Previously I have held up two ideas; a growing sense of freedom and a growing equanimity or balance. If for whatever reason you must have goals, then these two are not so bad. Moreover, they are personal and do not directly impinge on any other being, of course they will impinge indirectly because people like dependency and may not like your growing independence. These “goals” have no power over others inherent, they do to take nor inflict in any way. In this sense they are almost neutral. I have held them up for you to consider and should you find them beckon, then it is up to you.
Be aware though that the single biggest barrier is talking. By this I mean both your own talking, your own internal dialogue and the talking of others. It is by this talking that a world version is upheld in the semi-consciousness of man. I have used the preface semi as full consciousness implies full freedom, something which is extremely rare. It is very difficult to be conscious fully when one is busy talking. With an inevitability the act of speaking is detrimental to hearing and overrides much other sensory input. Yet the world is full of talking and the minds of most are overrun by incessant internal dialogue. All this makes a world version as it is held, roughly by many. Almost without exception these world versions are limiting and unless one is a psychopath they are beset by a set of conditional societal norms, to which one is supposed to adhere, support, agree with and comply. To a very large extent an imagined ideal of life is presented and nobody, not anyone, lives the glossy ideal of the advertiser. Many have tried, and all have failed. In that failure there is suffering. Idealised forms and imaginary picket fence narratives simply do not exist for real. This supposition of what life entails is endemic and any failure to buy into such a supposition can render one outcast. Not sharing the illusion is a suspicious activity.
That reel to reel nature of the internal dialogue plays, minute after minute, hour after hour and decade after decade; it loops. These “thought” forms construct a pseudo-reality, based in selective perception seen only through the coloured lens of whatever world version is favoured. There is a large and innate tendency only to select those perceptions which coincide with world version. This is both “convenient” and lazy. In fact, anything which strays too far from the parameters of world version is, for the time being, beyond perceptual capacity and cognitive assimilation. Restricted to a world version lens there are many parts of the reality spectrum which cannot yet be accessed. It follows that because the internal dialogue says that they don’t or can’t exist, then they must not or cannot be. It is with the talking that the world version lens is constructed, polished and its material defines which part of the reality spectrum it can transmit. Many world version lenses have a very small aperture, and this limits the world version to a tiny subset of all available realities. We might call this narrow minded, for example. Or we could say bigoted, dogmatic and closed. A more polite way of saying this is confirmation bias, which can be found on all sides.
This world version is the basis of how an individual makes sense of where they are in the world and society. Without it people feel afraid and at sea. For most there has to be at least some framework; a kind of belief system whether developed and broad or otherwise. For some these frameworks are very basic and revolve around corporeal need and pass time supply. For others these are more nuanced and extensive. To ask big questions is terrifying for some and beyond capacity for others. The extent of world version varies with capacity and courage. Straying more than a little from what is acceptable to peers is fraught. Not everyone is fated to be Avant Garde.
Until one is willing, at least as a hypothesis, to accept that world version is not omniscient or all encompassing, then it is justified by talking as a means of self-defence. For should the world version start to crumble then all sense of certainty is at risk. If you listen to talking you can hear that so much of it is of a pseudo-rational justificatory nature. It is with bricks of justification and the planks of reasons and excuses that the fabric of world version is constructed. In addition, world version is plastered with supposition and sealed with assumption, many of which are dogmatically inviolate and never actually tested. The loop says it must be so.
This noise, caused by talking inner and outer, inhibits extent of experience and whilst that might seem cosy and safe, it isn’t really. The world does not comply with how it says it ought to be and when this happens, because the world version does not contain everything, we become unsettled and fearful. Our contextual framework of reality differs from the actual. In this respect many are almost completely unaware of where “their” thoughts and ideas have come from. Many are picked up and borrowed from others or deemed consensually accurate if acquired from peers. Let me say that consensus is not the same as truth or reality. Consensus is a socio-political creation arrived at only in the minds of man. The universe does not care one jot about what man thinks and says. The planet does, in a sense, care about what man does; for man does impact on planet, as yet the universe is relatively safe from our actions.
One thing is for sure and that is you cannot run away from your own mind, you can dull it and anaesthetise it, but it keeps on coming back. I don’t know for certain what goes on in the minds of others, but I think it fair to guess that they are not by and large at ease and in bliss. Human mind does not rest well and what we say to ourselves is often unhelpful. The dark recesses of the human mind can indeed be dark, despite any outer appearance. There is a lot of fear and anger. There are many unpleasant thoughts and motives. Humanity is not calm and measured. It is often petty and vengeful.
Having said all of the above; are you as a reader bothered by internal dialogue? Does it cause you grief and suffering? Chances are that it does. Now the corollary of this is; do you like this state of affairs and if not, are you willing to do something about it? If you are, then at least in principle if not yet in practice, ready to start to work at the biggest barrier to freedom, talking.
Some people like conversation, it is a major party of life for them. The idea of falling dumb is unattractive and social interaction is valued. I am not advocating that you find a cave and become a yogi. What you can do with relatively little initial disruption is to work at the cessation of your own internal dialogue. Internal dialogue is quite the most tiring thing and takes up vast tracts of time. If you calm and eventually stop the internal dialogue you will have so much more energy and quite a bit more time. Sales pitch over it is really up to you, but if you want to do this you will need some meditative practice or other to help you begin. Be aware though that there are many purveyors of snake oil and it easy to simply swap one world version for another and end up out of pocket in the process.
Once you have instilled a measure of control over your internal dialogue you will find that the aperture of mind opens, how far it opens is in proportion to your control or cessation of internal dialogue. There is a potential drawback in that a fertile mind is relatively easily populated so care should be taken and discernment practised.
Unless you can control and eventually stop at will your internal dialogue you will not be free of it or from it. As a consequence, equanimity will be fleeting as the next storm front of internal dialogue gathers and passes over. If you can’t control your own mind, you are not free. Rather you are plagued by internal noise which both limits and colours your perceptions of the world. In this sense internal dialogue is by way of an enemy that is both persistent and full of guile. It does not surrender willingly or easily. It likes the control that it has over you.
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