It seems that this heat is reducing life to a maximum of two.
Two words: ‘SO’ and ‘HOT’.
Two hairstyles: damp and scraped back or damp and hanging
Two ways to be in the car: windows open, hot air blowing in or windows closed and air con blowing hot air in.
Two settings for the kids: just-emerged-from-the-Sahara listless or manically hyper two hours after bedtime
Perfect then that there are only two things it ever makes sense for us to do.
Ready for them?
- Explore what is true about who we are.
- Do whatever the hell we want to.
It’s that simple.
Let’s take them one at a time.
- Explore what is true about who we are.
Our entire reality, our entire understanding of ourselves, of other people, of the world is held in thought. All of it a function of belief. Behaviour results from this understanding. What we believe about ourselves and what we need and have to avoid to be OK dictates what we find ourselves doing.
Change in behaviour can only come from a shift in understanding. A shift in the background context from which thoughts and beliefs emerge. A new perspective on who we really are that will shake the frame of conditioning.
Understanding, then, is everything. It is the foundation for our entire lives, our reality, our potential, our thoughts, our beliefs, our behaviour. It is everything. Makes sense then to keep exploring what is actually true and what cannot possibly be, what is constant and what changes, what is real and what is a creation of thought.
2. Do whatever the hell we want to.
We will anyway. We can’t not. We have to. Whatever beliefs and thoughts say is for us to do we will do.
We might pretend that what we are doing isn’t really what we want to do. We might say ‘well actually what I really want to do is party naked in Thailand’ but until the thought ‘party naked in Thailand’ makes more sense than ‘two weeks in Cornwall’ Thailand just aint happening.
It can’t work any other way. We can only ever do what makes sense. And what makes sense depends entirely on the understanding of reality, self, others and world from which thought and behaviour emerge.
This means that what we are doing right now whether it is Thailand or Cornwall or the tax return or injecting heroin or cooking dinner is perfect. We might be hating ourselves for doing it. But it is 100% in line with our understanding of who we are and what the world is. It is the only possible behaviour.
It cannot be any other way. We can blame ourselves for it, we can list all the things we should be doing but until we find ourselves actually doing them we won’t be. There is no choice whatsoever in this. Behaviour is dictated by understanding. Full stop.
And this is huge. This means that we can do what the hell we want (ie whatever we are doing right now) with a shed load more peace, more presence, more enjoyment.
Zero point in analysing the behaviour and whether it is right or not. We can’t change it anyway.
Zero point in analysing the state of mind and ‘level’ of understanding. What would that even be?
Zero point in analysing thoughts to try to choose the ‘right’ one because whichever thought is ‘right’ will be decided by our current understanding.
Zero point in trying to work out the outcome of what we are doing. We will never know.
So all of that whirling self assessment can be disregarded. We can just do what we are doing right now. Full in. 100% present. No self blame. No ‘should be doing somehing else’. What we are doing is what we are doing. No choice. No other option.
And that combined with step 1–constant, on-going exploration into our true nature–makes for the most ridiculously, awesome, brilliant, incredible life.
Because as we explore our true nature, the understanding of who we are will change. It will deepen, become clearer. It will be based more on reality and less on what some gym nature said to us in 1983 about our being a wet prune. [I’m looking at you Miss Hughes.] The idea of self and world created out of conditioned beliefs will begin to dissolve. insecurities, fears, concerns attached to this idea of self will disappear. Our understanding becomes one of openness, potential and freedom.
And this means a radical change in what we want to do, in what makes sense for us. Of course it does. Habits, defences, addictions, patterns and limits kept in place by old conditioned thinking will fade away. Of course they do. Possibilities, opportunities and ideas never considered before appear. Of course they do.
And now what?
Exactly the same.
- We continue exploring our true nature
- We do what the hell we want.
That’s it. We’ve got nothing else. Just the two steps. Very simple.
Which is lucky.
Because it is SO HOT.