Life is Change (02/06/08)First

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Life is Change (02/06/08)First

Post by anna »

Many, many years ago, when I was being counseled by a well respected young man in the spiritual arena in those days -- can't remember his name, but he was a follower of someone or other - can't remember that someone or other's name either - wonder what that means? - anyway, I asked him, in my youthful enthusiasm for "seeking truth", what was true in life, what did he know was true? He looked at me in bewilderment, and for a moment, I thought he could not find an answer, and then said, with great assurance "Life is change, and that is the only thing you can be sure of, Nancy."

He's right, of course. And in that simple response lies the explanation for all our fears, anxieties, and uncertainties. It is change that we resist, it is change that brings the sense of lonliness that we fear, it is change that brings loss of control and power that we resist, it is change that our conditioned minds spend so much time trying to avoid or re-direct, it is change that causes us to rely on past memories and avoid the present, it is change that underlies the ephemeral and unpredictable world we call reality, it is change that creates mourning and the sense of loss, and it is addiction to the past that makes us fear those changes. Of course, those changes are about the material world, and about the psychological world through which we interpret the material world.

And of course, the question ultimately is "Who is it that fears those changes?" And finally, "who is it that believes itself to be changed?" "And changed by what? or Whom?"

My early teacher did not ask that question, nor did I run into that question for a very long time. That question is pivotal to escaping the fear and suffering caused by change.

Someone mentioned the mind of a child in a thread in the Sand Box. The mind of a child is essentially a "mindless being", because it has not been conditioned to think with an ego-centric point of view. Yes, it has a rudimentary kind of egocentricity that works for its survival, but it is not full of concepts to which it attaches its sense of achievement and meaning, indeed, its identity, which concepts, in turn, generate more concepts in order to maintain its supposed identity, which in turn, usurps our freedom and state of innate happiness. That young mind knows that "life is change" and moves with that change because of its unconditioned clarity. It can see things as they are, instead of through its conditioned perception. It welcomes change therefore. Perhaps all the teachings, all the paths, state this with different vocabulary. Surely the "natural mind" of Buddhism is nothing other than this; surely Jesus's urging that unless you be a child again you cannot see heaven is nothing other than this; certainly the advaita teachings of the east are essentially reaching toward this state; surely seeing God within is nothing but this? It is simply getting back to the "innocent mind", or pure consciousness, unwinding the thread of conditioning that is necessary to get back to where we can BE consciousness without the overlay of conceptual interference.[hrColor][/hrColor]
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers........Wordsworth