Yes, Naren, that lessening of effectiveness is usually the case... But we do see amazing performances of players in spectator sports , and, each of us too, in rare moments of a certain quality of presence can be "self" conscious yet very appropriate
I needed repeat readings , and a change in my inner state, to finally understand and appreciate the piece.
I usually garden , both the conventional garden / farm and my life with a lot of purposes. Yet , one cannot fail to see with simple eyes the different responses and play of nature.
Because i have purposes, there are expectations and , consequently, surprises.
I understood James Carse inviting me to be spontaneous and truly natural in my responses to the surprises.
Just as Nature is "indifferent", impersonal can i , a part of the same Nature, be more a discoverer than a "customer" ?
The real growth is not in my material prosperity but in my capacity to see beyond the superficial and respond appropriately with an evolving inner being.
A few weeks ago i visited a farm where a young teenager was volunteering;. His natural demeanour , practical capability, open mind and fellowship charmed me . I learnt he has always been in alternate and home school environments unlike my kids of the same age...
Reading this piece i can say he was one manifestation of a garden which exists just for its own sake.
One , i think , crucial point has to be also kept in attention when we try what Rob Burbea is suggesting. That is, not to get driven into action from that tightness.
In many situations we may need to respond quickly and this holding back may not be practical. But there are many other situations where i can chose not to act from reaction
The key moment was... " I realised that someone was me "...
Most folks do not cross that step. Whenever ( not often enough) that i have taken that step, it always is helpful to all in the situation
Let us be careful to distinguish shallow negative emotions (arising , for example, from hurt to the ego) from deep grief, trauma or a perplexity and depression arising from getting a hold on the meaning of life itself.
For the former i have found having an orientation to getting on with life and staying focussed on whatever needs to be attended - even using any bypassing approaches - is helpful.
For the latter, many of the deeper sadnesses , it seems to me, can only gradually get processed - by body , mind and emotion - usually with the help of some great truths enunciated well by adepts (not necessarily spiritual) and the company of fellow travellers.... Patience and perseverance is needed . Hopefully we shall be graced not to breakdown badly meanwhile
That got me to pause and ponder on the aspect of "suppressed premise" and the reality , or otherwise of states not normally evident (i withdraw the term "transcendent") and two points are relevant to make in that context ....
1. It may be true that Buddha ( or Christ, or any similar figure) experienced or knew some reality and Kant did not (or was not interested about exploring that, or was convinced about its 'unreality').
2. Even within my fairly limited experience i can truthfully state that ( and have heard this to be true for others as well) that the state of my being evokes or reveals some truth which fades away when my being goes back to its more usual state. For example, when i was in a certain state for a few hours when it seemed my death was imminent, the negative attitude towards someone I knew was clearly felt as an absurd and petty one and it fell away. However , though weakened significantly, it has come back when the my ordinary state of existence has returned.
Therefore , i consider, as an explorer, one can stay open to possibilities.
However, yes, this whole endeavour does look like "smoke and mirrors" as one is both the scientist/explorer and the laboratory/field of discovery.
Yes, for 'enlightenment' , presumably a transcendent state, sounds reasonable to say, cannot be worked at by me from the level or grosser state i am in. Yet there is something i need to bring to the table, an inner posture , adopted very sensitively, of active receptivity.. As the author himself says, insights then reveal themselves.
I have seen that even for basic life, livelihood and relationship issues this inner posture helps. One example : The other day as sleep eluded me the mental/emotional complex got occupied with the problems on hand . Then the rational part of the mind intervened and said that this is the time to rest and pointed me to instead engage the awake organism towards some meditative practices. That was beneficial but there still was chattering of the mind. Then i decided to focus the mind on reading about a certain esoteric concept about some fundamental aspect of human and cosmic design. About 20 minutes of that in the middle of the night finally made the body more tuned to sleep which came eventually ... So tossing and turning about ( a reactive state) was seen to be unhelpful and adopting an active State, yet more oriented to receptivity, to observing, turned out to be helpful. It seems to me being mindful, consciously resisting instinctive reactionary tendencies, and being open to insights, helps to tune the organism to respond to life appropriately - be it to discover 'enlightenment' or to engage harmoniously with the person who usually gets my goat.
Whether a thought/emotion has 'substance' or not, do their effects not have 'substance' ??. The article itself is an outcome of thought. I suspect there could be an energy transcending thought or the source of it and the more my centre of gravity is in THAT , the thought manifestations act as a good tool rather than as a very significant and often harmful force.
Decades ago read JK and keep going back. Though extremely intrigued by something being pointed it, the precise taste of it has been very rarely experienced. A sudden, tectonic shift in perception seems to be called for , a seeing of the (psychological) creation of "me" which is so deeply entrenched and has as concrete a reality as the body . Alas, JK's words themselves, also become just another fuel for creation of an image of another state to be desired. What gives hope are the momentary glimpses of actually being in a state of detached observation even while being in action . A persistent mindfulness is what is called for which aids to weakening the automatic responses to life situations. The word "love" is itself the cause for an image. JK has experienced something which he calls "love" . But unless the same state comes to another , it will remain an image
Very true , Naren ..
I read and pondered the piece again, the fresh takeaway I got is the point the author makes is to PRACTICE contemplation , mindfulness, etc ,in the moment .....Only then can a momentary insight , a welling up of deep feeling on seeing a finer truth, can result in a steady abidance - and , in turn, a possibility to 'peel' further layers, as you put it....
Becoming or Being. Giving significance to "me" or to "life" . The "or" could become "and" , I glimpse , when an awareness of breathe ,as it courses in and out, and which could be the last , is practiced....
Let us get the full juice of life , have the cake (of becoming) and eat it ( the impression of the instant) too...
Thank you Rosie Bell. Thank you Awakin.org
A very authentic and honest observation, Mona. I could relate very much to that. Might it help to start saying to oneself that "this" ( be it something causing pleasure or something causing pain) is just happening in consciousness . It may seem artificial to begin with. But I trust by and by there will arise equanimity - in case this 'imagination' is a true fact of the way reality actually is, though not felt as of now. Now what is automatically felt is that the experience is happening to, and is caused in some way, by "me"
This variant of the serenity prayer I had not seen earlier...Thanks for that Jayne. Yes,
â€‹â€‹inactuality there is only one entity to manage - I or me...The others and the world are perceived only through "I"...
Elders or elderly qualities , I see now, tap into the life force in a wise way which makes them flourish. They inspire that in others and a supportive eco system forms.
One such system that has influenced me is Yoga. A great master worked sincerely on himself, built institutions, which created expert instructors and one such instructor is coaching me well over more than a year. Health and peace spreads over all practitioners and , I trust, in some way it redounds to the glory of that original master.
Of course, weeds and noxious plants ( and inner impurities) also flourish, especially when the "elderly" forces are weak.These negative forces support each other and often become big forces - both externally in the world and in our psyches.
But maybe ( I trust) it's the innate love , wisdom, cleansing force of nature that eventually tips the evolution towards itself and the noxious things are kept in check.
On closer hearing of the piece, i understood the author to imply that any feeling of want in us makes us beggars in a way. It's intriguing enough to explore whether the opposite , a feeling of being in no-want, could be a natural state...A task comes to mind , in the context of interacting with another - when a feeling of lack comes within , be generous and 'give' to the other instead of expecting something.
"...believe in the potential for redemption." ( Of me and the other )....Yes, that helps. However I wish this inspires me to actually, in-the-moment see the truth of the statement "Fear is the garden of sin" ? as it arises. Fear , and its myriad shades and variants , including hurt, it seems to me, arises from the almost instinctive need to protect "me" . Often Sin follows from this unconscious and , sometimes deliberate , psychological state In me. This seeing will create the space for a more appropriate response
One experience of breaking one little construct of the mind was, of late, for me (by the way, that 'me' was convenient for putting in this sentence) in taking cold water baths....It's just a sensation. The belief earlier was that it's a discomfort...
Now I ( another convenient little letter this 'I') am observing a tendency to subtly boast about this discovery...
Thanks for this article which has the potential to weaken the constructed self provided the seeing of the dynamics sharpens
Having been born as an earthling my fulcrum is by default based near the earth. In fact it appears most of the time to be on the earth itself and I have almost no leverage except the brute force I can summon of my physicality and basic being force. The action and results of my efforts are short-sighted, bigoted, usually unwise - amplifiedmanifold if all others around me are of the same level of being. And a lot of effort is needed, expended and there will be burn out.
However as my perspective broadens and my being evolves, not only does the fulcrum shift a bit away from the 'earth' but the capacity for leverage also increases in proportion to the intensification of the contemplativeand non-identified statein me. My perspective progressivelycan become global, cosmic and ,potentially, even divine ('Thy will' does get done). And the personal energy and what can be evoked in others, I have heard, becomes as though connected to a large reservoir.
My ( hey, there crops up "me" :)- ) attention was drawn to the Moebius strip in the image with this piece. Birth, (identified) experience, death - and endless repetitions thereof... One comes back again and again to the same point and route. These lines from Mark Manson - when pondered deeply and if arousing a disengaged perception for good - may just be a starting point to get free.
Very moving lines ...."To forgive other people for being able to give you only a little love -- that’s a hard discipline. To keep asking others for forgiveness because you can give only a little love -- that’s a hard discipline, too."
One of the best Awakinpieces I have read in recent months- Thanks to the creator/author and contributor here - and the Reflections on it which have preceded mine.
Actually, when I am a bit closer to the hub - rarely (thanks to a dynamic solitude) it is hard not to be connected and loving. The difference is stark as i drift to the usual peripheral existence.
The context or focus of this piece is on change-agents gathering themselves in the face of difficult odds and persevering despite their all too human reactions engendering some dis-empowerment. It is quite inspiring and true.
When "broken-ness" is taken out to a wider context, it occurred to me that the abusive boss, the megalomaniac leader, the rapacious businessman or any person in power in various situations behaving unconsciously - are too all "broken" in a way. The only difference is that they acquire or get to keep some material or psychological advantage over the other "broken" persons. Most of us will find ourselves switching between these positions - oppressor and the oppressed - in small ways.
I have found it valuable to see this dynamic and keep working to get an acceptance and equanimity and in-the-moment awareness and responsiveness. It is a long scale of evolution and much patience is needed.
"To hold space for that rebuilding to happen is more important ...." . Very true. Good point RP.
I suspect the author may not really be "glorifying" weakness ( or more accurately, habitual inappropriateness in a situation or responsibility). The struggle and persistence of the "broken" must be really what he must be appreciating. Yes, it is not explicit in this extract.
The principle of multiple "I"s ( called here as "sub-minds" ) in our psyche is a key idea that I came across first in the 4th Way literature (expounded first by Gurdjieff). Self observation and reflection did reveal the presence in me of various types of inclinations and urges triggered by different circumstances and also in play in the same circumstance as well. Maybe it's more pronounced in me leading to there always being delay in decisions and also vacillation and tendency to change after a decision has been made ( which one I in me justifies as considering all options :)- ).
The new idea I heard here from John Yates was that the wordless impulse ( discrimination ?) emerges first in mind matter and only thereafter thoughts are formulated around it...
This piece implies, and it has been my experience as well rarely, that the unconscious discriminating mind momentarily evolves to have a higher consciousness thanks to which this dynamic of the mind is actually seen - usually helped by meditation, good quality presence/ mindfulness and quiet pondering of profound ideas
These patterns of listening exist almost similarly when I am going through written matter.
The fourth type , when invoked by my total attention and attitude of pondering with all my capacities , is of great benefit when i read words from or about persons who have experienced exalted states and felt finer realities. The words would have been written to convey that finer reality. But the state can be glimpsed by the reader, if at all, only when a 'generative' immersion takes place. I read a line and stop. Try to feel what the words call up in me. Come back to the words repeatedly , sometimes over many days with a full faith that the author has touched something profound which is yet not experienced by me.
Grateful to the author and Awakin circle for this piece which has the potential to make my listening conscious and skillful.
For me "hitting the blockage" ( seemed to me as an odd phrase, but got what it intends to convey) occurs with three types of 'resistance' objects - one - an inert thing, like an equipment to be dismantled; two - when I need to wrestle with my organism , like when I wake up feeling lousy after deficient sleep and ; three - when the 'blockage' arises due to another person's actions.
For the first situation, the successful overcoming has happened(not often) when I have given up my frustration, relaxed my muscles and breathing and focussed attention on what needs to be done.
For the second situation useful (and true) affirmations have helped. For the case of feeling lousy on waking up due to lack of rest, I tell myself that even the daytime nourishes my organism, why assume that only good sleep is needed. Often it works out.The jobs on hand get done. The third situation is the toughest and I am getting glimpses of breakthroughs by (a) recognizing that being present very alertly is necessary and (b) much stronger and deeper affirmations are necessary - like this obstacle is an opportunity to work on my being, or my being belongs to the Creator, it is a temple entrusted to me to be kept clean, and so on . This article is very inspiring and helpful for the 3rd type of situations, for adding to my 'arsenal' of affirmations.
One point needs to be noted - not to let go of the aim or intention. What are to be let go off (in the moments they are gaining strength) are only my reactions from habit.
Instances - In early college years, just sitting near a class mate (who was sobbing after losing his father) while the others kept away as they probably felt uncomfortable.
Simpler ones - shifting any creature back to its natural habitat after it has strayed and is unable to get back. Stopping my journey to help anyone struggling in some way, as carrying a heavy load.
Sometimes I see the fact of not being compassionate to and accepting of - myself.
It helps to step out of little sufferings, with no substantial basis, by considering that ' I ' am the trustee and caretaker of the life energy in me and that it needs to be kept light and clean.