Awakening or Bondage (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 185)

Yet, one of the most compelling things about the Buddhist view of suffering is the notion, inherent in the Wheel of Life image, that the causes of suffering are also the means of release; that is, the sufferer’s perspective determines whether a given realm is a vehicle for awakening or bondage. Conditioned by the forces of attachment, aversion, and delusion, our faulty perception of the realms—not the realms themselves—cause suffering.

thoughts without a thinker

Mark Epstein, M.D.          1995

But It’s Here Now (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 184)

“Some people think that it’s only possible to be happy if one makes noise,” she said, after a pause. “I find it’s too delicate and melancholy for noise. Being happy is rather melancholy—like the most beautiful landscape, like those trees and the grass and the clouds and the sunshine today.”

“From the outside,” said Gumbril, “it even looks rather dull.” They stumbled up the dark staircase to his rooms. Gumbril lit a pair of candles and put the kettle on the gas ring. They sat together on the divan sipping tea. In the rich, soft light of the candles she looked different, more beautiful. The silk of her dress seemed wonderfully rich and glossy, like the petals of a tulip, and on her face, on her bare arms and neck the light seemed to spread an impalpable bright bloom. On the wall behind them, their shadows ran up towards the ceiling, enormous and profoundly black.

“How unreal it is,” Gumbril whispered. “Not true. This remote secret room. These lights and shadows out of another time. And you out of nowhere and I, out of a past utterly remote from yours, sitting together here, together—and being happy. That’s the strangest thing of all. Being quite senselessly happy. It’s unreal, unreal.”

“But why,” said Emily, “why? It’s here and happening now. It is real.”

“It all might vanish, at any moment,” he said.

Emily smiled rather sadly. “It’ll vanish in due time,” she said. “Quite naturally, not by magic; it’ll vanish the way everything else vanishes and changes. But it’s here now.

They gave themselves up to the enchantment. The candles burned, two shining eyes of flame, without a wink, minute after minute. But for them were no longer any minutes. Emily leaned against him, her body held in the crook of his arm, her head resting on his shoulder. He caressed his cheek against her hair; sometimes, very gently, he kissed her forehead or her closed eyes.

“If I had know you years ago . . .” she sighed. “But I was a silly little idiot then. I shouldn’t have notice any difference between you and anybody else.”

Antic Hay

Aldous Huxley          1923

 

 

 

 

The White Nightgown Mindset (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 180)

William James warned his students that a certain kind of mindset was approaching the West—it could hardly be called a way of thought—in which no physical details are noticed. Fingernails are not noticed, trees in the plural are mentioned, but no particular tree is ever loved, nor where it stands; the hair of the ear is not noticed. We now see this mindset spread all over freshman English papers, which American students can now write quickly, on utterly generalized subjects; the nouns are usually plurals, and the feelings are all ones it would be nice to have. The same mindset turns up on the Watergate tapes, and working now with more elaborate generalizations, in graduate seminars in English, in which all the details in Yeats’s poems turn out to be archetypes or Irish Renaissance themes. It is the lingua franca, replacing Latin. The mindset could be described as the ability to talk of Africa without visualizing the hair in the baboon’s ear, or even a baboon. Instead the mindset reports “wild animals.” Since the immense range of color belongs to physical detail—the thatness—of the universe, it is the inability to see color. People with this mindset have minds that resemble white nightgowns. For people of this mindset, there’s not much difference between 3 and 742; the count of something is a detail. In fact the number they are most interested in, as James noted, is one. That’s a number without physical detail.

WIlliam James observed this approaching mindset and associated out from it sideways. He noticed the mindset resembled the upper class of Boston. They too disliked the sordid details—the hair in the ear of religion, the smells of the Irish entryway—and preferred the religion of the One. Naturally, they became Unitarians. If the “cultured people” move into this mindset, a curious thing happens; the upper (spiritual) half of life and the lower (sensual) half of life begin to part company. One part ascends; the other part, no longer connected to the high, sinks. The gaps between grom wider and wider. The educated class has the Pure One, the working class people are left with nothing but the crude physical details of their lives—the husband’s old pipe and the spit knocked out of it, the washing tub, the water and slush from the children’s boots on the entry floor, the corns on the feet, the mess of dishes in the sink, the secular love-making in the cold room. These physical details are now, in the twentieth century, not only unpenetrated by religion, but they somehow prove to the unconscious that “religion is a nullity.” James emphasized that perception, and Stevens grieved over the insight all his life. For the working class there’s nothing left but the Emperor of Ice Cream. The middle class is now the working class, and so the majority of people in the West are worse off than they were in the Middle Ages.

A Little Book on the Human Shadow

Robert Bly          1988

How Puppets Dance and Rewrite their Strings (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 178)

He wondered about the people in the typical lower-middle-class houses like those. They would be, for example, small clerks, shop assistants, commercial travellers, insurance touts, tram conductors. Did they know that they were only puppets dancing when money pulled the strings? You bet they didn’t. And if they did, what would they care? They were too busy being born, being married, begetting, working, dying. It mightn’t be a bad thing, if you could manage it, to feel yourself one of them, one of the ruck of men. Our civilization is founded on greed and fear, but in the lives of common men the greed and fear are mysteriously transmuted into something nobler. The lower-middle-class people in there, behind their lace curtains, with their children and scraps of furniture and their aspidistras lived by the money-code, sure enough, and yet they contrived to keep their decency. The money-code as they interpreted it was not merely cynical and hoggish. They had their standards, their inviolable points of honor. They “kept themselves respectable”—kept the aspidistra flying. Besides, they were alive. They were bound up in a bundle of life. They begot children, which is what the saints and soul-savers never by any chance do.

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

George Orwell          1936

Cribb Comment: I understand the distinct possibility of my misperception of Orwell’s script, but my take on this passage is that it is as multifaceted and convoluted as the rest of his ponderings. The first half of the paragraph appears to present itself in direct full frontal clarity of meaning. The second half of the paragraph, beginning with but in the lives…, seems to display an intricate dual meaning. Satire dominates this section as the most overt theme of interpretation, but a simplistic face value description of pure relevant quasi-truth mixed in with illustrating how a “delusional norm” has been transformed into the “reality of the norm” for the majority of those of lower awareness cannot be denied. They are “bundled up in life” as they have rewritten life to be, but not as Orwell himself would define true objective life. The same applies to them “keeping themselves respectable in their translation of the money-code”. They are also more likely to biologically reproduce, which “thinkers” and those of higher awareness might be less likely to do as a direct result of understanding the actual and non-bastardized reality of consequence and existence. The “truths” of a delusional norm are still “truths” which most often impact heavily on the truths of shared or communal objective reality.  I can hear Orwell saying “Which is better? Which creates more suffering? Are the collective accurate perceptions of objective reality and the collective accepted delusions of a rewritten and bastardized reality codependent on one another for balancing each other out and assuring the continued physical survival of the members of both groups given the current condition of existence on our mutually inhabited world?” It would seem that until that comprehensive existence is emphatically changed for the entire world, the answer to this last question must remain yes.

Cribb          2017

The Real Dog, Child, and Everything Else (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 176)

Pretext Note: I am a veterinarian and I have come to believe that comparative analysis of  the parallels between human to pet interaction, human to human interaction, and isolated human behavior to isolated animal behavior, is extremely helpful in illustrating and understanding the root causes of obsessive compulsive disease (drive disorders), mental instability (anxiety, fear responses, bully behavior), and egocentric projective delusion (the misunderstanding of the reality of the situation/disorder which prevents appropriate assessment and intervention/correction by external authorities as well as the victim themselves).

It is unfortunately true that many, if not the majority of, pet owners have little idea or minimal understanding about the genuine and undeniable behavior of their dog (pets in general). Pet owners are often masterful at creating and projecting intentions, motivations, and feelings onto their dog that simply have no foundation or basis in objective truth and behavioral analysis. I am not saying that it is easy for anyone to achieve the enlightened state of genuinely understanding behavior (over the projected distraction and confusing glitches in our own psyche). It took me a very long time (43-45 years in fact) that had to be coupled with an enormous amount of effort, awareness, intellect, observation, introspection, and a supreme desire to see beyond the pervasive satiating delusions that we all tend to be infected with from birth. It also took some luck at being fortunate enough to come into contact with someone who is exceptionally gifted in understanding behavior. My behavioral observations and conclusions have been challenged extensively by my own critical scrutiny and they stand solid and true in repetitive conclusion and application.

The most common response I receive from pet owners when I try to explain the true behavior of their dog is knee jerk denial and often scornful skepticism. Instead of listening and contemplating, being appreciative for the expertise of my words and explanation, most seem unsettled and agitated by the truth because it doesn’t fit in line with their preferred misperceptions and assumptions about their dog. In essence, the information I provide often shatters the illusion of what the owner has rewritten their dog to be for their own perceptional comfort. The rarer dog owner embraces the reality and revelation about their pet with appreciation and often good hearted humor. The more common dog owner honestly seems to dislike having to confront the reality of the situation even when such is required to address/treat a problem which they have come to me to inquire about.

This same misperceptive projecting glitch and egocentric delusional rewriting of another also occurs with many parents towards their children.

This same misperceptive projecting glitch and egocentric delusional rewriting of another (others) also occurs with many in regards to everything and everyone else.

It is always tragic, for such projective delusion blinds the perceiver from ever experiencing reality outside of their own head. Additionally, a dog, a child, a mate, a socioeconomic class, a foreign country, and whatever other entity, can never be seen, appreciated, understood, or stabilized/aided until such projective delusion and egocentric rewriting is shed from the perceiver’s soul.

Cribb          2017

The Song of the Psyche; the Song of the Soul (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 171)

We are not being taught or encouraged to engage in real conversation with one another. Instead, we are being taught to have vocal exchanges of non-conversation, to bark at one another with a particular absence or lack of sustenance in what we present and how we respond. It is a portrayal of exuberance and eagerness in the desire to form union (whilst happily exchanging or sharing the energies of observation and experience), which is enthusiastically insincere in its advertised intent regardless of the pseudo-bonding emotional hype said intent, interest, and comradery rides upon. It is much “Hey, What’up?, How are you?, How’s it go’in?, What’s up bro?, (fistbump), How’s your family’n’em?, How’s everything?” about nothing. Most often, it is only the bottled up energy of an advertised existence which is incapable of achieving the stable state required for authentic self-aware output and accurate objective perception, drawn from the marketed hype and armchair quarterbacking of all of the mundane irrelevancies, occurrences, and distractions within the universe; it is the vocalization of undead maws, a chorus of soulless, segregated, and detached cacophonies.  It is worse, much worse, than the instinctual bonding which reflexively occurs in the realm of utter silence.

We are taught to pretend, to act, and to feign; we are taught to amuse and to be amused above all other perceptions of relevance and significance; we are taught to bark and laugh, to look beyond and askew, to jitteringly posture and not sit too still for too long; we are taught to annul the reality of ourselves and the reality of any mutual existence of higher meaning under some sort of unspoken indoctrinated commitment to the supposed beneficial preference of marketed and rewritten reality for all. Hear ye, hear ye! Disengagement and delusion, for all!

Reality and the graces within require respect if they are to deliver revelation and transcendence unto humanity. Respect requires a noble effort of the soul which surpasses the temptation and compulsion to subconsciously taint and twist all of our perceptions of mutual objective existence with our own isolated egocentric sin of doubt, fear, and selfishness. Noble effort is composed through the prioritizing of our own focus of empathic intent; and empathic focus of intent is only achieved by those willing to fully expose the tender sensitivities of their core essence and inner sanctum to the raw exoteric and indomitable landscape of independent coexistence and ceaseless vulnerability. Regressively, awareness is thus born and given its proper birth rite.

If we are not to rewrite and bastardize one another, ourselves, and even the realm of existence itself, if we are not to foster an oh so lethal and infectious madness within all of our hearts, minds, and souls, we must engage in awareness. Our fear, our petty amusement, and our overdominant ego, must let go for such awareness to thrive and flourish, and if we can do so, if we can become less than ourselves, and simultaneously also much, much greater than who and what we think we happen to be, we will come to crave and savor the ever-constant truth and reality of the independent and indomitable exoteric universe which is easily found once we are able to escape the prison of our own isolated mind.

This is the potential of earnest conversation and exchange; the gift of greater awareness, understanding, empathy, and union; upward transcendence. It should be the primary focus of our collective and individual humanity. Change everything, it would. To shun awareness and deny engagement with objective reality is a decision and action based in fear; and fear is always isolating and tortuous to those it possesses. Pretending to be someone else or not to be anyone at all during interaction, enclosing oneself in a buffer bubble of amusement and fun, or exsanguinating one’s soul out to the nervous vampiric energy of an overemotional horde, are all acts of fearful self-negation and they never will confront, nor can they ever overcome being possessed by fear.

Pretending, in all of its various forms, is chosen fearful non-existence and verbally, it expresses itself as chosen fearful non-conversation. The pretending must stop for individual and collective existences to start, for the hidden reality known deep within a man’s bones and humanities blood to obtain a peaceful synchronicity with the spiritual nature of his, and their, psyche. Real non-bastardized, non-marketed, non-tainted conversation, is the song of this psyche, the song of this soul.

We all need to stop pretending. We all need to talk to one another. Our souls all need to sing to one another and join in chorus together. This is the true path out of and away from fear; the path towards genuine individual and collective peace; the only path, the only one, that leads to union and transcendence.

Cribb          2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Money is what God used to Be (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 169)

In a crude, boyish way, he had begun to get the hang of this money-business. At an earlier age than most people he grasped that all modern commerce is a swindle. Curiously enough, it was the advertisements in the Underground stations that first brought it home to him. He little knew, as the biographers say, that he himself would one day have a job in an advertising firm. But there was more to it than the mere fact that business is a swindle. What he realized, and more clearly as time went on, was that money-worship has been elevated into a religion. Perhaps it is the only real religion—the only really felt religion—that is left to us. Money is what God used to be. Good and evil have no meaning any longer except failure and success. Hence the profoundly significant phrase, to make good. The decalogue has been reduced to two commandments. One for the employers—the elect, the money-priest-hood as it were—”Thou shalt make money”; the other for the employed—the slaves and underlings—”Thou shalt not lose thy job.” It was about this time that he came across The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and read about the starving carpenter who pawns everything but sticks to his aspidistra. The aspidistra became a sort of symbol for Gordon after that. The aspidistra, flower of England! It ought to be on our coat of arms instead of the lion and the unicorn. There will be no revolution in England while there are aspidistras in the windows.

Keep The Aspidistra Flying

George Orwell          1936