Finding Buddha - all that lies beneath
A Journey Into Inner Space
What if you could go on your holidays at any time you liked? No passport required, no waiting for your allotted two weeks off work, no delays at the airport, no extortionate bills
Nothing required other than a modicum of time, openness of mind and a need to get away from it all. In short, a win-win situation, utilising knowledge, which has stood the test of time - at least two and a half thousand years in fact, although such knowledge is likely to go back much further than that.
This is an attempt to simplify and to put in modern day language that same timeless need to come away and re-set the mind. You can call it whatever you like, mindfulness, mind training, the reality re-set mechanism, Buddhism or science. It all amounts to the same thing. There is nothing hidden or mysterious, think of it in the same way you would train the body at a gym.
People try to get away from it all - to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like.
By going within.
Nowhere you can go is more peaceful-more free of interruptions-than your own soul.... An instant's recollection and there it is: complete tranquility. I mean a kind of harmony.
So keep getting away from it all-like that. Renew yourself. But keep it brief and basic. A quick visit should be enough to ward off all <...> and send you back ready to face what awaits you. Marcus Aurelius AD121-180
Most of us would need a good enough reason to contemplate going within.
Well how about this one: going within is natural. And if going within is natural, it must also have a function. According to research small children and those living in undeveloped parts of the world, will naturally switch off their minds for periods of time. The same also applies to certain members of the animal kingdom.
Is it mere coincidence then that time poverty, over stimulation and lifestyle pressures seem to go hand in glove with the rise of anxiety related disorders? Could nature's valium.in the form of switching off actually be a necessity for our health?
The Price Of Evolution
And could there more to it than that? Is there a link between how Marcus Aurelius, in line with Buddhist thinking of 'coming away from it all,' was considered to be a truly great, wise leader - a civilizing force for good?
I believe so. 'Coming away from it all,' is not merely an exercise in stress relief. Marcus Aurelius demonstrates a recharged power of intellectual clarity and wisdom, presiding as he did over individual egos, including his own. Suffice it to say that he was a deep thinking man of contemplation - a person of the self. He demonstrates a universal law.
That is to say when the ego is over-ruled, then wisdom is able to take charge. Few individuals whether in power or otherwise are unswayed by the control of their own ego self. And it is this 'self island,' that sets about turning the wheels of .consequence..
Buddhism refers to the wheel of consequence as karma. This in turn perpetuates our fate in a kind of re-current loop of behaviours. On a universal level, factions occur, wars are fought, alliances made and empires fall - same old, same old. History bears this out. On an individual level, deep rooted faults and flaws result in the same re-occurring consequences.
The puzzle of it all is that we cannot see it. It would appear that we have a blind spot, our selves. The importance of actually understanding this blind spot cannot be over emphasised because it, quite literally effects everything, including the ability to be happy.
Marcus Aurelius is simply an example of the consequences of relatively ego-free leadership, in marked contrast to those who followed him. He presided over a long reign of relative prosperity and stability for Rome, and presumably happiness, in contrast to the egos who presided over slow degeneration.
We, in turn as individuals also preside over an empire, that of our selves, and all of those around us - and this we are obliged to do, while under the thrall of the ego. And this is the whole point of this book, to explain why it is important to 'come away from it all,' in order to conquer the ego. And how to set about doing it. Otherwise we remain in the quarantine of karma - until we have earned the right to be set loose.
The Mechanics Of Karma
Current mind modes are exacerbated, proliferated and maintained by the forwards and backwards propulsion of the mind meaning that most of us are actually not 'here.' We may be planning a holiday, mentally rehearsing what it is we are going to say to somebody, or re-playing what has already been said. In this way we are conditioned to living with a mental thermostat permanently set on high - planning, rehashing, mentally filling a hole etc. Or in other words, the precise opposite of that natural switch off state, we were born with. This means that we are vulnerable to negative, illogical outside conditioning. It will take us unawares and we will not even know that it has happened.
In this way the future is created for us, mindlessly. We are not actually in reality. We have little to do with it.
We are in fact self-hypnotised (and otherwise) into a state of creating for better or for worse. We become, in this way, what we think.
Furthermore, a state of permanent mental switch on drains energy and is no more than a mindlessly automatic attempt to push forward the pace at which we live, to evoke change. It is like being a pawn in a monumental game of chess. It is not free will.
Free will itself is choosing at will to switch off from mental automatic pilot to manual. Free will is the ability to self direct. And that is all important because otherwise in this culture of over stimulation, there is a danger of imbalance. Lack of mental equilibrium and conscious self direction is the price incurred for a lack of mind management.
REALITY CHECK: the ability to distance ourselves by 'switching off' is a mechanism, which allows us to discern reality.
This situation is particularly discernable right now. In the past, deprivation took the form of physical want in the form of hard manual labour, lack of food, inadequate shelter and poor or zero medical care. Vulnerability was then linked to place in the social spectrum, now we are equally at risk of mental poverty or dis-equilibrium.
To put this in context, in 2018 - 39% of Europeans are taking medication for problems related to mental health.
It is as if, particularly in the West, the ego has gained in strength. An every growing 'set level,' of stimulus seeking has been created, perceived as 'need.' It plays out as compulsive behaviour, fixed by several means with social media currently playing a major part in the soap opera of our lives. It is a distraction, away from reality.
In other words the stage in the Western World has changed. Recent technological developments have meant a far higher standard of living than our forebears with physical poverty being largely eradicated.
Yet, this has not been matched by a growth of mental affluence, evidenced by other forms of deprivation, which make themselves apparent with the growth of isolation, 'burn out,' addiction and mental health problems. Many of the foundation stones of society have been weakened, including the diaspora and breakdown of family, alongside the erosion of traditional social norms and barriers.
This 'speeding up,' is nurtured in any way that self interest applies, including the legal system, politicised education, gambling, cheap alcohol and pay back politics. In other words careers and fortunes have been built upon the human right (s) to self annihilate.
Or to put it another way, we never did do away with the class system, we simply created another one.
Are you able to stop the thoughts in your head at will? If you can then you are virtually unique.
Who is in charge of whom?
The Mind Loop
One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is that what is 'out there,' is basically unreal because life moves along on a temporary thread. Now, whether you agree with this or not, history tells us that the current pace of change is phenomenal. Humanity is pushed forwards and onwards towards heaven or Armageddon leaving many to either give it up to junk food etc. or carry on like neurotically determined runners in a relay race of expectation (and anticipation) - without realising that if we don't find an occasional stop switch, to lower the stimulus set point, there is a danger of self-combustion. In other words we react to this false scenario, with a distorted survival instinct.
ADAPTION OR DYSFUNCTION.
If we are able to negotiate the non-reality of our environment - and this involves lowering the stimulus set point with a consequent access to logic and clarity, then we are better equipped to thrive and survive. Darwinian theory calls this the survival of the fittest. And despite all of the state sponsored safety nets in place, nothing at all can escape the way we have engineered an over stimulated (false) society and in turn human nature, except the will and intelligence of human nature itself.
The currency of health and happiness is not accounted for in the false over stimulated way we live. For example, we 'cook the books,' by thinking matters will balance out with wine o'clock time or a week in the sun, at the same time adding to the deficit since whatever we do or wherever we go we have several added costs, perhaps involving time, energy, health and finances. On top of this we are also obliged to take the mind with us.
Now consider two primary truths, which also contain solutions to this dilemma.
The first truth is to realise that others in a variety of ways, seek to do our thinking for us. We are quite literally funneled by the way we are mentally programmed. Society feeds the programming, it prefers us to consume, even if we consume ourselves in the end. By this I mean advertising, popular culture (including fashion/celebrity culture etc.) and political correctness.The second truth is to learn how to self manage in order to adapt within a system that is not necessarily sane or sensible.
A place or a group may wear one head.
Let me take you to the 'hub' of a large university, to demonstrate my meaning. The hub is the centre of an empire. It is a large glass tower of architectural magnificence where you can buy a newspaper and a coffee. Before I meet with the students, I visit the ladies toilets. Sat there, I notice a sign on the back of the door. It reads 'Do you know whether you consented to have sex?'
I read it again, thinking it a typical student joke. Then the horrible truth dawns. Surely not! The rest of the writing urges the uncertain ones, to contact a person (it gives a telephone number) at the university.
I think to myself, 'what will this person ask the one who is uncertain of herself?'
Were you drunk? Were you both drunk? Did you consent and then change your mind at the eleventh hour? Were you so drunk that you thought he/she was somebody else and would therefore not have consented had you known? Was there anything in writing beforehand? Did he/she also say they had not consented? Did neither of you consent?
I then go and check behind the other toilet doors and sure enough the same message is there.
Clearly, in view of all the notices, there is an epidemic of young women who are unsure of what it is they are doing and whether they consented or not.
I then wonder who the wise one is who decides whether or not 'consent,' did or did not occur. I wonder if they have a qualification for this sort of thing.
Sadly such messages are trivialising, unless they are directed to those with genuine learning difficulties. Who then is the victim? Because, in a 'no win - no fee' sense such messages are highly open to abuse. They are a negator of the self.
.'Hand your thinking over to me,' the messages shriek. 'I'll do it for you ....sign here!'
Thinking is second hand because it is phased out via conditioning. It is an affliction of now and it means that we tend not to know the self. It means that life is self is non real.
The suffering and happiness that each of us experiences is a reflection of the level of distortion or clarity with which we view ourselves and the world. To know and experience the nature of self correctly is to experience nirvana. The Dalai Lama.
Just as in any affliction, nothing will occur to remedy matters until there is a realisation that there is a universal affliction in the first place. That the self must be won back. Because the alternative is that each and every one of us moves through life with a thinking process filtered and over layered by the thoughts of others.
This state of affairs may be more acceptable of course, if the 'others are sane and sensible.' Of course they will appear to be, but then we are conditioned to think this way. What do you think it would be like to have a free mind or to experience nirvana, which is a state of being unburdened by non-reality and therefore bliss?
Understanding this current hand of cards (the way things are) is more important right now, than it has ever been because the current pace and direction of change is a particular danger to the young and vulnerable. This ever quickening state, from the 1960's onwards, has become incremental from generation to generation.
It began from an ever stronger position of 'I.' It also extends beyond the I, when that individual is a part of any group e.g. students, the elderly, the civil service, a lawyer, any type of industry or group etc. It is a 'them against us,' mode of thinking. It is linked to the concept of individual 'rights,' in a legal sense and is very much linked with blame-ism in all its forms. The 'I' is not a free thinking entity in any sense.
In terms of survival it has an evolutionary function when based in reality. However, when that 'need' becomes unbalanced it becomes in Buddhist terms self-grasping. Liken this to the need to fill an imaginary bottomless pit - human consumption mental or physical in all its various forms, particularly the 'I am,' at the expense of others or the environment; whether this involves pulling up more trees, social aspiration, political bribery, material aspiration, the right to rule etc. etc. - need, need, need .... from the position of I.
The current debt ridden political situation in Greece is a prime example of the tunnel vision 'I' on a huge scale, leaving the younger generations to pick up the tab.
From this position of self-grasping, it is difficult to enjoy life, since there is always a compulsion to fix some 'thing' out there, without realising that the difficulty lies within, in the form of misperception. The misperception is largely a result of the way reality has been conditioned out of us.
Anxiety/stress/expectation push the process of 'I' forwards and in this way technological evolution is also quickened. This is why in a short space of time the bar of achievement also continues to rise, primarily in the West, as we seek betterment like the holy grail.
Thinking and logic are altered by the emotional biology of over-stimulation caused by the 'I'. There is no seeing of the larger picture, with a romanticised vision of 'end game.' In fact there can never be 'end game,' since this is a bottomless pit of endless repercussions.
This is excused via the law of unforeseen consequences. Buddhism is rather more blunt as the term used is ignorance. How much unhappiness is bound to occur when wrong steps are taken because the bigger picture is air brushed out by conditioning?
The first truth, which is simply to be aware, automatically broadens the horizons of perception, which in turn leads to alternative modes of thinking, including the second truth.
The second truth uses Buddhist strategies to enable a 'drawing within., stillness as an adaptive coping mechanism. This is important to understand because it is the mechanism, which enhances realistic awareness and our ability to adapt.
In other words human evolution is extremely slow and our attempts to adapt to a quickening false state of external evolution are proving maladaptive for so many. In other words nature is telling us that imbalance is occuring.
Buddhist wisdom, termed such maladaption, dukkha, generally translated as suffering/discomfort but in modern terms, this may equally be translated as stress. Such wisdom tells us that going within and also resolutely staying in the now is a large part of the solution because now is more likely to approximate to reality, while the automatic mind loop of 'I' is more likely to lead to delusion or emotional problems and therefore dysfunction often in the form of inappropriate stimulation or goal seeking. Survival, functionality and equilibrium are linked to staying right now.
The Mind Loop, on the other hand, is our uncomfortable comfort zone. It causes internal dialogue. It fast forwards into anxiety or thrusts us back in time towards depression. All in all, it places us in a kind of an ever playing soap opera of want, the price being a lack of energy, mental clarity and happiness. A basic Buddhist tenet is that now is the only place worth being.
Find an activity, anything at all, whether this be walking, painting, working out at the gym or gardening, which enables you to focus on task. Keep in mind the nature of this activity and use it as a functional form of meditation.
When the mind is not managed purposefully it is like a tool without an off switch, it is a vampire. Such wasted energy if left to fester will burn. Yet the same energy, in the form of adrenalin is also a fuel. In other words such energy may also be used effectively, if it has a functional outlet. This same energy may also be use to muster the determination/will to be self-determining.
The consequential, stillness, which arises from self-management, whether within the form of meditation or focus (mindfulness), will alter perspective, a shift to reality. In other words, Buddhist practices serve to re-engineer the human system.
It is also far easier to make sense of the world, when there is less distraction and friction in the form of over stimulation, the world is then able to reflect itself back with greater clarity. Seeming difficulties are easier to surmount as life is then reassessed and prioritised. And, because reality is accessed, awareness increases.
This in turn means that opportunities have less of a tendency to pass by, and this without having to constantly run the energy wasting marathon of life. With more judicious use of energy comes more available energy and this also means improved concentration, discernment, well-being and more. In this way the negative feed-back system of the mind loop is re-routed.
All of this with far less effort than the old-fashioned way of following that, which is laid down by outside influence - medication, conditioning and culture.
In the world but not of it, is a popular phrase used to describe this state. Generally we consider ourselves of the world, primarily because we identify solely with the sophisticated machine we live in and that, which surrounds us. We think this is it. Such mental grooming or conditioning forms us from a very early age. And if we are culturally bound then we all have Stockholm syndrome to a greater or lesser extent. We only know a filtered version of reality as things stand.
Within this invisible state of captivity, we are mentally bound by expectation, which propels us onwards, but not necessarily upwards, as we fulfil our self- programmed destiny. By this I mean that it is also the state, which explains the negative aspects of human nature. This is because, imprisoned by the false we fail to understand that we inter-are, we are a part of a much bigger picture. And self interest actually lies in that - not the bottomless pit of mental stimulus!
Yet because of false perspective we are ignorant of anything other than self orientation as any newspaper on any day will reveal. Humanity will kill because of I am, whether in the name of culture, politics, territory. or next doors overgrown leylandii hedge. We are also capable of racing for unselfish motives - but sadly for many the discernment is lacking - it has been conditioned out.
REALITY CHECK: reality is never direct, it is filtered but we are unaware of the delay.
The Diversions Of The Caste System
We invest precious time and energy in culturally fashionable principles - where we are (the I am) in the scheme of things. This is a result of our conditioning. And it is our conditioning, which causes us to pursue a mirage of emotional ease. For example in the sixteenth century, the affluent man of fashion would advertise his belonging in the scheme of things by showing off his legs in a pair of tights and curly shoes. This would still attract attention but for different reasons.
And in the twelfth century the scheme of things for a certain caste of European young men was to travel east for their gap years, a similarly fashionable thing to do, except the adventure then for the young (and sometimes the not so young) was enhanced by killing those of a different religious persuasion. All in a 'good cause' mind. The Mind Loop, being the reinforcer, fuelled as it is via conditioning and therefore the excitement of anticipation. Buddhism is blunt about the matter, they term delusional thinking as ignorance. Notice also that nothing alters and nothing changes. Consider the theatricality of it all.
The Buddhist term for this is Samsara. The word 'samsara,' refers to the inevitable repetition of mistakes. This can work on an individual, national or a global level. Basically it means that nothing at all has been learned from experience, since the mind loop remains unbroken. History destined to repeat itself.
Better still, you do not have to take my word for it. Open any daily newspaper and look at history for examples of Samsara.
Belief, despite evidence to the contrary is a product of samsara. Belief, as opposed to knowing, is a product of the culture fed mind loop - impressing upon itself to a potential point of insanity as it chases after its self-programmed stimulus. I am talking here about the religious fanaticism and politically failed regimes that are destined to repeat themselves. I am talking about individuals with serial failed relationships (for the same reasons) and those who carry their addictions forward like old familiar friends.
This is also why all of those irrational beings that you read about think, that they are perfectly sane and sensible. After all no institution has certified them. And that is a scary state of affairs, because the differences in our dna (our hard wiring) is miniscule. We are potentially the same. We are all no more than a highly impressionable biological sensory mechanism - in our present form.
Conditioning itself is a kind of loose cannon. It's positive function is to draw us into a homogenous unit for survival and altruistic reasons. But in countless instances, this function has lost the boundaries of sanity.
There is the capability for our thinking to be both positive or virulent, since we are sponge like. We can become infectious on a group, or even a nation wide level. This is conditioning as a worst scenario. Prevailing thought or conditioning may also be changed or exploited by the most charismatic, or most self believing. Such self believers are also by default our leaders and if this is their only qualification then the problem is self evident.
The evidence, lies in the fact that individually and socially, we are able to look back and wonder, 'why,' we thought like that. Why the wars, destructive relationships, addiction, the mayhem? Why was that way of being ever thought to be ok?
This again leads to the point that 'minds' behave according to what they are fed with. Consider also the phrase, 'of two minds.' Actually we each have several minds and we are swung in the direction of whichever mind is dominant and not necessarily our own.
Buddhism outlines various stages of evolution, as if we earn our own destiny. It is the self, individually that pulls the strings in accordance with how well we are able to access reality. We drive this vehicle of the self for better or for worse and what is 'outside' of the vehicle is not taken into account.
If we are a lousy driver, getting lost en-route, speeding or at worst running over people - we pay via Karma or consequence. Liken Karma to constantly having to re-sit your driving test (or pay a huge fine!)until you get it right, until you access reality.
This one thing - accessing of reality, alters conditions internally and if persisted with, is capable of altering external conditions without undue stress, since we are then capable of running our lives strategically without wasting our currencies of time, energy and equilibrium. Nevertheless, it is a tall order to achieve the will to work for mental freedom when:
a. We think we are free, In fact we do not know our own mind since each and every one of us is conditioned (brain washed).
b. We have never actually known freedom of mind in the first place. There is now substantial researched evidence, that going within, often enough, will kick start a process. Small incremental changes occur to eventually make the process inevitable and self-sustaining. Such, include actual physical changes to the brain. As this book proceeds I will reveal my own plagiarised recipe for achieving this (plagiarised from Buddha, who never cared about copyrights anyway!)
The action of going within often enough is capable of dropping the curtain of conditioning and cultural containment, which afflicts us all. Otherwise, no matter what it is we do ---outside, whether that is to protest politically, become famous, get a tattoo or start a blog, it is no more than a token attempt at individuality and self-assertion. It has nothing at all to do with mind control. Not only that, such attempts at individuality are culturally devised themselves. They are red herrings. Only when we increase perception by doing away with as much conditioning as possible can we get a better idea of what is.
When this is achieved we are then enabled. This means that going within has nothing to do with ambition (quite the opposite, it means a cutting off, a letting go) and yet it can also serve the ambition to better conditions.. For example:
- There is less energy wasted on distracting emotional states including anxiety
- Improved sleep
- Clarity of thought - leading to targeted energy expenditure
- Less inclination to engage with the usual antidotes including wine o'clock time and sugar.
- Less concern with pre-empting or considering how the other thinks
- Energy increases (because an overly busy mind burns a lot of fuel
- Improved concentration (lends itself to learning)
- Not giving a fig for who has won Big Brother, what colour of shoes are now in fashion or even whether Kim Kardashian's bum has grown any bigger.
- Increased sense of equilibrium
- Greater self-confidence as the 'I' is realistically subjugated
- Ancreased sense of perception or what is
Little wonder then that Harvard Business School, Google and various other businesses and institutions are interested in mindfulness. Mindfulness is also embraced by cognitive psychology and Buddhist practices are also being given the rubber stamp of approval by various branches of science.
The state of reality, which arises with mindfulness does not come with a guarantee of Shangri La but it is a huge improvement on non-reality. At least there is a starting point of what is, a taking back of mental territory, which automatically increases the odds of achieving happiness.
What is, I define as a state of mind unfettered by the past, negative emotion or strong reactive instinct. (The opposite state is linked to fanaticism, constant material need or change, negative mental states, self medication etc.) Underlying all of that is reality.
For most people, there is only a version of reality available. This version of reality is coloured in or altered by past experience, intellect, culture etc. It is not really real! It's like building a house on a wonky foundation. It is like having a second hand mind!
The realisation or understanding of what is, also termed buddha (wisdom) means that anybody can become a Buddha. It is a state of mind This means that you do not need to take mine or the original Buddha's word for it. You could find out for yourself. And practically speaking, the practice of mindfulness may be undertaken within every day life, whether working, washing dishes, travelling etc. It is possible, in other words, to live mindfulness without any mandatory setting aside of time. Taken to an ultimate level it is possible to meditate, in the sense of practicing awareness, all of the time.
In order for his own findings and outcome to be repeated - as in any good scientific study - Buddha devised certain codes of behaviour, means and methods to open up his Middle Way to all.These have been refined and updated over the years, enabling a variety of means and ways to achieve the same end result, according to a persons inclinations and time.
How a person wishes to title themselves is arbitrary. A person of any religion or atheist may undertake the mind training aspects of Buddhism in the same vein as a Catholic may take up pilates or yoga. It is the practical measures for self-evolution, which are important. And if this aspect were to be defined as a religion, then the Religion of Reality, is as good a term as any.
The Buddha, that we are most familiar with was an Indian Prince named Siddhartha Gautama, who lived in the fifth century BC. Siddhartha questioned the state of inequality and misery he found outside his palace walls. He then began a quest to find the antidote to human suffering, effectively using himself as an ongoing subject of experimentation. In modern terms, we would call this a subjective longitudinal study. It would come under the heading of psychological research.
His findings have since stood the test of time because although nothing is permanent, our biological self, our dna changes very slowly indeed. Essentially, we are lead to believe that we exist as free thinking individuals. Laughably there are even laws in place to ensure that this is so! We also believe that we are separate from each other, like a small self-ruling island. And this is the grand illusion - divide and conquer. When in fact we inter-are.
Siddhartha himself, was a mortal man of supreme wisdom, as were all the buddhas who came before and after him. He did not claim to be anything more than that. He did claim however, to have seen beyond this grand illusion and his findings stand up to scientific testing, logic and experience.
Consider the importance of his findings. If we are not fully aware of what is, and by this I mean our overall ability to perceive reality, including motivation of others, consequences, logic etc., how can we possibly be capable of free-thinking or free-will? In fact we are not then free, full stop.
The self-ruling island of us is therefore, a mirage and yet we are programmed to think that way! If we rule totally for the island-self, it is actually harmful, the programming is highly dysfunctional as history confirms. It is almost as if we are compelled to learn via a very difficult route.
And yet as a species, we persist in this manner with the eyes wide shut. It is almost as if there is a conspiracy to promote such ignorance, to place us on a need to know basis or to put it more precisely a fit to know basis. And if we are kept busy enough, mentally scurrying around like driven hamsters on a social media wheel, we are bound to remain oblivious.This state of fundamental ignorance is also the cause of discontent and it is the human condition, anchoring us down into a tight dysfunctional knot..
Siddhartha Gautama went on to find a community, whereby his methods and findings were repeated to others. He found that reality or enlightenment was the antidote to human suffering, since it is non-reality and in particular imagination, which promotes fear, discontent, hatred, jealousy etc.. He, and his successors therefore, devised a practical solution for the human condition, based upon Siddhartha's own findings - a timeless self-help manual, devised to evolve the human species into a state of realisation, with all its attendant benefits.
The current individual state of evolution is the hand of cards we are born with and the way we have played them. A life time the chance we have of changing our conditions internally and therefore externally. This means strategy and action, laid out like a recipe book by the Buddha.
Because where non-reality gains the upper hand, the danger of unhappiness and at its worst scenario, and here I am talking nationally, lies a far greater danger than unhappiness.
This is because 'naturally', within the island self of non-reality, we cannot see that what is good for the other is also good for the self. Consider then how this has worked in the past on a national basis!
Consequentially we act comparatively and competitively in response to neurotic stimuli. This blind folded state affects the decision making process leading to such thoughts as :-
- I also must be
- I also must have
- I also can have it all
- I also must be seen to be
The word 'we' can also be applied instead of 'I' in a family, tribal or national/religious sense.
This illusion means that we are constantly trying to fix some 'thing' outside, within a very narrow frame of reference. But this is a red herring, a ploy, since the self, by definition can never achieve happiness or fulfillment in reference only to the self. Fulfillment or happinss can only be achieved,via non- self, whether within marriage, family, community, nationally or global. This is because the self, even if it actually exists, is part of a larger thread - break the thread and you break all.
And this of course is how history has conducted itself. The imagination, working in over-drive tries to bring about imagined scenarios, without the ability to fully 'realise,' that we inter-are. 'Non-us' being seen as a possible threat, with an entanglement of history providing reasons and excuses for any behaviours. As things stand we are only able to understand the consequences of a decision at some point in the future. For example, who at this point in time would have followed Hitler?
The frightening answer at this point in time, depending upon conditioned level of discontent, expectation etc. is plenty.
Who is in charge of whom?
All of your life you will follow your dreams
But you will never find your golden dream
Goal surfing may be likened to addictive ambition and expectation both in a positive and a negative sense. It is linked to a relentless following of the future and the thrill of the chase. Some know when to stop, some are incapable of it, and in such cases the legend of King Sisyphus, destined to forever roll a rock up a hill applies - since what goes up is bound to come down and then the revolving momentum of it all has to carry on Being unable to stop goal surfing does not lead to sustained happiness and there is always a danger of misery, burn-out or battyness.
REALITY CHECK: goal surfing is a highly definitive sign of the times we live in
The mechanism for this particular state of affairs, currently being encouraged on many fronts since it builds the economy and taxation revenue, besides feeding the education system involves culture and conditioning. This is the curtain, which effectively blocks perception, updated from generation to generation. The challenge of life being to realise that:-
a. such a mechanism exists
b. all is therefore not as it appears to be. We are constantly in danger of being lead up a garden path, seeing only roses without thorns.,
This state of affairs is a central theme within religions and philosophies, with attempts to remedy in various ways, often with life style rules and regulations designed to buffer the inevitable difficulties but often containing contradictions. This state also explains why those with apparently so much feel as if they have so little.
Because that is the reality of what we are - a terminus, programmed via conditioning and our dna to think and feel in certain ways, to aim for some feeling.
The conundrum being that if we better understood that 'condition,' our perception, would inevitably change. There would be efforts not to put up with it, and this is the essence of Buddhism. A seeking for what is.
Such seeking via mindfulness and going within inevitably weakens the pull of the strings, which control us.
Then and only then comes a fitness to evolve on a superior level. Such were the findings of. Siddhartha Gautama, who found reality to be far more conducive to well being than the twilight zone we unwittingly inhabit.
We are currently programmed via conditioning to goal surf. We are unable to perceive the consequences of this because we exist in a state of only partial reality. Buddha called this ignorance.
The state of unblissful ignorance we call life is as much our normality as the way a flock of geese instinctively migrate because it keeps us tidily in our place as a highly intelligent animal. No more and no less. The clever thing is, we actually contribute towards this comfort blanket via the thinking process, we reinforce it.
We absolutely believe that we are rational self-governing, human beings, the pinnicle of evolution in fact. Actually we are made to think this way, this is our particular normality, it is our limitation.
Like hamsters on a wheel we spend our lives trying to change conditions outside, by changing relationships, changing appearance, goal surfing etc., without realising that the inside of us is the actual cause of our conditions. Historically our needs in the West have changed from food insufficiency to ego insufficiency.
We are housed in a highly sophisticated machine. Various senses and a system of intelligence including consciousness, exist to inform us of the outside world and the conditions in it, enabling us to survive.. All of this built from a slice of bread. How sophisticated is this machine that we live in? (No human being could make an i-phone out of a slice of bread!).
Yet for all the sophistication of this machine we are able to think only within the boundaries of its intelligence system and sense capacities. The capacity of our machine being further limited by our conditioning or cultural surroundings. In any case who would even consider themselves as limited in their thinking? We are not even aware that the system is open to being upgraded. It's like asking a computer to over-step its capacity by analyzing the limitations and effectiveness of its own programming.
It would simply not recognise the request, It would therefore carry on regardless. 'I think therefore I am.' means that we are housed in a machine like a space rocket with the curtains firmly fastened shut by the limitations of how we think - the wonky computer of us complete with viruses.
A Conspiracy Theory?
REALITY CHECK: We are not programmed to perceive reality.
We are automatically restrained by the individual capacity of our individual (computer mind) and tendencies to behave in certain ways. By tendencies I mean imprints of past behaviours, arguably connected to our DNA. Think of this in terms of instincts and animal behaviours. It is how life slowly evolves, sometimes going backwards before proceeding forwards. Eastern philosophy/religion would term this karma, or consequences of past behaviours. It is the consequences that inform future behaviours.
Think of this like a stab, stab, stab from the past, until we understand not to behave in such a manner again. This is our learning curve and therefore our survival mechanism. In the West, this is more likely to be termed evolution. Darwin called it the survival of the fittest.
In this way our mind may gradually evolve in a slow and almost incidental manner. But this was not enough for Siddhama, he wanted to evolve right now. There is also the frightful alternative that we can slide down the ladder rungs of evolution, since we do not necessarily always proceed in an upwards manner..This slow form of natural self-coding, for better or for worse, takes places via the on-going soft ware of the conditioning process including parental and cultural influences etc., which the mind is programmed to download.
A proportion of this conditioning, the amount being dependent upon environment and individual susceptibility is viral. By viral, I mean both contagious and harmful, in that it effects our sense of reality and free will. It also causes a loss of energy. There is a vast array of influences constantly bombarding and seeking to en-code impressionable minds. And the younger the mind, the more impressionable it is. Think of a young mind, like the moulding of clay.
When no sooner has one viral code run its course, another takes its place. In other words the means of control change from generation to generation culturally. At this point in time social media is a major form of virulent control.
It works this way. The cultural viruses (outside modes of thought and behaviour ) latch onto the emotions, exerting a powerful influence upon the mind -encoding, rewiring. Then we act accordingly for better or for worse, at the same time believing that we act with free will. This in turn has the rebound effect of consequence in the form of how we think. We then act out for better or, quite often, for worse. Effectively then this system plays with us, it contains us and for good reason, as I will explain.
We do have one obvious advantage over the computer, since our mind has the capacity for varying degrees of consciousness. This means we are capable of reflection (and self-encoding), when emotional thought is silenced and if we realise and/or care to use this capacity. Unfortunately here is the mechanism at its most cunning. Emotional thought is rarely silent, even when it is background noise.
This means that the amount of conscious awareness and therefore clear reflection we are capable of is dependent upon how susceptible we are to the mesmerising distraction of our own current thinking processes - our self. We are stuck, in other words, between the i-phone and reality. And this in turn means that the picture of our universe may well be very small indeed. 'Seeing,' consequences for example, may therefore be limited.
If we are capable of being switched on (aware) for long enough, which means shutting down the constant noise of the thinking process, then the computer mind will automatically re-encode and therefore upgrade. Something knows that we are fit to move up a grade.The feed-back system computes, this mind is ready for increased capacity. This enables us to function with greater effect. We are able to access higher modes of intelligence.
At higher levels we are also able to 'filter,' out potential virulent conditioning like a firewall. We see noxious influences for what they are. Current viral files may potentially be cleared. This accessing of reality therefore creates space.
We 'feel' this space as calm. It is a balanced state of equilibrium, despite outside circumstance. We are also enabled to function at greater capacity in our general everyday lives since there is less wastage of energy on emotional distraction and/or consequences of previous viral behaviours. This in turn results in enhanced concentration and energy. We are enabled to function with greater intent.
Re-programming and therefore re-connection with the higher mental levels is a possibility and nor does it makes us any less human, as Gauthama Siddana found out. This is also called evolution. Unfortunately therein lies a huge stumbling block - the problem being that because we are human we do not generally consider that we personally have a problem in the first place or in fact need upgrading and or re-connecting in any way.
If we see a problem, it is seen as something, 'out there.' It is because of someone else, another person, group or country. The problem is not seen as internal mind limitation because the ego (sense of self) will protect its own. We are our own island and we will defend that island to the hilt. It is not generally understood that what is out there can be virulent and we, all of us, unless we act to re-encode, are susceptible.
How we are contained or lacking sense of reality, is connected to the law of consequence, an automatic force of restriction, which can occur at any point in time, arguably for the greater good. Lessons are supposed to be learned, in order to progress the forces of evolution. This process is extremely slow, hence the enduring state of human suffering.
Something interesting is also taking place among those who think they know best, while often acting within their own interests. In other words science is seeking to engineer evolution in various ways, think of cloning, alterations in dna etc. This follows on from how quickly humanity has evolved since the industrial revolution. This also goes hand in glove with certain cultural changes, including political correctness. Consider this as an ongoing story, subject to the law of unforeseen consequences.
Clues And Conditions
The first clue we have to the effects of our limitations are the consequences of behaviour. But this does not necessarily make for self-reflection, particularly if the ego is strong. The ego (that part of the mind, which sees itself as an island) self-excuses and self-defends Who? Me? What? Never!.The second clue is an emotional one felt as a 'need' for some 'thing' or a change of condition - on an ongoing basis such as drugs, relationships, money, objects etc. The 'need' is like a deep, dark hole.
Happiness and/or erasure of problems is considered to be just around the corner, as soon as that some 'thing' happens or is reached ('I can be a millionaire with a bit more time and effort - or lottery tickets'). Instead of a virus making us feel ill, the kind of virus I am talking about, will make us feel want. It is actually delusional, a kind of self-medication. Happiness is seen as conditional upon some 'thing' out there.
We then expend energy, in the form of time, money or emotional angst, on what we 'see' as the last brick in our wall of happiness, without understanding that there is no foundation in reality. That our level or potential for happiness, after the necessities of life have been acquired, are constant, regardless of conditions.
At the extreme end of this illusory 'need' think of people with any kind of addiction, who hoard things, have multiple relationships, seek emotional reaction, constantly move house/country etc. and/or spend a large portion of their income on piles of status conscious atoms. All that energy potentially defusing into a state of self-redundancy or potential harm. Nor is there any point where that hole may be filled. In other words a millionaire is capable of wanting to become a billionaire.
Think of this energy as like money in a bank, which is easily frittered away if self-awareness (consciousness) is lacking. And lacking it is, somewhere along the tree of life, to a greater or a lesser of extent, according to the extent of disconnect with conscious awareness. Conscious awareness or realisation is that state which, Buddha sought and found.
The problem is, that once energy has been expended (producing brief happiness) upon the some 'thing' of seeming necessity then in a short period of time we internally re-settle to a current set point. We then see some condition or some 'thing' else needing re-arrangement on our island self, rarely seeing that this 'need,' is connected with how we are internally. We do not see the pattern because we are wired complete with self-excusing ego, at our current functioning level, and we are capable of (and we do) reason ourselves into oblivion because of it.
Or to put it another way; in law, ignorance is not seen as a self-defence, but individually that is the way it is.
Understand that all of these self- diversions (illusions) keep us nicely in our place, until we are fit to evolve.
REALITY CHECK - Energy is finite
The Containment Mechanism
The phrase Containment Mechanism, was coined by J.C Stevens in the book Kriya Secrets Revealed. My own interpretation of the phrase refers to how we are imprisoned by the dysfunctional use of our senses, emotions and ego. It is currently how we are encoded. Life, as we emerge from the relatively clear state of childhood becomes like a many layered cocoon, more effective than the most secure of jails. It is this cocoon, which prevents us from seeing reality as it is.
The mechanism is such a part of us that it is considered 'natural.' And this, despite the fact that we consider ourselves to be free. We are all afflicted to a greater or lesser extent by its effects, namely the viruses of our conditioning. This means that we are at varying degrees off-centre to reality, from which, consequentially we are disconnected.
That is why we are forced to live our lives indirectly or second hand because we are not entirely present. It is as if we are operating in an invisible fog, which is so much a part of us that it is 'normal.' This 'fog,' in the form of feeling, impulse and internal chatter throws us mentally backwards and forwards in time, unless we are able to occupy the mind in a focused manner.
Generally speaking however, the mind is unaware, because it is occupied by a form of mental screen saver. The screen-saver tends to be whatever is troubling or pre-occupyin at any given time. It is un-noticeable background noise. And If this sounds like a form of invasion it is. This in turn affects behaviour, decision making and more.
This is why so many lives are a case of trial and error, imagination beyond reason. Many are defeated by it, others will self-medicate or promote their old age in one form or another. It is like a trial by combat, except we do not even know that we are participating, let alone the strategies that might help us win.
How much we are individually affected will be reflected in our levels of contentment, self ease or otherwise. This also applies to the larger cultural landscape and for the way we work as a group mind. It is all highly contagious and it explains behaviour patterns. If I was writing a science fiction novel, then I would call it 'brain washing.'
REALITY CHECK: The abnormal can become the norm
Virtually anything can become 'normal,' e.g.
- Abusive partners
- War against the 'other'
- Working relentlessly
- Qualification chasing
- Object chasing
- Sexual deviancy
- Cruelty to animals
- Celebrity worship
- Criminal behaviour
The above list is at the extreme end of the continuum. There are also many benign examples. But at its dysfunctional worst conditioning or brain-washing results in energy-wasting chasing after rainbows, or destruction. It also leads some to devalue themselves as human beings. Those who are less affected by the containment mechanism are perhaps capable of throwing their energy darts more judiciously and there are many stages in between. But, in general you could say that this state of affairs effectively neuters our capacity for self government. Certainly it is capable of wasting a life's potential.
Think about politics, fashion, education, any form of media etc. and what it is they actually 'are' or have become. In one form or another they all seek to alter or reinforce how we think. They would each have you believe that you benefit in some way from the belief system they promote. They are in fact a new kind of religion promoting themselves as culture. They seek to condition and unfortunately they do not come with a guarantee of either sanity or good will. But, as with everything else in this world they exist for a reason, the reason being to purposely slow down the rate at which, we evolve.
Not that we are aware of this horrific state of affairs, simply because we are protected by the ignorance of our containment. What is abnormal, we see as entirely normal.
The Containment Mechanism is that, which wraps us up in non-reality. It is that, which makes us the victim. It is the peace destroyer.
We live in a world naturally dominated by the strongest of egos - not good-will and not by the self-less. The self-less would be far less inclined to think they know best. We are dominated in fact by those who think they know best - certainly not by the Dalai Llama. And we accept because most of us are contained at the level of pack mentality.
We will follow those who shriek loudest, (sometimes quite literally), as they bid to enforce their own version of containment. Generally in the divide and conquer mode. This then is a case of the blind leading the blind as history shows, with inevitable consequence for the following generations if the wrong egos hold us in their thrall.
And what would happen, do you think, if such egos discovered scientifically that they are the next generation?
REALITY CHECK - We are all contained to a greater or lesser degree.
The Twilight Zone
According to ancient writings, many of which relate to Eastern philosophy and spirituality, we are contained because, we are immature or unevolved. We are on a 'need to know basis', contained for the greater good because in our current state, that of a hybrid, we combine extreme intelligence with the potential for extreme destruction.
And, because evolution seems to be moving at greater speed, we now have the capacity to destroy the earth. It is currently threat that is maintaining peace. Were we a benign, truly evolved species such a threat would not exist. It is the mechanical computer mind that has evolved, out of synch, with the higher faculties.
Naturally speaking, 'we' process (educate ourselves), until we are good and ready to be moved up a class. Inventing the clone and the atom bomb does not mean that we have moved up the tree of life. We are supposed to educate ourselves via the consequences of our experiences, we are supposed to develop empathy. In order to do this there is a need to remember and feel the impact of past behaviours on our future behaviours.
This may be compared to the way 'instinct' is relayed from generation to generation in animals as they adapt and evolve. Our individual evolution is reflected in how contained mentally we are by our environment. In other words can we 'see' through it or not? There is also a feed back mechanism at work because the more we are effected, the more contained we become.
This system, which, has been devised by an intelligence far higher than our own, means that we can only harm ourselves and our own environment.
'Ridiculous, I can hear you reply. Most people are quite reasonable, sane and sensible. And what is it that you think's locked us in? Are you delusional?'
At least I know I am. As for 'what has locked us in,' I intend to convince you that all is not what it seems. And we are not even supposed to know it.
There were times when, perhaps we were not as contained, but then again we did not have the same capacity to kill en-masse. But culture took the matter in hand. First of all we were kept physically enslaved via the agricultural and then the industrial revolution. Then we were mentally enslaved via the fashion, political and digital revolution.
Now, we have perfected the way we collude with this arrangement. Our self-policing (containment) exists like a work of fine art as we continue to weave dense surplus webs around ourselves.
Where the web is particularly dense, because cultures and individuals differ in their stages of evolution, wisdom/reality/perception is unable to penetrate and this equally leads to further dysfunction and further consequence. It is almost as if we are deliberately being held back a class, as if we are constantly being checked.
If this sounds like paranoia, consider that there are plenty of other clues out there as to what 'is' and that is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg. Consider the accounts of those who have had 'out of body' experiences. Consider those with unexplainable gifts, such as telepathy, the ability to mentally alter matter and more. At governmental level (Russia and America) there is interest in the potential of such abilities. In short 'what is,' is beyond current science. It is beyond that, which we are programmed to understand.
Allow me then to convince you of some of this disparate and yet concurring evidence. Then at least we enter into our conditioning/containment mechanism in full knowledge that we are in cloud cuckoo land..At least from knowledge there is choice.
The choice then is do we want to know reality. Unfortunately most of us have to earn it. But the code is no secret as I will explain in Part 2. Suffice it to say we are open to reality, only under certain circumstances. It is these circumstances, which are of interest on a practical level, if only because it makes life pleasanter and more functional. And this is a choice. But the circumstances to access this second choice involve instigating the code. Still, that is not the end of the story, because we are constantly side-tracked by containment. It is almost as if in this system of push-pull, a kind of war is being waged -against us instigating the code - and then you choose your side.
REALITY CHECK - The more contained we are, the harder it is to see beyond the 'self' or the group self. At its ultimate this would render us dangerous or more animal like. In this respect the containment causes us to be self-destructive of ourselves and others. Is this mechanism 'natural' or deliberate?
Containment means that there is only varying degree of access to what 'is.' In the Christian bible this is called 'truth.' This means that our level of thinking within containment is second-hand. It is like a corpse. This barrier (containment) evolves via how we are taught to see and think. Cunningly, a recent historically re-hashed cultural device in the form of political correctness has been added to the toxic mix doing away with the need to see reality altogether. Reality is now interpreted by those who are more contained than most. And this is a very dangerous state of affairs indeed.
But, if you are curious about what really is, understand that those enforced containing layers have to be reduced. This is the system and it is infallible.
It is infallible because the physical senses themselves are limited, as is the kind of intelligence with, which we are currently able to operate, leaving us only on a 'need to know,' basis. We accept what we are conditioned and 'told' to accept. We do not know any different. This means that what we think we know is not necessarily true. Not so long ago the earth was considered to be flat because it looked flat.
Imagine being caught in a never-ending game of hula hoop or dancing to somebody else's tune forever more. - How exhausting and frustrating. Imagine having to accept it. Imagine thinking that this is reality. Except you don't even have to imagine.
Think of it like this. Perhaps the entire ant population, by the same argument, believe they are at the pinnacle of evolution. If they had larger brains and better eye sight we may well be in danger of a world dominated by ants! As it is, their eyesight might only extend beyond the two ants in line. And, just like us, they are busy, busy, busy, wandering about in constructed lines shifting bits from here to there, fulfilling self-perpetuating goals, before their final demise. In other words, just like all of us, they are programmed to be distracted, compelled and therefore contained..
'Ah,' you reply, ' but what about those who refuse to be contained. What about all the free spirited human beings who go to live in Ibiza and Morocco? What about the rich and the famous who can do or be anything they want to be? Surely they are not contained.
Well, I hate to say it but they are probably more distracted and contained (constrained) than most, given all the distractions and choices they have. And the fact is we are anchored here on the field of containment
John Paul Getty the third, was one of the richest, if not the richest men of his generation, but it is widely known that he also kept a pay phone at his country home for the use of his guests. His servants were also known to say that his expression was that of a man attending his own funeral.
It is the distractions that keep us searching for some thing within our field of discontent. Distractions, primarily discontent, to which, we are compulsively attracted, conceal from us the main issue, the fact that we are in fact contained. This leaves little or no room for the acquisition of true contentment.
The distractions also cause us to leak energy, via behaviour and over-thinking, which further neutralises any capacity to find freedom. We constantly see things that need altering to make us feel better.
We then feel better for a very limited period of time. We might even experience euphoria or excitement, which we also mistakenly interpret as happiness. But whatever it is we feel, we then in a short space of time re-settle to our set biological point.
All of your life you will follow your dreams but you will never find your golden dream.
And the distractions can be anything our imagination lights upon. Then emotions kick in, for example desire, pride, greed etc. arise to set the ball rolling. And then we're off around the egotistical circuit in pursuit of our external goal. This provides us with discontentment and then an emotional 'lift,' if we succeed, perhaps despondancy or depression if we don't. Either way we are emotion bound. Then the next distraction crops up like a spoke on a wheel. We are obliged to join in because we are convinced that our happiness depends upon it, our golden dream. It's very clever how it works. We are never really 'here.' It's as if we have been mentally castrated.
And this will always occur until the penny drops.
Do you believe that your happiness is dependent upon a certain condition?
We have to work and we have to put a roof over our head but it is the efforts we are forced to make beyond that to dispel energy, which leaves little time or space to find equilibrium, which is actually the holy grail.
REALITY CHECK - All is not what it appears to be.
There is talk of realisation in the Eastern philosophies and religions. When the day comes that we realise our happiness is not dependent upon a certain circumstance (object, relationship, promotion etc.) then we have realised something. When we realise that each circumstance (goal) once obtained only promotes a temporary kind of happiness before another goal must be surmounted then we realise something more.
Goals do have their uses but it is also a matter of knowing when to quit to stay ahead, except goals have an addictive quality. They are a part of that cunning plot to contain us - ants are clearly affected by it as well.
How and where to direct energy and when to conserve that energy requires a link to reality. Also, the more contained we are, the more energy we require to service that containment. Energy is expensive and we do not have the equivalent of a wind mill (until we learn to drop the containment). I know this sounds like a Zen Koan, but I will explain about turning the thermostat down later..
How we are contained means that we have the incentive to evolve in a technological and scientific sense. Lives may be improved along with the power to self-destruct. For example we have marvellous medicines but also a dreadful drug problem. We can lengthen lives and yet there is also a problem with fertility. We have far more material opportunities but also more opportunities for division and discontent.
On an individual or a group level, this all means that our happiness levels are forever at the mercy of the tidal flow of consequences - self-created and group-created. Life quite literally hangs in the balance and this is a highly stressful state of affairs. It means that we are constantly dependent upon some thing.
Reality causes us to become more independent of outside circumstance.
If we were able to access reality we would also understand also that the self is not an island. The reality is that we are all connected. What is good for you therefore is good for me.
Except, this is not the way we think (parenthood possibly being the exception). We think from the self. We believe our happiness is dependent upon a thing or condition. We seek a golden dream, and that is precisely what it is, a dream. Equilibrium or happiness is actually within, not without. The realisation of this alone, is evolution.
Outside, is a part of our learning curve. We are contained within a particular circumstance because of past actions. And it is these particular circumstances, which contribute towards what it is we are required to learn. If and when a lesson is passed (or failed), then there is a chance that our circumstances may change to provide a better school for the next round of teaching. And this is a natural self-instigated process. There is nothing spiritual about it, it is logical.
This is why life appears to be unfair. We are all at different stages of evolution and that is why our conditions are also different - again logic.
You could say we build up a body of pain or otherwise, according to the outcome of each individual decision we have made. We have to live with out behaviour and decisions. This applies to our lives right now, as it will to whatever is required of us next. In this way we build up a body of intelligence to help inform us in the future. In this way we evolve, and just as in the animal kingdom, there is a self-correction principle at work.
The problem is that this is an extremely slow and painful process. Scientifically, using the code, we can speed up this process of self-evolution.
What is of real significance is the current state of our mind. This is why, a person who is as wealthy as Bill Gates, may in fact be more impoverished in certain ways than a child from the slums of New Delhi. I am sure that you yourself can think of many examples of those who would appear to 'have it all,' when in fact there is a grasping for something else, some illusory object or circumstance that will provide happiness. Except, even on a scientific level, happiness is hardly sustainable unless you can wire yourself up to a seratonin drip.
We may feel bewildered when we hear that a person who appears to 'have it all,' meets an early demise or downfall through self-abuse of varying kinds. It is almost as if the pleasure of pleasure became so addictive that no thing was able to fulfil it. So many dreams, how to sustain the high of it all? Pleasure or happiness is a shot of hormones, that is all. Chemically we can by pass the whole process, so destructively intelligent are we.
And yet this is how most of us spend our lives, continually looking forward or out side to an object or circumstance. This is a mirage, a challenge that we have to figure out for ourselves. The constant chasing after mirages is designed to conceal the true object or circumstance we should be working for. It is a part of the challenge, our containment.
REALITY CHECK - The challenge of our lives is to figure out the mirage for what it is.
Some may well describe or think of themselves as 'free-spirited' or not a part of the 'system.' Actually we all are because we are here, being given enough rope to hang ourselves with (or climb up even).
Unfortunately we cannot even begin to climb up until we realise that we are contained in the first place. It is the realisation that is a mark of our self-evolution. When we start to realise our way out of unblissful ignorance then the opposite applies. Now we are given more rope on the evolutionary ladder according to how we progress. Notice that patterns repeat themselves because this is also good parenting on a human level.
I am therefore I think. Perhaps we should stop doing it.
Where We Are At Right Now
There is no standard recipe for the construction of a person because the past, counts for the sum total of where we are individually at. 'Now,' is the sum total of our actions, decisions and thoughts of the past. Ingrained patterns arise, resulting in a blend of tendencies contained within us. We talk of character traits and it is this blend, which acts like our current hand of cards.
And, just like most card games, this set of cards (our behaviour or tendences) is capable of changing for better or for worse, and/or being used for better or for worse as we travel through life. We each hold the freedom to work matters out for ourselves. It is a matter of stepping back and considering. Questioning helps to dismantle the containment.
The Game Of Life has repercussions for ourselves and others according to how we play it. In other words we are capable of both infecting and affecting each other, not to mention the entire planet if enough of us group together. The repercussions have the consequence of either evolution or devolution. And because we are infectious in our behaviours this means that we may also play our part in evolving or devolving others because we are all connected.
The outcome is a matter of balance, according to which tendencies become or remain strongest, both on an individual, familial or communal basis. All affects/infects the other. Our individual task is to know it. When we realise it, then what we think say or do will alter, the consequences are to great to be otherwise.
On a simple level, if a person commits a crime then they may go to jail or 'pay' in some other way. Parents also pass on the results of their behaviours to their children. This is how the karmic game of snakes and ladders is played.