Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Peeling the Onion.

In the process of traveling, both externally and internally I’ve been able to make some valuable observations and receive useful insights. Life for me has been like peeling an onion. The more I discover about what has deceived me the more I know about myself; if that makes sense.

One of the things I have noticed is how very differently so many of us see the same things. The first impression is that things may not be what they seem and are only given identity by the definition applied to them. Essentially, at the root of definition seems to lie either fear or desire. It’s ironic to note that what some fear, others desire and vice versa. Much of what we take for granted we have assumed from what we have been told. I have to put bad parenting at the top of the list of things that account for the miseries that by varying degrees, assail us all.

Now bad parenting is not just the mentoring in childhood by physical parents. It’s also environment and circumstance. It’s aided and abetted by pre-disposition. So here you are whatever you are, an amalgam of icons, inhibitions, appetites and aspirations. We’ve got singular assumptions and collective agreements. From the small circle of our common associates, outward into the immediate community and further expanding to state and nation, hemisphere and planet, there is the small cloud of personal beliefs further overlaid by the greater confusions of each wider circle. We could go on from planets to solar systems and galaxies and past that. Ultimately there is a singleness that is mirrored in the atom. Somewhere in the precise and immense schematic of the whole something has gone wrong, or at least appears to have gone wrong. How else to account for the suffering and alienation that you encounter each day in all of your relative microcosms?

If everything is so perfectly aligned for some grand purpose why does it hurt? Somewhere there is an essential truth that is not accessible in the place of relative truths. Somehow in the world of relative truths some great understanding has gone missing. Yes, I’ve made the assumption that there is a grand plan. Many would say it’s just random. Others see it as a field of competition. Some find a mathematical theory about it all, often without the consideration of an interpenetrative greater mind; a divine mathematician. How you can get something without an author I don’t know, but people manage it.

These days I know there is a large disappointment around the world that the previous administration in America has continued in power. The collective hope for something finer rising from the ash heap has been crushed. Is it really as bad as it seems and is it going to get worse? Hmmm.

Criminal regimes have more or less always been the mean. We’ve had the Valen’s and Valentinuses, onward through a march of Caesar’s of brutal visage and aspect. Tamerlane built his wall of screaming men. No fire descended from the sky to free them. Genghis and Kublai marched and did as they pleased and we’ve had the Hitler’s and Stalin’s, Mao’s and Pol Pot’s, Reagan’s, Nixon’s and whomever, whenever- all through the cosmic day.

Great art has marched alongside the general uproar. Religions have marched too and often led to a greater collective slaughter and darkness than any one despot has achieved. If you took the whole thing and compressed it on a soundtrack in a sort of intensely condensed reversal of time-lapse photography it would no doubt be a shrieking, howling cacophony of terrifying noise.

What are we to make of it all? There are two directions in which to move, much like the universe itself; outward into complexity or inward by reduction until there is a single, constant, inexplicable, unexplainable state.

If one takes into consideration what has been said by the founders of all religions. If one takes into consideration the implications in all great art. If one takes into consideration the proclamations of all the great thinkers/philosophers and extracts what is common to them all, it should serve to point in the direction we are to go in order to understand what happens to us and why it happens. There are some precepts and declarations common to them all.

Life is a battleground until we make peace. There are some who strive for world peace but in any case, individual peace must be achieved first. We see war but seldom its source. Most do not realize that the engines of war are fueled by the collective energy of all the personal wars in the individuals; conflicts in ideals, personal discontent; they eventually precipitate down from the invisible planes into flashpoints which spread outward. Everything spreads outward; peace too. There are those who unite common disaffections and suspicions into war. There are those who manipulate the prejudices and fears of the mass into acts of ambition or for the purpose of gain. There are those who work to defeat the intentions of the enemies of harmonious accord. Seen from this perspective it is all a game; a movie, a stage drama whose intent is a moral lesson. But that lesson never seems to be learned.

All through this dance individuals wake up and for them things change. Because of their new mindset they are capable of escape. It’s all personal. If you think you have to do something then you probably will. You’ll just keep on until the motivation changes.

What I have noticed is that when we peel away the layers of the false self we gradually disappear; as one of my headlines reads, “when the truth takes off her clothes, the world disappears.” As we cease to be what we are not, we unfailingly return to what we are. What we are is so real that it cannot be affected by what is not. Only the false self can ever be endangered. And the danger that tracks the false self has only a fine liberation in mind. So we don’t really suffer. Or you could say we suffer only so long as we hold on to what we are not. All that suffering comes through false association with the bars of the cage, with identification with the guards and the warden.

One cannot expect that humanity will have some vast and total awakening. There are tremendous distances in understanding across the board. But the individual can find a way and lead the way by following in the way of those who have gone before. As long as there are interests and fears to keep you in the game you will experience the certain circumstances that are common to the plot.

Seldom are we seen as we really are. Seldom do we see what is. It is an impossibly simple thing. To the ones who achieve there are no further concerns with the despots of this realm. The diseases of the false self have no entrance. All seeming darkness proves to be filled with light. Backwards into perfect remembrance lies the goal. The seeker and the thing sought prove to be the same. In the midst of such continuing pain, regret and baffling appearance is a perfect harmony seated on a wellspring of enduring love, surrounded by temple guardians and armies of angels. I realize there are other ways to view the thing. This is what I have found so far, based on what I’ve seen and heard.


Addendum;

Between traveling and intense thunderstorms I've not been able or inclined to post. That seems changed now. I appreciate all the support and emails and extend my thanks again.



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The3rdElf
The 3rd Elf