About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The World (of the 'Self') that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth

At the risk of sounding like someone who does not really know !!! (at ALL) what they are talking about, (!) I thought I would share this..
I KNOW I am not the greatest (!!) Authority about this, but I am very excited about this, like I am with most new things I am TRYING to learn, and in my attempt to understand it better myself, I thought that if I TRIED to put it into my own words, it MIGHT make more sense to me, or I might just organize my thoughts better so here goes...
(It helps me even if it makes no sense to you whatsoever!! Heehe )

The above utube (here is a link to the Matrix blue/red pill scene because the link above appears to be no longer working. The part I like starts 50 seconds in.) the is a dialogue clip from the Matrix which I think works as a VERY useful metaphor on loads of levels. A metaphor for The 'dream world' we inhabit when we are 'captivated' or 'caught up' by the hopelessly ! misleading (but VERY compelling) information habitually flooding our senses and mind. A metaphor for the underlying reality of Non duality that goes unseen. No self: the illusion of self. Non existence of time: the illusion of time.

Its like we are little babies getting distracted by a 'glittering bauble' being dangled in front of our eyes, and we are failing to notice all the OTHER !! conditions around us. All we can see is the 'glittery thing' that glints and catches our attention. The glittery thing is sight, sound, the chatter and murmurings of the mind. The WORDLESS BELIEFS in the mind. The surges of the mind to ? GET something, or get AWAY from something. Primal SURGES of one thing or another. Such as..
Can I eat it? Can it eat me? Can I mate with it? .. (As Amaro says in his talks) They take centre stage, And we don't even notice. Shame really.

Or they HIJACK us from the wings with whispered blurry unquestioned half-truths we just never think to question because they feel so .. 'normal'.
Basically the way our senses and our mind are conditioned to interpret the world is very partial, habitual, and accepted unquestioningly.
If you look closer what you find is all the senses look hopelessly inadequate. And the way the mind habitually interprets them is very lazy and pathetically caught up in itself. Not logical at all. If you calm down enough to see ? 'past' all the mental chatter and pointless mind meanderings, and actually question the reliability of the information coming in via the senses, it all starts to look a LOT !! More insubstantial. Like a cloud passing by. Vapor. So one the 'worldly objects' are reduced to ? Nothing containing any substance. Whereas the space in which all those things arise and disappear takes on a WHOLE new significance and looks like the REAL thing going on in the background.
Or something.

Anyway. Its what's BEHIND all that ? activity we get caught up in, that Is interesting. The more quiet the mind gets, the easier it is to watch for those pauses between breaths of bits of inactivity. Plus as you get more chilled out with all the different distracting baubles floating about in the ? Mind, then you can kind of watch them without breaking a sweat and stand firm, resisting the tidal surge to heedlessly follow each new impulse.
Basically kind of watch the 'show' from the sidelines, instead of being IN the 'show'.
And when you do that, you start to see that the 'show' is not really YOU.
Just some weird sh*t 'happening' on the stage in front of you.
Anyway. When that happens, the whole sense of identity shifts from a 'personal' ME to a more ? Impersonal ? Awareness. Not a ME. Something else. A cooler ? Something ? else, which is not a ME.
Anyway. Whatever it is. It feels more spacious. More free. Less personal. Not from the world of ? THOUGHT. Comes from a ? Feeling place. A 'quiet knowing'.
Its nice whatever it is.
But yeah every time you start congratulating yourself on what a COOL person you are for managing to get even ! This far. You are immediately SUCKED back onto the stage where you are right back to being a ME again. Sheesh..
There are no days off basically.
But yeah its a nice trick. Anyone can do it I reckon.
Its quite funny. There you are sitting watching the show. Trying VERY hard to resist the urge to listen to a POINTLESS CONVERSATION going on in the row behind you (somewhere else in the mind) that sounds TERRIBLY INTERESTING, and you manage that, but then don't notice SELF has appeared in the form of a self congratulatory remark, and you start listening to it and BINGO. There you are. Back in the self again. Just goes on and on really. Just when you think you've got it. You don't! Hahaah. Funny old game.

I'm pleased with my progress of my awareness of the 'show' WITHOUT getting caught up in it, when it feels similar to someone persistently COUGHING when you are trying to concentrate on your golf swing. Like I am the golfer, and the coughing is NOT putting me off. Like that really. The ? Reptile brain or Mara as the Buddha liked to call it. The ? 'Evil tempter.' Is ALWAYS trying to put us off our game. And 99.9% of the time it wins. !
But its nice to score a few points against Mara every now and again. Not get SUCKED IN to some POINTLESS inner drama or DISTRACTION, and instead notice the glittering baubles dangling alluringly in the consciousness, are NOT ALL THAT. That there is actually something a LOT more SIGNIFICANT and RESONANT going on VERY quietly in the background. The land of no self. Cool!

But yeah. Sometimes the 'bauble' is indifference, disinterest, dullness. lethargy or boredom. All those are not what you would call a 'quiet' mind. A very sleepy mind! But not a quiet one. So snoozing, or having a mental tea-break, or being 'zoned out' doesn't count I'm afraid! Never mind eh? Rome wasn't built in a day as they say..

Anyway. When you get a better sense of the underlying stuff, you feel a bit SWINDLED by the mind and the senses, and the SELF it conjures up. In much the same way as you feel a bit swindled by the whole 'getting drunk is great' notion after you stop drinking for any length of time. You think... Why didn't anyone tell me it was like THIS??? Jeez. There I have been believing all this SELF sh*te for gawd knows how long, when in fact it was some poxy MIRAGE masquerading as SUBSTANCE. Whatever.
Well that's kind of what it feels like. Like most things. Once you see them for yourself, they seem OBVIOUS and you feel completely CONNED all the time you had no idea. Oh well. Never mind.
Thank you Mr Amaro for helping me look in the right direction and helping me see that. Even if it was just a ! glimpse. It all helps. Doesn't 'cure' me of my senses, but at least I have a SLIGHTLY ! better idea of what I am up against.

In this clip (the way I see it anyway) the 'prison' is the 'world' (meaning 5 senses and the MIND,) and the object being imprisoned by the senses and the chattering mind is the IMPERSONAL existence of 'no-self.' Poor ol NO SELF doesn't get a chance, because there is this MASSIVE smokescreen of SELF going on. MY nose, MY ears, MY thoughts. MY emotions.. etc etc. Yeah right! Look a little closer and there's NOTHING there. ..Meaning the REAL me isn't the endless flow of thoughts emotions and god knows what else. its the ? 'thing' (some people call it the witness) that is AWARE of all that trivial and pretty pointless mind-stuff. Timeless, impersonal unconditioned awareness. not a 'thing'. not a 'person'. Just plain ol awareness! A universal quality. Not a ME quality. Cool not hot. Undistracted not distracted. Steady not fluctuating. There just isn't ANYTHING 'personal' about it.

Anyway here's the part of the Matrix script I like:
I can see it in your eyes.
You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees,
Because he is expecting to wake up.
Ironically, this is not far from the truth....
Do you believe in fate, Neo?

Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my own life.
I know.. exactly what you mean.

Let me tell you why you're here.
You're here because you know something.

What you know you can't explain.
But you feel it.
You've felt it your entire life.

That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there...
Like a splinter in you're mind.
Driving you mad.

It is this feeling that has brought you to me.
Do you know what I'm talking about?

The Matrix?

Do you want to know..what it is?

The Matrix is everywhere.
It's all around us
Even in this very room.
You can see it when you look out your window.
Or when you turn on your television.
You can feel it when you go to work.
When you pay your taxes.

The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes,
to blind you from the truth.

What truth?

That you are a slave, Neo.
Like everyone else.
You were born into bondage
Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch.
A prison...for your mind.

Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is.
You have to see it for yourself.

This is your last chance.
After this. There is no turning back.
You take the blue pill.
The story ends.
You wake up.
And believe.. whatever you want to believe.

You take the red pill.
You stay in wonderland.
And I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes


molly said...

this brought to mind a movie i have but haven't watched yet called "What the bleep - down the rabbit hole" (http://www.bleepstore.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=188&idproduct=1772)

the other thing that i thought of was this.. i've been doing some of 'the work' (Byron Katie) and came to this conclusion the other day that i just don't believe a f*cking thing my head says anymore. i feel like i've been hi-jacked all my life by a bunch of BS !! Of late, I have had glimpses of the awareness behind the thoughts - i SEE them or hear them or whatever and sense there is SOMETHING else. i can't explain it. i sorta 'get' things like this sometimes then other times, i can't find the info in the brain or something. it's like - the wiring was fine yesterday but today - it's been tripped and i can't 'see' clearly.

oh well - i tried to explain something i don't understand it seems. bleck! i get it and then, well, not so much. ah well.

have a good one.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

well yeah i can identify with you with the bleck! its very frustrating trying to talk about this. and very difficult not to sound like a ! looney, but i've been noticing the ? background more since I went on those two retreats and yet again another massive level of self deception becomes apparent. even if its only a glimpse.
Still. Each time I see something a new way, I'm a little bit gutted I didn't notice it before.
but yeah. That film is great too, but I haven't watched it all yet. I will have to look it up..

molly said...

i'm soooooo glad you understand.. awareness grows and grows huh

Syd said...

I obviously have a lot to learn. I do "watch the show" from the sidelines. And I don't get involved in dramas but some of this is still hard to understand much less put into action. Interesting stuff.

johno said...

I think you/we do notice.. because you/we CONTINUE to look, its just at times we find another way/tool (like you seem to have now) for IMPROVING our capacity & skillfullness to "be honest" over and above the regular WRITTEN step 10's ... which provide an honest look. as you know, Meditation and praying assists in seeing through whats "sideline" stuff or the guff our head and other peoples mouths gives us which at times prevents "in the head step10's" and justified unhelpful thinking.

One of the best tools given to me is "dont listen to your head" which was esseential at the beginning, but nowadays they is so much good stuff floating around, I need to listen sometimes, getting more skillful about filtering the neg stuff takes time.

At 5 years I get bored with the same old same old head stuff, and same tools at times even though they REALLY DO WORK, so to find new tools at times really is essential and breathes new life in. After 21 years I guess? its imperative to keep searching out new tools...
I am glad you have found another tool, I always get excited when I find one... and to explain it initially is always hard, its easier when its been used a few times.

Sometimes I find a tool or another way of using an existing one and it seems like I have been given a new lease of life!! Newcomer moments... priceless :)

Be gentle with your Spiritual pride... no need to be gutted... enjoy being joyful and enthusiastic for your discovery, its good to read it when it comes across :)

have a good weekend and thanks for all your comments/suggestions, dont stop!

Wait. What? said...

fear would have me reaching for the blue pill but that wanting something more makes me think I would take the red one!

Recovery Road London said...

Have you read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason?

Hope you're having a good day.


An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Hhahaa no. Waaaay over my head!
see that time in nottingham uni was not wasted!
hope PEG is in good form..