You’re not certain of what it is but you have a feeling that hidden in you somewhere is a gift, something special for you to offer the world. What is it?
Its not a particular strength, skill or profession you have practiced or mastered. It is something you can’t actually identify yourself with, like “hey, I’m Bob the lawyer” or “hey, I’m Bec the crossfit chick with the pink car and the pyramid scheme” and this is where we have the problem…
We grow up with the constant hammering of phrases into our minds such as “you need to be someone!” over and over again, and then this is affirmed when we see others like Bob the lawyer and Bec at the box looking so happy with themselves.
So just as any animal species, we do what the rest of the herd is doing, we pick something we like the look of, we try it, then if we still like it, we might master it. Many times even if we don’t like it, we master it anyway. It has become more important to fit in and HAVE an identity like Bob and Bec rather than the identity itself.
We’ve been sold “you need to be someone” so cunningly that the someone that was already there from the very beginning doesn’t have a hope in hell. Why? It’s conditioning, although programing could be a better way of putting it. Outrageous isn’t it? What’s more outrageous is that you already know it, but the programming was done so well that you would scorn somebody for pointing it out, even if that person is yourself.
The someTHING that’s missing in life can often be the someONE, the soft yet defiant little voice you sometimes hear echoing from the depths asking, “is this it? Is this really it?! Somethings missing…” before the other voice, the programming, quickly intervenes with “shut up, stop being difficult, here have some more toys!”. That poor little voice, that is what’s missing, it’s the actual you.
Before I continue, I think it’s important I highlight that I am not qualified or in any position that should prompt anyone to receive my ideas as advice, although I will say that if you were going to consider my thoughts for any use at all, then consider them as an example of a curiousness that all people should cultivate, one that points inwards, and my curiousness happens to have led me to writing down the ideas and theories it has cultivated, as I am doing now. So I would appreciate it immensely if those who read these projections, whoever you may be, do not agree, or disagree with me. Merely consider that I am interrogating myself, and that if you could agree with me on anything, it would be that we both think self-interrogation is a good idea.
I outlined this point because the ideas expressed here are a result of a single stream of awareness’s (mine) experience of reality. I can’t with total surety say that the experience of this life was experienced accurately, due to the fact that my perception of it was accompanied by various distortions and afflictive emotions, therefore the ideas expressed by it can’t be trusted completely, even by me.
I have chosen with great conviction to attempt to remove these distortions and I am happily struggling with that task, but just like you, I have my own way of doing it.
Think about this as more of a blind leading the blind situation, which I admit sounds kind of useless, but hey, in some ways, blind people, due to their disability of sight, possess an amazing sense of intuition and their ability to listen and feel is amplified, granting them a vision most people will never know. This is pretty useless information given that I, and most of you are not even blind. However, let us at least hold onto that as a bit of inspiration to motivate us, regardless of the fact that we are admittedly blind, for if we can admit that, then there is already great hope.
In the opening paragraph I asked about your special qualities? Upon review I find that question to be a little narrow. To expand I should ask, have you ever accomplished a great achievement in your life or worked painstakingly hard to master a particular skill, only to find yourself faced by the realization that the sense of achievement was felt much more keenly on the path TO the achievement, the struggle towards it, rather than in the achievement itself? Before answering I will acknowledge that the question might not be relevant to all of your achievements. What I mean by that is, for example, the feeling of fulfilment coming from successfully raising a child or working hard to get a job you really want probably won’t produce the prior mentioned feeling of emptiness at the point of achievement, as the results of raising a child are full of lasting compassion and love, whilst in contrast, the fulfilment of gaining the desired job may not feel like it should be included as its production of further goals eclipse that of the original.
There is something about the two types of achievement I just mentioned that I think is notable. Actually, upon review it seems I have missed a vital point. Let’s start with the attainment of a desirable job and its reward of bringing us yet more goals. Depending on the nature of the goals, for instance, the goals for a surgeon may go from saving one life, to saving the next, and his or her motivation is genuinely rooted in the desire to help others. His or her goals of saving the lives of patients lines up directly with the patients desperate wish to survive, he wants only what is best for others. Therefore, by putting the wellbeing of others at the top of his list of goals, he achieves a sense of lasting and absolute fulfilment. But what if getting the job you’ve always wanted as a surgeon, was an achievement that’s motivation was in the desire to simply make money? Maybe you would be pretty happy with yourself for a while, having all the money to buy all the cool things you want, but then what? The goal was to make a lot of money right? You’ve made it…. If you had gotten that far with the selfish goal of making money and not realised the vital error you have made, it would be likely that you have neglected the wisdom in your heart long enough to be ignorant enough to actually re-instate the same goal again, to make money, ‘obviously I just didn’t make enough to be totally happy, so this time I just have to make more!’.
Written plainly like this, it all seems almost boringly obvious how wrong we can be. It’s as though it’s so blatantly clear and in front of us in such titanic proportions, that it totally avoids cognition all together.
I don’t know about you, but it seems like I have a lot of work ahead of me. To know and not do is one of my biggest failures. However I think the time for knowing what’s right is behind me and the awesome task of doing what’s right is ahead. A lifetime goal that’s achievement will be felt in every step along the way rather than for a fleeting moment at it’s getting. Oh and btw, I know I totally blew the ‘raising a child’ point off, it was covered by the surgeon idea with his compassionate motivation and whatnot.
So that’s that (for now). Let’s now have a look at where we stand in relation to life. I guess it would make sense to first ask a basic question; what brings us to this moment? My first reaction to this question as soon as I typed it was “my mind”, which is funny because I don’t really understand why I thought that. I suppose, in a way, it is correct, although slightly abstract. Yes, our minds are actually responsible for bringing us the current moments as they arise and pass. But what does that even mean, our mind is responsible for showing us the moments? I feel like this raises a bit of a flag. How can my mind show me anything? I mean, I am my mind, aren’t I?
Mind, it would be a suitable name for me if it wasn’t necessary that I needed distinction from the fellow members of my species. So for that reason, my name is Joel, which is essentially a label for this blob of flesh, bone and awareness. I feel like that sums me up quite nicely into a neat little package, easy for distribution and handling, doesn’t it.
It’s funny how we have a name for our mind and body that we use every day but when asked what IT IS that this name represents, we find our thoughts frantically and vainly fumbling through a wreckage of different responses, all in contradiction to each other, only to come to some arrogant, almost snide explanation that penetrates the question as superficially as our name represents our manifestation in so called “reality”. Which, if we were smart enough to pick up on, would be a clear indication of ignorance, and a que to investigate it further, for this name, whether it is ‘mind’ or ‘Joel’ or ‘me’ or whatever, is not good enough.
Our name barely achieves to scrape the surface. Its nature is to categorize, to present ourselves TO ourselves and others, as something solid to understand and conceptualize. In so doing it dishes us up as an actual THING, and now that this THING exists so substantially under this name, it insights laziness. What I mean by this is, if we believe in something fully, such as this THING, this named copy of ourselves, there becomes no need to investigate it. We already think we understand it perfectly. This is pure and tragic ignorance. Ignorance born from ego, which was born from the need for convenience and ease of comprehension. It was handed down from our prehistoric ancestors who needed it to survive.
We must accept that we are evolving, that as time goes on our survival will depend more and more on wisdom, compassion, love and a pure, higher understanding of reality and work towards transcending those primitive aspects of our mind, so that evolution can continue naturally, uninhibited, towards liberation and the end of suffering.
What is a pure, higher understanding of reality? How can we develop our understanding of reality further? Is this the first time you have ever asked yourself this and if so, why? Do you feel as though it’s not necessary, or even possible? What is reality to YOU personally?
When you look around the room, or park, or bus, or train, is that it? What you see, smell, hear and feel? There was a time when I would have thought questions like these to be useless. My idea of reality was exclusively the things I could perceive with my various bodily senses and I did this without question, how wrong I was. I totally neglected the most powerful sense of all, my mind. I could see clearly, but without a present mind, my view was heavily clouded by inaccurate perceptive overlays. I could hear quite well, but without my mind present, what I heard was distorted. I could taste, touch and smell a myriad of sensations but without the correct mind present, they might as well have been experienced and later described to me by a mad man.
As my mind was not present, so all the things I sensed were givin a meaning. This contradicted the actual nature of their existence, the truth….. that they are vacant of any meaning at all.