One day, an old bloke was going out the kitchen door, and his wife said, what are you doing today dear? And he answered, nothing. And she said, but you did nothing yesterday. And he answered, yes, but I haven’t finished yet.
Your body is your ticket into this world, the physical world we take as a given. The world with all its pleasures and pains, wonderful experiences and frightening events.
Your Mind is your ticket out of it. Let’s use it; let’s take a new look at everything!
Try for a moment to see your hand without the word. Without the word “hand”. Now see your feet without memories of feet: just look and see. No connection with the past at all. Now your phone, or computer, table, cup, whatever is there in front of you – see it with innocent eyes, without any associations, not thinking you know what it is for.
If you experienced fear of any kind – slight fear, or strong, try it with something like a flower, a leaf. To look at anything without accepting anything you thought it was or anything you’ve been told about it can be a bit scary the first time you do it, and you can feel like you’ve been cut adrift from your moorings or in a strange world. (Okay in a movie, but not so nice in “real life”!)
If you or I have a “bottom of the barrel” experience, such as going through a divorce or separation, serious illness, a death of a loved one, loss of your job or anything like that, then the world can look new and strange. Unfamiliar. This is what we are doing with this exercise. But the difference is, we are looking at everything afresh without waiting to be forced to do it by stress.
Starting from nothing. No reliance on memory, no thinking. Being quiet, very still and curious.
An artist painting from nature or a still life will enter this non-thinking, mind-empty, free-of-the-past way of seeing deliberately. It’s called being in the now. The opposite of being in the know!
You will find it may arouse fear. Your conditioning will kick in and tell you all sorts of reasons why you shouldn’t be doing this. It is up to you of course, but if you are the slightest bit curious about what is really going on at any moment then it is worth it.
This is not a game, it’s a serious investigation, however, it’s best treated as a game, light-heartedly.
Let me know how you go!