Contradictions in the perception of separation
There is the person, the “I,” which is mostly viewed as a separate entity.
That perception is the origin of our society, laws and views about Life.
We perceive Life as a set of separate things, circumstances or beings. Typically, we do not see the relationship, but Life is truly relationship.
Life is like a movie. A movie has different characters just like Life. A movie has a protagonist, the main character; the center of the plot. However, in Life there is no protagonist, there are different stories which could be weaved at one point in time just to be unweaved.
In the perception of separation, the end justifies the means. Nevertheless, what is the end to be justified if something is weaved to be unweaved again? Perhaps to control. That is usually detrimental for the common good.
In Life things evolve in a subtle way, little by little so change is not grossly perceived. In the Human world change is typically abrupt, violent, with hidden agendas.
The perception of separation builds division but creates the ideal of unity at the same time, which cannot be achieved. Laws will be created to support behaviors which call for unity but yet are contradictory to the essence of the perception of separation, which is egotism: We are taught to build our egos but yet “teach” Love.
We talk about Love, but we AREN’T Love: How could we accept someone at every moment just as that person IS, even ourselves (which is Love) without judgment, when we have different teachings and conditioning inside to separate, label and classify another?
In Life, every story is different although with similar plots. Each story is delimited by our ability to perceive relationships. Thus, someone could only see two people involved while others could see many more.
The ones who have been greatly influenced by separation, cannot see beyond themselves or their small group. Therefore, how could this person be concerned with the common good, Love and unity?
The comfort zone
As soon as we become comfortable with a situation, Life will change it. Have we noticed that?
It is as if living in a continuous challenge. That newness will take us away from our comfort zone. That forces us to meet a new setting with new tools. That is to allow ourselves to learn from Life itself. We could meet that newness with rejection, trauma and bitterness or we could appreciate the new challenge and adapt with flexibility.
As we adapt, we learn. As we learn we move onto another challenge.
Comfort is the preamble for a needed change in Life, although; many expect a daily routine that will last forever, eventually that will break apart and then that person will meet his own attachments.
Life is unexpected. The comfort zone will be continuously challenged. Any artificial control to keep things unchanged, is surely an utopia.
Feeling the “now.”
When things appear to be against us, the perception of the mind is relentless: “It looks bad. There is no hope. Why me?” That “weather forecast” of the mind will have a snowball effect.
When I believe it, emotions will cement the perceived disaster. It could become a trauma through repetition, for the mind is engaged in repetition or avoidance. The mind works in those extremes.
Can there be perception without using the mind as reference? Indeed.
That is what is called to “live in the now.” It is a no-mind perception. How do I know that?
The “now” has no tense or time. The mind lives in the past, the future or the present as in “today.” That is a long present indeed. Never in the “now.”
When we understand this, our perception can be driven by feelings. This is not the feeling or emotion about something outside “me,” for that requires the interpretation of the mind.
That pristine feeling colors my attitude in Life.
When we forget the mind, we forget “our” problems. Forgetting in this context means, to allow for feelings to appear.
Perception and interpretation
Our perception becomes our world. However, is that the “real world”?
Most are concerned with interpreting their perception; so the mind can make sense of it. To make that perception fit our conditioning as much as possible, is to “make sense.”
Interpretation through conditioning becomes our experience.
We say: “I acted by following my previous experience.” That is how the old becomes the new. We do not meet newness with newness.
What is happening does not require interpretation. It is only there. Acknowledge it. Accept it.
For if it is there, it has the right to be. In that acceptance of “what is,” is when unity with “what is” starts.
When unity is not, there is judgment. As we judge, we label, we separate. That is the beginning of antagonism.
“Love” is not the answer
When there is no feeling, “Love” is only a word.
Say that word ad nauseam. There is no meaning other than more words.
To know the answer I must BE it, for BEING is to KNOW.
How am I to know when only living in the world of words?
The mirror of Life
“The way life treats you is a merciless mirror image of your attitude toward life.” -Unknown
Attitude is colored by our feelings. Thus, what we feel is reflected back at us. Many believe that thoughts are the origin of what Life will give us back, thus the following quote:
“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” – Ernest Holmes
What is harder to change, a thought or a feeling? I could think about something in a negative way and change it into a positive thought. That is the premise of “positive thinking.” However, when we feel for or against something with a certain degree of intensity, that will not be easy to change. Our attitude is emotional, feeling based first which is then cemented by thought and then expressed through words and behaviors.
“Reflection is the business of man; a sense of his state is his first duty: but who remembereth himself in joy? Is it not in mercy then that sorrow is allotted unto us?” – William Shakespeare
When we have an idea or an opinion formed as a result of meditation, we say that we are reflecting. However if our psychological stage or emotions are not harmonious, our reflection will be inaccurate. Harmony may be described as joy, but the point is to observe that as we are aligned with disharmony, then that will be the reflection back at us. We could experience the consequence of acting based on an inaccurate perception/reflection as sorrow; which is the way Life reminds us to change.
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” – Thomas Merton
The “other” is a reflection to show us what we like and dislike about ourselves. Thus, when we allow others to be as they are, we are also that openness. Love starts there. To accommodate another to fit our perception of likes and dislikes only reflects our own narcissistic egotism. There is no love there, but another opportunity to look at ourselves and hopefully, change.
*** Will resume writing on December 16th. Until then!!
Notes on Quotes: Destiny
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs
Trust Life, for we are life itself. Whenever we use thinking to figure things out in Life, we cannot grasp but only what we have been taught and conditioned to see as evident. When there is trust, the question of fate or choice is meaningless.
“I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfill our destiny, but our fate is sealed.” – Paulo Coelho
Fate and Destiny are one and the same street. Whether it has turns or not is just a matter of perception and wording.
“Destiny has a lot to do with it, but so do you. You have to persevere, you have to insist.” -Andrea Bocelli
“You” are Life acting, going. Destiny is Life arriving through that same act.
“I knew it was destiny, and at the same time, I knew it as choice.” – Jeanette Winterson
Destiny and choice are one and the same.