Embracing All

Posted on June 14, 2020
Self Portrait of Ernst Mach, first figure in his book Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen

Self Portrait of Ernst Mach, first figure in his book Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen

Embracing all is saying “yes” to my experience, whatever it is. I can practice it by focusing on the core of my experience, at any time. If I have resistance to embrace my experience, I can embrace that resistance. I can practice embracing all throughout the day, alone or in the company of others. Self-love is the foundation of everything. If I truly love myself I can welcome anyone who truly loves me. If I don’t, people who truly love me will disgust me because of the disgust I feel for myself. The thicket of narrative that obscures my real self from view consists of all the stories I believe about myself. My practice to cut through this thicket is to close my eyes and become still. There is no self to be found in that silence. My sense of self is also a narrative. My true self is shapeless and limitless. The self portrait of physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach is an illustration of this.

There is a distinction between reality and narrative. Narrative is used to hide reality from view. Narrative is the main tool of politics, of cult leaders and influencers, and of the advertising industry. To get in touch with reality I have to first cut through the thicket of narrative. It is a post-modern myth that everything is narrative: this myth itself is a narrative - it obscures the reality from view that behind the narrative lies reality. The people who are shaping the dominant narrative in our culture rule our society, for whoever controls the narrative that goes on in my mind controls me. Cutting through the thicket of narrative on an individual level is personal liberation or enlightenment. Cutting through the thicket of narrative on a collective level is social transformation.

It is important to get informed about the world around me, but the most important thing is to care. No one cares how much I know until they know how much I care. Meting out verbal punishment because someone believes the wrong ideas is reactive. People have every right to believe what they believe. Why? Because I myself have every right to believe what I believe. Showing genuine interest in what people believe and why is attracting them with honey, while telling people why what they believe is wrong is repelling them with vinegar. Understanding a statement or a point of view or a narrative is not the same as accepting it. A subtle mind can understand without acceptance or agreement. Always bear in mind: I could be wrong, because there are things about which I am not fully enlightened. In fact, it is highly likely that my view on reality is being obscured by narratives that have me under their spell.

Different parts of me believe different things. The reason this is possible is because I have non-integrated parts. The recipe for integrating my lost parts is: embrace them. I should never reject an idea because it makes me feel in a certain way. Feelings do not hurt me. Feelings can be embraced. As soon as a feeling has been felt all the way through it will subside and when that happens, an idea might shift or get dropped. All human beings who become still and take up the practice of looking inside and embracing their experience will find the same shapeless and limitless luminosity. We are all brothers and sisters.