Thursday, 12 December 2013

Modern Day Psychosis?

Spiral Credit, Twisting Spirals
Gianne Sarcone Digital

We live in times that seem geared to confuse and even overwhelm the mind. With so much information darting around in cyberspace, there are many choices to make, many interests and distractions all competing for our attention...

If we walk into a supermarket to buy a toothbrush we have to choose between some fifty competing brands. Even something simple like buying a toothbrush has now become potentially problematic.

So much is happening in and around us all the time that one could be forgiven for feeling that the world is spinning out of control. That there is no longer anyone 'at the wheel,' that the machine of modern day life is hurtling along on its own momentum as a kind of 'Frankenstein monster' that no one seems able to subdue.

Even though the circumstances in which we live, have changed dramatically and consistently throughout history, what is going on in human society is not 'new.' 'Mind' is in league with 'emotions' and these two forces, when combined create the potent and compelling 'drama,' which has been entertaining human beings from time immemorial and thereby hogging all of our 'attention.'

In the midst of complexity, our human emotions of hope and fear remain as the very basis of pretty much everything that we say, think and do and this is as prevalent now as it was back in the stone age.  The only real difference now is that the outer conditions are markedly changed.

The hopes and fears of ancient civilisations were are 'real' to them as our modern ones are to us, even if we labour under the delusion that we are so much more advanced than they were.

These days we certainly face an array of bewildering choices and ancient man did not have to manage this difficulty, but in essence, our 'problem' is the same as it has always been.

No matter who we are, no matter where we go, we will be faced with the emotions of hope and fear and with every shade of grey between these two extremes and this will continue to be the dominant force guiding every civilisation into the future, just as it has been the dominant force in every civilisation in the past.

Our 'difficulty' lies in the fact that we attribute reality to these two emotions and their countless children. As long as we remain ignorant of who and what we really are we must swing helplessly, like a pendulum, between hope and fear and all of their numerous offspring.

We identify ourselves in accordance with a common belief, which is based on a fundamental misconception. Namely, that you and I exist as so and so of such and such and we seldom stop to question the whole foundation on which this belief is based.

The modern-day psychosis is not modern at all, although its appearance may belie that fact. We have only to question a few of the things that we normally take completely for granted to begin to get a sense of this.

But let's simplify this, let's take only one question; the one that embodies them all and with which we are most intimately connected whether we know it or not.

Who am I? 

This is the only question that really, truly concerns us. It is the question that points towards what is not what appears to be.

If we stop right here and right now and ask ourselves, no matter where we may be, no matter who we may think that we are, what is it that we all know beyond any shadow of doubt?

It can only be the fact of our existence.

'I am' cannot be understood by the mind and yet each one of us knows it. It's the only thing we really do know and its the only thing we can ever really be sure of.

If we take the time to deeply investigate the above statement we will find it to be truly remarkable and one day we will know that it encapsulates the entire 'problem' of existence, not only of human existence but of all existence.

Everything that happens outside of the sense 'I Am' amounts to little more than the old and ancient difficulty of 'ego,' which arises from an insatiable urge towards duality. You and me,  hope and fear,  good and bad. All the stuff that so unfailingly messes up our natural 'view.'

We can say all sorts of things about the 'modern-day psychosis,' but at the end of it, all our words amount to very little.

The 'idol' mentality and all of its weird variations are not just an 'aberration' or an 'American psychosis,' these are global phenomena, reminiscent of the ever-present inferiority/superiority complex of the ego.

We continually need to redefine ourselves in order to maintain our 'pseudo identity.' No wonder we get so messed up and confused. The mind has any number of 'games' that it can call up at any time to keep everything in just this sort of happy (unhappy) status quo.

Yet our liberation, our freedom is always and ever within reach and unspeakably near at hand.

Below I have included a link to a very well written article by Chris Hedges. It is masterfully insightful into a current 'mindset,' but much too pessimistic.  The reason why the 'liberated minority' are such a happy bunch is that they know, beyond doubt that whatever arises in this world is but a play of the dynamic force of being from which everything arises and that no matter how 'kooky' things may appear to get it is all being played out, just as it should.

The 'world', in which we are so inextricably a part will realign itself in due course and find its natural balance and we can move this process along by stepping outside of the 'madness' and recognizing the truth of our being.

If we look at the twirling spirals at the top of the page we may get a glimpse of how things are and where they are headed. We are very much a part of the vortex which appears to sweep us all along, yet even in its apparent dissonance, there is 'I Am,' which naturally and powerfully must bring everything to itself again in complete harmony.

American Psychosis by Chris Hedges

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