Thursday, April 9, 9964

Resistance

All mental suffering involves resistance.  Something happens that we don’t like: we get cut off in traffic, our investments lose value, someone criticizes us, the ceiling leaks.  Or maybe we just want something, like a possession or a lover.  The ego naturally resists the situation, because it needs to struggle.  The ego is nothing more than a mental process that battles the Now.  It almost always wants things to be other than the way they are, even when there is no immediate crisis, so it chases money, puts up a fa├žade for social acceptance, replaces perfectly good possessions with new versions, judges, competes, and compares.

Why does resistance make us suffer, and why does it never get us what we want?  Well, what are we resisting?  What were perceiving.  So the mind is fighting itself.  It cannot stop perceiving what it perceives and nothing will change it, so resisting it is always a battle that cannot be won.  The ego is therefore fighting an unwinnable battle against reality, which not only does not change things, but also makes matters worse because the battle is painful.

The true self simply is.  It embraces the Now.  It does not worry about the future, regret the past, or resist or struggle in the present.  That is why its natural state is peace.

This does not mean that the true self does nothing.  It avoids reckless motorists, decides whether to pull out of losing investments or walk away from critics, and calls repairmen to fix the house.  But it does so in a matter-of-fact manner.  It does not fret and tremble in the process.  It also pursues things that make a good earthly life, such as a career, friends, lovers, and possessions, but again, it does so matter-of-factly.

It is not our activities that determine our well-being, but the mental state we are in while we do them.