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.
All Posts Tagged ‘conditioning’
Happy New Year! (even though there isn’t anything new about it) Hoping that the following year is full of insight, compassion, and care (radiating from all of us). 🙂
“If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” — Albert Einstein
Many people ardently insist and feel that they have “free will,” an ability to freely choose without being bound by limitations. They each think that some central agency (i.e.,dominator/controller), apart from the contents, is (somehow) freely acting. Thoughts and thinking involve physical processes within (and “as”) the brain, and these physical process are not exempt from the cause and effect sequences that our universe moves as. The very notion of will implies the power of control that the mind has concerning its own actions. If all of these actions are (inherently) reactions, however, that opens up questions concerning what is actually taking place. (Never feel, however, that conditioning and the lack of free will constitute some kind of get out of jail free pass or “excuse” to whip up; we are, each of us, responsible for helping the world to be orderly and pain-free.)
Did real (free) volition not exist in the worm-like chordates and fish that we evolved from but sprang into existence with us? May it, whether we refuse to see it or not, be that free will, in essence, is a concept that has little or no validity for our current mental states? Most of us, either consciously or unconsciously, cling to the notion of having free will. If the mind has control over its contents, who is the controller? Is the controller separate from what the controlled (psychologically) is? If the controller is not something magically separate, then that has an altogether different meaning and significance.
Sensitively perceiving (not merely conceptually) that most all of what we think and feel is totally conditioned and is part of a cause and effect continuum can allow the mind to come upon a new and vital challenge. Can the mind not merely continue to operate in (and “as”) the same old ways (of conditioning) but, instead, function and live (at times) beyond mere reaction? Real liberty and emancipation may come when the mind sees itself as totally conditioned (when it is conditioned) and deeply ensnared in (and “as”) cause/effect patterns and, then, changes (not through reactions, as in the past), but in a wholly different manner. Then there is a possibility of real order, insight, and compassion to function, beyond the norm. He who clings to prison bars forever thinking that he is free will never run disentangled from all the bondage.
Six-Legged Santa! (The Santa of the insect domain lands on our roof!)
Merry Christmas to all of you two-legged, four-legged, and six-legged friends! 🙂
Santa is real… real love and giving! Anyone can be the Santa of others.
[Interesting how Santa, when we were very young, was something to get excited about and cherish. Then, as we get older, many see Santa as being something rather spurious and unreal. This has connotations that spill over into spirituality and religion. Many people do not (really) feel that anything truly mysterious and magical (as a sacred phenomenon) can exist. Deep inquiry, in this regard, is often considered to be a waste of time by many. Disbelief can be as blinding as mindless belief; insight goes beyond these.]
To function only as mere secondary after-effects… what is that? Most of us always function as responses to stimuli… one response (or set of responses) after another. Thinking about things involves responses to stimuli. Recognizing things constitutes responses to stimuli. These responses are reactions. They are much like the reaction when the leg jerks after the knee is tapped with a soft mallet. Most of us are conditioned responses in a cause/effect continuum. Conditioned responses (as effects), occurring in (and “as”) a sequence, is time. Thinking is time; thinking and time are not two separate things.
Can consciousness function without merely always being one series of reactions (in sequence) after another? Can the mind be aware without merely reacting, recognizing, labeling, and without merely seeing from an image of self? Can a wise mind exist without constantly being a myriad of effects due to a myriad of causes? To answer these questions adequately, what will one do? Will one answer them by way of reaction?
Can thought, when it is not needed — and, oftentimes, it is not necessary — not habitually function in (and “as”) the mind? If it is thought that merely answers the aforementioned question, is the question being intelligently answered? Does love go beyond mere thought and time?
If one’s love is a mere reaction — formulated to get something in return, contrived to get some kind of result for one’s personal self — is it partial and, therefore, not profound and not very substantial at all? Love exists when the image of self is not. It takes time and thought to concoct an image of self (with all the associated desires and fears). Profound love is timeless.
Traveling on the Razor’s Edge…
One can take the easy way that others have formulated “for you,” regarding living your life. Most of us travel the safe and easy path that was laid out for us by others. However, it may be that the “prefabricated path,” put there by others for us to travel upon… almost inevitably leads to a life that is not truly full of dynamic immensity and true passion. Any system, any set of rigid methodologies, merely tend to heavily condition the mind. Such a conditioned mind, being second-hand, rarely has the capacity to go beyond what is mediocre and contrived by plotting.
True spontaneity, true insight… is never the result of any second-hand, calculated series of events. Real spontaneity and actual insight is always what manifests from something direct and “non-distorted.” What is merely “learned” is always second-hand and, therefore, not truly direct and straight. Shadows are what is rather second-hand… and a lot of minds are “in the dark” due to having allowed themselves to exist via the formulations and blueprints of others. We need to go beyond what was fabricated for us to function “as.” We need to perceive without all of the contamination that was poured into so many (by calculating profiteers). We are not invited (enough) to do things without motive. We are not invited (enough) to question things freely, sanely. We are not invited to intelligently go beyond what was spoon-fed into us. Most of us may be falling “off course,” because we may be traveling as delimited by (fallen) others. Traveling on the razor’s edge is very difficult; it is easy to fall off and remain very “safe.”
Black Swallowtail on Flower’s Edge…pic by Thomas Peace (Left click on the photo and scroll down to see it enlarged; left click on the “middle” of it again to enlarge it more; hit left return-arrows, twice, to return.)
Memory is Always Old…
Memory is always old and of “the past.” It involves symbolic images and words in a recollection of past occurrences, past things, past events, and past experiences. Memory is usually heavily conditioned by the learned patterns that society has shaped within us. The memory bank is an accumulation of these past (learned) things and past experiences. Things are categorized within us, according to how we’ve been taught. We often merely see things through a process that is dictated through the learned screen of memory. Recognition is often largely memory reinforcing itself. Being more than something that is second-hand… involves going beyond all this in a fundamental way.
This arrangement (of memories) can become rearranged (and reshuffled) and, in having done so, relatively new things and ideas can become established. Such a rearrangement can either be very beneficial (to life on earth) or not very beneficial, or somewhere in between. People come up with all kinds of ways to “sell” or “profit from” their ideas. This profitability either is motivated to benefit the self or to benefit humanity and life (or both); oftentimes it lies somewhere in between. A truly wise man, however, deeply perceives that the self is not, in truth, separate from the rest of humanity (and life). Such a person’s motivation may not lie within what was merely learned via past experiences and via various types of stored memory. This is because real insight can spring into existence (in a serious person) regardless of what past memories and experiences existed previously.
Deep and profound insight cannot be purposefully brought about by any method, system, or procedure. Otherwise such insight would merely be the formulations of (or partially formulated by) a plan. Planning takes time, and deep insight exists beyond the realm of what can be concocted in time. True insight is timeless. It is a profound, spontaneous explosion beyond what one had learned or experienced via memory. The profundity of insight can (out of compassion) shape someone’s memory; but one’s memory can never shape, fabricate, or bring about true insight. The mechanism of memory (as the thinking process) must end (for deep insight to take place). This ending, of course, cannot come about via any contrived process, procedure, or devised strategy. An ending resultant from some kind of blueprint is a mechanically formulated effect… which is not, truly, an ending. If the cause involves “plotting” and “calculation”… the end will be also be rather ordinary, near-predictable, and mundane. Most people were taught that “ending,” for them, is something that is “not good.” However, ending “psychologically” may not, at all, be deleterious. Most people endlessly cling to (their) memory. (That is what they were taught… and that is what they have absorbed; that is what they continually function as.)
Insects and flowers have always had a symbiotic relationship with each other. The flower feeds the insects and the insects help pollinate, clean, and protect the flower.
Photo of ant on a lily flower by Thomas Peace c. 2012:
[Left click on the photo to see a larger version… then left click on the “center” of it again (up to 2 times) to expand it further; hit left “arrows” to return.]
To Look From A Limited Perspective…
Looking from a limited perspective… what does that mean to you? Have you ever thought about it? Many of us probably perceive through a conditioned background… a background that many of us have “operated from,” but which many of us have never intelligently examined objectively. To perceive things in a fragmentary manner may be to look with a great deal of separation and division.
Many of us go through life “recognizing” things. We recognize one thing after another, as we were taught. Then we write essays, or books, or blogs, or letters, or emails about these multitudinous “things” that we have “recognized.” We often recognize things in the manner or way in which we were taught to recognize them. One’s consciousness is constituted of these “recognized things.” These things that we were taught about have very delineated demarcations and boundaries. We were taught that each thing has a finite domain and a limited space… and we were taught that there is a limited space between us and each of these “things.” (We were taught that fear is there, in us to deal with… not that we and our fears are not separate, not something different.) We continue to write about these things and share these things with others. So, indirectly (or directly) we are continuing to teach and to reinforce the learning/teaching process of others (in the manner that we were taught). Some of us are very good at writing and at conveying images to others via printed words. We get congratulated about what we are writing… and, indeed, some of us develop very lucrative professions due to our ability to hone and craft words in an “artful/intelligent” manner. We give each other prizes (for those who we think did the best job at entertaining us with words and symbols… in a crafty manner).
In the Algonquian Native American family of languages, for instance, there is more of a verb-based structure existent. In other words (no pun intended) more verbs exist, rather than separate things “as nouns.” There’s more of a “doing” and “blending,” rather than an “it-ness” and a “separativeness.” The Ojibwa, the Cheyenne, and the Blackfoot sometimes saw things more together, in a kind of blended movement or flow… rather than as mere separate, isolated “things” very apart from each other.
Animals recognize things, often without having been taught to do so. Dogs recognize what to eat and what not to eat (though what some dogs recognize as being “edible” is not often very beneficial to eat). Cats recognize what is a threat and what is not likely to be harmful. Saber tooth cats (no doubt) could often do so without having been taught by their mother. A lot of this recognition is innate and instinctual. It is at a very crude level. Even insects and spiders can recognize what is an enemy and what is beneficial to eat; oftentimes they are one and the same (in the case of what insects/spiders see as an enemy that is concomitantly likely delicious)!
The consequences of continuing to write with a separative mode (quite similar to what crude bugs and diminutive animals can grasp and attain)… might be extremely profitable for the so-called gifted writer or author who is capable regarding relating in such a manner. However, if we merely continue in that crude, crass, and primal mode (as we have been doing for millennia), then we will have merely continued the process of looking from a limited perspective. We need to evolve from this separative perspective (which merely involves separate things). If we don’t change, then people (with their separative little countries, sects, things, and establishments) will never change fundamentally. Will a fragment, a separate, little self that is divorced from everything else be able to do this? One doubts it. What is limited cannot transcend limitation unless it fundamentally changes into something else. A little insect, sitting on a plant, can’t fundamentally change from the crude limitation that it is immersed (and absorbed) in. Can we?
Meditation: How not to Meditate
from Thomas Peace
True meditation is not something that one can know that one is engaged in. Like humility, true meditation occurs to the mind unawares; it is not something that can be recognized. One can not “know” that one is humble. Likewise, one cannot “know” that one is meditating. True meditation and true humility are both beyond the field of “the known.” Therefore, both are beyond the realm of recognition by the self; for recognizing is in the field of “the known,” whereas humility and meditation are of “understanding” and not “knowing.”
To practice meditation is folly. For one cannot practice what is beyond causality. One can practice what is within a cause and effect continuum — such as learning to play a man-made instrument — but true meditation is an all-encompassing, non-conditioned, non-fragmentary thing. Therefore, it is beyond the realm methodology within phenomena involving common causality. Interestingly, a lot of people claim that they practice a form of meditation. However, true meditation, being beyond what can be mechanically “practiced” within causality, does not exist for such erroneous individuals. You can practice something rather dead and mechanical… but you can’t practice “aliveness,” “awareness,” “insightful compassion,” and “holistic understanding”… and that (despite what many so-called experts say) is what meditation may really involve.
A wise, sagacious mind is (in itself) meditation. However, such meditation is not something that it practices as part of some methodology. A wise, sapient mind goes beyond the clutches of practice and methods… because such a mind intelligently goes beyond the field of the “known.” Such a mind goes beyond the realm of mere symbols and representations that words and labels are a part of. Such a mind goes beyond mere symbols… but not by any process of practice or methodology. True insight is instantaneous: no time is involved for it to (finally) come about. All methods and forms of practice take time. A wise mind (of true meditation) exists beyond what takes time in order to manifest. Interestingly, true meditation, being beyond mere practice and being beyond mere methods… is, in a significant way, beyond the causality of time.
Beware of those charlatans who offer a concrete form of meditation to you (for you to practice). What they give you may make you feel happy or comfortable for a limited time. However, what is not true meditation is merely a crutch. It is not the indelible gem of many indescribable facets. So, regarding those that offer you some form of methodology or prayer to attain enlightenment: run from them and do not fall into their clutches. Meditation is only what can occur for the individual of (and by) his (or her) own accord. It is a harmony that others cannot bestow upon you. Read my book (about self-awareness) at http://www.eternalfountainofyouth.com. The book will not provide you with mechanical methods to practice (like some kind of robot); it will not give you methodologies to follow like some kind of lemming. It will, however, encourage you to wake up and realize that what you do in infinitely important. However, if you are merely a “follower” and a lemming, then what you do will always be limited and confined. True meditation never blossoms forth from what is always merely limited and confined. True meditation is an explosion of infinite awareness and understanding… an awareness and understanding that no one can merely regulate out to you.
from Emily Dickinson:
A COUNTERFEIT — a plated Person —
I would not be —
Whatever strata of Iniquity
My Nature underlie —
Truth is Good Health — and Safety, and the Sky,
How meager, what an Exile — is a Lie,
And Vocal — when we die —
Thomas Peace (author)
Beyond the Orthodox
Love and be the whole miracle of life… not limited, dead concepts and systems.
Intelligence goes beyond the boundaries of “them” and “us” and dissolves them forever.
It is easy to get lost in the shuffle.
A passionless mind is dead before it ever gets to the grave.
Anything, even a heartless machine, can exist as what it was programmed to exist as.
Separation (from others, for instance) is as a death.
You are responsible for the whole of life, because the whole of life is you.
True beginnings are entwined with (and engaged to) true endings.
The book, which I recently wrote, cannot fail, because even if you do not like it (which is highly unlikely)… it will have succeeded; it can only fail if you think that it is of the “languid orthodox” and that it is cherished by the “numb status quo”… and that cannot ever happen.
Regarding what most of the ungracious masses of separative people have unceasingly clung to: it doesn’t ring true.
Fly like a free Swallowtail… please do not cling to the stagnant flypaper of orthodoxy along with so many others.
Regarding my (i.e.,Thomas Peace’s) book please click on: www.eternalfountainofyouth.com
from Emily Dickinson:
Macro-photography pic taken by Thomas Peace:
I feel that what is important in life… is understanding. For understanding is life, not something divorced from it. If you merely look in a second-hand way — that is, according to accumulations and formulated systems/patterns that were handed down to you — then you likely will be far from being a mind that is truly alive and supple. What is truly alive and supple is not ever the result of rigid, traditional, habitual formulations. If you follow a rigid, fixed path… you might find comfort, but you will not be what directly perceives truth, and you likely will not be what discovers deep mystery. That deep mystery is too alive and unconstrained to be able to be touched by what is second-hand, premeditated, and stale. No dead, fabricated path can lead to (or hold) what is true and what is truly living.
Please read my new book, but please do not cling to it. People who cling to books, to systems, to traditions, to methodologies (in the realm of the psychological and spiritual) are often like flies that get stuck onto stagnant flypaper. They end up being embedded in the conclusions of others, and there they are forever stuck… not ever realizing, for themselves, what true freedom is. So please do not turn my book into something to cling to and to help one become “stuck” (to conclusions about life). Please use my book as a tool for questioning. Question yourself about how others may have indoctrinated you and molded you to become part of what is rigid, second-hand, and obsolete.
Please wisely go beyond my book and beyond me. I, Thomas Peace, am not what is important and I am not what you need to focus on. You are what is important… and you may be so much more than what the supposedly sophisticated intellectuals have told you what you are. Please go beyond what the cultural pundits have shoveled to you. Please share my book with others… not to get them to come to presumptions… not to affix more humdrum ideas into their minds — and, it seems, most all the orthodox ideas are rather “humdrum” — but to invite them to prudently question things for themselves. This questioning may help them to live peacefully and holistically beyond dead conceptualizations, and to fly free (from being secure in the wretched, flat flypaper of stale conclusions). Please learn, for yourself (and not merely from others) about soaring and flying in true freedom. Please do not remain embedded in the old, humdrum patterns that the languid status quo adheres to.
Discover my book at www.eternalfountainofyouth.com
It can also be found by searching for it (via the book’s title) on Amazon.com
In an indirect way, it may be like drinking directly from the Grail cup itself.