on my own two feet and walking around much more, with much less of a limb. My ankle's five week journey to recovery has finally turned the corner. I've been able to take my bike out for a ride and walk down by the ocean once again. It's beautiful to be back in the arms of the Earth! The world inside our walls is made almost exclusively by thought. Our apartments and homes, computers, desks, chairs, beds, carpet, lamps, refrigerators, televisions, you know, nearly everything inside one's home is thought produced and man-made. That's not so when you walk outside. Sure, there are the automobiles parked outside their homes, traffic lights, paved roads, and telephone wires, but all of these things are quite simply dwarfed by the natural world. The expanse of the sky, the towering trees, the sound and flight of birds and insects, the flowers, grass, ocean and sand.
For example, there is a beautiful eucalyptus tree growing across the way in my neighbors front yard. It towers above their home, clearly overshadowing it in majesty and grace. The home, beautiful as it is, is simply a static image of the mind, put together by someones hands, where as the tree is a living, breathing being, incomprehensibly larger in scope and depth. Spending as much time indoors as I have, for me at least, I can see how easily, how unnoticeably one can get lost in the surroundings of one's own mind. When your surrounded by inanimate life, hour after hour, it is so very easy to slip into the trained habits of mechanical living. One begins to fashion their lives around inanimate functionality, for that's essentially what habit is, functioning as if you were an inanimate object. 'I do this at this time, this way, everyday,' 'I then go here and remain for an hour performing this duty before returning here and doing that until 5:00pm.' 'I then go here and stay until 9:00pm before doing this.' You know, something like that.
There's an obvious trade off, although often times unnoticed, when we habituate our lives. We're choosing the security, efficiency and comfort of non-disturbance over the dynamic, liberating and highly insecure sense of actually living. Maybe it's necessary to a certain extent, and then again, maybe not. Who am I to say? However, it seems that if we're giving most of our time every day to working for, and surrounded by, inanimate objects, we simply become an inanimate object. And the mind is not only the storehouse of the inanimate but the creator, for all thought, in and of itself, is inanimate. It takes your attention to momentarily animate thought, but without your attention it is simply inanimate images, words. Unfortunately, if thought is guiding your life, it is gradually shifting the animate, dynamic life we're all a part of into inanimate, governable and predictable forms.
Think about your relationships for a moment. Relationship is life! Relationship is the dynamic interaction of life with life, the depths of such interaction are unknown and unfathomable. And yet most relationships today have become image-based and therefore inanimately mechanical. Do you know what I mean by image-based? You remember what someone has done to you in the past, what they've said, how they've acted in certain situations and you now relate to them through that predetermined screen of your own interpretation. That's right, thought, the creator of your computer and the roof over your head, turns every living thing into an inanimate image so that it may know what kind of relationship it should have with it! WOW!!
Please, check it out for yourself, I could be totally lost in my own inanimate fantasy land. But if you do look and see for yourself, anything, the truth or falseness of this observation, do come back and tell. For the dynamic life of actual living is always welcoming you back into the fold. It's a moments insight that seemingly separates you from the dynamic life that you are and then the inanimate is a tool on your belt, not the master of your life.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
This post is not meant to offend anyone who holds a religious viewpoint, only to highlight the relationship religion has with the past. Religion is the past, isn't it? I mean, it obviously molds the present and hopes to dictate the future, but its very existence is in the past. In other words one's religious perspective is completely derived from the past, without the past, without the traditions, cultural signposts, ritualized practice, memorization, indoctrination, etc. there would be no religion as we know it. There may be an awe of God, an awe for the unknown, an awe for the splendor of life, but the interpretation of that awe into static, defined, habitual viewpoints from books and the tales of past human experience would completely cease to be. In a much broader sense, one's identity, the clinging of the mind to particular static forms, would entirely cease to be as well, for identity only exists in relation to the past.
Describe to me, for example, the difference between protestant and catholic, Shiite and Sunni, or Christian and Jew? You would have to tell me a story from the past, wouldn't you? And not just a simple story, but a history, meaning a refined story unfolding through many, many years of development. There's no other way. You may be able to presently distinguish a devout Sunni from a catholic, based on their appearance and/or mannerisms , but all of that is only the present appearance of learned historical traits and traditions being played out. Religion is part of one's identity, a piece that makes up the yet to be completed picture of myself. And like we just stated, all the pieces that make up the story of myself are collected from the past. Once collected they are remembered, studied, memorized, and acted through, and upon. Tradition and ritual, the trained physical habits dictated from a story passed down by others, is but one way of embodying, and therefore, remembering and becoming a product of said storyline. An identity says, 'I belong.' And not only 'I belong,' but 'I know I belong.' There is a sense of absolute certainty and security in having an identity and the stronger the identity, the stronger the sense of security, righteousness, morality, certainty, etc.
However, what if identity were only capable of creating a false sense of security, for the very nature of identity is fleetingly false itself? Look at the results of our identity with a particular religion. The three most populous religions on the planet today are Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, with a combined 'flock' of about 4 billion people. Each of these three religions have sacred books written long ago, sacred beings to mold one's life around, and the message of their lasting redemption and enlightenment somewhere in the distant, or not so distant, future.
In a simplified sense, Christianity believes Jesus Christ is the messiah, liberator of the world, and that he will return in the future to liberate the 'chosen ones' from this plane of existence to heaven. Islam believes Muhammad was the last and greatest prophet of God that restored the original lineage of Abraham. Islam holds that both Judaism and Christianity are in their lineage, only that they have been misguided and, therefore, gone astray. Islam also states a messiah will come in the future to liberate true believers from this world, just that that messiah is not Jesus. Islam considers Jesus a prophet, a man, not the son of God. Hinduism believes in one God as well, only with many different aspects likened to lesser Gods and Goddesses. They believe in reincarnation, or the transmigration of the soul through countless human births. This process refines the soul until it reaches the perfect state, enlightenment, sometime in the future. All three religions are future based, all conform to practices, rituals, and words from the past that direct their present actions and all tell stories that ACTUALLY divide humanity even though they claim to EVENTUALLY unite it. In other words, identity, in this case religious identity, creates insecurity, for it divides people today in order to unite them, in their own particular way, tomorrow. Isn't it time to stop the madness?
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I have been increasingly aware, as of late, of the movement of life as a total living process. By that I mean, awareness seems to have no fixed, separate identity as 'somebody' who is aware of other things separate from itself. There is only one fluid movement. I promise, I am not attempting to describe some extraordinary state, quite the contrary, it feels far more natural than pretending to be the end product of a never-ending story with an audience of one. Without the belief in the sense of separate existence, one is aware of life naturally unfolding within itself in its own way, in its own time, as it is. In fact, it seems to me that this very belief in a separate self gives rise to resisting the way of life and, therefore, produces the experience of 'my life' we are all too familiar with. If you're unsure as to what 'my life' refers to, start with the sense of being an isolated, incomplete, unfulfilled somebody and build it up from there. It really is a shame seeing as the way of life is love.
However, the illusion of a separate sense of self can only arise from the absence of moment to moment awareness of that which takes place in the field of experiencing. When there is moment to moment awareness there is the insight that these 'moments' are not isolated, individual events stretching out in time, but rather one, unbroken, uninterrupted movement called life. This life, the nature of which is indivisible, only appears to be broken apart when the mind is identified with an object in the field of experience, like the physical body. It is only when the mind believes, for instance, that it is the body, that life appears fragmented, broken apart, and 'out there.' For then life becomes merely about the body and, therefore, the movement of undivided love goes on unnoticed. However, without this believe that binds the mind to a particular body there is the effortless recognition of the indivisible nature of that which the mind experiences, life, as well as the absolute independence of the experiencing mind. Both being whole, undivided, and complete in themselves, there can only be said to be wholeness reflecting upon itself. There are, therefore, not two but only one, and that one is incomprehensible, with nothing apart from it to comprehend it. And all of that reveals itself when one sees through this mistaken identity. I hope you've had as much fun reading this as I have writing it. Feel free to leave any contributions you see fit and have a wonderful Saturday.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
This post is a direct response to yesterday's post, When 'Meeting Life Becomes 'Hiding' Behind Life. Through yesterday's post and responses it suddenly occurred to me how the mind may be completely independent, alone, and totally empty of content. What am I talking about, you might be musing? Most of us, most of the time, seem to experience ourselves, and therefore our mind, as being in relationship with other things, internally and externally. For example, we may experience ourselves as being in a relationship with somebody, or our anger as having something to do with what someone has said to us. I'd like to refute all of that, if I may. I'd like to propose that the mind has absolutely no relationship with anything at all, including me, and the fact that I may experience it otherwise is due to misrepresenting what the mind actually is.
The day to day mind we are all familiar with is an identified mind, meaning we have interpreted the mind as being centered in something, maybe that something is me, or the universe, or God, or anything really. But whatever the mind is identified with in any given moment, and it can obviously shift, it is thought of, and therefore, experienced as being that object, or at least strongly related to that object. Most of the day it is centered in me, I am the mind, or at least part of the mind, an object in the mind, and there are countless other parts in relation to each other to be found in this mind. When you look at the world around you you probably experience it like this, many different, somewhat unique and independent objects all having a inter-related relationship with each other. Religions have told us this forever, society shows you this constantly, and you probably feel, think, and experience life this way a lot of the time, and yet what if it simply is not true? When the mind is identified as an object, any object great or small, there appears to be an environment of relationship between this object and 'other' objects. There is then the attempt to alter or change this environment to suit the identified mind's taste and temperament. Take, for example, when the mind identifies with a physical body. It seemingly becomes this body and therefore has a relationship with the body's surroundings, immediate and otherwise. Bumping 'my' knee can make 'me' angry, not getting 'my' way can make 'me' yell at someone, the memory of what 'my' grandparent said to 'me' can cripple 'my' emotional development, and so on. Such is life as most of us know it.
However, what if it only seems that way? What if the mind were, in fact, entirely alone, empty of any content, and independent? Independent meaning undivided, whole within itself, free. This points to what I spoke of yesterday, how the mind can be in a situation that looks a certain way on the outside and yet have no relationship with that outward circumstance what so ever! How is that? The mind without identification is observing without an object at the center. The center is the interpreting, judging, evaluating, comparing, recording, separate, isolated, and ultimately illusionary, identified object. Therefore, there is no object masquerading as the mind and therefore there is no relationship with anything, including hurt, pain, disappointment, frustration, sorrow, suffering...because there is nothing for any of it to be related to. There is only the observation of such phenomena as it passes like a train in the night. And this observation of a truly independent mind has its own action towards the manifested world of objects. Free from identification, free from mistaken entanglement with the sensory world, every being may know the mind directly as it is and therefore the world of relating objects effortlessly transformed. For without mistaken identification there is no longer self-inflicted conflict. But let us get into this new leg of our discussion tomorrow. Thank you for your time.
I went in to Hudson Medical Center in Los Angeles yesterday to have x-rays taken of my ankle. You'll be happy to know there is no break or fracture to be found. I went to Hudson because I do not have any health insurance and they, along with several other 'free' clinics in L.A, will see you regardless of your status or income. However, you wait! I was a fortunate one, I'll write about that in another post, because I ended up waiting only 6.5 hours before happily driving back home, albeit hungry. The point of this post is to shed light on an interesting phenomena that was brought to my attention as I patiently waited to be seen by the doctor. I was extraordinarily patient! I was immovably calm, tranquil. I was in a state of passive meditation, taking in the beauty of my surroundings, the 135, or so, other human beings, and allowing the moment to go where it will. It suddenly occurred to me, ever since a certain point in my life, I've nearly always responded to life appropriately, with dignity, respect, compassion, awareness, and moment to moment attention to what is actually happening. It's as if I 'saw' all the times I met injury, defeat, painful situations, duties, responsibilities with near total impeccability.
And then there was the flip side, this side I now refer to as 'behind life.' Behind life is a totally different experience. Behind life can be referred to as the space I'm in when this moment is only here to bring me to another moment I envision in the future. It is likened to a moment of waste. I've also referred to this space with myself as 'in the mean time,' time. You'll recognize this space because it is space that 'doesn't count,' as if no one is watching, no one knows about it, it is behind the scenes, so therefore you can act out in every ridiculous way imaginable. For example, I sat in an uncomfortable plastic chair and waited with 135 other people, most of who were in front of me, for 6 hours to see a doctor and yet never moved so much as an inch emotionally, mentally, or physically. I was at peace. It was, what it was, and that was that. However, I can be alone in my room, sitting in front of my computer when it doesn't load a site in 20 seconds, and have a flare up of fury! This is what I'm talking about today, the idea is that the 'work' I'm doing on the computer is 'behind life' and it will not become 'actual life' until I reach some certain result, finished product, in the future. The circumstance also includes the idea that I am in total control of all aspects and therefore I become the director of a future moment instead of the actor of this one. That finished product, in this example, is a blogsite that's aesthetically pleasing to me and has a consistent flood of daily traffic. It is a results orientated mind, where as the mind in the waiting room is grounded in the immediate. The results orientated mind is agitated with any moment that is not actively moving towards the end result. Now, I share this with you as the movement of observation within myself, not in order to change or fix this behavior. No advice is needed, for the observation, itself, has its own effect.
However, I'd love to hear what each of you reading this post thinks about this difference in the quality of mind in any given circumstance? Do you have a similar example from your own life that highlights this split between 'meeting' life and 'hiding' behind life? Please feel free to share. Comments add so much to any particular post. Differing perspectives are the spice of life!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
There is no capturing the essence of this solitary tree. Whenever you think you have it, it's gone. It's no different than yourself.
"So the mind, which is of time, cannot receive the timeless. So the mind must be completely still, empty, without any movement in any direction. And that can only take place with a mind that is not occupied--not occupied with the 'more,' with a problem, with worry, with escapes; not conditioned in any belief, in any image, in any experience. It is only when the mind is totally free, then only is there a possibility of immense profound stillness, and in that stillness that which is eternal comes into being. That is meditation." - J. Krishnamurti, 'How Do You Approach the Problems of Living?'
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
"So, what script are you pitching?" No reply. "What script are you acting from?," you ask me. "I guess you're intensely involved in your character right now, and you've probably forgotten your on stage only pretending to be who you say you are. Why not follow me off-stage and tell me privately," you whisper to me in my ear.
Confused I walk off stage with you and stand behind the side curtain. "You do know you're acting, right? I mean we're all acting from our own particular scripts, with our own particular cues and hand-written notes in the margins, but you are aware that you're acting, right?," you ask me once again.
The thing is, I'm not aware it's just an act, I believe it's real. "What is she talking about, I muse to myself? Is she crazy?" "Of course I know it's just an act," I exclaim rather loudly. "So, what's your character all about?," you ask again.
I don't have anything to say, I'm terrified. I've invested so much time and energy into being myself, protecting myself, defending myself, improving myself, she couldn't possibly mean I'm an act? You notice my hesitation and turn me towards the stage.
"John there is playing the part of a devout Christian from the 'Archetypal Religious Script, Volume 547,' a favorite of several million I might add, and Janet, over there, is playing the promiscuous teenage girl from the '21st Century American Script, Edition 4, Volume 2.'" You go on and on pointing out the roles, the characters, the scenery they play within, the scripts they are studying, memorizing, torturing themselves to perfect. You point out the really good actors, the ones others are happy to watch perform, as well as those struggling, the ones rebelling against their roles, their given scripts. You point out all those trading in their worn out script for a nice new edition and the ones who are questioning their characters motivation and ability to perform.
"I guess I had never really looked around from back here," I whispered to you. "The perspective is quite different," I add. After a few moments of absorbing the scene I ask, "Where's the director?" You smile, so sweetly, "You don't remember? There's no director on stage, that role has been absorbed by each actor long ago. We're all directed from the inside now, but if you want to meet some excellent directors we can walk over to the toddler's wing when we have our next official break." You point towards the back of the theatre where one can just make out the tiny actors being repeatedly directed into their characters.
"So, what role are you playing, I haven't seen you around before?," you curiously ask again. "Do you mean who am I?," I ask begrudgingly, still some what confused. You laugh and laugh and hold me in a tight embrace. You ever so softly remind me..."We don't have to act right now, we're off stage, remember?" I sit for a moment in silence and then hug you back as warm tears fall down my cheek and onto your shoulder. "You're right, we don't have to act anymore, we're no longer on stage!!!!!!"
Dear friends. This evening it dawned on me to write about being completely your own, being alone. In order to be alone one must see through conformity, imitation, and the following of an other. Why is it that we find it so difficult to be alone? Why do we long for company, validation? To follow, imitate, conform, whatever name you call it, implies reaching a goal, doesn't it? It implies a result. To follow an other, for instance, implies that my mind believes there is somewhere else to be, someone else to become, something to change into or arrive at. Therefore, it also implies time as the necessary future. Because I am seeking a result I follow an other seeking the same result in the hope that through them, I will reach my destination. We eventually find or hear of someone who has attained the result we long to reach and therefore conform to the pattern they lay down, the practice they adhere to, the conditions that lead to where we want to go. We are, of course, lost while treading the path of an other but seldom realize it as such. We simply see there is a path, a path leading to the destination I hope to reach and we follow. Everyone is doing it so it must be right, right? Whatever that destination may be, there is always a way to it, a path leading there, that has been traversed by others before me. Like following a path through a deep forest, I will see nothing of the forest, that expands in all directions, aside from the path I'm on, wherever it leads, I will simply follow, until I reach my destination.
There will be signs along the way, all the markers left behind, all the ways to measure and make sure I am still on the right path and getting closer to the end result. Once again, if you have a destination in mind, there is a definite, recognizable path leading there and a leader to follow. However, do look at the mind that moves towards a pre-ordained destination. The destination becomes everything, it swallows the journey whole. It is narrow, fixed, following a groove it cannot deviate from until it reaches its goal. Its as if the minds brilliant light is narrowed down to a simple flashlight along a path leading to a point forever in the future. Even if you were to arrive at this point, this destination, what do you think will be waiting for such a restless mind when it stops, a mind that is destination oriented? No, being alone implies no destination and no destination implies no path. If there is no path this means no one has walked ahead of you, no one has ventured where you are, and there is no where to go. Therefore, where you are right now is the destination and every step you take is the unfolding of creation. What you believed you'd find then is here now. Feel it in your veins, absolutely rejecting all authority, all conformity, all imitation, and herd mentality. Not outwardly, not breaking the law, which would be so very foolish, but inwardly. Inwardly throwing everything aside, all that you've been told and taught, all destinations, all results, all becoming, all improving, and radically shifting your attention to the complete cessation of all belief. Then, you are standing alone, without a past or a future, in the middle of a deep forest, with no where to go, and only creation to play with.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I hope you find this post as interesting as I do and please forgive the length. Now, before we begin, I must point out that knowledge is not only necessary, but has been an incredible service to humanity. I mean, it's pretty safe to say humanity would not be humanity as we know it without this vast store room of knowledge called memory. And not only memory, but knowledge accumulated over time, and held, actually becomes part of our genetic make-up, it moves from purely psychological to biological and chemical. It is an amazing phenomena of life. Survival, civilization, science, religion, society, culture, innovation, medicine, comfort, and personal security are but a few contributions that knowledge has made, and continues to make, to mankind. So what, you may ask, am I referring to when I say knowledge is where observation goes to die?
First of all, let us define knowledge from a particular perspective you may not have viewed it from before. I'd like to define knowledge as the attempt to alter behavior one has previously observed. Do you follow? We are talking about the very basic building blocks of knowledge. One is observing, for instance, the environment around them and aspects of that environment are being recorded in the brain. Not recorded by conscious choice, more fundamental than that, your body is directly recording information for its own survival. The recorded information of what has occurred is 'held,' so that the brain may alter its behavior in the future. I walked down this path to find berries but didn't find any, so when I get to this bend again I'll go the other way. Very simplistic view of knowledge so far, right? Now let's add the psychological aspect of human living, the 'me and my survival'. One probably agrees with others that at a certain basic, biological level the survival of the human body operates exactly the same for every human body everywhere. That is every body needs the same fundamental building blocks, on a consistent basis, in order to survive. However, the psychological aspect of the brain breaks that fundamentally level playing field apart into 'me' and 'you,' 'us' versus 'them.' Once this break occurs, whenever it occurs, and we can observe it occurring quite young in an infant, the environment that knowledge exists in, and attempts to alter behavior through, is far more complicated.
Why is this mixed environment of 'me' and the physical body more complicated? Well, for one, the brain recognizes all information that comes 'in' through the senses as fact, objectively so, doesn't it? WOW! Now, clearly this works on a biological level, there is no reason to not trust that the environment you see, for example, is not real, stable, and somewhat predictable based on one's stored memory. But the brain takes 'in' the psychological environment in the exact same way, as absolutely, objectively real. However, the psychological environment is far more subjectively unstable. When the brain takes the idea of 'me' as being an absolutely real object it attempts to accumulate knowledge about it so as to alter its behavior in order to improve its chances of survival, just as it does with the physical body. There's actually nothing separating these bodies so the brain is just operating as it normally does, it is all one movement. However, since the knowledge accumulated in the psychological sense is not 'actual,' permanently stable, but merely made of fleeting ideas, impressions, and images constantly being proven to be insufficient or flat out wrong, the brain becomes insecure in its ability to function. It becomes muddled up in this mess of knowledge its accumulated in order to alter a 'thing' that isn't there in any permanent sense, not like a forest you must hunt in everyday, or a field you must plant. I mean, you will wake up every morning for forty years and see that field outside your window. You will plant in it, you will adjust to the weather and the circumstance every year but so much of that experience is static, reliable, 'objectively' so. There is no such stability, psychologically speaking, right?
So this just highlights the limitations of knowledge in the psychological field and how it differs from observation. Observation is the foundation, the framework, of conscious life. When observation is recorded in the brain it is interpreted, according to the brain's need to be secure and survive. Knowledge then arises as thought from comparing memory with the circumstance that passed, in order to alter the behavior of the body meeting a similar circumstance in the future. When repeatedly thought, this knowledge has the ability to automatically react when presented with challenges in any given moment. However, as you can tell, knowledge is always limited and, therefore, never complete because each new moment presents a slightly different challenge that creates the need for further knowledge about how to correctly adjust in the future. Knowledge, therefore, is always being added to. It is never complete but always 'becoming' more complete. And yet it is knowledge that directs our behavior when presented with the challenge of the next moment. If knowledge is incomplete, partial, then our actions in meeting the next moment must be incomplete, partial. And incomplete action creates a conflict, a reaction, its own challenge that the brain records and attempts to alter its behavior in relation to in the future. Can you feel this incomplete movement operating within you now? Can you feel this process? Doesn't it sound an awful lot like the process of 'me'? Aren't 'I' the one 'becoming' better, 'becoming' different, 'becoming' complete? All my self-improvement, enlightenment, counseling, therapy, you name it, isn't it all attempting to address this process as if it were someone, actual and not simply an observable process of the brain? Observation is the freedom to look. When one is free to look, one sees clearly. What one sees clearly is the movement of knowledge BECOMING more complete and the fact that it will never BE complete. One also sees that 'I' am not that process of never-ending completion. Observation is a movement of freedom and knowledge is where observation goes to die.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
This post is being written partly in response to the 'boot camp' I am participating in, which is organized by my friend over at Journey with Water Learner. This is the same friend and website that just awarded the Compassionate Council blogsite with the 'Inspirational Blogger Award'. Thank you Water Learner. The rules of the camp are simple, no lying, no flowery speech, no harsh speech for a week. However, I'd like to take this subject matter a little deeper, if you will. I'd like to speak about relationships, not any particular relationship, like husband and wife, or best friends, but all relationships one has with anyone and everything. Because if you are at all aware of the movement of relationship you are aware of how they reflect 'yourself' back to you. And by yourself, in this instance, I mean who you believe yourself to be, mainly your conditioning. Conditioning, simply stated, refers to anything repeated enough as to leave a memory mark that evokes automatic reactive responses to new stimuli when triggered. Are you aware of the thoughts you entertain when your actively engaged with an other? Are you aware of how those thoughts color your experience of the interaction, how you make things appear to be as you think them? How about how your mind may wander away from paying attention to someone who believes you are listening intently? Or the judgment placed on individuals you don't know in situations you know nothing about? Or the way you routinely, habitually interact with those close to you? What about the images you have of those you know and don't know? Have you noticed how you are always the center of everything you believe is happening around you, people are thinking of you, laughing at you, talking about you, judging you, looking at you, involved in your business...
Really? I mean, you, yourself, are for the most part always concerned with yourself, so why would others be concerned with you too, instead of themselves? These are but a few examples, I promise, of the movement of most relationships humans have with each other, and the world around them. I know all of these examples from witnessing their movement in my own life. Some were easily spotted while others lay hidden in dark recesses of my mind. You may even read this and deny it, but that's just part of the movement of our conditioning as well. All conditioning, first and foremost, is designed to operate unseen, unnoticed, and unaware of its own involvement, so why would your response be any different, for most belief they are their conditioning? Of course, most would not refer to it as conditioning, they would refer to it as 'Mary', 'Ryan', 'Stacy', 'Clark', or 'Robert'.
However, when one is a little more serious about living they may become increasingly aware of this 'inner' movement of conditioning. How it flows out and effects the 'outer' world only to be taken back 'in', strengthened and reformulated to condition again. One may even see the absurdity of artificially dividing this indivisible movement. And when one stops dividing an indivisible movement there is only the total observation of that movement. And when there is only the total observation of that movement, there is no longer conflict within that movement, for conflict exists only where there is a false division. Therefore, one sees the total effect conditioning has on the brain, and the world at large. When one sees the total effect of conditioning, one realizes that false division, in any form, is the most destructive reaction possible. One can then put an end to this disease of 'right' conflict versus 'wrong' conflict, for there is no longer the belief that I am a separate, individual being apart from this movement of relationship, or life. Right? For when I am separate from the movement of relationship there is conflict between me and 'my' relationships, which breeds further separation, which gives rise to deepening conflict. This seemingly endless cycle is being played out everywhere, in every relationship on Earth. It may even begin to seem funny that our most prized of all possessions, me, is the source of all conflict and sorrow. Well, funny, if it weren't also creating such incredible suffering worldwide, within and without. So from the landscape we live in today, instead of calling it funny or tragic, let's just call it fact and allow fact to operate instead of conflict.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Good day my friends. I'd like to briefly speak about this despicable virus on the planet today called the 'War on Terror.' If this isn't a sign of humanity's unspeakable ignorance I'm not sure what is. The 'War on Terror' has cultivated its own culture, worldwide. That culture is based in fear and blossoms into full blown hatred, resentment, racism, and near total deceit. It creates an enemy everywhere, known or unknown, verified or unverified, and feeds off suspicion, which in turn arises from judgment, hearsay, opinions and stereotypes. Individuals are being born everyday into this culture of terror, being raised in this culture of terror, having their brains molded and conditioned in this culture of terror. There is such a callousness to this strengthening culture, one that runs on near total base emotions, the emotions that dictated the lives of human beings everywhere before rational thought. Emotions, that to this day, seemingly hijack rational thought a lot of the time. This culture of terror is about being on the side of the 'righteous', protecting the 'right' lives, and defending ones actions with further terrifying actions. This culture of terror is like a decentralized concentration, internment, or gulag camp, where human live has absolutely no value except as fuel for the terror machine. Strong words? Maybe. Incorrect assessment, not from where I'm standing. The world, right now, is acting out in ways only justified by this war on terror and the culture it has been helping to shape and cultivate. Now don't get me wrong, this war on terror did not start 6 years ago. What started 6 years ago, for those of us living within the United States, was the renaming of this war, the heightened propaganda of this war, and the highlighting of its culture. The war on terror has been around as long as man.
Ignorance is the breeding ground of all war. When someone sees a deplorable act committed and believes the way to correct, or stop that act, is to inflict a deplorable act on the perpetrator, this is the movement of ignorance. So, what is it that we are ignoring when we react to this impulse to punish in the same vain as we've seen inflicted on another? Isn't it obvious from the question we've asked? Meeting violence with violence, murder with murder, betrayal with betrayal, war with war, isn't it obvious? Where exactly do you believe the line exists that separates murder from murder or brutality from brutality? That's right, the line exists only as a belief in the mind of the murderer, they believe they are right and the other is wrong, they believe they are justified and the other is not. It is a completely subjective phenomena, but when shared collectively, it creates the illusion of objectivity, which we, in turn, believe in. In other words, this fragmentation taking place in the mind of the murderer, becomes shared by those who believe in the same belief as said murderer. Belief, is born of ignorance. When one ignores the ever present simplicity of fact, belief becomes the absolute ruler of the day. And belief is as blind as a bat.
So how do we win the war on terror? Right, that's what everyone wants to know, how do we win? Are you willing to win, are you willing for the war to end? Because it has a lot more to do with you than you may think! Putting the semantics aside for a moment, the war on terror is won when human beings treat each other as whole, equally significant individuals. When every one's voice is heard and the common, practical, and absolutely functional way forward for all of humanity on Earth is consciously seen and collectively implemented. Impossible? Yes, it is impossible while humanity is in the grip of the virus of belief. And all our arguments and conflict surrounding this matter arise from this grip of the virus of belief. However, that's where you and I come in. For when an individual, having observed this entire process of belief within themselves, melts the chains of this virus with the fever of freedom, it is not only possible to end the war, you'll find it has already ended. That doesn't mean life is not a challenge, it is, that is one of many facts one faces without belief. However, you meet life's challenges with intelligence, ingenuity, creative and dynamic energy, together. You know, the incredibly wonderful aspects of human kind and our potential. Don't believe me? What I'm speaking about cannot be believed. Find out the truth or falseness for yourself and let that truth act.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I have felt another condition break in my mind today. It was one that was heavily fear based, having to do with what others think of me, what others would do to me if I were to be myself. Today, I will inform you, my friends, that I am ruthless in my love of life! Absolutely ruthless, and it was terrifying before now. And yet, I never realized until the condition was gone that the terror had much more to do with the fearful condition being in place, superimposed on this ruthless love, than the ruthless love itself! Sure, I am afraid some people will not understand the change in me, but so be it... I am what I am, why deny it any longer? Am I living this life as myself, or as someone else may want me to be? Before today I guess I would be somewhat unclear about that, but not now. The energetic difference is palpable. I thank you all for listening.
Human beings are fundamentally the same, the world over, everywhere...period. There is no debating this issue, it is a fact. A fact may not be the most comfortable thing to face, people seldom face facts as a result, but it is so logical, so sane, so healthy and responsible to simply face, bare, unadulterated facts. The suffering you and I go through each day, in our 'heads', is no different then the suffering each individual the world over goes through as well. There is just absolutely no such thing as 'mine' or 'yours' in terms of psychological space, it is a shared, inter-related landscape where each human being is plugged in and downloading suffering, misery, isolation, despair, anger, resentment, jealousy, resistance, stress, and an occasional passing joy, from the exact same hard drive. The idea that we would even talk about individuality while this FACT runs unconsciously, everywhere, is a standing joke to anyone who is observing the fact in themselves. When humanity turns their collective back on this operating system and then has the nerve, born from sheer ignorance, to dictate to others what is, or is not, the cause of our problems on Earth is an amazing spectacle to watch. Although, some of us get tired of simply watching. How much longer can one remain sane in a world so utterly consumed with ignorance unless you are ignorant yourself? Is it that hard to imagine that the conflict we feel within may have everything to do with the fact that we are ignoring what we know to be absolutely true? Religion is not the answer to humanity's problem, it is a by-product of the cause. Politics, nations, sovereignty, and capitalism are not the answer to humanity's problem, they are a by-product of the cause. Our relationships with each other, changing them, improving them, fixing them is not the answer to humanity's problem, they are a by-product of the cause. Self-help, self-improvement, self-realization, selfishness in all forms is not the answer to humanity's problem, it is a by-product of the cause. When you realize none of these playthings of a agitated mind will bring about the solution to humanity's problem you stop playing with them. And then, my friends, the solution moves into this world through you.
One Mind Friday is a blog meme created so that we can all get to know bloggers better. Every Friday, starting August 24th, bloggers write on the same topic, but from their own particular perspectives. They write their perspectives on their own blogsite and then the fun begins, because we all, in turn, visit each others sites!
The topic will be displayed on my site, here, on the Thursday night before so that everyone has enough time to think about it and write it down for Friday. Here's an example of how it will be presented starting next week. The topic is 'Being Creative.' What does 'being creative' mean to you? What does it mean to create? Each of you participating can take this topic in any direction you want. Run with it, wildly!!! All are welcome to participate.
My particular perspective, today, on 'being creative' is this:
For me, it nearly always makes more sense to begin with what something is not. It is easy to define something, in a positive sense, but we seldom realize how our own definitions and interpretations create images in the mind of an other. And, unfortunately, an image always comes in between you and that which you hope to directly experience. So, for me, being creative is NOT following an other, learning a technique, exercising a talent, reacting from the past, imagining a future, believing in some idea, habitually operating through a pattern, having a purpose, making an effort in a pre-ordained direction, being a slave to thought or feeling...you know, life as many of us know it most of the time. No, being creative is totally different than all of that. One will never 'know' creativity, it is not an object of the known universe. In other words, creation has no relationship with anything else because it is prior to everything else. But don't get me wrong, it has no relationship with time either. By prior, I don't mean backwards through a long period of time, I mean so immediately present as to be out of time. And yet, I've still said next to nothing about what it IS. You cannot learn how to be creative, nor are you pre-destined for creativity, not from my perspective at least, and that's all I'm sharing with you, a perspective. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that our entire education from beginning to end, instills the near absolute denial of creativity. We are educated to stomp it out wherever it may attempt to blossom forth. The limitations one is aware of in their very own self are there to guard against this explosion of creativity. Why, you may ask? Creativity is dangerous to all that man has built. Creativity is the total denial of man's production. If I may indulge in myself, creativity walks hand-in-hand down a winding forest path with Freedom. Lovers, they are, walking together through the landscape of their love. That's right, if I'm to speak of what creativity is, even a little bit, it must smell sweet as a white angel trumpet kissed by the moon while no one, and nothing, is around.
Each of you participating may then link your site, here, with this one, so that all those who arrive can meander through our blogsites and taste the differing perspectives we share on the day's topic.
Please don't forget to leave a link to your own blogsite if you intent to write about the day's topic. You would do that in the form you see below, writing in your name and URL for your site.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wow, I had no idea when my roommate asked me to play a board game called Cash Flow that I'd be in for such a humbly and transformative experience. I've always known I've had issues surrounding money. My friend Simone and I did a radio program just a few weeks ago around the meaning of money which brought up several key, long held beliefs and issues for me, but this board game took it to another level. How can I describe the mentality of my consciousness concerning money? Well, yesterday's post, 'Pockets of Darkness in a Sea of Infinite Light', is a good place to start. I've been existing in a black hole of belief concerning money!! There, I've said it, and it's true...well, at least it was true up until yesterday. Awareness is always the missing ingredient, once that is mixed in, what an immediate release. And it did occur in one moment, three hours into the game, while I was continuing to go around, in slow circles, in an area of the board they call the 'rat race'. Now the 'rat race' in this context means that your monthly cash flow is less than your monthly expenses. Or rather, once I paid all of my expenses for a month I would have a portion of money left as cash flow, which would be a portion considerably less than the amount of my expenses each month. In this cycle, the most important thing is paying my expenses each month and attempting to safe an incredibly small amount, month to month to month. If you must know, such has been the story of my non-board game life as well. But then suddenly something clicked, in one single moment, my entire perspective concerning money shifted. Without going into complicated details concerning the entire structure of this very realistic 'board game' I will say that I no longer see money, acquiring money, needing money...anything having to do with money, in the same manner. More like a 180 degree turn, total shift in perspective, if I was walking north yesterday, I am now walking south! So, I hope for those of you who visit my site on a more regular basis you will actually see the differences I'm alluding to manifest through my life and in turn, through this site.
Now besides the obvious shift in my on perspective surrounding money there is also such an incredible lesson for me concerning the true power of belief. I speak about belief often because I have experienced radical releases from all sorts of deeply embedded beliefs, but this most recent example reveals to me, once again, the near total darkness experienced before the back of a belief is broken. You do not know it is there, you cannot see out of it, you cannot take an others point of view, you ARE your particular belief. You never know, until you're out, that you were ever in one, you just call it reality...until it's not. This, my dear friends, is why all the work here, whether you would call it that or not, is inseparable from compassion. Being compassionate with yourself, first and foremost, allows you to be compassionate towards others because you understand the plight of darkness by going through it yourself. You understand the near total blindness of belief and therefore see others through honestly acknowledging yourself. All the madness you see around you is directly due to belief, all of it, and yet fighting it, resisting it, forcing a change in it, is equally mad because it is driven by belief as well. You may consider your belief right and an other's wrong, but such distinctions are totally irrelevant in terms of the fundamental nature of belief. It's just one black hole of existence clashing with another. Once you directly experience the immediate release from the strangle hold of a particular belief, you know, if you are aware and tell the truth, the nature of all belief and therefore understand the plight of all individuals everywhere. Compassion, love, honesty, openness, awareness, peace, these attributes accompany the loosening of belief not judgment, hate, deceit, closed, unaware, war. And it is through compassion with oneself that opens the door to the black holes of belief within you, known and unknown, being dispelled in a sea of infinite light.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Standing still, in and out of time, immovably so. Love this tree, in all it's glory, through every changing season, nothing can touch it's majesty and grace!
"Solitude is an inward state of mind, which is not dependent on any stimulus or any knowledge and is not the result of any experience or conclusion. Most of us, inwardly, are never alone. There is a difference between isolation, cutting oneself off, and aloneness, solitude. We all know what it is to be isolated, building a wall around oneself in order never to be hurt, never to be vulnerable, or cultivating detachment, which is another form of agony, or living in some dreamy ivory tower of ideology. Aloneness is something quite different." J. Krishnamurti. 'Freedom from the Known.'
Most people will probably not understand why I chose to call this post 'Pockets of Darkness in a Sea of Infinite Light.' That's to say most people think exactly the opposite. I'm talking, once again, about belief. Beliefs, no matter what they are, where they come from, or who believes in them, are likened to so many pockets of darkness. At the center of any particular pocket there is a belief. This belief may take the form of a thought, feeling, impression, person, place, object, sensation, you name it, 'inside the skin' or 'outside,' that has remained fix, static for so long, as to seem permanent, real, lasting. Existing exactly as a black hole is said to exist, a belief has an incredibly strong ability to pull objects of similar, or different constitutions, towards it, eventually swallowing them up. Not even light can escape it's grasp, which is why it becomes a pocket of darkness. And just like the phenomena of a black hole, if an object is sufficiently far away from this center, if there is enough space between the object and the black hole, it will not be pulled in. In fact, it can actually observe this entire dance of other objects being pulled into the black hole and not be affected. That is, if said object were a human being, observing through powerful telescopes orbiting out in space.
So, let us examine this a little further. The power of belief is its pull, its gravitation. A belief pulls attention towards it, but it doesn't stop there. It pulls so completely as to merge with this attention, so that the attention, the energy of awareness animates the belief. You don't just get pulled towards a belief, you get pulled into one, you become the belief. Powerful, right? If you do not really understand the power of belief just look at the first belief we've all been absorbed into. That first universal belief that all human beings belief in is the belief in 'who they are.' This pull is reinforced through the awareness of all the other human beings who have been pulled in and absorbed by the same force as well. Once the first belief is set, and we now exist in isolation from everything else, we are set out seeking belief in all forms. Beliefs that we hope will somehow complete the incomplete belief I began my life with, me. Because, as we stated earlier, belief is limited, like a black hole, there is an event horizon, get too close and you are sucked in, however, stay far enough away and you're not.
Speed forward now in time and take the example of a guru, teacher, preacher, parent, authoritative individual who shows up in your life, peddling their particular interpretation of right living. It is a belief. If you get to close you will be sucked in, if not, you won't. Getting sucked in may mean you experience what they promised you'd experience, but you're lost, sucked deep into a pocket of darkness. Why? Because you're hungry, needy, searching, incomplete, unfinished, desiring improvement. Why? Because of who you believe yourself to be. Having already been pulled into that black hole of belief you need to find it, and feel it again and again, for you only have contact with others by being pulled into belief together. If you think, feel, act, or experience life as being incomplete...the bells are ringing people, you are in a pocket of darkness. And the next, new belief will not pull you out, it will pull you further in!! So, if you weren't born into the setting of particularly strong beliefs or reject said beliefs, you set out to find the particular ones that satisfy your constitution. So, belief exists in isolation, disjointed, you must find them, seek them out, if they haven't been spoon fed to you. And belief can only exist in isolation, that isolation may expand to include several hundred million people, but it is always, only a pocket of darkness.
However, there is always a circumference to a belief's influence. The moment the belief's isolation is apparent the spell is broken. This takes place when enough space exists between the belief and the one aware of it. Laying outside of the belief's sphere of influence the belief becomes useless, impotent, powerless. The belief returns to being just a passing thought, feeling, impression, person, place, object, sensation, you name it, 'inside the skin' or 'outside.' A pocket of darkness loses its grip and vanishes into the sea of infinite light. All beliefs are created, creations of mind, and therefore can be destroyed. Now, if your nature is destructible then living life as a belief may be a fine fit. But if your nature is indestructible then identifying with a belief is cruel and unusual punishment to inflict on yourself. But it is for each to uncover for themselves, am I a pocket of darkness of the sea of infinite light?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Hello friends. There seems to be some confusion surrounding the nature of things, any thing. All things that exist, out in the perceivable world around you or within your mind, are merely mirrors reflecting your own nature back to you. Nothing, absolutely nothing, exists objectively without your influence on it. What you see, hear, feel, taste, smell is all interpreted and filtered by you, you're defining it, you're giving it meaning, you're objectifying it. Nothing escapes your intimate involvement and yet most are completely unaware of how they are influencing everything they perceive. When you think someone is a bad person you actually SEE them as being a bad person, really! You see the badness as being inseparable from the person and yet you have influenced how you see that person, it is not objectively so. If I asked you why is that person bad, you would have many examples proofing your perception and this proof would seem so objectively real, so absolute, and yet, it is only your interpretation, your thought, your way in which you store memory, perceive, etc.
If you read any 'holy' book out there, you are not reading objective truth, sorry. You are seeing your own reflection through words on a page, how you interpret those words, how you feel about the story behind those words, the meaning you've given it, the meaning others have given it, etc. But there's nothing there but a mirror, reflecting your own self, where you are, who you are, how you see things, how you interpret, how you perceive, think and act. I mean, it's so obvious isn't it? That's why every person has such a different reality when related to any particular thing. A red rose means nothing to you but everything to her, the bible means literally what it says to you but to him it's simply a parable on life. And yet each of us struts around trying to force our perceptions on others as if ours are objectively fact and yours are not!! Totally ridiculous!! Everything is merely a mirror, everywhere you go, all day long, at work, at home, at a bar, at a church, in your head...mirrors reflecting your own nature.
But most are not seeing the mirror as a mirror, they're imagining the mirror is something else. For when you see a mirror as a mirror you look in it and see yourself. You see yourself as you are, not as you wish to be. When you see yourself as you are, you are beginning to know yourself. When you know yourself you never need to look in another mirror again, finished. And when you never need to look in another mirror again in order to know who you are, living your life in a world of mirrors becomes a totally different experience. I dare say what is reflected then!
Monday, August 13, 2007
When the emotional ocean is calm it makes me feel the way I do when I'm out under the summer sun hour after hour...dull, sleepy, numb. Emotions are the fuel for the drama in my live and when there is no emotion, no sense of an active turmoil of some sorts in my body, there is no drama, no story moving forward. And, I have to admit, there doesn't seem to be much of a story moving forward in my life right now. By story I mean a particular commentary in the mind, that only I hear and see, which is projected out into the world for me to fulfill, walk into, manifest. The chapters of this story I've already read are my past and the chapters yet to come are my future. Wherever I am today is where the past is actively modifying itself to become my future. For me, lately, it seems as if I've put the book down and forgot where I placed it. Or maybe I decided at some point quite recently that I'm no longer interested in the subject matter of this book...me.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not being morbid, depressive, or anything like that. I'm just not interested in the past that I remember framing the future I've yet to experience. I mean, when my past is in charge of where I go in the future, my future becomes terribly limited. There are only so many possibilities available, to a person dependent on their past actions and decisions, to pick the next path to follow when confronted with boundless options. The past will always pick a path similar to one it has already experienced and deemed safe, comfortable, enjoyable, or necessary. I guess that works at a certain biological level, my survival, but when life becomes more than merely surviving, when I am no longer afraid of dying, the past becomes the only hindrance to truly living.
I didn't know where this post would go this morning but it has brought me to an interesting place. I wasn't sure what I was feeling and going through the last few days until right now, sharing with you! I am now aware of how I have been allowing my past to continue to dictate what my future will look like, how it will unfold, what I need to do in order for it to unfold the way I imagine, etc. Now this is crucial. When I become aware of the movement of the past interfering with the way things are naturally unfolding, which is quite dynamically unknown to me, there is an ending of that interference. And when that interference ends, conflict ends, I am no longer split within myself. Not by me doing anything about it, struggling, fighting, resisting, but just by me being aware of its interference. In one moment I am not aware of this interference and in the next moment I am, and since this interference doesn't serve the intention of my life, it stops, immediately. Now many believe 'enlightenment', 'god realization', 'truth', what have you, is the total ending of all this mind activity forever more. It is just that, a belief. Some may focus on there particular version of this belief to the point of manifesting it and living it out, but they are only living out a small, fixed belief of a mind crippled by its own concentration. 'Enlightenment', or whatever you may call it, is living, dynamic, active, not dead. It refers to the moment to moment awareness of the movement of this dynamically active mind which continually attempts to fix a foundation within itself where it can become something it imagines itself to be. Beautiful! Thank you all for being a part of this uncovering within me this morning. The future is boundless and no longer merely existing within my imagination.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Yesterday I was sitting outside enjoying some sunshine when a neighbor came out with one of his dogs. He was taking out a bag of trash and when he opened his front gate his dog ran out into the street, circling around wildly. The owner would call the dog's name and have him come back by his side, only to see him back in the street, circling and running haphazardly, a few moments later. The owner would call his name again and upon hearing it the dog would, again, obey and run back over to his master. After dropping the trash off my neighbor opened the back of his SUV and his dog instinctively stopped what it was doing, sniffing the ground, jumped in the back, and assumed the position. The position was the place and manner in which the dog was to lay when going in the car for a ride. My neighbor shut the door and the dog remained, unmoving in it's spot. Watching this 45 second reel I couldn't help but see that dog as most of us human beings, trained, obedient, subservient, comfortable, and generally unaware of the position it finds itself in.
From the very first moments of birth, for most of us, we are already referred to by a name and taught, just like that dog, how to act and how not to act. We are rewarded and punished in the same manner as the dog, rewarded for actions deemed 'good', 'appropriate', or 'safe', and punished for actions seen as 'bad', 'inappropriate', or 'unsafe'. And just like the dog, the mind is molded according to the master's wishes in order to produce a 'well-trained individual'. This seems to have been humanity's way from the beginning, we train each other exactly as we train our domesticated animals, to behave, to conform, to obey...and most of all, to need that sense of unconditional love that is currently being withheld, for the sake of training. Withholding attention is the punishment and giving attention the reward, and so we all learn quite young that love is something that one must work for, strife to have, behave in certain ways to secure, and most importantly meet the right conditions to deserve it. And since love becomes a training tool to be given out or taken back, we eventually become willing subjects in the manipulation of mind according to an other's fancy. Until the day we are said to have graduated. From that day on, we are on our own, with the training we have absorbed, because just like the dog, an age comes when the brain is more or less set and the mind has taken the form of its conditioning. Now, the conditioning of said mind never ends, but the foundation from which all further conditioning is interpreted and understood, is set. Kind of like, 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks.' The human version sounds a little more like, 'I am the way I am.'
This is the same conditioning model most of us here in the states learned about in school being performed on dogs and mice in laboratory's across the country. Where were those animals free will when the bell rang, or the light turned on? When you and I believe we are our conditioning, we are behaving no different than that trained dog across the street. Obviously free will is of a different nature, so what about mind as an open sky? How does the mind of a trained dog become that of an open sky? Maybe you're not interested, you have a nice master, a warm bed in the back of the SUV, you're fed on time, and not just dry food but moist, delicious 'wet' food. Your surrounding conditions may be good enough to not want to disturb but what about the conditions you keep hidden, within yourself, those you are aware of only when you're honestly listening to the content of your consciousness, what about those conditions? Are they 'good enough'? The gift of our human lives lies in the ability to be totally aware of the trained dog within. I'm not sure if the dog across the street has that ability, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you and I do. So, in being aware of the trained dog within, totally, not accepting some aspects and hating others, but just to be totally and simply aware of the entire movement, which naturally occurs in one's natural awareness, you may discover you've been looking down and sniffing the ground this entire time. And then, well, you just look up and there is the open sky above you, right? Have you got it?
Saturday, August 11, 2007
This will be an ongoing post taken from headlines in one of our National Newspapers. The headline reads, 'Bush war adviser says draft worth a look.' The article goes on to say that due to the fact that 'frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force,' it may, in fact, be 'worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday.' Now, I'm sure those men and women waging war in those two lands are extremely stressed out and pushed beyond any normal, sustainable, healthy human limits but what makes you, Army Lt. Gen. Lute, believe for a moment that I, or any other life-loving human being, would take part in this or any other war? I mean why, on this beautiful earth, would I knowingly or unknowingly brutalize my fellow human beings, no matter where they are, what they look like, or what they may have done? Clearly our brains have not been trained in the same form of perception. Now, don't get me wrong, I actually hold absolutely nothing against the men and women in uniform, it breaks my heart that each of them must endure what they must endure on a daily basis, it is truly unimaginable! Those in uniform are not the problem, they are beautiful human beings just like the rest of us. The problem stems from a much deeper source, and that source is within each of us.
Now, this is obviously a sensitive subject for a lot of people. To me, the degree of sensitivity surrounding this subject is equal to the degree of ignoring the open, honest investigation each responsible individual must take part in. Or, the sensitivity stems from having a friend or loved one in a war zone right now. To you, I apologize profusely for my part in the failing to make this open investigation happen on a national level. Who among us understands what leads to the point of seeing war as even an option, let alone the way, the right way, the human way? Who among us sees our own unwillingness to honestly reflect on our own actions, hidden motives, hatred, animosity, greed, selfishness, fear...? Because, before there are others to blame there is the one pointing the finger. If you or I am looking at others and seeing ignorance or greed it is only because we haven't looked at ourselves to discover the same seeds sprouting within us. Let me be clear, I am not of any anti-war camp, which is equally as ridiculous, sorry. There is no need to fight or resist ANYONE when you understand yourself. We act the way we act because we keep death at arms length instead of understanding the total movement of life, which is inseparable from that of death. In keeping death FAR away we cling neurotically to life and it is this neurosis, this disease of mind that twists life into the brutal dance we take part in on a daily basis. Resistance is no different than war, it gets you no where. Now, I can hear all the age-old arguments, 'if you don't love this country you should leave it,' 'if you're not willing to fight and die why should anyone else fight or die for you,' 'countless people have died for you to be able to speak your mind as you presently do'...blah, blah, blah. They are simply empty arguments, hiding all those things the one arguing has ignored. Every argument simply points that much more concisely to the fact that it is the one arguing who hasn't investigated themselves, not the other way around. And this is the only problem facing humanity today, my unwillingness to address what is actually operating within the field of my very own consciousness.
I can't believe how painfully obvious the solution to our mess of a world actually is. What is it you may ask? Open, honest, persistent, challenging investigation into the nature of mind and the process of thought-feeling-experience-memory-reaction-adjustment-action. This indivisibly mechanical process involving the brain, body, and mind, when on autopilot as has been its nature since the beginning, is our end unless we become conscious of its total activity. When conscious of its total activity you may discover the individual actually lies outside of this movement, completely, instead of within it, directing it, wanting it, needing it, protecting it. And if in fact the individual lies outside of this process then a totally different life is possible. Now, I'm not talking about changing the world, it cannot be done, and that is not the solution to the mess I spoke about. The attempt to change the world is called war. No, I'm talking about understanding the individual that, through their relationships, creates the world. But maybe you don't believe this is a viable action to take, there's something about blowing people apart that makes it seem more real, more important, more substantial. And yet, clearly something is not working correctly if we come to the point where we need to force, or draft, unwilling people to wage war, or pay for it through their taxes for that matter.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I can never seem to get over how remarkably beautiful the Earth is, nor how remarkable it actually IS to be alive!! When the sense of me is in abeyance the body functions more like a sensing, probing, dynamic extension of the beautiful life that surrounds it...the Earth! I mean really, somehow we have twisted this sensing machine so that it neurotically pays attention to its own whims, fleeting pursuits and delusional ideas of grandeur all day long. When do we allow each of our senses to recklessly flood through the environment, taking in the beauty, the majesty, the light and life that is holding us, loving us, supporting us...always? This evening, with the light softly reflecting off the dancing leafs around me there was that sense of nobody being here, only the Earth. It was the Earth that had eyes to see, the Earth that had ears to hear, the Earth that had hands to feel, the Earth that was here simply to know itself. And beyond the beauty of the Earth there was the silence of 'knowing' holding it all. Time didn't exist, for there was no need for measuring anything. Beauty is its own reward, it doesn't need to become any more beautiful. Standing on the Earth, with the pale blue sky peeking out from behind bellowing white clouds, nothing was happening and yet everything was apart of that nothingness. You know, I just can't seem to get over the beauty of the Earth! Of course, I've never been one to want to get over it in the first place. Hoping you all enjoy your evenings, mornings, and all the beauty in between.