Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reality is relentless

I have been on anti-depressants on and off for the last fifteen years (mainly on). During the summer, when I am not teaching, I will stop taking them to give my body a bit of a rest. I am doing that this, summer, too. I have been off for four weeks or so. What I have noticed is that reality, the actual experience of life, is intense; in your face, 24-7. It is not unbearable, but it is relentless. I could start taking them again for some relief, but I no longer want relief; rather, I want freedom. I know that if I persist, I will learn to live with all of the sensations of life. When I am comfortable in my own skin, I will be free. I guess relentless is how it is going to be from now on. I need to learn how to ride it and not get involved with it; detachment is the word, I await the result.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Buddha says...

That we have six sense organs...eyes, ears, nose, tongue, touch and...mind. So those thoughts that run through my head are just sensory data...they are not me. Cool.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Humans are verbs...

Not nouns. Their is no listener, there is only listening. There is no thinker, only thinking. There is no -er, only -ing.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Freedom isn't free...

It's highly regulated. Posted this notion on my Facebook page and got into a cyber shouting match with a friend of mine. Some conditioning is very hard to overcome (for both of us).

To me, it seems patently obvious that we are not truly free in the U.S., despite claims to the contrary. I understand that power of conditioning, but this seems like a fairly mundane observation. We cannot do “as we please” in this country (or any other for that matter). Of course, we can do some things, but if freedom means the ability to engage in behavior without consequences or fear of consequences, then no one is free. The physical environment limits our freedom...I am “free” to walk through a wall, but I will be stopped as soon as my body makes contact with it. People don't seem to have a problem understanding this one.

What is more intriguing and apparently much harder to see, is how we are regulated by our social environment, too. Funny thing...many people claim to dislike the federal government and all of the regulations on our lives (I being one of them), but we gladly regulate each other (“Hey, cover your mouth when you sneeze!”). Prime example is our wearing of clothes. I don't know the history of clothing, but I suspect that it originally was borne out of body decoration and/or necessity for protection against the elements. Either way, today it is a requirement, not an option, when we are out in public. Today, it seems the reason we are required to wear clothes has nothing to do with either decoration, nor protection, but to cover up our “privates;” (after all, there are laws against going nude in public) again, absurd...who has never seen him or herself without clothes on? Are we unaware of what we look like nude? Similarly, I would suspect that at a fairly early age (especially if one has siblings) one sees a person of another gender nude. So, really, is there a need to cover our “privates” when a) we all have them and b) everyone has seen at least their own and in all likelihood, someone else's too? Sure, there are situations in which nudity is “legal” (truly an odd idea...our bodies being, “legal”), but we learn at an early age that we “...have to put on [your] clothes before leaving the house.”

Of course, the prime irony is that we have made the culture that we live in. We may have little control over who gets elected to write our laws (We don't get to “choose” our candidates, they are chosen for us and we get to vote for whomever is left after the weeding out process), but we sure do like to vote for regulatory legislation. To be sure, not all regulation is bad, and some of it makes sense in terms of protecting ourselves and each other; but to claim that we are free or that we are the “free-est” country on earth (whatever that means) is at best inaccurate and at worst a nice tool to get people to act against their own best interests.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Let's see, where was I?

On the road to perdition or was it liberation? It was both, that's right.

I've noticed just how insane my (I'll keep it local) brain is. There is absolutely nothing wrong in my life at any given point in time, yet if the activity and resulting emotional sensations in my brain were the sole source of evidence, I would be convinced that my life was terrible, horrible, really no good. Not me, per se, but my life. Astonishing how brains become conditioned and retain that conditioning.

The upside (I suppose) is that the neural insanity prompts me to be free of it. Not simple relief from (which is always temporary), but freedom from forever. There are many who have taken action to achieve a similar freedom, but I am not interested in ending my life. That is not what I am talking about. Due to karma, God's grace, serendipity, whatever, I KNOW that there is an alternative that can provide that permanent freedom. I don't know much about it and knowing about it is really irrelevant. What is relevant are the actions that I can take to align this body with it. Challenging? To be sure. But not challenging like many, many other people are challenged on a daily basis (my life is good, remember? I AM one of the lucky ones). It seems to be the most (at least right now) compelling task before me; I am lucky that it is this way.

So, how do I know that such an alternative exists? Because I trust what certain people have told me and continue to tell me. These people are incapable of lying. First is my (Divine) Mother; there is absolutely no way in hell the She could, nor ever would, lie to me or anyone else. I know, I have looked Her in the eyes and She has returned the look and when you peer into infinite patience, compassion and love, you are more than convinced. Second, Eckhart Tolle; another person incapable of telling a lie. Where Mother loves me no matter what I do, Eckhart explains the freedom that I seek and does it in an approachable, understandable way (for me). All sanity, all freedom.

The others...the Buddha, Christ, Adi Shankara...have shown me the way out and God does know that the day will come when I step through that door.

In the meantime....where was I? On the road to perdition or on the road to liberation?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010 of the scared shitless

Went to the SS office today to order a new SS card as I lost mine over 10 years ago. While waiting in the lobby, my wife calls me on my cell phone. I answer and start talking to her. The security officer comes over and tells me that I can't talk on the cellphone in the lobby and I need to go outside if I want to continue the conversation. I hang up.

It comes my turn to actually meet with a SS employee, I am polite, but not talkative. She starts asking me about my weekend, where I went, why the conference I went to was over Memorial Day, etc. This, of course strikes me as odd because I have not noticed any of these people (including her) carrying on this kind of conversation with anyone who has gone before me. Again, I am polite, but not real forthcoming.

I ask her why you can't use cell phones in the lobby. She looks quizzical and says she doesn't know why. She then offers a possible reason...people might get distracted (from what?? the stunning interior of a federal building?). I tell her that there are no signs posted about no cell phone use in the lobby. She pauses and says, yes there is one by where I had to get a number (to wait in line to see her).

On the way out, I notice the sign she is talking about. It is one of those that someone prints off of a PC, about 8.5 X 11 that has a cell phone with a crossed-circle over it. It is barely noticeable. There is another, similar sign that indicates that you cannot take any photos in the building either.

Now, let's see...who paid for the construction of that building? Oh, that's right we did. So who owns that building? Oh that's right, we do. So we pay for and own a building where we can't use a cell phone and take pictures of the interior (as stunning as it is) and the people who work there don't know why we can't use the cell phone to talk to anyone. I figured if I ask why we couldn't take pictures, I would end up in hand-cuffs for asking too many questions.

America, once the land of the free, now land of the scared shitless and suffocatingly regulated.