Consent and Will - a draft
What follows is pretty much a brain dump. It is me thinking through some things that seem important to me in the moment…it’s all rooted in a conversation with my friend Tara last night. I intend to play with this some more, but thought I’d just put this here. Not exactly sure why.
Here we are. Aren’t we? There are entire spiritual traditions based on this idea…that the only thing we can ever really know is that we are here. I am, they say. Regardless of our spiritual inklings (or lack thereof), it’s kind of hard to argue with. There you are. Reading this. Here I am. Writing. What this means, what it’s about, why it is, all of those things are basically at the root of the world’s religions, philosophies…heck, even sciences. Indeed, it’s true even if we don’t choose to go down the path of questioning it. It’s simply there.
The last few years of my life, I’ve been in inquiries about how this truth - Here I Am - meets the reality of the world we live in…it’s systems, structures. The conditioning that pours over us as we develop into being members of whatever culture we are a part of. And each culture has its own conditioning…something that helps us understand what it means for us to be here, to be a part of something. A big part of this inquiry for me has been related to the question of what does it mean to be a part of a system that I never “signed up for?” Here I am, and what the hell is this? This seems to be a crazy way of doing things. I’m not sure I want to participate in this. And the world laughs and says, “Well, that’s the way it is.” And so it seemed to me that there was a conflict brewing, because the world said one thing, and my heart was telling me something different. And I saw no way around it.
And then, yesterday, two things happened. First, I read the following in a book called The Diamond Approach - A Introduction to the Teachings of A.H. Almaas by John Davis:
At a certain age, very early on in life, each one of us becomes aware of himself or herself as a walking, thinking, feeling being - in short, as a living person. It is such a luminous discovery , but it quickly becomes dull with familiarity. Then we live our lives as if we now know what it is to be human, as if maturing were only a matter of becoming more of what we think we are already. The mystery is gone, and life becomes tedious and repetetive.
This struck me, as it helped me understand what might be behind the lack of questioning of the way the world is currently structured. If familiarity can make us dull to our very sense of aliveness (which I think is very true), then surely it would make us dull to the idea that the most fundamental things about the world might be different.
The second thing that happened was a conversation with a good friend. In the conversation, she was talking about how there is a difference between will and consent in our experience of our lives. On one hand, there is a will to be here that is expressed in our aliveness. Something manifested us. This manifestation is a will. But there isn’t necessarily a consent, which would be our part of the deal. To be here is one thing. To be fully in, to be willing to lean fully toward the expression of what that will had in mind, is something else completely.
This opened my eyes to the idea that it’s possible that we can interface with a world that we might not have signed up for by saying yes fully to our life, which means that the systems and structures simply become scaffolding. And scaffolding is temporary and is only useful as it’s useful. The thing to focus on is the aliveness and the energy that is flowing from that. This means that sooner or later (likely sooner) we will find our path veering away from the deep grooves carved by the habitual use of the systems and structures of the status quo. But there will be an obviousness to it, as the merging of consent and will show the path that was unfolding all along.
…to be continued…