Most of us learn early in life the business of becoming. We are taught to pursue success and to value fame and we are often engaged in this process of becoming something from our earliest years; a writer, a poet, an artist, politician, a musician or whatever else it is that our thoughts or those of our teachers are attracted to. That is what we have come to think that education should be about. Too often this does not promote a way of life that is focused on following a love of what we are doing. If we really loved to sing, or to paint, or to write poems it would not concern us whether we become famous or successful or not.
Our education system quite questionably teaches us to love success and not what we are doing, so we learn that effort is the main requirement of becoming something. We focus on technique at the expense of ignoring the heart. The result has become more important than the action. It is not such a bad thing to be content to keep your brilliance a secondary focus, to be anonymous, to love what you are doing and not to show off. A heart filled attentiveness that is in fact effortless will contribute to the development of a unique technique not as an intended goal but out a more healthy and whole process that is more powerful and more complete than anything that arises from effort and intent.
Unless effortlessness prevails we can not help making an effort.
Maybe there will be a day where I will have no need to turn to writing and painting as a way of expressing my experience. I am already aware of the limitations of these modes of representation although there are endless possibilities in terms of ways to go about this and possibly it has something to do with evolution in some unknown way. Somehow this creative aspect of mind is increasingly fueled through a connection through presence and the unfolding that occurs there.
It is clear to see that as life evolves there is a more complex development in the forms that are emerging. Humans represent an extremely complicated form of evolved life especially with their capacity to express themselves and to use abstraction, symbol and to analyze and to create from that. In this development of the human ability to specialize there has been at the same time a disconnection from a deeper awareness and truth that is part of that. It doesn’t need to be. If we are able to accept the limitations of our abilities and to see that they are possibly bigger than our individual selves and even our species and that they are a product of an emerging global and universal life. They are an aspect of this collective consciousness and from that awareness maybe we will realize that our efforts do not have to be so rigidly and individually oriented. Out of a greater awareness something is bound to unfold as it always has in a more authentic way that is not separate from all else.
Possibly from the place of a greater awareness of self there is a place for authentic expression of our direct experience if nothing other than as an aid in getting human kind through the dilemma of the fixation on individuality and the perception that is a consequence of that.
We believe that the benefit of knowledge as we have come to understand it is ultimate and that it is real, We rear and train our children in hope of developing their memory towards that ability and being able to retain that information. Through that process we learn to experience life through the concepts that we have learned and stored in rote memory not aware that there is a consequence for this. It occupies much of the space in our process of attention.
There is much more in life to be witnessed through attending to direct experience and in living from this place not burdened by the accumulation of relative information that has come to fill our brains and create artificial boundaries that separate us from what we are not separate from. The brain operates in a way that it is not necessary to be actively working on retaining memory, which in doing we are not attending to what is constantly unfolding in the dance of creation.
More occurs in attending to life in a way that is present than we have come to realize. Concepts are useful in sharing and communicating but in our confusion about their value we have allowed them to block us from deeper realization. A person can be informed through information accumulated in books and libraries about any given subject but do they really know; in fact can that way of depending on knowledge be blocking us from a more authentic experience and realization.
There always seems to be something missing in our intellectual assumptions and analysis and belief in our objective ability but if we we can learn to quiet the mind, in that stilling we can begin to see beyond the crazy images and dreams that we have been taught and have come to believe as reality and in that letting go and dropping of effort and convention we see from a more direct experience, things as they are.
Is it not essential that there should be a constant renewal, a rebirth? If the present is burdened with the experience of yesterday there can be no renewal. Renewal is not the action of birth and death; it is beyond the opposites; only freedom from the accumulation of memory brings renewal, and there is no understanding save in the present.The mind can understand the present only if it does not compare, judge; the desire to alter or condemn the present without understanding it gives continuance to the past. Only in comprehending the reflection of the past in the mirror of the present, without distortion, is there renewal.If you have lived an experience fully, completely, have you not found that it leaves no traces behind? It is only the incomplete experiences that leave their mark, giving continuity to self-identified memory. We consider the present as a means to an end, so the present loses its immense significance. The present is the eternal. But how can a mind that is made up, put together, understand that which is not put together, which is beyond all value, the eternal?As each experience arises, live it out as fully and deeply as possible; think it out, feel it out extensively and profoundly; be aware of its pain and pleasure, of your judgments and identifications. Only when experience is completed is there a renewal. We must be capable of living the four seasons in a day; to be keenly aware, to experience, to understand and be free of the gatherings of each day. – Krishnamurti, J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
I often find it difficult to find words to express my experience. They never seem to be able to capture the humility, sense of gratefulness and mystery that are often a part of what I experience these days. There is something creative when using words simular to using paint to create a picture. Some times one is happy wirh the painting and at times obe is not so happy.
The greatest influence in my painting and creating, and my life searching has been a desire to live and eypress myself in a way that is authentic. Feeling grateful, humble and seeing the mystery all seem to be connected to this. Outside of these sensations I don’t really know what is true and what is not and I am very doubtful that anyone else does.
I have come to trust more in a place of direct experience within for that guidance than in investing too much time and hope in anything that might come from elsewhere. Attending to life through awareness has something that I have increasingly focused on over the years. I know that I have entered this intensely human aware experience when compassion, connectivity and a sense of self realisation are present. There is a sense of coming to intimately know something that can not be known through other efforts. It is only here that I have a sense of thriving in being a fundamental part of something authentic, that in awareness is extended to others as it deserves to be. In coming to be more in this place it allows for acceptance and change and an unfolding to occur in a way that is natural and real. From these depths within myself I am aware that I am an inseparable from all else here on this planet and further beyond it and from this wholeness all experience in life is more intimate and there exists a wisdom more relevant than anything I encounter that has been produced through our external ways of knowing that we have become dependent on.
Most of us have been conditioned in our ideas about what relationship should be. Beliefs and perceptions have been influenced by culture, religion, school, moral and ethical beliefs, principles, norms, science and psychology, habits and tradition. It has in general not focused on developing our sense from within and in so being our development tends to be diverted, by specifics, from a more truthful intimate way of relating to friends, family and others.
I am becoming more aware that this truth within is a most valuable guide in authentically relating to ourselves as a foundation in our relationship to others. In our dualistic world it is not valued as such. More often than not we learn to be focused on self perception, presentation, success, self-improvement and finding security and certainty and it is a never ending search that we are on for these things that we have come to value. In our inability, collectively, to connect with a place of deeper awareness and authentic self realisation we in turn perpetuate a world where relationships take a form that is less than real.
This pattern of absence of what is real is far more destructive than anything that arises from truth. Pursuing an authentic way of being invites a quality of energy that is dynamic and that promotes growth, health and healing although unfortunately many individuals these days who are immersed in more conventional norms may not be able or ready to cope with this shift to a more authentic way. Many individuals can be quite static in how they perceive themselves and consequently insulated from truth and would like nothing better than to have relationships serve them in a way that further reinforces these norms.
Coming to bring authenticity to life and relationships took some time for me and lots of reflection and space. It also involved becoming comfortable with being alone at times when truth required it. Modern communications have had an impact on this in that we often do not have access to the kind of time and space away that could be helpful in providing for a more genuine reflection. I had the benefit of spending a significant amount of time away, without call phone and iPad, from the influence of my long-term relationships. It allowed for the sediment to settle and for me to see more clearly how I was enmeshed with others in a way that was not so authentic. Some of my friendships survived the distance and change that it brought for me and some did not. Some evolved and some fell away.
(I have included an article by David Brooks from the NYT titles Leaving and Cleaving that addresses modern communication and how it affects relationships. http://nyti.ms/1DCdHpo)
Ultimately if you value truth than it is important to be able to engage in truthful dialogue with others. To do so requires awareness, maturity and intimacy and the benefits being that it in turn contributes to a more natural and reliable unfolding of who and what we are. But confronting the truth is not always a smooth ride. It can shake us, our perceptions, relationships and our world. We might be best advised to be prepared for the uncertainty that it can bring. This s the truth of life and coming to an honest realization of this can help to fuel mature and intimate interaction as well.
How else should we live. It seems to me that the mind that wishes to be fundamentally, deeply open to change must be free from ideas and notions that separate it from others and in so doing hold it in stasis. Then the mind becomes astonishingly open to evolve in a natural way. I often marvel at how humans seek out permanence and desire to become something static in life and relationship and how this is maintained by a desire for security or certainty and questionable perceptions of what will bring that. But what is permanent and what is secure and certain in life? An authentic examination can lead to many more unsettling but worthwhile questions and insights.