Seeing ourselves in others ii

There are many flavors of seeing ourselves in others…

At the level of who I am – my human self…

  • I project stories out there – in the wider world, into the past or future
    • There is a mental field overlay, interpreting what is happening, creating scenarios about the future, creating memories of the past. 
    • If I recognize this overlay, it becomes a very helpful tool for my human self to function in the world. (I can recognize this in an immediate way, as it happens.) 
    • If I don’t recognize it as an overlay, I take it as substantial and out there in the world. I take it as true, and act as if it was true. (Inevitably creating problems for myself.) 
  • I project qualities and dynamics out there
    • Whatever qualities and dynamics I see in the wider world – in others, nature, movies – are qualities and dynamics I am familiar with right here. 
    • If I take them as true, I overlook information that doesn’t fit. 
    • If I take them as only out there, I get caught up in blind attractions and aversions. 
    • If I recognize these qualities and dynamics (also) right here, there is a sense of us. I am also less needy, less of a victim. 
    • If I recognize them as stories, I am free to first find in myself what I see out there. And then to see them as innocent questions about others, myself, the world. Maybe they serve as useful temporary guidelines, maybe not. 
  • I project advice out on others
    • Advice comes up 
    • If I see this advice as (only) for others, I get caught up in how they live their lives. 
    • If I see this advice as (also, mainly) for myself, there is a sense of relief and direction. I am relieved because I recognize where the advice belongs. And I have something to work with. A question. Something to explore for myself. A temporary guideline for action. 
And at the level of what I am – that which experience happens within and as…
  • Awake or not
    • When what I am is awake to itself, it recognizes all as already awake. Sometimes, it notices. (When a human self functions within the context of what we are awake to itself.) Sometimes it doesn’t. (When a human self functions within what we are not awake to itself.) The difference may appear significant in a practical way, but it all still happens within and as awakeness. All is already awake, sometimes noticing and sometimes not. 
    • When a human self functions within what we are as not awake to itself, the difference between awake and not may appear more substantial and polarized. Others – and self – appear as awake or not. 
  • Pretending or not
    • When what I am is awake to itself, I recognize that there is – always and already – a pretending to believe in stories. (It is awake emptiness temporarily pretending to believe in stories, so it can experience itself as limited, as an I with an Other.) 
    • When what I am is not awake to itself, believing in stories – whether it happens in this human self or other human selves – appear very real and substantial. 
  • Separate I or not
    • When what I am is awake to itself, there is the recognition that there is no I with an Other anywhere. Even when a human self takes itself to be a separate I, an object in the world, there is no separate I there. 
    • When what I am is not awake to itself, the separate I seem very real and substantial. It is taken as true, so our human self acts as if it is true. 
  • How it is lived
    • When what we are is awake to itself, and these things (and more) are noticed, it can be lived in different ways…
    • At the one hand, we meet people where they are. We take their experience of themselves and the world seriously, since that is where they are. And this includes taking their wishes and desires seriously, and do whatever possible and what seems appropriate to help. (Sometimes, help make it easier for them to be who they temporarily take themselves to be. Other times, help what they are to awaken to itself – if that is their wish.) 
    • At the other hand, we don’t take it all that seriously. There is an immediate recognition that this is already happening as and within awakeness, even when it is experienced differently. There is a temporary pretending to believe in stories. There is a temporary sense of a separate I. And it is all part of the game. It is all part of how God manifests, experiences and explores itself. 

Initial outline…

  • who we are
    • project stories into wider world, past, future, present
      • including of I-Other
    • project qualities and dynamics
    • project advice
  • what we are
    • recognize that all is already awake, whether it notices or not
    • recognize that there is only a pretending to believe in stories, whether noticed or not
    • recognize that there is no I-Other anywhere

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