Thursday, August 10, 2006

Attribution

Things are real. Things are pretty much what they are. The ability to deal with the world on that level is enlightenment. But it seems that people just can't.

Seeing happens in the mind, not in the eye. The world happens in reality, our perceptions are the illusions... but the human animal perceives the world with nearly perfect accuracy, truth and clarity. Then they try to figure it out and mess it up.

Touch your key board, the very edge of it. Feel it. What is getting to your nerves and to your brain is the feel of the keyboard, but very likely what is getting to your mind is something like, "It feels like skin. No, kind of like a cold denim made out of vinyl, but maybe smoother..." none of which is right. It's a particular keyboard and it feels exactly like that keyboard and nothing else. We do this all the time with touch and sight and smell. To some extent we are programmed to, because our most powerful survival advantage is to be able to manipulate symbols (such as words) and communicate with each other.

On the survival/defense/martial level people show the need to have IT, the ANSWER and an equally pressing need to point out other people's flawed beliefs:

"The UFC isn't real..." But it is real. It is the real UFC and it is exactly what it is. It's not flying a fighter jet. It's not arresting drunks. It's not being in a soccer riot... all of which are real and exactly what they are and nothing else.

We can use our special human power to take lessons from one arena to the other, but we are very proud of this ability and tend to take too much and try to force it too hard into meaning and then ignore it when it starts to go bad.

Things are what they are, including our ability to extrapolate. What it is and no more.

It happens in every area of life. It happens especially and with some of the most (in my eyes) tragic consequences with people attempting to discard illusion. There are people who want to fix their broken spirits (who decided that they were broken) People who want to see a deeper reality (and can't see the reality of a stone) people who meditate to deal with the sludge of their lives (and the second they call it sludge they have made it so, turning years of hard lessons and slain dragons into something it never was) people who hammer at imperfections that are only imperfections because they decided so.

Frenchy died Monday. He was the closest thing my children had ever had to a grandfather. I told my daughter first. I watched her struggle because she was so sure from watching people and TV that she was supposed to suffer from some great emotinal upheaval. I told her it was okay to just feel what she felt. If she missed him, miss him. If she didn't think about him, she shouldn't try to make herself. It was okay to be sad and okay not to be.

Even as a (mildly autistic) child, she'd already been trained to attribute, to add emotions and meaning to a new experience. I hope, in advising her to feel what she felt, that she will be freer in the future.

To love without needing to posess or fearing for ego hurt; to honestly acknowledge anger and fear when she felt it without needing to wallow or "process" something simple and natural into something dark and complex. To let herself be just what she is.

3 comments:

Molly said...

Happy Birthday, Big Brother! I hope the party is as fun as the people you love perceive it to be :-)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Happy birthday, and my condolences on the passing of Frenchy.

(Putting those two together seems pretty f*****g ironic, but a celebration of life to balance out a death seems somehow appropriate.)

Mac said...

Perhaps it's because we have no where to stand - no true anchor, uncontrived, non-dogmatic, undiscovered by others. A place of never changing reality. We spend so much of our time (all our time really) trying to catch up to the ever-changing nature of life, to assign meaning to something that has moved before we can assimilate it/them, that it drives most of us nuts. How do we know we have found that anchor? By the results in our lives. True happiness never changes, even in the midst of anger, sadness, joy, envy, lust, pride. Tossed by the waves of relative existence, becoming the ocean gives meaning, and joy.