Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Spirituality in 333 Words

When I'm immersed in a movie, I don't bring me with me. I "lose myself" as they say, which is literally correct. My body's not experienced, nor are my memories or opinions. I'm identifying with a character utterly unlike me. So who, exactly, is immersing and identifying? Awareness, of course!

Same for my dreams. I'm the dreamer, but I don't bring my body or persona. And the same when I lose myself in work or action or tequila. Awareness loves to pretend to get lost in bits of action and role-playing. And the story of this Jim Leff guy is just more of that.

In fact, none of us spends more than a few minutes per day identifying as our worldly persona. When we do, it's experienced as hypnotism. We remind ourselves - repeatedly! - of what our story has been, what we need, and what we're dissatisfied with. Awareness really drills it in. The human persona is Awareness' big project!

We've all seen folks knotted up in First World Problems, ginning up drama for kicks because there's little at stake in their comfortable lives. That's Awareness to a tee! Thirsty for drama, things like video games, sad songs, and reveries of fantasy and worry are sought out to identify with. I'd call it a human tendency, but since the human doesn't come along, it's obviously Awareness. So the human persona's just another role!

In meditation, we may experience the between-roles state, where Awareness is unattached to pretending. It feels empty, because we've not yet popped in a storyline. There's only pregnant expectation.

There's nothing wrong with any of this. It's a feature, not a bug, to absorb in rich stories. We only get it wrong in assuming it's our persona doing this role-playing. Awareness underlies all the roles. By reframing perspective, Awareness chooses channels. But sometimes, when drama's particularly galvanizing, it overcommits to a role, forgetting that it's just catchy drama. It feels stuck. And that's the whole problem with everything.


Many people will tell you how to get "enlightened" - to unstick perspective and realize you've had infinite freedom all along. But no one's ever offered a reasonable explanation for how we got unenlightened in the first place. Or who, exactly, gets enlightened, given that it involves the loss of sense of separate identity (answer: no one. Awareness simply remembers its natural pliancy. Like awakening from a dream).

Our problem is that we always tell the tale from the point of view of our Persona - a collection of ever-changing atoms, thoughts, memories, and plot points (as opposed to the part that's always been constant - the deepest me - aka Awareness). By explaining it from the point of view of Awareness (the only part that could possibly even have a perspective, being the only subject for a multiverse of objects), it's nothing crazy or paradoxical or profound. Just a bit counterintuitive.

It's all just a matter of perceptual framing. Jim Leff doesn't do that framing. He's just a story. He's a frame, not the framer. The framing is done by the awareness that peers out of Jim Leff's eyes. The me at the heart of me. The part that's always been there, while everything else changes. Longer, more involved version - also linking this into cosmology - here, plus linked follow-ups therein. Theological big picture here.

Finally, if this sounds like mad gibberish, I completely understand. Nobody understood why I was so "obsessed" with food in the early 90's; people thought I was crazy then, as well. I've always been a bit ahead of the curve (a whine, not a boast, as it's made me a perennial misfit). With this, I'm a bit more ahead than usual.

If you'd like to catch up, do this twice-daily meditation, browse this (very slowly and repetitively, until it begins to unlock), and bookmark this post for later. And don't make this any kind of holy thing. It's simple. Just a mere flip of perspective framing. The deepest feeling of "you" is the part that's always been there while all else changes. It's Awareness, and it's not yours. Rather, you're its.

You know Awareness intimately, it's not a mystery. But awareness doesn't have legs or hair or SAT scores or history. It just is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend Jed McKenna's books, I feel like you'd resonate deeply with it, just how banal and not so special enlightenment is

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