Instead of being images “about things,” can the mind perceive beyond all of the absorbed mental patterns and labels that it has accumulated? In actuality, most minds are a result of the accumulation; (i.e, they actually are the accumulation). This “accumulation” often intrinsically involves “looking at things via separation” as one of its core attributes.
Perception beyond mere pigeonholing can take place. (We are not suggesting that one should not label things; we are suggesting that one need not always be doing it habitually. It takes dynamic intelligence to go beyond robotic habit.) Real perception, beyond the mere separation between subject and object, can take place. However, it takes real innocence, real simple-purity to do that and, unfortunately, the masses are (for the most part) incapable of that. (However, corruption does have its trivial perks.)
Nothing between us… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
The associative patterns of the mind, what are their functions? Do they exist merely for us to acquire, accumulate, attain things (including food and shelter), and differentiate with (and from) an element of separation? Do such patterns dictate — to us — what we see?
We usually look at things through labels, through images that we have learned. A person often distinguishes things (at a distance, separate from himself). The patterns that we hold dictate what we see. However, we are these absorbed patterns; we do not actually hold them; they are not separate from what we essentially are. Real wholeness, real integrity, real love, may involve looking beyond the patterns, beyond the old, stuffy mental accumulations, beyond the labels, beyond the mental separative distance.
Three in One … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Unpremeditated goodness is often rather motiveless in that it disregards mere efforts to satisfy the self. Satisfying the self is crude, gross, unevolved, and is what most people do. There is a goodness that is unattached-spontaneous, free of the illusory ego, simple, beyond fragmentary thought, and innocent in the way it acts. It is not a mere reaction but, rather, something else is involved. That “something else” is the whole, or is a perception of and from wholeness. Wholeness doesn’t depend upon illusory parts. Parts and fragments — especially when they are illusory, and most of them are — are not what wholeness covets. Wholeness is highly intelligent action, though not merely of the intellectual kind. Wholeness is action, not mere reaction.
Mere reaction feeds the self, with all of its gross demands. The self, in fact, is a product of mere reaction. Crude reactions nourish and sustain the self. Without such reactions, the image and repetitious movements of self would not be. Wholeness operates differently than what reactions and fragments entail. In wholeness, a vast intelligence operates. There is little vastness/intelligence in what is fragmentary and isolated.
Orange Fairy Cup Fungus at the base of an Oak Tree, Illinois … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Quietness and awareness often go together, like a sweet aroma and a flower. A mind that is constantly chattering to itself, repeating what it has learned or absorbed… and then merely habitually re-repeating such things in (remembered) altered mental arrangements and recollections for itself, does not have the pristine energy to look freshly and directly beyond the known. The known is the past — as stored, old patterns of memory — and the beauty of real “newness” cannot take place when mere repetition from (and of) the memory bank takes place.
One cannot practice awareness any more that one can practice real quietness. A profound and living awareness/quietness is never the mere outcome of repetitive, learned procedures or known systems. Profound innocence can occur when one is not filled with what others have taught you to do. It is a motiveless looking, and most people, unfortunately, merely look with (and from) motives. Most are caught in a cause-and-effect framework; they live that way, they work that way, and they are programmed exclusively in that. Real joy seldom occurs in a mind trapped in such repetitive cause-and-effect oriented motives. In the sequence of things, the cause becomes the effect and the effect becomes another cause. To merely be one conditioned after-effect (after another) throughout life (in such a robotic sequence)… may not be real living whatsoever. (It would be wonderful if we could easily disinter such rather cadaverous minds out of the conditioned quagmire that they are in but, alas, it is not easily done.) Of course, we must engage in (and “as”) cause-effect occurrences often; however, to merely be stuck in that mode is a shame. An innocent (naturally quiet) mind can look beyond the crude sequence of things and that is when wholeness (beyond mere ordinary effects) and love really blossom.
Beyond the crude sequence of things… small Eastern Gray Beardtongue wildflower on the forest floor. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
Most people are deeply afraid of intrinsically being nothing. They, deep within, have enormous fear about existing as emptiness. They’ll “try” various meditative techniques to “attain some kind of emptiness that they can control,” but these techniques all depend on time (which is merely a postponement and — really — a duplicitous psychological excuse to use a so-called psychological center to continue to be manipulating and “getting there”). They may conjure up a fabricated emptiness (under their control) and continue to pretend that it is something special (that “they” have); this further reinforces internal possession and, with it, the “I” of domination/possession. Profound emptiness is not merely brought about by any psychological cause, by any psychological effort. However, the exclusive cause-effect mentality has been deeply ingrained within us. That is how most of us operate and that is the only way most of us know how to operate. Psychological — not physical — ending to the known neither requires effort, technique, nor time; really, it is timeless living. Regarding psychological emptiness, it is foolish to run away from it (and it is foolish to fabricate it). (Accurate thinking has its place, but it is only a tool; one part of a conditioned “network of tools” identifying itself as “the controller” is a form of crudity and ignorance.)
The nothingness that most conjure up, unfortunately, is a fabrication. The beauty of true nothingness/emptiness is that… when it actually occurs, the magnificence of wholeness and profound eternity exists. To be deeply afraid of that, then, is delusive and fallacious.
There was a man
who was afraid of the emptiness of a flower
He ran from that emptiness
Ignorance fled from what was the door to immeasurably immense beauty
Flower Power (Emptiness) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
In order to have psychological fear, psychological time is a fundamental necessity. (Thinking and psychological time are not two separate things.) Without some protrusion of thought about some distant event in the future, there would be no psychological fear. That distance (that the mind fabricates about the future) necessarily involves space (and sequential duration)… which are projected by (and “as”) the mind. “In the future, something terrible might happen.” “In the future, I might not have enough friends.” There may be innumerable fears, such as the two aforementioned ones, that can plague a human’s mind. Then one may say that one would like to get rid of the many fears that one has. Somewhat ironically, the very desire to get rid of these fears is (in a real way) an extension of fear; it (itself) is, in a big way, an extension of (or precursor to) more fear.
Who is dealing (internally) with the fears? If one is looking at the fears with a feeling of control or manipulation, then one is assuming that the fears exist at some distance (to somehow “manipulate”). However, (psychologically, whether we like it or not) the manipulator is not separate from the manipulated; the two are both part of the thought/thinking process… and (in a big way) are not two separate things. Trying to “get rid” of the fear causes the mind to fabricate the controller, the “I” or the “me” who is allegedly separate from the fear.
Many types of sequential thinking (i.e., many forms of sequential thinking) — in most people — trigger thoughts that project (often needless) fear about what may happen in the future (along with thoughts of an “I” or a “me” that will be dealing with things). (Sequential thinking that reflects order is very good; sequential thinking — especially the muddled, psychological kind learned from miseducation — that reflects disorder is bad.) A keen perception that observes this whole process (and that goes beyond fabricating a separate “me” apart from the fear) has gone beyond friction and then has tremendous energy, wholeness, and insight. Insight is timeless energy; most people, unfortunately, waste energy. Timeless energy is beyond the chaos that manifests as mere psychological time. (In true silence there is great energy/insight; however, there is no “I” or “me” who can take one to that silence through the process of sequential time.)
Drops from Above … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019
I am a kid
trapped in an old man’s body
i fly kites
i perpetually chase insects and frogs
i still often gaze in wonder through a magnifying glass
i still think that grown-ups are yucky
i love watching toads in the woods
i keep fish and shrimp as pets and stare at them for hours
i hunt fossils and love everything about dinosaurs and prehistoric life
i unendingly question
and i still learn best away from
Mr. Toadster … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019