Insight — Outsight — Insight is the ability to see self, other, and the world with non‐judgemental clarity. With clarity one is freed to act instead of blame.
Have you purchased my last book, Half Asleep in the Buddha Hall? If not, it would make an amazing Holiday Present!
The Zen of Letting Go
Well, we’re whipping right along here! Two more articles in this series, and then we shall see where we go from here. Now is a good time to drop me an e‐mail or leave a comment on the BLOG, and let me know if you have topics you’d like to see.
Anyway, today we’re at Chakra 6, located between the eyebrows, at the spot commonly called the Third Eye. Being of a practical sort, I’m not much into woo woo, New Age sort of stuff around what might be thought of as “psychic phenomena,” which often gets connected to this Chakra. I’m going to skip the “Read your auras, talk to your dead grandmother” stuff for others, simply because I’m not interested.
As many of you know, Darbella and I have been working on a new Website, and it’s going to be done soon! It will be a membership site, teaching Meditation, Qi Gong, Breathwork, Stretching, and Zen Living. The whole thing is video based.
I did a video called, “Increasing Insight,” and I decided to include it here, sort of as a teaser for the new site, and because it addresses the 6th Chakra.
If you’re reading this article in an e‐mail, or likely through a feed reader, you’ll likely need to go to the BLOG itself to watch. You can click here.
Anyway, whether you watched or not, I’d like to suggest that the 6th Chakra moves us even further along the developmental curve—past the physical as represented by security, relationships, and self‐knowing, (Chakras 1 — 3) through to compassion and vocation, (Chakra 4) and to the power of expression (Chakra 5).
The 6th moves us into the interface between what we can know through evidence, and what we know intuitively, or through insight.
And outsight (my new word from the video.)
Insight and outsight have to do with “feeling our way” through material that has little to do with black and white thinking. We might call this feeling a “felt sense.” It’s sometimes a voice, sometimes a picture or movie (the 6th Chakra has as it‘s organs the brain, neurological system, eyes, ears, nose, pituitary, pineal glands.)
Insight is all about learning about yourself, at a deep level. And the most important learning is to stop defending yourself.
Specifically, stop defending what isn’t working.
Part of the “game” is to identify the “voices in our heads.” Our upbringing has embedded in us what might be thought of as the “parent voice.” This voice is also called the ego voice, and there was more on this in the Heart Chakra article 2 weeks ago.
This parental voice typically has two flavours of message:
1) You screwed up again! and
2) If only you’d try harder, you could be perfect.
These messages repeat endlessly, and all that changes are the details—the topic, the situation or person, etc.
Another flavour of this voice is the critic
This is the voice of blame that finger‐points it’s way through life. There are two tones:
1) the shrill version, “You are such a loser! If it wasn’t for you, I’d be happy!” and
2) the melancholy version, “Sigh. I’m so unhappy with you right now. My whole life has been a fruitless, sad and empty search for someone who would do things my way, out of love.”
Insight is another voice altogether
This is the voice that blames no one‐ not self, not other. This voice “sees clearly,” and proposes solutions. And what sets this insight voice apart is that the solution is something you can do differently, right now. Or, it’s a suggestion for how to state what is going on, right now. Insight has absolutely nothing invested in being right, in blaming, or in clinging.
Thus, Insight is Non‐attached
Non‐attachment is the ability to let what is be what is, to experience it fully and deeply, and to let it go. It’s not trying to hold on to anything — to people, to situations, to feelings. It’s moment‐by‐moment awareness.
OK, weird word. But what I’m trying to get across is that the second part of our job, at Chakra 6, is to figure out the world. I know. It sounds like I’m contradicting myself. But notice: I did not say “judge the world.”
Figuring out the world is to stop being naive, to stop stomping our feet, and to see that “the world as it is, is the world as it is.” The gift of outsight is the gift of practical awareness. “This is how it is, until it isn’t.”
Now, this is not about giving your blessing to the crap going on. It’s acknowledging, first of all, that crap exists, and then, doing something about it by chaning the only thing you can—what you are doing ! This takes us back to Chakra 5.
In a more personal way, the same thing applies to dealing with one’s significant other. I want to be perfectly aware that my partner is my partner. Outsight allows me to see my partner clearly, non‐judgementally, without attachment to changing or fixing. Seeing clearly means that I not only have a clear view of what is going on, but have curiosity rather than trying to “make it all better” by changing the other person.
Insight and Outsight
Both are about seeing clearly. Knowing both who I am and how the world works. Moment by moment, I gain knowledge about self and other, from a place of wisdom. Wisdom helps me to be present with what is, to stop wasting time trying to force change, and to carefully and clearly choose what I will do next.
This week, notice what lies beneath what you see
Notice the stories that first pop into your head—the ones about blame and force, and coercion, the ones about how badly you’ve been treated. Take a step back, and look clearly. See how things are unfolding, and see if you can find an alternative that helps you to be more direct, yet compassionate in your response.
Next week, we conclude this series with the Crown Chakra.