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Month: July 2020

Seeing What You Are Not

One thought that has been a piece of furniture in my mind all my life is that “I am not doing enough” or “What I am doing is not measuring up.”

It doesn’t matter where this thought came from, but it makes it so that many of my days, many of the moments I’m awake, are haunted by a sense that I’m too lazy and I’m not being a productive member of society—not contributing enough. Not fulfilling my purpose. “Do something,” plays in my head all the time.

At the very same time here’s what also plays, in response, in my head: “I don’t feel like doing anything. There’s nothing that really interests me to do.”

Back and forth, like a tiresome tennis match that nobody wins, playing on a perpetual TV in some distant room of my mind.

Thanks to recent circumstances, however, I have realized that, hey, wait a minute, both of these voices are coming from the same source, and neither one is real. They’re both just conditioned thought—detritus of the personality, the human vehicle. They don’t belong to me. Their purpose has NOTHING to do with accomplishing anything or creating anything or not creating anything.

The purpose of those voices is simply to keep me identifying with them in order to tie up my energy so I don’t remember that I am not the vehicle, I am not the conditioning, I am not the memories, the personality, the body.

During the pandemic—when the things I usually do to still those voices, or which I feel like doing, are not necessarily available to me, and the things I don’t feel like doing, or perhaps think I shouldn’t be wasting my time on, are quite available—the voices revealed their true nature and became visible as the same old biting dog they’ve always been.

The personality, the ego, bites. You are not it. You are not any thought that bites.

Thoughts on Wearing a Mask

Viruses, from what I understand, are fragments of genetic material, genetic coding. They cannot live or reproduce without a host. They’re like an operating system without a computer. They have no life until they’re installed.

Should a virus stumble upon a susceptible cell, it commandeers that cell with its coding and begins to reproduce. What had no empowered life of its own, now has a sort of borrowed life. 

(As an aside—the ego is a lot like a virus. It’s a collection of sensations and memories, thoughts and feelings and beliefs… a cloud of coding that has no life of its own without a vehicle to commandeer. We, humans, are the vehicle.)

The covid pandemic is a mass creation on a grand scale, and as all mass creations do, it’s showing us something about ourselves—something we needed and deep-down wanted, to see, and perhaps to change. Because I am alive right now and participating, I am part of this grand-scale creation. 

Before I go any further, here’s one of my favorite quotes from A Course in Miracles, from Lesson 76, I am under no laws but God’s.

Think of the freedom in the recognition that you are not bound by all the strange and twisted laws you have set up to save you. You really think that you would starve unless you have stacks of green paper strips and piles of metal discs. You really think a small round pellet or some fluid pushed in to your veins through a sharpened needle will ward off disease and death. You really think you are alone unless another body is with you.

It is insanity that thinks these things. You call them laws, and put them under different names in a long catalogue of rituals that have no use and serve no purpose. You think you must obey the “laws” of medicine, of economics and of health. Protect the body, and you will be saved.

These are not laws, but madness. The body is endangered by the mind that hurts itself. The body suffers just in order that the mind will fail to see it is the victim of itself. The body’s suffering is a mask the mind holds up to hide what really suffers. 

The body’s suffering is a mask the mind holds up to hide what really suffers. 

This is something I know deep down as true. This is knowledge I use in practical ways all the time with pretty good success. When I get sick or have an ache or pain, I always look within and try to figure out what’s really troubling me. In what way is my mind suffering and projecting it on the body so I won’t have to deal with unacceptable emotions or impulses, or God-forbid, make a change in my life?

All other treatments, even ones that I myself employ, I acknowledge as placebos and use them anyway. This is a dream. Nothing happening here is real. So when we take medications or herbs or do yoga or whatever we do to-and-with the dream body, it’s still not real.

However, we’re here to experience this embodied state as though it were real and solid and to work within the given parameters until we awaken, or die. For me, awakening has been a slow and sometimes painful process, but progress is being made.

Despite this slow process of my own blossoming lucidity, I have to say that I don’t understand what’s happening here with covid. I’m along for the ride as much as anyone else, and within the situation as a whole I feel better wearing a mask—not because I’m absolutely convinced that it is necessary, but because to me it has a definite, positive, symbolic value.

A friend sent me an article talking about how masks are a symbol of fear, shame and separation, and that they are part of a conspiracy to create a kind of mass alienation that will facilitate injecting the populace with genetic modifiers, masquerading as vaccines. 

That’s an interesting view, and the part about the vaccines might be true for all I know, but I don’t feel that way about masks.

For this entire lifetime I’ve felt enamored with certain aspects of Japanese culture. And one thing you always see in Japanese cities, is the wearing of masks. It’s considered courteous to wear a mask if you have a cold or aren’t feeling well. It’s also considered courteous to mask up if it’s flu season and others are ill. It’s a sign of consideration and mutual respect, and they’ve been doing it since the flu pandemic of the early 20th century. 

This is one reason the Japanese are more successful in dealing with covid. They just put on their masks, which they all had already. Another is that they don’t touch when greeting… no handshakes or hugs. They bow. Again, a sign of respect and affection.

Maybe this is why I feel so comfortable wearing a mask. I don’t know. At this point in the pandemic, as things are opening up and the infection rates are rising, wearing a mask, to me, feels like a gesture of togetherness in a situation that I don’t understand. 

And maybe covid itself is the mask our minds are holding up to hide what is really suffering inside us.

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