If we face it squarely, the fate of the world today hinges on the balance of who can raise the most campaign finance funds to better entrance the electorate in its favor. It’s truly a sporting event; the competitive driver dominating America, and consequently the world. How dissociated could this daily dynamic be from the true needs and true reality of the precariousness of the world’s survival? What kind of mentality seeks the brink of destruction to gain the competitive advantage?
When the shamans say we are completely at the mercy of “the foreign installation,” this is what they are talking about. A world mentality in the grip of a predator. That predator cares only for its own gluttonous appetite. It cares nothing for the true needs of the human animal, the human race, the human planet. All it seeks is more gluttony, more to feed its own insatiable appetite, and we are all collectively and personally held in its grip.
We see this collective reality nanosecond by nanosecond in our rapidly communicating world wide web—a web expressing its own gluttonous desire for more; more speed, more rapid response—far outpacing the human nervous system, compromising our human biological balance. The hunger for more and for new is insatiable. But is it truly human? Where is the human in this? Answer: The human is held in the predator’s grip.
In Carlos Castaneda’s journey in infinity, he encountered a young girl caught in the predator’s grip. His heart went out to her and he gave all of his energy trying to free her. The predator had wisely tricked him, found his weak spot, drained him of his energy, and now held Carlos Castaneda in his grip as well.
Who is that young girl that so captivated Castaneda? She is us, all of us, our human self held in bondage by the predators’ mind, that foreign installation that the shamans speak of. Last week I illustrated this dynamic in Barking Meditation. The predator’s mind is the mind that spins the drama, spins our emotions, and drains our vital energy. We are all prey to the machinations of what the Buddhists call the monkey mind, another name for the foreign installation, that doesn’t give a hoot about our true needs or the true reality of our human animal. It’s no different than the daily world spin we are fed to agitate us, hypnotize us, and funnel our energy and funds in this or that direction.
How do we defeat this predator? How do we free ourselves? Here are some hints:
1. Mindfulness Meditation. Learn to take awareness away from the predatory mind, refuse its tales of worry and woe. Keep awareness present on now, on the body, on the truth of the heart, on what is truly real.
2. Suspend Judgment. The predatory mind’s greatest hook is judgment: Good or Bad. It structures our lives, our feelings, and our actions around judging ourselves as good, bad, worthy, unworthy, lovable, unlovable, lucky, unlucky, etc., etc. Once the judgments set in, they generate the feelings that stir up our energy, which gets sucked from us throughout the day and throughout our lives.
No judgment! No blame! Only facts and truth matter! Facts and truth generate right action and freedom. Judgment binds us in its sticky web, a web from which we may never escape.
3. We Are All Victims. Accept that we are all, in our true humanness, victims of the predator’s grip. We are all the innocent young girl of Carlos Castaneda’s journey. But let’s learn from Castaneda’s mistake. If we allow ourselves to be consumed by the sadness, despondency, and hopelessness of the little girl in her captive state, we, like Castaneda, will lose all our energy and be rendered helpless victims, caught eternally in the predator’s grip.
4. Use Our Awareness. We must acknowledge the truth of our bondage, but guard our energy to free ourselves. We do have awareness, an awareness that the predator goes after but can’t fully consume. However weakened, however impoverished we become, we must garner our awareness to not attach to the machinations of the mind and all its false apocalypses. Instead, we must use our awareness to calm ourselves in mindfulness and instead engage in Awe: awe of the majesty of pure being. This is a path to freedom.
We must use our awareness to free ourselves from judgment to arrive at truth and right action. We must avoid identifying with the desperation of our captivated selves. We, as beings of awareness, are the beacons of hope, our one advantage over the predator. Let us not squander our energy on self-pity. Identifying with the true pain of the victim is not freeing, it’s draining. Acting on behalf of the truth of our victim state, through a process like recapitulation, is the road to freedom.
In conclusion, mindfulness and suspending judgment are the weapons to truly freeing our innocence. Facing the truth of our bondage, with awareness, and taking action on our own behalf allows us to finally take back our true humanness from the gluttonous grip of the predator.
To free our innocence and reach a state of awe, to finally experience the majesty of pure being, takes practice. Practice often, now and every day. Forgive the self of everything.
Rescue is imminent!
Stalking beyond the predator’s grip,
* See also Jan’s recent blog re: poison ivy as mindfulness practice!