Last week I was perusing through the Robert Scheinfeld facebook phase 2 players fan page and I came across a number of people reflecting my growing feelings of apathy towards the world. Feelings that would eventually become a gaping void of unfeeling determined to swallow me whole. The great war of my life had always been internal and the stage was set for another massive battle.
All along in Phase 2 my “logical mind” – one side of the war – attempted to rationalize the journey by putting in its thoughts before every other internal sensation including emotion, intuition, and the truth. It seems my brain and all of the tools of its domain – rationalizing, analyzing, planning, reasoning, extrapolating, etc – holds a lot of discomfort about this whole transformation and continually wants to assert its control. If logic mind had its way my life would be akin to a fascist police state where rules, order, and “reason” would make me a slave to an impossible ideal of perfection. Logic mind has never completely won. Intuition has insurgences now and then but fully giving into intuition feels like it would become chaos. This fear has kept me from completely surrendering. But I could not deny the truth any longer.
Do you ever had an intuition to do something that goes against your logical mind?
Lovers who get together without reason experience this. So too the person who turns left at the traffic signal even though previous knowledge suggests that right is the quicker route to their destination. Gut reactions have saved and doomed many people, but I would argue that it’s always for their best. Though intuition is the underdog, it has a heart of gold. I realized the risk of chaos is worth the true freedom of living reactively.
But I hadn’t considered the secret weapon of logic. Never has there been a more potent force for stopping progress than apathy – just look at our political system in America for the last 10 years. Regardless of where your allegiance stands, the fact remains that less people voted ever in the previous two elections (before Obama and McCain of 2008)
As I did the Phase 2 work one by one my logical arguments dissolved due to processing and a fleeting feeling the truth of who I really am. It was like I finally found the volume control on the battle cries of the logic mind who all along told me I would bring about my own destruction. And then, like a dark cloud , logical mind brought out its nuclear bomb – apathy.
My Logical Mind’s Last Stand
There on the battlefield of my mind sat two opposing forces. All my life these forces had been in equilibrium. But now they’ve both learned the truth and both attempted to use the truth to win their war once and for all.
“If I really believe the Phase 2 work then he doesn’t need plans.” said Intuition, stoutly.
I reeled at the true ramifications of this statement and saw my freedom on the horizon, but the forces of logic stood fast.
“If you really believe the Phase 2 work then nothing exists. If nothing exists, then nothing matters. If nothing matters, then what’s the point of living?” said logic quite logically.
I’m was stunned, frozen. My intuition made a desperate reply. “Weren’t the rules you blindly enforce meant to take away suffering?”
Logic mind made a compassionate retort, “Yes. We want to protect you from suffering.”
Intuition pleaded, “The fact that nothing exists makes it easier to see the truth behind all suffering and thus negate your purpose for this war. If suffering doesn’t exist, you have no reason to protect us from it.”
Logic mind, in this battle to the death, came back with a swift final attack.
“If you can see the truth behind suffering and believe that it isn’t real, you must feel the truth behind joy as well. It is also not real.” Intuition felt its world crumbling.
“We’re here to protect you from the emptiness you feel. We give your life purpose and meaning. It may not be real, but it’s far better than the world beyond the void.” He pointed to the gathering forces of darkness, now surrounding the battle field.
Intuition, appropriately against all reason, rebuked the forces of logic and said. “We will not be slaves to this fake world any longer.”
Logic, with a grim demeanor says, “So be it. Your world as you know it will come to an end.”
A dark cloud of apathy swiftly seeped into all the world inside my brain and my soul. An inky blackness that would not shake because it seemed to be the force behind everything, even the light of joy.
I stayed in the fog of apathy for a time. Nothing in life seemed to matter. My family, my cats, the money I had, my talents – nothing was real, so how could I engage with it? I had forsaken who I’d always been and what was left was an ever growing black hole. In my despair I had the darkest thoughts yet:
Busting loose isn’t real.
The process isn’t real.
There is no game.
I’m a prisoner to a reality that isn’t real.
There is no winning, there is no losing.
There is just being – purposelessly wandering an alien world in an alien self.
My disconnection was almost complete.
There is no going back. No going forward. There is only here now. In a world of infinite possibilities, mine would be of infinite sadness if I felt emotion at all. I was a ghost; an observer. I was in purgatory waiting to die.
Yet inside the black hole where my illusory joy had all but collapsed, sparked a singularity; A distant twinkling light in the abyss.
The Other Side
Once I felt that single light of truth I started using the process. It didn’t seem to do anything at first. The black cloud stayed as the chaotic emptiness continued to be the force behind everything in reality. I processed and processed. I sheltered the frail conviction that this couldn’t be real; this couldn’t be the truth.
I beat my fists into the air, trying to physically dismantle the reality where I was submerged. Still nothing. Another night went by seemingly sealing the fate on another doomed self help crusade to bring some kind of order to this turbulent life I lived.
Then one day I gave up knowing somewhere inside that if Busting Loose told the truth that I could do no more in the moment to see it. Saving myself now was beyond me as the player. The next day I resumed my old patterns of being and began to rebuild my logical mind in order to reclaim my fake joy. I figured a life of pretend purpose was better than a life of no real purpose. I was back at square one.
In a conversation with a great (non buster) friend I asked them what I should do with my life. She hesitantly began to speak when my phone inexplicably shut off. And that’s when it hit me.
What was it?
In small ways at first. Sensations before thought and emotion. Sensations of knowing, slowly permeating my consciousness. Those bits of knowing formed thoughts which in turn broke open streams of emotions. And my logical mind, previously my enemy, joined the rousing silent chorus of understanding and overwhelmed me.
I was not real.
My logical mind is not real.
My intuition is not real.
There was no battle between logic and intuition. Those opposing forces were merely players just like other aspects in my hologram.
The rift between them that created the void was not real.
The void is not real.
Everything was true joy in disguise – the greatest, most epic disguise ever experienced by my player.
The apathy that consumed me was not real.
So much power so quickly made me dizzy and exhilarated. The peace I felt then was the truth. Truth like I hadn’t experienced. Truth that foregrounded everything I experienced. Truth that spoke without words to the beauty of the illusion not in spite of its illusory nature, but because of it.
Do you question the beauty of the ocean, the sky, the deep reds of a sunset or the look in your lover’s eyes? The illusion is infinitely more beautiful than its images, tastes, or sensations. I looked into the mirror and saw its surface.
My logical mind, playing the part of tyrant, had held a deceptive piece of the truth – “Your world as you know it will come to an end.” And it did, but also a new beginning. For the first time in Phase 2, I had broken through.