Going to the Land Beyond Belief~Confabulating Oz

Becoming Aware of the Mind, by Andrew Gable

Becoming Aware of the Mind, by Andrew Gable

Thought persists, but does our belief in it, and identification with it, have to continue as a persistent way of living, albeit incoherently? Is there a gap in which to look and see–does thought really tells us the way life is and who we are? Or is it the very thing that creates what life appears to be, and all the changing ideas we have of ourselves?

Inspired by the book, Thought as a System, by David Bohm, I’m proposing opportunities to look as a group at the mechanics of thought, how it both plays tricks and doles out treats—moment by moment.

Thought/mind is a system. It has its fixations, reflexes, coherence and incoherence. It is in cahoots with the body, also part of the reflexive system, that appears to make thoughts evidence of truth, of identity–this opinion is true; it is mine; it is who I am. I know because I feel it.

Thinking in and of itself is not the problem. It’s useful, necessary, and highly creative. But incoherent thinking can be observed, and perhaps in that seeing, become coherent, servant rather than master.

I’m starting a series of group dialogues on the incoherent tendencies of thought and how that incoherence manifests as feeling as if what thought says were true, and seemingly coherent. It can mean the difference between being at war or in peace with ourselves and the world, which are one and the same–in thought.

Attention to thought is not exclusive to nonduality. Where is Buddhism, Christianity, Advaita, Zen, but in the objectifying, the structural nature of thought? Incoherent thinking impacts everything from politics, the environment, world hunger, family, relationship, and my/your life as it is lived day to day.

Perhaps we won’t have so many “problems” to solve, if we are able to watch how the problem is created. This ongoing dialogue could be thought of as a kind of “thinking school,” where the separative, divisive, personalized tendency of thought is seen for what it is, in the crucible of the group, from the premise of inseparability. One mind, not my mind and his/her mind.

There will be three 1 1/2 hr dialogues per week, to accommodate time differences. They will be held on Tuesdays at 9:30 am, and Thursdays at 1:00 pm, and Saturdays at 9:30—all MDT, beginning January 6th, 2015.  The idea is to look at this on a weekly basis until Toto pulls the curtain aside and there is less smoke and mirrors and more-kindly-old-man-from-Kansas running the show. The kingdom of Oz is not———what we think it is.

Having decided that looking at incoherent thought is absolutely separate from and more important than the money charged or the money to be made, I am changing the price structure, literally reducing the cost by over 50%. Because I do have to show up, keep track of who is coming,  send out invites, answer questions, update the website with developments, and other administrative costs, the price has been reduced to $40 per month, for 1 call a week, which will add up to 4 calls per month, 6 hours of dialogue time. depending upon the month. These dialogues will be ongoing, for as long as interest (and/or the tendency towards incoherent thinking) continues.

If interested in exploring and exposing the mechanics of mind through group dialogue, please contact me at Colette.kelso@gmail.com The book, Thought As A System, by David Bohm, is available as a downloadable pdf here–in addition to the link above. More details can be found on the Thinking Dialogues page.

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road ~ eone Film

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road ~ eone Film

 

Specialness: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Snow WhiteWhen you see through the need to be special, no one and no circumstance can hold you hostage. And lo and behold, everyone else appears to be just fine.

But first, you need to look and see, to find, that need. If you’re in conflict with others, it’s there–no matter how humble or self-effacing the facade. Sometimes, those who have a secret not-special identity, and who Ironically tend to be experts at letting others know they’re not special, seem to have the greatest need to be special. It’s just harder to see, harder to find, but running the game (the separation game) nonetheless. Pain is running the game, often disguised as self-assurance, or even arrogance. Spot it; you got it.

People strive to be special simply because they don’t feel special. Those who can’t abide specialness don’t either. Forgive it all.

Specialness is the ultimate gatekeeper, the burly bouncer at heaven’s door. Oneness precludes special. You can’t have both, and there really isn’t both, only the painful illusion of special and not-special. They are the same misapprehension. It hides well, wears many masks. Look for the need to be special, and/or the adverse reaction to seeing it rear its head in others. Specialness is the perennial itch that gnaws, whether you scratch it or pretend it doesn’t exist. It is the pea that keeps the princess/prince in constant discomfort, obscured as it is by so many mattresses.

The need to be special will knock you on your ass, over and over. Or, if you pay it no mind, it will slowly, silently, take down your house like a drywood termite. The false self, this character we play, will always strive to be special, boldly or in stealth, but it will never succeed because it is false; because it is only a character in a short-run play. Because it is not real, even in its most stellar moments.

Postscript: all posts here are written from personal experience. This ain’t book-learnin, nor is it a YouTube-generated epiphany. What I would learn is this: I am neither special or not special, but I have discovered it is a very heavy suitcase to lug around, and when I stop long enough to open it, it is surprisingly empty.

“Specialness is the seal of treachery upon the gift of love.” ~ A Course in Miracles