Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Self, an image, the seed of war!

Self, whether you capitalize the word or not, is a phantom phenomena, it is all made up! It is so difficult to talk about these matters with words because words are so solid, the words of this post will not magically and spontaneously rearrange themselves endlessly, nor will the meaning of the words change drastically while the reader reads them. The self, on the other hand, does just that..all the time. Therefore, the words will seemingly give a definite substance to a self that has none of it's own. Mind that trap people!

So, where can we begin? Let's begin with the self's driving desire, the fuel of the engine of 'selfhood': It is a drive to be permanent, stable, secure and recognized...BUT, and this is a BIG but, not as it is right now!!! Got it? This is huge because it points to the nature of this 'thing' called self. It's nature is impermanent...picture smoke from an incense stick. Imagine that smoke wanted to remain unchanging and permanently held in awareness but was never quite ready to be set in stone. Just a little more adjustment, a wave of itself here, a bellow of itself there...you know, endlessly. Ridiculous, right, I mean you can see for yourself the nature of smoke? And yet do we see the nature of me? Do we stay with the nature of me, or does our awareness drift off into imagining what we'd like it to be? The only anchoring of this drifting wave of smoke called me, is memory and its reactive thought, and yet even memory is elusive, changing according to where the image it helps create wants to go. It is said, believe it or not, that most of our memories are simply imagined, not actual, just imagined, like the future.

In moments of memory's abeyance the self is seen for what it is, passing, disjointed thoughts drifting in and out of existence on the breeze of life. The idea of self is rooted in the idea of identity. Identity is the demand that objective permanence exist for the idea of an isolated, independent 'self'. For the most part the physical body serves as the 'permanent' object that the image of self can attach too, but it can attach to a priced possession, a house, a loved one, a family, the Earth, humanity, God, anything. You name it, and your identity will shift to that object and claim it as itself. You know this from your own life, right? Feelings of jealousy, envy, fear, attachment, anger...all of them stem from misplaced identity. Thought seeking identity clings to its own promise of permanence, and therefore clings to the narrow confines of memory, reactive impulse, action, adjustment...

Can you feel how this process feeds off itself creating a more and more isolated state of existence? The search for a separate identity feeds the belief that there is one. And, as we were talking about in another post, belief cripples the mind, narrowing its attention down to a particular groove where it stakes its identity, 'this is me', 'this is how I do things', 'this is how I see the world!' That, my friends, is the seed of war and where else can that seed be planted but in the mind? Remember the nature of mind we spoke of in our past post?

How could I possibly write this all down and convey that awareness, that movement of understanding, of insight!! No, obviously I can't, it is for each of us to get a feel for it, spark an interest, nurse our own flame and find where this inquiry burns brightly within us. For I am not sharing 'facts' or 'truth', no matter how authoritative I may make myself sound, I'm merely attempting to share the feeling of the movement of awareness that is the foundation of all of our lives. Peace!!!!