Monday, 6 July 2009
Often times things go wrong in our lives don’t they? You do agree with me here, right? Or is everything in your life just hunky-dory? Not that I have the faintest notion what that means, I mean, ‘hunky-dory?’ . . . oh, right . . . ‘about as well as one could wish or expect; satisfactory; fine; OK.’
So is it? Is your life about as well as one could wish for or expect . . . or could things be better? Things can always be better, yes, or maybe not? Don’t let me put words in your mouth, you decide, it’s your life after all.
If only we, each of us, were able to simply be, in this moment, and therefore be free of the need for things to always be better than they are. If only we didn’t need to project ourselves into the next moment; if only we could simply accept this moment, the now, as it is. If only there were a mechanism, a technique maybe, which we could employ, so we could simply enjoy that which is, instead of hankering after what we want to change in our lives, hmm. Not that change is a bad thing, far from it; change is the only constant in life! The good news is that change happens naturally anyway, so why bother? Indeed . . . let’s find out why we should bother, or not . . .
Actually what I said isn’t strictly true . . . what I should say is:
The only constant in life is this moment, the now, but the very nature of the now is change.
Everything is changing every moment, which is always now. Look, don’t allow yourself to become confused by this, do your best to read this post with a still and an open mind. I’ll be giving you a mechanism for that, look out for it!
Of course some of my recent posts on here pointed you towards the work of Eckhart Tolle, an enlightened man who, in his interview attempted to give you just such a mechanism to overcome your conditioned mind . . . yes? You did get that much out of the interview, right? Well I certainly would say that - that would be the least anyone would get out of such an interview . . . but still . . .
. . . where was I, oh yes . . . things that go wrong in our lives, um . . .
What happens when things go wrong in your life? Do you react emotionally to a seemingly unfortunate event, any event that conflicts with what you want to be happening in your life . . . or are you calm, relaxed and at ease about it? Did you notice the word ‘react’ in there? Most people do that don’t they; they ‘react’ to events that are contrary to their particular desires, their wants and their ‘likes’, do you see this . . . in your life?
The average person will always react emotionally to anything that happens to them, especially if it doesn’t agree with their strongest desires . . . with what they would like to have happen; with what they have become attached to as theirs, be it psychological, emotional or physical attachment. And that is the cause of all their problems . . .
Little do they know it, but yes, their own reactivity is the cause of all their problems. Put another way, all your problems are caused by your own reactivity to events and circumstances in your life. Yes, you are causal. Holy shit, that means that you are actually responsible for your life and for every event and circumstance unfolding in your life right now! Who’d have thought it . . . ?
Again I have to ask you, you did notice the repetitive use of the word react in the last three paragraphs . . . that’s a yes then? I thought so. Now don’t over react to this, there is a very good reason for me being so repetitive! I’m not just attempting to get you to react here, although that wouldn’t be such a bad thing either, because at least you would then have an opportunity to see your own ignorance in action, wouldn’t you . . . ? What, you don’t think that it’s an act of ignorance to react emotionally to the unfortunate events that occur in your everyday life? Maybe you’re right, maybe not. We had better find out hadn’t we?
If you don’t react emotionally to unfortunate events and circumstances in your life, that is to say you don’t react with unhappiness, well, what is the alternative? The alternative is to see the event as a singular happening; as a singular event in the moment (The Now, as Eckhart would call it), and to respond from your most natural state of being; which is calm, relaxed and at ease. You don’t have to like what has happened in the moment but the secret is not to react to it, and you do this by seeing the event as having no ‘hold’ over you. It is simply an event, a happening in this moment; let it simply be that . . . let it . . . be . . .
Look at each event, yes every event in every moment, without judgment. If you don’t judge an event (the moment) as being good or bad for you, then you can’t react emotionally to it. Just see the event, hold the moment, and don’t move mentally or emotionally.
So yes, there is an alternative, not an easy one, I’ll give you that, but still . . .
The alternative is to respond from being rather than to react emotionally.
Responding, rather than reacting, is not always as easy as it may at first appear to be. Sure it’s easy for me to write about it here, and for you to enjoy the read (or not as the case may be), but in real life things go wrong and that is when one is tested; in everyday life . . . when the shit is hitting the fan!
At first you may fail often in your attempts to ‘respond from your very being’, rather than reacting from your conditioned ignorance. That’s OK; it was always going to happen anyway. You were always going to continue reacting emotionally. But why were you always going to continue reacting emotionally? That’s an intelligent question . . .
It was always going to be a case of failure first, and success second, because you have been conditioned in that way. You’ve been conditioned to learn through a process of failure that eventually leads to success. Like learning to walk, or ride a bike, at first you fail, you fall a few times, perhaps you experience pain and tears, but you get back up and try again and again until you succeed. You see the truth of this don’t you?
So yes, you’ll catch yourself reacting emotionally, and often, the more often the better. Don’t be disheartened, it isn’t a bad thing, it’s a good thing. Why is it a good thing? It’s a good thing to catch yourself reacting emotionally often because that is how you become completely aware of your own conditioned ignorance; little by little, and that’s just great. Eventually you’ll move beyond all concepts of it being either good or bad to react and simply see the fact. What is the fact? The fact is that you are not the emotional reactions that you are observing in action within yourself, that’s a fact. You are the observing intelligence doing the observing, that’s an observable fact. If you disagree with me here, well there’s one definite way to find out if I’m writing truth here isn’t there? Yes, take the test, start observing your own emotive reactions and see what occurs.
It’s now time to change gear. Let’s chat about the title to this blog post, why: ‘Paradoxical Illusions’? Well a paradox, as you are probably aware, is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth. So, there’s a possible truth hidden away in here, no matter how absurd or contradictory it may appear to be to your rational mind. So don’t go discarding the possibilities too soon, find out for yourself by practicing self-observation in the way I’ve indicated in this post and in other posts on this self-knowledge blog; be certain, rather than opinionated!
Illusions, why illusions though? Well, there are three variables I wanted to mention here. There is that word reality that gets bandied around aplenty, and then there is the word illusion, which again can often be used; you know; life is an illusion, right? But there is a third one, a word that is little used but is of great importance here: Actuality.
All three words, all three variables, are important in discovering who you are; this is self-knowledge, yes? There is great diversity in self-knowledge and within all variables, apparently. So, in an attempt at helping you to understand where all your emotional reactivity comes from I simply need to cover this ground . . .
What most people normally call reality, isn’t reality at all, it is their actuality. Most people, I’d say around 99% of the population, have no idea what their reality is, even if they think they do. Let’s face it, the majority of people are not willing to do the work required to realize the truth regarding their reality in existence . . . and they confuse their actuality with their reality.
Whether you agree or disagree with that statement is of no importance right now. What is of importance is that you hear me out rather than react to what I’m saying here . . . ahem, gotcha!
So, now we need to look at the actuality-illusion-reality triad, and see how it relates to our reactivity and/or responsiveness here in existence. Blimey this is a long post. I wonder if I’ll ever finish it. Here goes . . . stay strong now; you may have to read this post several times over to have a break through.
Reality is what you are, what I call the real ‘I’ that you can see written, and hidden, within the word real-i-ty, ok. You can see the words real and I in there, yes? As an add-on I would just like to say that self-realization is the direct experience of the real ‘I’, which again is hidden within the term self-real-i-zation itself. To have the direct experience of the real ‘I’ is to be real. The very meaning (origins) of the word religion is the reconnection of man with his reality; the real ‘I’.
What you really are, the real ‘I’, has degenerated into, or manifested as, physical form. In doing so it has created an illusion, not the illusion of physical existence, NO, that is actually happening, but the illusion that you are something other than what you really are!
You, the real ‘I’ have entered existence in physical form and you are having the direct experience of life and living. You, the real ‘I’ are experiencing actuality. You are actually here in existence; you have entered the actuality that is external life, and here you are reading this.
So, the real ‘I’ (your reality) has actually created the actuality that is existence.
In-between you, the real ‘I’, and actuality lies the illusion of you being something that you are not . . .
. . . but how has this happened? Well, in your time on earth you have gathered a past, which is time, here in existence. In the time you’ve been here, actually experiencing life and living, you have gathered a personality and this personality or self is the illusion. It is an illusion because you think that it is the real you, but it is not you, it is simply what you call yourself, which is a gathering of past experiences, attitudes to life, beliefs and opinions garnered over time; the time that you have lived.
Your personality, the person that you have become in time, is the illusion. And it is a totally convincing illusion at that, one that is very hard to deny or break free from. But break free you must, it is winner take all . . . a battle to the bitter end, the war to end all wars; illusion versus reality.
So, to recap and clarify, speaking as ‘I’ the reader of these words;
• The real ‘I’ is who I really am, my reality.
• ‘I’ have entered existence in and as physical form. This life I am experiencing is my actuality. I am actually experiencing this life!
• In-between the real ‘I’ and my experience here in actuality there sits an illusion. It is the illusion that I am the personality, what I call myself, which is only a gathering of past conditioning and ignorance.
• If ‘I’ move beyond (transcend or divine through) my conditioned personality, ‘I’ bring that very reality with me into existence.
• That reality is already perfect and therefore non-problematic . . .
. . . Heaven comes to earth, I experience Nirvana . . . the end of suffering . . . bliss . . .
Of course all of this could be so much bullshit couldn’t it, right? Yes it could, that is why you can’t believe a word of it, you have to find out if it is true or not true, no middle ground. And the only way to discover whether it is true or not is to take action, which is the act of doing something, yes? How else have you ever learnt anything in your life, if not through doing what needs to be done? This subject is not theoretical, no; it is practical, which means it is a D.I.Y. course in life itself. There is no other way.
Now, to begin the process of helping you see this truth for yourself I will, in my next post, give you mechanisms; mechanisms that will create a shift in your perception if you embrace them by putting them into practice. They are simple techniques that I have discovered to have worked in my own experience and they are as old as the hills. But it may not be such a good idea to put them into practice if you are not willing to go to war with yourself . . .
. . .by the way, did you spot the mechanism?