There is something of our conditioned self that resists change and something of the human collective that resists it that extends from that. Perhaps as well there is stress involved in all kinds of change and transformation of form. There is a transformation of form implied in human change and their is stress in that. Things are born and come to die. I don’t adhere to the notion that suffering can be eliminated and in turn that it is something to be fixed. There is an aspect of being closed to change implied in that. This can serve to intensify the discomfort that change can bring. We can perhaps come to relate to that process of change in a different way than we have been conditioned to that involves opening within, attending to what is arising in change and the gifts it brings.
I’m noticing how habitual it is that I seek to search out familiarity in daily routines; often being of the quality of distractions. It seems to me that this routine of habitual distractions serves as an insulation and if it is interrupted a sense of apprehension and anxiety in the possibility of encountering something unknown arises.
I am becoming aware that to engage in a creative embrace of existence involves some risk, some encounter with what is unknown, and that there is the possibility of experiencing a sense of vulnerability in the openness and newness that it brings. I now see that that this is the essence of existence. To learn to be with all that is new that arises out of formlessness, provides opportunity to encounter and respond in a creative, new way. In its unfamiliarity it involves learning to relate to that sense of vulnerability that arises with what is unknown. This world and universe is unfinished and is ever changing. What is unknown is endlessly emerging. We somehow strive to be something permanent in an impermanent existence. The experience of pain and suffering are a necessary consequence of an unfinished universe. How are we to find comfort in that?Somehow it is in a more conscious response, that involves a willingness to enter into openness and what is unknown and encountered of it.
For me to “live life” is inseparable from communicating my life experience. I find life to be, essentially, an evolving phenomenon, a moving toward the future; toward greater complexity and consciousness. To be in this way I understand the importance of realizing what is authentic of my experience and shed what it is that I have become that is blocking that. Beatrice Bruteau indicates that our sense of self must change from the “dead” periphery of the personality description (“I am this and I am that”) to a living core of transcendent and creative freedom.
In that I must trust in something that I have been conditioned to avoid and that has involved attending to what is inwardly realized, shifting away from external authority that I have come to rely on in earlier development. “The abundant universal unconditional graciousness goodness givingness of our warmly personal God is our central reality, our root, and it’s secure. . . . You can realize it directly for yourself; you just have to pay deep attention to your own act of existing.”
The sharing, exploration and expression of what is arising in that experience of existence is a part of life.
Desire is falling away for me. Practice has brought me to this point. I no longer wake up each day desiring to do certain things. Being is coming to lead me. Being replacing desire. Desire seems to emanate from something that we have become that has become disconnected from being. Where there is no desire something of being gives direction. Something that is more complete I suspect.
There is something about the American over-identification with individualism which is inseparable from a quality of owning and having which collectively has frozen the nation into a nation of “I,” that cuts one another off forever from the “we.”’. It contributes to an intensification of a focus on identity politics. Groups of people have been treated unfairly and a more just goal might be one of pursuing equality for all and not in a way that pits one group against the other. This is the advantage of a perspective that is more of the”we”.
There is something that is becoming painfully obvious to me on this path of contemplation. It seems that all past conditioning was in pursuit of an illusive sense of security and happiness. In contemplation these old, habitual ways of being are falling away and it seems to mean for me becoming increasingly vulnerable to the pain and suffering of the world. This realization of truth in the past was denied or ignored as a result of its ability to obstruct the pursuit of happiness. In those earlier days I would have been totally unprepared and possibly crushed by the awareness of such suffering. These days I am more ready to relinquish the security of a sleepwalking existence and to accept what may come from my exposure to the world’s suffering. There is something more that the realization of vulnerability and death brings to us on the path in terms of transcendence. Is this the freedom from suffering that the Buddha talked about? Is it realized in this way?
It seems that thoughts flow and arise. In openness they bring insights and creative ways to see things and than they pass.
In openness something of us is unfolding and extending. It seems that the source of many problems is the grasping and attachment to thoughts and in so doing there is an abandonment of openness. Our western materialistic culture seems to bring with it a relative fragmented sense of knowing that obstructs openess. What we think to be creative is limited by that obstruction.
There is something about the process of thinking in Buddhist philosophy that seems to be often misinterpreted. Far from it being a worthless, passive exercise, thinking can be the result of a very dynamic, connected and creative essence. When we awaken to the folly of the world internalized in me our experience begins to move towards becoming externalized into the world. Suddenly the world opens and the barriers increasingly fall away and thinking becomes attuned to that. In my experience this is the goal of contemplation. A natural unfolding, through awareness takes place when what we have been conditioned to be becomes realized. Through awareness, the limited sense of self increasingly becomes less of an influence in our cognition and overall existence. In that awareness we are more capable of differentiating the source of thoughts. There is a distinction to be realized between an imagination influenced by our limited self and what spontaneously arises in awareness in letting go of that conditioning.
It seems that it is important to be eclectic. In fact the question of how eclectic in our spirituality we can be seems to be at the heart of the question. Embracing ultimate conclusions based on psychological and self help assessments can be limiting: however, as a step towards increased awareness they can have a transformative affect that is relevant.
The essence of the following sentences here is influenced by a book that I’m presently reading. It suggests that there is a process of increasing illumination that orders a complex hierarchy of poetic imagination in much the same way that alchemical imagery begins in the bizarre and pathological, but is given its orientation by something beyond. For me Buddhist practice seems to have involved a similar process, that in silence, stillness the unconscious conditioning is encountered. In attentiveness to that confrontation there is an experience of something more expansive.
Henry Corbin’s critiques of Carl Jung and James Hillman, who both embraced the concept of the “Mundas imaginalis” writes about his fear that the essential spiritual dimension of the “mundus imaginalis” will be perverted by the powerfully secularizing and disorienting tendencies in the modern world. I can’t help but think that this applies, at these times that social, religious, political and institutional influences that are often given the kind of weight that dilutes the aesthetic and spiritual significance of the works they have created, that arise from a process of discovering what is within.
Modern psychology can be a form of secularizing as it leads us away from the “divine”. In the encountering of inevitable difficulties that arise in our conditioning there is a linear reduction in the idea of pathology. What we encounter along the way towards seeing more clearly is a part if a process of realization and moving through past blocks. The likelihood of becoming stuck in that is increased with the notion of pathology.