When two constructed selves join in relationship, the result can sometimes look like a video game. This may not be the way you lived your life, but it’s the way I lived mine in many of my relationships years ago, from inside the box,
My life as a programmed entity, replete with the armor of my conclusions about life, a steely surface against which the novel and foreign bounced off, saw me strategize with others to get what I wanted and avoid what I didn’t want.
If my vasanas meshed well with another’s, I had limited success but little aliveness. If my vasanas didn’t mesh well, our life together became a constant struggle.
Central to the dance of the personas is the idea that one gives and gets love. I pestered my partners as to what I meant to them because I saw the other as the source of love and losing the other meant losing love. I marked my territory and did the other dances that males inside the box do.
I endeavored to say the right thing, based on previous encounters, reassure my mate, and keep things under control. I gave and took, sometimes only gave, sometimes only took, bartering for happiness. I gauged what would bring maximum effect. I contrived to present myself in ways that pacified or impressed.
And this dance of the machines passed for happiness ever after … well, much too long, I’m afraid.
One growth leader once described our love-making as two cars rubbing fenders together. How we’d be in those days was described as “being in our heads.” And that description carries merit in the sense that we probably do think our way through our encounters with each other.
I’d plan everything out, criticize those who wouldn’t cooperate, guilt those who didn’t want to play, and feel satisfied when the outcome I wanted occurred. But what was missing from all of it was aliveness, full self-expression, joy and the other, finer things in life. Because aliveness and full self-expression are not to be found in the constructed self, the box in which I lived.
Almost all of my activity – short of the occasional breath of inspiration – seemed to go on inside the program, within the box, behind the mask.
What I didn’t do was be completely honest about very much. I didn’t risk exposing myself. I didn’t give the other person the information they needed to make the important decisions in life. I tended to set in motion a programmed entity, when we got together, which substituted for me. It committed me to a direction and an outcome that couldn’t be reversed or turned to the left or the right without me feeling lost and uncomfortable.
I remember saying to myself, many years ago, that I spent mere minutes a year in conscious awareness. Conscious awareness cannot exist where we program life. It cannot exist where we push against the river. We have to be willing to let go of all constraints on ourselves and restraints on others to launch out into the current and follow the flow of life.
But now we’ve backed ourselves into a corner. Because, willy nilly, we’re headed straight into the river of life and for most of us there’s no turning back.
The tide of love is at the full and won’t allow us to take anything with us. Not our programs, not our strategies, not our shells, or even our masks.
The simmering energies are obliging us to forget about all that, to give up without a struggle, and just be.
The best strategy is to give up strategizing. The best program is to let the program go. Life has a surprise in store for us. And this surprise cannot be bought and cannot be kept to ourselves.
Call it bliss, call it love, it fulfills all our dreams and has us forget about life as an object, a machine, and an artifact. What saints and sages longed for, what distraught sufferers and victims everywhere cried out for is about to be given to us free for the asking. And all that it requires of me is that I drop the pretense and simply be.