Duality Open Mindedness

A like this post Tom Thanks for this Open Mindedness It tears down all mental structures that we have been taught. Great analogy

To take the world into your arms and act towards it in a soul-filled and soul-strengthening manner is a powerful act of wildish spirit.   Clarissa Pinkola Estés


“Now actually it is absolutely absurd to say that we came into this world. We did not: we came out of it! What do you think you are? Supposing this world is a tree. Are you leaves on its branches or are you a bunch of birds that settled on a dead old tree from somewhere else? Surely everything that we know about living organisms – from the standpoint of the sciences – shows us that we grow out of this world, that we, each one of us, are what you might call a symptoms of the state of the universe as a whole. But you see, that is not part of our common sense.” ~ Alan Watts

I’ve been thinking about Joe Martino’s recent piece, “If No One Wants This, Why Are We Doing It?” because it is such a great question.

But it makes an enormous assumption – which is that we have the power to change, or as the article suggests, attain a level of consciousness that will allow us to solve or transcend the limitations and problems we now perceive.

I liked how Joe acknowledged the reality of powerful entities controlling “the way things are” through financial and physical domination so that, as he writes, “the agendas and desires of a few are carried out, giving as little as possible away to the masses in order for them to be pacified enough so as not to revolt.”

Even in the mass media, with some discernment, it is pretty easy to see who is pulling on what strings politically and of course looking deeper it generally comes down to economics or power.

But our perspective as a species has widened due to science and what we might call civilization. We now have a sense that the physical universe is enormously greater than we had ever imagined and that at the other end of the spectrum, the quantum world holds anomalies to our known physics that defy our logic or common sense.

So is “progress” even possible at our scale within such an immense and mysterious reality?

Clearly part of our conditioning in the Western world assumes things improve and get better over time, particularly if we use our apparent will and creativity to make it so.

My Experiment with Non-resistance

On a personal level, I have tried something else.  I have found that the less I attempt to control outcomes and allow things to be as they are, interesting stuff happens.

(I was almost forced into this by my brain injury because what I thought I could control had become overwhelming – I could simply not do it – so I had to let go).

On the societal level, we have examples of this.  In India, Gandhi’s non-resistance movement achieved changes that no social upheaval was able to accomplish.

Here in the United States, we had the example of the Rev. Martin Luther King, who healthily shamed the country into beginning to change and adopt new laws, along with finally acknowledging some of the horrors of the past.

We also have examples of the sort of nefarious forces of Capitalism that can work against great leaps forward. I suspect that if Nikola Tesla had not fallen prey to the greed of Thomas Edison, his ideas might have gained wider acceptance and his thoughts about energy and frequency might have created breakthroughs in areas we now try to discuss under the umbrella of “Consciousness.”

Our culture has mainly assumed that what we deem to be consciousness is our thoughts and mental activity.  But Tesla famously hinted that the nonmaterial world holds the future of science.

Going Beyond the Material Limitations to Reality

As Joe concludes, a true shift in our knowledge of reality or level of awareness requires that we move beyond this very narrow but understandable limitation and begin to sense not only the intelligence which we attribute to ourselves and locate in the brain, but also focus on what Eckhart Tolle points out is the far vaster intelligence that runs our organism, and all Life, without our willful participation.

(We don’t pump our blood, grow our hair, manage our digestion – Life does it).

Eckhart suggests that getting in touch with that reality requires what he calls “presence.”

In most ways, actually, this quality of presence requires us not to acquire anything new, but rather to become intimately aware of the many assumptions and truths we have accepted about “the way things are.”

Stripping away these layers of limitation is probably a key to human survival, along with a deep recognition that we are not something special but merely another expression of Life among billions of life forms.

I believe this new perspective can lead to the kind of resilience, and curiosity, that Joe mentions in his piece, as leading us to a new way of being human.

This Was What We Call “Ancient Wisdom”

Actually, it may not be that new. There are plenty of examples of indigenous people who lived in ways to not try to control the greater forces they understood to be Nature’s intelligence, but to align with them.

If our civilization has done anything, of course, it has been with great hubris we have believed that our intellect gives us dominion over Nature, and due to our missteps in trying to control things that may require a higher level of intelligence to understand, we are now reaping the consequences environmentally.

Some have speculated that such a deeper understanding of ourselves within the context of a natural universe would lead from the limitations of a brain-centered identity to one in which the hearts of each individual would be connected to all sentient life.

However, one may conceptualize something “different” it would seem obvious at this point that it would involve not just a different way of doing things, but a different level of Being.

Perhaps the current strife in Israel and Gaza will be enough to shock enough of us into a realization that the current binary conflict of us (righteous) and “them” (evil) needs to expand beyond the arbitrary geo-political identities with their generational trauma to another way to view reality.

We actually have an example of this as “Love” in its highest form available everywhere. It’s called motherhood.

Seeing the Essence of the Other as Human

Gabor Mate recently cited ancient eastern texts that said that when a tribe values another tribe’s children as beneath their own, war is inevitable.

This level of empathy is probably necessary to attain a level of being that would lead to human survival, and fulfillment.  Maybe using our current ability to visually experience what we are actually doing to the other’s children may shock us, finally, toward such a sensibility.

We would need to go beyond the yes-no structure of thinking that seems currently wired into our intellect.

For us to achieve this level of Being with a thought experiment – let’s try this:

With a couple of seconds left in an NFL game, the score is tied and one team is about to attempt a field goal – which would win it for them – or if it missed they could lose in overtime.

Everyone in the stands is shouting and screaming – some are pounding on drums and have their faces painted as they try to drown out the other “tribe.”

From a quantum perspective either outcome is still possible. But as soon as the ball is snapped, and the ball is kicked and all of the tribal members see the final result – the wave of possibilities has collapsed, and for thousands of simultaneous observers the “truth” is known.

But is it? Certainly, within the stadium, with all of that energy, only one out of two possible outcomes had “happened” – to the delight or deep frustration of thousands.

But if you weren’t in that stadium – in another country or from a different culture?

Or if you weren’t personally identified with one of the two teams, the entire event would have zero meaning. (And you wouldn’t have paid a fortune for a team jersey).

So when you are caught in a dialectic – duality – one or the other kind of decision, you can no longer detach from the outcome.  Your commitment is too deeply conditioned.  But if you can go beyond the duality – to a sense that there is only Everything – your separate personal identifications can drop.

Now detachment and wisdom become possible.

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