Friday, January 29, 2016

Small-Minded Individuals

Christmas window 
Saks Fifth Avenue, New York

A reader asks:

I noticed a strange thing happen ,as some times before ,obviously ,but stronger now.
I noticed I was asleep and I went in direction of thoughts and seeing myself as if from above the planet but for real.
Then I remembered to kind of break that state and go with sensing instead and sensing the body started to "kick off" and then I  noticed as if another "me" struggling to actually impose its fantasy/thoughts of what to do and what  awakening is about and with all the structures of thought or of what I consider my life or me.

Do you know what I mean? I assume the other "thing" is personality(because of the "allness" of what it seemed to think of as "me" or "my world") or mind and not just one "I".

My comment:

We always have multiple beings within ourselves struggling with one another for supremacy. These are small-minded individuals. There is, on top of that, a large small-minded individual. If I become sufficiently aware of the small small-minded individuals, they gradually coalesce into more of a whole who is the large small-minded individual.

 So here you and I are, more or less living in our large small–minded individuals, and attempting to understand where we are. 

That individual uses thinking to try and determine most of what goes on; and indeed, it's useful, because that thinking can lay some intelligent foundations unless it goes into aberrant territory— led either by the emotions, which often delight in dark places, or the body, which only wants pleasures.

 This idea of investment in sensation, if I can remember, is very useful, because over a long period of time I can train the body to think more actively through it. With enough effort, eventually, maybe the body will wake up and my sensation will become more permanent and alive. That would make a difference; this thinking within the large small-minded individual won't. So I need to get over the conviction that the thinking and the impressions the conclusions I draw from them are going to help save me. They are not part of the enemy; there is no enemy. But they are part of a distraction that keeps me from paying attention to the living elements within me that ought to be honored more attentively. I have these many fascinating different living elements in me, each one of which emanates from a spark of divinity; and yet I employ them all willy-nilly, like a village idiot who has been given a fine clock and uses it to prop open the gate on the pigsty.

This is one of the reasons that I find it useful to abandon the interpretive methods and just try to sense life as it comes. Real interpretations of life derive from three centered work; and they are rare enough, and anguishing. All the other interpretations are fantastic inventions, as you observed here. Fantastic inventions have layers; and each successive layer pasted on top of the prior one gives the illusion of superiority. In a certain way, without devaluing the facts of life, one has to abandon the illusions of superiority for a comprehensive understanding of inferiority of everything that arises within me, here on this level. 

I use the word inferior not to mean substandard, but below. That is, everything here happens below a higher level which is quite different than the layers of fantasy which gets stacked up in me. 

That higher level has an objective nature which I am alienated from.

Well, I think I have gone on enough about this. You get the idea.


Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.

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