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Cause & Condition

Posted by on February 14th, 2012 with 1 Comment

How or what I am today has not been easily obtained, it’s taken me decades to learn what it means to be effortless, without aims or expectations that attach to an outcome.

The tendency is for me to tell you how it is, what needs to done or undone, or to think that you can learn something by my making a simple declarative statement. I’ve even felt the urge to beat you up with a rant or poem that will shake you out of some imagined complacency when I’ve never really felt complacent myself, just not knowing what to do next.

For so long the same issues, frustrations, disappointments and resentments kept coming up. They would rear their ugly head and take a few choice bites out of my fantasies and then sink back below the surface, lying in wait for the next conflict.

So many times there have been those kind enough to call me on my bullshit, either to my face or through their writings and other offerings. I can only hope they feel my gratitude for their caring enough to care.

It’s as though I looked at everything sideways, not getting the full dimension of reality but instead filtering, translating, interpreting and distorting my own experience for the sake of what I thought was important. Things like being right at the expense of making you wrong, or being blind to the love being offered because it didn’t fit some concept of what I thought it could or should be.

Waking up is hard to do. Not getting out of bed, but getting out of my head. Every loss, hurt, disappointment and heartbreak is the opportunity to open the heart, to see with the heart/mind not just the brain, and to take in everything that is offered to me not just what I like and dislike.

There is so much confusion about God, religion, spirituality, morality, ethics, success and happiness. Everyone has to start from scratch and invent themselves to fit in, dress to impress, the need to succeed, make their way in the world by taking full advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. It’s very man, woman and corporation for themselves looking for the nearest shortcut without regard for who or whatever gets in the way or has to live with the mess we’ve created.

Competition holds the highest seat of honor, determines the most worthy in everything from economics, entertainment, sports, art, and academic achievement. Only the winners deserve to succeed, to be happy, to live like kings while the masses huddle and scuffle over the leftovers.

In this age of the excess of success we fail to appreciate the law of karma, that everything has, does and will arise from cause and condition, that everything we do, say and think matters, makes a difference; and that everything is interconnected and interdependent in ways that are more subtle than we can either articulate or imagine.

Cause and condition are the energy and the matter, the creative forces and the elements that shape everything in universe. Conditions are the longer, lower, slower patterns or rhythms, like the ground or field of seasons or cycles. Causes are the more immediate, dynamic play of forces whose steeper, faster intensity bring about the spontaneous display of momentary events.

Condition is the universe of celestial bodies, galaxies and solar systems, our earth, moon and seasons. Cause is the response of these patterns that result or display as the tides or the wind driving the waves that crash or splash upon the beach.

Condition in us is conditioning, the lifelong learning of mental habits and behaviors that both allow us to survive and predicate how we relate to cause through perceptions, attitudes and the emotional responses to personal events. Just as we can manipulate forms and energies to fabricate shelter, food, clothing, transportation and communication, so too we can manipulate thoughts and feelings to construct concepts, images and projections that will offer us a sense of accomplishment.

Instability in condition causes catastrophic results that display as severe weather, earthquakes and black holes. Inconsistency and trauma in our conditioning causes dysfunction, negativity and partiality that display as conflict, anxiety, anger and fear. Any learned assumption or expectation that is out of integrity with reality will cause us to not accurately process our experience but instead pick and choose according to habits of liking and disliking that in turn prop up the cause for more negativity and fear.

Having once realized that change is possible, that everything changes regardless of what I am thinking or feeling, hoping, wishing and expecting, I am able to embrace the process of life and death, summer and winter, light and dark in terms of what is controllable and what is not. This allows that we can free ourselves from the bonds of delusion about anything being permanent or fixed, not subject to the interdependence of cause and condition.

What is it that allows me to reflect on these dynamics, to go beyond the superficial reactive responses to whatever arises or appears? What ability is there within me that allows me to reflect on 20,000 years of memory and to also receive the fullness of this moment? There must be some condition within our being that resonates throughout the full spectrum of matter, time and space and causes realization.

Any concept of unity and wholeness that leaves nothing out goes beyond animate and inanimate, energy and mass. Do the terms awareness or consciousness apply? Is spiritual awakening such a complete state of purity and openness that everything can be simultaneous present without partiality or status? Can we grok that our capacity for goodness and virtue is be caused by the absolute resonance of our condition.

It can be very difficult for us to learn and understand the fullness of our potential, like a flower turning toward the sun we yearn for the next insight or realization that will grant us even a glimpse of the peace we so much desire. The fact that we study, contemplate, observe and reflect in the effort to gain the knowledge of our condition, only to then release ourselves from all that has been learned and launch into the vast unknowable spaciousness of being seems so improbable.

All this training, education and experience in almost every field of endeavor; never flagging in the effort to learn, to know and understand how everything works, who everyone is. Failure, disappointment, frustration and even doubt all rise up and dissolve in the momentum of seeking the truth. Greater honesty and integrity, deeper gratitude and humility have all come with the cost of when these virtues fell short.

Ritual, routine, schedules, deadlines and quotas can all be the condition for greater participation, productivity and efficiency but also the cause of dullness, indifference, laxity and insensitivity. Dogma and rites lay the groundwork for organization and institution, but encourage blind faith and rote recitation instead of intimacy, insight and realization.

It seems that there are no guarantees, no final reward, no prize or a gold watch, just a sense of contentment, a kind of satisfaction that comes in a tender moment with a loved one where nothing is missing or needed. Condition and cause are indifferent to who’s present and who’s distracted, whether we get it or not has an effect that is almost imperceptible, except in a few rare cases. Yet we rise to a challenge, struggle to overcome difficulties, often unaware that the resonance continuously urges us toward harmony, unity and peace.

Galveston, Texas

One Comment

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