Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time there was a very ordinary man who for the first time in his life did something courageous. He dared to confront every dark accusation he could make of himself. He chased the spectre of his instinctive mind through a hell of self-realization. He dared to perceive then, that he knew nothing for sure. He dared to begin learning all over again with a most tenacious questing for truth. And this journey over several years time, changed him entirely. He allowed new perceptions to be built slowly and solidly from sound foundations. And having shed the capacity to take anything for granted, he absorbed the profundity of the miracles in his life and in the lives of all those around him. He learned to see through all the illusions of human mind and society and to understand their nature. He found himself less and less affected by all the societal ills that plagued seemingly each and every human every day, and he began to see how these ills had all been products of those illusions to begin with. He was overwhelmed with pity for these monumental realms of needless suffering still going on all around him. And as he absorbed awareness of the multitude of connection he was a part of, he became overwhelmed by love.

But he also felt very alone in his circumstance. He knew that the story of his experiences would not be believed, just as he learned the great harm in the practice of belief itself. But he had little now to achieve for his own benefit. He'd become largely, though not perfectly, free of ills; free of slavery to society's ruling forces and slavery to instinctive mind; free of illusions. He was joyful. There was nothing now to do but try to help free others. He struggled to find useful ways to reach out to others; to identify individuals who seemed to be moving in parallel directions to the course he had taken, and to offer them the right advice at the right time to help them along; to nudge their own courses on to useful paths.

But this was slow uncertain work and he found himself unsatisfied. Without a means to leverage his knowledge, he knew he would only accomplish so much usefulness during the remainder of his life. Many old friends and family wanted his time and they saw him as still the same man he used to be before his journey began but he understood that. He expected it and did not fight it. But he began to mourn the time he spent with them to some degree. Though he loved them, his time with them was time not being useful enough. It was time wasted in a large sense. And more wasted time would mean less useful knowledge passed on to others by the time he would depart from the world.

While his newer friends and associates saw him as the more enlightened man he had become, and dealt with him more on that level, this time spent with old loved ones seemed wasted because they had little or no perspectives to share with regard to the things that now interested him, while he had no more interest at all in most "normal" things. Normal things were all buried in layers of illusion. They left him mired in conversations that depended on illusion while he meanwhile knew that there was no simple, linear, succinct way to demonstrate the falseness of the particular illusion at hand, so he would just nod and play along, not wishing to upset them.

One particular normal fascination began to wear on him especially; their fascination with bad behaviour stories. Everyone wanted to tell him the particular details concerning the failings of other particular individuals. Everyone wanted to complain about the specific little wrongdoings of those around them; their particular little instances of victimhood. This became a very unfortunate bore. Sometimes the stories were funny and that was fine because it was always good to laugh! But usually it was just a way for people to feel superior to other people, and the man could not perceive this as legitimate. The man saw with certainty that they were all, including himself, in the regular habit of harming others, but also in the regular habit of helping others. Everyone, without exception, participated in both harmony and selfishness. He saw with certainty how blind everyone was to their own failings; how useless it was to complain about others; how the only way to be useful in the world was to examine one's own actions and motivations with courage and the will to improve; how every single person was a hypocrite in that way. But what was the use in telling people this? They only had ears for his approval; for his assurance that they were being mistreated; that they were better than the other guy.

Sometimes he would let himself fall into this game; this recreation, and tell a bad-behaviour story of his own, and then go home - not so much ashamed; but laughing at himself for his own fallibility. It was easy to hand himself back over to the illusions of the instinctive mind and be taken along for a ride for a while. He knew he was no better than anyone else despite his grand and earnest intentions. He was perhaps worse than others, because he could not claim innocence through ignorance. He knew better. And though his own behaviour had generally improved as he participated more in harmony and less in chaos, he there too felt he was more guilty, in a way, than others, because he knew better. He could not feign ignorance of his crimes. He could not plead victim to illusion.

But did he want to keep evolving? Did he want to become a perfect agent of harmony - if this was even possible? He felt the gap, more and more, between his circumstance and that of others. He found it more and more challenging to craft useful ways of communicating these many layers of uncommon understandings because of that gap.

What he did know, is that he needed to be more useful. He knew that he would have to be more bold; be truer to his understandings. Perhaps then some old friends and family would surprise him and demonstrate some capacity to entertain his ideas. And perhaps others would find him intolerable, and no longer ask for his company. Both scenarios would increase his usefulness!

"Who are you to condemn another's sin? He who condemns sin becomes part of it, espouses it." - Georges Bernanos

"Half the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not."
- Elias Root Beadle

"The matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. When you're inside, you look around. What do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, those people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand: Most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And most of them are so inert; so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."
- Morpheus (from film, The Matrix)


Skeeter Willis said...

Dare we ask which of us are new friends and which are old? I'd like to believe I'm 'new', but maybe that's part of my illusion.

Don't answer that. Ignorance is bliss.

Dare I suggest that in your quest that you choose the values and ethics that inspire you - whether they be respect, integrity, cooperation, whatever - then lead by example and perhaps, just maybe, others will be enlightened and encouraged to act similarly. They may not understand 'why' while buried in their illusion, but they can fake it until they make it.

”A life lived with integrity - even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come.” ~ Denis Waitley

Roger said...


Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Hey Skeeter. The man in the story is not one to track the observed behaviours of specific friends because he has no wish to judge them as individuals. That would not be useful. But upon a quick recollection of a (yes, old) friend the likes of Skeeter Willis, he'd probably put Skeeter down under the pleasant surprise category; one who seems to be on a pretty noble path with an interest in self-improvement!

But ideas such as values and ethics would not be very useful to him because they are systems and he already operates efficiently with the more specific components that comprise any such system or program. Much as he finds many components of religions very useful but the overall religious programs rather useless.