When a Stranger Calls

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Having witnessed and experienced the brain fog that generally settles back in, both after nondual realization, and seemingly mind-blowing psychedelic trips, yours and mine, the question arises:

What is the nature of the elasticity of mind, the snap-back from the clarity and expansiveness of inseparability, to the inevitable sense of danger and imprisonment of the separate self?

It seems it’s not enough to see, for a shining, clear moment, to know the truth of the inseparability of existence, and the obvious lie of separation and the separate self story. Clarity becomes clouded and troubled, as if the fog of the everyday is real, and the clarity is the illusion. Why and/or how is that?

Mesmerization. The definition of mesmerize is to hypnotize. Hypno=sleep; tize=state. Or to enthrall–to hold in mental bondage. So, mental bondage, or asleep instead of awake. In the case of psychedelics, when the Default Mode Network (DMN) is inhibited, the result is often metanoia, or the “spiritual experience,” the dissolution of limits and boundaries. Having experienced this expansion, why contract back to the default mode of little me, little mind?

The easiest answer is to say, “It is what it is, man,” rather than to make personal, or conceptual, the quirk of mental tyranny. This was the thought that was behind the giving-up-on pointing to the silence behind the mind, rather than fighting the trend. This snap-back tendency seemed just the way of the mind and identity. Wouldn’t the human form that is clucking and pecking like a chicken have some awareness of the confusion of identity? Maybe the hypnotized subject doesn’t have the capacity to snap out of the trance?

The hypnotist creates the illusion of chickenhood in the same way that the mind, the voice to which we listen and unquestionably attend for further instructions, creates the illusion of a separate self trapped in a body, apart from other bodies and minds. Can the false voice be detected before the confusion of identity takes hold again?

The hypnotist/mental narrative simply begins to speak, and we drift off to sleep in a false identity/story. There is an ongoing, repetitive, sonorous, mesmerizing voice in our heads muttering all the time, telling us we are something we are not. If it were truly “my” or “your” voice and thoughts, wouldn’t we choose more liberating and sane thoughts, and less self-deprecating, limiting thoughts?

Why go on listening, believing, conforming to this false narrative, when a cursory investigation, even opening one eye to peek at the source of that voice reveals an unreliable narrator that has taken up residence in our heads, and wants to f**k with us where and as we live.

“We’ve traced the call…it’s coming from inside the house!” is the chilling line from the horror movie, When a Stranger Calls. This is the movie being lived…except that it is a masterwork of fiction. Be entertained, rather than enthralled. You can put down the phone and check to see what’s going on.┬áThe impugning voice can no longer hold you hostage–with a little bit of looking around, in the light of day.

Looking in the Wrong Direction

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The Understandascope, by Michael Leunig

“The refusal to see the snake in the rope is the necessary condition for seeing the rope.”

“Somebody likes a particular concept and passes it on to his disciples, and he gets a following. But with that, they cannot get eternal peace or satisfaction. In order to get that satisfaction, you must find the source of this primary concept “I am.” And once you know that, you can transcend it. Then you do not have anything to tell the world, because the world wants only fragmentary modifications. They want activities. So this knowledge will remain only with yourself, and there will not be any customers for it.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The spiritual marketplace is experience driven. One wants to feel good or just better, get a buzz, an insight, improve the life experience, and most of all, to understand–what cannot be grasped by the mind.

Turn around and see what’s behind it all, prior to experience. You can’t make sense of, or solve a problem within, the context of a dream. There is a whole lot of dream-fixing going on when really,  isn’t it much simpler to simply wake up from the dream? Isn’t manipulating images within the illusions ultimately futile and tiresome? Doesn’t it surprisingly and constantly shift and become something else, requiring more fixing, manipulation, and adjustment?

If I was observing you in the midst of a dream of being chased by a bear, would it make sense to tell you to run faster, or talk about bear safety? Wouldn’t it be kinder to jostle you out of sleep–so you’d just wake up and see there was no bear, literally never had been a threat at all, while you slept?

Can a problem be solved by moving images around or barking orders in a hologram? What does this mean? It is opposite land, literally. Instead of looking “out there” and relating to experience as a problem to solve, or something to find and gain there, how about looking in the opposite direction? The lens of the telescope is what distorts or enhances the experience, is what creates the images with which you seem to struggle. What is behind the lens, and looking through? 

Notice that something is in front of you on the screen now. Before you even read the words, or try to understand what they mean, what you truly need to know, is this awareness that comes to the page, that is already always here. Not one word that you read or see or hear is more important than that awake, alert, awareness that attends to everything that is read or seen or heard. There is no need to read a book about consciousness, or attend a spiritual event, if the awareness that precedes it–as in aware that the book is there in your hand, as in the same awareness of walking into a room and hearing noises, as in this same awareness of the screen in front of you–is simply recognized.

If you don’t come to know that, you will know nothing, no matter how many words you read or hear. If that is seen and brought to the forefront, then the Source of everything is known. What you are precedes all that is experienced. All questions dissolve here, not “out there.” And here and there merge as one.

“Deny illusions, but accept the truth.” ~ A Course in Miracles