Here’s to you looking at me, looking at you, looking at me! Why are we looking at each other, you ask? I assume, because in each others eyes, we see each other…
There was a time, not so long ago, that I was pondering upon how I could love myself. I believe it was about two years ago to be exact. Now, for me it was an issue, as to my mind, we are our actions (thoughts, words and literal actions) and I used to believe that love was sort of like the treat you get by the end of the day if you’ve done a good job (problem being, you can always reach higher and achieve more…). I had a bit of an issue with this, because I felt empty; I was just my actions right. I believe I had closed my heart in my childhood and this was the reason I felt empty. It got resolved once I opened my heart center. However, the learnings I got from all my pondering on what we are and ego, stayed with me.
The thing is, our actions stem from our past – you only act in a certain way because life taught you to; your experiences gave you certain thoughts that led to your behavior. It’s like you have a bank of information inside you (in your subconscious) and like a computer it processes any given situation and gives you an answer to how you should behave. Of course, you aren’t that information, but you think you are as it determines how you act and in a sense, so long as you act that way, that’s who you are.
Now, we potentially have free will, meaning we have an ability to somehow look beyond our “programming” and choose to reprogram ourselves into what we want to be, or just be our natural, neutral selves. If we assume free will exist, I would say that to me, enlightenment means always being aware of your thoughts – having a choice every second to think neutral thoughts, or the ones you have been programmed to think. In other words: you see your own thoughts and know which ones are habitual and which ones are real. It’s almost like you can look upon yourself from the outside. It’s the same way I view meditation – you move out of programming mode and into just being, seeing things for what they are and not what you believe them to be.
You were born as a human being with basic needs such as eat, sleep, love and laugh. However, knowledge often sways you to believe you have a lot more needs and that you are something which you are not, as you create a self-image from the events occurring in your life. People and events become your mirror, but as a child, it wasn’t like you were creating those events and did something to deserve, or not deserve people’s actions towards you, now was it? You were just a baby for Christ sake!
Knowledge is our ability to draw conclusions from our experiences, the problem is that the knowledge you have obtained, your so-called beliefs, are not a reflection of reality, they are just a perception, including your own perception of self. (The forbidden fruit in the bible…I believe it is a metaphor for the many ways knowledge blinds us…) Of course, if you knew all or could be unbiased…knowledge would be good. Potentially you can access the universal truth in your subconscious/heart through your sixth sense, that, if it exists, should be able to know everything.
The problem with the idea of free will is that to use it you first seem to have been taught to do so (by events or people), unless you have stayed in touch with the core center of yourself since you were born, not letting yourself get carried away by looking at life from one narrow point of view or another. The question is – can we all access free will? Do we all know we have it? Or have some of us been programmed beyond that point? Did criminals really choose to become criminals, or were they brought up to be criminals? Have they been so brainwashed they know no other way? I don’t believe laws stop criminality, I believe education does. Teach someone a way they didn’t know and they can walk it. Force someone off the path they are walking and they will…what will they do if they don’t know any other path? That’s where your responsibility lies in educating people – teaching them they have a choice, that there are different paths to walk.
Some of us discover that we have been programmed when we start seeing patterns in our life. Something didn’t only happen once, but three times to us. If we want to change a pattern, I believe if we question it enough, the answer will appear; I don’t necessarily think we have to do anything much more than that. However, if someone first have to teach us to question, is the question (or if we all have that neutral core/center that knows something is off balance and makes us question). The other question is that even if you think you make a choice, it may just be that life made you do that, but you think you are choosing. I want to believe it’s our choice, but…I’m not sure.
Even if you are completely in touch with your center, there are some issues that may appear anyhow, as there is also a universal consciousness. No matter how much in control you are, you may not be able to stop yourself getting caught up in a war. I don’t know though.
The thing is, minus genes, or biological pre-dispositions, what have you, you are what life made you into, unless you believe you have a core, a free will, that can take you anywhere and we all get at least one moment in time when we are aware we have a choice.
Anyway, whether we have free will or not, life has shaped us. That means that I’m no different from anyone, apart from how life shaped me and some genes, unless I choose free will, but even then, life has potentially shaped me into seeing this choice. I am like every person that would have been born at the exact same time, in the same place with the same parents. That would mean that my achievements in life were also just because of this. That would then mean that achievement is a false accomplishment as anyone else would have achieved just the same. I.e. I can take pride for my achievements, but they are what anyone would have achieved. They are a consequence and not a choice, so that makes me…a product of nature.
Maybe we have a soul, a something that makes us unique…maybe we are all here in a school of…something – a soul journey…I don’t know. For sure we are all on different levels – spiritually, materially, sexually, intellectually…in the core though, I believe we are the same. I used to think this made me empty, or unlovable, but now, on the contrary I believe this is what makes us loveable – we are all part of one and some of us fit like pieces of a puzzle. When we find in life those that complement us on our different levels, or are on the same levels and we manage to connect with the human underneath it all, the core…it’s beautiful.
The funny thing is that I had such a hard time accepting myself, but with people I have always seen them as a core and then the topping and it’s always confused me, because I see and feel the underneath, but then I get what’s on top. I never understood why people put on all those weird layers when I could see some of what was underneath (or at least so I thought). Then it hit me one day that it’s because they can’t access it always, or see it themselves. I also realized that what I feel/see as my core is not always what I give out, or live by. Now I have started to access it a lot more and it’s…blissful, in short, but I don’t really know how to put it into words. (I know, I’m a bit strange. I see weird things – I feel people’s thoughts and I…get confused as I start thinking what everyone is just about to say and then I don’t know which are my thoughts and which belong to other people. Did I just confess to being completely crazy? Yeah, ahem. Doesn’t always happen though, just for the record.)
So the point with all this…humility people. We are all struggling – only some have reached a point of awareness where the struggle You could be the beggar down the road. You could be the CEO round the corner. Even the nasty one. With a mother like that, be happy the CEO isn’t a serial killer. If you are a man, you could have been a woman with PMS. If you are a woman, you could have been a man with a sex drive with a stronger pull than the Gulf Stream. You could even have been Sarah Palin, or George Bush (read: your life could have been a lot worse).
If you meet someone you really don’t like…check if there isn’t still a tiny bit of you in them. And if you meet someone you really like – enjoy your connection. It’s unique (….so maybe jealousy isn’t really real…). It’s marvelous.