One of the harder points, intellectually, along the road of shedding my figurative skin has been the acceptance that literally all truth is a paradox. Seriously, any truth we find is always a paradox. Well, any truth that is consequential in the grand scheme of things is anyway. So to speak. The biggest one is that all this life thing is happening but actually nothing is happening at all. When it comes down to it, nothing is happening at all. It’s all just appearing to happen but while we’re here – wherever here is – it sort of feels so real. Of course, that’s hilarious when you start to realise that to take the testimony of a ‘feeling’ as absolute when the feeling itself is part of the illusion is actually rather insane…
There’s a lot of people plugging half-truths. Don’t get me wrong. Half-truths are alright. It’s still half of the truth, right? But when you sit on just one side of the truth then you’re only getting half the picture. Thing is, you can’t sit on both sides of the fence at once. You can’t sit in two places at once. Likewise, you can’t speak to both halves of a contradictory truth at the same time. It’s gotta happen sequentially, one after the other. Which is fine when you’ve got time or when the person you’re talking to (sometimes yourself) is ready to listen to it. But, sometimes that doesn’t work.
I find myself on one side of the fence and then the other side almost instantly upon realising where I’ve sat down. I get all “this hurts so much” or “this is great” and then comes the other side “but it’s not real so don’t worry” or “enjoy it now but don’t get all attached”. But then I do also find myself in the go-to of “This isn’t real so I don’t care at all.” Which is like spiritual bypassing or something. I heard that term somewhere. It seems to fit here. It’s like we use our understanding of one side of the truth to negate the other side. I’ve done this plenty of times. But inevitably when the “this isn’t real so I don’t care” trip kicks in, it has to be followed by, “But I feel it and it’s happening on some level.” which is then very naturally followed by “So it can’t be ignored.”
I reckon it’s quite common for us to bounce about between these two extremes when we start to understand the relevance and the significance of them both. Sooner or later, like the dangling string you blew and watched slow down, we all find that sort of happy medium. That space where we can see both sides but aren’t bothered too much about either. And it’s all cool for a bit. Things make sense and nothing much gets to you.
Well, until a big wind comes from one side or another and you end up throwing yourself down on the side of the fence that’s most comfortable for you. For me, it’s to become really logical and fairly grumpy. For you, it might be different. Either way, when things get tough, we end up where we’re most comfortable.
And why wouldn’t we? It’s natural and easy and simple. So why not? Yeah. Makes sense. I think, as long as we get back into the middle and see both sides clearly again sooner or later it doesn’t really matter all that much. Actually, like I said in my previous post, it doesn’t matter all that much either way. The problems start to arise in our lives when we set up camp on one side and start selling produce that’s prohibited to some extent on the neighbouring side. That’s when our perspectives get all foggy and we take things too seriously and get disconnected from some essential balance.
I was just thinking about this when I was scheduling some posts for Darshan Road – the project my wife and I run – on Facebook. I live most of my life in the “This life may seem real but it’s all very silly” camp. Which is a small group of tents pitched in the “this is all real” camp nearer to the fence of the “nothing is real” camp where me and a few friends go for a long weekend every now and then. I find myself sharing these posts on Darshan Road about presence and compassion and loving-kindness. And, yeah, I practice those things as much as possible in my life. But then I write here on this blog. And nothing I write here, short of simple phrases like ‘the self alone is reality’ would really do it justice. So there’s this sort of play with the semantics of the illusion.
Like, I know none of this is real. By and large it all seems very silly. But then there’s these moments where I’m swept into rapids. A moment where I forget to transfer funds for shopping from the paypal account and we have to scrounge about for change for food for the weekend (because with the awful 90s bank account we’ve got, it takes 3-5 working days for money to transfer from paypal to bank). Or a moment where I’m starving and I can’t seem to get food inside me quick enough – where I’m shaking with a headache and grumpy. In those moments, I’m about as far into the “this is all real” camp as I can get. Yet, it does still all seem rather silly.
And I know that this whole thing is happening and I cannot deny that it’s totally necessary and relevant because if it wasn’t then it wouldn’t be happening. But then there’s those moments where I look at my hand and I think “How do I know that’s there?” And no answer is good enough because they’re all based on some sensory experience which I cannot rely on as absolute proof that the hand is actually there.
I see people selling the law of attraction as the answer to life’s problems and I grind my teeth. The same way I grind my teeth when I see people trying to manipulate the flow of life with magic. Aside from my own personal take on the law of attraction (and the fact that I reckon the larger part of it is ego-centric poppycock), I really don’t reckon magic is supposed to be used to manipulate the flow of events. I mean, sure, it can be done to some extent. But why would we assume it should be done just because it can be done? My take? I reckon we should be using magic to get ourselves into the best possible position so that when the current of the river really kicks in, the wind catches our sails and sends us gliding effortlessly to cleaner, clearer waters and skies.
At the end of the day, as far as I know, mind can only really live from one way of seeing something at a time. It might be able to comprehend two contrasting ideas, but when it comes to acting on whatever is happening, we have to pick one to move forward. And whatever side of the fence we pick to move onto is down to each of us and it’s by the by. None is better or worse. Just different. Yeah.
Okay so I intend to write extensively on how I feel magic should be used, in the near future. I may even make some videos about it. I don’t claim to be an authority on the subject but there is a way to use it that seems to me – at least – to be the most logical and sensible. I feel that before I do put out any formal content about it, I’ve got a bit more research to do. I don’t want to be drawing any conclusions prematurely.
Anyway, to sit on the fence of one final paradox here today… I scroll through Facebook and YouTube and WordPress and just see person after person professing and peacocking. I reckon it’d be the same on Twitter too if I could stand the thing – I just don’t have enough thoughts justifiable and worthwhile enough to post on there every few hours. My thoughts accumulate after about two days and at that point – and only at that point – do I have anything interesting or even slightly unique to say. And at that point it’s still debatable as to whether or not it was a worthwhile thing to say – or even if the time spent thinking about it was worth it.
So then, this paradox… I see all these self-appointed professors – of which I was one – all on their soap boxes, telling people information about life. And then I get the urge to write. To say my piece. To tell you how I think it is, or should be. I see it and by seeing it I err on becoming it. Of course, I do my best to consciously and deliberately not just tell you things as though I have any right to teach you. I just speak from my experience here, now. But ironic, is it not, that we are always pushed by some inner rebel to speak out against those who speak out – to write so disdainfully about those who claim to know or to understand something yet in so doing, we assume to know something ourselves. Without that assumption, there would be nothing to say about it. And with that, I get the unquenchable urge to return to a cave I am yet to locate and to sleep a sleep more refreshing than any I have ever had. To cast my hands up in the air with a sigh that says, “Nothing really matters enough to be bothered about it… Yet I am bothered about it. Here and now. Climbing relentlessly from one side of the fence to the other without abandon!”
Big hugs or small hugs or no hugs at all
Live, love and play.
Die, fear and hate.