I am writing this entry to illustrate “the development of view” that has unfolded over the years. I have since my late twenties kept a journal and I first began writing a blog when I was serving a two-year volunteer term in eastern Nepal with VSO in 2007. I initiated it largely as a way to share my experience and to reflect with my friends and family at home. I struggled with writing at that time, always seeming to find it to be an incomplete way of expressing my experience. Painting seemed to be a better avenue for doing this, so I also added postings of those creations on my website.
I continued with my blog after I left Nepal, finding it to be a resource where I could continue to post my paintings and share my written reflections, although I was at the same time quite sure that they consisted of a content that was of little interest to most. I was conscious of the new purpose that it had come to serve for me, that it became a way that I could attempt to openly and honestly express what I was, and what was unfolding for me, in my meditation. At times it was not easy to do that. I was somewhat aware of a more secretive part of me that had not known expression, however, vaguely I was aware of its essence. That part which was more visible and that had developed, separate from that, over the years was more accessible, although there always seemed to be a sense that it was not complete. So I almost always felt that what was being expressed from that place was mostly fraudulent. It has been so, for most of my life, I am afraid.
I remember quite clearly , for the most part, ongoing effort to make myself into something as a way of dealing with all that I have mentioned. A focus on becoming something other, seemed to help in coping with the sense of “lacking”, inherent in my self concept. To find something of myself that was more authentic than I had known was a genuine desire however fruitless the search had been. I was generally most often quite anxious and horrified that the world might know the truth of what I was or of what lay hidden, even from myself. In that separation there was darkness and I seemed to lose touch with those parts of myself and thought myself to be quite inadequate and pathological in my way. There was always a sense of doubt surrounding me.I did at times experience some sense of brief liberation at those moments that I could make myself into something more desirable to myself. I did not really know how to love myself or even how to take a step towards embracing what I truly was or to bring light to what was held in darkness.
Meditation allowed me to begin that process. It allowed me to begin to let go of all that was fraudulent in what I had become and gradually illuminated what was authentic of my existence. I eventually came to realize that it was the “thinking mind”, that most of all influenced what I thought myself to be. I seemed to be rigidly fumbling along in the conceptual, reductionist and materialistic world that was so prevalent, despite a subtle awareness that there was something more than that, somewhere within. The thinking way of being in the world was all that was encouraged. I always had a desire to know the truth, however, not knowing how to find it through the way I had been conditioned to think and lacking a readiness to proceed with what was required of me. I also have aways had an incredible curiosity, that in those days fuelled this desire to understand all be it in a “hit and miss” life long process of search that took me to a lot of dead ends and created a lot of suffering and pain for myself and for others. The isolated view of the intellect, fed by an intense love of reading was the major influence in that folly of a search until more recently.
These days the intellect has been introduced to a new insight. There has been a conditioning that I have for much of my life been unaware of. It has created a discriminating seeing that has contributed to a distortion and confusion. Something that I am a greater part of, that is of my nature, has emerged and helped me to realize that the intellect, in fact needs to be diverted away from the processed abstractions of philosophical or materialistic junk food if it is to gain access to any quality of insight of depth of envisioning. What has been necessary, was to come to the realization that the intellect itself needs to awaken to the way in which it functions as a method, that obscures the nature of mind. No amount of collected data or information would ever answer my questions or the question of what humanity looks to find about themselves. I had to come to discover another way of looking and seeing, an attending to and a letting go and letting be; all part of another aspect of being in the world in a more whole way that comes to increasingly influence the intellect for this “development of view” to occur.