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November 12, 2006


All problems are solved by awareness. We don't need to make decisions. Decisions make themselves. With enough awareness, the skillful action is obvious. When I'm stuck I know it's a sign that I need to increase my awareness. Sometimes that involves looking at the situation from another perspective; maybe someone else's perspective. Sometimes awareness can be increased by asking questions; perhaps a question that has an answer more valuable than yes or no. Tentatively moving along one path out of a decision can increase awareness to bring clarity to the decision.

At the height of awareness is peace. It is peace because it contains everything else: love and hate; happiness and sadness. How can something truly be at war with itself. War comes from separation. At the height of awareness is unity. If I feel isolated and alone, at odds with anything, I know it's a sign that I need to increase my awareness. Sometimes I can increase my awareness by feeling what's happening inside my body; what are the internal sensations? I am honest with myself about the biggest thing that's happening for me: the thought with the most emotional charge or the greatest fear.

All intention is benevolent. Behind even the most heinous action lies a pure, loving intention. I understand why even the most atrocious acts are committed. We are love incarnate; we are human; we all have needs. When my needs are not being met, I am driven to action to get them met. Everyone does this; there is no shame in it. If I have been told that my needs are shameful, I might meet them secretly. If I am told that the way I seek to meet my needs is inappropriate, I will meet them some other way. When people behave in a dysfunctional way, an "inappropriate" way, it's called "acting out": acting out trauma. It's more than acting out trauma though, it's getting needs met. By increasing my awareness, I discover that needs can be met more completely, easily, and harmlessly than I had every previously dreamt.

We get sick when our bodies contain built-up waste products: toxins. Germs come to consume them. Even germs have good intentions. When pests accumulate due to trash, do the pests have bad intentions? They come because of the trash; they are helping. Everything in the universe has a benevolent intention. Troubles plague me when I am filled with the trash of my past. The troubles come to clear away the trash.

Where is your problem? Is it inside you or outside you? Where is your solution? Inside or outside? It's not possible to have problems outside with solutions inside. Ask the co-dependent, always trying to change themselves to fix the world, to squeeze into the cracks that others have left. Neither is it possible to have problems inside and solutions outside. Ask the addict, the one who is continually at war, and the compulsive blamer. For a while, I lived in denial, with my problems outside and my solutions also outside. It can feel quite powerful and it does seem to work because it's the closest approximation to skillful living. But the compulsive doer eventually becomes exhausted. If there is ever a problem, it is only ever inside, and therefore the only solutions are inside as well. Heaven and hell are within us.

Do you think I'm selfish? I only care about one thing: my peace. If everyone did this, how different would the world be? The highest good comes from following the truth. The body knows what is right. The heart knows what is right. Books are not needed. Dogma is not needed. When the pure heart is followed, no harm is done and nothing suffers. Rules are ineffective because they are based on the past, on something that does not exist; the same goes for plans. I am an empowered human being; I am my own rules; I am my own plans. I am responsible for my actions. I am responsible for myself. Many are not ready to understand this. Hear one thing: my intentions are benevolent just like yours.

Conditions are neutral. The world just unfolds as it does. Good and bad are colors I paint between the lines of events and experiences. Whether unconsciously or not, I choose my emotional response. You choose your emotional response. Be selfish: increase your awareness and choose peace.

Everything is natural. Global pollution is the natural consequence of what humans are doing. What humans are doing is the natural consequence of what they have done in the past. Water is a chemical but don't let that stop you drinking it. Smoking is natural and so is dying. Starvation is natural. There is nothing that is not natural; if there was it would not exist. There is no skill in attempting to discriminate between natural and unnatural. The only purpose would be to discover that it is a dead-end on the journey to peace.

I am only responsible for what I can control. To be responsible for what I cannot control would be crazy. How much time do we spend wishing to change things we can't? How much time do we spend feeling bad about what happened? Responsibility and control are distributed throughout the universe in equal measure, with perfect precision. When I try to control what I am not responsible for, I am weak and disempowered. When I fail to control what I am responsible for, I am also weak and disempowered. But control is not always needed, even where there is responsibility. Usually all that's needed is enough control to increase awareness about the responsibility to the point where action flows effortlessly in fulfillment of the truth. The real power comes from surrender; surrendering control of what I am not responsible for; surrendering resistance to the responsibility that I accept.

Judge not lest ye be judged. Who is this poor Chinese fellow named Ye, the brunt of all of our judging? We judge others because we judge ourselves. To judge is to call right or wrong, good or bad, beautiful or ugly, ethical or unethical, light or dark. Judgments can be very subtle but all judgments bind us, keep us in separation, and away from peace. In the moment I judge you, I am judging myself. The suffering that comes from judgment is felt by the judger and it occurs in the moment that the judgment is made. So many suffer unknowingly.

When we dream, we are not perceiving the world, only an internally created reflection of the world. Sometimes we have nice dreams, sometimes nightmares. Just because we have our eyes open and we're not in bed we think we're not dreaming. Oh, how we dream all day long. To see the world as is it, with no judgment, this is to be awake. Unconsciousness is always pulling into separation and in dreaming sleep there is no reality to tug on the other end of the rope. In dreams our minds indulge in separation. But the day-time will be filled with enough troubles and reality will pull on that rope until unconsciousness is removed at the root. And then dreaming will stop and we will be one.

The lost parts will be recovered; as they are pulled up from the darkness of the well, one-by-one, each dreaded gremlin will become a kitten in the light of our awareness. Then we will have a whole litter and the purring will never cease.

"Very nicely written, Duncan. I enjoyed reading this article." — Raj (Bangalore, India)


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