Tag Archives: consciousness

Conscientious objectors

Awake, aware, but not thinking. Surely this is not an achievement. We can decline to think. We can say, ‘No, I refuse to think.’ This is meditation. Or, in two words, simple sanity.

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No name, no story

The human personality is an edifice to the past. It is the conditioned self, the sum total of all of our experiences and of our reactions to those experiences. It’s why some of us are left-handed, others of us stutter, and why Glen Campbell did what he did while drinking like a fish and being unable to read a note of music. We haul this accumulation around with us. We think it is who we are, but it isn’t. It’s just mental and psychological stuff, a moldering pile of bellicosities and beliefs, of preferences and aversions, of memories and habits, of suspicions, traditions and worry patterns. It is good, now and then, to drop this congealment. To draw a breath. To see a bird without naming it.

Extend that moment

If it is unexpected and unpredicted, it is real; it is true. When we are taken by surprise, when we are seized and ravished by the experience of being stood upside down, the mind stops. In that moment, what “sleeps in our paper flesh like dynamite” explodes, and we are conscious of not knowing anything.

Through the glass darkly

We do not see what we are looking at. We see our thoughts about what we are looking at. Thoughts prevent us from seeing. “Oh, look, there’s a Muslim.” If we don’t understand this, we will never see anything.