Most important is the practise of seeing old emotional attachment, so you came to see, how ego works, and that it really seeks to find of itself through its own created point of views. Then it will be easy to see, that you do not have to listen to its thoughts because you have realised that you can observe them, that you and those thoughts are not the same, so you can hold awareness while the tool of ego is “emotions and brain”.
Being the observer, eventually it will stop bringing up thoughts and feelings. But rest assured, it will try very hard to make you cling on to those thoughts and feelings. Without them it would die, ‘the illusionary self’, the I, as in I think and I feel. This does not mean thinking is not to be used, but only by its rightful owner instead of ego.
If you were to try without experiencing its ways within one self and directly onto the old way of meditation, whereby your focus is one pointed either on breath or candle flame or other, then like most monks, it will at times take more than a lifetime to free yourself. You would be distracted as much by thoughts arising as you would with the inability to stop to identify with the thoughts and feelings, without the real experience of having seen it within. And within is of course your mental and physical faculty.
So do not start until you are able to look back on a past experience as a total outsider, just an observer, and when you start to see the blindness within that experience, and how it is used to judge the present or future. And to see how it accumulated more to its liking, in other words similar emotions vibrations, being hurt is being hurt and it can be in many ways. Each way it experienced of itself, it gathered every sound, every moment, every taste etc. It can pick up by its senses and then becomes the tool through which it looks in the present and uses them as its measure in order to judge, which you usually identify with.
But all ego looks for, no matter what the cost, is experience of self, a self that has limited view, that is unable to look without judgement, be it simple things as a cup or table to a situation. It measures with its collected field of experience. And because it is selective only seeing it through the eyes and ears of the past (experiences), IT SIMPLY MEANS you are blind for the truth, a truth that misses nothing, does not discolour nor misinterpret, because it is not conditioned by these limited points of view. And again, if an experience of a situation or something within that experience has something similar, even if remotely, it will trigger an associated memory. You might not be aware of a smell that was similar to a past experience where you did not feel loved, then it will bring up such thoughts. Or just make you feel un-comfortable, and say something like, I do not like this place or situation, or think how unloving this situation is. Or if you had trouble with a governmental department and it made you feel uncomfortable in the past, next time anything from the government would cause you to feel it or/and think about it. And just as you cannot listen to someone if you listen to your thoughts, so you then cannot see fully what is in front of you in that present situation.
Back to what is said before, you were born knowing very little, and you start judging things by that limited measure. So the next time you might have learned something, but the instrument you judged the moment with already had a blind spot in it, something it couldn’t see. Even if you have learned something from an experience which would contradict an old memory and revise your opinion, it still has a blind spot or even spots in it, and when an emotion becomes too strong, it will still bring up thoughts and feelings the way it saw it before. And this because you lost awareness in that moment. That tells you, you are not those thoughts or feelings that come up, but the flame behind it, the flame of life, the breath of life, the one awareness, the seer. But this needs that practise, and in this practise you will eventually get a flash of insight, and they will become more and more. But always remain open, do not attach to them, only then can the insight grow and eventually enlighten all.
No there is no blue or red pill, but it is much closer than you think, and if one seriously practises, the goal will be reached.
Just one more point, in your own struggle to let go of ego, specially without guidance, you can recognize the difficulty in others, therefore your forgiveness grows into a compassion, a thankfulness, that is built on rocks instead of quicksand (ego sand) a rock built of faith.
“My anger”? As you see you identify! “I began to get angry”…… it is not you, it arises because your awareness shines on it and reflects, triggering thoughts and/or feelings to which you say I get……… But continue to go back to that moment and visualise that moment. Simply look at it and realise the thoughts and feelings that arise are just that, arising, and they will pass too. And be forgiving to that person (that so called you) because (it) did not know it was yet another memory being triggered because it recognised something in that situation that had something that related to it and so caused thoughts and or feelings to be triggered.
And now you have experienced that simply looking at that past moment caused anger to rise. So in a way you have seen it work that way. Those feelings are being connected to memories. Something to remember here is that that memory has thousands of little bits of info, from smell to sound to any image it picked up those moments and they are all connected to that feeling of anger. So if any of those things get a little light from either you looking, listening or smelling something that is equal or close to similar in a present moment, it will trigger it. And if the mind then gets hold of it, it will build upon it trying to stay alive, yes emotions wish to see of themselves even if you have to suffer from them. It does not wish to die. Easy, because you tend to identify and say I think, and so he can rule you and cause to interpret the situation in accordance with its memory so it can collect even more. Eventually such moments build up and become part of personality whereby someone is easily angered because there are so many links it was able to make to this feeling so it may recognise reason to be in many situations.
It is really like being addicted to something. Like alcohol, smoking, drugs or simply a habit, they have all grown strong to reason their way to allow it to be. By identifying you focus your inner light on it, and like anything in the world, you can only see things and colour because it reflects light. Your awareness is the same. When that (through your senses) receives light and you identify with whatever it triggers, focus your awareness on, becomes you.
Now another way to explain what is going on. For this I need to explain something about the eye and light, let’s start with the eye.
Our eyes have a small window at the front through which the light can enter. It is called the pupil. The pupil appears black because it is dark inside our eye.
At the back of our eye is a sensitive sheet of nerves called the retina. These nerves can detect light when it strikes the retina.
Our eye forms an image on the retina. This image is like a small picture of what you are looking at. If you are looking at a house, then an image of the house is focused by the lens of the eye onto the retina. The nerves in the retina send messages about the image to the brain, and your brain enables you to interpret what you are looking at.
Our eyes can detect images only because of the light that enters into them. If you close your eyes, the light cannot enter them, and you can detect nothing but darkness. What’s more is that we can see objects/persons etc. because they reflect light. Now there is a whole spectrum of light of which you can only see a small part, but there are different frequencies, sound for instance, and the frequency of molecules picked up by the nostrils. The same counts for feelings. In fact all of the above could be said to be instruments of feelings.
So when you open your eyes you receive reflected light, this then falls on anything within you that is of similar colour and is linked to all associated. And it then reflects it, and all attached to it, memories associated feelings, thoughts.
Now often due to its lower frequency attachment it also lowers the level you can see, in other words you are blind to some aspects and only recognise to the level of what it has stored. So emotions such as anger have various experiences linked with all sense perceptions (like sound, smell, taste and touch) some of which you were aware off, others you were not because it drew you to focus on its reflection whereby it then only recognises, like coloured filters that make you see only in one colour. One main emotional connection. This does not mean that you can only see through one colour but often a combination of different ones. Each having an attachment to feeling, who’s centre lies deeper than Mind. Yes, even the cup of coffee you are holding, be it thirst or something else. And due to your attachment to whatever is reflected from within, limits your ability to see it in its full light so to speak.
You will all have experienced the ability to see memories, as is often said, ‘in the back of your mind’, and whole movies in your dreams. So even without opening your eyes you are able to see in a way, so imagine that these images etc. also have light to radiate out for you to see (take this light a little like the light in the back of Plato’s cave). Now you too have a source of light within you, and it too can shine its light on things. This light is outside of the cave, not limited by filters or blockages or puppets, this light is full awareness, it sees all. But you are conditioned to look through those limiting filters.
Now an emotion is the same, it does not reflect anything but its own frequency. Like they say red of anger, green of envy. Again this is just to paint a picture on how it works. Our so called understanding of things is therefore limited in a similar way. We can directly know without thinking that that is a cup you’re holding in your hand, because it’s one of those things you have been seeing on a daily basis and have gathered a lot of images and attachments to. Others make you try and seek in your mind to remember (often not really knowing where to look in your mind). But imagine, an unlimited view that has the collective of all that is to look from. Now that is the light outside the cave, not limited by conditioning.
The one that stands in-between and blocks that view, it’s like trying to look at the bottom of a pond while a pebble is thrown in it. When you focus on the ripples (thoughts and feelings ) at most you will see is something like this:
Instead of this:
You might realise, you did cling on to a strain of thought and became aware of the emotion while at the same time clinging on to another. How many excuses did it give you to hold on to, saying yes ‘I’ will practise when ‘I’ am not so busy, or first this, that or the other? Isn’t the best practise when you are actually throwing pebbles in the pond?
“So difficult to see beyond it, I practise and all I notice is that I get angry again when I even think about it”, or “When I look I feel sad again”, etc. I am told by some of you. But right there! You have seen how it works! Your looking or thinking about it and the emotion is triggered, and so it happens continuously. I feel, I think, you are identifying again and that is the reason why your true view is blocked.
In the next part we will go back to the structure so I can show you the difference between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge.
Moshiya van den Broek