“Trilogy of Nonsense”. That title was jotted down long before any content rose up from deep inside the compost of my grey matter. I just liked the sound of it.
Well, the trilogy of nonsense – “Me, Myself and I” – just happens to be the bedrock of our perceptual world. It is we three against all comers. There is the trilogy on one side of the perceptual fence and everything else on the other. So maybe it is not nonsense. But wait…….
In the traditions of religion and spirituality, there is a common voice offering explanation about the appearance of this solid world. The Tibetans Buddhists say, “Energy can’t help but manifest”. “Brahma created the world because it could be created” comes from Hinduism. Adi Da Samraj has said, “Everything is a spontaneous modification of Consciousness”.
Spontaneous. Whoa. Stop the presses.
Picture this – whatever Consciousness is, It is very Unconditionally Happy, humming along as non separate, uncomplicated, undifferentiated, Self Awareness. No other. Okay, we can all go with that (heck, we want to go along with that. It gives us hope just imagining that possibility is out there). Suddenly, in this infinity of Consciousness there comes a movement to become something more solid. You know – like….things. All sorts of things in all kinds of density – from shimmering light to thoughts, to the most sphincter challenged bureaucrat you can imagine. Honestly, I am not sure this plan is even that detailed. It might even be safer to say there probably is no plan. Just this sudden urge and voila! It is like a moment in the opening scene from the movie, “The Magnificent Seven” when Yul Brenner asks Steve McQueen why he decided to join him on this insane, dangerous, sure to be shot at, crazy stunt. To which Steve McQueen coolly responds, “I don’t know, it seemed like a good idea at the moment.” The absolute definition of spontaneity.
Consciousness is kind of like a Cosmic Steve McQueen. Spontaneous. Nothing too thought out here. However, once that urge to modify and manifest is engaged, it is rather like falling off a cliff. No turning back. What is going to happen? Don’t know. Don’t know where we going either but we’re making good time.
But one thing does happen. And it makes things unbelievably complicated for a good long time afterwards. What happens?? Okay, you asked.
Consciousness forgets Itself.
It’s like this: You (Consciousness) have a size infinity foot. Always have. Impulsively you decide to buy a new pair of shoes. Size eight. No questions asked. That is the new size. On go the shoes. As can be imagined, this results in quite an attention grabbing, pinching sensation. All the time. And that pinching sensation is such a shock, is so damn uncomfortably persistent, you completely forget what a pair of non separate, Unconditionally Happy, size infinity shoes ever felt like. Instead, Undifferentiated Consciousness is now so aware of that pinched feeling, it gives that individuated sensation a name – “I”. Remember this is just a pinch we talking about, that’s all. But Consciousness is just a little fuzzy at this particular moment having seemingly become finite and all. So Consciousness now reacts to this individuated sensation of “I” and gets all obsessive compulsive. This reaction takes the form of actively assuming and being really convinced that “I” is a separate personality, cut off from Unconditional Happiness. This is that little problem of Self forgetting we talked about earlier. Attention is now so bound up in the discomfort of this newly believed separateness that Consciousness forgets to notice it just modified itself to something a tad more defined than Infinity and although things are now looking a bit different, Its real nature and state has not changed. This forgetting translates to: “Holy shit! I am a me and I am quite finite and alone. This is not good because I am now certain there is a someone who can get snuffed out at any moment and believe you me, this is frightening. This is stress full stuff”.
Who the “me” is having this experience of reactions piled upon reactions never seems to get questioned. This is a prime example of starting things off on the wrong foot.
The good news is that it really isn’t true, there isn’t an individual “me” just because suddenly there is awareness of something amidst many other things that now seem a little more solid. It is ( you are) the same undifferentiated Consciousness, that was there before all this silly spontaneity stuff happened. But hey, that is what amnesia is all about. In this case you might call it “Spiritual Amnesia”. A really, really serious case of amnesia. That’s the bad news.
The good news is the intuition of what it feels like to not be separate, to be Unconditionally Happy and Undifferentiated, remains. It may be forgotten but it can’t go away, because after all, it is “The State”. Therefore we do not suffer total amnesia. This is called Grace. The bad news is that as long as that unconscious re-action of assuming and actively feeling convicted of persona remains unconscious, it effectively binds attention and although you may intuit, you won’t fully recognize your true state coming fully forward to reestablish itself. However, the good news is that one can become aware of and responsible for that reaction. Amnesia can be forgotten. The bad news is this is incredibly difficult. The good news is it doesn’t matter. In the ultimate sense it just a matter of time. An inconceivably long amount of time actually, but who’s counting. Some people want to engage a little spiritual practice to speed things up. Some don’t.
In the meantime, people tend to get a little testy when told that they as an individual persona don’t really exist, so I would watch it. Don’t drop this bombshell on your fellow shoppers at Whole Foods while sharing space in the check out line.
But do go ahead and consider it. It is not hard to witness just how much trouble indiscriminate self-protection can and has gotten us into. In order to do my bit and help you with those first few baby steps on the road to becoming more aware of a severely deep unconscious reactivity, here is a small pamphlet you might find useful. I call it “The Consumers Guide to Compassionate Living with Someone Who Really Isn’t There”. It’s just a few sentences. Not really a pamphlet, I guess. But it’s easier to market if it’s called a pamphlet, so………
1) Breath is your friend. You may want to get to know it. Try to take more than three deep, conscious breathes a day. It doesn’t cost any more than you’ve already paid.
2) Once you have become aware of your breath, notice this very important thing: you are not guaranteed another one. That space in between two breaths can suddenly be a very long time. This kicks up the appreciation factor of the moment quite a lot. You don’t tend to sweat the small stuff as much.
3) The feeling heart is a just as much a muscle as the physical one and it must be exercised regularly. Exercises will vary from person to person but the key point to remember here is that vulnerability is not a bad thing.
4) Discipline helps offend the illusory self in a useful way.
5) Too much thinking makes you constipated.
6) Cut yourself some slack from time to time. This confuses the illusory self.
7) While you’re at it, have some compassion for the person next to you. They inhabit the same amnesia ward as you.
8) It is okay not to be in control.
9) All this can change without prior notification to the consumer. Be fluid and give things away regularly.
10) A little free attention goes a long way.
Thanks for taking some LIP from me,