Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Inner Shift

In a dream, I was walking through a looker room. I saw  man changing and when I looked at his unzipped pants, I noticed that he had a rather small penis. Then another man showed up, also with unzipped pants, and a freakishly big penis stuck out. When I woke up, the feeling of this locker room scene lingered with me. Something was odd about it. I asked myself, how would I have perceived this situation in real life instead? Would I have perceived the second man’s size impressive rather than freakish? Would I have been envious instead of being turned off? Was this ‘me’ watching the locker room scene? If not, who then was watching? 

Anorexia is that exact problem statement of a mind-distorted perception of reality. A woman watches herself naked in front of the mirror and thinks she still has ten pounds to loose, and a couple of driven people in the fashion industry might agree with her, but the rest of us sees an undernourished woman. Our ego is this perception of reality. It is the mind perceiving reality rather than responding to it. It is a feeling generated by the distorted expectations of the mind. The woman is only healed from her affliction when there is an inner shift unfolding, adjusting to what is, rather than what should be. 

Along my spiritual path I have experienced that true spiritual progress only takes place when something is shifting inside. Maybe the ‘me’ in the dream was my personality without the mind-distorted penis envy. Maybe the anorexic woman might one day feel that it is healthy to gain a few pounds. While I can’t tell you what exactly causes that shift, I can tell you that I have experienced that inner transformation in many areas of my life. From one day to the next, I thought, felt and responded in a situation differently than I had before. The ego has a chink in its armor in this particular area of life, and will one day dissolve completely. 

It is scientifically dissatisfying not to know the process that is responsible for the inner transformation that takes place, yet, it is fairly straight-forward to conclude what will get you there eventually; it is mindfulness. The objective of mindfulness is to be aware of our thoughts, feelings and the observations that hit us as we perceive life and our interaction with it. Mindfulness manages to communicate the distinction between what is and what we think there is, and what we think there should be. Mindfulness is the most scientific practice there is, and it allows us to let go layer after layer of conditioning.

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