The movie "Groundhog Day" is my template, pattern, model, for waking up. We all wake up the way Bill Murry/Phil Connors wakes up. Murry's/Connors' advantage in the movie is that nothing changes until he does. With us, everything is changing all the time, and we have something else to see before we have seen that last thing. We don't get 400 years to learn to play the piano. We have to learn everything at once, or close enough to once to make it complicated. But our advantage is that the complications are--or can be-- eye-openers, waking us up by forcing us to take the contradictions and polarities into account. The complexities are here to wake us up. And what they wake us up to is/are exponentially increasing complexity. "Simple" is extremely complex. (And the movie, "Being There" with Peter Sellers/Chauncey Gardner, is a great presentation of the complexity of simple). The more we see, the more we see the depth and scope of what we do not see. The more we see, the more there is to see. Waking up is eternal and everlasting in its unfolding. We are never awake, enlightened, illumined. We are always waking up, being enlightened, becoming illumined. There is no end to what we don't know. And, knowing that is where we all start the process of knowing more than we knew when we walked in. And we see by saying what we see and asking all of the questions that beg to be asked about thinking we see what we are looking at. Questions complicate the situation. Complication is good in that it doesn't allow us to get by with simplifying the process. Questioning everything gets to the bottom of no bottom to anything, only more questions about more things. And that's good. It forces us to look closer, to listen more carefully, and to know that knowing more is what knowing is all about. Knowing in the service of what? Is another question inviting us to explore what we think we are here for and what we are trying to get through the process of asking questions and seeking clarity. What are we going to have when we get there? "Full realization" is going to do what for us exactly? There is only going on past "full realization" to "fuller realization." And to laughing at the idea of graduation. What do you think a plausible, acceptable, reasonable, end would be? Where does AUMMMmmmmmm... stop? Then what? HUMMMmmmmmm...?
No one ever changed anyone by telling them what they need to hear. People change by being listened to, heard, understood-- not by being told. When people are listened to-- and pushed/encouraged/invited to explore what they are saying-- to say more than they have ever been asked to say-- so that they get out of their repetitive liturgy of their life and are forced to search for what they mean and how that relates to what they also mean-- magic happens. Realization happens. Growth occurs. Telling me how you see things and how that relates to how you see other things, and how you hold it all together by refusing to see what things, produces an inner conflict-- perhaps a conflict of values, a conflict of interests-- that requires you to adjust the way you see things. Adjusting the way we see things changes the way we see things. Changing the way we see things is all that growing up consist of. We do not grow up until we change the way we see things. And we change the way we see things by seeing the way we see things in light of the ways we see other things, all things. When we listen to people, and ask the questions that beg to be asked about the way they see things, and how that relates to the way they see other things, we introduce complexity into their life, and force them to take into account things they normally deny, dismiss, disregard, ignore about their own seeing/positions, and require them to reconcile the contradictions within their own constructs of reality/truth/facts and that is where the shifts happen that cleanse "the doorways of perception" (Aldous Huxley), and that changes everything. Reconciling our own opposites forces us to grow up against our will and transforms our life and our relationships with ourselves, one another, and our way of living. Making all things new. By being listened to and thereby required to hear what we are saying and how that relates to what we are also saying. The people who believe in freedom want to kill/purge/destroy those whose idea of freedom challenges them to expand their idea of freedom. They want to be free to ignore what freedom requires, and how being free binds them to the requirements of freedom, which extends to everyone the freedom they want only for themselves. Freedom is never freedom from responsibility. Freedom is freedom for responsibility. We are all free to the extent that we are responsible for guarding the freedom for everyone, and giving everyone the opportunity for exploring their freedom for expression and the responsibilities freedom imposes upon all who would be free. My right to be free has to respect/honor your right to be free, and we are both responsible for guarding the freedom of each other, which restrains and restricts each other, and forces/requires us to be free within the legitimate/necessary limits of freedom. What are the limits of freedom? Freedom from what? Freedom for what? Freedom from imposed restraint has to be freedom for self-imposed restraint. Unrestrained freedom is bondage to want/desire/ irresponsibility/greed/ruthlessness/ and life beyond the boundaries necessary for life. We can't tell people that, but we can listen them to that, by finding the contraries that require us to live within the tension of mutually exclusive opposites. Freedom is bondage to the requirements of freedom. How do we understand "this" in light of "that"? Questions lead to reflection which leads to realization. And questions require conversation. Not yelling.
If I could go back as a consultant/guide to myself I wouldn't. I wouldn't know what to change without changing something I wouldn't want to change. We have to find our own way through all of our circumstances/situations, learning as we go, as best we can, to the extent that we are able, and let that be that. What would we change about our life that wouldn't change everything about our life? How different does our life need to be? Making anything better would make what worse? And how would that impact the lives of all others who interacted with us over the course of our living? What is better? What is worse? How fine is the balance? How thin is the line? Between how things are, and how things need to be, and how things might have been? How do things need to be? Who is to say? All we have to work with is how things are, and what needs to be done here and now to make things as good as they can be within the context and circumstances of the situation at hand. How good can this situation be? How can we help it be so? What influence do we have upon the good of this situation, all things considered? Good for whom? How good is the good we call good? How do we decide what to do? When to do it? How it is to be done? In light of what do we live? What outcomes are we striving for? What is acceptable? What is ideal? When do we stop meddling and simply let things be? When do we allow things to unfold according to the way of their own becoming? When do we permit nature to take its own course? How do we shape our life? The lives of our children? The lives of those around us? How do we know what to do? What do we think we are doing? How do we evaluate the effect we are having? I believe in light touches, and gentle nudges. And relying on instinct, intuition, and spontaneous sincerity in the service of our natural inclinations as the most reliable guide along the way. And if living in these ways gets us into a mess, we have to trust that continuing to live in these ways will get us out of it-- and allow how things work out to just be how things work out.
Seeing things the way we do is the place to start. Everything flows from there. What makes us think that the way we see things is the way things are? Is the way TO see things? Is the way things ought to be seen? Is the way everybody should see things? How do we know that what we say is so, is so? What makes us the authority on how things should be seen? On how things should be done? What makes us the authority on saying what is authoritative and what is not? And if we are the authority on saying what is authoritative, doesn't that make us THE Authority governing how our life is lived? Governing how all life ought to be lived? And isn't that a bit arrogant? And self-deceiving? What exactly do we know that is worth knowing? And how do we know it is so? Assumption is the foundation of much that is called "knowing." It is the same "knowing" that declared the earth to be flat and that the sun goes around the earth. And refused to look through a telescope, saying it was a "delusion." How we see things may have nothing to do with how things are. Start there. And see where it leads.