Really there should be a warning on all conversations about the self and reality.
Because as more is seen about what we really are something ENORMOUS changes.
What changes, either in stages or one fell swoop, is the drive to secure the self-identity.
‘Well, that’s fine’ we might say ‘I’m really happy for that to be gone. That’s been the cause of all my suffering.’
Let’s just hold on a moment though and consider that drive.
Because it is tremendously powerful. In fact, it is life-and-death-powerful. It is survival. There is nothing more motivating than the avoidance of annihilation.
The desperation to avoid the stick (shame, failure, exclusion, isolation, fear, sadness, insecurity, death) and grab the carrot (love, peace, approval, respect, admiration, success, control, happiness, security, survival) can drive the mind and body to perform the most extraordinary feats of endurance, productivity, distraction, energy, accomplishment.
And this motivation comes with an unquestioned navigational system. Behaviour is directed by the belief of what I am and what I need to do to be accepted, successful. Actions are right if they lead to this and wrong if they don’t.
There is a goal ‘find security, love, happiness and peace’ and continuous hope that one day the goal will be met. Everything is kept in place by the idea that one day we will have done enough, have enough, be enough.
And this is where the warning comes in…
Ask one genuinely open question about what is reality, about what thought and belief creates and that life and death motivation and blinkered certainty are on their way out for good.
Experience one fractional shift in that self structure, one slightest falling away of a belief or conviction and the rock-solid foundation on which our life was founded begins to heave like the earthquake terrain it really is.
One moment of awareness that there is no one creating the thoughts, no one controlling the circular unsolvable rumination and all hope of the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind disappears.
And then what do we have? Where has the motivation gone? Where is the drive? Where is the certainty of what we need to have and of where it will be found? Where is the energy for the actions we used to take with such certainty? Where is even the numbing behaviour that we used to perform.
All gone and we’re left, it seems, with nothing. No direction. No orientation. No self-will.
And this – in the moments when the mind has yet to catch up with reality – can be terrifying, appalling.
There might be resistance. And fear of course because we were running from our worst fears and now it seems there is nothing we can do to prevent them. If this happens when we are on a course or working with a teacher there can be resentment. A sense that they have destroyed our life. We want that motivation and that certainty back. We want the mini rewards and reliefs. We want the distractions and the numbing.
So now what?
Do we just languish here? Unable to do what we used to do, blaming ourselves for being lazy and uncommitted? Confused about what is happening? Terrified about our future?
Well, it might be too confronting initially. We might find ourselves going back to the old ways of behaving and thinking, although now with a stronger sense of the futility of it all.
And that sense of the futility will not go away. Which is why while in this state of revelation and resistance to the revelation we might feel worse than ever.
The sense of futility might be claimed by the identity. I’m hopeless. I’m depressed. I’m unmotivated. I’m confused. Ironically, to have this self-belief again might be a relief. This might look like solid land after the rolling waves wrecked the vessel of our previous convictions.
But if there is even a glimmer of curiosity, the slightest hovering question ‘what is this ‘I’ that is hopeless?’, it will shift the mind from the tight loop of identification into presence.
And then there might be another question, another moment in which everything is just experienced as it is, another glimpse.
Once it has begun it cannot stop. One shift leads to another, leads to an avalanche. One belief falling away dislodges the rest. One lightening within the density of self-belief will open up everything eventually.
Until what remains? What was always there but which was obscured by that relentless drive and belief: presence, stillness, space.
And now what about motivation?
It is as quiet, inevitable, simple and unstoppable as the changing of the seasons. It comes from deep within, the body steered and moved, words said. No one deciding. A continuous flow of miracle information. Alive, electric, vital.
Also, obvious and simple. Every action is complete in itself. And every action creates the next. The inhale and exhale. The purpose of life in form is the revelation of truth and now boundaries and limits are there for exploration and movement beyond, not for containment. Obvious, inviting and exciting.
Lazy and confused? Impossible.