Ha! I thought that would grab your attention.
And who we think we are is the subject of this blog post â€“ surprise, surprise!
“The fragmented self builds elaborate fortifications against any attempt to be identified and ultimately attacked. It perceives these changes as an attack because it does not like to go along with the plan of its own projected destruction.” – David Wilcox, 3rd September 2010
Before awakening occurs, there is an identity that is so at the core of everything we do, that to not do something that either cements it even more, or in any case, is simply of it, is intolerable. Intolerable because it is too frightening doing anything outside our comfort zone.
If you try really hard to think about who you think you are, you will ultimately have no choice but to see that this concoction you have made up as the me, is an image that is, firstly seen as a fixed entity. In other words, you may see that at the level of identity, you have a very fixed idea about a me.
The difficulty lies with seeing this me. Ordinarily, and with most of us, there is identification with the me from babyhood itself, and because of its habitual nature, we come very early on to believe the image to be who we actually are. The being-in-the-moment-ness of every newborn baby soon turns into a sense of being someone separate, which is the conclusion experience of having a name. The freedom known by an absence of limitation as a baby, becomes an experience, one after another, of limitations â€“ by society, culture, relationships, work, and so on and so forth.
With nearly everything that is said and done being initiated by this idea of a me, life becomes a race, a competition, a battle because the me (ego) has you believing there is not enough.
But such initiation is bypassed when a detachment grows form the me. This detachment usually grows when there is a trigger, a sudden shift, a catharsis. After all, something has to move one way or the other. It cannot just stand still. That is the difference between raising your level of consciousness, or remaining unconscious â€“ life is either a predictable, pretty stationary series of years, or it becomes an exciting, timeless pathway of realization and becoming, within the unknown Mystery.
People say to me that they know this but they canâ€™t seem to experience it. Well, the truth is that we have one purpose and that is to awaken. Some people say that awakening is divinely bestowed, and that you cannot control its timing. Whilst this is true I feel on the one hand, I feel itâ€™s also true what Ramana Maharshi said about Grace being you. Quite. If we are to be bestowed something, there is then a duality, a that and a me. But truth is, It is all One, and we are It, just as Meister Eckhart said, â€œThe eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.â€
As long as there is a self-image charting the course of your life, the above eye will be seen as two, not one. For an image is something that is separate to you, and that is not you â€“ after all. Thus, you see two when there is but one. The one is that which enables the image to be created in the first place â€“ your own divine creative life force.
The creation of a self-image, is actually quite an awe-inspiring process, as it is an example of how incredibly powerful we are as co-creators. Just think, out of an imagined me arise all the physical manifestations due to that imagined self. Your home, your work, your relationships, your body….so much is determined by what we believe we are, and what we believe we should say and do.
This self-image, or mask, is like a shipâ€™s captain who is constantly working on determining your shipâ€™s course but who keeps himself invisible. The captain puts up a good fight to remain invisible. This is what he is programmed to do. His whole existence is based upon you â€“ the real you â€“ not becoming aware of him. Once you become aware of him itâ€™s over, because he cannot exist other than invisibly to you.
The way that he works is that he has managed to get you to harbour certain beliefs about yourself, but instead of revealing to you the truth about a belief as just a belief, and nothing more, he has got you believing they are real! A double belief whammy!
With these beliefs as the basis of most of what you say or do, everything is tinged with urgency, or insufficiency, or something is wrong. This is because the beliefs are fundamentally of lack and unhappiness. When such thoughts are present there are great urges within us to cater for the perceived lacks, and thus we make decisions about every aspect of our lives based upon such needs.
Yet what is really going is the manipulation of reality by the captain, and we are at the behest of it.
Till we start becoming conscious.
And we do this simply by becoming aware of our beliefs. Now, this is initially a bit painful. But so be it. That is what one must say. At the end of the day, pain subsides, it is not itself real, just like beliefs. The whole thing is just quite a sick game! One of my favourite quote sof JK is:
â€œIt is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.â€
Now, the point is not to eliminate the captain, but to out him. It is not bad that the captain exists, it is just the way the whole thing works. We forget who we are in order to remember again. Simple.
The experience of the captain is always stressful. But we are so used to this way of being that even the stress becomes comfortable. This is the captainâ€™s game. And it is our game to wake up to the old boy. (or girl, letâ€™s not forget to add!). The Buddha said that there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. But the captain doesnâ€™t go along with the Buddha on this one. He likes you to believe that you are unhappy and you need something that you havenâ€™t got to fix the unhappiness.
The last thing he wants is for you to have a new thought. One that asks, â€˜What if I am already happy?â€™
Perhaps the Buddha could be correct? You wonder…And therein starts the authentic journey.
But the captain will work harder. And when one idea doesnâ€™t work, he always has plenty of reasons at the ready as to why the next idea is the one that is finally going to land you in heaven.
For myself, when awakening experiences occurred now over three years ago, I was initially dumbfounded. My captain was actually feeling ill! The way that things had been experienced had drained me. I was basically ready for a new experience. This new experience came in the form of an absence of emotion, and I did not know what was up with me when alongside this a nothingness arrived and settled in my belly.
Certainly a little disquieting at the time.
What was odd was that I saw the image I was trying to live up to, and realized how important it had been to me. It seemed bogus now, and one that I couldnâ€™t rely on anymore. It was as if I was left with nothing â€“ nothing I could latch on to, nothing I could understand, nothing I felt anything about (the emotional healing came a little later). The contrast between a mind full of thoughts flying around ten to the dozen, and the moments when thought simply left, left me altered. What was left it the wake, was blissful nothing. A relief, you could say.
Think about it, if you can see this â€˜meâ€™ then who or what is doing this seeing? The absence of stuff (â€˜meâ€™) is the space from which we arise, it is our home. It is that neutral Conscious Intelligence from which all originates.
And further, if you can see it, there is now a fundamentally new perspective because before it was hidden.
And because this â€˜meâ€™ is so fundamentally part of what you see as identity, a shift away from it, is radical, transformational and life-changing. And irreversible.
On this journey there comes a moment of realization that one is not the personal doer (as stated by Ramesh Balsekar in the fascinating video top right, you may need to click the title of this post first). It is not personal to me. To think it, is now laughable. And you do laugh, inwardly and out, feeling gratitude for the captainâ€™s sickness!
Losing the ego is letting go of everything, including supposed control â€“ of every concept you have ever had about yourself.
Ego is that impetus in you that focuses on you all day long. Think about it. What is the one person that occupies your focus, your benchmark, your sense of self? Isnâ€™t it you? Arenâ€™t you the benchmark, judge, evaluator, assessor and whatever else, in almost everything you say or do? This may be asking a outwardly silly question, but the basis of all your thoughts is you. A sense of you, anyway. An image. If you examine the thoughts you have going on all day, seemingly without you even being involved, you may begin to see that these thoughts are largely about you, or about how something relates to you.
Many people donâ€™t think anything of their thoughts. Itâ€™s funny, but when I was first introduced to Jiddu Krishnamurti, and was told about his teaching on thought, at first it seemed rather odd to me, as I had not really given the whole thought thing a second thought! Whatâ€™s the big deal, I thought. I doubted that the realm of thought could be what all our problems boiled down to…But upon reading and through my own experiences occurring simultaneously, I saw what JK meant when he said that thought is always old and about how we live second-hand lives because of this.
As he talked (well, I read) about this second-hand life, my own roles and definitions were falling by the wayside, one by one, and I was falling into emptiness and an absence of thought. This was illuminating, to say the least. In particular, that I could sense the new. The old was old, but now there was a newness to my experience, that I hadnâ€™t been aware of before. I saw it had always been there regardless. I was aware of energy being conserved away from meandering thought. Silence was new, as per what JK said:
â€˜Thought is perversion for it is the product of yesterday â€¦ Everything put together by thought is within the area of noise, and thought can in no way make itself still â€¦ thought itself must be still for silence to be. Silence is always now as thought is not. Thought, always being old, cannot possibly enter into that silence which is always new. The new becomes the old when thought touches it â€¦ Love can only be when thought is still. This stillness can in no way be manufactured by thought â€¦ this stillness can never be touched by thought. Thought is always old, but love is not â€¦ the flowering of goodness is not in the soil of thoughtâ€™
â€˜Meeting Lifeâ€™ (Bulletin 4, 1969) Â© 1991 Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, Ltd; Published by HarperSanFrancisco
I wondered how I could have possibly entertained all of that commotion inside my head, and it was no wonder I was feeling so drained. Thoughts were constantly at play and up to something or other â€“ usually on a roller-coaster ride they were trying to keep on the move. I saw how addicted I had been to thoughts and mental drama.
As the past and all of this was let go of, the experience that remained was of the silence that arises anew in each moment. On top of that, like an overlay, there is noise, and drama, and tittle tattle. But fundamentally, each and every one of us has a direct connection to our own â€“ what I like to call â€“ non-religious Divinity, and this is our essence. The only thing that gets in the way are our beliefs.
PS. I think this was rather a long post…Thank you for reading! Please leave me a comment!
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