a couple of weeks ago

The flip side of every experience

All day every day I am experiencing.

Out of habit, I judge experiences as good or bad, desirable or undesirable.

If I accept the judgment as true, I will reliably do only one thing. That one thing may look like a million different things depending on my conditioning. But in essence only one thing is happening, and it is perfectly reliable so long as I accept the judgment as true.

That one thing that happens reliably is what I would call self effort. It is the unconscious, mechanical, automatic reaction. And it is necessarily violent and false.

To the degree that I allow that, my life will be characterized by anxiety, worry, violence, destructiveness, depression, anger, hatred, jealousy, and so forth.

Why? Because in that case I am ignorant. And ignorance of the truth requires strain. It requires effort to remain unconscious. It is painful.

But there’s another way. This other way is very simple. So simple, in fact, mechanical mind cannot grasp it. It cannot turn this simplicity into another of its unconscious strategies of false self defense.

The other way involves seeing what the experiences are showing me.

My mechanical habit is to be willfully (albeit unconsciously) ignorant. I must make effort – a subtle grasping or cringing – to enact this habit. And this habit manifests at a slightly less subtle level as judgment.

I ignore the truth that stares me in the face. That is the first step.

The second step of suffering is judgment.

The third step is to assume the judgment is true.

The fourth step is to act from that wrong assumption.

Then on and on it goes. Suffering begets suffering as long as I indulge the unconscious habits.

Then I may begin to identify with that! At first it is just a reaction. But out of repetition I may start to think that is me. I may start to identify with the habits of shame, hardness of heart, impatience, over intellectualism, etc. So I cling ever more desperately to the habits, fearful that letting go will mean death.

The other way is to see what the experiences are showing me. Which means I pause and look without the overlay or filter of any assumption or habit.

I just pause. I look. I open to truth beyond my hardened, painful ego shell.

I remain consciously restfully aware. Simply seeing. Simply observing.

Pure seeing has no judgment. Judgment is layered on (falsely) after the fact.

Pure seeing is never after the fact. Pure seeing is always now. It can only be now.

Pure seeing is not hard. Pure seeing is effortless. It is simply this openness that has not collapsed into any conclusion, any judgment, any assumption, any knowing, any division.

Pure seeing does not divide. Pure seeing is effortless and without an object or subject.

Well, now I’ve given away the whole surprise.

Pure seeing is without an object or subject.

Pure seeing is the other way. Every experience points to this. This is the source and nature of all experience.

Experience seems to be happening. Already the habit is in motion. This is far from bad. This is no cause for dismay. Rather, this is cause of great joy.

Because I can see this. I can see the motion, the grasping, the gripping, the fear. I can see it. I can see it, I can observe it.

It does not define me. I am aware of it. It is a process, a movement within me.

I remain undisturbed. Even if the thought arises that I am disturbed, I am undisturbed. Even if the memory or image arises that seems to support the claim that I am disturbed, I am undisturbed.

All I have to do is look and see truthfully that I am aware. I am restful. I am uninvolved.

The apparent experience has a flip side to the habitual false understanding. This flip side is what I have just described. That is, the apparent experience is like a GPS. It shows where I am going, where my autopilot is directing my life.

The habitual reaction is to judge, to worry, to anticipate, to asset false power…in a word, to suffer. To suffer the delusion of self power.

The flip side is to receive the gift of the apparent experience. The gift is that it points to the source of the experience.

That source is here now.

The object and subject collapse into a unified field of pure potential. Nothing is good or bad, right or wrong. Nothing can harm or touch me. And conversely, nothing can elevate or augment me.

I am already complete. I am already satisfied. I am already home.

This is the flip side of all experience.

Joey Lott

Joey Lott is the author of numerous books, including The Best Thing That Never Happened and The Little Book of Big Healing. He lives in southern Vermont with his wife and children.

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