Saturday, March 16, 2019

Distraction, Connection, Intimacy, Authenticity

     If, while in the process of doing something about which you feel conflicted, you should have an accident, what does this mean?
     • Some might assume that the Universe (God, or some other external force / authority) was saying, 'You were right, you should not be doing this!' But IMHO, this is just confirmation bias - "the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning."
     • Others might simply assume that you were not paying sufficient attention, distracted by decision-making.

     Maybe the most important take home message is are we fed-up enough of our usual state of being to settle for nothing less than our original, native authentic state of being? We have a MASSIVE load of toxic conditioning to shed before fear-based armoring drops off to reveal the source of everything. This requires curiosity, knowledge, courage, patience, perseverance, persistence, and unwillingness to settle for what most DO settle for: "ordinary unhappiness."

     In our usual state, if we take the time & effort to notice, we're almost always 'torn' between having to do something, while thinking that we should be doing at least one different thing, and if we really dig deep, our heart is not really in any of these things, but in a totally different place. So we're disengaged much of the time, doing things half-heartedly at best. Surely we can do FAR better than this!

     A radically different way of living is being kindly, continuously engaged, only whomever / whatever we're with. In fact, enlightenment or awakening has been described as intimacy with everything. We know we're capable of behaving like this under ideal conditions: eg wise grandparents nurturing their beloved grandchild, assuring that they flourish.
      This radically different way of living becomes progressively more sustainable - under progressively more challenging conditions - by connecting to, & stabilizing in, our true identity: the luminous undifferentiated ground of being ('substrate consciousness'). This is a vastly different way of being because we're free of our usual fear-based self-centeredness & reactivity
     Any of the wisdom traditions, taken seriously (vs as a social club, sedative &/or analgesic), can probably get you there. Below is from the tradition I know best.

     “By means of thousands of hours of observation, Buddhist contemplatives claim to have penetrated into ordinarily hidden dimensions of the mind that are more chaotic, where the order and structure of the human psyche are just beginning to emerge. Examination of the deep strata of mental processes reveals layers previously concealed within the subconscious. Finally, the mind comes to rest in its natural state: the ground from which both conscious and ordinary subconscious events arise. This is true depth psychology, in which we observe deep ‘core samples’ of the subconscious mind, cutting across many layers of accumulated conceptual structuring. The culmination of this meditative process is the experience of the substrate consciousness (Skt. Alaya-vijnana), which is characterized by three essential traits: bliss, luminosity, and nonconceptuality. The quality of bliss does not arise in response to any sensory stimulus, for the physical senses are withdrawn, as if one were deeply asleep. Nor does it arise in dependence upon pleasant thoughts or mental images, for such mental activities have become dormant. Rather, it appears to be an innate quality of the mind when it has settled in its natural state, beyond the disturbing influences of conscious and unconscious mental activity.
     … The substrate consciousness is not inherently human but is also the ground state of consciousness of all other sentient beings. It is from this dimension of awareness that the human mind emerges, so the substrate consciousness is prior to and more fundamental than the human conceptual duality of mind and matter. Both the mind and all experiences of matter are said to emerge from this luminous space, which is undifferentiated in terms of any distinct sense of subject and object. This hypothesis rejects Cartesian dualism, as well as the belief that the universe is exclusively physical. Moreover, this hypothesis may be put to the test of experience, regardless of one’s ideological commitments and theoretical assumptions.”
       B. Alan Wallace. “Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic. A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice.” Columbia University Press, 2012.

Photo c/o Dr. Will Draper

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