Flash dit dit dit, Ming Duh Merciless has arrived in our star system and is threatening to destroy our world. Get the incredibly preposterous story here:
Success often means being able to deal efficiently and appropriately with the inevitable unexpected challenges that come our way. However, this becomes more difficult as life becomes more complicated. Fortunately we have a capability that allows us to turn over many of the redundant tasks in our lives to an auto pilot feature of our consciousness. But while this is a powerful capability, like so many other powerful tools we have available to us, this one can work against us if we don’t maintain a firm grip on it. This is our ability to install certain thinking and behavior patterns as unconscious habits. The problem is that not all of our current habitual thinking and behavior patterns are positive and constructive ones and we need to do a little mental maintenance from time to time.
The Human species has raised self deception and denial to an art form, but how and maybe more importantly why? I can tell already that this will not be the easiest article I’ve ever written and probably won’t be the easiest to read. But regardless of the perceived difficulty, I believe that this issue needs some attention before we all get lost forever in a conceptual version of reality and it becomes virtually impossible for us to find our way back to the world of direct experience where we can still smell the smells, feel what we touch, experience the vibrations of sound and taste the vivid textures of the present moment in time, where and when our lives actually take place.
Self confidence can be a transient experience that can depend on the balance between successes and failures or even our core beliefs about ourselves. For example; we may not believe that we deserve success, or that we are destined to be failures. But is there such a thing as total self confidence? A kind of confidence that is certain and unshakable and not vulnerable to the results of our efforts or our core beliefs? Yes! There is such a thing as absolute self confidence and it arises from having complete faith in ourselves. But how do we achieve complete faith in ourselves?
What if someone told you that there is a very good chance that you don’t live in the real world perhaps 90% of the time, that we only directly experience life maybe 10% of the time? I remember that I laughed when I first encountered this idea. But even while I was laughing I knew that there was a small voice deep in the back of my consciousness that was trying to sound an alarm or send a message or something. Whatever it was, I reacted with fear and ran away from the whole idea telling myself that it was silly, and even crazy, and in this way was able to dismiss the thoughts and avoid pursuing it any further. But I was unable to completely forget that little voice, and years later while meditating I accidentally opened that door again. But this time I was stronger.
Can it really be true that we don’t live in the real world but rather a conceptual representation of the world? What do we even mean by the idea of living in the world? One of the most powerful realizations that meditation can reveal to us is the true nature of what is real and what is the abstract constructs of our mind, and many people are unable to deal with this kind of truth. So, what exactly is going on, what is real and what only seems to be real because we are not aware of the activities of our own mind?
Meditation can be a double edged tool. It can reveal the nature of actual reality, but in doing so it also reveals many other states of consciousness that we experience as real but are not usually aware of their true nature, depending on our present level of awareness. So, while meditation can show us true reality, in the process we may realize that we have been living in a conceptual representation of reality for perhaps years or even a whole lifetime.