Many religious organizations do not want you to have doubt. They want you to be firmly fixed in what they furnish. What they furnish is fixed and they don’t want you to waver from it. Propagandists do not want you to waver from rigid frameworks. Many of us were taught not to doubt. We were instructed, directly or indirectly, to adhere to set patterns without question. We were taught that that is what keeps us safe and secure.
Doubt — wonderful, dynamic, alive doubt — is not rigid like a dead rock. It involves a living, enquiring mind that intelligently perceives without merely clinging to the apron-strings of past patterns. If you are of a wisdom that intelligently doubts, then you might not be safe and might not be properly valued by others (in their set groups and ways); they might despise you or even hate you. Depth cannot be discovered by clinging to the superficial. The dry, rigid rocks and shallows might appear to be safe, but they are not where the electric, profound, alive secrets dwell. Many look at things through what they accepted, which may not really be looking much at all. When you look only with (and from) what you’ve been taught, you may not be perceiving much at all; it may then be others’ reactions of the past… that is looking… not you.
To a young person, one would say that it is prudent to question things wisely and intelligently. Don’t, within reason, accept what anyone says is true; find out for yourself. In that movement to “find out,” the instrument of the mind must be precise, must not be jaded by others, must not be contaminated by others. Therefore, understanding the instrument and keeping it pristine and uncontaminated may be of the utmost importance. Only a dynamic, pure instrument perceives without distortion. Symbols are second-hand and synthesized; they may have little to do with pure observing in the deepest sense. Most look through (and “as”) the symbols (e.g., words, patterns, and images) that they accepted and absorbed from others. The symbol is never the actuality; it is a second-hand post-impression.
Crab Spider with Fly in Rose Flower. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
When laziness happens, laziness is not what you have…
laziness is what you are.
When indifference happens, indifference is not what you have…
indifference is what you are.
When anger happens, anger is not what you have…
anger is what you are.
When distortion looks…
distortion is what is seen.
When fear happens, fear is not what you have…
fear is what you are.
When compassion happens, compassion is not what you have…
compassion is what you are.
When understanding happens, understanding is not what you have…
understanding is what you are.
When recognition happens, recognition is not what you have…
recognition is what you are.
When wisdom happens, wisdom is not what you have…
wisdom is what you are.
Bellis Perennial. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
Bellis Perennial… Through the Looking Glass Version. (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
The moment that a psychological fear — not necessarily threatening physical harm — occurs, simply be the fear, without merely looking at it with (and “from”) separation. Do not (as you learned from the past) merely try to avoid it, or rationalize it, analyze it, judge it, condemn it, or wish it was not happening. Simply be what it is without some (supposed) center looking at it from a (supposed) distance. If a legitimate relationship occurs with a fear, then the mind has much more clarity and energy to perceive with (and “as”) order and integrity. Most people have tension with their fears, involving conflict, friction, and avoidance; they look at “their” fears with images of distance and separation; many feel the more distance and separation… the better. Fear is only really diminished and solved when it is understood in a precise, legitimate relationship… not when there is needless friction, separation, strife, struggling, tug-of-war tension, and piecemeal analysis of fear. Analysis of fear involves — and is — time. A precise relationship with fear is not something that requires time or uncovering. If there is a precise, legitimate relationship (i.e., intelligent relationship) with fear there may be no need for time and duration (which is what analysis is) to better understand it (i.e., fear) in the future. If the future’s perspective (even with loads and loads of analysis having occurred) on fear still involves separation and conflict (as it does when the analyzer is supposedly different from the analyzed), it will not have understood fear to any profound degree; there is no more ideal moment to delve into it and understand the depth of it than when it actually takes place. Analyzing it later involves distance; most people look at fears through (and “as”) distance; such separation is of conflict/friction, and does not deeply flower into profound understanding and immense insight. Fear requires time for its existence. Without time, fear is not. Employing analysis and time to deal with fear may not be the most prudent thing to do.
Roses in the making. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
We all cling to something
You cling to part of an old white birch tree
Some of us cling to corrupt politicians who promise sunny heaven
while connivingly making shady deals under the table
I’d rather cling to a simple old white birch
and then soar joyfully through the vast wondrous sky
rather than grasp onto what driveling babbling politicians say
I’d rather fly free into that wordless timeless immensity
Redpoll Finch. Video by Thomas Peace c. 2016
To be valiant, to be courageous in the deepest sense, may not involve merely following orders as part of some mechanized, calculated structure. Instead, it involves the deep and profound freedom of standing alone, away from all of the contrived patterns of others, away from all of the concocted and separative systems promising security. To truly — not feigningly — go beyond the ego (i.e., the central self or “I”) involves vast courage and penetrating insight from a realm of freedom. A mere follower cannot — and will not — do it. Too many of us run and cling to our little structures that we have absorbed and learned from others, without ever standing alone while seeing and thinking about things deeply for ourselves. It is easy to be told what to do; it is easy to be influenced by commercials, by propaganda, by so-called authorities, by words.
The mind can go beyond them. The mind can go beyond the ego and the so-called central controller or central self. The mind can go beyond what merely clings to one experience after another. The fearful, afraid mind will not care — among its modes of indifference and of being frightened — to have anything to do with this to any significant extent. When an experience or when fear occurs, the mind is not merely separate from the experience or from the fear. Freedom is in neither. Both are inexorably limited.
Ailanthus. (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
Ailanthus. (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
Eye couldn’t conceive so simply a pure blue
as perfectly miraculously feathered you
who far into the vast and cloudless skies
can fly deep from any terrestrial primate’s whys
Indigo Bunting. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
Most of us avoid and run from pain. Our habit, as we were taught, is to run from pain and to seek pleasure. Most of us accept this as the way to react and perform. Commercials add to this tendency of ours, portraying pain as something horrible to avoid; additionally, they tempt us to go after exotic vacations, possessions, and fancy (though polluting) automobiles. The relationship that a truly intelligent and wise mind has to pain may be quite different than the relationship that most people have (or do not have) with pain. As long as it is not too unbearably intense, the intelligent mind may not merely detest it, avoid it, and flee from it. The intelligent mind doesn’t come to pain with all of the prejudices, judgements, and ingrained reactions that so many face pain with. Similarly, the intelligent mind doesn’t just approach certain races, ethnic groups, and certain classes of people with (and through) all kinds of preconditioned prejudices and judgements; they are seen simply as they are (without a mere separative viewpoint). There is much beauty in that; even pain can — and often does — have elements of beauty to it if one looks without mere condemnation. One can come to terms with pain in an intelligent, harmonious way.
We avoid pain so readily, so quickly, so mechanically. Avoiding pain goes back eons into our evolutionary past and does have its place. However, remaining in thought — and the limited (which is what thought is) — as so many of us inevitably do, is (in a big way) a real form of suffering and pain. It is like a man clinging to shadows and wholeheartedly taking the shadows to be what reality truly is. It is also like an organism taking a mere tool to be the essence of what it is. Very many of us cling to concepts, mental images, beliefs, and to our authoritarian leaders (who themselves are as lost as we are). So many of us have a central authoritarian leader whom we each call “me” or “I.” Yet this so-called central figure (purporting to be some sort of central authority) is what was conditioned into us (from others with the same syndrome); we continue, day in and day out, to look at the world with separation (yet we think we are healthy). Distortion isn’t healthy. Even though it may claim to be fine, it causes suffering and causes havoc in the world (directly or indirectly). You can’t intelligently come to terms with pain if there is not proper relationship to it and to other aspects of life, both psychologically and physically. When one is separate from what is experienced or thought, then fear, distortion, and suffering take place. (Very many think that they are separate from their thoughts, fears, and from others who are suffering.) When the mind acts without mere dependency upon what others have taught, then physical pain (personally) isn’t always so bad; and then the mind isn’t merely immersed in the pool of psychological suffering that so many accept as normal. Such a mind transcends (and helps to transcend) suffering. Such a mind doesn’t mind undergoing a lot of pain and discomfort (and lack of pleasure) in order to help others. Compassion negates pain (not necessarily in one’s so-called personal self). If wholeness and integrity aren’t there — they’re not two separate things, by the way — neither is true joy, deep intelligence, and profound bliss.
Feeling Slowly.(1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
Feeling Slowly (2). Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
Wherefore we alight upon these mineraled grounds
far from the dainty blossoming stores
with their nectar prizes all too pure and sugary seeded?
To extract something tangible and something intangible
must occur together as a unified whole
in and out of the recurrent clockwork of time that was needed.
The Cabbage Butterfly Club. Video by Thomas Peace c. 2016