Untethering Perception

In a discussion over on Shared Vision, some questions came up that drew out an answer worth posting.

Is attention tethered perception? Does having an intention also create a tethering…? Can there be layers of perception happening all at once so that on one level, perception is untethered and on another level, perception is tethered?

Identification is tethered perception. When we are identified, we have connected ourselves with the objects of perception. We think “I am this body”. “I am these thoughts”. “I am sad/happy/angry” (ie: I am emotions)

Mind then makes stories about it to justify this perception. “I am angry because…”. “That person made me…”. Using memory, mind associates the stories with our experiences. Thus, when an experience arises in life, the first thing we do is call up our stories. Very much the actor on stage, in their role. It is an attempt by the mind to feel comfortable and in control. But it has the side effect of causing suffering. And disconnecting us further from who we really are, under the stories, under the identification.

Intention is directed or focused awareness. It may be encumbered by memory associations and such, but in it’s pure state is it is untethered. It is focused infinity. In our identification with the stories, we may see the intention as a fettering, like how we may see some desires as limiting or undesirable. But this is due to identification, not the inherent limits of any given intention.

We can also see that when there is a lot of resistance and drama at play, intentions will squeeze out in distorted sorts of ways. Unhealthy desires, for example. Underneath them, there is something pure. But it finds expression how it can, in ways that may be anything but.

And yes, there can be layered perception taking place, so we see both tethering and untethered. A classic example would be pre-awakening, when we experience that we are the Self, yet the ego-self remains. The identification with ego is much loosened, but enough is still there to hold it. Put another way, Self has begun waking to Itself, but is still in a pre-wakening semi-groggy state.
Davidya

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15 Responses to Untethering Perception

  1. Elena says:

    Oh, this is brilliant.
    I will reblog it if you don’t mind, and of course also will add a link back to your blog.
    The only reason I even reblog, is to have an easy access to it myself. But Davidya, if it ever is a problem let me know, I can make these reblogs private.

    Thank you,
    Elena

  2. Pingback: A great article by Davidya on intentions, identification, ego…. « Change from within

  3. Davidya says:

    Thanks, Elena.
    Happy to have you reference it when you link back. And thanks also for the strong recommendation.

  4. Good thoughts. I like to think of attention as the spotlight of awareness, and intention as the direction of the spotlight. Yeah, it’s the stories that messes it up.

    Thanks, good article.

  5. Share says:

    Davidya, have posted this request at Shared Vision but will post here too as is pertinent.
    The part about unhealthy desires having something pure underneath–pure gold. Is there some way to access that pure aspect, even in the most distorted of desires? Does it have something to do with what you’ve written before about seeing through story, feelings, identification? I realize that at some point, all doings fall away. But the Universe is benevolent so there must be a way to deal gently but thoroughly with distorted desire.

  6. Davidya says:

    Hi Kaushik
    Yes, exactly. The stories don’t have to mess it up though. There are stories that can be used to illustrate the most difficult aspects of being. But that’s another skill I’ve not mastered yet. (laughs)

  7. Davidya says:

    Hi Share
    Yes. Different people have different processes for this. Some suggest we simply culture feelings like gratitude. Or look directly at our experiences and ask – is this true? (Byron Katie or Ruiz). Sometimes, the deepening of silence allows us to see our stories as stories while they’re at play. Then we can choose not to respond to them and eventually choose not to play them – if they’re not wanted.

    People like Gangaji in the Ramana Maharishi lineage use a technique of inquiry or diad to directly look behind. This does require clear awareness so may be easier in a retreat setting. But there’s a simple process of asking whats behind this emotion. You feel anger. Whats behind it? Often we’ll find something like fear of hurt. And what’s behind that? As you go through these little steps, behind the fear or base emotion is always found either silence, peace, or happiness. Perhaps even love.

    It can be quite startling to discover the energy behind your dark emotions is happiness. You’ve simply been too caught up in the experience to see it.

    As this is seen a few times, we begin to experience feelings differently and take the surface drama less seriously. The story (mind) that these emotions have been energizing begins to wind down as well.

    make sense?

  8. Davidya says:

    This makes a worthwhile refresher post as well. Coming soon…

  9. Share says:

    Oh, good and thank you. Looking forward to reading it. Maybe in the middle of the day, you know, not so early in morning (-; Shakti staying in transcendent field.

  10. Share says:

    hi Davidya. Yes, it makes sense and I very much appreciate your saying that behind every dark emotion is silence, peace, happiness or even love. That feels right and the simplicity of it is quite soothing to me. Sometimes when I’m in the midst of a triggering, something simple is the best way to stop the spiraling.

  11. Davidya says:

    Hi Share. You’re welcome.
    I would not describe Shakti as in the transcendent field, although it depends on what you mean by “transcendent” or beyond. At a certain point, there is no transcendent.

    At it’s most basic within silence, there is alertness and liveliness. When liveliness stirs alertness, you have awareness. Awareness then becomes aware of itself, and in recognition, creation blossoms.

    Thus, at essence, Shakti is the liveliness of silence. Never transcendent, always alive.

  12. Share says:

    Hi Davidya, well I’m just remembering that I at least once heard Maharishi say that at the deepest level of reality, Shiva IS Shakti. Tho am happy about their differences too. Oh and another cool insight of his. That Shiva and Shakti are present in every cell of our bodies.

  13. Share says:

    Oh, Davidya, just saw that you did write about the oneness of Shiva and Shakti under Reframing emotions. Sorry! Yes, maybe need to not get up so early!

  14. Davidya says:

    Yes, Share, two aspects of the one. These aspects of observing and flowing, of alertness and intention, are present in all things as all arises from that.

    And not a problem. A discussion here highlights the reference to a larger discussion elsewhere.

  15. Pingback: Behind all Pain is Happiness « In 2 Deep

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