In another forum, the basic issue with concepts arose. Edited for the blog.
There is a very subtle but important point. We hear someone we respect say something and we believe it to be true. It may then become a part of our story about the world. An habitual concept. This is a perfectly natural process that allows us to learn and grow. It’s how we gain most of our non-experienced information about the world. For example, “the seeds of an apple are poisonous.” or earlier on, “don’t eat those!”
But behind that, ego is a story of being separate. When something is added to our story, it becomes a part me. We are identified with it. It is my truth, not just a truth.
We then have a filter through that information. We avoid eating apple cores, for example. We latch on to things that verify our story (apple corers) and filter out or reject things that don’t align. “You can eat all of an apple but the stem. Then there is no waste.” This way we can quickly respond to what comes up and not have to make continual conscious decisions about every little thing. But if we see ourselves reacting disproportionately to something minor, it’s probably because it is seen as a threat to our story and thus to our sense of self. We may respond with anger, resistance or denial. This is born of fear of the perceived threat to self. It can sometimes be quite odd what we are threatened by. But ego doesn’t like the holes in the story to be seen.
If a “better” story comes along, we’ll adapt and add an addendum. But only if it does not threaten the core story. For example, “you shouldn’t eat apples because they’re vata.” It has to be something that makes it better. Makes us more important, more complete, more healthy, more something. It’s very popular in New Age circles to teach making better stories. You’ll be happier if you believe something better. But only until the story runs into a problem. “Eat local and fresh, like apples.”
All this is why waking up is difficult. We already are that. But Being is a threat to the core of the story, the ego story of separation. Until we have enough experience of the silence that underlies all experience, we’re not usually willing to let go and let Self be. The ego can get into all sorts of conflicts with itself. “Apples are fresh and local. But apples are vata.” But it’s all just concepts because the battleground is the mind. The red flag is the need to be right. The need for one thing to be true and everything else, and everyone else, to be wrong. When we see that reactivity, this is the time to stop and look. What is behind this feeling, this reaction? Once that story is seen, it can fall away if it no longer serves. Maybe apples are good sometimes, in moderation.
Is life every really so black and white? Or is it more a spectrum? A range. Life is a process of becoming.
We may say things like truth and always or never. But this is just the mind holding onto something. We cannot win at this battle. We can only see though it and thus be willing to let it go. Then freedom can dawn. And apples can be eaten. Chocolate too 😉