Concepts vs Being

Concepts vs Being

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 😉

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  1. Bob

    Interesting comments on conceptual traps. I like the title of the latest Shunryu Suzuki book..”Not Always So”. I even say sometimes, that if a book is really good you can just read the title a few dozen times and skip the book..ha ha..

  2. Share

    Hi D, I know for me it’s not so much that I want to be right. It’s more that I don’t want to be wrong. If I’m wrong or making a mistake, then fear comes up. Probably something from very early childhood.
    PS Not so sure about chocolate. Bad for pitta (-;

  3. Davidya

    (laughs) I had that experience with Adyashanti’s Emptiness Dancing. The back cover talked about how Self moves forward and absorbs head, then heart then gut. At the time it was just what I needed to hear.

    He also talks about the traps post-waking

    Thanks Bob

  4. Davidya

    Hi Share
    Don’t want to be wrong = want to be right. 😉
    Yes, being wrong may suggest we’ll be hurt, based on associations with memories. But more deeply, its a threat to the story and thus a danger to self. Its this odd kind of confusion between actual threats to the body/mind and perceived threats to the person.

    It’s one of the aspects of liberation that can be so freeing, getting out from under the story and all the perceived threats.

    Because of this memory association, we relate it to childhood events. And some of those can be when we first engaged the story. But the tendency was still there, the story preexisted. This is why 2 kids in the same family will remember the same events so differently. Different story.

    hmmm – you missed part of the message. Apples are vata. This does not mean none, it means moderation. Something about the middle way you find tricky (laughs)

  5. Share

    Davidya, question I’ve had for a long time: is story the same as belief?

    And how about this: that Nature wants me to be the keeper of a certain story because that story will help those I encounter recognize their deep stories.

    I’m thinking of me and my Mom. How maybe I had some abandonment karmic debt to pay off in this lifetime. Her soul agreed to help me with that. So she carried a story of being a runner, an abandoner. Then I got to have an abandoned story to heal. Not just for me. But for all, because most people have it to some degree.

    Also this gets into dharma. That maybe our stories point to our dharma, what we’re here to help heal or bring home to wholeness.

  6. Davidya

    For readers that may not be aware, Vata, and in comments Pitta, are 2 of the 3 body types or doshas from Ayurvedic medicine. If you have a body type that tends to gain excessive vata, it’s good to reduce foods that increase vata and increase foods that reduce it. Easy way to culture health once you get the idea.

    I taked about it, with links here:

  7. Davidya

    Hi Share
    We could say a belief is a story or we could say beliefs are structured into THE story, the larger story of our person. We could also say the story is built of beliefs.

    It’s useful to note that the story itself is not a bad thing but some beliefs can cause us grief. Plus, if we don’t recognize its a story, then we’re caught by it. Then life is about living a story rather than living life.

    On nature, yes. And Nature wants you to have a role and have certain experiences so that’s structured into your story. We build on our story as we grow up but we actually come with the basic one. As I’ve noted, it tends to engage sometime in mid-elementary school.

    With people like our parents in particular, we come in with a prearranged agreements. These are then added to and amended based on how we respond to the experiences. Another way of talking about this is karma.

    Yes, everyone has some abandonment because they feel separate from their origins and who they are.

    Yes, so some of our story is structured in dharma, not just karma. These are the parts where we flow, get joy, enjoy support of nature. And they can also be the parts where we are obliged to confront what we don’t want to see. (laughs) So yes, heal and come home.

  8. Davidya

    Hi Andrea & thanks.

    When transformations are underway, we want to step into a stage of unknowing to allow the process to take place. This makes it much more smooth than if we’re hanging on. There is always that dissolution of something going on to allow growth then new integration and a new point of balance.

    Still, it can be useful to have some broader sense of the process underway so we can let go more easily. But sometimes we don’t have that or don’t relate our experience to what we understand. Then we have to just let go more completely.

    I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank you again for you Manifesting Experiment article. I found that quite insightful. I quoted a hunk of it here and it got very positive feedback:

  9. Ben

    Hi Davidya,

    I loved this post. It is right where I am in seeing the stories. Awakening is like having stomach cramps here. I threw down the gauntlet to see what is true. I suffered for 4 months wanting to reach for spiritual stories and not feeding the urge to intellectualize.

    Then, I got relief from the cramps with some amazing awakening experiences. Then the ante was upped along with the sensitivity level and now the cramps (emotional pain) is much worse for every story that attempts to assert itself. The corresponding freedom once it is seen through is greater as well.

    It seems like the process is moving faster as well. A story comes up, there is some clarity and possibly a sense of freedom and relief then wham the next story, belief, or self delusion comes up. It feels like someone is ripping the house down one wall at a time from the inside out.

    All said, I am good with the process. It is freedom or death here.

    I am glad you wrote about it as it provides clarity at a time when clarity ebbs and flows. That is a very great kindness.

    In Gratitude!

  10. Davidya

    Hi Ben
    Thank you once again for the very warm feedback. Yes, the more we clear, the more we learn how to just let it go, let it be, the faster the process goes. Once we are in that, it’s like we’re meditating all the time.

    As we get more comfortable and less in what is doing the experiencing, it generally gets easier too.

    I was struck recently by just how fast it can go. For example, where before there would be a need to spend years with someone to resolve the unresolved with them, now it can happen in a few minutes of energy exchange.

    You’ll find that its not so much the house is coming down but all the crud in it is being renovated out. Walls that are barriers come out. But the support beams remain. It’s kind of like shifting from small Victorian rooms to a big open plan arrangement. (laughs)

    Freedom or death. Yes, that is the dynamic. Being free or being that which perpetually ends.

    We are living in a very interesting time. Massive shifts in energy and awareness have begun, not just in persons but in the whole. Aspects of nature that have been asleep for thousands of years have begun to awaken. These kinds of shifts we can expect to cause shifts in clarity here and there. But that is the nature of transformation. We just have to remind ourselves to continue and trust the process. Where its going is quite astonishing.

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