When you see a hand drawn circle, that’s nearly perfect in precision in shape, do you find yourself asking things like;
- “Where did the artist of this beautifully symmetrical concentric shape start from to make the first mark of it?”, or;
- “When did they feel it was complete, did he or she stop the moment pen touched ink again or did they follow it back around a few rotations to marvel in its perfection?”
… perhaps some weirdos like me, or those who ate mom’s special brownies, find themselves pondering such nonsense, but most of us look at a hand drawn circle and go “hmm, sweet, nice one brah!” [I’m paraphrasing brownie you, of course].
That said, why do we look at all the circles of life, energy, and creation all around us and think; “Why/how did it all begin?” or more often we can’t stop wondering “how will it eventually end?”.
Perspective, It’s Not Just For Alice And/Or Looking Glasses
I ask this why-do-we-ask-why question, not to get stuck in a loop or give you something to think about on the next set of brownies;
I ask it in the hope that we all start to see the answer that’s been staring us in the face for so long, just waiting for us to wake up and calm down (how would that work you think?🤔)….
You, like everything you look at, are a perfect circle of perfection.
We spend so much of our lives looking at the world, laying judgement upon, asserting our opinions, and trying to make sense of what we see as safe, worthwhile, fraught with peril, or just some trivial piece of existence we have to have on our search to feel whole… we start to lose the separation between perceiver and perceived.
When was the last time you tried to fully silence your thoughts?
I mean, the kind of deeply enriching, self-love-realizing meditation sessions, that saw you fully intent on;
- Winding down the hustle and bustle of the day, without it being about falling asleep afterward
- Silencing your cell phone completely or eliminating all other possible electronic interruption
- Seeking to defuse from your thoughts, with possibly the added bonus of getting more fully in touch with your essence
- Meaning the part in all of us who are capable of noticing that we are physically experiencing thoughts
- Similar to tasting the richness of coffee, vis-a-vis we’re as distinguishable from thoughts as the coffee, since we’re capable of indulging or not indulging in either
- Trying your best not to allow yourself to cut it short by thinking things like;
- “Oh golly, I should be doing the dishes or laundry right now instead of letting my mind spin down”
- Finding what the term “active rest” really means to you
Have you ever tried any of these in the slightest?
Go’on He’s Friendly, He’s Not Gonna Bite, I Promise
Believe it or not there were folks around some years back that espoused that meditation leads to demonic possession.
I ran to the Google when I first was told this little tidbit and my mouth still drops when I think about it, but then I remember that flat-earther is so common place it’s in the dictionary, and then … I shut my mouth…
The ego’s seat at the helm of the controls of our lives would have us never stop moving. Ever.
He has us recite mantras such as;
- “If I’m not moving, I’m not living”
- “I get bored so easily”, or my favorite;
- “Idle hands are the devils playground”
The mind knows itself through activity, so of course it is going to propose that we’re more shark than mammal, it has zero confidence that if we stopped it would have what it takes to get us moving again.
Please realize most of our lives it creates business (“busy-ness” is that the same word?) for business sake.
It has absolutely, positively no concern whatsoever for our well-being, the planet, or the quality of life we’re living. It simply wants us to feel like we’re not dying by constantly getting into conflict (fight) or running away from the past (flight) or, the newly identified and the almost vastly more well known, trying to find perfection and then trying not to breathe for fear we’ll F it up (freeze).
Better Living Through Modern Science
Those fight, flight, or freeze response mechanisms that I just described have been widely studied, quantified, and qualified as being associated with our primal (lizard) brain.
When we refuse to slow our minds for even a second, we leave the part of the brain that knows only those three options for resolution, and nothing more, in complete control.
Thus we refuse to hear logic, see reason, and worst of all we fight with all the vigor and tenacity of a dog with a bone, as we cling to our idea of “who we are” as the world looks upon us with loving eyes begging us to reconsider.
Asking us to take in account all that it must’ve taken for this universe to be at the point it is today, asking us to confront any fears that we may have locked away years ago, telling ourselves that we were “past it”, and beseeching us to open ourselves up more fully to a broader understanding of who we all are.
I’m not asking you to believe that some magical place exists that will be some reward for all the good, if we managed to avoid enough of the bad.
I’m not asking you to follow some multi-step program guaranteed to free you of your worst habits and darkest obsessions.
I’m simply asking you to possibly take a few minutes (not hours, not days, just minutes) to try and step outside of the flow of noise and congestion and ponder far more deeply on the question of “who am I” and see if you don’t start to notice a version that truly is based on you, and not on what our egos need for us to have others think we are, with logic and reason, not fear based notions of “what we can prove”.
Acceptance, The Pamphlet Version Complete With A Warning Label
As you plunge deeper into a relationship of who you are, behind the noise of thought, you’ll start to be filled with something that is unnerving for many.
It’s a sensation of something I can only describe roughly like “a feeling of returning to the source” and it is deeply terrifying to the ego and it’s why we hold deeply to perceptions of the many manifestations it’s shown up as over the years as “fanatical”, “illogical-group-think”, or just “wackos trying to prove they are holier than those around them”, I promise you it’s nothing of the sort.
If you’ve ever had a massive splinter in you that has plagued you for a whole day, or even more than that on occasion, I ask you, could you not be heard screaming through tears of joy, as someone with better eyes and a steadier hand pulled that sucker out?
Parables of this sort abound for good reason, large amounts of pressure lead to very peculiar looking emotional outbursts as close bedfellows.
Whatever you find yourself doing, saying, thinking, or considering, if it feels like a burden is lifted, I beg you LEAN INTO IT, no matter how “crazy” you might think it looks on the outside.
Here’s the insane part, that wasn’t the warning label….
I mentioned the Never Ending Story previously, because I mean lets face it that movie WAS my childhood, but I honestly think it has a much deeper significance about it, on several layers.
The one I want to address right now is;
The Second Gate
Seriously do yourself a favor, if you haven’t seen it, put this down and go watch it before reading ahead. [consider yourself verily spoiler forewarned]
This is a very subtle aspect of the story but it most certainly didn’t go unnoticed by this kid.
The point in the story I want to pick up at has already seen our hero, Atreyu, endure emotionally marring encounters, including the death of his beloved equine companion Artax, nearly succumbing to a deep depression in the “swamps of sadness”, and facing down the mortal enemy of the empress, Morla, in a face to face confrontation.
[.. and none of that is a better metaphor than what I’m about to tackle]
After all that, on his quest to seek the wisdom of the seemingly all knowing Southern Oracle, we awake to the shocking revelation we’ve been delivered to the destination Atreyu believed was impossible to reach, seeing as how it was 10,000 miles away.
How did that happen?
Enter Falkor, a luck dragon, who’s cheerfully brought us to the home of two gnomes who live near the entrance of the Southern Oracle.
They tell Atreyu of the challenge he must face to prove he’s worthy, that is comprised of two “gates” that all those who seek an audience must pass through.
As the older male gnome injects Falkor with a huge needle, he begins to describe what it takes to best the first gate. Atreyu must prove his unwavering resolve and character by walking under the soul searching gaze, and ultimate judgement rendering death beam eyes of the two ginormous statues that adorn either side of the entry.
Their stare sees through all subterfuge and strikes down any who aren’t truly confident in knowing who they are.
No sooner than the word “confidence” is uttered, our hero dashes headlong toward the feet of the female sphinx gatekeepers as if to prove his resolve by his heroic and impetuous actions.
As we all yell “be confident Atreyu!” he leaps across…. as the beams crack like thunder as he looks over his shoulder, barely making it.
Then we arrive at the second gate!
This gate, we quickly find out, is far worse in scope than the first, thus far better at discouraging wayward travelers, and in his haste to prove his confidence, Atreyu is clueless of the relentless challenge that awaits.
You see, the hero must peer into a mirror which reveals the deepest darkest version of the warrior as the “true version” as it reflects the image back to the misguided few that actually made it to this point.
This version they find is something more terrible than most men can handle, and they run screaming the moment it materializes. I eventually came to think of this as meaning the onlooker’s most inwardly resented “secret version”.
Side note: This is a version that most of us don’t want to believe exists in all of us.
You know, the one no one could ever suspect haunts us as a possibility (not even an all seeing mirror) because we “vanquished” those inner “demons” years ago and now our actions, speech, and overall demeanor make it impossible for anyone, including even us , to be led to think we’re just some scared kid just trying to figure it all out as we go along.
We hear it most clearly when we hear things like;
- “We all have to grow up sometime”
- It’s why most of us seek to publicly articulate and hold ourselves, and those in our lives, accountable to a strict code of what-we-know-to-be moral and just set of ethics,
There’s simply not room for childlike beliefs such as;
- People are all good by nature, or
- We’re all capable of change
…because you know, we all learn better …. when we “grow up.”
[just in case … that was sarcasm at the end]
What We Hate Most, Without, Shows Us Our Truest Reflection Of What We Loathe Most, Within
Turns out this super-confident-long-wispy-haired teenager sees the scared nerd kid who stole the titular book we’re following, who was introduced to the book after cowardly ducking into a bookstore to get away from bullies that were chasing him from school.
Basically, who ever you think you are, you contain the exact opposite in surprisingly shocking ways that you may not be hiding as well as you think.
Through growing to understand all the parts of ourselves fully, and being 100% sincere in an endeavor to do so, many of us are likely to come across a second gate (or 5) of your own.
My desire to abscond with control over a situation in lieu of taking the time that is actually afforded to care for the emotions of all involved, to this day smacks me in my face more than I’m probably even aware of.
[My deepest apologies to any I may have missed who caught me on one of those kind of days in years past …. who might happen to be reading this 😞😢].
Whatever they happen to be for you, these aspects of human nature are the hardest parts for us to accept, externally, as being something we’re being asked to “let go” of fighting against.
Now you might be thinking one or more of the following, “I’m not…
…or any other odious and/or abhorrent aspect of our nature you may be presently championing to rid the world of by force.
I’ve found it’s incredibly more effective to be kind to all and seek to understand what drives any of us to these aspects of misguided belief structures… seeing as how quantum mechanics pretty much proves we’re all connected, right or wrong, to resist it is to persist it.
Letting Go Means Loving In A Way Most Of Us Are Unfamiliar With
Familiar takes it’s root from family, and I know first hand that there is no such thing as a “functional” (or whatever opposite of dysfunctional you want to insert in it’s place) family in existence.
Even the “best” families have skeletons, and that is what makes us all able to have compassion in the first place.
However, it’s hard to come to actually know a particular aspect of human nature if we feel we have absolutely no idea what someone is saying while they describe the feeling it leaves them with on the inside.
Bad or good, if we’ve only seen it in movies, television, or in books it’s close to impossible to grasp it as a concept and thus it seems just as make believe as the latter forms of exposure.
Even after dropping some frustration bombs in yesterday’s post, I still give props to most religions, Christianity being most certainly included in the list, in terms of promoting a way of loving others that exceeds the ways we may have been exposed to in our daily lives.
Where I think almost all of them jump the track is when they start to get back into the primal minded way of thinking “safety first”, which is rooted in avoiding the cognitive dissonance that arises out of two things being truly both good and bad,
That inevitably leads them to upholding one truth as the “ultimate truth” which leads straight to the assertion of the impossibility that any others truths could have a person reach some the conclusions they’ve found as accurate, all the while completely oblivious to the very real possibility they’re all equally “correct”, and may lead to the exact same destination.
However, these different versions say it from a path so alien to our own we’re able to lean away from love and back into the fear of the unknown … and then we find ourselves all seeking to blame each other for “needless suffering”
I just realized how long this is, so I’m wrapping it up…
All this is to say you’re perfect in all that you are because no other version of you exists outside of the dream world we all carry inside our heads and use for the ego-driven pursuit of trying to reshape this world in our image.
Luckily, this place got along without us for a long time before and none of us are singularly more crazy than the level of crazy we are together.
No one knows everything, and the older we get the more we realize it’s about unlearning what we think we know WAY more than it is about learning all there is to know.
I love you guys more than words can convey.
If you made it to this sentence…. thank you so much for listening to my splinter-free rant this beautiful Sunday afternoon.