Big Horn Sheep Having a Ceremonial Head Butt - Sage(Photo Credit: Sage)

Lone Sheep, what a strangely meaningful image this is. On the one hand it conjures up the image of Christ as the Sheppard who follows into the wilderness even one sheep who drifts from the flock. On the other hand, it conjures up an image of a True Individual who, while incapable of getting lost (as he does not drift) is, nonetheless, totally alone.

Standing alone, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with loneliness. But when one struggles to BE day in and day out, one can sometimes get lost in this egoic manifestation of ‘alone.’ Actually, the manifestation is nothing more than a thought which attempts to define “stand alone.” And what happens when you begin to define a realization that was sensed wordlessly? Suddenly it takes on a definite shape and form. It grows arms and legs and pulls you into the world of its creation, its character. I can build a small model of ‘loneliness’ out of my beliefs and fears and assumptions, or I can lose all sense of presence and create a gigantic mountain, a palace, an edifice of ‘loneliness’. I can create an entire Island.

But this is not True creation. True Creation emerges only when one has courage to be the ‘lone sheep’ standing alone, having shed every ounce of fear which is his natural inclination. Yes, I do feel that FEAR is the basic human emotion or psychological state of being that is the root cause of mankind’s suffering. This basic psychological state is, of course, directly related to man’s most basic instinct, the survival instinct, which is the root cause that’s makes one react to some inherent fear. I want to survive because I am afraid of dying.

When I realize walking is death I want to ‘unwalk’ whereas others walk because walking is life, afraid of death. It seems only logical that the human mind (which is a thinking mind) should evolve in the psychological direction of fearing the end of its physical form. It seems only logical that it would evolve ideas to help it keep Death at a safe distance. Maybe a better word than ‘logical’, actually, is ‘natural’.

Yes, nature is concerned with the survival of every species on Earth at least until it has a chance to procreate and rear its offspring so that they too have the best chance at surviving long enough to procreate. But I think that this is all that concerns Mother nature, and for this she has her own reasons which are not ours, like when one cell of our body dies we don’t mind, but when several start dying we become alert. Nature is a self sustaining system. You must be able to procreate in order to survive and you must survive long enough in order to procreate. Why? Who knows, maybe simply for the sake of living, maybe for the sake of some greater natural purpose.

But this question doesn’t much concern me. What concerns me is that my survival is meaningful to ME. What concerns me is that my survival is joyous and beautiful and peaceful…

THE DRIFT    

…funny, in these last four lines I totally lost my concentration due to a woman who has been talking on her cell phone rather loudly nearby. Interestingly, she is not speaking a language that I understand and at first my mind did not register the disturbance, but after some time the noise began to seep in and I found myself constantly losing my train of thought or looking up wishing she would just “stop talking so loud” or “be a little more sensitive.”

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What a funny request my mind makes when I am essentially helpless to alter the circumstance! And yet my mind continues to repeat, “stop talking…quiet down…you are so rude” etc. Where am I? The ME who was previously alert and watchful has been replaced by another self who is preoccupied with the insidious and mechanical need to complain. The Captain of the Ship has taken a back seat to the one who is steering the vessel into the shallow dimension of repetitive recordings. In this shallow dimension, the mechanical jaws of disdain chomp at the vessel in MY absence. From below, the sharks of blame and discontent circle tirelessly, while from above the vultures circle eagerly, smelling death. These are dangerous waters indeed.

RETURN TO THE HELM:

I AWAKEN from this dream when I see the vessel steering in the wrong direction, steering itself (without ME) into murky waters. When I see the mechanical nature of the one steering – when I see that the one who steers is not ME – then, and only then, will this intruding self fall back into the shadows. For now the intruding self is no longer being fed from the trough of negativity and her source of energy has depleted…for now.

Most people are well adept talkers who care nothing much for the True art of Listening. I recall the movie “Pulp Fiction” wherein the character of John Travolta admits to Uma Thurman’s character that “I wait for my turn to talk.” Most of us see this in others, but do we see this inclination in our own selves, not only in retrospect, but in the very moment in which we are ‘waiting for our turn to talk’? If I were to notice my desire to be in the next moment in the very moment I desire, that seeing IS, in itself, the emergence of the deeper consciousness that is ME, that is Presence!

I do wonder, did you notice my distraction towards the end of the post or did I hide my diminished state of presence, my increased sense of irritation, well? I will tell you something, one cannot hide. There is no hiding if one who can SEE and SENSE is watching. Otherwise, hiding is easy. We are always hiding from each other, and thus, from our own selves. Because when my mind is allowed to drift, I become the drift. I become the repetitive, habitual, and often negative thought in which I am totally absorbed, expressing inwardly as well as outwardly.

DUEL BETWEEN TWO STATES OF BEING:

Present is the “Sheppard”

If the flock is the Present moment then the drifting sheep absolutely needs the Sheppard (the observer, the unattached ME, the Captain of the Ship) to remind him where he belongs, to bring him back home. If, however, the flock represents the group mind, the masses within and without, then the lone sheep standing apart from the flock is no drifter. He stands intentionally aside. This lone sheep is lone but never lonely. This lone sheep is alone, but never discontent or lacking. This lone sheep has died to the flock and in his death has risen in LIFE.

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