Multiple Choice

This world is…

a) in the hands of a self-serving conspiracy determined to enforce a one-world government in order to enslave humanity.

b) simply a creation of our own script writing, and we can therefore introduce any changes we want to see.

c) an illusion of the most creative kind; in fact, it doesn’t truly exist.

d) about to be rescued from its various difficulties by an enlightened race of alien beings.

e) a mystery.

f) all of the above

g) none of the above

There was a time in the late ’90s that I consciously started asking the question, “Why is the world the way it is?” It just seemed to me that there were so many wars, so much senseless violence, political hypocrisy, poverty, famine, illness….why did it have to be that way? So I embarked on a quest to find out the answer to my question.

This quest led me to many revelations, as reasons were offered that explained many world events, and rang true to my inner arbiter. However, as much of this information is of a rather unpleasant nature, it also led to the breaking down of my body, as I had a very difficult time bearing the weight of this new-found knowledge. (It wasn’t doing much for my marriage, either.) As a result, I halted my in-depth research, and also began following world events with much less focused attention than I had done previously. I was paying attention enough to see that these world events were playing out as I had thought they might, according to the research I had done. But I took an intentional hiatus from my research.

In the last few weeks, however, the research seems to have rediscovered me. It seems two cataclysmic events are “scheduled” to take place in March of this year. In no particular order, they would be the trigger event for another world war, and the precipitous collapse of our financial system. I guess this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise – it is 2012, after all.

I have seen through certain aspects of this creation, namely that we are all playing parts in an infinitely elaborate play; that there is absolutely nothing we need to do in order to be “enlightened;” that there is something beyond these egoic costumes we wear; that simply noticing our thoughts and feelings, and what they uphold, reveals the undeniable oneness of our existence. These are all realizations that came to me after I stopped paying so much attention to world events, giving me much more perspective on these events as they unfold now.

However, that doesn’t mean I can put all these pieces together. My mind is totally fried trying to think about all the various aspects to this (un)reality. I’ve been trying to come to some sort of synthesis for the past two days, and have been unable to do so. I finally got the message that perhaps what’s being called for here is to simply fall back into present awareness, where all of this takes place anyway, and to wait and watch and listen. I hereby give up trying to mentally understand any of this.

Certainly there are feelings to be felt around all this. Perhaps I will actually feel them.

By the way, the correct answer is e) a mystery. Or not.

Resisting Temptation

I woke up this morning with a symphony of judgmental thoughts, mostly concerning my own behavior. I was seeing all the “poor” choices I have made of late; the words I have spoken which I wish I hadn’t, the actions I have taken which I regret, the actions not taken which I wish I had. There was seemingly no end to the judgmental thoughts, and I found myself just wanting them to go away. Good luck with that.

It is oh so tempting to want those thoughts and the feelings they engender to simply go away. How much easier life would be if these judgements and accompanying feelings weren’t part of our experience! It is this kind of thinking, (more thoughts, aren’t they?) that may have been originally responsible for the so-called search for enlightenment, which was our attempt to escape these thoughts and feelings. How many of us believed that once we reached that mythical state of enlightenment, we wouldn’t be burdened with anything negative anymore? I pictured myself being in a permanent state of samadhi!

From where I stand right now, I don’t know if these thoughts and feelings ever do go away. I know if I want them to, I’m still in the search. Remembering that helps me take that step back into a deeper level of awareness, and simply notice what thoughts, feelings and sensations are flowing through me at that moment, not try to change them or deny them. Even the thoughts that resist this noticing are part of what can be noticed.

Everything appears within this awareness, and whether my ego likes it or not is just something else to be noticed.

Feelings Without the Story

I went to Kilauea this morning, to pick up our mail at the post office and buy some items at the farmer’s market. On the drive back, I became aware that I was feeling quite a bit of emotional discomfort. If I had to put a label on it, I would probably say it was fear mixed with feeling very restless. It was as if something was very wrong, with what I didn’t know. I watched my mind doing its thing, taking stock of everything happening in my life at that moment, in an attempt to attribute the pain to a part of my story. However, nothing stuck, or made any sense at all.

At this point the thought occurred that maybe I was picking up someone else’s fear, that it wasn’t mine at all. I also noticed that this thought bumped up against a belief of mine, that it is irrelevant whether the feeling is mine, my wife’s, a stranger’s or anyone else’s, if it’s happening “inside” me, it is mine to deal with. I realized that this is indeed a belief – I don’t really know what’s true in this case, and I have also seen that the approach to dealing with these feelings may very well be different for each person.

So after mulling this all over, I decided to do nothing, just continue to observe the feelings as they were, and not attempt to do anything “with” them. By the time I got home, and began to interact with my wife, I noticed those feeling of discomfort were no longer there.

It was a great reminder to me that all feelings, thoughts and sensations come and go in this great amusement park of life, which is encompassed by the awareness that I am.