Awareness is chic these days. Yes, being aware is utmost in human conditions and is satisfying, positive and complete. Clearheadedness is a state of mind that is good for us and those around us.
The irony comes about in the cultivation of awareness. The cultivation is a matter of technique. Reverting to technique is a form of dullness. We might believe that following a particular teacher on the lecture circuit, reading an instructive book, following a certain website, a particular religion, or meditative style is going to bring us awareness. Actually, the techniques bring about a lackluster and false awareness. This is so, because the techniques generally stress a particular way of thinking and experiencing.
This is where things get a bit tricky. It’s a lot like herding cats. You can guide cats. You can bribe cats. You can train cats, to a certain extent. In the end, cats are too catty for such things. You might be able to hypnotize a cat for awhile, but she won’t stay in that state of mind for more than a few minutes.
Losing the lackluster quality of mental awareness requires sensitivity. But sensitivity that is cultivated is shallow or deep according to the type of technique that is taught. What is cultivated or that is learned is a pose, a veneer, an attitude. It is not true, innate sensitivity.
We love comfort. Not that there’s anything wrong with comfort. There is a time for dullness and being lackluster. But when seeking awareness, comfort is a wrongheaded approach. We have our addictions to the web, to teevee, to music, to organizations, religion, politics, controlling substances and so forth. These things are largely predictable. Whether pleasant or unpleasant, they comprise our comfort zones. Even the technique of rebelling against these things is another form of comfort and lackluster experience.
We might find an exciting state of mind from any of these. Our favorite technique might give us a sense of higher emotional response or a euphoric state of mind. But if you look deeply at euphoria, it is actually a state of dulled awareness. It is more or less a false awareness.
Describing your path or way of sensitivity is hard to pin down by saying what it is. It’s more effective to say what it isn’t.
It isn’t the latest eBook written by the currently chic author interviewed on Oprah. It isn’t in a leader nor an ideal. It is not found in sustained practice nor cultivated habits. It isn’t to be found from the latest motivational course nor lectures from the motivational lecture circuit. You won’t find true sensitivity on cable teevee on religious channels and evangelists. It isn’t in the Republican, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, conservative, reactionary nor liberal political dogmas. These are all ways of accomplishing certain goals. These are not ways of becoming sensitive. They all close the mind in one way or another. They all contribute to lackluster awareness. If your aim is to accomplish, these techniques can be effective but they’re not going to awaken you.
If your goal is to become awakened, you need to let go of that, too. If you aim to be sensitive, you need to let go of that as well. The aim or goal leads to the search for a technique. Even, letting go can be a technique. Through watchful observation of yourself, you can begin to pick your way past technique and simply discover your inborn sensitivity. You don’t need a special teaching nor objects to find it. It’s been there all along just waiting for you to ride light in the saddle.
It’s not aggressive nor assertive engagement with others nor is it withdrawal and isolation from other people either. It might be called love. But it’s not the saccharine, maudlin, sappy variety. It’s the kind of love you find simply within you that has always just been there and will remain if you just notice without needing to point it out as some special flowery, hearts and butterflies aspect of yourself.
We can see that lackluster attachment to an insensitive lifestyle and dullness of mind bring about misery, suffering and warfare. Why continue the apathetic, comfort zone sort of lifestyle?
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you have found this essay to be helpful.