Pragmatics of inquiry

 

The reasons for doing inquiry, and specifically the work, include…

  • To see what is already more true for us than the initial belief
  • To become more familiar with the dynamics of beliefs (attaching to a story, taking it as substantial and an absolute reality and truth) and so also the mechanisms of samsara
  • And to find peace with what is

But it also has a very pragmatic side, in conventional terms, which is of course why many do it.

I find for myself, over and over, and most recently this evening, how inquiry helps shift…

  • At the head center
    • From being confined to the inside of the story to an open landscape where the initial story is a small part
    • From rigidity to fluidity of views (able to see the truth in the reversals of the initial belief or identity)
    • From identification to disidentification
    • From taking the story and some objects of the story as an I to seeing it as a me or an it (subject to object, or first to second or third person)
  • At the heart center
    • From a closed to an open heart, towards myself, others and life
  • At the belly center
    • From emotional reactivity to neutrality or a sense of nurturing fullness
  • At each center, or emerging from the combination
    • From confusion to clarity
    • From drama to ease
    • From separation to intimacy with oneself, others, life
    • From a split to a seamless terrain
    • From aversion to sympathy
    • From judgment to recognition, finding in myself what I see in others
    • From war to peace with what is and particular stories about it (the reversals of the initial belief)
    • From fighting to joining with what is and particular stories about it (the reversals)
    • From a deepening sense of I and Other to what holds and embraces both

And each of these, which are aspects of the same process, have a tangible and practical effect on my daily life.

When I am caught up on the inside of a story, I create a prison for myself which hinders my view and actions, and the drama, struggle and confusion created by the belief does not help the situation. I am caught up in rigid views, possibilities and actions and act from contraction and confusion, so my actions are not likely to be very effective, have the outcome I desire, or be aimed at an outcome I would want when there is more clarity. In addition, the struggle drains energy so there is less available. Or it may bring about a compulsiveness which initially may seem very energetic, but then leads to a crash.

When there is a release from the attachment to the story, the landscape opens up, I am free to the see grain of truth in the reverse stories and identities, and there is a sense of ease, clarity and naturalness which opens up for more effective solutions and actions in the world. It opens for more clarity about goals and strategies, and the clarity and energy to engage in it in a steady way.

So say I have the story that people should not lie, someone does, and it impacts my business adversely. If I am strongly caught up in the story about it, there is a volatile fog of emotional reactivity, rigid views, self-righteousness, aversion, and more. I may get mired in the dust cloud and prevent myself from acting. And when I act, it may be rash or from reactivity, so the outcome is not likely to be all that good for those involved. At the very least, it will create ill-feelings and a memory which my attention will return to in an attempt to resolve and find peace with it.

If there is more clarity around that story, and what is more true for me, I can act from clarity, empathy and a sense of ease, which is far more likely to bring about a situation that is more satisfactory for everyone involved.

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