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The Great and Lesser, the Large and Small, the Thin and Fat and all of that . .
The teachers to my life, and by this I refer to those outside of any 'normal' education system, changed me in ways unique to themselves and their conceptions of what it meant to be human and almost without exception offered great thoughts and the possibilities of different realisations to me. I have met and been fortunate to spend time with some of them or their closest companions, and some I have never met, at least not in the flesh. But in the flesh or not, I have known all of them well by their thoughts and considerations and their insights into the purpose and destiny of our species.
Together with the ever present fuel to my insatiable curiosities, my 'need to know and understand', those teachers are in great part responsible for the differences they have made of me
There are differences between all of us
Some more than others, or so I by observation and interaction believe, yet those differences are builded upon a core which is essentially a shared and common heritage of our species. By this is confirmed that the differences for many lie within nurture and environment, good bad or indifferent however so acquired, and are not necessarily confined to childhood, there being many sources of such inputs at various times in the life of most individuals.
I am here in this posting concerned with just a few of these differences because I think them pertinent to our present endeavours and understandings - and learning how to use these difference would make of those endeavours more than at present they might seem to be.
There are ways of looking at what we do and the how of that doing, which tell their own story and these become transparencies through which some measure of the whys and why nots of an individual's journey can be gained.
We are in our everyday and most usually creatures of habit and reaction, which in large part we have come to think of as our natural behaviour and in this manner we live our lives.
These 'natural' reactions blow through us, sometimes gently, at other times in a veritable whirlwind, besetting us with emotions engendered by events in a process of which we have little if any real understanding – and by events I mean 'triggers'.
We are it seems at the mercy of these events which so trigger our minds with these emotional responses.
And in this I touch the core of this posting
Self evidently the only tool of real account which can be brought to anything whatsoever that we do or seek to do and it is specifically about some aspects of the individual mind which I seek here to address.
To understand the human mind, to know both its strengths and weaknesses and in particular to know and understand one's own mind in these regards is to find better ways in which to enhance most everything that we humans can do, both as individuals and as a collective community.
We can split this incredible organ into many areas and functions, enough for a lifetime and more of study and encounter. However this post is confined to specific aspects of the human psyche.
And the specific area here touched upon is the Freudian area of the id, the ego and the super ego, which dominate so much of our lives and hide so much of the truth about one's self from us. And in this they are revealed as both the saviour of our everyday selves whilst at the same time being the Achilles heel that denies our ability to access something far richer than our present condition allows. (and it's this knowledge about the human psyche which, used in detriment and fed by the avarice of the powerful, fuels by manipulation the must have consumerism of our degraded world - and by which the vast untapped potential of our species is both thwarted and still born)
But this is not the whole of it – and in particular its not the only way to approach the how and why and how to of the human mind. And its these ways of action, reaction and inaction, or at least some of them, programmed by unthinking and falsely based repetition, which are central to what follows.
I think that the most significant 34 words ever written or likely to be written about the human mind are by now world famous and I am fortunate in having read them only a few months after they first appeared amidst the burgeoning cultural revolution of the 1960's. I bought the first edition of the book in which they were published in an old fashioned book store in San Francisco, though its long gone from me now, lost in my various travels, but I have a later edition in my library. I miss the great image on that first edition cover though :-(
"Within the province of the Mind, what I believe to be true either is true or becomes true within limits to be found experientially and experimentally.
These limits are further beliefs to be transcended."
Dr. John C. Lilly “The Centre of the Cyclone
Those words were part of a written record Lilly made of his experiences as he carried out the world's first isolation tank experiences whilst taking pharmaceutical grade LSD. Before Lilly there were no isolation tanks simply because he originated the concept and built the first such tank. Lilly lived in California and a great deal of the American cultural explosion of the 1960's happened around and with him. Break out luminaries of that revolution who often visited with him included such as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Timothy Leary, etc. (and apparently he was at the first Be-ing event - but we knew nothing of what that event would lead to, nor I think did most everyone else who was there.) Lilly also devoted a great part of his life swimming with and attempting to communicate with Dolphins.
And the 'I' in that verbatim quotation is more usually rendered today as 'you'
Those words speak of belief, of limits, and of 'truth', all of which are totally subjective and in many ways circumscribed originally by our upbringings, our education, the communities we live in and our experiences. Those words speak of the simple fact that we can transcend these (and more) into something better, more complete, and much closer to a reality which has fewer constraints and wider horizons. To think about those 34 words, better yet to actually work at putting them into practice within oneself is to open a door to a journey that never ends and illuminates such an individual for the rest of their life.
This journey starts for most with the realisation that its our beliefs and the limits which those beliefs impose upon us which chain us to something less than we are capable of.
Within the journey which these words espouse
there is no limit
and there is no end
The search for knowledge and understanding is as long as our lives and as long as humanity will as a species exist. To accept and to be limited by forces which seek to bind us, whether these be of or outside of our self, is to totally negate all that each of us can be.
So with that paragraph in mind I briefly summate below one of the central tenants of those who taught me . .
Consider two of the primal elements of our mind, Self Love and False Pride, both products of the human psyche which work together in preventing us as individuals from seeing and realising the truth about the human condition, within which too many are circumscribed.
These two elements of our being are both false, and yet both are also true, though when realised within us we can express the true variants slightly differently, such as real Pride of Self, which is a sign of being properly in possession of one's self. Understanding those differentiations becomes key to unlocking and replacing these twin imposters which, by attainment in active meditation, allows an individual to be free in degrees not previously experienced. Without this work false pride and self love can easily take possession of an individual for over half a life time before bitter experience may perhaps force a re-evaluation.
Consider then this next common experience brought to us by these two iniquities.
If anyone or anything from outside us should hurt our false pride we perceive ourself as injured, not only for the time being but for a long time afterwards. And that wounded feeling, acting by inertia, closes the portal and so shuts out all of life.
We may well live within ourselves, but life is outside of us and we are connected to that great outside. Without that connection, if life exists only inside you, then this is no life at all. Everything of our world exists in this wise and cannot exist without this linkage!
Nor can an individual simply say or think that they are free, just by the saying and the wish. Freedom of self is the goal, indeed the ultimate goal and this freedom of self is the Greater Freedom. But this ultimate freedom cannot be attained until one is truly free outside of one's self, and this outer freedom is the Lesser Freedom.
Understanding and then working within oneself to banish those twin elemental products of the human psyche and those others which have been builded upon them allows access to these two great freedoms, wherein a true freedom of self may at last be found.
There are many elements of our day to day existence which, born of the human mind, hold back and even destroy the ability of any individual to be truly free. These elemental parts, reflected within and without us, block and deflect from realisations which otherwise might come to the fore.
There is a saying that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
I would rather render that as “Beauty is in the I of the beholder”.
It's a saying which shouldn't be confined to just the one attribute, though it's often repeated as received wisdom with little if any thought to its wider compass.
Consider this next also -
We are serial beings.
We are so constructed of our minds that only one thing at any one time can exist within us in that singular place where we have and experience our being. If one thing is in that place then no other thing can subsist within us at the same time in that place. Understanding this simple fact is key to any advancement by any individual.
One experience or emotion fades away and hardly has time to do so before another takes its place - and if that space is occupied by experiences of one kind that are undesired and or detrimental then there is no question of this singular space being occupied at that time by another experience which may be more desirable.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as we have an awareness that it is so, and are content not to venture further than we presently are within our self.
But those who would venture further and who seek to be truly free of these insidious forces must work actively to use this space wisely – not by 'control' but by practice and a full awareness being at all times within our better nature.