Thursday, March 8, 2012

Turned Inside Out

Scott Bradley

Buddhism speaks of a "turning about" in its efforts to describe the experience of 'awakening'. Suddenly, everything is perceived differently. I often sense it as getting "turned inside out". I don't mean to imply that I am in any way 'awakened', but only that, in considering the implications of that other way of being in the world as suggested by philosophical Daoism, I sense how it is so radically different from the 'normal' way of preceding as to constitute a complete overturning of normalcy.

"Turning inside out" appeals to me as a metaphor because it suggests the absolute openness and vulnerability required of the heart that harmonizes with things. Openness is not opening a door into oneself, but the demolition of the entire edifice which separates one from the world.

I write this on the heels of a post considering what it means that, right now in this very moment, I am unconditionally and precisely the fullness of what I can be. There is nothing I need become. To even play about on the periphery of what this means is to get a sense of an entirely different way of living. To truly realize this would be to be utterly transformed in terms of experience. It would be to be turned inside out.

This likewise applies to most every "spiritual" insight one might wish to embrace; if it is "spiritual" it is ultimately revolutionary, which is to say, transformational.

The spirit of Daoism turns most every human inclination on its head. This is because humanity has meandered into the cul-de-sac of egoic identity. All we do is largely determined by the perception of ourselves as apart. Not only does self require that all else be ‘other’, but self itself becomes other to itself. Alienation is not separation from the world, but from oneself.

If Daoism is redemptive, however, it is not so at the expense of human inclinations; it is not negation. What it proposes is simply ‘more’. It is an invitation to a more inclusive, ‘higher’ point of view in which these inclinations find fuller, more fruitful expression. It is an invitation to transcend the cul-de-sac of self-centeredness and to re-integrate into the Whole. Yet, here again, more is less, though less is All.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

1 comment:

  1. Akin to "discovery" ie "not seeking new landscapes but having new eyes" (Proust, M)... Was it T.S. Eliot who said about "finding yourself where you began & knowing it for the first time"?


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