Story so far
Sunday, 3 December 2006
01.IN THE BEGINNING
I never understood anything about God. It was not that I did or didn´t believe in God, I simply could not imagine what God was. None of the descriptions that I encountered in the many books I read on these matters ever made any sense to me. And I am not a believer: either I know things to be true, and in that case belief is not necessary, or I do not know, and I cannot believe in things I don’t know.
After that pretty dramatically change of my view on Life, I understood that literally every thing in Life is not really a separate thing, but a part of One No-thing. This No-thing is a process, a.k.a. Life itself. But since there is only One process, appearing to our senses as many separate things and events, what’s in a name? I now understood why some referred to*It* as God. Or Love or Consciousness or Whatever*. This Process has several qualities: consciousness, intelligence, truth and most of all it is unconditional love.
I hesitate to talk like this, because I sound exactly as some of the people that give me the creeps. But this little explanation is necessary for understanding the idea, which I call The Hall Of Records.
I never read the Bible, but I do know some quotes of course. Like “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. God is the Word.” If this is taken as an mathematical equation,*everything* that is said or written is God. And if God=Word=Truth, than all words are true. This was at that moment just one of the many thoughts that were forming in my extremely open mind. But to my utter surprise this turned out to be true. All words are true! People cannot lie: they can only add the word “not” to what they say, but in essence the information stays the same. Any parent knows this. Kids cannot lie to their parents. Every attempt to do so is immediately recognised by a parent as “negative information”. Like when you come home and your daughter tells you: ”I didn´t eat the cookies!” I realised that I not only had a new view, but also a new hearing. I heard (or read) the same words as before, but now they had a different meaning. I “heard” the truth shining through every word. And I also heard the lies in my own words, which prevented me from speaking about all this in most situations. Well, I did try to talk about it to some people, but in most cases it did not work.
Most songs are about love. It had always puzzled me why people so easily accept this. It seemed ridiculous to me that in millions of songs we are given descriptions of relations that are pure nonsense or lies, and that have no relation whatsoever to reality. “You are my world, I would do anything for you, I would die for you, you can do me anyway you want”, etcetera
I had never said this to my love, and she neither to me. And most love-relations that I know of, are very different from what is sung in all the popular love-songs.
But with my new view on Life, all these lyrics sounded absolutely true! That is, if you listen to these songs as descriptions of a relation between a person and*Life* in stead of a relation between two individuals! Life does make the stars seem bright. Life can change my destiny. People don’t do that, but Life does.
From then on I listened to every song as information about my relation with Life, or Life’s relation with me, depending on the view-point of the singer. Love-songs became my guide and teacher, in ways that are way beyond the intention of the artists who write and sing them.
The aim of all true religions and esoteric teachings is to show people the truth about Life: that it is all One and that all fears are based on misunderstanding of this truth. If one would really understand Life, there would be no reason for fear. This is called Unconditional Love. I can only understand that it is true and that it is possible, but it is far beyond reach for me.
But there are days when this Unconditional Love for Life is present. And especially on those days listening to the lyrics of songs that are played on Top 40 radio stations is an amazing experience: how could I ever have missed that every “stupid” love-song can be heard as a reminder of my highest aims, my deepest desires and greatest dreams? I do want to life without fear, I do want to love everybody and everything. It is just so awful difficult not to forget that all my fears and dislikes are based on wrong ideas. But love-songs help. Even when I not listen to records or radio. Often, when I am forgetting the Truth, the jukebox-in-my-head starts playing a certain tune that as exactly the text I should remember at that moment. I know from experience that this is hard to believe, but I have no reason to lie to you.
The idea that I try to explain here is that the lyrics of ordinary pop songs (and especially love songs) can be interpreted as much profounder and more meaningful than most people are inclined to do. Of course, people who create something (in this case pop song lyrics) in a state of inspiration, get their ideas from the source of inspiration. In my understanding this source is not in our little personal database called mind. I think that the mind is the software that connects with the Source and that translates the information in the way the particular mind works. Some minds are better at “cosmic fishing “ (as Buckminster Fuller named it) than others. Most minds distort the Source information and often minds resist the ideas that is coming from this non local universal database. (I really do try to avoid this kind of language, but I cannot do without it.)
This is a strange idea, because it gives more meaning to the pop songs than the writers and singers have put in it. It is as if somebody builds a small house with four rooms that turns out to have seven floors and 21 rooms for the person who lives in it. Language does seem to have this miraculous feature: there is more meaning in it than the people who use it are aware of. There is a mathematician who noticed that mathematical formulas have this miraculous feature too. (I have a copy of the article somewhere but I cannot find it now; I will update this later.) He wrote that the persons who discovered mathematical laws (and the word discovery is crucial here!) rarely knew the full meaning of their finds, let alone its implications. Like I said, it is the mathematical variation on Dr Who´s Tardis. But I am not a mathematician, I am interested in the Tardis aspect of language. It is time for an example.
“Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in landslide,
No escape from reality.
Open your eyes,
look up to the skies,
These lyrics are probably so familiar to most people that they don’t pay any attention to them. But that is the magic trick: to pay attention. It is obvious that Freddy Mercury is talking about the Big Issues that all philosophers of all times have been dealing with: is this life an illusion? Can we escape this illusion?
The questions are clearly formulated in this intro of Bohemian Rhapsody”. But maybe the answers need some little explanation: “Open your eyes, look up to the skies, and see!” To understand my explanation of this answer, I need to tell something else first.
Since the beginning of human history people have been struggling with their mind. On the one hand our mind is what sets us apart from all the Life forms, but on the other hand it separates us from Life itself. The dilemma seems unsolvable. There seems to be no on&off button in our mind. The software is active all day and even at night, in our dreams, the production of sounds and images goes on. This would not be a problem if we had not also a physical life to live. The mind cannot function without a body and the body exists in what we call reality. And this reality cannot be ignored by the mind. We are forced to divide our attention between what goes on behind our eyes (in our mind) and what happens before our eyes (physical reality). And here things go wrong. It sure did in my case. I desperately tried to find out what is the exact relation between reality and thinking. The process that goes on in our mind is often called“ thinking”; but actually thinking is just one of the many function that the mind has. For now I will keep it simple (?!) and call the whole process thinking.
That there exists a relation between thinking and reality is clear. But is a complex relation. When I see a record I want to have it. This is one example of the relation between (my) thinking and reality. An other example is when I create something: creativity is making thoughts real. But there is much more to the relation between thinking and reality. In essence our thoughts come from the very same source that is the source of our reality. There is only One Source. Our reality and our thoughts are in essence but two different outpourings of this One Source. I never realised this. I just felt that my thoughts and my reality were separate things. One moment my mind was in war with the world around me, the next moment the two could be in complete harmony, but I never understood that in essence it is exactly the same stuff, only expressing itself in two very different ways: thinking and reality.
The solution to this problem is to stop using the mind to control our reality. It is two sides of the same thing, how can it not be in perfect harmony? It the very act of trying to control what happens around and with us that causes our feeling of disharmony.
In our society not much people seem to be fully aware of the true relation between thinking and reality. I never met any person who told me this; I found it out with the help of books written by dead people and a rather embarrassing experience that opened up my eyes. I will you more about that later (it is a great story) but I want to finish this story first.
Because our mind never sleeps and because we have not been taught to use its other functions, we use it fir thinking al the time. And here I mean with “thinking”: reacting upon the outside world. Most of the time people (and me in particular) use their mind to interfere, oppose and control the things that happen outside themselves. This leads to an immense loss of energy and reduction of the quality of our thoughts. We end up in a vicious circle: we try to create solutions for problems that do not exist, this causes even more problems, which we also try to control with even worse solutions, etcetera, etcetera.
The way out is simple to understand but hard to remember and even harder to practise: do more and think less. Life takes much better care of it self (including US!) than we can imagine. And the only way to find this out is to let it be and see what happens. Before I discovered this Open Secret, as Tony Parsons called it, I rarely saw how perfect Life really is, because I never gave it a chance to let it happen. Yes, for a moment, every now and then, but then something happened that aroused a fear in me and I could longer wait and see. So basically I constantly lived in the outcome of my own actions, which were based on thoughts that were born out of (illusionary!) fears or wrong ideas about Life. And all the time I had no idea how perfect Life is if I simply let it be. We never know what would happen if we did not interfere. We have ideas about this and these ideas motivate us to interfere. We even us these ideas to justify our actions! By doing this we can never find out if our ideas may be wrong. I tell you they are, because I found it out. Many people have found this out. But I know from 40 years of personal experience how difficult it is to grasp this and how even more difficult to put it in practise. Even while typing this text I am painfully aware of the fact that I cannot walk my own talk. But that does not make it less true. It is just very difficult.
So now you know what it means to me when I hear Freddy Mercury sing “open your eyes, look up to the skies and see”.
Because we are afraid of what we think that will happen, or because we cannot imagine that it is possible, we are caught in a landslide. We have to react, interfere, control the people and the world around us because we think it will go wrong if we don´t. But imagine that this is not true, that it is just a collective illusion. Imagine that all problems are caused by the consequences of this collective illusion? And by the way, it is indeed a collective illusion, but anyone who wants can escape it.
If we look up to the skies we see an infinite complex Process. This Process is billions years old and it has not only worked perfectly from the beginning, it also produced US! We are the result of this Process. We are part of this Process. In fact: we are this Process. We are not in any way separated from it, apart from our thoughts.
The perfection we see we look up to the skies and see the stars, is the very same perfection that is still in everything, including all human beings. Life is perfection itself.
We are aware of this aspect of Life when we look at a flower. But we loose sight of it when we look at situations in which human beings are involved. Especially when we are one of them. That we cannot see the perfection does not mean it is not there. It means that we do not look good enough.
I have tried to find out what Freddy Mercury had in mind when he wrote these lines. So far I have not found any information. I don’t guess that he would have shared my interpretation. But probably none of the songwriters, whose lyrics I use as a reminder and an eye opener, will. This Hall of Records is built by a Fool, so beware if you go any further.