Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The game of being somebody or nobody

Recently a friend posted the following quote on Facebook, which began an exchange. D and S are the other people involved in the exchange.

"The game is not about becoming somebody, it's about becoming nobody."
— Ram Dass

Me: ... and after the game is over comes the real work.

D: love this thread. i was philosophy major in college along with spanish...its totally my thing!

Me: Ah, but that's the game, D! In Yoga, and other mystical pursuits, the real work is not entertainment, a bauble of mind or projection or 'undigested introjects', but experiential. Once the somebody realizes the limitations of mind and moves towards nobody, then the opportunity arises for one to experience directly, without mediation of habitual patterns. Work.

D: ur right i still like it tho...cant lie

Me: ... not to go on and on, but that's one of the tel-tales between the game and the real work: likes and dislikes, raga and dvesa, attachment and aversion. Observing how they operate one crosses the horizon. And that's cool :)

S: I'm confused about where the "work" comes in? It seems to me that when I stop trying so hard/work and just surrender to what is, then "it" all becomes clear to me. When i relinquish my illusion of control and my effort to be "somebody", I discover I am like everything:nothing

D: right! makes sense and hard to attain. it would def take work. and wouldnt the work itself be "it? "as it shouldnt be work it should just be but be nothing. mu. idk its difficult to grasp as thats exactly what were not supposed to do -grasp. were a part of the whole and therefore nothing idk its hard....

Me: Relative terms:Work and Entertainment. One can let go and be lost in habitual patterning, like daydreaming, only performing actions still on autopilot. In this thread, it's the end of the 'game' of the independent somebody. However, what is it that's aware that it's a 'nobody?' Tricky bit here.
By following the trail of likes and dislikes one is building the process of Vichar, which is a complex meditative process that leads to another aha moment. Viveka is the state of mind that, hopefully, lasts as a result.
These are experiential states and slippery. That's why 'work' seems to come in, returning repeatedly over time to discern what is real.
All of this is laid out in various Yoga texts, but each one, each person, has to do the... 'Work!" :)

S: ahh thanks for your explanation. i'm not familiar with all these terms. i always thought of meditation as, well meditative and relaxing-this is all sounding a bit ....something other than meditative to me, always more to learn. i feel like i want to come back out of my head right now and just experience...and breathe

In closing this out, I'd like to point out that meditation is not a single practice. As S pointed out one can practice a form of meditation and be amazed that what someone else does can be called meditation!

Also, the beginning forms of meditation practice involve reducing stress of the practitioner. No practices can be helpful without a calm mind. So S, return to breathing and relax. The rest comes with practice!