Born to Disrupt
Dave begins the event with the words “born to be a disruptor.”
Is he saying this about himself or about all of us? Both, or neither? Inside of an Oshana event (this one is “Driving Deeper: Lifting the Corners of Unreality”), words are never quite as linear as a scribe would like them to be.
If you think this is easy, I will take that as a compliment; except that it also means you haven’t been paying attention.
Dave ends the event by cautioning that we are all prey to an addiction that we don’t easily perceive that we have.
The reason we don’t get out of the prison we are in, he says, is because we believe in “the Wizard broadcasting its voice across the planet of our minds,” never realizing that it doesn’t have the authority it claims to have.
What Dave is attempting to provide is “real-time intervention”: something that takes away our illusions. The problem is that no one wants to have their illusions taken away: if they did, they wouldn’t need someone to do it.
There’s an even deeper problem, which is that even finding someone lost in illusion is not easy, never mind bringing them out of it.
We all relate, not directly to one another, but to figments of our imagination. We interact not with people but with our concepts about people. Dave’s lament today is that all the ways people relate to him are unrelated to why he is there for them.
He uses an analogy: Dave is undercover as a prison guard. His mission is to spring me from prison. Instead, he finds himself constantly reminding me that he is not here to get me extra jam on my porridge, or secure for me an extra change of boxer shorts every week. He finds himself constantly asking me: Do you understand the consequences of a prison break?
Dave’s job is simple: to make me cease to believe in my mind. So when Dave tells me this in words and it goes into my mind to process it, should I believe it?
As a boy in physics class, Dave annoyed his teacher by asking difficult questions. As the teacher presented an equation to the class, young Dave asked, “Aren’t you making assumptions with this equation? Shouldn’t we go back to first principles?” The teacher reprimanded his precocious and difficult student: “We aren’t here for that! My job is to get you to pass the exams!”
This example is to illustrate how we start with one or two unquestioned assumptions, and before we know it, we have built a whole life on them.
Getting enlightened, Dave says, is about hugely doubting yourself.
Hey, I can do that. Years of practice. But still here looking for more jam on my porridge.
Snippets from an audio journal I made the day before Sunday’s meeting. Approach with caution for an example of the perpetual motion machine of a chronically doubting mind.
Into the Void
Enlightenment happens, he says, when the sticky thread between our awareness and the cluster of assumptions we call our mind, breaks. Then we break free of the gravitational pull of the conceptual planet we call thinking.
Many of our concepts, he says, are after-effects of something shocking or traumatic. They are stories we tell ourselves to keep these painful impressions at a distance. Hence, none of them lead to freedom. What needs to happen is something has to change inside us.
Right before that, Dave used the phrase “journey of increasing disbelief.” I noted and underlined it, thinking it would be a great title for the next blogpost. Later, since both Dave and I enjoy acronyms, I considered “vector of increasing disbelief” as a viable alternative. It spells VOID.
This VOID requires disdain, dislike, antipathy, allergic reactions, and disinterest in what our minds are saying is true. Our lifelong experience of the mind is like a dysfunctional relationship that we keep going back into, always willing to give it a second chance, no matter how many times we get abused. It’s like a TV show that starts out strong, but steadily degrades itself. Why do we carry on watching? Because we are invested in the characters.
Like a TV show needs ratings, our mind is like a semi-sentient creation that constantly wants our company. It is also a complete illusion. Getting free of that illusion means going cold turkey on certain aspects of our minds.
Where Does Thought Come From?
We are addicted to certain recurring sequences of thoughts in our minds, says Dave.
I know this from observation. I have noticed how, when I am lying in bed at night, waiting to go to sleep, if I am not listening to old audio journals of myself (literal mind-tapes), then I am listening to a live audio stream of my mind. I have noticed that I will set up a series of thoughts that I expect will be stimulating and pleasing to me, and then relax into the warm anticipation of the next few thoughts coming down the “Jasun” pipe.
When I mentioned this, some years back, to my wife, she seemed surprised, shocked even. My guess is that we all do it, all the time. I think I was just becoming conscious of something I had done throughout my life, unconsciously.
Withdrawing authority from our minds entails letting go of the need to have any clear idea about ourselves.
Where do thoughts come from anyway? Do they all come from the same place; do they travel into awareness in the same direction? Do they come one at a time or in clusters? Dave has commented many times (and I have observed this, though probably to a far lesser degree than he has), that our thoughts have a spacial layout. When we go to a particular sequence of thoughts or associations, we are locating them in the spacial field around our bodies, rather like a computer desktop that has programs and folders on it.
This can be observed, if we watch ourselves closely, or others, while we or they are speaking.
Breaking free of the illegitimate persuasion tactics of the false identity involves interrupting certain recurring sets of assumptions. It means not going into these old files and programs conveniently situated on the desktop of our minds. This is my analogy, not Dave’s, and it causes me to wonder if “shortcuts” on a computer desktop are the equivalent of especially rapid automatic associations, the ones that occur more frequently and effortlessly?
Our technology mirrors our psychology.
Dave likes to point out that we have two eyes, and that means we actually see two images whenever we look at existence. Those two images are confabulated into a single image that we then take for reality. We make assumptions about what we see being actually out there.
Just like video processing (or celluloid film) depends on our filling in the gaps that exists between pixels/frames, our assumptions weave together disparate aspects of existence into a seamless whole that is holey, and hence (maybe) wholly illusory. Assumptions may even make up the lion’s share of our experience of reality. It’s called living in a dream world.
Dave asks how detailed is our ability to take in non-confirming evidence? Can we maintain a position of doubt, of being unsure about what is going on?
This is a slow method, but it allows us to question what our minds are telling us, and to suspend automatic assumptions about what is true.
The split within us is this: there are many things our minds are telling us throughout the day that our life force simply isn’t interested in.
Earlier, Dave demonstrated his problem talking to people who are, in his previously cited analogy, asking him for more jam on their porridge, while he is trying to break them out of their prison cells. The more he expresses his skepticism about the problems they believe they have—problems that circle, like hornets, around the uncomfortable feelings that their thoughts are buffering them against—the more insistent they become that, really, the problem is not enough jam on the porridge: that and nothing else.
To demonstrate the way people get with him when he doesn’t take their mind-selves seriously enough, he leaned forward and raised his voice. He asked us if we had noticed what he was doing and then what it communicated. I typed “insistence” into the chat area of the Zoom channel. Actually, I typed “insstence.” I didn’t bother to correct it, because Dave is an educated guy, and I knew he could figure it out.
He made a face when he saw the word, then remarked that there were “too many s’s. He brought the word up again later, and made the same comment about the “s’s.” This made me think of snakes; but when I looked at how I’d typed the word, I realized it wasn’t a question of too many s’s, but of a missing “I.”
Wave of Decimation
In the last few minutes of the event, Dave reiterated that we are driven, not by our thoughts, but by feelings we don’t want to have. We conjure forth figments of the imagination, idées fixes, obsessions, to protect us from those uncomfortable feelings. The narratives we generate are all geared to get us to suspend disbelief and, by making an invisible threat appear visible, to act out fantasies that will temporarily relieve our distress without ever facing the internal reality that is causing it. (It’s called LARPing)
At that point, I wrote in my notes: NO CLUE ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON.
Bringing serious doubt to one’s life doesn’t sound like progress, says Dave; or that it could be sustainable. But cold turkey never seems like a good idea to the addict.
What if what I’m involved in isn’t really about hearing what you have to say, at all? What if whatever you have to say is the enemy, speaking through you?
Do you like these apples? Would you buy them from this man?
This rescue mission is to separate you from the hallucinating voice inside you. My job is basically to decimate you, from the inside.
Dave extends a laughing challenge to the scribe at this point: See if you can romanticize that and make it more palatable to people, Jasun. He then relieves me of the task a moment after assigning it, by ending on a suitably Matrix-y flourish:
As bad as total decimation sounds, he says, it is the only way to free the human race from an alien homunculus that has taken us over—and turned us into its precioussss.
How’s that for positive spin? Take the “I” out of insistence and what do you get? Too many sssssssss.
Next Up with Oshana Online: “Breaking Back Into The Matrix; Grasping the Glitch; Cracking the Code; Bagging the Black Cat; Manipulating the Mechanism,” Sunday, 24th May 9 am Pacific time.