An anti-fascist film produced in the wake of the second world war has gone viral in the wake of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that culminated in one person being killed and 19 injured this weekend.
The world does not belong to humans. Humans belong to the world. We are not “our thoughts” that perceive in fragments or analysis that is reduced to pieces of thoughts: that fuel concepts that are detached from the real, experience of life and the world. It is in being stuck in that perception of separateness that we flounder. We look for wholeness in ways that are oriented to seeing only parts and pieces and can not enabke us ti comprehend the depth of our connection.
Daniel Quinn writes “Homo sapiens was born being shaped. He was born a member of the community that was shaping him. Not exempt from membership by virtue of his greater intelligence. Not isolated from the rest by virtue of his capacity to wonder and dream. Not aloof from the rest by virtue of his knowing that he was unlike the rest in these ways. A part of the rest. And being a part of the rest, Homo sapiens was shaped. Shaped not by nothing. Shaped not by ignorance. Shaped by belonging to the community of life. Which was itself being shaped. The community itself was being shaped. The matter was being handled. Not by man. The shaping of the world was not in man’s hands. It was in other hands, which had shaped it from the beginning.
Daniel Quinn “Ishmael” https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/i/ishmael/book-summary
At times I catch myself thinking about and/or striving for security in my actions. There is something habitual and deeply rooted about it. I see it more clearly and realize, in that seeing , that I can otherwise expend my energy in a quality of attentiveness that enables the living of life more directly and fully. But most every where I turn, our social collective is oriented and organized in striving for security.
I now question the notion that we can achieve a place of security as we might imagine it to be. Allowing ourselves to feel the raw emotion behind our striving is essential and might mean to feel the insecurity more mindfully with awareness instead of blindly reacting to it. From there learning to live with it in a different way is fundamental in coming to live more fully. Ultimately I contemplate where this insecurity originates from. Is it something substantial real or have I created it with my thoughts. What is it. Can it be fixed or eliminated? Is it an inseparable part of being.
Krishnamurti writes that when we close the windows and doors of our house and stay inside, we feel very secure, we feel safe, unmolested. But life is not like that. Life is constantly knocking at our door, trying to push open our windows that we may see more; and if out of fear we lock the doors, bolt all the windows, the knocking only grows louder. The closer we cling to security in any form, the more life comes and pushes us. The more we are afraid and enclose ourselves, the greater is our suffering, because life won’t leave us alone. We want to be secure but life says we cannot be; and so our struggle begins. – Krishnamurti, Life Ahead, p 54
When I am feeling insecure I look to my thoughts to find relief ; perhaps to thoughts of something that I do well or that I have.
This seems to give me a boost in sense of security, psychologically? Thought has its place; but when thought assumes that it can bring about psychological security then I question the practical use and reality of that process. It seems that we can turn to thoughts regardless of how much they represent a realistic notion or not for this security. So hiw real is our sense if security.
I appreciate Krishnamurti's reflections on thought and security. "Thought wanting ultimate security has created many delusions, religion being one of them. Humanity seems to cling to many of these ideas and romantic illusions. When the mind, psychologically, seeks security in the dogma of the Church, or some other dogmatic assertion, or whatever it is, it is seeking security in the structure and/or function of thought. Thought is the response of experience and knowledge, stored up in the brain as memory; that response is therefore always moving from the past. Now, is there security in the past."
I have arrived at place where I no longer need to become better, even in my way of meditation. Its not that I have reached a place where I think that improvement is not possible but more that in reaching my sixty third year I see more clearly the futility of putting effort into becoming or self improvement. We seem to inevitably become something other than what we started as in life despite all that effort and I no longer perceive effort to be a factor that makes us better than what we would have been otherwise.
More than all of this I am discovering that it is in letting go of the conditioned mind and its beliefs, intentions and assumptions that life unfolds. All that baggage just seems get in the way of what is authentic about life and my living of it. Growth or maturing seems not to involve effort as much as coming to live from the heart. This has revealed itself in letting go and listening and discovering a more authentic discerning voice. Taking time for contemplation has been helpful in this process. There are aspects of questioning our perceptions and assumptions and coming to experience directly and attentively life and our connections within it that is unfolding; the reality being that everything is unfolding inseparably together anyway.
When the focus is reduced to perceived parts and pieces there is a quality of the experience of life that is reduced as well. There are times when a focused effort, attending to particulars and pieces of the whole is helpful but we have taken this way of experience and negotiating life to extremes. Making time for contemplation is a natural and essential part of unfolding and it engages a more natural affinity of the mind to explore in a curious and expansive way . Effort seems to interfere with all of this.
There is a wisdom that seems to have arisen that I increasingly defer to, not outside of me but something that is a part of me and that I am a part of. The energy required in effort, over-utilized, leads away from that. Its as if that wisdom has always been available but somewhere along the road of life and investing in "becoming" there occurred an inability to attend to, or recognize it. Some of what I have written here related to beliefs and perceptions influenced that direction away from it. It ultimately influenced a questionable perception of "Me". This distraction developed honestly as I came to assume "becoming" after many young years of resisting. Effort and becoming have there place in life but it is best arising from a more natural and whole perception as opposed to them being pursued and valued in and of themselves as a means to promoting oneself.
Keith Johnston Ted Talk https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bz9mo4qW9bc&t=4m1s&feature=youtu.be