Where are we and where have we been?
We have pointed out the red dust falls daily. This is the influence of cultural conditioning - which naturally has us give up our Inner Self for the Group Self. While good for the Group Self, many times this influence is bad for the Inner Self. The effects of cultural conditioning frequently induces a knee-jerk reflex. This reflexive action throws us inadvertently off the cliff into the mouth of the monster of Emotional Upset, who swallows us whole. This Upset kills our Present - enslaving us to Future Fears and Past Regrets.
Instead of responding mindlessly to these inner directives, the human animal has the ability to exert will and choice to avoid destructive consequences. Rather than eliminating, beating, or enslaving the effects of cultural conditioning, this exertion of will has the potential to tame, domesticate, and consciously ride this Cultural Wave. Yet because of mental laziness, we allow cultural conditioning to be our Master. It's easier that way, as no decisions need be made. Utilizing our unique ability to Self-reflect, we can turn this intense Cultural Force into our Servant instead. The intent is not to eliminate or kill this innate instinctual force - which is impossible anyway. He just turns inside out - coming as his shadow - wrecking nearly as much havoc - upside down – as his opposite.
These inherent dangers impel us to dig a little deeper into this process. The red dust of cultural conditioning, signified by din our equations, falls daily (via the media and social interactions). If the Mirror of the Mind is not cleaned regularly, the accumulation of this red dust has the potential to turn the world upside down. We called this the state of Inversion - when Cultural Reflex is the most powerful influence in the Person’s life.
How do we recognize when we are in the state of Inversion? Due to inherent Mind pollution, m, it is frequently hard to tell when external forces are motivating our behavior and when we are in control. Choosing to buy products that advertizing promotes could hardly be called an example of Will.
Although there are myriad ambiguous situations that are nearly impossible to resolve, there is one relatively clear-cut instance of Inversion. Emotional Upset, of which Anger is the prime example, is an indication that we are victims of the red dust. Frequently without warning, we are suddenly moving the wrong way - the opposite direction – saying and doing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. Emotional arousal is a key indicator that events have gone awry.
When we are upset, it is almost better not to do anything until the Emotional Fire has gone out. Choosing not to participate is the best strategy at the point of recognizing that one has entered the state of Inversion, as corrupted motivations taint behavior.
There is Sufi story that indicates this course of action. Ali is about to slay a formidable opponent, when his adversary spits in his face. Ali immediately moves away. When his comrades questions him concerning this curious behavior, Ali responds that he can't kill in anger because it is for personal reasons, not for Allah. In another battle, the two meet again. The same situation occurs. His opponent spits in his face, but Ali slays him nevertheless. When his comrades question him about this reversal, Ali responds that he wasn't angry this time. Through meditation and prayer he had dealt with his emotional connections to this particular incident. One interpretation of the story is that Ali had realized through internal practices that spitting was only insulting his Person, and this Person is not his essence. It is only the vehicle by which he reached union with God. In this case, Ali effectively broke his chain of attachment to the World Dream.
Choosing not to participate in destructive emotional behavior is only the first step.
Although we have attempted to cease adding any more fuel,
The Emotional Forest Fire is still raging.
How do we put out the Fire?
To escape the state of Inversion - to break the influence of Reflex,
We need to Clean our Minds of the Red Dust.
How is this Cleaning done?
We employ first Water and then Fire to purify our Mind of Pollution.
Water purification has to do with immersing one’s Being in Pure Experience.
A good example of Water Purification is the Health Spa -
Which immerses the Patient in pure Experience:
Massage, Food, Exercise, Peace and Quiet.
The idea behind this type of Purification is to put the Fire out.
With the World Dream dominating our high stress lives,
The Mind catches Fire.
The Alchemists liken it to a wild fire.
This is also called the Person Fever –
Anger leading to Inversion.
The Emotional Reaction to external circumstances that turns our Life upside-down.
Before internal examination begins,
The Emotional Fire must be put out.
Water purification is an effective method of dousing this Fire.
Extinguish it through lack of Fuel.
After the Emotional Fire is put out or dies out,
Then and only then can Fire Purification begin.
Mind cleaning Mind - a very subtle process.
If the Emotional Fire is still burning,
Too much momentum exists for Mind to question Mind -
Too confusing - too much investment.
Speeding away into confusion - racing around aimlessly, going nowhere -
The Mind force only adds to the chaos of jumbled impulses - solving nothing -
Just contributing to the Fire - not extinguishing it.
The state of Pure Experience that is the basis of Water Purification
Is immediately accessible to Everyone at all Times -
As this is the state of Reality, which is omnipresent everywhere.
However, for those that only conceptualize the world through words
This state is so improbable that it might be called impossible.
For the goal-driven, they only drive by - looking out of their window -
Speeding along in search of it -
When they only need stop their car and get out.
For others there are short visits to Reality on their return to Hell.
Of course, others wallow in it, blissfully -
Only knocked out occasionally, inadvertently, -
By forces beyond their control?
Sometimes, these forces are within our control.
Indeed this is what this discussion is all about.