#83 February ’16
A Fundamental Misunderstanding
Most problems people face today arise from a fundamental misunderstanding of their true nature. This ‘misunderstanding’ begins at birth, for we are born into a society that has already fully accepted the ‘misunderstanding’ as reality. It really doesn’t matter which society you are born into, various habitual patterns are passed on without question. They may appear to be different yet each has this fundamental concept buried deeply within their psyche.
This ‘misunderstanding’ may be seen by many as a part of what being human is all about, but that statement is also a product of the ‘misunderstanding.’
This misunderstanding is that we are all limited, separate, isolated individuals, as such we need to strive, work hard, do more, in order to survive in what appears, as a result of the conditioned upbringing, to be a hostile environment. This sense of ‘me’ – ‘my’ – ‘you’ – ‘your’s simply reaffirms, on a moment by moment basis, our sense of separation.
According to Buddhist teachings, we are born anew every moment of every day, the potential, when we truly realise this, is enormous. So much ‘more’ than we are currently able to accept. Not ‘more’ in the sense of more money, more possessions, more power. Rather, more fully grounded in our true nature, which is not limited by past beliefs, not restricted in what it can achieve.
Imagine spending your life in a magnificent tower, or a dungeon, a palace, a slum. No matter in which reality you live, there are no windows in your tower, your dungeon, your palace, your slum, you are limited to what you can see, feel, touch, taste, your view of life is just a narrow picture that you may, or may not, have grown to accept. You have no first hand knowledge of the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, the smell of the sea or the pasture. You have no real concept of life, other than what is fed into your tower, your dungeon, your palace, your slum.
We have become so accustomed to our limited point of view that anyone offering an alternative must be deluded. We fail to see that it is us who are deluded, constantly, by all those around us who have brought into the limitations. We cannot wake in the morning and not be reminded of our limits, the family who – through no fault of their own – go along with the collective conditioning. Colleagues at work, friends and acquaintances, the media bombarding us 24/7 with their own agendas that support the old. Everywhere we look there is something to remind us of who we believe ourselves to be.
It is hardly surprising that we are caught in this web of deceit, when all around us, to some degree or other, support that traditional status quo. It is no less surprising that when we are offered a way out of our self perpetuated coma that we try to rationalise the way out from within the structure that we believe to be real. This is an impossible task, for the perceptions that hold us just keep coming up with more ‘reasonable’ solutions to our problems. We seem determined to find solutions from within the drama not realising that the drama, or the attachment to it is, in itself, the real issue.
If we are rebuilding ourselves moment by moment perhaps we should look for new bricks not keep re-using the old ones over and over again. Perhaps when we rebuild with new bricks we may begin to see new possibilities, we may even come to the realisation that we don’t need any bricks at all.
‘Clearing’ is simply one path of many, a path that is designed to self destruct the more you walk it. As you walk this path perceptions shift, attachments fall away, addictions to the old are seen for what they are – addictions to a limited way of being and clarity arises. Pretty soon the new you that arises is no longer a product of the old you, no longer conditioned by a limited past.
The sooner the better I say.
The moment you become aware is the moment of choice.
— Eric Dowsett