Every once in a while I read a book that impacts me in a profound way. Alan Watts “The Wisdom of Insecurity” and Tarthang Tulku, s “Openness Mind” are two such books, that I read over thirty years ago. Other writers have been Thomas Moore. Krishnamurti and Stephen Batchelor. The most recent discovery I have made is Rodney Smith. His newer book “Awakening” has kept me engaged for the whole expanse of the book. I found it to be full of insight and practical reflections. Possibly it has a lot to do where I am at myself at this point in my life that I am drawn to it but the truth is that it has had a powerful impact on me. It is a resource for me in that it reflects much of what I have experienced in my own transformation and as well it is supportive in allowing for an understanding of what my experience has been and to see from another the struggles that have arisen in that. Rodney Smith: Awakening A Paradigm Shift of the Heart
These days, I see that there has existed for me a rigid identification with life as I have been taught to perceive it. This is a perception and paradigm that has lingered and it was of the kind of dominance that was difficult to see beyond for the most part. Only in a grace filled moment of coming to let go could I move beyond it and in doing so I often encountered the experience of a feeling helpless and at times confusion in the face of random, unpatterned events that I suspect occurred as a result of a collapsing paradigm that I have come to find comfort and security in however limited it might have been. There existed the impulse to return to the habit of seeking refuge in order and old ways in that. In so doing there is that belief that I will gain a sense of control over them. In that instant of fear of losing control there is a compelling urge to grasp for order and certainty.
I am also in an ongoing way coming to the awareness that, all too often in allowing the old to return I end up creating patterns that ultimately are not of service. For all of my life these repeated patterns were reinforced by the illusion that I might gain control. These patterns of belief — about who I am, about who others are, about how the world works — ultimately shaped my behaviour, and in turn my reality and contributed to a loop in the pattern of thinking that physicist David Bohm’s enduring wisdom refers to here. “Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. And what we believe determines what we take to be true.” Collectively, in this way, we are the creators of the world as it exists today.
Can it come to be another way and another world. Absolutely. but it seems to involve a commitment to openness and seeing in a deeper way what we have become and how that has arisen.
With assistance from the reflections of Maria Popova.