Eyes Closed, Eyes Open

Friday 24 May, 2013

Following on from the previous post, ‘An Unconscious Strategy’, this piece looks at how we can make the world a better place and influence our evolution in the most positive way possible, by becoming more conscious of what happens on the inside and more aware of what happens on the outside. 

Too many of society’s strategies to incentivise, reward and promote are conducted at the expense of the many, because they are rooted in competition. Wherever individuals compete, there can be only a handful of winners. Telling people they can make it if they work hard enough is fine for those who do make it, but it is deceiving those who, by virtue of sheer numbers and probability, will not rise to the top even though they work just as hard. Deception and competition are two evolutionary pathways. But there are others.

The key is to include and empower people. And that means everyone. It requires something in which everyone can engage. More than engagement, it needs to be something in which each and every one of us can succeed. Success without exclusion. There are two aspects which, in my opinion, are available to all of us in equal measure and which can improve our world. The first is meditation. The second is self-awareness. Eyes closed. Eyes open.

Meditation is a way of serving ourselves. It is simplicity itself; a (relatively) relaxed examination of who we are and what is going on inside. Too often our attention is grabbed and held by matters external and we pay little or no attention to what is happening within. We ignore who we are. Meditation offers us insight into that inner world, compelling us to take time for ourselves and to listen closely to the whirring of our own mechanism. Without such insight we remain incomplete.

In meditation everything becomes apparent: every thought, every movement, every sensation, every breath. Just by being still we begin to understand more. In time, meditation allows us to see and then release ourselves from the restrictions of thought and conditioning which have either been imposed or collected along the way. With practise we gain greater control than we imagined possible over our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Tuned in to such a nuanced degree, our personal effectiveness inevitably increases.

Self-awareness is meditation in motion. It is a more active pursuit because there are so many more stimuli, but the principle is the same. Stripping away every distraction and irrelevance, and observing how we behave and how we interact. How are we when we’re calm? How are we when we’re stressed? Why is there a difference and are we able to influence it?

By heightening our understanding of who we are and how we function, and by deepening our stillness we can all improve our lives beyond measure. We can change how we relate to each other and how we relate to ourselves with one slight movement of the eyelid. Eyes closed, eyes open. It’s simple enough to be within everyone’s grasp and powerful enough to change our world.

Related posts: Acknowledging Our Nature | It’s The Future | Quietening the Mind | Find A Way To Open The Valve

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