The Great Escape

    This is a common scenario for most of us. It is a new day. You have just arisen from a night's sleep. You are ready to meet the world of life again, hopefully refreshed and renewed. After your morning rituals of bathing, eating, working out, perhaps some religious or meditative things as well, you begin to relate to the world around you. You meet people, you interact, thoughts come, situations arise and then BANG! Something happens that causes you dismay, anger, hurt, rejection or fear. This could be the words of someone, a look, a gesture or even a simple thought of some problem unresolved. The agitation increases the more you ponder the incident. It is almost diabolical to you that you are feeling this. There may even be blind rage brewing. Suddenly and without seeming consent you either lash back, if it's a person, or you want to do something to cover this over to block it out of the way. You may even want to run away, perhaps pretend that this incident did not happen. You may suddenly feel very indifferent, very stolid in your mind. In any case the immediate reaction happens and then what? Thoughts roll in by the thousands. Thoughts like," how could they have said that to me, or done that to me" or "why is this happening?" Then to quell the thoughts, to stop the process we feel we must "do" something else. We try to change the texture of things; we seek an alternative to the situation. We may turn to religion, to a god, a teaching, a philosophy or to some spiritual technique, or we might just spend our day suppressing all this and pretending it never occurred or worse yet we may feel extremes of guilt and remorse which burn us alive. This is what I call "The Great Escape." 

    This is an insidious thing and the cause for much of our daily hurt and suffering. It is this escape mechanism which leads many people to addiction, to drugs, to violence, to religious ritual and to the psychological problems of anxiety and depression among others. And all of this happens continuously, rapidly and seemingly without end. The question is, is there anything that can be done to alleviate this so that we do not have to go through it at all? Because if we could find a way to allow situations or thoughts to occur without being bullied , provoked or manipulated by them, then we would retain a sense of orderly peacefulness in our lives. We would be compassionate people. We would be able to see things as they are and realize that humans make mistakes, problems occur and life constantly changes. We can continue to live a full, meaningful and stable life.

    The only way I have found is Pure Silence. In that very moment that an incident begins to occur, if you can see it as merely an incident or better as a form arising from nothing which will return to nothing, you will find much freedom. When you observe life happening and something negative presents itself and you begin to feel some emotion, or some thought arising in reaction to the event, simply be aware of it all as it is. Stop at that moment, turn your attention to the silence before, between and after and see what is there. Who is reacting? What is the reaction? The "who" is the mind conditioned to believe it is something important; that it is being attacked, that there is a defense that needs to occur or some escaping to do. The "what" is a thought which has arisen in the mind because of conditioned memory. And memory, the banks of billions of CPUs in the brain, begins to look for something in the past which has resolved negative incidents like this one before. If, out of the fresh silent awareness of the moment occuring you can see this, you will find a remarkable thing. You will find that you have never moved. You may have felt something negative, but it has had no grasp over you, no need for you to be provoked or seek to escape. In other words, you will be able to just deal, calmly, lovingly and without any sense of fear, remorse, guilt or the blind need to run.

    Attend to the Pure Silence of right now with 100% attention and you will find an incredible stability which will carry you through all the events of life as a humble witness imbued with simple joy and love.


Return to Written Word