No Labels

Dear Reader,

This is a personal story but I think that many of you can relate to it. My mind is in conflict over the event. Should I respond the way I do? Should I not have told my new friend intimate details about myself? Did I ask her  to  label me by telling her what should not have been told?

What is written here may be familiar to you. She attached a word to my experience which in some way took away its value. That is what we do to ourselves as well. Putting a name on our experience is a way of moving away from it and from a part of ourselves, a very valuable part.

She said, “You are a (label.. .”  She probably meant the label in a not disrespectful way, at least on a conscious level. We push things not understood away from us with a label. It is a childish form of self-protection, like hands over the eyes to assert you, the frightening stranger or even loving parent, do not exit. Labeling is a way to dismiss events outside our normal ken. We all do this some of the time without knowing it. Oh, that is a ….. and then forget it. This is why people become very careful about what they say even when or especially when they are establishing a relationship. But what kind of relationship is it if you are hiding? Love is out being open. Here is my example and story:

My friend, a beautiful opera singer who helps me with my computer writing, called me a mystic after I told her about seeing the Indian “saint.” I readily agreed with her in order to get along, a very bad habit which goes back to life with tyrannical parents who never accepted anything but what fit in with their ever changing image. But I felt angry at myself for accepting this. I looked up the definition of mystic. My computer called a mystic “…a person ….who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.

After reading Ram Das’s Be Here Now and getting my PhD, I decided to go to India to see his teacher. Waiting for my bus in a 3rd class bus station in Puri, I saw a group of people sitting in a circle around a man sleeping on a mat. I went to take a look. First glance, I was overwhelmed by his physical beauty, an old man with a grey beard sleeping and glorious to look at. My mind reeled and came up with the names of movie stars. I looked some more, pulled in by his beauty and then saw his yellow aura. Then I  felt the huge energy of love pouring out of his sleeping body. I sat down with the group around this sleeping man. I asked the one sitting next to me about his aura – I never have seen an aura before or since. The person  sitting next to me said that yellow of his aura showed non-attachment. He owned nothing and was one with everything. Possessions stand in the way of freeing oneself from the narrow confines of the “owning mind.” Awareness needs to use mind and not the opposite. We sat and absorbed his love.

My friend called me a mystic. But that is not so. I am no more a mystic than she is, a person who can hear things in another person’s singing which I do not and probably cannot hear. I think that deep awareness goes beyond what we ordinarily think of as our mind (which is using such a small percentage of its capacity). A friend who is into brain mapping said most of our mind has to do with running our body and a very small capacity has to do with thought. He said Einstein uses perhaps 10%.

I knew that his lab definition of mind has little to do with deep seeing. A narrow focus mind can not get into deep awareness. Perceptual awareness of a person in a meditative state uses the brain in an altogether different way. The internal divisions of brain disappear. It is no longer this part for feeling, that part for smelling…. It is as if your mind has had a stroke but it hasn’t and brain divisions return when you stop the meditative state. The brain operates as an undifferentiated unit when used to perceive greater reality.

Some of the things I have seen and heard were seen and heard by people who were with me. But not everybody around us took it in. You have to be receptive to receive. A bird sings. Do you hear its every note? Some of us do.  Hearing and seeing more of what is out there is an act of greater inclusion. It is possible for everyone.

My and your accepting the label mystic or any other label is a negation of the self. A label  puts you outside your experience.  You need to remain at the center, a living, feeling, energy mass in space. You can perceptually evolve if you put your mind to it. This is different from your mind running you. How beautiful, enticing and interesting is this world of which you are a part. It is better to accept no labels. The goal is just to be there. Just to be.

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