I am reading “Freedom From the Known” by J. Krishnamurti:
“To identify ourselves with something is fairly easy. Most of us identify ourselves with something – with our family, our husband or wife, our nation – and that leads to great misery and great wars.”
He goes on to explain the chasm or “space” between our knowing selves and that which we are observing. This “space” is what keeps us from really seeing each other. Our perception of each other is really a collection of memories.
I’m not sure I’m explaining it well, but I’m finding much truth to this book.
“To be identified with a mental image of who you are is to be unconscious, to be unawakened spiritually. This unawakened state creates suffering, but suffering creates the possibility of awakening. When you no longer resist the diminishment of self that comes with suffering, all role-playing, which is normal in the unawakened state, comes to an end. You become humble, simple, real.”
We’re growing various plants in our backyard, including an herb garden and, of course, cactus. My favorite desert plant is the ocotillo. I see them growing magnificently in Usery Park (where they grow wildly and without irrigation) but in my own backyard, it’s taking its time. We don’t want the branches to grow out into the pathway, so we placed tiebacks on the branches to “encourage” and “redirect” growth in our desired formation.
Tiebacks work when the plant is still supple and maturing, and the tiebacks are gentle in their support. It wouldn’t work to have harsh restraints which could harm or kill parts of the plant.
Humans have tiebacks, too. They’re called habits. As with plant tiebacks, they’re most effective when we’re receptive and “supple” and when the habits are firm, but not too harsh.