#84 March ’16
Are we surviving, managing, just coping, or truly living?
We all ‘do’ what we think is necessary in order for us to have a ‘good life.’ We are all driven, to some degree or other, whether consciously or sub-consciously, by desires and fears of which we are not even aware.
We can see, in hindsight, as we look back over our lives, that the paths we have taken were not always with complete awareness. Why do some people follow certain paths? Is there some deep programming that only opens particular doors for us? What professions do we choose? And do we really choose them or do they choose us? Where does intelligence come from? Is it intelligence that dictates out journey?
I have noticed, in my own journey and that of others I have worked with, that if we do not break the mould early on we tend to get stuck on a path that has been laid down by societies expectations, not necessarily one of our own choosing. Though the person who thought they might have the choice is but a product of their past and while that past remains a dominant part of their reality, there really is no choice.
We tend to settle into our path, often without realising it, it creeps up on us, surrounds us, envelops us until there is only the path, no options are open to us, or it appears that way, until either disaster strikes or we move beyond the power of the conditioned past. Disaster can mean major health issues that force us to re-evaluate, it can be emotional trauma, it can be that we have worked though the ‘lessons’ on that part of the path and are ready for a new direction or it can be that we have simply come to the end of the road.
Many people come to the end of the road without recognising the fact that they have failed to live the life they would have chosen had they ‘woken’ up earlier. This was, in our recent history, a very common phenomena. Societies expectations made sure everyone towed the line, paid their dues, lived the life laid out for them and never questioned the truth of that life. It still is for many people.
Many people take a path dictated by their own insecurity, the need for recognition, for money, for power, for prestige, for safety. We follow the rules, we do what we are expected to do. Now and again someone will break free from this established way of being and set out on a different journey, a journey that is more about self discovery than it is about conforming. To reach the point where we are ready to look outside of the accepted for a different way certain conditions need to be met. One or more of the following may apply. We need to have enough personal desire to experience more. We must reach a place where we feel safe enough to step off the well trodden path. We must have worked through all charge associated with the path we currently walk.
We choose employment, or employment chooses us such that our basic needs will be met. Employment is a condition of acceptance into society, or so it seems from within the broad path that we are born on. We believe we have no choice and take the necessary steps to ‘fit in.’
We carve out a spot for ourselves, we often use our employment as a means of identifying ourselves within the broader collective. For some that spot is pretty permanent, meaning we will remain in that spot until we retire / die / or suffer significant trauma that prevents us from continuing. For some, the spot is but a step along a bigger path. There is no right or wrong here, no better or worse, the world is made up of such diversity, there is room for all. Yet if you continue to tread the path blindly, without reflecting upon your own deeper needs you will find, one day, that you remained a slave to conditioned society.
It can take a long time to work through all of the karma, the charge that previously dictated your path. This is not for everyone, conditions have to be just right on many levels for an individual to either stay put or move out.
Do you still have dreams? Do you still have goals yet to be attained, places to visit, things to do? This drive can be understood as karma, as charge, as desire and it will need to be exhausted before you can find true peace. You have a choice. Work through all desire, all karma and all charge, piece by piece until no charge remains. Or, simply accept everything that shows up on your path with absolute equanimity, no longer giving energy to the old, conditioned, way of being. This doesn’t imply acceptance of the old path. The old path will slowly cease to exist, as you stop energising it, new opportunities, previously hidden from sight, will show up.
There is no journey that we need to go on in order to discover the self, as we develop our ability to accept, the journey will come to us, the journey will choose us as we release preferences, judgement, fear and desire. Yet still we live life, but the ‘who’ who is now living life will be inseparable from the life, no veil of personality getting in the way confusing things. No fear driving us, no insecurity, no part that needs completing.
This is how we change the world.
The moment you become aware is the moment of choice.
— Eric Dowsett