Welcome to An Inner Walk-About

There is an inner landscape that sounds the wild call for stillness. It is both empty and cognizant at the same time. We may fall into its desert and become lost. Here, we may disappear, dissolve, die before we die. We are searching for a life, fully lived.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Final Dive off the Ship

Can we get any additional clarity about what has made it so easy to fall off balance on the Relation-Ships we innocently create with the belief that they will keep our precious love alive and well?  If we re-examine all of the corners of the Ship’s agenda we have explored in this series on relationship, they consistently point to a reliance on “mind intelligence” and its habitual external focus.

We have explored the possibility that Relation-Ships operate out of a refusal to take responsibility for making ourselves feel safe, cared for and loved – out of a refusal to pay attention to ourselves.  This relational response seems to originate from false identities we have created that mistake themselves to be separate and then strategize to provide a sense of wholeness. These have no clue about unconditional love. Instead, they can only set-up institutionalized imitations’ for authentic relating.  We have also entertained the possibility that the ability to meet our “needs” has been deliberately kept hidden by the social mind to harness our attention and use this energy to fuel itself. This is the limited paradigm of duality and mind dominance that imprisons our love.

 In a different paradigm of capability, essential wholeness, and responsibility for ourselves, would what others freely give us be recognized as an added blessing to our lives instead of our lifeline?

So, now, after all our explorations into Relation-Ships, and re-directing the Ship’s enormous focus back to ourselves, we might be tempted to consider a “relationship with ourselves”. However, we could also consider exiting the entire relationship paradigm and ask the real pivotal question: How do we live our life when we attach to the concept of a “relationship with ourselves””?

What happens when we split ourselves into a subject/ object identity? In the presence of this concept, has the “ mind intelligence” not created yet another duality, another Ship with which to torment us? And have we not already observed mind identity to be the root of conflict that holds us in a linear dance, only this time with ourselves?

What happens if we simply show up as ourselves, as who we really are, without any of the identities that have kept us asleep, out of presence, and unaware of our true face?

If subject/object stops, do not all stories stop? If all stories stop, who would feel angry, disappointed, frustrated, ashamed, proud; who would experience judgment of another or ourselves?  Who would be concerned about building more self-esteem? Who would need a partner to meet any expectations or needs? Who would need protecting, defending or promoting?

Without an “I”, is there really any self-reflective consciousness? Let’s ponder the possibility of being alive without identity, awake to "be love now", and free to give our precious gifts.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Ship's Agenda

Many of us have felt deep despair and confusion as we tried to navigate on board this vessel we have called the SS Relation-Ship.  As we began to explore the impact of sliding around on the deck of this social mind institution, we may have noticed that we are not alone in our struggle to find some relief from the affects of entrusting our precious love to the confines of this Ship.  In our attempt to bring conscious awareness to this social mind form and its content, to basically unearth much of its story, we have come across some fascinating observations.

 So, let’s go back to a quantum physics point about attention, discussed in earlier posts. Attention is both energy and sub-atomic particle. If we hold attention inside our own energy circuit, it remains a fluid energy. In other words, keeping the focus on us without projecting it onto another object such as our partner or the Ship, allows attention to remains in its energy form. If attention leaves our circuit and gets projected and deposited onto another object, it becomes a solid sub-atomic particle that forms a new reality. 

As we explore the “love” reality we call the Relation-Ship, our investigation has discovered that the amount of energy required to power this vessel is enormous.  The Ship’s code of discipline exercises a heavy hand in its attempt to mold its shipmates into a singular, compliant unit.  After all, individuality could foreshadow a mutiny, and must therefore be labeled as too dangerous.  In our innocent enthusiasm to meet the Ship’s needs, to “save it”, we begin to attach to a very specific agenda. “You must keep your partner happy”, is the tune that settles into our bones. As soon as a Ship sails into our life, a hierarchy of needs begins to establish itself. The Ship comes first, along with the beloved’s needs, which are enmeshed with those of the Ship. Permission to attend to ourselves is last on the agenda. 

As we ponder over this relational hierarchy, might we recognize an interesting possibility? Are we perhaps conditioned to not take care of our needs on the Ship, because if we were to do so, we wouldn’t need to create a Ship? The notion that The Ship needs to support us is a common assumption. Is this term “supported” not another slippery agent used in the social mind’s love vocabulary? What is the intent of this word?  Doesn’t it presuppose we would otherwise feel weak, or that we are in need of being held up by another?

When we keep an awareness of the lies in our life, created by external focus, it is a natural progression to examine this potent social tyrant.  Let's look through the lens of a viewpoint that the social mind  would most likely consider treason. Could the social mind be holding us captive to all its institutions, including the Ship, to insure that we remain its power supply and continue  to fuel it?  If we entertain this viewpoint, an interesting question may arise. What has made us such an easy target?  Isn’t it our habitual external focus?

Perhaps such an external focus can easily gravitate to the creation of Relation-Ships out of a refusal to take responsibility for making ourselves feel safe, cared for and loved – out of a refusal to pay attention to our own well-being.  Have we invented these Ships to continue directing our attention to something external? Is this a huge distraction that establishes yet another social institution, one that collaborates in hiding our essential wholeness from ourselves?

We seem to have placed the welfare of this abstraction – the Ship – before our own best interests.  Instead, we have opted to behave according to the assumptions and expectations that define life aboard a Relation-Ship.  Perhaps, as we continue to examine our participation, it might become conceivable that Ships are deliberately designed to prevent real intimacy.

For many of us, Relation-Ships will appear to offer liberation from a deep-seated fear and sense of unwholeness. And so, we will mistake their decks as salvation vessels. This seems to be the human experience in its unredeemed, unconscious, unaware, unenlightened state. 

But what would authentic, conscious, aware, enlightened connection look like? The fact that we are questioning the phenomena called the Ship is the root of our liberation from confinement to its hull. Let’s trust the energetic principle that observation of a phenomenon changes the phenomenon.

So, let’s continue to ask the questions. How might we extricate ourselves from this social institution’s pitiful, substitute intimacy? How might we move ourselves back into the very center of our own life equation and rhythm?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Addiction on the Ship

So many of us talk about the emotional roller coaster ride on the Relation-Ship. We often describe the "highs" and the "lows".That description might bring to mind the addictive nature of this Ship.  And as with any addiction, does focus on the Ship point to an unconscious refusal to face our sorrow and pain? And have we observed what happens when we can’t move through the pain?

Perhaps we can shed some light on the addictive dynamics, which appear to operate in this social mind model of love. It is absolutely understandable, that if we do not meet our own pain directly, we are then likely to attach to something or someone to cover the pain and insulate us from our suffering. And like every other addiction, there will come a time when the designated medication strategy fails to meet our needs and keep our wounds covered up. So, now the pain rises once more out of the depths.  This is the point at which we perceive our partner’s behavior to have changed. We conclude that he/she has failed to meet our needs.

Might we consider, that many feelings of lack, fear and pain, and much of our personal landscape of wounds, have been in storage, covered up by the Relation-Ship?  Now, these all burst out of the vessel’s hull and out onto the deck.  If we take a closer look at our own experience, we might observe some very interesting dynamics.  How often have we seen love literally turn into attack, or withholding, or the total withdrawal of affection and kindness?  This dynamic seems to be considered normal on the Ship. 

And the usual scrutiny now falls onto the structure of this Ship, instead of the individual souls that are trying desperately to cling to its deck. All attention is gathered to evaluate the angle of the sail, the quality of the rigging, the play in the steering wheel, etc. We get out our magnifying glass to inspect the responsible participation of the shipmates and the rules of relation-shipping. We entertain the strategy of finding a new shipmate. We are consumed with the status of our ship.

At this point, our “wounded one” may still unconsciously hope that attack or manipulation will be sufficient to coerce our partner into a change of behavior.  Think of all the effort expended in order to once more use the partner as a cover-up for our pain.

So, might we conclude that relationships do not cause unhappiness and pain, but rather bring out what is already there? And could this be the real treasure that lies at the core of the pain experienced with our partners? Could a conscious understanding of this transform relationship from its social-mind addiction form into its natural, organic possibility, to become a  genuine “path to wholeness”. As we let go of the fixation on the Relation-Ship, voluntarily turn our attention back on ourselves and begin to observe what we project onto our partners, addictive relating would have an opportunity to be exposed.

So far,  the normal  “relating” paradigm can only present a dance between positive/negative options. As long as we look through the lens of its linear perspective, we will probably conclude that elimination of the negative emotional cycle within the relationship is the only solution to our relational problems.  However, from our previous investigation of the shadow and its positive persona (see earlier blog postings), we are aware that these two poles are both aspects of the same dysfunction.  And the dysfunction results from identifying with either polar opposite:

                                            _                                                   +
                          pain _____________________medication strategy
                          shadow __________________positive persona
                          negative cycle ____________ positive cycle

Of course, during a negative cycle, dysfunction is much easier to identify.  The positive, or “in love” cycle, acts as the medication.  And notice that “In love” can act like any other drug. When the drug is available, we feel “high”. When it is absent, we feel anxious and unstable.

The social mind’s relating form adheres to the same linear thinking, only now it is the linear mind of a trapped “collective” identity, an institutional standard. However, as all the great traditions of heart intelligence teach us, true love has no opposite.  There is no polarity. It appears wherever there is a gap in the mind and the mind becomes still. In this stillness, past and future disappear and this vanishing point opens the gate of the heart.  Here, all imposed forms dissolve.

Let’s imagine that walking through this door of un-negotiated, un-objectified, unconditional love is possible for us all!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Negotiation and Compromise Aboard the Relation-Ship

According to the Relation-Ship model, there is a question that further delineates the structure of the Ship. And this question is:  Are you in a “committed” relationship?” Well, I have wondered what exactly are the qualifying components of a committed relationship? I found some clues to the answer in the social mind concepts around negotiating for time and attention.

I have learned much from my Beloved these last ten years about my own dance with two of society’s concepts called negotiation and compromise. I believe we could examine some interesting moves on board the Ship, if we observed some typical negotiating for unmonitored time between “committed” partners.
Let’s drop in on our couple Maria and Sidney. Imagine that both partners spend about eight hours a day at their jobs, leaving about six hours of possible open time. As we watch, we see the following scene unfolding:

·      Maria says, “ I think I’ll run out to pick up some copy paper for the fax machine before they close.”
·      Sidney replies, “ Sounds good!”

So far all is clear and no counter request has been made. Sidney did not redirect anything about the proposed errand. He did not make another suggestion of going later or of needing some fresh air and coming alone. Having successfully negotiated for about forty-five minutes of personal time, Maria now tries for more. 

·      Maria says, “ While I ‘m out, I’ll go by to see if our film is ready.  Then I might check on a pastry for tonight. Oh, and on the way home, I think I’ll stop in at the Fine Arts Museum and catch the new show.  I should be home by 8 or so.”

Now comes the verdict.  Has the time been won or is some compromise needed?  Negotiation of this sort can be risky for several reasons and requires finesse.  The chances that Maria will overreach the quota and create resistance in her partner increase with every activity that gets proposed. The longer the proposed time-length away and the more freedom from surveillance that is asked for, the more discomfort is likely to rise for Sidney.

Several questions may come up at this point for many of us.  Because the society’s love myth conditions us to feel that it is necessary for the welfare of the Ship to prevent a partner from taking too much freedom, would we continue to opt for patrol of the deck if allowed to experience a wild, refreshing dive overboard?  And, in the case of our couple, is Sidney likely to sabotage the plans in some covert way? 

One of these ways would be suggest joining Maria.  If this happens, negotiation for time will not be the only thing that fails here.  Every negotiation for time automatically becomes a secondary negotiation for attention. Maria would now also be faced with continuing to give attention externally, to Sidney. However, the hope was to direct attention internally to the self for a while.

The scenario is similar for a negotiation in which attention rights are primary.  Let’s say Sidney wants to meet a friend out for a play and dinner, and since the drive is a very long one, suggests spending the night as well. If Sidney gets a verdict of “ that’s fine”, notice how it can so easily fall into the category of magnanimously letting the partner go that night.

Now, consider the dynamic involved: If you “let” someone, there is an implication of ownership.

Negotiations for time and attention are often very subtle and apparently innocent or under the guise of "being considerate". They appear to be the rule between partners, not the exception. Until we can truthfully identify these subtle coercive shadows in our interactions, we could be falling asleep to the fact that we are, after all, holding and manipulating the sails of the Ship.

What seems paramount to the time and attention issue is the obvious external focus of the partners” interaction. Consider the concepts that we have already examined on the Ship. Can we notice that what actually makes up the form and content of the present relationship model rests on all the beliefs in ownership, scarcity of time, attention and love? Is the dance on the deck not founded on this belief system?

Adherence to this belief system regulates the verdict of “committed”.  Commitment is another concept that is deemed essential and positive on the Ship. We are conditioned to actually long for it. And since Relation-Ships, which are necessary for the social standard, are impossible without commitments, we have been well trained to desire them and believe they will ensure our safety.

This is but one more way we are conditioned to externalize responsibility for our happiness and well-being, and project it onto our partners. As these perceptions come into our conscious awareness, might we conclude that being true to someone else” can undermine the practice of "being true to the Self”?

Can we entertain our dive off this Ship? What might we experience, if we could be and do exactly what was natural and authentic in the moment, without sacrificing, without negotiating, without compromise? Could we really deceive or jeopardize another in this emotionally honest relationship with ourselves?

This would be a relational landscape without hidden motives or manipulation, without expectations, without assumptions, without dependence on another to feel safe, loved or joyful.

Let’s dream of a love that includes all, and possesses nothing.