Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Perception determines Reality

Freedom is possible. I know this because reality is free. How is reality free? Reality is mutable, creative, nebulous, contingent, turbulent, and uncertain. It is free.

I have an act, and that act is "I'm trapped." I've spent much of my life acting out that script, doing my best to avoid being trapped, or, finding myself trapped by my circumstances, either doing battle, making the best of it, or on the rare occasion, indulging in self-pity. And its all bullshit.

I am my own jailer. I hold the keys to my own freedom, but I often cling to an illusion that keeps me trapped. And the way I trap myself is by insisting that who I am is a fixed thing that exists independent of reality and the conditions of reality.

Who I am is not a thing. I am not a chair. You cannot take me out of the dining room or the office and put me out on the lawn and say "This is Kay the chair." If you take a chair apart, bit by bit, piece by piece, at some point the assemblage of parts is no longer a chair-object, but the potential of one. But I cannot be disassembled. My parts do not have existence independent of each other, nor do I exist independent of my experience of reality.

Who I am is not an object that exists independent of the conditions of reality. My ego thinks that independence is freedom...that seeking to separate or differentiate myself from others, from reality, etc will set me free. But that is foolishness. Isolated and alienated self-centeredness is not freedom. It is aversion. It is desperate clinging to a static vision of self and world. It is avoiding acceptance and understanding of Reality, of What Is, and of my intrinsic connectedness to everything.

What can I do to remind myself that I am both free and interconnected? By practicing awareness of the freedom present in each moment, by permitting myself to experience each moment authentically and by responding spontaneously to each moment of my experience without trying to force myself or reality to fit some idea I have of how it should be.

When I am in that place, I cannot help but be filled with wonder and awe at the beauty and mystery of it all. Reality and my experience of it are numinous and intrinsically ineffable, and I am free to question, so long as I do not insist on answers. When I am content to question and let the question go without requiring an answer, when I am content to act without needing things to work out a certain way, when I do not allow my fear of uncertainty to prevent me from acting, then I know I am free. And that feeling of freedom and connectedness and awe, that is powerfully inspiring to me.

Now how do I communicate that to someone who is in the deepest, darkest depths of despair? How do I inspire to live a person who cannot accept reality as it is, who rejects it so deeply, so viscerally, that she tried to kill herself? How do I help her see that her trap is not real, but a matter of perception, and that she can set herself free simply by choosing it?

I am free. I want to inspire her to realize the possibility of freedom for herself. But I am very attached to this--I want it very badly. I want her to live. How do I distinguish between clinging/ attachment--between my own agenda and my own rejection of her reality--and accepting where she is now and acting out of my commitment to help her realize her own potential for freedom? Especially when I am afraid to say the wrong thing? Simply because an outcome is possible does not mean it is probable. I want to take a possibility, a potential, and make it a probability, a certainty. I am determined to find a way to present Life to her as an opportunity, rather than as the trap she perceives it to be. And so I will. And so I will.

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Anonymous SacredTouch said...

To be free in the present moment with someone involves bearing all possible responses and reactions, moment by moment, including silence. To be there for someone, wherever there is, especially for someone in the depths of suicidal despair, requires patience above all, as well as a willingness to speak from the heart, about your own experience, in relation to the conversation (however minimal) that arises moment by moment out of the space you make for the encounter. Beyond this, I cannot think of what else to say, except to ask: are you prepared to face the realization of total freedom from your encounter - or your encounters?

- SacredTouch

5:34 AM, May 01, 2008  

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