I like making titles of posts a bit challenging and direct. Come on, let’s face it. The chasm between what’s going on inside us and what we project to the outside world is so vast (usually) that frankly, let’s admit it, it’s hard being us! Only some direct challenges can perhaps shake the totally believed-in ‘self’ that is simply a creation in the head.
I like to add articles of other spiritual bloggers and I do like this site, http://www.peacefulself.com, from where I have added the article below, called “Can You Hear the Universe Laughing?“. The article speaks of no free will, a topic that, when I added a fair few words on this some time back some rancour was produced in the comments. It seems – understandably – that we human beings can’t bear the thought of not taking the credit. We want the pats on our backs, we need the approval, we need to be seen to be doing well (whatever ‘well’ might be in our particular, conditioned world).
I can relate to this, since even as this me-story of my own was falling apart rapidly, I attended a local group to study the teachings of Gurdieff. In one session, though I can’t remember the details now, the gist was that it was stated that we are essentially not individuals and individuality is lost for most of us after death. Now, I had a huge reaction to this concept. It went against all the new age stuff I had been following on and off prior to that which talked about evolution, a process and raising vibrations etc. My reaction was so great, that I never went back to the group again.
This was what needed to happen for me. The ego will rebel. It’s a petulant child most of the time.
I know that some who visit here really get this stuff, but for others it’s not real, but rather interesting concepts to ponder over. These people have not gained a distance from their ego, from the me-story running in their head. They cannot see that the voice in their head is even there. The glove (image) has become the hand and the hand (reality) forgotten. They are so identified with the person of free will they think they are, they could not possibly entertain the thought that they are not this powerful, in-control individual. The embeddedness in their story is almost total.
Thus, I say, courage is needed if one wants to understand these things. But let me just say, there is nothing better or more right in either way of being – dunked totally in the me-story concept or outside of it. There is however a difference, but even there, I will not say, it’s all rosy when you detach from self, because it’s not. Awakening is not a panacea for all suffering. In fact, due to an absence of denial and justification, emotions can be rather more intense. But what there is in terms of difference, is a raw aliveness, a relaxation and peacefulness. The quiet desperation of projecting a ‘me’ that meets with your approval, has quietened.
But it’s a bitter pill to swallow when you wake up to the non-personal nature of life, the universe and everything. To the meaninglessness. To the absence of a personal ‘doer’. To the illusory nature of what we thought was real. The personal stance is just something we brought into play, but we are not as important (as ‘individuals’) as we’d like to think. And this self-importance and self-consciousness are the doorway. It’s the doorway that turns around everything on its head, hence the need for courage.
Osho said: “In this world the greatest courage is to drop the mind aside. The bravest man is who can see the world without the barrier of the mind, just as it is. It is tremendously different, utterly beautiful. There is nobody who is inferior and there is nobody who is superior — there are no distinctions.”
It’s so simple, isn’t it? It isn’t even about equality, because you can only talk of equality when there is inequality. Equality / Inequality are dualistic concepts. But the truth is that there is noone superior and noone inferior. The only place where this happens is the fictional place we call ‘mind.’ In our ‘mind’ we have trained ourselves (not consciously, but just by dint of how life goes as a human being) to believe in ourselves. The self we believe in is the person we think we are, and this person is always being justified, approved of, judged, put up on a pedestal, patted on the back, protected, blah blah and on and on. If we could dump the whole contents of our thoughts (mind) onto paper we would firstly be shocked by the narcissistic nature of its content and secondly by its repetitiveness. Probably the large majority of our thoughts are utterly useless and are desperate in nature. Desperate to maintain the image, at all costs. The alternative is to become a nothing if we no longer wish to maintain this idea of who we are. And that is exactly what we need to become in order to see our own reality: a nothing. For only in nothing can something be truly appreciated. And ultimately the nature of Reality is one of Nothingness in any case, and so, as our ego falls away in importance, we enter the Nothing domain, and there we find that it is far from nothing as we know it – we find for eg, respite, peace and realness. We find Truth. We find a Connectedeness that we have been longing for unconsciously. In Meister Eckhart’s words, we find ‘God’:
“Keep this in mind: to be full of things is to be empty of God, while to be empty of things is to be full of God.”
In non-dual circles they talk of self-enquiry. Ramana Maharshi talked of this concept too. I would not say that there is any method or process that will make you enlightened. But certainly self-enquiry as a ‘positive habit’ let’s say, can make you ‘less’ attached to your ego-self (me-story) but that’s about it. The mystical actuality of your me-story no longer having the same effect as before on your life and experiences, is not one that we can make happen by following a process or a teacher. On this point, take a good look! If there was a method that could engender enlightenment there would be noone wanting to be enlightened, they would all be so! I mean, after so many centuries of people searching, we should use our grey cells and realize that had there been a method for enlightenment it surely would have been found by now, given the many amazing spiritually awakened folk through history. That’s the fallacy of spiritual teaching – there is no teaching for enlightenment, so the word ‘spiritual teacher’ itself is an oxymoron. (And all spiritual teachers morons?? haha. Just kidding. I like my play on words).
So we have to forget about wanting to awaken. Instead, look at the desperateness within you to maintain a defined ‘you.’ See the schizophrenic nature of this very process. If ‘we’ are providing a fertile ground for all the thoughts about a ‘me’ that we try to maintain according to the image we have decided for ourselves, then who is the ‘we’ that is trying to control this ‘me’? Are we really two? It all gets very silly and complex when we dissect the me’s, you’s and we’s. This silliness and complexity is what we take as ‘natural’ as we put ourselves through an inner desperation day in and day out, through what we allow ourselves to believe about ourselves. It’s terribly energy-draining, unsettling and constantly so.
If you ask me – you (we) need a break from this incessant nonsense, because not only is it draining for you, but for others too upon whom we project this image of ourselves. Some things that help to have a break from all of this mental and emotional rigmarole are taking time out to be alone, or spending time outdoors in nature, or meditating. And indeed, these are all activities that are on the bottom of people’s lists of things to do, because the ‘me’ loves to (has to) keep busy. And why? Because it is lonely within and can’t bear to be alone….But aloneness is who you………………………………………………….And that is a related, but whole another topic!
Here is a video of ordinary people talking about awakening and is in fact called ‘Ordinary Enlightenment’. (I also posted it a while back when this blog first started.)
Anyway, so that’s what I have to say for today. It’s been a couple of weeks since I blogged. My work situation is still being ‘worked’ upon, so it has been keeping me preoccupied. But it’s good to get back to putting down such thoughts again, and I hope, all readers, that you’re doing good!
Comments, as always, welcome.
Here is the article from Peaceful Self.
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The universe ordained that egocentrica mammalia exist as a unique species within the natural order. Long before the development of his egocentric identification, homo sapiens simply survived. He ate when hungry, drank when thirsty, copulated in season and died in ways similar to all other animal species. The unconscious drive to exist is the ultimate goal of existence in the universe and is pressed deep within the fatty gray matter of all sentient species.
Yet, unlike all other species, the universe also ordained that egocentrica mammalia live with full awareness of his future non-existence or “death.”
One could easily imagine the very moment egocentric mammalia located a “self” in his head and proclaimed,“aha! It’s me!” the next thought must’ve been, “but, I don’t wanna die!”
Indeed, egocentric mammalia is the only species that is consciously aware of his eventual demise, which could happen at any time in his busy schedule. Hence, this results in a serious interior conflict subsequently magnifying the survival drive as a means of diminishing that conflict by short-circuiting the death drive. But, alas, to no avail….
Inheriting an instinct to survive, while knowing he could drop dead any moment, has not allowed egocentric mammalia a moment’s peace since the very moment he discovered a “self” mulling about aimlessly in between his ears. All ego-centered brains were inadvertently cursed with centuries of unnecessary suffering simply because its egocentric ancestors, upon discovering a “self” flopping around in their heads, failed to inquire with “what the fook am ‘I’ doing in here?” Instead they became a chronically copulating tribe of selfish paranoid schizophrenics filling up their lives with abstract trivialities to avoid the brute fact of death.
Subsequently, modern egocentrica mammalians can do absolutely nothing to extinguish either one of these inherited circuits and both electrochemical currents reciprocally reinforce each other; survive-die, survive-die, etc, etc, etc, on and on, back and forth, ad nauseam.
This dualistic conflict has resulted in all sorts of mental and behavioral dysfunctions. Where in nature do you find “addictions,” the problem of “obesity” or the symptoms of “neuroses”? Does a three-toed, tree sloth ever get “depressed”? Where in the natural order do we find a species that does not kill for food, but to terminate “non-believers”? Apparently, the ‘die-survive’ brain circuitry has resulted in egocentrics unconsciously rushing to their death by destroying the very habitat their existence requires, all the while believing it absolutely essential to do this to increase its chances of surviving. Die-survive, die-survive…
While the rest of the natural world simply lounges around, eating when hungry, drinking when thirsty, copulating in season, egocentrics scurry about engaging in the most spurious and meaningless activities to pack it all in before the reaper comes a knocking. Egocentrics even worry that they don’t copulate enough and have numerous studies to prove it!
In addition, they’ve devised all manner of concepts for which to support their frightened hustle and bustle, all to give their brief and precarious existence “meaning.” This serves to deny that everything that ends in death is meaningless simply because of that fact alone. Hence, the death instinct unconsciously motivates egocentrics simply because, if egocentric mammalia was forced to consider his finite brief existence every day, what would be the point of doing anything at all? What would be the point of pursuing happiness? Why not just lounge around, eat when hungry, drink when thirsty and copulate when the spirit moves you?
The chief role of egocentric mammalia in the natural order is to consume everything he can in the short time allotted; simply as a means to deny awareness that his allotted time is so obviously short. It seems apparent (except to egocentrics) that all the useless sheit they feel they must constantly do actually does little more than make their short time a total hell on earth. For instance, does nature worry about making constructive use of its time by implementing effective time management strategies?
Yet, it’s easy to see how the alternating currents of death and survival (or what some call “life”) must result in the invention of all sorts of symbolic meanings. Egocentrics demand that the “self,” mulling around aimlessly in their heads, mean something to the universe, different from cats, dogs, chickens, goats, horses, tree sloths, etc, etc. As egocentrics see it, the natural world means nothing to the grand scheme of the universe, else why wouldn’t the rest of nature not also have a “self” mulling around aimlessly in their heads, gritting and grinding over the lack of time to engage in useless activities that have no point?
Nevertheless, it does seem that these other species quite fully sense that they mean nothing to the universe, since they aren’t running around obsessively copulating as a means to pursuing happiness. They aren’t gnashing their teeth over the injustices of the universal order of things, demanding the “freedom” to make useless choices that only pile on more suffering. They aren’t inventing vacuous empty concepts to give their lives meaning, simply because the universe has not provided them the grey matter for such tasks.
Egocentric mammalia has a billion meanings in his head, most of which tend to cancel out and contradict one another, resulting in a helter skelter hodgepodge of tenuous truths, supported by dubious justifications and easily smashed to smithereens with barely any effort at all. Nevertheless, this constant train crash of meanings makes the egocentric world look rather mad (except to an egocentric) in comparison with the rest of the universal order of things.
The rest of the natural world appears to have accepted the fact that it has no free-will, which seems to allow it a sense of peace and harmony with the natural order of things, even in the face of painful death and natural disasters. Egocentrics must anxiously grit and grind over the unending need to protect, at all costs, their highly symbolic, but hilariously brief, existence, because they believe they can control and direct the natural order.
So they invent concepts like God, karma, sin, morality, commandments, laws, rules, values, governments, compassion, peace, love, etc, etc, etc, to increase suffering by reinforcing, not only their choices, but their “God given right” to make choices by asserting their “God given free-will” from a universe that clearly does not give a rat’s arse about what any individual egocentric wants or desires.
Nature has never experienced free-will. But the universe provided egocentric mammalians with a highly advanced nervous system for which to delude a “self,” into allowing the continual invention of symbolic meanings that provides an illusion of free-will, causing egocentrics to actually believe they have “control” over the destiny that the universe provides simply by allowing egocentrics to exist in the first place.
As the ancient parable states, like a drop of water in an ocean, egocentric mammalia has lost awareness of the ocean and believes he has the free-will to direct his own individual course, while the ocean simply takes him wherever it will regardless of his delusion of having control.
Egocentrica mammalia proudly proclaims, “I did that!” in complete ignorance of his place in the natural order of things.
Can you hear the universe laughing?
Yet, we cannot forget that the free-will delusion of egocentric mammalia is universally ordained as well. Try this little experiment:
Allow the subjectivity of your identified egocentric “self” to become…
Bet you can’t do it.
But it does seem there are a few who can hear the universe laughing….
Artwork by Charnine – “Almost Time”
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