Conviction, sure as the sun sets in the west, we humans seem willing to hold dear to the inherent righteousness of acquired knowledge. Who among us would be brave enough to speculate whether one plus one amounts to two.
Would we be wrong to suspect, as we age, our sense of conviction in the things we believe to be true would become heightened? Yet, the older I get, the more deeply humbled I am to realise conviction exists as an obvious state of diminishing returns.
The process of slowly accepting my infinite ignorance reminds me of the path a river takes to the ocean. Tumultuous in its youth, the river brashly pushes obstacles aside. Crystal clear icy mountain waters run wild, untamed, certain of the charted path. The river bed, like the river itself, is rocky, hard, unyielding, impenetrable.
When young, I was confident in knowledge. Whatever I knew, certainly was fact.
Peacefully, the old river abandons its path to accommodate the very obstacles it once hastily obliterated. Clear waters have become opaque as the soil of a supple river bottom blends with slowly moving waters. Quietly, the river snakes through marshy floodplains prior to arriving at an unfathomable singularity of being.
Presently, my relationship with knowledge has been turned on it head so many times, I feel caught in a blender.
Absolutes, I once considered irrefutable, have now transitioned into a sloppy glob of grey matter. Discovering how little I know, has left me holding an empirical bag of nothingness. Conviction itself, in my mind at least, seems to have died the death of a thousand cuts. Slowly, I have been forced to accept the realisation there is absolutely nothing of which I am unequivocally confident.
If existence is a singularity, then, can we not extrapolate that one plus one equals one? There was a time, not long past, when, I whittled down my sense of truth to one single defensible fact.
I do exist!
The fact I exist, seemed a valuable tidbit of knowledge upon which I could hang my hat.
However, standing in the shower this morning, I thought to myself; if life is an eternal holographic illusion, then is there ever a point of nonexistence?
Without a reference for non-existence, can we not assume our conceptualisation of existence, at best, remains flawed. After all, if we have no contrast for the position of existence, then, do we really exist? Or, is it possible existence is the singular, de-facto, expression of God?
Does God have an off switch? As suggested by the Upanishads, the Gita or countless other scientific, spiritual or philosophical offerings we might recall.
Our sense of reality, as well, our use of language, are both predicated upon contrast. Hot offers up cold as its companion. Up relies upon down to give it a sense of meaningfulness. With this measuring stick, might we reasonably suggest existence must be defined against death or non-existence. If we further argue, death to be an illusion, then what meaning does the definition of existence offer?
I digress. However, I do so with cause. For, as I trespass down the imminent philosophical river ahead, prior to our tumble over the falls, I think it worthwhile to emphasis my great wealth of ignorance. There is a significant upside to realising one’s limitations of intelligence. Wherefore, one no longer feels compelled to hold fast to philosophical assertions. In effect, I am not saying I know what I say is truth. Rather, it is only my sense of truth. Likely, a few years from now, this truth will magically transform into sloppy grey matter.
Herein, appropriately applied, the quote from the famous late Sergeant Schultz of Hogan's Heroes.
"I know nothing!"
Moving forward, the destination I wish to consider journeying toward with this essay is one which I have entitled 'The Illusion of Imperfection'. Subject matter, such as this, proves so foreign to most of us I thought it prudent to not challenge your opinion. Like a leaf upon the river, I merely wish to navigate my philosophical vessel toward the sea. Accordingly positioned, might you join me in a short voyage toward justifying the inherent perfection of manifest reality.
Crossing the African continent, heaved upon my psyche were some of the most unbearable experiences imaginable. Communing with people who are, literally, starving to death brought me face to face with arguably the greatest injustice of present day society. Learning the global scope of this tragic reality, I could not help but suffer under the stark and grotesque realisation that over one eighth of humanity will die of starvation.
As if it were yesterday, I recall a young boy whom I befriended. Our friendship sprouted in the tiny Algerian village of Assamakka. Proximal to the Niger border, Assamakka proved a desolate locale to grow up. Winter in the Saharan desert, bleak, barren, relentless, cooked everything by day, then froze the landscape throughout long desperate nights. Perhaps there were thirty huts making up the dishevelled community of roughly one hundred residents. Directly in the centre of the village, a small hut opened to a restaurant seating area which could accommodate nigh on twenty patrons.
Seated upon the six, sun washed, picnic tables were mostly portly Europeans. Some, part of a caravan group, whilst others, driving personal vehicles with two or three individuals charting a path across the sands. Hoping to gain reprieve from a relentlessly scalding sun, everyone was taking refuge under the makeshift burlap canopy of the dishevelled diner. We all were awaiting border clearance prior continuing the trek to Nigeria then the Ivory Coast, or, like myself, destinations further afoot.
The tableau of patrons reminded me of clean, fattened, grunting hogs. Oftentimes, a din of excited chit chat accompanied sounds of careless diners gulping plates of hearty stew. Mama's cauldrons belched out a strange aroma from a few feet distant. Closing out the imagery, bottles of pop or beer adorned the wooden tables, sweating liquid gold at the behest of a sweltering sun.
The oft repeated scene of heaving bowls accompanied by chilled beverages must prove an eternal, exasperating tease, for the impoverished souls present.
Transfixed by a desperate desire, through dark black eyes, locals stared at the dripping beverages. Unconsciously licking chapped lips, these poor voyeurs undoubtedly imagined the cool liquid caressing their tongue before falling blissfully into an empty abyss. Sumptuous treats, purveying sights and smells which likely would never pass the wanting gullet of desperate Africans.
Dogs, ribs protruding through matted coats, tested each others resolve to scavenge tidbits of fat, gristle, or rotten potato carelessly flung toward salivating jaws. Challenging the beasts for scraps, were blackened children, at times accompanied by the odd gnarled old man fortunate enough to have survived the ripe old age of thirty.
Maintaining order in the open-air restaurant, Mamma had hired a sturdy young guard charged with keeping famished dogs or untoward residents at bay. When the animals neared, he impassioned a flick with his stick as if they were flies. Unfortunately for the children, who were inevitably slower to react than dogs, the smart end of the guards malicious stick often left a recognisable welt.
Mama knew how important it was to prevent the tourists from being pestered by salivating dogs or grotesque looking beggars. Regardless of Mama's resolve for order, many of the fat, pig like, tourists squealed in disgust at having to observe the ritualistic administration of Saharan justice. Most travelers passing through Assamakka were upset if they could not get out of the village within a few hours. The optimal visit routine; stop, grab a bite while the passports were stamped, then get the hell out of town.
By the time I arrived at the village, I was weary from pushing my bicycle across endless sand dunes. With energy reserves totally depleted, I decide to stay a week in hopes of regaining the strength needed to navigate the balance of the Saharan desert. Broken-hearted, is how I felt when daily witnessing the forlorn eyes of beast and human as they mentally savaged fresh food and drink. Their state of utter depravity, starkly contrasted by the intermittent disgust or repulsion from opulent tourists, left me with mental scars which took years to heal. Scenes as such soon proved almost impossible to endure.
During my stay, I spent time talking to some of the locals who were nearing death. I tried to feed them what I could manage. However, for the most part, those nearest to death could not muster the energy to talk nor eat. One boy proved an interminable burden upon my sanity. I had to stick the food in his mouth, then patiently assist him as, together, we worked his jaw up and down. Too weak to talk, a challenge to even hold the tin cup of water I proffered a few times daily.
Every waking moment, the boy sat next to what I assumed was the family hut. Chased by the sun, he would navigate a path around the tiny thatch. mud and cardboard structure. The irony proved hard to miss; our sun, the greatest galactic power, directly impacting each moment of this excruciatingly feeble little teenagers existence. By night's end, the brave young lad would vanish, only to reappear with the break of each new morning. Near as I could tell, this was the full extent of life for the emaciated young fellow.
I remember thinking of a kid in my hometown who was miffed because the graduation gift his dad gave him was what he described as, "a cheap used car".
Late one morning, I approached the hut with cup in hand. Bread protruding from my breast pocket, I walked around to the back of his hut where I fully expected to discover him curled up in the shade. This morning, he never managed to complete the circuit. Just prior to my arrival, the young boy had been found dead. Flies swarming his cold contorted body, mouth agape, black eyes wide open. Each night, I would struggle to sleep. Sights and sounds of village life playing over in my mind like an earwig drilling into my head. Tears rolled down my cheeks more readily as each desperate day crashed into another vile rendition of survival.
Relaxing back in your leather Ottoman recliner, possibly you could relieve yourself of the television remote long enough to consider, as I have, the voice of imperfection. Possibly, you might regale me of a story about rape, murder, the destroyed planet, greed, or any of a long laundry list of grievances which cause you pause. Simply stated, we humans are eternal judges, therefore, it should prove quite easy to find subject matter which repulses your sense of equanimity.
For most of us, certainly speaking for myself, daily, I privately or verbally express a dislike of something. From the moment I wake, I enjoy my coffee a certain way. Checking the sports page, I am happier to see my favourite team has won. Still, to this day, I must admit a great dislike of Brussels sprouts. Trivial things do tend to pick at me.
Like a crow testing carrion, I sample my world slowly before taking a bite. Looking past the banality of preference. When confronted by injustice smashing the barriers of social common sense, I inevitably am stopped dead in my tracks. Starvation, rape, murder, the bevy of heinous acts which cause many to utter the oft heard query,
"If there really is a God, then how could this event be allowed to happen?"
Walking down the road which is my life, injustices of a cruel world quite often yank wildly at my heartstrings. I remember countless tears as far too many visceral experiences were induced by horrible nightmares which then came to life. Yet, today, as I pen this short essay, I notice how the tumbling decades have enabled me to develop a significantly different approach to the mad hatter world I daily witness.
Observing the opinions of great sages, far more intelligent than I. As well, bearing witness to my own life experiences. I offer you philosophical tidbits which may prove worthy of your review. Possibly, you might latch upon some of these considerations, thereby, availing yourself of a balm to soothe your aching heart.
More the case, you might think me owner of a cold heart, foolish, abstract, lacking the emotional carriage needed to care for those who suffer. Painting a vision of absolute perfection, I intend to dip my pen in a philosophical pot to investigate; choice, preference, duality, unity consciousness, illusion, the EgoSelf, impeccability. Each point of reference, I hope to view through the rarely used lens of GodSelf living.
Perhaps, with your indulgence, we might commence with choice as seen from a GodSelf perspective.
Based upon personal preferences, we undoubtedly appear to affect oodles of choices during each day. Considering the seemingly infinite collection of decisions we make, it is reasonable to assume, more than anything, choice constitutes the heat responsible for forging the blade we call self. Endlessly, before us the proverbial road branches into two. Then, based upon our collective experience, we select the path most in tune with what we believe to be the most apropos selection.
For the most part, few of us take a moment to consider whether we verily are the sole captain of this ship of endless choice. After all, observing our life as it unfolds, our five senses convince us it would be silly to even remotely consider the choices we make are not entirely of our own volition.
Any attempt to separate choice from self determination will certainly invoke a sense of betrayal. Further to the point, for most people, stepping into the concept of divine determination is akin to driving the car from within the confines of a locked trunk.
It makes absolutely no sense.
It makes absolutely no sense.
However, insane as it may be to consider one’s life has been preordained, there are solid arguments which can bolster this, somewhat awkward, philosophical position.
The first posit one might consider, is what I would deem collective programming. The next time you make a choice, small or involved, ask yourself the following. What is the impetus behind this decision?
Your knee jerk answer might be. "Well this is what I wanted. Obviously, my choices reflect my preferences. Therefore, I am the only one responsible for choosing any given path!" To this I would counter.
Dig deeper, what is the root of your preference?
Tracing back our singular decisions to their ultimate source, we absolutely must arrive at one undeniable conclusion. The collective experience of our life, leads us to each and every choice we make. Without reflection, we very well might experience choice as the sole function of personal preference.
However, when peeling the onion of choice to its core, we discover historical markers which did indeed prompt the selection to place an apple in our lunchbox juxtaposed to a cabbage or lump of coal.
Accepting choice is a direct function of ones collective history, we are then compelled to investigate the origins of our past. More to the point, have other chefs conspired to create the choices we believe were solely our own. Perhaps, we might be well served to consider.
What life experience would push us toward murder, rape or similar acts we deem horrific?
How much ownership do we assign to the rapist who was himself repeatedly and viciously raped by his father or priest?
Thinking of the extreme, causes us pause. Trains of thought placing us in our brethren's shoes, beg us to consider how far removed we are from those who commit unthinkable atrocities? Good fortune does have a way of breeding within us a contemptuous position. We need not dwell upon the bizarre to follow this thread to its logical conclusion.
From simple choices, like a preference for apples, to the ultimate expression of murder, all choice is derived from the collective experience of our personal journey.
Who is the creator of our path?
Who has selected the ingredients compiling the composite which we seem so quick to claim our own?
Who is the creator of our path?
Who has selected the ingredients compiling the composite which we seem so quick to claim our own?
Most psychologists agree, more than anything, it is the first five years of our life which impact our personality. Sure, with great effort, we can change the landscape of our persona. The braggart can become humble, the thief can turn into a philanthropist, the liar can learn to speak only truth. Significant fortitude is required to alter the road paved by developmental years.
More often than not, the boy does design the man.
Aside from the first five years of our life, what effects do; media, school, friends, parents, family, peer pressure, heroes, religion, movie stars and idols have upon the decisions or preferences we were so quick to claim entirely our own?
Take a moment to consider the effects of the many pervasive influences initiated by circumstances well beyond our control. Surely our world is responsible for, at the very least, framing the choices we might have considered exclusively our own.
Stepping back from the assumption we entirely own the choices we make. How much do you now think our choices are affected by others? If circumstance were a little crueler, can you see how you could have been the starving Niger teenager, or the sniper randomly killing civilians from a hotel window?
Truly, how far removed are we from those we scorn?
Taking the subject of choice to its conclusion, we easily understand how most philosophers believe choice is merely an illusion. Credence can be then given to the ideology which suggests, we each follow a preordained path. The location in the world where you were born, the position of the stars when you took the first breath, the parents who brought you into this reality.
Building blocks of you, framed by countless foreign influences, creates the image you see stare back from a misty bathroom mirror. Beyond your control, the real you was fabricated. How does this affect your sense of choice?
Moving beyond the ownership of choice, we humans believe the world happens 'to' us. The evidence of our life unfolding convinces us we react to the events which shape our life. Most great sages believe exactly the opposite.
By example, a driver runs a red light, in doing so slams into your vehicle. Observing the evidence, speaking with friends, officials or family, everyone agrees the event was the sole responsibility of the careless driver.
It behooves us to ask, is this the ultimate reality of the event in question? Or, could another position be considered?
Could it be possible, we were equally complicit in forging the incident. Perhaps, deep reflection might cause us to accept we invited this event into the realm of our experience, moreover, we were the creator?
Speaking to this conundrum I believe choice, like so many other aspects of physical reality, exists in two dimensions. The great don Juan Matus coined these two planes as separate realities. The esoteric reality, he called the 'nagual', which represents the GodSelf expression. Whilst, reality as defined by the filter of EgoSelf, he defined as the 'tonal' expression.
Choice, from a tonal perspective is affirmed by our five senses. Whilst the choice as a function of the nagual requires a much deeper level of consideration.
Using the example to illustrate the difference between tonal and nagual, we account for the accident event from two separate perspectives.
The careless driver runs a red light, then crashes into us. From a tonal vantage point, we have exercised absolutely no choice in this event. Because of this limited purview of the incident, we cast blame entirely upon the careless driver.
Nagual perspective would suggest it was the ultimate Godself expression which was responsible for the collision. This odd conclusion, don Juan would derive from the esoteric perspective teaching us the GodSelf is the ultimate creator of all reality.
Capturing the nagual, in day to day experiences, encourages us to seek deeper, occulted meaning to the events of our life. Discover the silent energy which flows beneath the surface of your physical world. Closely examine your reality with nagual eyes.
Looking at nagual reality, we easily grasp another argument for preordained existence.
Speaking with my lovely girlfriend Shannon about this subject last night, I realised the importance of separating reality into these two aspects of perception. Being accustomed to looking at reality from both a physical and subtle plain, I had forgotten how the subject of divine destiny leads one to ask, if our life is preordained, then what is the purpose of living?
I get it!
The image life preordained can easily cause one to feel powerless, futile, living a pointless reality. Countering these sentiments, I suggest, the daily choices we make are important as they do offer up a unique flavour to our destiny.
Each choice is valuable, each choice makes our journey uniquely special. Our choices tell the world, this is who I am, these are my values, this is my personal statement. What might be hard to grasp, is how the choices we make can both represent our uniqueness while still be divinely inspired, perhaps even preordained.
The tonal and nagual are not incompatible. Quite the opposite, they become deeply integrated by the function of choice. Yes, our choices are very important, they reflect the essence of our heart.
Perhaps, an example of a river might help illustrate my point. Upon our planet, there are millions of rivers small and large, fast or slow, deep or shallow. What if the Englishman river, flowing past my door, hosts the journey of a thousand lives. If my life path were to follow the Englishman from source to ocean. Then, the ultimate Oceanic destination would represent my nagual existence. The river current would act out the role of destiny, but its influence would be hidden from my senses.
Regardless of whether or not I am aware of the current, it will duly usher me to the preordained destination.
Floating down the river, carried by an unseen nagual current, I might 'choose' to paddle over to the bank, spread a little love with the fishes or insects. Possibly, I might 'choose' to hang out behind an old stump to chat with a frog. Whatever my destiny might entail, I am the one who decided the nature of my own trip.
Another, who travels the same river, might have an identical destination as I, yet she will entertain entirely different experiences along the way. We each are beautiful snowflakes, no two of us similar. The expression of the 'tonal', the beautiful and individual choices I make, will give my life meaning, as well, offer a sense of personal ownership.
From the tonal viewpoint, choice is very real, it carries significant meaning. The preordained current of the nagual represents the ultimate Godself experience, it too is beautiful. Reflecting the perfection of God, it is personal choice which affords duality, as well, infuses a sense of meaning into the experience of our lives.
The subject of choice, in tandem with divine destiny, can help us rationalise experiential reality as perfection. If we accept each life will follow a preordained path, then possibly, we can exercise a little compassion when faced with the choices of our brethren.
When we embrace nagual living, we find in our heart both fertiliser and space for acceptance, compassion, love, to grow. Often, I call the nagual, my seat on the bus. Our world, in my view, is an endless dance of dualistic energy. Whereby, when reality unfolds, all aspects of duality must be loved.
Looking at reality, I cannot help but feel each seat on the bus is sacred, each choice divine, each action a tremendously beautiful dance.
Perhaps, the next time someone or something irks you, relief may be found in honouring all choice as a direct function of GodSelf actualization. Possibly, the next time you feel the urge to cast blame, you to consider the nagual. You wrote the script which is your reality. Even when a car slams into your world, you can 'see' your energy was meant to dance with the other. The event was, yet another, amazing moment of divinity expressed.
Observing, as well as acting upon, our personal preferences enable the uniqueness of individuality. Humanity, expressed as a bland soup of peoples conforming to a singular script, would surely leave us quickly reaching for the spice of nonconformity. Freedom of expression, propelled by the horsepower of preference, advances the interests of science, the arts, manufacturing, innovation, as well as, countless other aspects of civilization. Cherishing preference, in the light of an upwardly mobile society, we certainly would not wish to curtail its role in human development.
However, is it possible, preference might play a pivotal role in humanity perceiving reality as imperfect?
Whatever we see as separate from self, initiates a process identifying preference. Every miniscule fragment of our consciousness is sorted, labeled, then measured on an invisible scale of perceived value. Our character reflects itself as an ever fluid composite of preference.
Demands will be fulfilled or denied. In kind, a gap between desire and reality unfolds. The greater the gap, the more angst you internalise. In this light, imperfection appears as an obvious function of reality expressing itself.
Casting the net of individual preference, we tend to reach far beyond our limited capacity to control an expansive environment. The potency of this truth is illustrated by the massive canyon stretching between the world we wish to experience juxtaposed to the world we daily witness.
From the grandest scale of desiring global peace, to small irksome annoyances akin to sitting proximal to a colicky child on a transcontinental flight. Neither experience is ultimately within our control, yet, both are likely to elicit a modicum of angst.
We all know the feelings of angst of which I refer. The need to be right as an argument with your partner unfolds. Your boss screaming at you, just because she is having a tough day. The driver who cuts you off in heavy traffic, then gives you the finger. Watching the latest horrific event unfold on the big screen. Sickening feelings you get when rape or murder knocks upon a door too close to home.
Endless tragedy, abuse, misuse, ignorance, hate, squeezing out of a society like pus oozing from a freshly lanced boil.
Events which make you want to scream, cringe or cry. Frustration unrivaled, as society seems more concerned with the latest in Hollywood gossip, than righting global scale injustice. Fears of a world in distress, animals dying, the globe straining under blender blades of corporate greed or executive malfeasance.
The list of grievances seems endless. The gulf between your sense of right, and the inevitable execution of wrong, becomes insurmountable. Preference seems justified as a good tool for expanding humanity, that is, until we attempt to deal with the fall out of what we know is the true human condition.
Witnessing the void between personal preference and the events of our life, we cannot help but realise it is the act of projecting our personal preference out into the world which causes within us all this grief.
If, we lived life as a hermit, never exposed to the outer world. Then, the preferences we hold dear would never be challenged. However, being a hermit is not why we exist. I believe it is important to love, share and rejoice in the uniqueness of our brethren. Unfortunately, the moment we entertain anything of foreign origin, we set ourselves up for; disappointment, heartache, incompatibility and the accompanying assurance of an imperfect reality.
Capitalizing upon our ability to manage the gap between desire and reality, is something very few of us meet with success. Often, we feel offended by a life experience which, yet again, failed to adequately conform to our expectation of fairness. Realistically, no single person has the capacity to feed all the starving souls, yet, this does little to alleviate the pain we feel when standing proximal to a starving child.
Surely, each of us suffer as we navigate, or attempt to accept, the chasm between reality and our vision of the perfect world. Who, in the absence of rose tinted glasses, would begin to suggest the world we live in is already perfect? Even to broach the topic, leaves one open to being accused of soaking their mind in Pollyannaish bathwater.
For many years, I battled the illusion of imperfection with little success.
Always, there were nagging thoughts, feelings and emotions, compelling me to wish for a better world. Regardless of how these painful views contrasted with my quickly advancing philosophy, I seemed firmly glued to the notion, humanity held great room for improvement. After all, one need simply opens their eyes, a tidal wave of injustice surely would set them upon their behind.
Spiritually leaping, like a stallion, toward the beauty of unity consciousness did little to relieve my grief. More the case, esoteric truths only heightened the gap between my brethren and myself. Thereby, leaving me feeling guilty for being wrapped in a warm blanket of philosophy. Inevitably, the more my philosophy flowered, the more I was compelled to; make a difference, educate the ignorant, preach to the unconverted who might still be choosing to fear over love.
What a slippery, self righteous, slope I traveled. That is, until I received guidance from some wonderful texts, to name a few; Tao Te Ching, The Gnostic Texts, The Bhagavad Gita, most of all, my favourite source of truth, don Juan Matus. Where would I be without Castaneda's beautiful books? Perhaps the one thread spun through each of these books was the concept of acceptance.
The Tao offers the peacefulness of a leaf on the river. Symbolism used to represent the personification of steadfast acceptance. The Gnostic texts taught, no one entity, nor event, is greater nor lesser than another. The Gita reminded me, reality is a singularity known as God. Together, these golden threads of esoteric gnosis allowed me to understand don Juan's sense of 'seeing' as it relates to what he termed controlled folly.
Instead of paraphrasing someone who stood so much taller than I, it is best to quote his words. It should be noted, Castaneda together with don Juan discussed this matter over a few pages in the book "A Separate Reality". Herein, I have included only a few key excerpts from the lengthy conversation. Undoubtedly, it is worth reading the entire exchange starting from page 78.
"My acts are sincere, but they are only the acts of an actor."
"Certain things in your life matter to you because they are important; your acts are certainly important to you, but for me, not a single thing is important any longer, neither my acts nor the acts of any of my fellow men. I go on living, though, because I have my will. Because I have tempered my will throughout my life until it's neat and wholesome and now it doesn't matter to me that nothing matters. My will controls the folly of my life."
"You believe that because you're thinking, you're thinking about life, you're not 'seeing'. Once a man learns to 'see' he finds himself alone in the world with nothing but folly. Your acts, as well as the acts of your fellow men in general, appear to be important to you because you have 'learned' to think they are important."
"We 'learn' to think about everything, then, we train our eyes to look as we think about the things we look at. We look at ourselves already thinking that we are important. And therefore, we've got to feel important. But then when a man learns to 'see', he realises he can no longer think about the things he looks at, and if he cannot think about what he looks at everything becomes unimportant."
"Everything is equal and therefore unimportant. For example, there is no way for me to say my acts are more important than yours, or that one thing is more essential than another, therefore all things are equal and by being equal they are unimportant."
"Controlled folly is very much like 'seeing' it is something you cannot think about."
The gist of these quotes, as I see it, offer a somewhat complex, yet plump store of usable observations.
We are each actor’s believing our body to be physically 'real'. However, in both scientific as well as esoteric truth, we are holographic in nature. Our sense of reality, like our body, appear real. Even though we know this reality is, as Einstein stated, a very convincing illusion, we can't help but buy in to the dreamlike fantasy.
We view our life journey as a collection of events, all of which we believe carry significant value. From our limited experience of reality, the inherent 'importance' of our existence appears as a quantifiable, tangible asset. Yet, from the perspective of someone who can 'see', there is no individuality. Simply stated we, as well our collective actions, are 'unimportant'.
To 'see' is to understand all manifest reality is equally magnificent, equally 'important'. With all reality being considered equal, no one choice, person or event takes precedence over another.
Ergo, as don Juan intones, every person and action is unimportant. This evaluation of importance is absolutely absent from any sense of worth. Quite the contrary, don Juan suggests he and his choices are unimportant because all choices and reflections are beautifully divine, extremely worthwhile, therefore equal in nature.
Choosing to afford equal value to all manifest reality, we then approach the truth don Juan offers when he states, "everything becomes neat and wholesome". Tidied up to the point where it matters not that our actions are unimportant or even that we, by extension, are unimportant. If anything, our unimportant self should give us a sense of pride, even invoking feelings of love.
Confronted with this beautiful esoteric knowledge many people, as did the author Castaneda, feel offended. Typically, we each want to feel important. Understandably, when someone even remotely suggests you are unimportant, alarm bells sound.
What do you mean, I am unimportant? This cannot be!
To observe the 'seeing', nagual voice of GodSelf, we first must relinquish the 'thinking' tonal voice of EgoSelf. When we open up to the 'nagual', a clear truth rings from within. This embrace of the GodSelf is what don Juan calls 'seeing'.
We 'see' when we begin to understand why the EgoSelf filter is an illusion. The warrior who chooses to 'see' accepts he/she is alone in an ocean of people who are instead choosing to 'think'. Therefore, to answer the concerns of those who feel offended by the concept of being unimportant, one needs merely 'see' their way toward ultimate truth, indescribable beauty.
Nothing is important to the person who 'sees' a world where absolutely everything is and always will be entirely divine. This valuable piece of knowledge allows us to stop projecting a false sense of right versus wrong, good versus bad. Additionally, we determine how silly was our preference for a better world to magically appear.
There never was a difference between a perfect reality and the world before me. All manifest reality always exists in a state of absolute perfection. Finally, I knew nothing need be improved upon. Choosing to filter reality through my EgoSelf 'thoughts', instead of choosing to filter reality through my GodSelf ability to 'see', had kept the truth of perfection completely hidden from view.
Freedom, at last!
Freedom was a valuable gift. No longer did I suffer under the EgoSelf illusion of imperfection. The starving child, the murderous fiend, as well, countless events I thought conspired against my will, all fodder for a gigantic EgoSelf basket called illusion.
This, in no way, means I have absolute peace from the perceived gap between my experience of reality and daily events of my life. Goodness gracious, I'm not that smart, nor so swift to accommodate truth. Yet, the nagual/tonal philosophy did offer a usable anchor upon which I could gain respite from the chaos often created by my 'thinking' mind.
Preferences, causing grief, imbalance, ignorance, malcontent in my life, are no more real than the life of a stage actor. All manifest reality is, was and always will be absolute perfection. The great take home from owning this truth is obvious, but well worth iterating.
Take a quick moment, ask yourself. How can this philosophical position empower my life?
Preference, along with all the acts we people manage to eventualise, become unimportant in the light of knowing everything is, and always will be, equally perfect.
Applying this nagual knowledge to the tonal world we inhabit, we soon determine childish 'thinking' promotes hope for a better world. As the great don Juan would remind us, one cannot 'think' their way toward perfection, you must 'see' it.
With the ability to 'see', we realise how 'unimportant' everything has become. The pressure to fix or improve our world fades. Like footprints in the sand, the angst we once thought uncleanable, has miraculously disappeared.
Beautiful is this lesson for promoting peace of mind, contentment and laughter within.
Hubris and logic led me to support the belief we should all strive to make the world a better place. I was irked knowing this belief structure was not in accord with my core philosophy. However, try as I might, I was trapped by too many African nightmares, I could not crack the nut. Then don Juan's descriptions of 'seeing' and 'thinking' as it relates to controlled folly, bashed open the doors of psychological emancipation.
Finally, I was free from the cancerous angst associated with constantly wishing for the injustices of the world to be magically solved. Knowing, as only the 'seer' can envision, everything is unimportant.
In a world where everything is God, perfection is all which can exist. What a simple, but serendipitous lifeboat floating is a sea of emotional despair.
Twisty journey following the thread of preference. First, a Mexican dirt path led me to uncover illusion. Then, more paths appeared from great teachers with all roads leading directly toward the illusion of imperfection.
Certainly, no one could argue the world could benefit from some cleaning, or a little more love, peace and compassion. However, when we look a little closer at imperfection, we discover illusion exists. What we once believed was true, has now been proven false. Our preferences kept us from 'seeing' the singular truth that tells us, all manifest reality is God.
Preferences aside, perfection must be all there is. By extension all, which we 'think' is imperfection, must be an EgoSelf illusion.
Undoubtedly, the next time a screaming baby intrudes upon your peace of mind. When the driver smashes into your car, or the sniper kills randomly from a hotel room. I will certainly understand if you choose to 'think' about these events with the Ego instead of 'seeing' them from the eyes of God.
Truly, I do comprehend why you would fail to 'see' a perfect world. However, you might serve yourself well to imagine there does exist another point of 'you'. The beautiful GodSelf you. The one who always 'sees' a different, perfect reality, unfold.