“You’ve heard that voice for so long that you believe it to be your best friend.” Avi (From the movie Revolver)
Death is a funny thing. Not the death of the physical body when it loses its operational status, but, the dying of the internal voices that have blocked us from greater, deeper, intimate experience with all of existence.
From such an early age we have been conditioned to follow various ideas that have been passed down throughout the ages. They continue to fall upon us like a bad storm that never seems to pass, with those waters nourishing ill concepts and behavior patterns that are as old as the human clan itself. We have remembered such scripts so well that even in the year 2011 and innumerable wars we continue to normalize violence. We have heard these scripts repeated to us for so long that they have become so embedded in our consciousness that the vast majority of us believe that the disease of hatred will never die.
What has never come to assist us in our psycho-social evolution is a mass of people who arise in unison to echo a new understanding that informs the lot of human beings and educates us into understanding that as long as we hold onto a false concept of how life is that it will never die and its delusional nature will forever continue to condition our capacity to reify its detrimental nature. Naturally, this is not just with violence, hatred and other forms of antagonism, as these unproductive seeds of thought are abundant in our cultural programming. They have become the weeds of war, classism, sexism, homophobia, racism, childish lust, enslavement to the ideas of familial tradition, cultural exclusivity, unelected moral authority, corporate/political manipulation, possessiveness based relationships, religious division, on and on and on.
The sad aspect of this messy entanglement is that we don’t know how to release ourselves from the shackles of the many enslaving concepts. Furthermore, as previously stated, these destructive ideas and thought patterns that have conditioned how we live have been normalized. We have conditioned ourselves to believe that because these ways of being have been around forever, that they will inevitable be around … forever. A peaceful world without divisive antagonism, inherent with a compassionate caring of the earth, its inhabitants and life lived openly vulnerable to newness of each day is not only not dreamed of/imagined on a large scale … most of us don’t even believe it possible. This pessimistic view of human possibility naturally puts an end to any practice of a new standard for living.
It’s hard to realize the fact that most of us live a life that has been conditioned into our way of thinking since we were babies. It’s hard to fathom the depth at which this programming has taken place in our consciousness and how it continues to be programmed into our awareness from each moment to moment of inattentive repetition. From this view, meditation becomes a subtle art form that needs continual presence in each moment of each day.
I’ve seen this for a long time, but it’s greater realization came to me as I was contemplating my move back to the original digs that I have disassociated myself with a long time ago. I watched how the script in my mind painted a particular picture of Ravenna, Ohio … and Ohio in general. I looked at an entire dialogue that I had built up in my mind about the people, the culture, the politics, the land, and how much of that world view was built against my own, natural approach to living and what I believed to be important to me.
“Wherever you don’t want to go, you will find him.” Avi (again from the movie Revolver) — talking about where to find our trickster ego.
We place so many barriers around our experience by labeling things in a way that prevents us from entering into life openly. This could be relationships, cultures, places, cities … almost any field of experience that we have built up aversions to. We have told ourselves the same stories about life that we have shut down and shut out so much possibility that it is not hard to imagine why we live in a world where antagonism is naturally expected.
In this way, we become actors in a movie not our making. We have been provided with the scripts, rehearsed the scripts for years, thereby conditioning our minds against particular experiences, only to live out these scripts in our waking life. It is a really difficult pill to swallow when we realize that these scripts aren’t our own. We have been subtly manipulated/socialized into accepting and believing certain ideas, thereby only enslaving us to other people’s ideas about what life is and how it should be lived.
Understanding this, and understanding that we cannot continue on this road, we have to ask then, what is revolution? Does revolution – the real revolution – live in our ability to lay waste to these scripts and awaken the unconditioned? Could it be that we are addicts addicted to a destructive lifestyle and that unless we can stop taking in these negative, unproductive, antagonistic attitudes that we will inevitably reproduce the same cycle of violence that has been plaguing us throughout the centuries?
There’s insecurity in not knowing. There’s insecurity in not having a script about other people, places and things. There’s insecurity in not having a knowledge base from which to enter out into the world with. However, living in and of itself, is a practice of insecurity. Although we believe in the certainty of tomorrow … it is everything but certain. Looking at our lives from this lens we come to understand that no matter what scripts that we hold about our world, we never know anything absolutely.
I had this running script that the SF Bay Area was the best place on earth to live, not ever having visited all places on the earth. I had this script that said, “It has everthing that one could ever want. Lots of culture, the mountains meet the oceans, progressive politics, people from all walks of life coming together, meeting each other, engaging in the world with each other.” Blah, blah, blah. Although these things are true and the SF Bay Area is a great place to experiment with the possibilities of the utopian melting pot, that doesn’t mean that it is particularly aligned with what is needed for everyone, particularly me at this point in my life. Yet, the point is now that i can lay waste to this script and I can completely open myself to the possibilities of life as it lays before my adventurous quest, it opens my consciousness in ways previously unforeseen. The expansiveness is … boundless really.
What if we are able to do this consciously, moment to moment, with the various little details of life? All the little things that we are antagonistic towards? What if we just simply allowed ourselves to surrender into the unknown, be completely open and allow that which is nameless and beyond intellectual grasp to pour into our movement and guide our being? What would that be like? Too scary? Is it difficult to live without such control?
What if we were able to look squarely at ourselves and others without these scripts? What if I were able to look at others without a preconceived definition of their being? Even those that I am already intimate with? How would that enable us to see each other from a much wider lens of possibility?
This is where the revolution lives. Cosmetic changes to our political apparatus is meaningless if we as individuals do not step into a greater capacity of viewing our relationships from an unconditioned perspective.
Let it go. Right? We hear that all the time. Let it go. There is such practical depth in that statement that because we hear it so often we tend to overlook its importance. Letting things go allows for this infinite life to be continually creative. In reference to “let it go”, I sometimes like to say, “let it flow”. Because when we are able to observe life and let go of the ideas, feelings, perceptions and such that keep us at odds with life, we then allow life to flow naturally. Releasing all of the junk that inhibits our ability to flow with life is freedom. Jiddu Krishnamurti calls this “Freedom From The Known.” Vimala Thakar called it being “On an Eternal Voyage.”
There is so much more to life beyond what we know. It is imperative that we give ourselves, others, and this life the space to grow … naturally. We tend to objectify existence. I say this to mean that we typically look at objects and define them based on appearance, without ever slowing down to contemplate the space that exist between (within) all things. That space is the unconditioned loveliness that maintains all of life.
Space engenders everything and is infinitely creative … let it flow. When we are able to allow space to do what it does naturally, then maybe this is when we can be said to be (flow)ering.
“No one has the impression that a plant is in charge of its growing; it’s a movement of nature. Why would you think it’s different for us?” – Darryl Bailey
I started writing this a few weeks back and never got the opportunity to finish it. Now I’m in Ohio. I just got here last evening. It’s strange … but, then again, not really. It’s familiarity is unfamiliar. The trees feel different. I imagine that all this may just be a reflection of my openness … allowing things to be what they are and not placing judgement on anything (or anyone).
I am now beginning to truly live. The innocence of unknowingness is beautifying. It’s beauty is found in freeing others from your own imprisoning scripts that doesn’t allow them to be other than what you continually imagine them to be. No judgments, no blame, no antagonism … only forbearance/allowance/space … letting things flow naturally and letting “others” be … beautiful.
Take the “Eternal Voyage” … live the unscripted life. Because as Vimala pointed out in her classic portrayal of her “Explosion” …
“Only truth liberates. Only truth transmits fresh life. Truth breathes innocence into you. Destruction and creation mingle in that breath.”