Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The radical nature of choosing peace not pain

When we make a decision to choose peace rather than suffering we make a radical choice that is totally at odds with the game being played in this culture. As we continue to identify who we are with our minds (our thoughts, emotions, mental processes and so on), we trap ourselves in psychological time and continue the wheel of suffering. I use the wheel image because the mind is very much like a hampster wheel. It turns and turns and the hampster can't get off (well, he may choose to stay on...there again solidifying my point!). The mind simply has no off switch. But in making a decision to remain present and to observe the mind dispassionately, we begin the process of short-circuiting the involuntary process of mind energizing and identification. We make no attempt to stop the mind, but expose the limited circuity of the ego in it's need to be in past or future time. Because we are so invested in this reality, living in the phantom, we resist deeply the decision to watch the mind from the point of view of "the watcher". When we "watch" we "see", and when we "see" we reveal who we really are to ourselves, the ultimate I AM. We leave the limitations of reactive perception and join the realm of timeless presence. This is our actual nature. This is what and who we are. But we are invested in the pain-body as it runs it's automated daily activity. Watch it. It cannot continue to live in the light. It is helpless before the light. This is the end of suffering. But it is very very threatening to our sense of ego identity that we have built up and will leave us to the degree of our identification with time.


Blogger Jeff said...

"Only in silence, the word
Only in darkness, light
Only in dying, life
Bright the hawk's flight
On the empty sky."

-Ursula K. LeGuin

We are in the Universe, making our short scratches down the tableau of space-time, and I do not believe we are here for the sole purpose of training ourselves to ignore it. I mean, really. What is your immortal "I AM" going to get out of that? I am amazed at how focused you are on the negative aspects of perception of the physical realm. There are religious leaders (Tenzin Gyatsu and Paul nee Saul of Tarsus come immediately to mind) who would advocate we eschew the world, to such a degree that we never even get laid. What is that all about? Can getting laid lead to unhappiness? You betcha. Is it worth it? Hell, yes! These guys say we should not start families, or become attached to anything that we can touch, see, feel, smell, taste, or even think about, because it will bum us out and separate us from God. Well, let me tell you something. My daughters and I rode our bikes to the Rosewood Dairy Bar (est. 1942) the other day. We had real, honest-to-God, greasy, unincorporated cheeseburgers, fries and frozen lemonade, then chocolate ice cream dipped in chocolate and nuts. We sat outdoors at a picnic table under a huge red and white umbrella, and the girls were grinning their crazy, happy, cocoa and butter fat grins and wiping their faces on my shirt. And I looked up to Heaven and knew my place and thanked God. Then we rode home, got on the roof, and flew a rubber band-powered balsa wood airplane until it snared in an oak. And I looked up to Heaven and knew my place and thanked God. Then, my ex-wife came and took them from me, and I would not see them again for eight days. And I looked to my feet and felt myself slip and contemplated murder. Oh, what negative feelings come when I am deprived of joy, joy that comes from without as well as from within! But it's just the price you pay. Would not trade it for anything. Pain is part of the deal. And what does joy mean without knowing suffering? (Thank you, Ursula.)

I think the ascetics are totally missing out. Existence for them is a Cantor line of 1+1-1+1-1... ad infinitum, that always has to add up to zero wherever you stop along it because, God forbid, you should find yourself riding the trough of a negative wave. "Timeless presence" is overrated. A chunk of basalt tumbling through the Oort cloud can do "timeless presence."

Gotta go. All this talk about space and math and God is making me horny.


4:00 PM  

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