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Suffering

Good afternoon Friends and Co Travellers.
I hope that you are well and happy and embracing the summer time, wherever it may take you.
It's been a while since we have posted for our Blog and I'm really pleased to be writing today; an opportunity for quality time, that I might know myself better and perhaps entertain you in the process.
For me writing is incredibly cathartic - an opportunity to open my heart-space and bring light to my 'desktop'.
A topic that has been speaking with me lately is that of 'suffering'. We all know it well, I wonder would you like to hear a little more about it now?
I don't know anyone personally, who has never suffered. The sages and mystics of whom we read and fall in love with, rarely seem to have avoided it's grasp altogether. Yet, they have transcended it and spend the remainder of their days telling us that we too 'are the same'.
Such people, have somehow BeCome enlightened.
They have Come to Being in the light.
They have transcended (gone beyond the five senses) or, moved beyond the norm to emerge into, or out of, a separate reality.
They have worked with the Light and the darkness, to know themselves intimately.
They have a nice expression in Thailand, "Same same, but different".
Now, in all honesty, I haven't got a clue what this might mean to a Thai mind, (although I'm hoping that through writing, some quantum download will occur, whereby I will)...
The sage or mystic opens his or her eyes to a fresh and ever new existence. Trees are still trees and rubbish still smells yet, equal beauty is now experienced in all things.
For me, this moment has come and gone many times.
I mean,
I have awoken and slumbered and awoken again countless times since.
I am aware that this is the 'normal' process for most of us. The path to awakening, liberating, letting go, becoming enlightened or however else you would like to term it, is usually gradual, perhaps with a few atomic eruptions here and there to lift us on our toes and keep us dancing a while, lest we forget.
I have suffered a lot in this life.
I imagine that you have too :)
I know there are countless beings who have suffered much more than I.
I pray for all that still do.
I hit a rock bottom one day (1998) and cried out, "Ouuuuch that rock’s hard!”
Actually it was more like, “Oh God, I cannot take this anymore!!! Please help!!"
Did you do that ever?
I bet you did, in some small, even unconscious way.
I realised that I existed in a place of suffering that no longer held any intelligence, because there was no change - only more and more pain. No matter what I did, or didn't do, the pain throbbed a continuous cycle of destruction.
Not just physical pain, but deep psychic and soulfully rooted angst.
The kind of pain where you find yourself sitting in a mental prison, being tortured with abuse and you look up at the guard to say,
"please, please, stop, I cannot take this any longer"
and s/he looks at you,
s/he is you,
same face, voice, piercing eyes.........
s/he really is you, saying......,
"Are you sure?"
Then there's a part of me/you saying,
"I don't know actually, can I?
Perhaps I will?"
Actually,
I bet I can,
I shall, no I shan't" and so on, perhaps forever and ever...
Each time I have done this, the cross just got heavier.
Some will relate to this more than others; for me the pattern wore me down.
In 1999 I moved here to Herts.
I came from a broken life, one which I had wrecked myself.
I am not ashamed to admit this.
When I landed in Elstree, life kindly placed me in a flat which had written on the front door, (in invisible ink)
'Heaven or Hell'.
Many suffer because of external affliction; being abused, beaten, bullied; all that kind of 'horrendous' unpleasantness.
I was aware that I had suffered in my life due to circumstances beyond my control, but had also experienced a lot of self inflicted pain. When I started to question the 'self inflicted' aspect, I began to see a deeper truth that shocked my personality-mind.
Interesting things can happen when you spend a lot of time in stillness.
I lived alone for seven years and during these first few years, that's when I woke up.
I mean I woke up consciously, as opposed to having a moment of keen awareness and then drifting off again for another few years.
One day while sitting still for a few hours, something happened.
Or rather didn't.
I don't mean that I sat motionless like a stone, screaming out to move (although I have done that; it's another story)....
but that I sat, without wanting.
I sat without music or television, I didn't care for people, or not care for them either.
My teacher was Boobie (top page), a wise old cat.
I just sat, a bit like the Boobster up there, except mostly on the floor, spine erect, more like a yogi than soft white pawed Felix Monster.
I had little work and few friends and each day was the same.
So there I was sitting on a hard warm wooden floor. It was May and the sun shone on to the blinds from outside.
I had been doing a lot of gazing – I have always been fascinated that you can gaze at one spot just right, focusing on an object for support and, if you relax and hold the gaze steady, the whole room starts to move into one focal point. I noticed object by object, merging in with the first, which I believe was a plant. It’s like a black hole; everything moves inwards to the centre.
I sat in the cobbler's pose (soles of feet together) and my breath seemed to stop.
And then, there was heat.
Tremendous heat rose from my pelvis and moved its way through my spine, filling my head.
Astonishing experience,
Which came out of nowhere.......
I sat watching an ant walking past me calmly.
Quite clearly it wasn't concerned.
Not hungry, lonely, scared,
Just,
An Ant.
This ant and the floor across which it traversed were not separate. Where the ant went, the floor went. Wherever the floor had come from, that's how the ant got to be 'here'. 'Here' was ever so clearly 'there' and 'there' positively 'here'. Both were 'nowhere' of any particular destination because they appeared to be 'everywhere'. All existed simultaneously and this 'nowhere' was so only, 'now and here' which was the same place that I had always been and even more clearly could and would only ever be.
Pheeeewww :) What a relief that is.
During this whole 'moment' which has always been going on and which will never end,
the ant, floor, walls, room, etc., all dissolved in me and I, in them.
I couldn’t establish the difference between anything, because I (ego/personality) wasn’t there.
'Same, same, but absolutely no separation whatsoever'.
A short while later, maybe a few minutes, the Awareness began to shear again, as though the ant became the ant, the floor knew it was a floor and I was me again.
Same same, but now different.
My mind had returned and therefore, separation existed.
Ego arose, ergo I purity diluted itself.
I remained in this state for days, with little food or sleep.
These days remain as peaceful memories of the moment I awoke to being.
What is so amusing is that these moments occur for many of us, frequently, especially as small children. We take it as the norm, the keen awareness of the second attention, that which normally escapes the perceptive mind.
I knew that something profound had happened, largely by the lack of food and sleep intake, quiet in my mind and peace in my heart.
I knew that I had come home at last.
As the spring turned into summer the peace faded, replaced with a mind filling with noisy grey clouds.
The suffering and sufferer returned!
Naturally I wanted to know why.
Why and how the peace came, went and suffering too.
In brief, it is all about identification.
Who I think I am.
Or more precisely the act of the thinking and believing or rather misbelieving, causes our suffering.
It’s a case of mistaken identity in which the Seer in us (that part of me that merged with the ant et al), recedes to the rear and the senses blind the mind to this true inner light.
Seer gives light to intellect, mind, ego and senses.
The game of life is to know the source, the Seer, which is one with seeing and seen.
To know that this Seer or Awareness is who we are, taking form in a sense-mind reality gives rise to liberation.
Of course if Seer, Seeing and Seen are all a part of this Awareness then so too, senses, mind and body must be too.
Yes?
No?
Yes, they are – It’s the back-seat driver thing. In this scenario the back-seat driver is the ego, attempting to seize control. Soul or seer is the real driver, guiding intellect and mind as to which way to turn. Ego, by way of divine-design mistakes itself to be THE SELF, the ‘one and only’ and this, is where all our problems arise.
Why and how does consciousness works this way?
Why is there ego, which causes this interference in the transference of informative perception?
Ego is the character, the personality, persona or mask that interfaces with the world.
As the years pass, this mask sets and with it, the Story of Humanity.
“That’s mine, this is yours, there’s the line, cross with permission, or at your perrrrrilllll!!!!!!!”
This is the evolution of mass (human) consciousness.
Think of the Lemming myth. Their one consciousness evolved so that they would all commit suicide together, following each other blindly. Many lemmings, but being driven by one deep underlying belief.
And so today.....................
Many humans following the same deeeeeeply rooted belief system. This has led us all away from Soul and outward towards the material world, which changes so rapidly that we just can’t seem to keep up.
There is a well known expression; “The pain goes on, the suffering ends”..................
As awareness shifts inward toward the Seer, when we suffer, our perception arises from a new perspective in which ‘I’ am not the body in pain, or the ‘poor me, again (and again)’ – rather I am the observer of this story.
I watch myself playing a repeated drama in which I derive pleasure, followed by pain (or vice versa) via this cycle of creative being.
What goes up, must....................
So where there’s pleasure (related to the senses) this is followed by some kind of low, no matter how subtle.
As an addict, I observed myself deriving much of my kick from the withdrawal and it’s comrades ‘guilt’ ‘shame’ and ‘blame’.
When I decided that I was truly tired of suffering, I realised that I had caused or created most of the pain and all of the suffering.
I hear some say; “And so the rape victim is the cause of his/her own suffering, can you really be saying this?!”
I am saying the rapist causes the pain, the victim is any party suffering.
As a young boy I was repeatedly abused by my neighbour, so I have some understanding of this.
I know that people have reasons for what they do and don’t do.
I see this as their business.
Mine is to forgive.
To Give in the Fore.
In being this, I see my story, which is impersonal.
I hope this helps you in some small way.
In truth,
And with love,
Matt :)

                                                             Matt Gluck July 2010

 

 

 

 

 

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Matt Gluck
Pranasana Yoga Pranasana Yoga
British Wheel of Yoga