3P Random Reflections Blog
Throughout my life I could never make sense out of people's behaviours, including my own.
And then I realized a truth about thought ...(and life)...
The truth that every single person is living, moment to moment, in the effects of their up and down flow of secure and insecure thought.
any of us are feeling secure, we see the world from a kinder perspective, and we tend to act out in kind. Whenever any of us are feeling insecure, we see the world from a negative perspective, and we tend to act out from the belief in it.
There isn't one single person who is immune from this.
And although we often seem to want to stamp a permanent label on others (or even ourselves) to identify them as lazy, or stupid, or egotistical, or rude, or thoughtless, or even
the opposites of productive, or smart, or humble, or kind, or thoughtful, or "whatever", there is not one single one of us who IS or can be any one permanent thing. With the continually flowing, up and down nature of the energy of thought, it's impossible.
What we are (the solid, unchangeable, unbreakable part of every one of us) has absolutely nothing to do with our changing behaviours in each moment, but instead is the invisible something of which we are all within and to which we are all
connected... something that can't really be seen or even understood, but can be sensed or felt or realized.
Ultimately, we're all in this together, and are connected in more ways than we can even begin to comprehend, and we are ALL subject
to the up and down nature of thought. And in every moment when we somehow remember this or recognize this, whether about ourselves or others, we (me, you, or them) get to navigate life with much less need to assign permanent labels, and much more appreciation
for the incredible diversity of our common humanity.
Sometimes I feel angry, judgmental, frustrated, fearful, insecure, depressed, anxious, irritated (the list is endless). Sometimes I feel content, amused, relaxed, interested, curious,
loving, joyful, secure (the list is endless).
What creates suffering for me is not in the feeling
any of those things, but in the desire to either get rid of those feelings or hang on to them.
either case, I’m attempting to take something that is inherently fluid (thoughts/feelings) and turn it into something that is solid. I’m attempting to control the uncontrollable.
Despite knowing this to be true, it doesn’t exempt me from being human. I still attempt to control the uncontrollable ALL THE TIME!
But what a relief every time I happen to remember the truth of this, or to remember it’s perfectly OK whenever I don’t?
A few years ago I had an insight that the Three Principles
are NOT the “truth”.
I realized that the more I held onto even a slight feeling of judgment or righteousness... NEEDING to communicate that the Three Principles are true or right, and that some other practice or understanding is wrong or less (including how anyone else
chooses to share the Principles differently than me), then any subtle feeling of comparison or NEED is telling me that I'm heading in the wrong direction. I'm heading toward fear and away from the neutrality of true, unconditional love.
And that’s not a bad thing. It’s
just a very human thing. It’s me getting temporarily caught up in the belief in my made up, ridiculous, compelling, insecure thinking. And I still do it ALL the time. Truthfully, I’m in my head way more than I am out of it.
And so, when I'm in my head instead
of my heart, when I'm in a feeling state of justifying, defending, and reasoning, whether it’s about the Three Principles or anything else, I'm NOT sharing any "truth". I`m simply sharing my need to be right. I’m protecting my illusion of self.
And, when I'm back in a better
state of mind, and resting in the felt understanding of the spiritual nature of life that the Principles (and many other things) can ultimately point to, then I'm closer to sharing "truth”.
My understanding of the Principles then gets to be, FOR ME, a simple and lovely pointer for explaining the unexplainable…
for pointing to the illusory nature of personal thinking, and the truth that every single one of us is completely whole, and enough, and not broken, and a part of something much bigger.
The crazy thing about all of this, is that even while sharing the Principles in a temporary state of needing to be right, others can still somehow pull
truth out of it for themselves, since it doesn’t come from me. It comes through them.
And so ultimately, I’m not in charge of whether anyone gains this understanding for themselves or not. However, what I do gain from the practice of sharing it in every secure or insecure moment, is the endlessly fascinating path toward awareness
of being without need, and being within truth and love.
I often share stories from my experiences at the homeless shelter when I am touched, or inspired, or amused, or when I witness what appears to me as the miraculous. There's
so many moments available for seeing love in an environment that may appear to be completely bereft of it. But when we have the eyes to see it, it is everywhere. And often, I'm so lucky and so grateful in those moments when I do see it and feel it.
Today however, even though I still saw and felt moments of love within myself, and in the eyes, and smiles, and hugs, and laughter, and small kindnesses, and even the "I love yous" of others, my heart felt heavy. Today when
they shared their past and present stories of addiction, poverty, sickness, hunger, mental abuse, physical abuse, and even a few shocking stories of horrific torture, I got a bit lost in the feeling of the insanity of it all, and what seemed to be my crestfallen
hopelessness that the rest of the world would ever wake up to see what I see. If only... If only...
In times like this, I know enough now to always look "within"... to see that my feeling of hopelessness
is not telling me anything other than what experience is being created through me in this moment, and that I don't need to do anything about it, and even now I feel some level of profound gratitude for just being able to FEEL it... for being able to have the
full spectrum of experience of being human, but with full freedom, and without fear. How lucky and privileged am I to have even this small glimpse of understanding of the profound and miraculous nature and truth of life.
And I'm not really
sure what I wanted to share today other than to give a gentle nudge to whomever out there may be listening... to simply look "within" to get a glimpse of the truth of life, as well. And I can't tell you how to do that, it's a complete mystery, but I can tell
you with complete unwavering certainty, that you are completely whole, and never broken, and ALL that exists is "within" you... it starts and ends there. That's the only place we ever need to look. So however you can, keep somehow gently and softly and
quietly, looking there...
When I had the insight that we’re all living in an illusion and believing it’s real, it came more in the form of “OMG we’re all crazy and we don’t know it!”. It seemed incredibly hilarious to me to discover that we
were no more “sane” than anyone in a psychiatric institution... It’s just that for most of us who are on the outside, our own personal illusions (thought-created experiences of life) happen to be more socially and culturally acceptable. And
even more importantly, I realized that our personal craziness, had absolutely nothing to do with who and what we are at the core of our soul.
With each of our separate illusions of life, whenever we look out the window and see the
things that most of us would describe as the grass, or the sidewalk, or a tree, they aren't being seen or experienced by any of us in the same way. None of us ever ONLY sees a tree. Instead, in each changing moment, we are experiencing an incredibly complex
mix and flow of continually changing energy of thought, created from a lifetime of observation, memory, interpretation, meaning, significance, imaginings, feelings, and even brand-new–in-this-moment thought about the tree. And that’s assuming,
that in this moment, we even notice the tree at all!
And so the more I began to realize this, the more I got curious. How different is everyone’s illusion from mine? What craziness are they seeing in their own head? What tree are
Right now, I’m seeing an elm tree, which I wouldn’t have known was an elm tree if someone had told me, the tree with Dutch Elm disease, you know, the one that’s dying, the one that we’ve bandaged multiple
times with a super sticky goopy ring of tape to resist from disease, the one with the woodpecker holes in it, one hole of which has grown from the size of a golf ball to the size of a bowling ball, the tree that’s a bit hard to mow around with its irregular
root forms at the bottom, the bare winter tree that right now looks really interesting... dark and twisted and gnarled against the solid coloured sky, the one with the rugged and rough patterned bark, the one with the one huge branch that cracked and fell
on the sidewalk a few years ago without killing anyone, the tree with another big branch that’s likely gonna fall on my house someday, the one that the city doesn’t seemed to be too concerned about yet despite my two significant calls, and hey,
what’s the matter with city services anyway, I bet they pay attention when someone from Tuxedo Park calls about their tree! Well, you get the idea.
I know that when you look out my front window, you and I are neither seeing
nor experiencing the same tree, even though we would likely use the word tree to describe it.
And that’s just ONE simple small thing in this expansive universe… a single tree in my yard... something with physical mass that
we can all see and touch and smell and hear and even taste, although I wouldn’t really recommend that you do. Oh what the heck, go right ahead if you want to!
So how then can we possibly even begin to get common understanding
of all the infinite number of other things in life that aren’t solid and visible… things like fear, or belief, or feeling, or anger, or happiness, or right, or wrong, or good, or bad, or illusion, or crazy, or sane. We talk to each other all the
time, assuming we are having the same conversation, when clearly we aren’t and clearly we never can.
And how hilarious is it that we manage to function and cooperate and coexist in this universe as well as we do with all this
personally unique craziness? And oh, doesn’t this now give us the single reason for when, how, and why we don’t function and cooperate at all?
Once we start getting a better sense of this “illusion” of life, we
begin to get more freedom from our own craziness, more amused by its creativity, less invested in it personally, and much more curious and less judgmental about everyone else’s current bout of thought-created craziness.
So hey, what
crazy tree do you see?
And hey, while I’m at it, if you were a tree, what tree would you be?