This topic came up in a conversation a couple of days ago…
Attitude: Everything is sacred and of spirit, except the mentality of human beings who behave in a way I do not approve of…
Justification: Humans have free will, and somehow choose to behave in destructive ways.
Resolution: (a) Recognize the conditioned nature of existence, and the different faces of choice/no choice. (b) Recognize and integrate projections. (c) Recognize and experience all phenomena, inner and outer, as expressions of Spirit – of emerging from God, Ground, the Absolute. Nothing is more or less sacred than anything else.
The Many Faces of Choice
All phenomena in the inner/outer world co-emerge, are mutually dependent and interdependent, and thus also conditioned by (a) the nature of the processes of the world and (b) each other. When we are identified with the processes of the personality – with sensations, emotions, thoughts – there is little awareness and little choice. The processes of the personality is conditioned by the nature of the processes of this world and of biology, culture, personal experiences, and when we are identified with these processes, our choices are made based on this conditioning.
When awareness awakens to itself, center of gravity expands to include awareness. There is more sense of overview and perspective. And there is a sense of new choice, although this is also conditioned by a multitude of processes.
When awareness unfolds as luminous, spacious and more fully transdual, it goes beyond choice and no choice. There is a sense of choice, but there is also no choice – it is all one seamless whole. In a way, there is a response to situations – beyond choice and no choice.
Choice is in a sense an illusion. When we operate exclusively from the personality, there is little or no choice – it is all conditioned responses (including the thought and decision making patterns). When awareness awakens to itself, there is a sense of choice – but still somewhat conditioned. When awareness awakens as fully transdual, it goes beyond choice and no choice.
So, it is in a way futile to judge. We all do as best as we can, from our conditioning and experiences. We all make the best choices we can, even if they often lead to suffering for ourselves and others. We are all in the same boat.
Everything we see in others, we recognize because it is also in us. All qualities and characteristics we perceive, are there in the outer as well as the inner world.
We can be aware of them more in the outer world, or more in the inner world, but they are there – as a potential or unfolded/expressed in various ways.
When our ideas – such as self-image, right/wrong and good/bad – prevents us from seeing qualities within ourselves and only out there, we live in a fragmented perception of ourselves and the world. We split ourselves us from ourselves and the world.
And when we live in this split, emotions of aversion and attraction comes up. Attraction and aversion is the “glue” that ties our attention to the qualities of ourselves we are not aware of. They tie our attention to them, until they are recognized as being equally “in here” as “out there”.
Attractions and aversions are also the guideposts that can help us recognize and eventually integrate projections. When I experience attraction or aversion to something in the outer world, I can identify the specific characteristic it is aimed at, and then explore it in myself. How is it expressed? Why would I rather not see it in myself? Can I be with it?
Eventually, we come to a point where we recognize all qualities – in both the inner and outer world. For any statement about us, we can sincerely say “yes, that is true too”.
This process has several effects.
Our ideas becomes more fluid. My self-image becomes more fluid, porous, transparent and inclusive. My ideas of right/wrong, good/bad, softens and looses their charge.
And I can recognize myself in the other. What I see in the other person, is also there in myself. This softens judgment, and opens for genuine empathy and compassion. We are all in the same boat. I am not inherently any better or worse than anyone else.
This also opens up for more clarity and perspective. From making choices based on attractions and aversions, we can respond to situations in a way that is from more awareness and are more life-supporting. We loosen our grip, and allow some space, overview and clarity in.
All phenomena is a fluid seamless whole. While there is distinctions, there is also no separation.
They are all expressions of movements within this whole (going beyond limited causality).
They are all born from Spirit, God, Ground, the Absolute.
They are all inseparable from Spirit, God, Ground, the Absolute.
Clouds, mountains, emotions, galaxies, the ocean, cities, culture, music, a leaf, a nebulae, feelings of attraction and aversion, sunlight through the leaves, a chirping bird, a fugue by Bach, murder, ideologies, a star, a planet… All inner and outer phenomena – is a seamless whole with God, Spirit, Ground, the Absolute.
There are distinctions – and no separation. Everything is perfect as it is, and there is room for improvement.
Overview & Engagement
If we only see the seamless whole, there is no engagement and no action. It is serene but detached. One half of Existence is left out.
If we only see the distinctions, there is no spacious awareness or overview. This can lead to reactiveness, and a sense of righteousness, being a victim, hopelessness, anger and blame. Again, one half of existence is left out.
When we see distinctions within the seamless whole, there is overview – and there is engagement.
Notes on Choice and No Choice
There is a form of choice and of conditioning on each level, each looking different at each level…
When awareness is identified with the processes of the personality, it is all conditioned by the processes of this world. There is a sense of choice, but even the decision making process is conditioned.
When awareness awakens, there is a different sense of choice. I can choose how I relate to the inner/outer situation. Even here, there seems to be conditioned residue – from biology, culture and personal experiences.
When awareness awakens as more fully transdual, it goes beyond choice and no choice. There is choice in a certain sense. And there is no choice in a certain sense. There is both, and yet none.