@Alder......you are a interesting person, the way you look at things equals a form of zen from a person that's studied buddhism among a few other beliefs from that region that reach to the ground. You seem to be grounded to the mother, honestly, being grounded is something I don't like. The freedom of the other side and all it has to offer has always been apart of my life. I have a bit different outlook.....as above / so below, I am both light and dark, I see both equally as they are of the same origin. When one is comfortable they do not learn.
The expressions @Alder are expressions from no one. They are simply expressions that pass through. I, this expression is not personal, though anyone identified as a person would see something they would only relate to as a person. I, as an idea of being, with what could be called a personal history (his story), has no learning in the fields of study in Zen or any branch of Buddhism. That historical being was raised in a Christian home by a Protestant father and a Roman Catholic mother, and grew up going to church with my mother and brother while schooled by public education. With dyslexia and ADHD, I flunked both school and catechism. I like to say that I flunked out of the Catholic Church. I also say, "I was lucky, I had learning disorders."
Because of the learning disorders, I was not only a flunky, but a continual disruptive element in the classroom. I was too weird to have friends I could keep for long. My "curse" was to grow up extremely lonely and repeatedly excluded from the social orders of childhood. I put curse in quotes because seen from here and now, all is blessing. I went along a long path in the seemingly so of trying for every bit of strength I felt I had to be a "good person." The reflection I saw in everyone I perceived as other told me I had to be something different from who I so perceived myself to be. We could easily call that "Hell," could we not?
In every turn of my life, I took this portable Hell with me, always seeking to fit in, while ever the misfit. The Torture of Tantalus was what my personal self found in every place he looked. Every endeavor, school, the navy, each job, every social clique, romance, you name it, that person, however interesting, was just not wired quite right for it. Only on psychedelics I found aloneness was not my accustomed loneliness. I found aloneness was everyone's true state, as we would identify with our seemingly separate points of perception. Nearly fifty years ago, that psychelicized seeing started to save me, little by little, though it always faded between benchmark trips.
I could not get high enough, often enough, no matter how much acid I ate. I had to endure the resurgences of the lonely personal me. I think now that the seeing of self, if only for a night or three in my early twenties, kept me from suiciding my body, for it was the first unconscious inkling that I was not who and what I thought I was. I was not my sad story of, "I don't want it to be like this."
I lived a long story of seeking a better person in myself, with help along the way. I found a path of service, or Seva, though that word was even unknown to me. I went on this path for about 40 years, but there was always a believed in self there, so true Seva, or selfless service, was not what it truly was. No matter. What I had was a story of me, doing service. Many persons took advantage, and long-suffering me would get butt-hurt, for not being appreciated for my imagined sacrifices. Still there was in my heart, a gift to me from myself inside that path. But there was no freedom from the curse of the experience not lining up with the desire for a better story.
Thirty nine months ago, in another failed attempt, this time through a relationship with a young man whom I had made my sole heir, in exchange for his services of helping me build my dream of a community shop/mushroom farm co-op, my intended life fell apart. At age 67 I was left in the lurch, with a weakening body, and no prospect of anything but to continue to grow older and physically weaker, and never see my grandiose plans realized. My personal identity was up against its perceived loneliness and its imminent failure. One trusted friend whom I had met online some twenty years earlier had repeatedly urged me to "stay as the witness." I really didn't understand what that meant until then.
So, with my life utterly fallen apart in the appearance of the re-arisen curse, the thought, "stay as the witness," arose, as I was walking back one morning from my mailbox. At that instant, my seeing left my eyes and seemed to be looking over my own shoulder, looking somewhat down on my body from up and behind. I saw myself walking up my road and in that seeing, saw that everything about my life story that I had believed to be the truth of me, was just its story, a story and no more. I could see in that instant that the story could be told a million different ways and none would be what is. There was no truth to it, no matter how one might line up the facts of it.
Nothing had ever escaped that witnessing which I now found myself to be. I saw that witnessing was more true than anything I ever thought about it. I, as the witness, was there before anything could arise in thought, memory, or projection. I could see that this was what is called, "waking up." What comes after that is a choice to stay awake and to remain present, or to create a new dreaming, a new story. This is a critical point, and something that had to be learned in the past thirty nine months, and continues to be the choice. Tossing away the story of the curse will mean nothing if replaced by more story, even if it's a seemingly better story.
We can believe our stories to the point where we will stamp our feet and scream bloody murder if anyone should doubt us. Seeing the stories for what they are, and finding the honesty to see we know nothing beyond the stories, is the only ticket to our innate freedom. Who is the "I" that has the "ability?"
Inside Richard Bach's book, Illusions, there is another book called, The Messiah's Handbook. The way this inner book works is, the prospective messiah who uses it simply lets the book fall open to a page and reads what it says. One of the pages in that book says this: "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."
Forgive this stream of consciousness style with which I express. If you find anything there, great. If not, no matter. I do not intend to push any river along its course. This would never be needed.
Edited by Alder Logs, 08 January 2018 - 11:33 AM.