Another Friday night sitting here alone, it seems silly to be writing things that others may take as advice.
Civilization plays upon our individual fears and desires, causing us to choose a path of action which we fool ourselves into believing is the result of our own logic and free will.
That is a paraphrasing of a quote from Herman Melville, “Fate is that which plays upon our fears and desires and causes us to choose a path of action which we fool ourselves into believing is the result of logic and free will.”
I think that both statements are true, but I do also believe in the possibility of free will, it’s a matter of developing a conscious awareness that somehow allows for a space between the conditioned social mind tied to emotional memories and a clearer, more conscious observation, providing an interval between stimulus and response, between initial thought and action, and opening the door to free will.
I’ve been saying something in my mind which seems to have a calming effect for me. The word is, “Defenseless”, when I hear that in my mind then my shoulders relax, my primary focus of tension, and I feel more aware. I guess the defenselessness I’m thinking of is not having to prove something to validate my sense of who I am. Because that creates a preemptive tension, and that puts others on the defensive, or at least can make them feel uncomfortable. I’ll use this trick, a word which helps me drop my paranoid and self-isolating social defenses. And I admire those like Eckhart Tolle and some people I know who simply find a way to let go, or never desperately grasped in the first place.
I took the train this morning to Westchester, the opposite direction of the mass of people coming into Grand Central Station from the burbs. And as I sat on the train by the window, waiting to leave the station, a train pulled in, and the people filed out of the train. It seemed a thick line of people, a stream of dark shadowy figures, moving silently in unison, with rectangular objects in shadow dangling at the end of their arms, probably carrying some of the instruments they play in their daily lives of relationship and games of social and economic survival, often turning into warfare, striving to move ahead in the stream as they jockey even for position on the platform, and striving to come out on top, many of them probably in the dark as to the possibilities of the mind, and often even the unfettered, passionate pleasures of the body, also in the dark as to their interconnectedness to everyone and everything, their own compassion and that of those around them, and the passion provided by the searching of the mind.
I’ve been licking my lips lately. Is it just frustrated longing for some kind of tactile stimulation, or am I losing my grip a bit, maybe a good thing as in loosening up and experiencing my feelings more, or simply a negative thing as in neurological degradation, maybe a precursor to drooling?
A friend of mine watched the post of January 27th, the Robin Hood character bopping to the sound of the Grateful Dead song, Scarlet Begonias, and later in time saw something with bears and imagined the bears dancing to Scarlet Begonias, and I felt good that I had helped to inspire such a nice inner vision in someone’s mind. And I wondered if such an inner vision is what all of the spiritual teachers speak of as beyond thought, as it seems to me to be.
I was walking along in Astoria and heard a magical-sounding noise, not quite whale-like, more concrete, more of a high-pitched flow of sound - then I saw a garbage truck pull past the intersection ahead, and my delusion was dashed. Yet not really, because it just shows the beauty that can be found in anything, in that thing’s rhythm and melody.
The pain of awareness seems to be related somehow to the hiding of the truth about the social reality as we grow up - our gods, idealized individuals, belief systems and rationalizations are a way to deal with that pain. There is a reason for the expression, “The truth hurts.” But only because we are hiding it, not because it is inherently hurtful.
The only commodity that I find I must deal in is my time. ‘Deal’ is a loaded word, but i think that it is natural for the individual to value their time and to consider how to trade with it, depending upon the skills added. I think it is part of an evolutionary path in which there is both the individual and the collective. A path along which we have the potential to evolve a self-control of impulse, as part of a more conscious train of thought and action, changing the causal chain from stimulus to response. Maybe not as automatic. A train of thought on which our mind also has a track for an attentive observation of the needs of the group, and wants to allocate a portion of its time to satisfying those needs, in whatever capacity the individual is capable, be it gardener, carpenter, teacher, laborer, clerk, entertainer, scientist, doctor, psychologist, manufacturer, the list goes on and on, with equal reward for equal time, and administrators being cultivators of the evolution of the species, happy to help, like in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Saw two people kissing on the corner Saturday morning - nice way to start the day.
Sitting alone in a café, drinking coffee, on a sunday morning, listening to central American music about love (I at least understand the word amore, and can feel the passion), wondering how to stop wasting my precious moments. I can understand why we take refuge from loneliness in family and group, tied through shared memories, religious belief, political dogma, physical routine, or any other common thought/activity. Or in a relationship with a person we consider special in some way.
We think we’re so civilized with our rules, regulations and rituals, with our costumes and customs. Yet we still mark our territory through guttural* displays like spitting and spend our time hoarding possessions and power.
*guttural - more tied to emotional feeling centered around the memories/attachments which are largely stored in the limbic area of the mind, as opposed to the cortex and neo-cortex, the conscious areas of the mind.