Thursday, 2 September 2010

The future is not formed

A couple of weeks ago I had a revelation: the future is not formed. I realised, with a deep shock, that up to this point, I had believed that the future was already formed; predestined, if you like.

I realised that I was carrying around the idea that my 'destiny' was determined, that my life was on rails
, and that certain outcomes were inevitable. I had no idea I was a fatalist, but that's what I was.

The palpable sense of relief and levity that this realisation brought me was huge. The future is not formed. The future is not formed. The future is NOT inevitable! Outcomes are not certain.

My fatalism, I realised, ran deep in me; it was a result, I believe, of a childhood where it seemed the worst that could happen would always happen, and that nothing good would last, and that suffering was my inevitable (and deserved) lot. In a sense, I must have come to believe that I was being punished.

Unpacking this unconscious set of hard-wired beliefs led me to realise that my whole unconscious oeuvre mimicked a religious ideology. Indeed, I can see clearly how an unawareness of such unconscious beliefs could lead anyone to believe, unquestioningly, religious ideology. If ever there was a case for 'knowing thyself' this is it.

Without exploration of our inner drives and motivations, we are like victims in a sea of drama.. believing we are unable to change that which is most profound in us, we feel helpless against what appears to be an inevitable fate.

To discover that 'fate' is NOT inevitable, is profound. Amazingly profound. It is liberating. I accept that of course, deep-set tendencies in us lead us to see things in a certain way, and to perceive events in a certain way, and thus to react to those events in a certain way, leading us to feel that things are inevitable. But this is how one acts when one is unconscious. To wake up to the 'truth' of an unformed future is possibly akin to enlightenment. I don't know if it's enlightenment, because I don't know how many more layers of unconsciousness I have yet to reveal to myself.

If you believe life is inevitable, and that what will happen to you is predestined, then think again. Examine what inner beliefs have led you to this grim conclusion, and then allow yourself the glorious liberation of knowing this is not so.

Your life can change in many ways, at any time. Of course the generalities of your life will form an apparently semi-rigid context for your experience, at least for the time being. But the more you embrace the realisation that the future is unformed, and the deeper you delve into your unconscious to liberate your darkest and most secretive thoughts, the freer you will become. And as you free yourself, you realise your potential to change and for life to change may be almost boundless, defined only, perhaps, be the 'laws' of nature, of physics. But then again, we know that even these are mutable.

Watching Christopher Nolan's film 'Inception' last week, I accepted the allegory, the metaphor, whether intentioned or not, that 'life is but a dream'. As long as we remain unconscious of what drives us, life will indeed remain but a dream.

Throughout our history, we have used various naturally occurring substances to help us achieve this kind of liberation. We must embrace these opportunities without fear, but with a humble acceptance that these 'guides' are to be respected as teachers, and not to be abused 'recreationally'.. (although I've got admit, recreational use can be a lot of fun..).

The history of human enlightenment is long and fascinating, and there have always been forces, that through fear, have attempted to squash and contain and suppress human liberation. You have to go past the fear, to embrace freedom. It's the only way.

Many years ago, during an intense trip, I came up with the mantra: you've got to go through hell to get to heaven. Suffering seems something we all have to experience, and most of us spend our lives avoiding it like the plague. Yet as many spiritual thinkers have realised, suffering and pain may be the key to spiritual enlightenment; for without them, where is the spur to explore, to discover, to rise above our conditioning and break free of our shackles?

Freedom from fear, from fear of life and living; I cannot think of anything more liberating than this. Dare you take the first step?