Our Divine Right To Kingship.
We are setting off on a path that leads us back to where we are, a place we have not been for quite some time.
Within the context of the Buddhist path discontentment refers to the fundamental feeling that something isn't quite right. In order for the ego to validate its existence it had to create division; a sense of being apart from. Believing that we were apart from gave rise to the feeling that we were disconnected or cut-off. This sense of disconnection is pervasive discontentment. It is the belief that we are divorced from content. From this point of view, life has no real meaning or purpose. Life became a hollow shell that we tried to fill with various forms of entertainment. Discontentment is a type of neediness. This neediness then fuels our obsessive search for self-completion. We saw ourselves as broken or incomplete, and spent the majority of our time & energy searching for some-thing to repair or complete our tattered self-image.
Speed is the chaotic flow of events that life appeared to be. The introduction of some centralized observer, the ego, gave rise to the concept of time. This concept of time transformed impermanence- the unceasing flow of life- into a million events happening to us. It seemed to be attacking us from every angle. In order to slow everything down we tried to grasp these events or own them. We kept our eyes open for some quick fix- a relationship, new job, or fancy spiritual discipline. Since a suitable answer never came the speed continued to increase. These sort of speeds are unsustainable, and eventually the whole structure came crashing down on top of us.
Consciousness is a closed loop. It is a bustling state of mind, which revolves around the centralized idea called the self. With a type of paranoia it is constantly surveying the area for potential threats. These threats pop up in the form of emotions, and are then pieced together using discursive thought. It is kind of like connect the dots. Ego's command center is all the time receiving new information. This information regularly touches upon some soft spot, and registers on egos’ security screen as an alarm or emotion. It is important to note that the emotions themselves are not alarms; rather the alarm is ego's interpretation of the emotion. It is the task of discursive thought to step in and make sense out of all this activity. Discursive thought takes this raw data, and formulates some kind of report.
In the grand scheme of things these reports do not have to be coherent or logical. That is, they do not have to be validated by truth; they simply need to subdue the current state of unrest. Much like the majority of our emotional episodes, a lot of this chatter is off the record. It is a type of background noise that we hardly pay much attention. Truth be told, this entire operation is dependent upon us remaining in state of catatonia. That’s why enlightenment consists of nothing more than waking up. In the same way that darkness is immediately dispelled by light, illusion cannot persist in the midst of insight. Contemplative practice begins by working to deconstruct this rigid state of consciousness by cultivating the faculty of mindfulness. Like a virus meditation infiltrates consciousness, short circuiting ego’s operating systems by simply providing an antidote to ego's primary weapon, absent mindedness.
We need not be bothered with making ourselves enlightened or peaceful. The enlightened Mind is already present. All we have to do is take certain steps back towards the enlightened mind. We are setting off on a path that leads us back to where we are, a place we have not been for quite some time. In this respect contemplation maybe best understood as a return journey, a return to naturalness.
In reality we are whole or complete. There is no-thing that is broken because, there is no-one to be broken. The whole bit is a gimmick. It is nothing more than a persistent misunderstanding. Within the realm of theory this maybe an idea that makes sense. It may even be a philosophy we intellectually grasp. Nevertheless it is merely an idea, and ideas never changed anything. In fact, ideas do nothing more than contribute to the policy of misinformation. They become just one more story to be consumed, transforming them into ideologies. Ideologies are just another part of the process. In order to know true freedom it is necessary to step beyond the realm of processes & strategies, and into the sphere of immediate knowledge.
If we are going to move past ego’s insanity it’s going to take a whole lot less than some clever belief system. Beliefs are convoluted & complex systems of thought. Basic experience is butt naked truth. Beliefs are elaborate & contrived, while simple experience is straightforward & precise. We have to see firsthand that we are not damaged goods. That there is no distance between us and life. We have to realize that the apparent separation between us and the life is an imagined distance between two make believe points. As Fr. Keating puts it, “The chief thing which separates us from God, is the thought that we are separate from God”. We cannot convince ourselves of this by memorizing some doctrine or dogma. The fact that we are trying to convince ourselves of anything, suggests that underneath all of our intellectual speculation we really doubt whether or not it is true. We have to unearth this truth for ourselves, but this is going to require that we get our hands a little dirty.
Click here for instructions on getting your hands dirty!
Here is another one! Oh, wait I have one more...