Reflections on the Original Face.

There I lay, a naked I, abandoned by memory, lost to thought, devoid of affect, simply being in the here and now, experiencing without the most rudimentary understanding — though being nonetheless.

Empty yet aware. Awake and confused, unable to shake it off, I just stare at moving shapes with colors, sounds that mean nothing to me. Slowly, things begin coming back, falling into place.

Laughter. That was what I was hearing, and these were the amused and mildly worried faces of my friends. I had fallen asleep in the back of the car. It was difficult to explain to them what had happened just then. Tabula Rasa, that was how I felt: I was a blank slate, without any sense identity, virgin mind grasping for a clue.

That happened years ago, perhaps a year or two after I graduated high school, but I’ve had similar moments. Things I should remember — my name, age, address, phone number, the names of friends — it just fucking vanishes. Language, though I hear it, is stripped of meaning. It’s just fucking noise. Desperately I try to remember as the terror creeps and it’s like trying to hold onto water for dear life. 

Frighteningly futile. 

Memories come back, of course, selective blindness evaporates, shit returns to abnormal, but this sort of thing tends to breed some concern. If it’s not dissociation, I haven’t the foggiest clue what to call it.

I never recall it being so complete as that day in the back of the car, however, and no matter how brief, it makes me wonder — especially as I continue with my daily meditation routine. I have become fascinated with the notion of Witness consciousness, the core of awareness behind the mind — observing thoughts, emotions and sensations from a detached perspective.

Much as water in a lake — which would have served as our initial and natural mirror — our minds perhaps act not only as a medium to objective reality but a mirror for our true self. Just as you cannot see your physical face but require a reflective surface to see it indirectly through reflection, it makes sense that you would require the mind to see the inner self indirectly. So is my brain just a malfunctioning, meaty transceiver? 

Or is it truly that the real me, my inner self, the witness, my “original face” is entirely devoid of any characterizing qualities?

Spanking the Monkeymind.

After some point, perhaps only out of frustration, I adopted the belief that emotions cannot be controlled, that you can only elect to express them in a pure or sublimated form or repress or dissociate from them. You could decide what to do with them, then, but that was all. Controlling them at the roots seemed futile.

I now think — and have always hoped — that I was wrong.

Now it seems that thoughts and emotions are cultivated through our interaction with them. Where attention goes, energy flows, and it doesn’t matter if the intention of that aim is craving or aversion, absorption or dissociation, fixation or repression, pulling a thought or emotion towards you or pushing it away: either direction is attention, either way you cultivate the thought or emotion in question. Not trying to think of something requires thinking of it; the same goes with emotions.

The third approach is mindfulness: observing dispassionately, witnessing with indifference. Not first or second person to your mind, but third person. Awareness and noninterference.

The monkey-mind is an attention whore, and when you starve its thoughts and emotions of the attention they yearn for they wither away, dissipate.

The way
to get on top of this
is mindfulness.

All the peace
the inner eye can find
if you just stop spanking
the monkey-mind…

Care to See.

Its always that I’m unwilling or afraid of being vulnerable, of opening up, of letting someone in. Its never phrased in a way that emphasizes, or even acknowledges the possibility that I prefer to share myself in a different way that you aren‘t willing or capable of picking up on. Or conveyed in a way that I have to convey it in as it is simply the way that I’m wired. Its never even considered that I might have consistently attempted to open up but you haven’t got the eyes to see it, the ears to hear it or the heart to feel it with.

I’m not sure if you have the heart to really, honestly, truly give a single, solitary, Tootsie-Roll-sized shit about me at all. You pretend like you care, you might even think that you care, but you don’t.

You only see what you care to see. And there is oh-so much more of me.

Fake.

“Why are people so fake?”

 
“They feel they would be misunderstood if they were authentic, or perhaps they fear they would be understood and the social consequences would be just as devastating. They may have adopted this inauthentic lifestyle for so long that they have actually lost touch with who they really are, have forgotten themselves. Or, perhaps worse, they have mistaken themselves for their own facade, and so are fake only because they feel they have no other choice. In any case, the fakes are made all because they care more about what others think about them than they care about being who they are. It‘s kind of sad, really.”