It seems obvious to me that most people don’t know what to do next. There is a lot of confusion regarding how and why we should proceed as individuals and communities. Sure, if you ask around, or look online, there seems to be a lot of certainty about what is right, or what constitutes progress. We sound sure of our investments, our systems, our plans, and while our futures aren’t collectively assured, there is a rising sentiment that the status quo will suffice. You grit your teeth, hold on to your seat and enjoy the ride.
I think the dominant belief is that with enough money, we’ll be ok. With everyone else being on their own. It does sometimes appear that the rich have better chances than the poor, and the attractive will win out over the ugly.
But I’m going to challenge all of you, to stop for a minute and look at yourself. Get real for a moment. How confident are you in it all? Stop listening to whomever is making noise in whatever room you’re in. Maybe it’s a human, or the TV, someone talking at you on youtube. Turn it off or just stop processing the language. Listen to the hum. Listen to the vibration of the world. Is everything alright?
How you feel when you do this will tell a lot about your chances of survival in the next moment. Never mind the stretch of time that will encapsulate the rest of your life. Listen up! For a minute or two. What concerns you? If the immediate realization is that you need to pee, go do it and start over. Your spirit will tell you what’s important. I’m not asking you to read a book, a blog, or a newspaper. No great song or poem will really convey the truth that your own awareness can do.
What worries you? Is it a lack of money? Maybe you’ve got plenty, but are afraid of losing it. Do you need somewhere to hide it? Do you need somewhere to hide? Maybe it’s hunger. Can you afford to buy the food, and if not, do you know where you can get some anyway? Where would you find it? What would you need to kill to satisfy your need?
Maybe things aren’t so dire. Do you need love? Or the love you had is leaving? Is someone dying? Is it you or someone else? Do you fear for the lives of children?
There are a lot of things that go unsolved moment to moment. And when we quell these fears, the hunger and the wish for love, they always come back. Spend some time underwater. Give it a whole minute. Most of us can’t do it. The thirst for consciousness itself will send us thrashing and fighting for the surface.
What shall be done?
There is a technique in the battle against addiction that some call ‘urge surfing.’ The idea is when we crave the relief something can bring, which we’re avoiding, we lean in to the urge. We feel the feeling of wanting and ride it like a wave. A wave can be scary when it’s coming for you. It can easily take you under and turn you upside down, filling your pockets with sand and your eyes with salt. But if you get ahead of it and go with it, you can ride it.
I can’t suggest every possible craving one might suffer. But they’re all versions of the same thing. Something you think you need in the next moment to get ahead of the dread, fear, sadness, thirst. What if you rode the wave of thirst? Go thirstier than you thought was possible. You can’t fast forever. Especially when dealing with water, air and food. Food is earth if you noticed these were basic elements. How would you fast from fire?
I don’t know but fire is something so enticing to some it can create a mania. The urge to burn the burnable can become so strong that the guy wants to burn it all. I’ve seen it. They’ll build elaborate temples and towering effigies only to burn them down, satisfying their death wish. A bold attempt at satisfaction through simulating self-annihilation.
I don’t know anything about the fire-death-wish. I got sidetracked. I’m just saying that there is a form of satisfaction that comes from self-denial. Not disagreeing-with-yourself, but the denial of satisfying the urge. Surfing the urge. Like letting the cannibanoids and the alcohols purge from the body, and experiencing the resultant clarity. Going without money for a time and seeing the miracle first-hand: that it is not needed. Sleeping on the cold ground, and having the best night’s sleep of your life. These are just a few examples of the possibilities. Another one is to forgo that high speed jet or train, and walk.
You’ve heard that the universe is made of rhythm and vibration, yeah? It’s all energy pulsing and creating the effect of hardness, softness, liquidness, and such? I don’t claim to understand the math, but I know the theory that time is relative, that acceleration affects the duration of time to the observer and the accelerated mind. Well, I’ll add that this can be experienced at speeds much slower than light-speed, which is convenient because we have access to a lot of lower speeds. If you walk one-hundred miles your perception of time will shift dramatically. The slower speed heightens perception. If you look out the window of a train, things go by fast. And if you focus on your own reflection in the window, the world outside becomes a blur while your reflection seems to be still for as long as you look. You could stick your tongue out at yourself and pretend to be Einstein.
But if you walk, or crawl, the opposite of that blurry world happens. It comes into sharp temporal focus. You don’t miss details that you would from the train. You might notice a snail in your path, experiencing the world in even slower more acute detail. I think this is sufficient.
We’re all addicted to different things as humans. I’ve got the things that I like, and you’ve got yours. What is it that makes addictions destructive? A lot. But I think I’m on to something here where I want to put focus. It’s the frequency. The high frequency of exposure limits our attention and appreciation for the details. If I drink 24 beers a day, it’s like staring at myself in the window of the train. The world becomes a blur. Many things of value are missed. If I have one beer per year, a much slower rate, than I catch a lot more details in the world around me. My appreciation for those things increases.
Forget alcohol. I ‘never’ touch the stuff. Or one might say I’ve dramatically reduced my rate of intake to zero per several years. How about air? If I’m at thirty breaths per minute, I’m having a pretty steady supply. The world is passing by at a comfortable pace. But if I slowed down? Ten breaths per minute. One breath per minute. The world gets slower, and more precious. The urge to breath increases. I want to live. Desperately. Nothing else matters. Just one more breath of sweet consciousness is all I want. Synonymous with life. The purity and clarity of the moment sets in. The background of this experiment becomes the most beautiful sight imaginable, mundane as it may be during normal breathing time.
As a person, you’ve got some control over the frequency and speed with which you take in experience. I don’t know that wealth, fears, or desires are ‘bad.’ But I have a growing awareness that frequency of intake affects the experience of life itself. And perhaps this is why ancient and modern humans have spoken disparagingly of ‘greed.’ The desire for more, and sooner. We don’t like when we see greed in others. It’s difficult to place exactly why. Does the greedy person’s high rate of consumption decrease access for ourselves? It seems so, but that isn’t always the case.
What it is, maybe, is the contrast between the high level of appreciation in the slow partaker versus the dissatisfaction of the high frequency partaker. It’s quite observable that the rich, the fat, the drunk, the socially and sexually satiated can be somewhat annoying in what we often perceive as smugness, or self-satisfaction. They seem to have it all, yet there is a discernible scorn toward the rest of the world that doesn’t sit well with the others. There is stratification in our social hierarchies and they aren’t as simple as “haves & have nots.” That is some of it, but there is something else. There is also “appreciates and appreciates not.”
When you take a breath, or a walk, or a dive into the unknown, do you appreciate, or appreciate not? Is the frequency of your action putting reality into greater focus and clarity, or do things get more distorted? I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this. Maybe the motion blur in the side window is your reason for living. Fine. Just remember, there are those taking it slow all around. They like the focus of low frequency. Don’t go smashing into them as you push closer to light speed.