I want to share another core dynamic of the human experience – self, world, and the suffering found therein arise when we create boundaries between one thing and another and defend them as if they were real. Seeing and mastering this dynamic is essential for higher levels of self-actualization in all its forms. The benefits of realizing that all boundaries are illusory cannot be overstated. In fact, this realization is the pinnacle of spiritual attainment and psychological development.
The principle is simple to understand – you create self, world, and suffering by projecting and then maintaining boundaries within an inherently unified experience, and you can uncreate it all. In practice, it is difficult – you will continue to see self and world as objective events independent of you, and in need of management.
It is not that boundaries are bad in and of themselves. They are essential to healthy functioning and skill. The point here is that they are invented rather than observed, and because they are invented they can be let go and reinvented as you see fit.
While reading this try to grasp that all you know of anything is your own interpretation. And further, grasp that your interpretation may well be incorrect. Further still, grasp that even if it is ‘correct’ it is still not reality.
Our goal is an experience of truth, power, and freedom.
Reality is a unified whole without division or otherness. The experience of separate selves, objects, events, places, and times is illusory (created by your mind). Separation occurs only in your interpretations of sense data, and when we ascribe existential realness to these projected boundaries we are trapped within a dream of our own making. The dream is then doomed to be dominated by a struggle to maintain those boundaries. The boundaries you create are what define ‘you’ and your ‘world’. Without mentally generated boundaries there is no self or world, and no reason to suffer.
There is nothing wrong with being a self in the world. My only suggestion here is that the whole experience is something you’re creating, and there are consequences. The sooner you realize this the sooner you can begin to create something in accord with higher principles, free of the familiar cycles of suffering.
At its root, all suffering is the result of your illusory boundaries being crossed, and you not accepting it. You set particular parameters around the way things should be, and then suffer when reality diverges from that concept. By seeing that the boundaries you’ve created are not absolute you are freed to change, let go of, or ignore them.
Realizing that your boundaries are self-generated (mental, unreal, fabricated, conceptual) allows the following to occur…
- Transformation– When a self aspect is experienced as ‘simply the way it is your ability to change it is greatly diminished. You won’t even try to change it because the possibility to do so isn’t there. By seeing that the person you are and the world you live in are made up you are empowered to make something different (it will still be pretty hard, as the pressure to persist is ongoing and ravenous)
- Freedom from suffering- Suffering occurs when you define yourself and then try to be that defined character through time. By realizing that even your self is made up you can begin to ignore or change its ongoing survival demands. The world to which you relate is also invented, so the suffering you derive out of reacting to and struggling against it can be dropped.
- Clear thinking- When one’s boundaries are taken for granted their ability to think impartially and without bias is diminished. You will overlook many false assumptions in your understanding of things. By letting go of your projected boundaries you are able to see things for what they are and relate to them without trying to have them fit into your preconceived notions.
- Self-realization– Because reality is unified, and you are reality, you must be unified. This can be experienced by anyone who cares to know, and it is the wellspring of wellbeing and understanding. By accepting the reality of your boundaries outright you cut yourself off from the ability to experience what existed before you created them. Because boundaries are a function of thought, they are never what is actually there. The same is true of yourself. When all you know of yourself are the artificial delineations of ‘me’ you must live in fear, as you are perpetually called to defend and promote something which is inherently fragile, fleeting, and unreal. See through it all to experience what you really are.
- Understanding– If you take your thoughts to be true you are lost. Thoughts are thoughts and reality is reality. This is obvious, but we rarely notice just how much of the world we seem to live in is mentally generated. Much of what we take to be real is in fact a boundary we projected into the world as children and never thought to reevaluate. By seeing that your conception of things is not what’s really there you are freed to question. Those with the deepest understanding have grasped that their ideas can never touch reality.
- Authenticity– Any instance of inauthenticity is the result of one trying to maintain boundaries. Why put on a show? – in order to maintain boundaries (I am this way not that). Being willing to dissolve your self concept means you can act as the moment demands and ignore the dictate of an illusory self defined by fear.
- Love– One way to understand love is as the conscious awareness of unity. When you love someone it is because you have unified your self with that apparent other. In the dissolution of boundaries, you find a vast sea of love for all things because you experience them as one with yourself.
- Intelligence– Reality is inherently intelligent (a strong claim with no explanation sorry) . By drawing a boundary around self and identifying exclusively with the internal dialogue, you exclude the rest of Being from your sentient experience and cut yourself off from a living connection to deeper levels of ‘Gods’ (your) intelligence.
How did we acquire these false boundaries?
- Direct conditioning– Your parents, teachers, and friends actively and passively told you what’s what. You are like this, other people are like that, and the world is this way. Once accepted these beliefs slip into the background and are felt only as ‘what is’. Little did you know that no one knew what they were talking about!
- Societal conditioning– In much the same way but on a broader scale than direct conditioning, your culture has long-established boundaries. These boundaries are so deeply ingrained in the human psyche that they seem to be reality. They are not. Good and evil, real and unreal, self and other are all culturally sanctioned beliefs you unknowingly subscribed to at some point
- Fear/trauma– When a psyche encounters something painful its immediate reaction is to figure out how to avoid it in the future. In order to avoid something, one creates a hypothesis about the way things are and then relates to that as if it were real. If a man hurts you, you might assume that men are bad and then project that boundary onto others. Much of what you know to be true is simply a thought form used to avoid future pain.
- Apparent separation– as we develop we learn to make distinctions between objects, and then go on to make finer distinctions about relationships and qualities. While these may seem obviously so, they too are boundaries you created. Because a tree and its branches are distinct does not mean they are separate. Dissolve the projections and see the unified event of being.
How do we get free?
- Become conscious of the nature of boundaries- You can directly grasp that everything you know is conceptual. When you do this you are much more likely to loosen your grip on what seems to be real.
- Become conscious of the nature of reality itself– In enlightenment, you directly experience what you are prior to concept. When you do this the notion that self and world have an independent existence falls away. You realize that all apparent boundaries are a function of mind, and are unnecessary. You can exist without existing as anything. The world can be without being defined as this or that.
- Become conscious of what you have- Whether you know it or not you are full of assumptions about the way things are. When unconscious the assumptions appear as the world. When
- Train in the art of letting go- It is not easy to let the world dissolve. Letting go of apparent boundaries requires you to let go of the world you recognize. Fear and trepidation hinder this process as you may feel ungrounded or depersonalized. Training helps you develop the skill of letting go. The more you let go the more perspective you gain. Becoming comfortable with letting go of aspects as personal as identity facilitates freedom.
- Learn to live with a tentative hypothesis about the way things are- Understand your paradigms and theories as mere ideas and hold them as such. Give them no metaphysical reality but use them to live and understand more deeply. Boundaries serve a function! But they do not represent the truth and they are not conducive to unconditional happiness.
Why get free?
- Truth– When we live in a world where thought is taken to be reality, the Truth takes a back seat. By seeing all boundaries for what they are we are in a better place to become conscious of both relative and absolute Truth. Relative understanding requires you to tirelessly eliminate all that which is inaccurate. Absolute understanding requires you have the openness to go beyond mind, which cannot be accomplished if you insist on holding your thought form boundaries as real in themselves.
- Power– Power arises when we relate effectively to what is actually occurring. By letting go of your projections you are freed to perceive the world accurately. Think about how many assumptions you blindly accepted that now dominate your experience. The boundaries you’ve created also limit your sense of capacity because most of them were formed when you were a helpless creature. Release these and know yourself as God.
- Freedom– Boundaries in themselves do not limit your freedom, it is your attachment to them as real that does. When you see that you are not defined by the boundaries you project you are free to be nobody. Being nobody is the greatest joy because only then do you realize you are everything. Only then do you realize that the way you relate and think is not fixed but subject to creation and recreation as the moment demands. Freedom is happiness.
Be happy squirt