A Reason For Being — one of the hardest lessons to learn is that your reason for being is just another story you’re telling yourself
Sooo… 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of this blog. I don’t have the exact start date, but it’s been a journey.
Back in 2013 I retired, and Darbella and I have been travelling since. I’ve kept up a close to biweekly writing schedule.
But now, it’s time to bring The Pathless Path to an end.
This has been a mixed decision, as some of you have been around since the beginning, and many of you are faithful readers. People like my buddy Bill Bontrager have become great Internet friends.
On the other hand, the well is running dry. I’ve said and re-said what I believe to be so, and nothing convinces me that there is more to like than what you’ll read below. We tell ourselves stories, and that keeps us from being present in the only reality there is.
I don’t have an exact “last article date,” but it will be this month or next.
I wish all of you well on your journey into self-responsibility!
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Back in the early days of Into the Centre I used the following quote as the basis for an article:
The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice.
And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice,
there is little we can do to change.
Until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.
The person who introduced me to this quote attributed it to R.D. Laing. I later purchased the book it was supposed to be in, and couldn’t find the quote there.
Anyway, I really like this quote. In fact, reminding myself of the “truth” of this quote is key for staying on track with my life.
So, here’s what I think.
All of us have blinders on. As we’ve endlessly discussed, we’ve been conditioned by our society to do certain things, think certain things and take certain approaches when dealing with our issues and problems.
The “fail to notice” part is our unconscious resistance to that which is outside of our “comfort box.” For example, if we are used to a Western medical approach, we will have a “blind spot” to alternatives such as Bodywork or Chinese Medicine. On the other hand, it would be equally “blind” to only consider and use “Eastern” approaches.
Many moons ago I had a client who came in to have her “affirmations” fixed. She had been to a ton of “New Age” crap-filled seminars, and thought that, with just the right affirmation, she could have what she wanted.
Here is what she wanted: She wanted to have an affair with her carpenter, and wanted her husband and kids not only to be OK with this, but to actively help her make it perfect. Her belief was that, with the right affirmation, all of this would just magically happen.
She “failed to notice” that her family believed something else entirely, and that “something” could break her family apart.
I described my beliefs to her. I said that self-responsibility meant that she could have her carpenter (literally and figuratively) or she could have her family. She’d have to choose. And choice meant giving something up.
That was outside of her “belief box.”
I don’t think I’d be overstating the case to say, any time I have a “problem,” it’s because I’m failing to notice something.
When, for example, I did Bodywork, I was not thinking, “This is the be-all and end-all of life.” I believe that seeing how someone carries stress and blockages in their body indicates one part of their “life-story.” Bodywork is an indicator, and a powerful one.
It is one way of looking at the BodyMindSpirit… it’s just not the only way.
It’s like that Indian story of the group of blind men who happen upon an elephant. The guy holding the trunk says, “An elephant is like a hose.” The man holding the tail says, “It’s like a rope.” The man at the side says, “It’s like a wall.” The man holding the leg says, “It’s like a tree trunk.”
All are right, and all, like us, “fail to notice” that which is just beyond their reach. When we do not notice, we are as blind and the blind.
Which is why, I guess, I combine so many things into my life-beliefs. I explore philosophy, and I explore tribal conditioning. I explore communication, and explore what all of us are not saying.
I work at finding ways to physically express emotions, rather than following the typical approach of stuffing them, or dumping them over others through blame. And decidedly, I’m asking myself, “What, given my own blind spots (my “failing to notice,”) am I missing? What more can I discover?”
I’ve quoted from the work of Stewart Wilde, who repeatedly says,
“The way it is, is the way it is.”
To which I add,
“And the way it is, is often not as it first appears.”
“The way it is, is the way it is” is a gentle, non-attached position, taken from Taoism. It is not, “I am right about the way it is.”
I’ve know far too many people who, in their ego-driven entitlement, have a world-view that they think is right – that contains all the answers. They, like the men in Plato’s cave, confuse shadows with “reality.”
“Reality,” is seems to me, is fluid and dynamic and always includes more than is immediately apparent. If, for example, I think that my partner is the cause of our marital discord, I “fail to notice” my role in creating and sustaining the discord. If I believe that my upbringing predisposes me to sabotage myself, and therefore I am condemned to repeat past blunders, then I “fail to notice” that I always have a choice.
The world, and any situation, any thing and any one within it, is always wider and more complex than it first appears. Always.
To be free is to take chances, raise the bar and step outside of the box of comfort and “knowing.”
Or, you can choose to stay stuck in your beliefs.
Because it’s never about what you know. It’s always about what you fail to notice.