Thursday, 5 July 2012

100% Responsibility

The world is as it is and it is only our inability to accept this truth that causes us to suffer. This is difficult to unravel because we never quite see the world as it is. By ‘world’ I mean everything that is. At the same time that we are observing the world we are usually already contaminating the evidence. That is we are adding a story or a meaning to what we observe. Based on this story or meaning we form conclusions regarding what we have observed and what we should do. By adding a story we have inadvertently distorted what it is that was originally observed. The ability to create a story came about as a survival mechanism so that we could communicate and cooperate with each other. A story can hold many meanings. A story can be factual and useful and we can have the simple intention of using our stories for that purpose, to be factual and useful. We can however use our stories and draw conclusions that are not factual and useful and serve no useful service to anyone. Anyone who commits a crime or tells a lie is clearly using some kind of negative story. Addictions and mental health problems such as depression must also be based on drawing wrong conclusions to a false story. It is important to understand that whatever story we construct we have to live. Any story with negative implications must result in us having to live that particular story. Simply put this means that if our conclusion about the world is that it is miserable and hopeless then that is exactly what it becomes. The world is as it is and there is no story or conclusion possible that could explain or describe it. There is power in our ability to create a story and we feel powerful when we do this. There is a sense of power in thinking we know what is happening regardless of whether our conclusions are right or wrong. This is why this problem is so difficult to correct. The power we feel in being able to create a story that gives us the impression that we are in control and ‘know’ what we are seeing or doing is addictive. When something is addictive it means that we want that something more than anything else. Wanting the power to control and ‘know’ means we do not want to lose this power which means there is a limit to what we want to ‘know’. We are responsible for every story we construct in the sense that we have to live that story. If the story constructed is ‘I am depressed and feel hopeless’ then we must take responsibility for that story. This means no excuses for why we feel the way we do. If you ask someone who is depressed why they feel depressed there is always a ‘because’ something is not the way it should be. This ‘because’ story is circular in that it always comes to the same conclusion that what we believe is correct. If we are able to stop using stories to confirm what we believe we may end up at the truth, which is that we have feelings that are continually changing in response to what we believe about the world. These feelings or physical sensations have no meaning we add meaning to them in order to control and ‘know’ what is going on even if that results in suffering. If we can accept 100% responsibility for what we believe and see that what we believe becomes the world we live in, that is the world we have created in our head that we are then required to live in. Further if we can accept 100% what we are physically feeling without adding any meaning whatsoever then we will see the truth that physical feelings have no meaning and that they come and go naturally. It is only in the story we create and add to our feelings that suffering can exist.