The reality we can (more or less) manage, is the reality in which we live.
Based on world events on the nightly news, our "consensual reality" is the chaos caused by a lot of hurt children, hurting other hurt children, so that they'll stop hurting them, and thereby achieve peace & harmony.
A good friend, who's fond of the singing group Abba, once seriously asked me to stop playing Abba's greatest hits, because if he heard a certain song, he wouldn't be able to get it out of his head for the rest of the day. Most of us probably have our own "ear worm" songs.
But by far the most potent ear worm for almost everyone is "the story of me" - the saga of one's personal history, dramatized & edited with every re-telling, mostly to oneself through incessant internal dialogue - "self talk." We're hypnotized by the drama of "me, myself & I," asking why me? why not me? whose fault was that? We demonize - feeling regret, pain, anger, disgust, shame, rage, etc'; OR Disneyfy - wistfully dreaming of "the good old days, gone forever"; OR flip flop between the two, according to "my" needs.
The bottom line is that self-centeredness, while understandable, especially given the many & varied sources of trauma, is nevertheless the major cause of suffering. Life can easily be a perpetual roller-coaster of emotional highs & lows IF we insist that the causes of our unhappiness are purely external, perpetrated against "me," INSTEAD OF mostly internal - our unprocessed, closed-loop, "story of me."
Western psychology is very good at helping us step back from & get some perspective on the "noisy ego" (the hurt inner child protesting so loudly, that our, & our loved ones' lives are dominated, distorted & unhappy). A good psychotherapist can help us see our past & present far more accurately, allowing acceptance & self-acceptance, forgiveness & self-forgiveness, compassion & self-compassion to arise, liberating us from a life-sentence in a repetitive story-of-me echo chamber. We become able to function, with increasing consistency, in a truly healthy manner, from a "quiet ego," which is unburdened from anxious / terrified self-concern.
“In everyday life, we normally emphasize the content * of experience at the expense of being.** In mediation or prayer, we simply soften the focus of our attention from the content of experience. We allow being to emerge, as it were, from the background of experience and shine in the foreground.
In time, we begin to notice that the content of experience loses its capacity to veil or take us away from being. As a result, being shines not just in the background of experience, but in the midst of all experience. And as a result, the distinction between everyday life and prayer or meditation begins to dissolve.” Rupert Spira in: Non Duality Roundtable - Adyashanti, Rupert Spira & John Prendergast : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH4CSrzlIsk
* The "content of experience" above is "normally" (usually) dominated by self-referential anxiety in the form of continuous self-talk, distorting one's actual live experience.
** "Being" is who / what we truly are, usually completely hidden / drowned out by the "noisy ego."
“Peace & quiet joy are the very nature of our being, and we share our being with everyone & everything. All that is necessary is to understand this, to feel this, and to lead a life to the best of our ability in a way that is consistent with, & an expression of, this felt understanding.” Rupert Spira https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH4CSrzlIsk
“None of us are who we think we are. Who & what we are is beyond imagination, beyond comprehension by the ordinary mind, and yet we are this non-separate, seamless reality that pervades everybody & everything. The realization of this is the greatest joy, the most beautiful discovery. And to embody & live this in our ordinary life is the open challenge & invitation to each of us.” John Prendergast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH4CSrzlIsk
think the mystics are saying, ultimately, we’re addicted to the finite.***
We’re addicted to the finite as being an adequate base of operations.
And when we learn to break the thread of overly identifying with the finite, the infinity **** that shines out through the finite, can be realized.” Jim Finley https://batgap.com/james-finley/ HIGHLY RECOMMENDED INTERVIEW
*** "The finite" refers to the material or finite world, or from a non-dual, mystic perspective, "relative reality," "consensual reality," ie how "ultimate reality" appears temporarily.
**** "Infinity" refers to "ultimate reality" or the non-material source of everyone & everything.
“One could say that enlightenment is simply the recognition of the nature of our being. The inherent emptiness of being, is experienced as peace. The inherent fullness of being, is experienced as happiness. The shared nature of being, is experienced as love.” Rupert Spira https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH4CSrzlIsk
|by Mollycules www.BuddhaDoodles.com|