Friday, August 24, 2012
Wait and See
Some of the urges are pretty simple; another cup of coffee, food, a wish to get some small but unpleasant task out of the way quickly. But other urges arise in the face of more difficult challenges: an argument with a loved one, a difficult child, an inappropriate (or even perhaps appropriate, yet distressing) impulse towards anger.
If I watch this action, I see impulses arriving constantly. The entire machine is driven by these things, which arise physically (hunger, for example) emotionally (desire for some serene state that isn't actually attainable) or intellectually (inner arguments and rationalizations.) The machine is cranking it out, 24/7. Even in my dreams, I think these impulses routinely arise as motive forces.
The origin of the word impulse can imply an inward or outward origin of motive force: Latin impellere, from in—"toward" and "pellere"—to drive. Or, conversely, Latin impulsus, outward pressure.
I usually perceive the pressure, the impulse, the motive force as coming from outside me, but I think all of the motive forces, when I examine them in detail, are actually inner forces. The outer forces exist, but they don't have a propulsive quality unless I allow them to. When I am passive, in an inner sense, I fail to make the choice to be active in regard to objects, events, circumstances and conditions. Being active doesn't consist of what I think it consists of; being active is seeing them, initially (immediately) understanding that they exist, and that I exist, and that we are not identical, but in relationship. I say initially or immediately because I mean, in the moment, that is, now. Understanding this must, of necessity, be instantaneous, that is, organic and unmediated.
If I see that we (my Self, as opposed to outer objects, events, circumstances, and conditions) are not identical, but in relationship, my inner state in relationship to the outer conditions may change. In other words, I may discover a more proprietary relationship to my inner condition. I see the inner state, as well, instead of automatically enslaving it to every outer impulse.
Well, there's no easy way here. I make it too technical; perhaps I think about it and try to analyze it. A good deal of that seems to go on.
Nonetheless, one thing is certain. If I stop, I watch, I observe what is taking place in me—I see how confusing the whole thing is. In attempting to establish relationship, getting into touch with my inner conditions, I reached the conclusion that perhaps I should just wait and see.
This is much against my inner impulse. Every urge creates a reciprocal and immediate desire in me to react. If I have a fight with someone, I want to fix it right away, or revenge myself on them. Childish, I know, but that's how things function in me. If I disagree, I want to either win the argument or repair it by finding common ground. If I find a yellow jacket's nest, rather than walking by carefully and quietly, I'm tempted to destroy it, without regard for the fact that they could well sting me, or that I am disrupting their happy lives, which they have a perfect and well-defended right to.
So the temptation in me is to always meddle, instead of waiting and seeing.
There's a great merit in stopping; in waiting and seeing. I find that so many things fix themselves if I don't mess around with them. It makes me wonder why the impulses to do otherwise in me are so strong. I suppose that it's the attachment; that kind of attachment is formed from a relatively coarse understanding and relationship, which is reflexive in me.
When I seek something finer, it always seems to suggest that perhaps waiting and seeing would make more sense. And often, it does.
I respectfully hope you will take good care.