A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yes and no

"There is only complete simplicity: an openness, a consent, to letting happen what will happen, and to letting the misconceptions fall away."

David Carse, Perfect Brilliant Stillness, p. 125

Allowing what is in this moment.  Surrender.  Alignment.  Flow.  Oneness with the movement of the Totality.

Consent.  Welcoming what is.  Making friends with the present moment.  Non-resistance.

Sounds good, but....how many times do I bump into the slightest glitch in my day and instantly exclaim, "No!"  The "no!" to any unpleasant occurrence is interesting to watch.  Muddy shoes on the carpet? In the same instant they're seen the reactive "no!" arises.  A hundred times a day there is the inner bracing against what is, there is the knee-jerk response of "this is unpleasant and I don't like it."

It's amazing to begin to become conscious of the amount of  resistance to what is.  And to see how much stress this resistance to what is creates.

It's as if the light of awareness were sunlight spreading over an inner landscape that had previously been in darkness.

I see the resistance to what is and I don't want to plaster "consent" on top of my feelings of resistance and aversion.  I don't want to pretend to surrender when every fiber of my being shouts "no!".  I want to be honest with myself.  I can see that all the resistance to what is creates feelings of misery.  But the resistance seems natural and automatic, so what alternative is there?  How can I "not resist" what I resist?

Let me look freshly at this whole dynamic of rejecting or accepting what happens.

What happens happens, with or without my consent.  Without my consent, what happens can feel like slamming into a brick wall.  With consent, that very same happening may feel like a joyful and flowing dance.

My consent, my willingness, my acceptance is the one vital, indefinable thing I have to give to this life,  to "what happens."

How does this work when I feel the knee-jerk lack of consent to every unpleasant happening, whether small or large?

Consent does not come from the ego, but from a deeper level of being than the ego.

Is it possible to say "yes" to the "no" of the ego?  In other words, is it possible to accept all the painful non-acceptance that arises to the glitches of an ordinary day?  Who says "yes" to the "no" of the ego?  I do. The deeper me which is the conscious space of being. I actually feel this inner tilt from no to yes, from resistance to acceptance.  There is a sense of stepping outside the thought of "no!" and being the quiet, intelligent awareness that surrounds the thought. There's a sense of the field of conscious awareness enlarging, in the same way that the view of the earth expands when a plane gains altitude.

The conditioned response of "no!" to those muddy shoes is strong and it is allowed to be. Can I be the space for this? (Eckhart Tolle recommends asking this question.)  Can I be the space for conditioned reactivity?  Can I be the space for feelings of irritation?  Can I be the space for this non-spiritual and negative Colleen?  Can I be the space for the shoes on the carpet?  Can I be the space for what arises in this moment, whatever it may be?

After asking the question there is a gap of openness.

Wow! Space is here! For all of it. For everything. Space has always been here.  Now I see it!  Now I am it. Yes, I can be the space for muddy shoes on the carpet, I can be the space for feelings of irritation, I can be the space for beleaguered Colleen, that poor ego trying so hard for years to become enlightened when the ego can never be enlightened.

Whenever there is consent for even the least unpleasant occurrence, there has been a shift from ego-identity to deeper being. There has been a shift from thought to awareness. The ego is incapable of saying "yes" to anything unpleasant; when the ego says "yes" to something unpleasant it is faking it.  I have felt this many times!  My ego says, "yes, those muddy shoes on the carpet are just great" and the ego is lying through its teeth and this is clearly felt as the horrible inner split of inauthenticity.

In authentic consent, there has been a shift from being identified-as-resistance to being identified-as-awareness.  Identified as the space of awareness in which the resistance and everything else occurs.

Consent itself is a bridge from the superficial self to the deeper self. The deeper self is the no-self of aware space or presence. Consent is a bridge from object consciousness to space consciousness (see p. 227 of A New Earth). Consent is a bridge from ego to essence, from knowing to not knowing, from form to formlessness. Consent is the thump of power at the heart of each person. Consent is the inborn vitality that is accessed in any moment we live as a Yes! to life.



roseduncan said...

Shoes on the carpet. Love that. And the muddy tracks they leave behind too. All the debris that litters our day. All the stress. Hard to let go of it, really virtually impossible. Still always worth trying, as you remind me.

Colleen Loehr said...

Does the stress come from the muddy shoes on the carpet, or from my thoughts about the muddy shoes on the carpet? And is there any way for a miserable thought to be present without me feeling miserable?

Can a miserable thought be present and can there be a part of me that feels, "Oh, another miserable thought. The mind clunks out umpteen miserable thoughts per hour, isn't that interesting." When I let stressful thoughts be without taking them terribly seriously, I feel less stressed. At least sometimes. The anatomy of unhappiness...An ongoing investigation. Thanks much for your comment Naomi, the fun of blogging is all these interchanges that are triggered. Now I'm off to visit your blog. Colleen

Alton said...

Hi Colleen and friends:

In each moment that I am not lost in thought, I am creating a program, that when accomplished, will allow the mind to abide in an eqanimous state. Mindfulness is the program creator, therefore mindfulness is now what I worship. If I react and notice my reactions as they happen, I am able to stay centered loving and present.

Much aloha,

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Alton,
Thank you for your comments. There is freedom in not being lost in thought, as you point out. It's good to see you. Namaste, Colleen

DirectSpirit said...

Colleen, you said: "I can see that all the resistance to what is creates feelings of misery. But the resistance seems natural and automatic, so what alternative is there? How can I 'not resist' what I resist?"

This is Wonderful! Example: I let atheistic YT'ers get to me, and rather than accepting what is, I EXCEPT what is! I could just leave them in the midst of their own misunderstanding about theism, but I don't. I fight them. It seems natural and automatic to argue. They insist on notions of an omnipotent god. (How ironic, an atheist insisting on a particular notion of god!) I resist just letting it go... I resist surrendering and I indulge by engaging. Why? But I have made progress! I no longer get upset. When their arguments are blocked at every turn, they start to get frustrated and start into personal attacks. "HOW THICK-HEADED ARE YOU? HOW INGORANT ARE YOU?" I've made progress in that my emotions don't respond. I guess that's progress! Aloha!

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Aliman,
I'm happy to see you and I'm looking forward to visiting your website soon. What are YT'ers (You Tubers?)? I love the play on words from ACCEPT to EXCEPT, which are nearly homonyms. We all have things that "push our buttons" and it is fascinating to watch the whole process. Usually I'm so caught up in the reactivity that there is not much witnessing presence. But it is possible to notice the vastness outside the mind-noise and become an observer, as I'm sure you have experienced. I think it is progress that you don't get emotionally upset when a disagreement atheistic YT'ereaches the point of name-calling. Actually there's no real "progress" (words are always somewhat misleading), but there is a kind of erosion of investment in the egoic identity, and so thoughts lose their power to cause distress. Thanks so much for your comment! Colleen


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