On Monday we took a long look at the idea of observation. We heard a lot abut the idea of observing from the balcony. Today we look at the question of who makes us jump off that balcony.
Because I have a very busy day planned on Election Tuesday, this post is being written on Monday afternoon. If anything happens on Tuesday which requires a comment it will appear in the post planned for Thursday.
What gets us off the balcony?
We worked our way through the idea of observing through the metaphor of the balcony. Several times we alluded to the fact that even after we have learned the technique we sometimes jump off the balcony. Why?
The simple answer is our attachments. The explanation is easy to imagine. When we are standing on the balcony we are both literally and figuratively detached from what is going on around our body.
Being detached does not mean being unaware. When we are on the balcony we are actually quite a bit more aware of what is going on than when we are enmeshed in our drama. Being detached means we are actively watching but only choosing to act when we deem it the correct action. In other words, each action is premeditated when we are observing from the balcony.
Standing on the balcony means we are detached. Therefore, the thing that causes us to jump from the balcony is in an attachment. Does that attachment belong to another player in our drama? Of course not – our attachments cause us to jump off the balcony.
To put that idea another way – we choose to jump off the balcony rather than let go of the attachment. We grab onto the attachment and let it pull us back into the drama and pain. Now we are back in the pain. Remember – pain always means there is an attachment.
Can someone make us jump off the balcony?
No one can make true self get out of the moment. The only reason we get out of the moment is because we choose to do so. Most of the time we just relapse into familiar behavior and drift out of the moment.
For whatever reason, true self is the one who decides to be out of the moment. No external situation can cause us to be out of the moment. We have the ultimate responsibility for staying in the moment.
False self is very quick to blame others. False self thinks that if it can shift responsibility to an external situation. Then it will not have to look at its own shortcomings. False self is afraid to be wrong.
With this in mind, false self quickly tries to blame others for why it has jumped off the balcony. Somebody got mad at it; somebody wouldn’t do what they were supposed to do; somebody was wrong so we had to yell at them. False self is very quick to give these excuses for why it jumped off the balcony.
The ultimate responsibility
We have the ultimate responsibility for staying in the moment and on the balcony. Sure – somebody got mad at us and we jumped off the balcony. We must see that we are responsible for this reaction. We must see that when someone does something to us that ultimately we are responsible for finding a way to stay in the moment despite this “transgression.”
As the old saying goes – “we cannot control what happens to us; we can only control how we react to what happens.” In other words, people can and will do many things to us that we do not like. Can we stop them? Of course not. Can we control how we react to what they do? Emphatically yes!
This becomes the true test in learning how to stay on the balcony. Someone does something to us that we do not like. We have our hand loosely around the attachment that is the reaction to the supposed affront.
We are standing on the balcony as the rope of that attachment goes zipping through our hand. We can choose to leave our hand open and let that attachment zip by. Or we can choose to close our hand and grab the attachment and be pulled off the balcony. The choice is ultimately ours.
Elsewhere we have discussed how damaging denial is to being in the moment. When we jump off the balcony we will frequently deny several things. Sometimes we deny that we are out of the moment. Sometimes we will deny that we were the one who jumped off (somebody made us jump). Sometimes we will deny that we are in pain.
Denial is one of the more common reasons that it takes us awhile to get back on the balcony. As long as we stay in denial we are not in the moment and we are in pain. When we jump off the balcony the best thing to do is to recognize the pain and admit that we have jumped off. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back on the balcony.
So who makes us jump?
I hope that by now the answer is clear. We make ourselves jump. We decide to grab onto an attachment and go zipping off the balcony and land splat in the middle of the drama and pain.
I want all of you to be happy all of the time. Please get up on your balcony and quit jumping off. The world will be a much happier place when we all learn to do this.
That is all for today.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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