I have been thinking about optical and auditory illusions lately and how we seem to participate in these through consciousness. We seem to see ourselves as something separate from the universe. How does this viewpoint, this personal myopia, shut out everyone else and everything else on the planet? How do we penetrate through to listening beyond the filters of “my story”? Does our circle of compassion not become contracted to the point of pushing all else out of our room, in order to create a sense of ‘personal” safety. Could we basically say that we live on a planet that competes for the best prison to keep “the other” out?
All traditions invite us to widen our circle of compassion. And each tradition points to this skill as an inside job. Our beautiful collection of traditions offers a variety of useful methods. Each method uses words that will find an appeal in the vast variety of human ears that are listening. They are listening for the language that tunes to their particular ear. And yet, the quenching water does not come until all the words have stopped and the sounds of silence open the doors of our locked rooms.
How do we come out of our locked rooms, where other’s viewpoints are not allowed because they have been classified as dangerous? Our conclusions often seem so rational.
And the variety of reasons to keep the doors and windows bolted speak volumes about our relationship with life.
We might imagine that a certain something or someone will overwhelm and disorient us. Perhaps we conclude that this “other” might make us insignificant, not sustainable in some way. Or, if we opened the doors and windows the space would reveal our isolation and the fear of being forever alone. Maybe, if too much air moved freely in and out of our room, we would have no solidity, no ground under our feet.
All these possible interpretation about what might happen to us in a room that would freely breath in all and any outside air are terrifying. They supply all our “good reasons” to keep the room tightly shut and separated.
Can we examine the result? Can we recognize that our natural perception of intrinsic interconnectedness remains frozen in our hearts?