I went to see the movie the Big Short yesterday. It is a very powerful reminder of the fear and instability the great recession of 2008 and 09 gave us. This movie comes at a good time; We can see the aftermath of this emotional earthquake we went through in the fear of many people now distrusting the government, those in real power, to prevent similar traumas to our way of life in the near future. There is a powerful saying from Mark Twain on the screen at the very beginning of the movie:
“It ain’t what you don’t know that ends up getting you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure, that just ain’t so.”
I wrote in my last post about pure longing that is free of all thoughts we have about it. We simply don’t know what this longing actually is. This is a paradox for us because we have this deep conditioning inside us that makes us convinced that longing is longing for some thing. Nisargadatta says “The happiness you can think of or long for is not the true happiness.” True happiness as he means it, just doesn’t come and go, and isn’t moved, isn’t pushed around by whatever experiences are going on within or outside of us. It welcomes and absorbs the pure aliveness that is in every experience. It’s what is always here, has always been here in every experience of our lives.
Because it’s always here, we don’t need to try and grasp it. We actually can’t grasp it, it is always already totally saturating us. It isn’t going anywhere, it has never gone anywhere. The paradox of longing for that which we can’t grasp, that which is always here and now, is a double bind for our egos.
A double bind is a psychological predicament in which a person receives from a single source conflicting messages that allow no appropriate response to be made. In this context of spiritual longing and surrender, whatever we try to do, whatever we long for, or try to move away from, is an inappropriate response. Our egos simply don’t have an appropriate response. But if we’re open to our emotional life, we know we are deeply moved to act while being guided by our thoughts and feelings.
So our longing that includes the deep surrender of attachment to our desires and fears, is a participatory surrender. We become willing to surrender to the life force moving us, our ego by itself has no appropriate response. When we deeply realize this, we see there is no need for us to give expression to our longing. When we are not self consciously doing anything, just allowing ourselves to be still, our life force is still at work. It’s expressing everything we experience, including longing. But we no longer need to know it is our life force, our longing. This pure longing, undiluted by attachment to conscious thought or action, will speedily take us to our goal of self realization, as we learn to open to and receive the love and compassion finding us from within. Then we are more and more free to join the spirit of our true self expressing itself in the world of our daily life.