Pierre Vignau

(Photo Credit: Pierre Vignau)

A few days ago I read a post on a lovely blog called “Life, for instance” written by the talented Lori and was struck by her question, “Do You Long for an Easier Life?” which inspired this piece of writing, an exploration of certain dimensions of her inquiry.

If and when ‘I’ pay attention to my (is this ‘my’ different than “I”?) own thought process I begin to notice just how much I complain inwardly (and at times, outwardly) which often translates into emotional thinking (and at times into pure emotionalism). If and when I watch carefully (who is watching and whom?) I notice that this complaining seems totally compulsive and involuntary and easily stirs the pot of justification, creating within me an atmosphere (who is creating if not me?) of negativity and self pity – energy suckers. (Where does the passion to move forward come from if not the energy of Life?)  

I Complain Therefore I am - Dushan Wegner

(Photo Credit: Dushan Wegner)

Why do we have this peculiar habit of complaining when things are not conducive to our own wishes? Obviously, the world ‘out there’ is not subject to our whims and desires. The external environment is subject to many ancient intersecting chains of cause and effect which cannot be altered. Nothing dead can be revived nor ressurected, and the past is just that, irrevocable, unchangeable. The external circumstance, which is a definite link in the historic chain, is beyond the influence of mankind’s so called will. Yet we continue to complain again and again despite our failure to change our reality (IS). Is this because complaining is a way of making me feel better in a circumstance that has not gone “my way”? Does complaining give me some kind of superior foothold, some kind of security, an escape route or floating device that will keep my head above the waters of frustration? Or is complaining itself the source of all frustration and the greatest obstacle to all external challenges not of our choice?

Is there anything that mankind does have the potential to mold? Should man be cursing and complaining of a world over which he has no influence, or should he pay attention to the only possible realm which he has a hand in shaping? What is this realm if not one’s own mind; if not one’s own self (does ‘one’ own some other self? Am I one or two, singular or plural?) Indeed there seem to be two different worlds. There is the world of the observed which IS, and there is the world of the observer which translates and categorizes the observed according to its own experiences and prejudices, which is its history of deep conditioning. But can the observer ever see that his observations are relative to his own self image rather than the actual state of the observed?

Hall of Mirrors - Andres Por(Photo Credit: Andres Por)

“I can SEE the prejudiced observer!! Hey!! Listen to me, I can SEE her!” I heard this proclamation loud and clear just now. Who is this? Can an observer exist who observes the observer observing? How is this possible? Who are these people, who are these observers? One thing that seems clear is that the latter observer is in her own world, unaware of the former observer who is observing her from the outside. But wait…who is the one who is narrating this observation of both the observer and the observer observing the observer? How strange! Who am I who speaks now? Am I yet a third observer observing the other two? I am dumbstruck. How far can this division of self go? How many of us can there possibly be? Who is the Actual self? Who am I, which one of US?

Yes, in the moment I see a self who is complaining that she has to go to work. Who is the one seeing this complaining self? She is the one who is complaining that complaining is an obstacle to Living hahaha What an irony. Here are two complainers with opposing views. Now chimes in yet another voice who proclaims, “I can do anything!” Now I’m three interchangeable people, it seems. What happens if the narrator, who is neutral, sees all three and watches them bickering, challenging each other senselessly while the task at hand remains “frustrating”, while the task at hand remains an “issue” of boredom or difficulty, a burden?

In Chains - Matthew(Photo Credit: Matthew)

One of my selves asks: “What is the real challenge?”

The narrator observes the three clamoring selves for a while and then thoughtfully reflects upon her observation:

“It does seem as though we can choose our challenges, but more accurate is that our challenges choose us. The key to facing external challenges (which we have no control over), is the approach. One has to accept without complaint. Complaining of having to face the challenge is the greatest obstacle to facing it. The True challenge, in my view, is the one that we actually have a hand in changing. The challenge is never external, it’s always internal. If you want to challenge yourself to a race what is the challenge there? You simply run right? That is no challenge. The challenge is getting the mind prepared for the run, isn’t it? Doesn’t this somehow seem silly? Why should I argue with my own mind? Why not simply run? So the challenge is always a matter of negating one’s inner conflict, inner bickering voices, the inner complaints. The challenge is silencing these three fools who reside within, thinking on My behalf. One should switch on the light when its dark rather than thinking or debating the necessity of “switching on the light.”

Yes, in terms of thought I am most closely represented by the neutral Voice of my mind, by the neutral observer of all other observing selves each a manifested link in a definite chain of cause and effect, a self imprisoned by past conditioning and happenings who lives by comparison and judgment which is a breeding ground for conflict, complaint, and thus, needless suffering.

The moment all “if’s” and “when’s” cease to exist is the moment I AM, Free of all divisions, and utterly Free of all complaints within and without – True Freedom is having no thing to gain, and no thing to ever lose.