Understanding, Power, Freedom, and Wisdom

January 8, 2012

To truly have, possess, and master some thing or experience, we must not want it too much—so much that we feel grief without it. Grief is only the feeling of loss of a perceived part of oneself, and anything we identify with that much is a draw on our energy—a negative, not a positive.

Of course, the best way to have something we do not have is to have a burning desire for it. But we don’t have to identify ourselves with it to the point that we feel loss without it. If we do that, we’ve crossed the line from freedom to bondage, because we’re focusing on the lack of the thing we want, instead of its desired presence.

Freedom focuses on the thing (or not!). Bondage focuses on the lack of the thing. Each is a production of our already-existing understanding, and understanding is power! We focus on a wanted thing because we have power. We focus on the lack of a wanted thing because we do not have power.

The Universe loves us, and It provides us with every good thing, in accordance with our level of understanding. When we understand this, we will be more able and willing to see that our lack of something we want is because of our lack of understanding.  (And with understanding we may well realize that we don’t want it!)

The Universe’s understanding is Perfect. Ours is not.

When we let go of our attachment to the idea of the thing we want too much but don’t have, it will finally be able to come to us—if, without the attachment to the idea, we still desire it!

Understanding is part of wisdom. All things are allowed to the wise person, if those things enhance and enrich our existence, rather than causing us harm or bondage—in other words, if those things are in accord with our inner being, with our True Self.

The Universe graciously withholds from wise people the things and experiences that would bring us bondage, rather than freedom! Those things would cause us bondage if we want them too much—that is, if we identify them with ourselves, which means that we confuse them with ourselves and feel grief or loss with their absence.

If we let go of our unhealthy attachment to these ideas, though, we will allow the Universe to bring them to us—if those things or experiences are good for us. The Universe automatically brings good things to us, to the degree that we are wise (which means “in the absence of unhealthy desires,” because we only have unhealthy desires to the degree that we are unwise!).

The less wise we are, the more “shit” we cause to happen in our lives. The less wise we are, the less we understand what is good for us. The less wise we are, the fewer good things we are asking the Universe for and, consequently, the fewer good things the Universe brings to us!

We get what our understanding allows us to have. The greater our understanding, the greater our wisdom. The greater our wisdom, the better our desires. The better our desires, the greater the good we experience as a result of them.

Big Love

December 11, 2011

There is love, and there is Love. Let’s call them little love and Big Love.

Little love is easy to find, have, and feel. Big Love is not as easy.

We all have little love. We feel it toward many things in life: people, animals, experiences, sensations, feelings, movies, foods, music, ideas, and so on. When we talk about “love,” we usually talk about little love.

Romantic love is little love. (“Big” little love?)

We feel little love when something from outside ourselves fills a hole within ourselves. Little love makes us feel better.

Little love comes and goes. Sometimes it comes back. Maybe many times. But when it leaves we have that hole again, which we then seek to fill again with some other object of little love, which can be quite different from the object we lost.

Because little love fills a hole within us, it causes us to identify with the object of our love. We mistakenly see it, or him, or her, as a part of ourselves. Then we seek to control it, or him, or her, as we would control ourselves. Thus, little love, left on its own, tends to lead to control.

That is a Big Mistake.

Big Love is more elusive, but less fleeting. Its most common expression is a probably a mother’s love for her child. Another common expression is a wife’s love for her husband. But either of these relationships can be little love, not Big Love. Any relationship can be little love, and most of them probably are, for most people.

Big Love is unconditional love. It does not depend on outside circumstances. It does not come and go. It is, patiently. Big Love can be hidden, for a while, underneath wrong thoughts and negative emotion (in fact, this is the state of most of us!), until we get rid of the wrong thoughts and negative emotion somehow.

We all carry Big Love inside, near our core, but most of us have lost view of it underneath a pile of junk.

Romantic love is a great way to get rid of wrong thoughts and negative emotion, so that we can grow into Big Love—if we and our partners are strong enough to handle the process! Parenthood is another way (if we—and our little ones—can handle the process!).

Little love seeks to fill oneself; Big Love seeks to share with another. Little love clings. Big Love lets go. Little love wants what’s best “for me.” Big Love wants what’s best.

Little love can lead to Big Love, with a little patience, understanding—and balls. It’s not easy to let go of what you treasure, or to risk opening the gaping hole in yourself to loss (again). The reason why we have holes in the first place is because of losses we experienced in the past.

Big Love can heal us from those losses. In fact, Big Love is the state of being healed from loss (which then leads to more healing, in ourselves and in others). Big Love is the result of freedom: freedom from the fear of loss, freedom to choose where to bestow the Big Love we carry within us.

We must be free before we can Love.

Freedom is self-determination. Freedom is the ability to choose how we live. Freedom is power. We do not have to be alone to be free, though! Like Big Love, freedom is an interior condition.

Big Love flows from within ourselves, outward to the world, and we bestow it wherever we choose. Little love sucks outer things inward and tries to draw them from the world into itself.

This is not to say that little love is wrong; it’s better than hurting all the time. But how much better it is to heal the holes that make us love, so that we can Love!

(written in 2008)

My Own Theory of Everything

December 7, 2011

The inside (consciousness) and the outside (reality) of humans are mirror images of each other, like inverted pyramids with the Oneness of Spirit on each end. Humans are extra-medium-sized, right in the middle: half of our reality is larger, and the other half is smaller.

It is Perfect.

We are like thoughts in a great Mind or threads in an infinite Blanket. Our individuality is an illusion, but it still matters that we have free will because, aswe choose, the Universe chooses through us (unbeknownst to most of us). There are no mistakes, from that perspective. All is well, despite appearances, feelings, and circumstances.

Everything is a paradox, if you dig far enough into it. For example, there is individual reality and universal reality, and both are equally important and valid.

Creation is like a big fractal image. The same patterns repeat endlessly throughout all of Reality, both physical and beyond—and there’s no destination, no end, no gold at the end of the rainbow. No end of the rainbow! It all just keeps going and going and going. You can’t escape it!

Every end is a beginning, and every cycle returns upon itself. Reality is a perpetual motion machine!

And ordinary human consciousness is only a step on the way. Evolution is the gestalt, the background, the stage, of physical existence. The tip of the pyramid within constantly yearns for the tip of the pyramid without, and that drives the whole damn machine, from inert matter on up to human beings and beyond!

Physical life is a coagulation, or “trickling-down,” of what’s really going on in levels of existence “above” the physical. All we see are effects of what’s really going on in some “place” most of us aren’t even aware of.

Did you ever wonder where your thoughts come from? They come from “there,” from those other levels! When the ancient Greeks had a thought, they said, “The Gods say…” And they were pretty much right!

Death is just a game, a riddle, a veil, so that we use this time “alive” to create high drama and, thereby, every possible condition of physical existence.

It’s all just a Cosmic Joke that the Universe is playing on Itself, and we are the punch line! We are the fools, the stooges, the butts who have no idea what’s going on, because we’re at the bottom, behind the veil.

Somehow, I think this amuses someone, some“where.”

And yet, still I cry for the sick, the broken, the weary, and the dying. Somehow, that’s important in all this. It’s the Oneness “inside” recognizing Itself “outside” and responding to Its own need.

All that I’ve written here is only one small smidgen of a piece of a portion of the truth, whatever it is. And, whatever it is, we can’t comprehend it. It’s beyond mind and logic. Beyond feeling and emotion. Beyond anything we can relate to.

The best we can do is pay fucking attention and let the ride happen. If we try to stop it, we get our arms pulled off.

Fuck it. Let go and let “God.” Or whatever.

Somehow, doing that brings peace, love, laughter, patience, and a lightness of being that allows us to endure and enjoy the life we cannot stop living, even if we want to.

Surrender = Freedom.

Attachments: On Suffering and Healing, Part II

December 6, 2011

In the essay “On Suffering and Healing,” I wrote these words:

Is there a way to thrive, meeting life openly, yet without suffering when difficult events happen? Is this even a desirable goal, or is the process of suffering and healing an integral part of the human experience? Is “suffering-and-healing” the essence of human life, or is it a major problem to be solved and prevented? Answering this question seems to be my next task in unloosing the threads that keep the secrets of life hidden from my view.

I think I can answer that question now.

In life, we form attachments. These attachments can be to people, ideas, places, habits, sensations, feelings, and just about anything else you can imagine. This is a safety mechanism, enabling us to survive and function when we’re little. It also serves to chain us to exterior circumstances as we accumulate attachments.

This is because attachments are real things (not just concepts) on a higher level of our being. Most of us can’t see them, but we do feel them, here in the physical.

Attachments always limit our experience.

This is not to say that all attachments are bad, or even undesirable. For example, I have kids and I have no intention of breaking my many attachments to either of them. Nor to Metallica’s music or the Internet.

So, attachments can enrich our experience.

If one of my kids were to die, though, those attachments would become a ball and chain—a wrong attachment, which is always accompanied by unexpressed negative emotion. I would have to grieve (break my attachment and release the emotion associated with it) in order to live freely again.

I did this after my mom died, and I’ve done it more than once when relationships have ended. I’ve even made new attachments to the same people or ideas after I junked the old wrong attachments!

Attachments are always accompanied by emotion when formed. Breaking attachments always releases negative emotion. The negative emotion is as strong as the positive emotion that accompanied the attachment previously: it is the previous positive emotion’s “flip” side.

After we release negative emotion, “new” positive emotion fills its place. The positive emotion was always there, but hidden from our view for awhile by the negative emotion.

Positive emotion surrounds our core; negative emotion surrounds our positive emotion. We see this from the “outside,” looking “in.”  If there is much negative emotion in us, that’s what we see when we turn our awareness inward.  If there’s little negative emotion, then we naturally and effortlessly see the (deeper) positive emotion.

To release negative emotion is to allow access to our natural positive emotion. To release negative emotion is to become free, because unexpressed negative emotion affects our thoughts, feelings, and behavior—always for the worse. It possesses and controls us, pretending to be us. It makes us act like someone we are not.

We are all good underneath, at our core.

If we understand attachment, then when we experience loss (an attachment that no longer has a valid object) we can move more quickly to heal, thus minimizing our suffering.

So, to answer my previous question, the process of attachment, loss, suffering, breaking attachments, and healing is an integral part of being human. But we can reduce our suffering and quicken our healing if we understand attachment. We can escape the process, though, if we really want to break all of our attachments. We have that choice. Personally, I don’t want to break them all. Many of them enrich me.

But now my wrong attachments have targets on them.

The good, beautiful, and true attachments enrich my life. But any attachments can be broken because they are exterior to myself. It’s my choice. Understanding that I have that choice is one aspect of true power.

Only what I carry within myself, at my core, cannot be broken. It can only be hidden, for awhile, until I uncover it by releasing wrong attachments.

What are attachments, by the way?  Attachments are “only” ideas with (positive or negative) emotion holding them in place. And oh, how powerful they can be. Even the wrong ones.

We can have both right and wrong attachments to the same thing, at the same time. Only the wrong ones hurt.

(written in 2008)


November 19, 2011

Most people think that a victim, like an “addict,” is a real person: “someone who has been hurt in the past.” To me, though, a victim is simply “someone who does not yet realize his or her own power.”

When you’re hurt, you naturally feel pain—you feel negative or bad about it in some way. But if you realize your own sovereign power over your thoughts and emotions—and, therefore, your body and behavior as well—you don’t get caught in the thought-cycle trap of “victimization.” Once you begin to label yourself a “victim” (or allow someone else to label you!) and you identify with that mindset, you then begin to produce the behavior and circumstances—relationship problems and all—that you think a “victim” is supposed to have.

It’s important to understand that all of us, although we’re individuals, are the product of our culture. The idea of a “victim” is what some Jungian folks might call a “cultural archetype.” Since birth, we’ve all come into contact (either in our personal experience or through TV, movies, stories, etc.) with someone—often a fictional character!—who is identified as a “victim” of some external circumstance or event.  These people tend to have certain mindsets, behaviors and problems: all negative! For whatever reasons (which are unique to the individual), we might identify with that person—especially if it’s Mom or Dad or another person close to us when we’re learning as a child how to operate in the world. People are copycats, especially when we’re young.

Why does one rape victim overcome the negative effects of the experience, while another never seems to get over it—letting that experience reduce the quality of her future relationships and behaviors? The difference is on the mental level, the level of thoughts and emotions. Our emotions follow our thoughts, and “self-powerful” thinking results (eventually) in positive, powerful emotions and better circumstances. On the other hand, “victim” thinking produces weak, negative emotions, which then bring us into negative situations that reinforce that thinking.

To overcome or avoid “victim” thinking, I think it’s important first to recognize that we have ultimate control over our own thoughts and how much negativity we will allow to determine the course of our lives. We allow our own “victim” mindset! Second, I think it’s essential to let go of that terrible thing that happened in the past. You’re not that person now, and the harm doesn’t have to happen to you continually—unless you’re in the habit of replaying that event on the movie screen in your mind.

That movie screen produces your future!

The best way that I know of to let go of pain is to have an emotional release. “Deep” crying—the kind that connects us with that original pain, not the “oh, woe is me” kind—helps us to overcome negativity and let it go. If we learn not to let these bad things attach to us when they happen—if we can release them and get on with life—then, in my opinion, we never have to fear being a “victim,” no matter what negative events might befall us.

Eventually, we learn that our “victim” mindset produces more victimization in our experience, and that moving beyond that mental dis-ease frees us from the real-life circumstances that reinforce that unhealthy mindset. The inner produces the outer.

So, in a nutshell, a victim is a person with a “self-powerless” mindset that they don’t yet know how to get out of. When they get out of it, they cease to be a victim! The truly strong people are those who refuse to let events or circumstances break them on the inside: those who have moved beyond seeing themselves as “victims.”

(Written in 2007)

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