Many people, of course, think that their consciousness is their own individual consciousness. However, it may be truer that one’s consciousness is a branch of all of the consciousnesses of the entire cosmos. One’s consciousness is a branch of that multitude and it is not separate from it, though, to (far too) many, it appears to be entirely separate and individualistic.
Our human consciousness is often conditioned by what society has poured into us. Many of us are exactly what we have been shaped and molded to be. To step out of that mold requires a lot of questioning and creative, holistic insight. Internal quietness, beyond wanting a mechanistic result, may exist beyond all of the fallacious chatter, symbolic fragmentation, and delusory separation.
There is a vast seriousness that radiates its discipline holistically, healthfully, and with tremendous joy and insight. This seriousness is not what merely childishly depends upon the blueprints of others. Being whole, it need not grope for more, for improvement, nor does it mechanistically function according to any prearranged laid out patterns. The flame of this seriousness burns away illusion, separation, death, and time.
Many people believe that they have free will. Others do not think that that is the case. I say that free will is — for the most part — patently false. Reacting according to “thought/thinking,” as all of us do, depends upon the physiological processes of the brain. These physiological processes are complicated and are not what we can easily regulate. And the controller is not necessarily separate from the controlled. Of course, many things can be done to better help the organ of the brain function healthfully and properly… such as eating whole, healthy foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding recreational drugs, alcohol, and smoking. However, there exist genetic, environmental, and unseen forces that are beyond what we can easily regulate.
Then too, the majority of us are heavily conditioned by society. Such conditioning runs very deep within our psyches. Much of such conditioning is so ingrained in (and “as”) us that we are very unaware that it is taking place; we are unaware that it exists at all. Thought/thinking, by its very nature, is essentially very robotic, residual, mechanical, fragmentary, symbolic, second-hand, and sequential. (By the way, perceiving that we do not — for the most part — have free will does not mean that one can do whatever one likes, haphazardly; that would be ludicrous.)
Things like insight, true premonitions, deep compassion, and holistic perception can — and do — transcend conditioned, run-of-the-mill, second-hand thinking and conditioning. Still, most of us are primarily trapped in thought and (for the most part) function in (and “as”) thought. In rare moments — for humanity — during actual nirvana, for instance, a mind does go deeply beyond conditioning wherein (during such visitations/episodes) thought/thinking (temporarily) becomes very difficult… but that (so far) has been a rare occurrence and most of us primarily function in the very limited domain of thought/thinking. It may be prudent not to put all our eggs in one basket.
Excerpt from the poet E.E. Cummings:
A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.
In my previous two posts (prior to this one), if you understood that, psychologically, the perceiver actually is the perceived (and not merely something separate from the perceived)… then you may understand the following insightful poem by Stephen Crane. If you did not understand (even intellectually) what was previously written, then you will not understand Crane’s poem.
From the poetry of Stephen Crane:
The sage lectured brilliantly. Before him, two images: “Now this one is a devil, And this one is me.” He turned away. Then a cunning pupil Changed the positions.
Turned the sage again: “Now this one is a devil, And this one is me.” The pupils sat, all grinning, And rejoiced in the game. But the sage was a sage.
In my prior post, i delved into the likeliness that — psychologically — the perceiver is not truly separate from the perceived. Most people do not realize that their perceptions are not truly separate from what constitutes their consciousness and existence. Many people might argue and say, “Oh, no, I am so much more than my perceptions.” But take away your perceptions, your experiences, your observations, the robotic labeling of things, the conditioned judgments about the things seen… and then what are you? In actuality, you basically are these things and without them you are nothing. Most people are very afraid to be nothing; they “think” that their sense of self is necessary for security and for eternal prosperity. They do not realize that a mind of sweet, psychological nothingness is what security and eternity actually are. And people who are afraid to be nothing do not really understand meditation (though they may often talk about it and “think” that they practice it). (It might be prudent to read my post that is prior to this one.) In the following clever poem, Whitman insightfully talks about people as if they are the things in their lives that they deal with.
Excerpt from A Song for Occupations by Walt Whitman:
When the psalm sings instead of the singer,
When the script preaches instead of the preacher,
When the pulpit descends and goes instead of the carver that carved the supporting desk,
When I can touch the body of books by night or by day, and when they touch my body back again,
When a university course convinces like a slumbering woman and child convince,
When the minted gold in the vault smiles like the night-watchman’s daughter,
When warrantee deeds loafe in chairs opposite and are my friendly companions,
I intend to reach them my hand, and make as much of them as I do of men and women like you.
When one looks at a tree, one isn’t composed of chlorophyll and bark but the image of the tree is not separate from what one is. Of course, if one is compassionate, one may see the tree not merely as a thing but as a wonderful, precious living presence that one is not separate from. So, in sweet wisdom, the negation of separation goes even deeper.
Excerpt from a poem by Walt Whitman:
There was a child went forth every day. And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became, And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day, Or for many years or stretching cycles of years. The early lilacs became part of this child, And grass and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird, And the Third-month lambs and the sow’s pink-faint litter, and the mare’s foal and the cow’s calf, And the noisy brood of the barnyard or by the mire of the pondside, And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there, and the beautiful curious liquid, And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads, all became part of him. The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month became part of him, Winter-grain sprouts and those of the light-yellow, and the esculent roots of the garden, And the apple-trees cover’d with blossoms and the fruit afterward, and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road, And the oldest drunkard staggering home from the out-house of the tavern whence he had lately risen, And the schoolmistress that pass’d on her way to the school, And the friendly boys that pass’d and the quarrelsome boys…
To a great extent, the perceiver is not (psychologically) separate from the perceived. If we go through life merely as a sequence of patterns (i.e., from one set of fragmentary psychological patterns to another… which is time), then are we truly living as a bona fide whole?
It may be that to be timelessly alive, one often exists beyond the patterns and the mere robotic recognition of patterns.
A poem by Wallace Stevens:
The Indigo Glass in the Grass
Which is real… This bottle of indigo glass in the grass, Or this bench with the pot of geraniums, the stained mattress and the washed overalls drying in the sun? Which of these truly contains the world? Neither one, nor the two together.
One may ask, “Is compassion very significant in life?” Yes, compassion is immensely significant because it reflects and is a wonderful radiation of the whole. That whole has its own intrinsic, organic intelligence (of which compassion is a very big component). A fragmented, isolated consciousness, that merely perceives with self-idolizing boundaries and cold distance is, unfortunately, not of compassion. Such a debilitated mind is distorted and is not of the whole. Such a mind is isolated and apart. It may be intelligent in a very mechanical, crude, and limited way, but it is not intelligent in a living and wonderfully dynamic way. The isolated mind’s intelligence is — being limited — like that of a programmed, mechanical, robotic computer.
A mindful consciousness is of the whole. Such a dynamic, living mind sees beyond “learned distance” and learned isolating patterns. It is not like a left hand that is attacking the right hand; it sees that both hands — and all organisms — are of the same body. A mind of the whole has great intelligence (because it is of “right relationship”). Majestic love involves all (i.e., the whole) and it is not just yours or mine. A mindful consciousness is the whole.
A short poem by E.E. Cummings:
love is a place & through this place of love move (with brightness of peace) all places
yes is a world & in this world of yes live (skilfully curled) all worlds
When i eat a meal, i usually mentally thank the food; (i guess it is much like the way the very wise Native Americans used to do… and still do). All food — whether plant or animal — had to die for us to eat it.
And when i walked out of the grocery store today, i thanked the (past) poor creatures who had to die (and lose their land) such that the vast grocery store parking lot could be formed for our polluting cars… not to mention the endless lifeless, paved streets and the area that my home exists upon (though i do have a lot of aquarium fish and critters inside).
I bet that not many people ever thanked the creatures who used to live where that lifeless parking lot is. And now, writing this, it reminds me of that song, “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot (ooh, bop-bop-bop-bop)”
We so-called modern humans need to be a lot kinder and more compassionate to nature. That is easier said than done.
“Hey farmer, farmer put away that DDT now Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees Please
Don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone They paved paradise, put up a parking lot”
We inevitably, when we want to change psychologically, tend to change according to the parameters and goals that constitute our brains’ contents. In other words, we change according to our brains’ attributes. So changes in our lives are based on what our old-style brains have been for millions of years. We change according to past accumulations, knowledge, experiences, and stored-up presuppositions and acceptances. Such change may be no real (fundamental) change at all. It may just likely be an altered version — an extension — of the same old thing. It may be clinging to the past, as we have done for centuries.
It may be highly prudent to be open to change that is not merely the product of past accumulations, past expectations, and past conditioning. Then the “old brain” is not merely calculating what should be (according to past patterns, and past conditioning). Then something completely new and genuinely revolutionary can perhaps take place. And it would not take place merely within the realm of the circumscribed accumulations that were poured into one in the past.
We cling to what others poured into us, via having beliefs and plans for change, etc. But that very “clinging” is preventing us from going profoundly deep (beyond ordinary, inherited, cause-and-effect formulations and acceptances). And that miraculous, timeless, ineffable immensity exists far from our sequential (old-style) concoctions and attachments.
[Note: In order to get the full effect of this Halloween Spider — and, for that matter, of any of my previous photos — it is advisable to go to the original post, and (there) look at the larger featured image photo.]
Belief primarily emanates from deeper psychological factors, such as fear, hope, and by what was poured into one in the past. Many people say, “I will not give up my beliefs.” And it may be an ego thing (i.e., these are “my” beliefs). The beliefs tend to actually reinforce the ego. (This, in itself, may negate the possibility of true nirvana, for nirvana may only occur in the egoless mind.) Many people think that if they believe something, they will get something out of it… spiritually, for example. It’s a quid pro quo, this for that, marketplace kind of thing. And, having different beliefs worldwide, we are at each others’ throats. Many — if not all — wars have resulted in the spilling of blood… over beliefs.
Being beyond “beliefs” demands a lot of acute awareness, deep examination, and tremendous inner discipline. It may be that a very intelligent mind largely exists beyond what “beliefs” entail. Such a mind is free to look without circumscribed conditioning. Such a mind does not look through (and “as”) preconceived, rigid, spoon-fed patterns. Only then can the real magic of free discovery happen. Then one does not belong to groups that cause friction, division, and conflict in the world. But most people don’t want to hear such things. They want to go on believing (because it’s the easy thing to do).
Most people are heavily conditioned, even though they insist or feel that they are not heavily conditioned. It is very easy (and comforting) to react and perceive through (and “as”) a tremendous array of conditioning. However, such reacting is not genuine living and such perceiving is not true perception. Such a pseudo-existence is not freedom whatsoever. It is based on fear, fitting in, conformity, misperception, belief, dependence, and superficiality. Such conditioning is not different from what sorrow is, (for a sorrowful mind is a reflection of inner disorder and inner disarray). Transcending the conditioning (that one is not separate from) is very arduous and is not the result of mere methodology but it is essential for true wisdom and true bliss to manifest.
A group of young students saw the sagacious Lo Zu sitting upon a big boulder with a contented look on his face, a face that seemed to radiate much wisdom and clear perception. The students approached Lo Zu and asked him why he never entered the temples.
Lo Zu replied, “I do not enter the temples because they are primitive, manmade fabrications that have nothing to do with the truly sacred. Besides, that vast, timeless sacredness does not have an ego that wants to be worshipped by men or other strange creatures. What is trapped in time and limitation cannot adequately communicate with the timeless and the unlimited. He or she who has a limited ego cannot be communion with that which is beyond boundaries and confinement. True intelligence goes beyond fabrications and limitations. Go to the temples if you wish… but that ineffable sacredness isn’t there (in a limited space).”
There are different levels of love. Superficial love is constituted of motivations for the limited self. That limited self is what was learned (from miseducation) and it is primarily unreal, unintelligent, and fictitious.
There is a profound love that exists beyond the illusory framework of the self. It is a vast intelligence that breaks through the limitations of boundaries and fragmentary, learned perceptions (including the distance that is, in actuality, inherited ignorance). Selfless love is of bright truth, not of shady falsity and erroneousness.
Beyond the shadows of “thought/thinking” exists a sweet openness wherein what most people would call “the sacred” can come pouring through for a visit (if you are very lucky). Thought/thinking is incapable of describing or inviting that eternal sacredness. That immensity is too ineffable, too extraordinarily and profoundly beyond what limited, fragmentary words are capable of. Words — all words — are only about energy; they are never the actual eternal energy. Yet we human beings exist in (and “as”) transitory words… and what we see is dictated by a screen of potty-little words and learned mental accumulations. Words are intrinsically like empty shadows. Words are concocted, representative symbols that are essentially empty and void of real life. (Words are often necessary but many times words need not exist.) Merely existing in (and “as”) words is a kind of death… a mental death/decay situation that isn’t good. Most people, unfortunately, are stuck in that little, psychological hole (habitually) and are extremely uncomfortable about going beyond it.
Note: (Below is a short excerpt from one of my earlier blogs about Socrates’ Cave. It may shed some light on our current dark situation… if you are perceptive.)
In Socrates’ parable of the Cave — within Plato’s Republic — people were born in a cave, and they were fettered with chains… and forced to merely see and learn the details about shadows cast on the cave walls from puppets and a fire that they didn’t see behind them. One of them was taken — at one point, by force — first to see the fire… and then out of the cave into the true light of day… into a more genuine reality; then he came back down into the cave with the others. When he — the man who returned back — pleaded with them to look beyond the shadows, they called him a fool and continued giving prizes to those who could best guess which shadows came before or after.
Pretty much everybody is conditioned in myriads of different ways. It’s a big factor in why there is so much conflict in the world. Humans have different beliefs and ideas about how things should be done, and about what is best to do. All of our beliefs and ideas involve — and are the result of — time. These beliefs and ideas often result in conflict and friction. To go beyond this conflict without another method (in and “as” time) may involve negation and silence. Such silence is a wonderful negation (mentally) that does not involve time or methodology.
Most people, unfortunately, are conditioned to remain in time exclusively (in the mental sense). They habitually go from one set of symbolic sequences to another (unceasingly). It’s how they were educated (or miseducated) to be.
Great beauty and awareness exist beyond repetitive, sequential, mundane, symbolic mental patterns but most people are too afraid and conditioned to go beyond what they were programmed to be. And being afraid in such a way is just another extension of the stifling, dead conditioning.
A very intelligent mind often questions in dynamic ways that shatter old, traditional acceptances and assumptions. Albert Einstein, for example, often questioned standard assumptions, and his ground-breaking theories were proven correct by subsequent testing. Einstein once said, “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
Organized religions and society (in general) do not want us to doubt much and question much. They want us to fall in line and follow unwaveringly. And most of us carry loads of deep-rooted conditioning, much of which we would never think of questioning. For instance, our very perception of the world around us (and of ourselves) is largely based on fragmentation, separation, delimitation, and learned distance and time. Most of this is fallacious and delusory, not holistic and of deep insight. When most of us cling to fallacious suppositions and presumptions then disorder is what ensues. And look at what is going on worldwide. (For one thing, if more people questioned wisely, the grocery stores wouldn’t be full of sugar-oriented products and adulterated foods that are shelf-stable but very unhealthy; and we wouldn’t dare dump sugar and crap into our automobile gas tanks.)
If one is fortunate enough to have a good, healthy brain, one can — perhaps — question wisely. Then going beyond crippling conditioning is a tremendous joy, adventure, and blessing beyond words, beyond limitation, beyond mediocrity, beyond time.
From E.E. Cummings: “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.”
People are told (for example, by gurus of the East) about how to meditate. Often they are given what is considered a “special” word or mantra to repeat and concentrate upon. However, doing that is merely a limited form of self-hypnosis. There is no “how” to meditate. Any “how” involves a method that takes time. One cannot reach the timeless via a time process.
Beauty exists when the intelligent mind does not merely operate from sequences (of thoughts) to further sequences (of thoughts) exclusively. Thoughts are (limited) symbolic, sequential patterns that depend upon time; indeed, they are time. Most people are habitually existing as them. It is often beneficial to exist as thoughts when necessary but it may also be prudent to psychologically die to them (when they are unnecessary). Such psychological dying does not take time. Psychological dying is fine; physical Death, on the other hand (as i’ve said before) is not my cup of tea. Additionally, one might mention that merely being a corrupt person on this sweet planet, while endlessly robotically moving from fragmentary thought to fragmentary thought (sequentially), may be a form of Death.
And here’s a little poem by E.E. Cummings:
dying is fine)but Death
?o baby i
Death if Death were good:for
when(instead of stopping to think)you
begin to feel of it,dying ‘s miraculous why?be
cause dying is
perfectly natural;perfectly putting it mildly lively(but
is strictly scientific & artificial &
evil & legal)
we thank thee god almighty for dying (forgive us,o life!the sin of Death
Many of us pigeonhole things far too excessively. We see things as they are assigned in preconceived categories. So, really, we may not be “seeing” much at all but, rather, are identifying via remembered attributes. Most of us tend to perceive via fragmentary images that have been incorporated into (and “as”) our brains since early youth. With these rather superficial accumulations, we look… which really may not be deep “seeing” at all. Instead of perceiving freshly and holistically, we identify and categorize according to how we were molded (in a very secondhand way).
The robot-like mind may function like an automaton, assuming that it is living, but all the while it is robotically repeating what was poured into it (as it is bereft of deep insight, compassion, and holistic bliss). We need to go much deeper than what we were molded to exist as.
There is here We are them “I” is not When is where Past is future Future is past We are water Up is down Uncurled is curled Tears are joy Hate is mindless Poem is reading Awake not dreaming See not knowing Pour was spill Clean was dirty Little is big Born was dead Left to right Wings are resting Desert was thirsty Jungle was noise War is sorrow Flowers are calling She is he Silence is golden Once is always Time is ticking
The thinking process is largely based on (and dependent upon) measurement. Without measuring, consciously or unconsciously, thinking (for the most part) would not exist. We have concepts about time — like the past, present, and future — and these aspects of thinking are learned measurements, (and may not necessarily reflect true reality). We have mental labels for certain animals and plants, and these mental labels are largely based on measurements and measure-oriented attributes about the animals and plants. Sometimes measurement is necessary but all too often we engage in it in excess (which results in comparison, greed, jealousy, conflict, frustration, judgment, and discrimination).
Real bliss in life, however, occurs beyond mere measuring and labeling. Measuring and labeling are always partial, limited, and fragmented. A brain that mostly just measures and labels is likely a rather robotic brain that is not of a blissful whole.
The following is one of the many koan-like sayings that occur within the Gospel of Thomas. Some top biblical scholars say that this gospel — which was banned by the so-called high priests who were controlled by the Roman Empire — was closer to the historical Christ and is more pristine than the other politically endorsed gospels. One is not necessarily positing that the following saying means anything specific, but it does pertain to going beyond measurement. (Assessing weight is measurement.)
Jesus said, “The father’s kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking along a distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her along the road. She did not know it. She noticed no problem. When she reached her house she put the jar down and found it empty.”
The dictionary describes sorrow as ‘the mental suffering caused by loss, disappointment, etc.; sadness, grief, or regret.’ Sorrow is a common phenomenon for human beings and some other animals as well. We suffer mentally, even when some of us are not directly aware of that suffering. A mind of fragmentary mechanical reactions, separation, and secondary symbolic thinking is often what sorrow is. The thinking process itself, though sometimes very necessary, is — whether we admit it or not — a vast (though limited) field of sorrow because it is what is symbolic, fragmentary, and residual (i.e., resulting from something that was previously present). Thinking (per se), being residually shadowlike, is not true bliss.
We often try to avoid sorrow by engaging in escapes… such as entertainment, traveling, reading, engaging in activities, and all kinds of things. But the psychological suffering is usually always there, waiting, confronting again and again around the corner. Escapes are essentially temporary. A very prudent action, in regard to this, is not what just involves another reaction, is not what involves just another standard escape. Reaction is mechanical (bound by thought/thinking) and may be part of the problem. Real action — that is not just another reaction — is holistic and direct. Perceiving suffering directly and holistically may entail seeing it beyond fragmentary, separative distance. Then the psychological suffering isn’t “there” at a distance for you to contend with… rather, you are that suffering; consciousness is not then separate from what suffering is. You used to do things about it to escape from it or evade it. But now — if wisdom is there — intelligence may see that one is what it is (not that it is separate from what one is); when one fully perceives that one is it, reacting to it does not manifest as it did before in the standard old ways. Wisdom is the flame that dissipates suffering and disorder. No separate reaction on your part is necessary. (Such wisdom will naturally help so-called others.)
The dictionary defines “Sensibility” as ‘the capacity to feel.’ We can — if we are aware — observe that our society is largely bereft of “feeling,” these days. More and more people are concerned about money and power… not about others, not about curtailing suffering. Of course, there are some people who care, but society (as a whole) is generally headed in a disorderly direction. In regular public schools, they mostly focus on teaching you the 3 Rs. They do not, unfortunately, encourage students to probe deeply into such things as awareness, compassion, deep perception, self-understanding, mindfulness, wholeness, and transcending limitation. Public schools generally do not want students who would question society’s superficial values and norms. Public schools are generally designed to crank out followers and “robotic sameness.” This is why i’ve consistently donated to decent alternative schools such as the Brockwood Park School.
If you are (or were) educated in a run-of-the-mill public school, you will have to re-educate yourself. You will have to step out of the box. But you can’t easily step out of the box if your conditioning and brain are the box. Profound compassion requires going beyond superficial mental distance and numbing perceived space. Profound compassion is a real art (in a world full of sameness and secondhand imitation).
The space between the perceiver and that which is perceived… what is it? Have you ever wondered about that fundamental question?
That intervening space, that interstice, may primarily result from thought/thinking. Thought/thinking formulates an image (or an assembly of images) about a central observer (i.e., what thought thinks the “self” is). (This has been going on for eons, over the centuries.) Then thought/thinking assembles images or labels concerning what is perceived at a distance. This may seem silly — though it is essentially true — but what occurs is that one set of images or mental patterns about an observer sees what is considered “itself” looking at something (that apparently exists externally) as the observed (that usually manifests mentally via labels and categorizations of thought). So these two sets of constructs, made up of thought/thinking, are what takes place. So, unfortunately, the relationship is primarily between two sets of images (that thought developed)… which is no real relationship at all.
Real relationship goes beyond this habitual mental orchestration (constituted of mere reactions). Then separation and secondhand labeling come to an end. Then the perceiver and that which is perceived are not parts of some fabricated duality. Deep compassion occurs when the perceiver and the perceived are one (beyond the distortion of thought/thinking). Then mentally fabricated space and separation end.
“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self”. — Albert Einstein
We human beings — most of us anyway — tend to habitually look at everything through mental screens of conditioning that involve boundaries and borders. Most of us habitually delimit what is observed into fragments and snippets involving identification and learned recognition via what was absorbed in the past. Then we often further delineate things via words and labels. Words are symbolic and secondhand; they — for the most part — are not the actuality of what is observed. The word dog isn’t the dog. Words for many people are often seen as realities and although being primarily symbolic, they are not seen as representations but, rather, as what can take the place of reality just fine. Many people get lost in a world of symbolism, often letting the symbols seem to be realities.
It is good to use symbols when needed but it is also good (and very prudent) to go beyond them (and see their limitation). Then, if one is lucky, the whole is there (without the superficial symbolism). And a lot of people will think that they see the whole (although they do not). Self-deception is very easy, especially when that self is, itself, something that seems to recognize a wholeness from a distance. Chicanery is easy when the perceiver and the perceived appear to be separate and when recognition seems to occur from an internal center. Thought/thinking fabricates the internal center and such a supposed center is then given credit for having great perception, or it is praised for being right, or it is given blame for making mistakes, or it is lauded for exercising freedom of choice.
Most minds resist investigating this kind of thing; most minds are heavily conditioned to support the illusion at any cost. And it’s a tragedy really, because the real magic and the profound beauty only occur if one has the passion and the guts to fully delve into it.
I write to encourage others to go beyond conditioning, blind acceptances, and stagnation. Most of us were deeply conditioned in early childhood — and beyond — to absorb and follow what elders spoon-fed to us; they (i.e., the elders), without question, were deeply conditioned themselves throughout their early (and later) lives. We accept so many myriads of things and most of us blindly adhere to these things without question. Most of us are unaware of the extreme degree of our conditioning.
Conditioning is largely illusory in its essence; a conditioned mind is often a rather disorderly mind (though, to itself, it appears to be very orderly and “normal”). A conditioned mind primarily goes on in the same, old patterns while not questioning their value, essence, or impact. Society is a reflection of this conditioning and society is full of illusion, disorder, conflict, separation, friction, and turmoil. Many of us try to escape from such situations via entertainment, amusements, sports, incessant music, vacations, dreams, and various activities. However, the problem is not solved until we question intelligently and understand our own minds deeply. But going beyond being secondhand is very uncomfortable to a lot of people and so fundamental change does not take place.
The dictionary defines time as: ‘The measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.’
Since Einstein, many scientists have been referring to “spacetime,” wherein space and time are united and not separate.
When we look at time or spacetime in the ordinary way, we — as we were taught — look via the known… via limited measurement and inherited pattern-making. Such time (or spacetime) is circumscribed and very limited. We look via the known and usually see things in a circumscribed, bounded, finite, fixed, and confined way. Such looking is fragmentary, partial, and quite constrained. Very few of us look beyond the known, beyond the second-hand, beyond the restricted templates and limited symbolic arrangements. A beautiful psychological transformation or metamorphosis can enable us to exist beyond such bounded, limited perspectives. However, time is not a factor in getting there; that would be absurd. There is no path to the pathless.
We are predisposed to incessantly label and categorize everything. This was hammered into us at school and most of us have largely become products of that miseducation (or very limited education). We habitually look through a screen of patterns and labels that was handed down to us (by our primitive society). We see what we were taught to see. We usually recognize merely according to what we were programmed to recognize. What we see is usually very limited, second-hand, fragmentary, and banal. Then many of us end up depressed, ordinary, and — to a large extent — mediocre.
Please question what you were taught and (often) go beyond it. Please look without all of the crap that was spoon-fed to you. Please often look at things holistically, without all of the divisions, distinctions, separations, run-of-the-mill labels, and distance. Question what was poured into you. Go out, appreciate what you see, and breathe and live as if for the first time.
There is the silence of a still evening as the sun is setting when none of the beautiful trees have leaves moving or fluttering about. There is the limited silence between notes being played by a wonderful musical instrument. There is the echoless silence in a large theater when no one is there. There is the murmurless silence of a dragonfly peacefully resting.
Silence of the mind can be a most beautiful, spiritual, divine, and wise thing. True spiritual silence is not an act of will. Will is a projection of desire and will is never truly free, though many of us insist that it is. True spiritual silence that comes about naturally, spontaneously, without any cognitive/mental effort, can be a miraculous thing. It occurs when the mind is aware but is not merely accumulating or striving. Control has nothing to do with it, for control is in the pattern of the opposites and is manipulation toward an end; it is merely part of the cause/effect continuum. True spiritual silence is beyond ends to attain; it is beyond cause and effect patterns and sequences. Such silence is an explosion beyond the known… beyond the cunning and ludicrous patterns of man.
Creation seems to be a concept that our primitive, sequential, time-oriented brains lock onto. The universe can have its own intrinsic, organic intelligence (which may reflect — but not be created by — a higher order to some extent). However, that higher order exists beyond conflict and separation. Love is beyond conflict and separation; it is a wholeness.
Regarding those who are pompously dogmatic, who pontificate, telling you exactly what to do according to rigid creeds or beliefs that they expect you to adhere to… may i suggest running away from them (and wisely discovering and examining things for yourself beyond set patterns). And many say they’ve “gone beyond society’s crude patterns” while, all the while, they continue to carry them around mentally (tricking themselves that they’ve gone beyond). It’s so easy to deceive oneself and to wallow in (and “as”) that deception; it’s so easy to live a mechanical, robotic-automaton life, falling into programmed, spoon-fed habits and perspectives sadly beyond the natural, holistic, unfettered (living) beauty.
A few students walked past the elderly Lo Zu as he was sitting quietly in nature. As they were passing, they briefly paused near the wise and highly respected Lo Zu and he briefly stated this: “Beyond all of the so-called religious mumbo-jumbo, just sit still and perish to what you’ve been told. Do not try to ‘make’ the mind silent; just be passionate about the intrinsic beauty of true silence and then perhaps true silence will naturally manifest. You cannot make the un-makable.”
Four young people saw the elderly, willowy Lo Zu walking (as he often did with his trusty meandering cane). They asked him where he was going. Lo Zu replied, “I am going nowhere and I am coming from nowhere. A truly silent mind is of no place, so it is nowhere; being of nowhere it may, thus, be everywhere.” The sagacious Lo Zu — who had immense compassion for all living things — kept on walking, leaving the young students pondering. And though he left them, he was always with them.
I like this song by Rush. It has a lot of meaning in this day and age regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and regarding wars that are the result of perceiving via separation.
I see the Middle Kingdom between Heaven and Earth Like the Chinese call the country of their birth We all figure that our homes are set above Other people than the ones we know and love In every place with a name They play the same territorial game Hiding behind the lines Sending up warning signs
The whole wide world An endless universe Yet we keep looking through The eyeglass in reverse Don’t feed the people But we feed the machines Can’t really feel What international means In different circles We keep holding our ground Indifferent circles We keep spinning round and round
We see so many tribes — overrun and undermined While their invaders dream of lands they’ve left behind Better people — better food — and better beer Why move around the world when Eden was so near? The bosses get talking so tough And if that wasn’t evil enough We get the drunken and passionate pride Of the citizens along for the ride
They shoot without shame In the name of a piece of dirt For a change of accent Or the color of your shirt Better the pride that resides In a citizen of the world Than the pride that divides When a colorful rag is unfurled
We — most of us — live in (and “as”) the linear past, moving into what we think is the future. However, this future is, for the most part, a projection or fabrication from the past, and when unusual things later pop up we arrange them to fit into our storage of narrow past recognitions. (These recognitions constitute what we “are.”) We can fool ourselves into thinking that we often live in the present — in some kind of here and now — but usually it is the clockwork past deluding itself. Self-understanding and critical self-awareness may go beyond the limitations of all this. Such understanding and awareness are not merely the result of some learned processes or taught techniques.
Many of us primarily live in the particular and not in the general, not in — or involving — the whole. We merely function as we were taught, and we exist in (and as) the particular. For so many of us, the particular is apart from the whole; we try to solve things by focusing on the particular as apart from the whole. Then conflict ensues and even more problems arise. We see ourselves primarily as separate human beings. We must change.
Psychologically, the one who perceives something is not (to a large extent) separate from the perception; so, a man or a woman who is discussing something with someone who is standing in a bed of flowers is — in a very peculiar but real way — conversing with the flowers.
(A favorite excerpt from a very special movie):
I could while away the hours Conferrin’ with the flowers Consultin’ with the rain And my head I’d be scratchin’ While my thoughts were busy hatchin’ If I only had a brain
I’d unravel any riddle For any individ’le In trouble or in pain…
When one was in grade school at, of course, a very young age, one was in one’s upstairs bedroom. Suddenly, one was in an extremely perceptive state in which thought/thinking was not in occurrence. One realized, without internal words or symbols, that it was a very “special” mental state (much different from regular, mundane consciousness involving thought/thinking). Somehow it was instantaneous in nature, not involving time and the sequence that words and time are involved in. From then on, one would occasionally go into that dimension (or “special” mode).
Back then, one did not label it as anything. “Meditation” was not a word that i was familiar with; “meditation” was not discussed or mentioned in my culture or educational background at the time (way back then). Only later, in one’s college days, did i discover more about the term “meditation.” Interestingly, one found that a lot of what some gurus from the East were presenting as “meditation” was really a form of self-hypnosis (involving mere concentration, effort, resistance, and time). Thought/thinking, being a sequential mental process, involves (and actually is) time. Profound perception is beyond time; it is a beautiful timelessness that thought cannot “make happen.”
My prayer is — and always has been — in the doing, not in mere words. You can’t put food in an unfortunate starving man’s belly with a prayer.
As i’ve said to Harini (i.e., thelongview) in my previous blog posting’s comments, i have been donating to various food banks benefitting the Ukrainians. More of us should do the same. 💖
(Note: It seems that Leonardo DeCaprio did not donate the 10 million dollars to Ukraine like i had written about here initially. That information — that went viral about him — was not true. However, he did donate to various organizations pertaining to people in need, including the victimized Ukrainians.)
While watching a YouTube video on Putin, there was a section of the video that showed him (at an elderly age) kissing something in a church and making the sign of the cross. (Hypocrisy unmitigated concerning the exterminator of innocent people!) We’ve also had a so-called leader in the United States, holding a bible upside down while trying to use it as a prop. (By the way, the two are friends.) Donald Trump STILL refuses to criticize Vladimir Putin.
“THE ROUNDED CATALOGUE DIVINE COMPLETE.” by Walt Whitman
[Sunday,–– – ––.–Went this forenoon to church. A college professor, Rev. Dr.——, gave us a fine sermon, during which I caught the above words; but the minister included in his “rounded catalog” letter and spirit, only the esthetic things, and entirely ignored what I name in the following:]
The devilish and the dark, the dying and diseas’d,
The countless (nineteen-twentieths) low and evil, crude and savage,
The crazed, prisoners in jail, the horrible, rank, malignant,
Venom and filth, serpents, the ravenous sharks, liars, the disso- lute;
(What is the part the wicked and the loathsome bear within earth’s orbic scheme?)
Newts, crawling things in slime and mud, poisons,
The barren soil, the evil men, the slag and hideous rot.
Here is an excerpt from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman…
How beautiful and perfect are the animals!
How perfect the earth, and the minutest thing upon it!
What is called good is perfect, and what is called bad is just
The vegetables and minerals are all perfect, and the imponderable
fluids are perfect;
Slowly and surely they have pass'd on to this, and slowly and surely
they yet pass on.
I swear I think now that everything without exception has an
The trees have, rooted in the ground! the weeds of the sea have!
I swear I think there is nothing but immortality!
That the exquisite scheme is for it, and the nebulous float is
for it, and the cohering is for it;
And all preparation is for it! and identity is for it! and life
and materials are altogether for it!
The dictionary defines Nirvana as: ‘(in Buddhism) perfect bliss attained by the extinction of individuality.’
And the following — which may reflect the above definition — may be one pristine part of the bible that managed to get through without being adulterated much over time by those with mythological propensities:
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
When we consider things mentally we are living in the past. Merely living in the past, in all actuality, is not truly living. Past structures past recognitions, past images and patterns are restructured and re-manipulated. This re-manipulation may seem new, but if the components of it are of images and memories of the past — which they usually are — then what seems somewhat fresh is, for the most part, merely a restructuring of the same old stuff.
In psychoanalysis, looking into the past to get at the source of one’s fears usually isn’t treading new waters whatsoever. It also is a continuation of the past. This past is never truly liberating, for it is an extension of the remains of the stale, the old, and the accumulated. Bringing up old accumulations doesn’t — in any profound way — produce anything liberating and fresh for the mind. The mind that probes into its past is that past; and what it perceives with is dictated by (and actually is) the very past that it is desiring to look into. In actuality, it is very much like a dog chasing its own tail.
Instead of trying to find out about the source of the fears that one thinks one has, it may be much more prudent to perceive that one is not psychologically separate from what fear is as it occurs. Being in right relationship with fear doesn’t take time. Probing into one’s past and psychoanalysis take time. Time is not profoundly liberating in this… because like a dog that chases its own tail, it is a waste of energy. Looking at the past with the past is, for the most part, often a waste of time.
Trying to analyse fears takes time. Trying to control fear takes time. (And trying to control fear presupposes a segment of the mind that is separate from fear and that is capable of manipulating it.) Trying to suppress fear takes time. Escaping from fear, though various forms of entertainment, for example, takes time. Being in an intelligent relationship with fear (as it occurs) does not take time; there is no separation (i.e., no conflict) in that intelligence.
Lo Zu was sitting peacefully, adjacent to a beautiful, small creek with splendid, lush vegetation growing all around it. A towering, majestic mountain stood in the distance. Four inquisitive, very young students came by, and one of them said to Lo Zu, “Tell us something of wisdom; please tell us something that will amaze us.”
Lo Zu turned to them, smiling, and said, “Well, my friends, that’s a very tall order!” The youths all affectionately smiled at the aged Lo Zu and agreed. Lo Zu gazed at them and said (half to himself), “Let’s see… what can one say (or do) that would sufficiently satisfy such a tall order?” Then Lo Zu said, “How about if i get that mountain to move? Would that be sufficient?” “Oh, yes it would, indeed,” said one of the young students, “but it can’t be done.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t be so sure,” Lo Zu stated, grinning. Lo Zu continued on, “You see, in the mind, psychologically, it is such that the perceiver is (in a big way) the perceived. If the mind feels anger, it is the anger; if the mind feels joy, it is the joy; if the mind sees a tree (the patterns and the colors of that tree become what the mind is); if the moon is perceived, it’s image becomes what the mind is (psychologically). So the perceiver is (psychologically) the perceived. The two are as one.
“Yes,” the students said. Lo Zu went on, “So if one of you students looks at the mountain, and i move you… then in a big way, the mountain will move.” “Very interesting,” the students proclaimed.
Then Lo Zu said, “”There is a great book, stemming from a great and very wise man, that was written in a foreign land a short while back. It was a cornerstone book that was rejected by the authoritarian (so-called spiritual) bureaucrats in that land (who wanted to manipulate people and did not want them to be independent); they arranged for all of those who cherished that book to be executed. The book was called ‘The Gospel of Thomas.’ Here is one of the sayings from within that book: “When you make the two into one, you will become children of humanity, and when you say, ‘Mountain, move from here,’ it will move.””
In my last (recent) blog posting — just prior to this one — in the comments, Marlene thanked me and wisely mentioned how our conditioning causes us to forget (or fail to deeply see) the more realistic unity and wholeness (beyond the individual “I”). One answered back to her, responding that there are endless subtle ways that the isolating self tries to manifest… such that most of us, unfortunately, are hardly perceptive of it.
We are hardwired (by our crude society) to refer to the self habitually, automatically, without question. Going beyond the “I” is considered by many to be heading for insecurity, instability, and chaos. In reality, however, it may be that this limited (but deeply ingrained) notion of a central “I” (in each one of us) is what contributes greatly to the conflict, disorder, selfishness, instability, chaos, and lack of true harmony in the world.
And this constant, deeply ingrained referral to the “I” happens to so many of us, even to those of us who see the unintelligence of doing so. People will automatically, for example, say, “Well I’m working on my meditation or… I am trying to work on my mindfulness more.” So they still — either subtlety or grossly — are maintaining the “I” as a controller and power-source of regulation. Of course, our language itself is designed and structured to often refer to and depend upon the “I.” The “I” is a habitual obtrusion of thought (and it is not truly “in control” as we were programmed to think it is); it reinforces gross separation, selfishness, and (often) indifference. Truly transcending this takes one to a realm of real wholeness — beyond the limited image of “me” — a wholeness of real order, compassion, perception, and true harmony. (One can still, in communication, cautiously use the word “I” but nevertheless be acutely aware of its limiting, superficial aspect.)