Let's breed bliss.
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
We are taught to reject ourselves by others who have rejected themselves before us. We agree to their beliefs before we are experienced enough to develop our own, or to understand that we have no need for beliefs. We hear a lot of "no" as we grow up, most if not all of which come from fears we do not share.
As we learn to reject ourselves and deny our instincts and intuitions to love and play and connect, we develop mental characters who continually judge and blame and shame us for our actions. We develop a victim within who accepts these judgments, this blame and shame. The victim within seeks praise and success and progress to balance the scales of judgment. This balancing act often distracts us from becoming who we are. It keeps us wrapped up and rapt in samsara—the cycle of birth and death. We become hopeless, trapped in inward spirals of self-rejection, seeking reprieve, solace, privacy, peace.
The cure for self-rejection is acceptance: inward, outward, wide, and deep. If we first accept our innate ignorance, and do not fear it, we have no need for beliefs to mask and spackle the gaps in our understanding of who we are, how we got here, or what to do about it. Acceptance sweeps away judgment, blame and praise, shame and regret, hatred and longing.
Acceptance primes us for bliss and fuels the love we crave to share.
We live here and now, always have, always will. We have never experienced tomorrow or yesterday, only today. We have never been elsewhere.
And yet our minds are capable of transporting us through space and time to past and future moments near and far. We imagine myriad other moments, circumstances, situations, and possible events, ostensibly with the goal of becoming happier, healthier, or better. We build expectations for moments to come that rarely if ever are fulfilled. We drag around doubts and worries woven of the splintered fibers of unmet expectations; we tow weighty, abrasive tapestries of disappointment.
If we can agree that bliss is our aim, can we then ask whether these exercises in spacetime travel serve us? When has worry or hurry brought us closer to bliss? When has an expectation enhanced your enjoyment of any moment? I come up empty on this line of inquiry.
Here we are: ignorant, spun of love, alone together, experiencing this moment from innumerable aspects at once, yet only aware of the one perspective that is uniquely yours or mine.
We can shift our singularly focused attention away from what is real. Leaving the here and now, we can tilt inward toward a projection of how it could have been or could someday be that we can only experience indirectly with our imagination.
Or we can relax into our innate ignorance and accept, embrace, and enjoy what we experience with gratitude and loving kindness. This is the choice we have in every new moment: accept or reject, leave or stay, phoneface or meatspace.
Typically we enter the human experience with all the faculties we will need to be, know, enjoy ourself. Along with self-rejection we are also taught that there is an imperceivable layer or dimension of meaning on reality. This layer comprises concepts, thus it is conceivable and conceptual, rather than perceivable or perceptual. The body perceives, but can only conceive more bodies. The mind can conceive but cannot perceive. Concepts are made of symbols and/or signs which denote or indicate meaning. Concepts allow us to separate our conceived self (the mind, the part of us who says "I think") from our experience of being. Without a mind, we can conceive of "this" only as being, meaning a complete sense and perception of the moment. By populating our environment with demarcated and named objects, we use a layer of signs and symbols to separate our mind from the world. With a name an object (the figure) becomes separate from us (the subject) and from the rest of the environment (the background).
Take for example the concept of two. Two can be marked as 2 or two or with any two objects — ·· — like two dots. Two as a concept can be applied to a wide range of sensory experiences, whenever there are echoes in the vibratory field of Being. Allowing our mind to objectify yanks us out of the field and leaves us dizzied, separate, and swimming in it.
Many beings having a human experience learn to conceive of a rich verbal-mental dimension. We demarcate, label, and objectify our experience of being so intricately that they become utterly lost in a stormy sea of objects. We feel isolated even among other subjects, of whom we cannot help but conceive as objects. We are quickly bewildered at the harrowing complexity we have invited into their minds, and, identifying as our minds, we see no escape. We sleep each night and lose our minds to return to the source and heart of Being. But as we awaken we dutifully don our minds to think our way through the day.
Wearing our minds, we experience being as a verbal-mental script. "I am awake. What time is it? Oh, I had better get up or I'll be late. I have an early meeting and the kids need to take a lunch today." For many of us, our minds distract us from the truth of being nearly every waking minute.
You may have heard talk of enlightenment. The simplest method of experiencing enlightenment that I have found is to pause one's mind. If we can pause our minds voluntarily and for significant spans of moments, we feel enlightened. When I pause my mind, I can feel an enormous weight fall away as the signified targets of so many objectifying concepts reintegrate into a singular focused experience of Being.
Learning to drop the conceptual layer, the verbal-mental script, is a key step toward liberation, toward the experience of unitary bliss.
We mold our experience of this perpetual now, this moment we continue to experience differently, by setting our intent and directing the focus of our attention. Our most fundamental sense of consciousness is affinity. We feel drawn toward some experiences and repelled from others. If we attend — etymologically "stretch to"— what we feel drawn toward, we feel better. If we attend what repulses us, we feel worse. Affinity is the emotional magnetism
This perpetual now, this moment we experience differently over and over, offers us a binary choice: accept or reject, allow or resist. Accepting what is brings us ease and peace, while rejecting what is causes us to suffer. Even when what we reject is something of which we conceive as unpleasant, rejection brings us suffering whereas acceptance does not. Pain only causes suffering when we reject it or resist it.
True responsibility arises only when we stop grasping for illusions, acknowledge what we can and cannot change, and plant our feet firmly in the fertile soil of compassion. Otherwise responsibility yields rotten fruit, fertilized by the manure of judgment, ready to drop into the undergrowth to sow seeds of self-rejection and delusion.
You can change your mind, and I can change mine. Asking for consent acknowledges this incontrovertible truth. Would you like to walk with me? Can I hug you? Would you put your trust in me?
When we drop the illusions of self that originate in coerced beliefs, we find ourselves frighteningly free, like a flightless bird high in the sky.