Expectations and the Three Sets of Five

I woke up unhappy this morning.  It has been more than three months since the Pandemic closed the store and I have been working from home.  I haven’t seen my friends at work since then, except for WebEx meetings, occasional FaceTime, texts, and Facebook posts.  That is a big change, especially since I have no one living with me but my dog.  He’s a great companion animal, but he lacks certain conversational skills.  

Every week I have routed my calls through a network of close friends as I spend all my time enclosed in a small apartment with a big computer the company sent, taking calls from and working with strangers.  

I’m not complaining.  I am deeply grateful for the ability to not only stay employed, but grow in a new position I was always interested in trying.  As it turns out, it is also a beneficial situation as my dog, Max is his name, developed cancer last month. Thanks fully, I have the means to get him treatment. Still, it would have been difficult to go to work and leave him alone.  So he rests by my side all day, while I am “at work”. Nevertheless like I said, I woke up unhappy this morning, with a dozen stories popping up as to “why”, the dreaded story maker.  

Happily, years after writing my last blog here, it still works for me and there was a small insight that I thought I would share.  Looking back over the blog, I could see that the best piece of it was actually broken up into no less than four posts making a play on the theory of relativity. Search for Nevermind, if you want to review.  Discovery can be complicated.  Most of LucidChange.com is about discovery, trying, and testing theories.  Now that the trying and testing are more than a decade in practice, this one theory has simplified and, I find, it to be the best go-to.  So I am giving it its own space in one updated post.  

Given the itemized bill presented in the first three paragraphs, it would be easy to see why someone might wake up unhappy, but that would not be the Truth.  The truth was that I had certain expectations of how things should be, and the difference was disappointment.   I sat down and wrote out the three sets of five, and marked the words that were active in creating my unhappy disappointment.

 I    You    We    They    This

 Always    Never    Should    Could    Can’t

 Have   Think    Feel     Say    Do
The expectation was clear: I should always have___fill in the blank___: the right answer, timely support, easy access to friends and loved ones, that job application I missed, a healthy dog, and more.  By writing it down I could see the makings of countless other expectations: You should, and They can’t, the infamous We never, and the faith in something other than the Self — This could: make me feel better.  All of these are so active in creating the differences currently present in our world.
I thought about how one or more words from each line sets expectations that inevitably lead to disappointment as they are all impermanent and always changing, even what is always and never.  
In the first line there is something very important to see, and that is the I is included.  It is not the one using the words, it is included among the tools of creation, non-different from any of the others.  
Let me write that again:  It is NOT, the One, using the words.  The I, is a descriptor that covers NOT, like a glove.  Without NOT, the I lays empty on the table.  Throughout the original writing of this blog, I struggled with how to express the omnipresence of non-existence.  I interpreted the sound of “not” as Naught, the Unconditional life fulfilling all that is, indifferent and non-different to itself.  It was a clumsy, complicated attempt. 
Over time NOT has become an acronym for No Other Thing to represent the illusion of duality, and Oneness not as a unification of many, but the absence of the condition of many as in  we and they. 
In Truth, there is only No Other Thing in the appearance of all things. In Truth, there is just no such thing, or No Other Thing, as I. Given that, all that the I is purported to name, equally does NOT exist. That is Oneness.

The three sets of five are the means by which NOT is made to appear limited, the potential source of disappointment, unless we are lucid to it’s action.  Then we may, from the Truth of our essence as NOT, observe these as creative tools and, since the human experience is based on these conditions, use it wisely.  
The conscious configuration of “I, you, we, they, this” to “always, never, should, could, can’t — “have, think, feel, say, do” puts us in the place of the creator — NOT, choosing to fill in the blank with absolute happiness, love, peace, and joy for no reason other than it is possible.
From that perspective, I am happy enough.

Choose Freedom

The many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics posits that there are limitless possibilities surrounding every potential situation and all remain probable even after one is selected.  In other words, until you decide your limits, they don't exist, and even after you do, there are alternative realities.

The issue is that many limits were decided for us, before we could be lucid to this possibility and even though they remain probable, we would have to wake up to their presence and select something other than our previously perceived limits in order to have a chance at seeing it through.

Because all possibilities, graciously give way to the chosen probability, it's pretty hard to see they could possibly exist, but they do.  Like the constellation Pleiades, alternative realities tend to disappear when we look for them directly, so the secret is to see them indirectly.  This means we do not try to force the issue.  Instead we don't force any issue and let all the realities gestate and develop equally without fear-driven choices. The healthiest choices will survive, often in unexpected combinations and effortlessly so, except for trying not to make up our minds.

So how to not makeup your mind?  Notice when you are trying to do it and simply say, "Nevermind".
Be lucid.

Think Naught

Is you thinking again?  Does you ever stop?  In all yous time of thinking, what has it ever really done?  You can't stop thinking.  You can try.  You can make the path to attain peace of mind to become thoughtless, but there is no hope in that. That thought itself destroys any hope of peace of mind. 

The thing is, what do you think?  Do you identify with your thoughts?  There is only one thing to know: "you" is thoughts, and "I" am Naught.  How long can you see that "I" are Naught you thoughts?  

Listen to you thoughts, but do not take them personally. You is always telling youself what to think, feel, say and do about what has happened in the past, what may come in the future. 

The present is when the true Self or Detached Observer lucidly sees the you in action. If not this then you sees the Self as attainable, upon which the Self cannot be attained because it is not remote or missing. 

Get ready for my favorite double entendre use of what's behind the sound "not" which both negates something and represents nothing or the unconditional.  (Through) you thoughts does not (Naught/) exist.  What is true and real, that is it is unchanging, is the one undivided unconditional absolute nature of emptiness.

Naught is the omnipotent ability, preceding and unaffected by the conditions of the seer (you), seeing (thinking) or seen (manifested) of which the Observant Self is lucid/mindful. Naught is the ground on which the rope and the snake you perceives. Naught is the space which fills and surrounds the vessel that you thinks it is. 

Do Naught be distracted by thoughts of you as the vessel glazed over and lacquered with plans for what will make it full and so it will seem necessary as you divides and sculpts the unconditional nature of Naught into limited form. 

There is only one thing to know: "you" is thoughts, and "I" am Naught.  One without a second. 

Practice this: Focus on the mundane and See the duality in all you does. Feel how the weight of the body shifts from one leg to another. Notice how the eyes look here or there. Listen as words are expressed on breath moving from in to out. Watch the hand moving things from one place to another. It is the identification with this duality and more complex movements of thought and choice that creates the appearance of big ticket items including  loss, lack and limitation.  

The goal of this exercise is not so much to stop thought or think these things aren't happening but to be consciously aware of such actions which unnoticed, you becomes ceaseless thoughts of ways to fix, attain, and overcome.  Re-cognized it is all Naught. 

Be lucid. ;)

Nothing is permanent except change

This quote from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus gets at one of the most fundamental reasons for being lucid.  To be anything else would be impermanent. 

There is a mistaken belief within the framework of reality that life is scalable with two definitions.  It can be larger or smaller depending upon ones age and experience and that with experience one is able to scale or climb life to the top - whatever that is for them. From this viewpoint it is essential that we micromanage every waking moment, tending to the issues that affect us and make sure our ducks are in a row.

With the acknowledgement that all this will change we can see that the best way to manage this is to be lucid in the moment where all potential is waiting for our direction.  In the present moment we can simply be lucid and no matter what else seems to be going on, or how much we are distracted, when we bring our mind back to being lucid, that point of existence is always present, always real and always clear. 

Be lucid.

Better Isn't Always Best

Probably the most challenging and satisfying accomplishment anyone can do is achieving something without negative motivation. This is the difference between well-being and getting better. In the context of this post "Well-being" is about living a healthy life. "Getting better" is about recovering from some malady.

While recovering from illness seems much better than being sick, what's best is having no ills from which we need to recover.  How is that possible?  In truth, it's more likely than the possibility of recovery.

For many, well-being includes things like proper nutrition, healthy exercise, being of good temper, spending time with friends and family and more.  Nevertheless, many look at all the ways they could enjoy well-being as things that would "get better" if only...they had the time, weren't so tired, strapped for money, busy at work, and so on.   So it seems that well-being can be rather difficult to achieve.

Our automatic system runs on lessons learned before we were old enough to concatenate them.  Because many lessons are learned via negative consequence, experiencing "growth" seems to require fixing things in order to improve. Such growth is in a system of development that does not necessarily support well-being.  All difficulties and disappointment are are related to "not being good enough" and that must be the case in order to get better.

Becoming aware or conscious often describes the point at which one begins to wake-up from the sleepy dream of automatic living.  However, waking up is too often a temporary event that gets sucked up by the "getting better" model which means things still don't seem to improve. As long as we try to fix things nothing will ever get better. ;) 

Things are different, not fixed, but altogether truly different when we stop trying to get better and start each day with the intent to be well. That is simply doing what is healthy rather than bouncing it off a mountain of things that go against it.  Along with eating right, exercising, happily spend time with family and friends, or whatever you do, be lucid as you do it.  Being lucid is well-being and requires no need to get better.

Try this:  Review the posts tagged "Noticing the Mundane" (start at the bottom of the page and scroll up).  Practice a few of the recommended techniques throughout the day.  Therein lies the difference between getting stuck with a few big ticket items that need to get better and being truly well.

Be lucid!

A Meaningful Life

Are you mean?  Are you good at it?  What kind of meanness do you have?  Are you inconsiderate, self absorbed, critical of others?  Do you see what doesn't work first and endlessly complain?  Do you know better than anyone else, or at least handle yourself better than they do? Does someone feel disappointed by something you have failed to do or can't stop doing?

Are all these actions and ideas really that 'mean'?  Indeed they are very 'average' and all of them are based on not wanting to be average. They are sourced from concepts of "incomplete" and "not enough" and the idea that we should all aspire to be better, more, improved than we seem to be. 

There are several ways to accomplish this - comparison and competition are most often applied. The former stands where you are and makes others less while the latter races against others to produce something more first. 

Those who practice being lucid embrace the notion that there is no outcome better than the ones we were born to manifest and this includes being mean (average). In fact, there is no 'worse than', only apparently different outcomes and all the steps that lead up to them. 

To be lucid to this is to give new meaning to the word 'Be' which has, in the spiritual arena of personal growth and self development, been synonymous with emptiness, higher self, and purity of thought and mind, free of competing and comparing in the world. But that is not accomplished by becoming different than we are, it's about embracing and being all that we are.  This simple truth transforms the vision of personal growth and self development  as we have known it, to see it for the trap it really is. For to Be is to eliminate a base-line that draws comparisons over which we may cross to "beat the odds". 

The 'odds' are not our enemy but thinking they are makes them seem so. We are all born to be perfectly good at what and who we are. There is no shortcoming which isn't in and of itself complete, no mistake which isn't perfect, and no perfection void of these for anyone save for a few in all of history who were born that way.

If we aspire to be like these masters, a Buddha or Christ, we will see it is not to aspire to be without error but to accept error as part of our perfection and acknowledge that each of us in our own way makes any error in just the right way. Both Buddha and Christ made repeated mistakes in order to learn (and teach) this simple truth.  

Over and over again each master counsels the students to embrace the failures they carry lest they spend their lives living the consequences of limiting themselves to getting 'better than' rather than fully Being. 

On the way to this most logical conclusion many of us will spend our lives attempting to alter and change our meanness  in order to be less offensive or more of some imagined state that is better than their original fault-filled condition. 

Truly, that is like asking a seed of corn to grow into a five course meal when it would have produced perfectly good food as it was. Not a banquet in an of itself, just one part of a meal, likely to be served up with hot dogs and hamburgers though sometimes included in a soufflĂ©. 

It's easy to think a soufflĂ© is a better dish than corn on the cob but both are good food. While different they both include corn, and fit together with other things (like steak) which, if not as they were meant to be, will leave either dish wanting. 

Personal growth and self development is about 'wanting' and in order to 'want' you can't possess, so attempting it doesn't work except to serve as the means for exhausting the latent tendency to act as if we're not enough. 

The three strings of five is a formula for a new form of personal growth and self development, acceptance and appreciation. We may use these to see the comparison and competition that runs through the old, but we can "Nevermind" the tendency to find fault in these and free ourselves from these attempts to be "other than" we truly are. 

Instead of being and seeing a collection of faults which must be eliminated or improved, we can see that that every 'I, you, we, they, this' - 'always, never, should, could, can't' - 'have, think, feel, say, do' (does) everything absolutely perfectly including living a meaningful life. Then we will be able to find the meaning of life many never find, as we see that while we were off looking for it, it was with us all the time.

For the love of life Be lucid. ;)

You Are Not What You Eat

It's not surprising that we confuse ourselves with our thoughts. In a world that originated the phrase, "You are what you eat", it follows that to be your thoughts might be an improvement. You're not, you know, what you eat. That is to say you are not your body. Likewise, you are not what you think, that is the mind.

The most accurate indicator of what you are is not what but rather, That you think. After That, the thinking is almost, no, actually is inconsequential.  Having this awareness you can turn your attention to the power of being lucid and free your attention from dissecting the story of thoughts the mind assembles to explain away its ignorance of the Truth That is you.

If you were thoughts, you would cease to exist in the space between the thoughts, just as a lamp does not include the space between it and the sofa. Even if your mind runs constantly, there is nonetheless space between the thoughts.

That you do not cease to exist in the space between the thoughts is indicative that you are actually this space in which thoughts may arise. As such, thoughts are entertained like guests, but you are not limited to or by their quality unless that is a thought you choose to entertain.

If you do choose to entertain the thought that you are what you think, that will be your experience until you choose otherwise either by getting to the core of how it works, or via an elaborate arrangement of thoughts that produce some other effect for awhile.  Getting down to the "core" is trimming away excess thought. Sometimes you may find yourself trimming away at the idea that you are your thoughts. Other times you may find yourself thinking that things would be different if you just changed your thoughts, (i.e. from bad to good) but this strategy just reroutes your thoughts.

The hint given earlier that you are not your thoughts but the ability to think, aka consciousness, is a great place to turn your thoughts. Rather than just exchanging them for new, equally limiting thoughts even if they do seem nicer, simply notice that you are thinking and leave it at that.  There is no need for adjustments or changes.

You are not the thoughts or the thinker, but the pure, unconditional stuff in which such ideas and notions are born, take root, act up, change, shift, and disappear.  When you don't identify and evaluate yourself by the quality of thoughts (yours and other people's), you are free from the burden of managing them.  Just let them be, and be amused, served by, done with, and independent of them.  Be lucid.