By Ryan Serio
You have fallen into oblivion. Jesus Christ can’t save you. No amount of good deeds can save you. Nothing or no one can save you now. You look for sympathy but there is none, because everyone you see is falling with you. God is dead. In his place is pure emptiness. Nothingness. Stare into the abyss long enough and it will look right back at you, reflecting the essence of all this emptiness right back onto you. This is where our journey begins….
What do you cling to when all hope is lost? When there is no escape from the harsh reality with which you may find yourself consumed? Sex? Alcohol? Drugs? Religion? Sitting meditation? Deep thinking? Emotional highs? These activities are all capable of directing attention away from that which is bothering us–ways which when done in a particular state of consciousness we may attempt to run away from the real world, and ultimately from ourselves. But there is no escape. No way out. We are the emptiness that engulfs us, and that which affects us emotionally is no more than a fleeting effect of our own mind’s projection of itself onto our environment. But wait–I am not advocating a meaningless existence in any way; it is just that you have to let go of everything you consider sacred to understand what I am about to tell you!
Now most people associate emptiness with the despair of nihilism. With a fear that there is nothing more to life with what we can sense. So there is a taboo–a fear of exploring the possibilities offered by a way of life where there is no Creator God looking down upon us from above like a loving parent. And many of those who do explore this option look at life in a negative light, and cannot love their life for the sacred blessing it truly is. There should be no desire to escape the emptiness. For emptiness implies fullness. To quote Lao Tzu, “What we have may be something substantial, but its usefulness lies in the unoccupied, empty space. The substance of your body is enlivened by maintaining the part of you that is unoccupied.”
If our cup was always full then from where would our thirst come? Emptying the cup gives us pleasure in even the most mundane activities, and lets us respond naturally to what a given situation calls for. When we are tired, we sleep. When at our job, we work. When with a lover, we fuck. Simple as that. No worries. No anxieties. No need to escape. Not everything will be rosy and go as planned–but then again what is a plan? Just a futile effort to control; to impose our will on our surroundings, rather than use our own wisdom to guide us through wherever life takes us on our ever-changing journey. Stop trying to control everything and just let go! Behold the wonders and joy of living! Let life take you where it may.
Our beliefs shape who we are, whether they are beliefs from experience or beliefs that are instilled in us through doctrine, such as religious beliefs. Religions, like all conceptual abstractions, can be binding to those who allow themselves to be chained to their precepts. Peoples’ religious beliefs often will determine their thoughts, guide their intentions, and even justify their actions, relatively speaking. It is natural that any attack on a religious person’s faith will be met with resistance or even hostility, as many people do identify themselves within the parameters established by the religion they choose. For this reason, they will often put the abstract above the concrete, considering themselves beneath their chosen image of God rather than considering their own Being as far greater than anything lying in the realm of contemplative conceptualizations. In the words of Isa Upanishad: “In darkness are they who worship the world alone, but in greatest darkness are those who worship the infinite alone.”
A revolution is needed to free those in a bound state that cannot see this for themselves, whether it be from indoctrinated beliefs or from emotional or physical addictions/escapisms. Their cups are too full, and they are afraid that they will thirst to death if they empty them and have faith in their environment and themselves for providing more for them. However, a catch-22 emerges in that this revolution cannot be forced onto others from an external party but must be a conscious choice by the persons who cannot even see that they are bound to begin with, so their motivation will likely be lacking. A second paradox arises with the questions: What makes “us” qualified to stir up thoughts of this revolutionary change in others who we perceive as being different from us, especially when it is this type of black vs white, us vs them mentality that creates tension and builds artificial walls of separation dividing what we can plainly see in others outside the fence but yet cannot notice in ourselves? Aren’t we all bound in some way to our own dreams, desires and beliefs? How can we teach others the “truth” if we ourselves are bound to our own perceptions of truth, which are all too often nothing more than dualistic polarities in an endless cycle?
To this I say the revolution is just as much within as without. We must remain above the realm of extremes and opposites that exists in our dichotomous mind, which tends to break down and categorize processes for a simpler, more basic understanding. Truth is boundless and absolute. It knows no contradictions nor intellectual conceptualizations. The intellect can only point us in a direction, but as the saying goes, the finger pointing to the moon cannot be mistaken for the moon itself in its full glory. Truth is in experience itself, and is not in any way affected by the classifying tendencies of the discriminating mind. Understanding this allows for the real revolution to take place–a revolution of consciousness.
It doesn’t matter what we decide to label ourselves–whether we are atheists or Christians, Muslims or Jews, black or white, addicts or counselors, relativists or absolutists–if we identify ourselves in a narrow manner which excludes a whole other sect of individuals we are playing into the control game where our plans will backfire. Let it fucking go! Let it die!!! There is no life in it to begin with except what we breathe into it with our own futile attempts to grasp reality and possess it for ourselves. There is nothing to attain, and nothing to possess. Even our so-called possessions we own are just luxuries and necessities we surround ourselves with to survive and prosper in our ecosystem, which is more of an integral part of our self-nature than anything we can ever own, which comes and goes with time.
Our path must be like the bird in the sky–not tied down by concepts stemming from the discriminatory mind. To weigh ourselves down with unnecessary abstractions and indoctrinated beliefs is to miss the wisdom offered by the intricacies and subtleties of Life entirely. We must be the Bodhisattvas bringing the joy within our hearts out to those living in anxiety from their attachments to man-made virtual realities. We must serve as the examples for which others can feel our wisdom and want to emulate. We must be the change we seek to create in helping to remove the cataracts blurring the vision of society. And this cannot and will not be done until we correct our own vision first. For we are looking into the abyss, and the great mirror is reflecting back onto us exactly what we are projecting outward. So instead of dressing up with ideals and conceptual garments which will only come back to us as equal and opposite reactions, let’s just strip it down completely bare to blow more brains than a porn star on a mission! Knowledge of Self and an outward expression of our conscious awareness–these are the ingredients to a successful revolution of consciousness!