Misguided Behaviour

I was reading one of my favorite book of all time, Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser, and came across this quotation which I find it appropriate and relevant to my inner process of reclaiming my power today.

Man: Doc, my brother’s crazy.  He thinks he’s a chicken.
Psychiatrist: Well, why don’t you turn him in?
Man: I would, but I need the eggs.

– Woody Allen

During my meditating this morning I start to realize how I drained myself psychically by putting my power outside me. Psychically I could feel a part of me linking to something outside me, equivalent to the experience of anger hooking on to someone. The attachment I give to is draining my power away from me.

Now if I need approval from you, I am already draining myself as I need to continously give attention to you waiting for your approval. The attention I give to the person is the energy I invest in, thus putting my power outside me. It could be anything from I need love from you, I am jealous of you, to something trivial as a complaint, like, why are you so grumpy today. In short, any meaning you give to the world is an investment of your part.

All this investment gives your power away. Let me illustrate to you an example. If I need approval from you, I am saying inside me that I can’t approved myself and thus needing approval from someone outside to fill the gap. Now if I were to question my thought I will be inevitably lead to the source of that need, which is my incapability of self-approvable. To replace that I have to heavily invest my attention or power outside to complete what is not inside me.

Now If I am wise at at point, I could see through the illusion of this needing approval, and by doing so reclaim back the power I invested outside. You will know for yourself whether the power is been reclaimed by the freedom towards the person you targeted, or by the dissollution of the illusion.

Another method I could work with is to recognize the illusion of the idea that I have about my need for approval and replace it with a new idea of I am approving myself unconditionally. Recognize that both too are ideas except that one brings bondage and the other freedom. You need the contrast to nullify the other. This method could only be performed if you truly see idea as illusion.

Now all of us know through hard knocks and bumps in life, that it is never possible to consistently get anything from the world (world meaning outside). If we get anything from the world, it only make us want to get more as the getting does not truly replace what is within us except the illusion of it. Somewhere deep within us we are aware of that truth, and yet, and yet we still hope and hope that one fine day we can oppose that truth.

Isn’t that needing the eggs though we are aware that “he’s not a chicken”?

To quote from Byron Katie “an unquestion thought is the beginning of suffering”.

Putting the Cart in Front of the Horse

Seeing everything as illusion, experiencing Truth, or even acquiring wholesome mental qualities are all effects rather than causes for one to work on.  In other words you cannot practise “seeing everything as illusion” as they are effect of a certain causes that need to acquire first. In the same way you cannot experience Truth directly, nor try to be “compassionate”, “loving”, or non-judgmental. You can, except an imitation.

Imagine you have not eaten a durian before and someone came along telling you how nice the taste is. Without tasting it would it make any sense for you to keep repeating how nice the taste — whether to yourself or to others? That is what makes knowledge and wisdom a huge difference. One is a lie, the other a truth. When I use the word “lie” I am not saying a conscious expression but rather an unconscious experience that is totally devoid of essence.

Thus when one proclaim “everything is an illusion”, without experiencing it directly, one is only adding another baggage to the mind, an idea that is of no difference than seeing everything as real.It has far reaching implication than just baggage. Firstly, it creates conflict to the mind, as in reality the mind has yet to experience it and yet one tries to make the mind in believing in. Now that is a mission impossible as you can’t lie to the mind except lying to yourself. It is like telling a lie and yet ignoring it is a lie. That is compounding lie.

Belief and Realization have different effects altogether. Both don’t arrive at the same destination, though at times we are been convince that belief is the beginning of faith. Belief do lead to faith, but blind faith. Understanding leads to faith, a different kind of faith that sometimes refer to as confidence.

Secondly, misguided view leads to the strengthening of ego. Ego arises from ignorance of what is, an unconscious choice we made in our intent and action. Whenever ego is present, there is no possibility wisdom can arise, unless and until you recognize the presence of ego in you. Even then, it may not be as simply as we think it is. Try recognizing anger, when it arise and you will get what i mean.

In summary, understanding is key to spiritual growth. Specifically, understanding the principle of cause and effect. For example, to come to the result of seeing everything as illusion, one’s cause is realizing its opposite as as unreal. In the same way, to experience Truth, one has to recognize the falseness of things in perception. Or to develop wholesome mental qualities, one has to understand the aspect of the unwholesome mental qualities.

Recognize, realize, understand are all aspect of a wisdom mind. They are the causes to breaking open from what is not to what is, in other words from ignorant to wisdom. Wisdom is the beginning and yet the end of the journey.

Just Experience

Try touching the floor, what do you experience? Hardness or “Floor”? Try tasting something. What is your experience? Is it simply tastes, or the kind of food that you are giving meaning to? When I say experience here, I am saying a journey that is exactly as it is. The tongue can only experience the basic five tastes, to name, astringent, sweet, sour, saltish or bitter and nothing more than that. Whereas the mind gives meaning to the type of food, the good and bad out of the experience. In other words there is a mental labeling and experience going on hand in hand at one moment of time. Which is more truer at that time? Both are mental activities but to you which is more real in hand? The thing that gives you experience or the talking mind?

Many a time I am hoodwinked into believing that I am experiencing the meaning rather than the actual source of the experience. For instant anger. I am experiencing anger rather than “someone makes me angry”. Get what I mean? Instead of I am feeling angry, my logic mind would say I am angry. Both have different results all together. The former is just a personal experience, kind of touching the experience call “anger” whereas the other is not really an experience but rather a target at someone “out there” who is to be blame for my anger.

I would safely said that one is true, the other false, or one is real, and the other an illusion – at that point of time.

And strangely, illusion too can be a reality experience, only when you are awake to it. In other words, just as you “experience” anger, you too can “experience” illusion. When you experience something you are just an observer to that, you are not that. In the same way you are an observer to the illusion playing in your mind and yet you are not illusional!