It really looks like our happiness, security and well-being depend on the actions and words of others.
At the level of physical impact it is certainly true that the behaviours of this body here can cause that body there physical harm and vice versa.
It really makes sense that this body here would move out of the way of whatever would damage it.
We see this happening all the time as the form moves away from anything that would threaten that form. Zebras run from the pride of lions. Plants move out of the dark towards the light. Amoebas in a petri dish move away from the point of a pin.
And this shows us that the form will do what is necessary in that moment for the form to survive. And it can do this without any concept of self, any concept of past or future, any concept of separation.
This is truly fascinating.
Our concept of self is not what is keeping us safe, keeping harmful others at bay. Response is happening regardless of the idea of self.
And the preservation of life in form is simple, straightforward, obvious and inevitable.
But when there is confusion, misunderstanding and delusion it starts to get very complicated.
The confusion is the collection of beliefs that is the concept of self. This concept is full of needs and insecurity. And it looks out on a world to try to secure itself, forgetting that the world is made of the same thought and belief as the idea of self.
And now of course there is fear, stress, exhaustion but they have nothing to do with physical danger and everything to do with trying to secure and protect a self identity. The fear of public speaking is, for many, worse than the fear of death. But what is the very worst that can happen? We shake and stumble over words? We throw up on stage? We humiliate ourselves in front of people we cannot bear to be humiliated in front of?
For the self this is absolutely intolerable. But it is a fear based in insanity, an intolerance arising from delusion because we are fearful of losing and desperate to protect something that doesn’t even exist. It is only the preservation of the idea of self we are talking about here – not the physical body, not life. Life will continue regardless. And this idea of self…? What is it?
And because it is a fear of the self there is no solution to it. Fearing the fear, as I well know from my own exhausting battle with this, we are utterly trapped. Round and round in circles we go. Because there is nothing that will guarantee the self idea will never be challenged, humiliated or rejected.
But this is our fear when it comes to others. A fear that is maintained by the temporary relief of approval or acceptance.
The only exit is to see what is going on. To see that terrified defence of something that isn’t there.
We cannot protect the self from others. We cannot secure the self through others. We cannot control others. Because there is no self to protect or secure and no separate others to control. Self and others are made of the same thought and belief.
And yet how desperately we try. How convinced we are that approval or declarations of love or awards or recognition will finally make us secure.
When it looks like there is a separate me and that the security, happiness, success or future of that separate me depends in some way on you as a separate you then I will seek to control or manipulate you.
There is no choice in that.
Insecurity and dependency is running the show and will dictate the behaviour. The behaviour will try to bring about whatever it is I think I need to be OK.
In those moments, the current infrastructure or hardware is the belief in separation. The identification of ourselves as an independent entity has only one mission: to take away this feeling of vulnerability and separateness.
The false belief in separation depends on the creation of a separate other. The two are made of the same thought and belief.
And these feelings of insecurity look like they are caused by that ‘other’ over there.
They are not, they are caused by the belief in a separate other.
Believing the separate other causes our suffering is close enough to the truth to look completely real. But, at the same time, so far off the mark that it sends us down a path of utter delusion.
We seek to control the other, change them, avoid them so that we can be ok.
We don’t realise that the other is created from the same confusion as the self.
We’ve forgotten who we are. Momentarily. That’s OK.
[Excerpt from SANE: getting real with reality]