New Civilization News: Lessons and Synchronicities on 'Being' and 'Doing'    
 Lessons and Synchronicities on 'Being' and 'Doing'2 comments
1 Sep 2004 @ 15:44, by Craig Lang

The last week or two has been one of continually being on the go. There is so much to do, so many things to get done, so many events to attend, and so many things on the calendar. In the last week, I have also noted a number of very synchronistic references to the idea of "being" vs "doing". At the National Guild of Hypnotists conference two weeks ago, one of the speakers made the comment that we should really be called "human-doings" rather than "human-beings", because we are all so busy and so focused on what we are doing. When I look at my date book, I again realize just how right she was.

Another interesting comment, which Gwyn (my wife) made a couple of nights ago. She had been watching a talk show a few days earlier (Oprah, Phil, or something like that), where they were talking about marriages that have fallen apart. One of the prime causes which people cited was that relationships simply seem to get torn apart by life. We get so wrapped up in the daily business of life, which in our society is so all-consuming, that there is no energy available for the relationship. As the currents of human activity shift, one gets ever-more bound up in them, and it is easy to find one's self drifting away from one's partner. And so, over time, the relationship falls apart - often without either partner noticing until it's too late. The conclusion of this segment of talk-show was that this was at least partially responsible for the least some of the large number of relationships that fail in our society, and why, like me, we find ourselves so often stressed-out.

So I look again at my calendar, and what do I see? I see my class in creative writing coming up this fall. I see a number of lectures scheduled, for which I need to put together a talk and pre-publicity materials. I see my website in an intermediate state of completion, and myriad of business details awaiting my attention, along with a very busy day job. And what do I conclude? I can only surmise that, just like everyone else, I am caught up in the business of life.

It was probably the ultimate synchronistic moment, this morning, when just after looking at my calendar, I noticed my notes from the guild talk - where the reference was made to us really being "human-doings". And I wondered, how can I change this? Do I really need to load-shed some of what I am doing? Or is the lesson simply about the way I look at what I am doing?

Does an emphasis on "being" rather than "doing" mean we shouldn't "do"? I really don't think so. I think that instead, the question is more about what is important. Is what I am doing more important than my relationships, or even my very being? Isn't the soul, and our relationships more important? In fact, my take-away message from Eckhart Tolle is that the real - and perhaps the only - important thing is to remember that in reality, we are all "being"s - sparks of spiritual light - souls living in a material world. And in the end, it is only that which matters.

A wonderful analogy came to mind this morning, as I thought about this. I can remember many a time when I read an emotionally powerful book, watched a powerful drama, or otherwise got absorbed in some sort of external storyline. In reality, I was completely separate from that fictional world. Yet the power of the story was absorbing, and I found myself becoming fully involved in the story, feeling the emotion of the characters, the suspense of the key moments in the drama, etc. In hypnotherapy terms, I had gone into trance; my critical facutly was bypassed, and selective thinking had ensued - which is the definition of hypnosis. And in that moment, I fully forgot that I was actually a separate being, much more than that story line. In that moment, and within that trance, that story was indeed, my full reality.

And this reminds me so much of how we live our lives. The world around each of us is just like that drama. It is external to the soul of each of us - we simply "are". Yet, like a well-written novel, the world captures us until we forget that we are spiritual beings. And it is only when we can close the book, and step back, that we realize we are more than the external drama. We "are", and are fully apart from the story line - no matter how compelling the book is. In hypnosis terms - it is only then that we come out of our "life" trance.

So in the end, we endeavor to return to the greater understanding of being more than what we are doing, more than what we are engaged in within the material world. While still being engaged, the endeavor is to ever-more-fully realize that this is not the entire "me". The novel is not the reality.

So what I learn from this is that the endeavor is to deeply and intuitively understand that just like that great novel, from time to time we can set the affairs of life down and be who we REALLY are. Maybe this is during meditation, or other spiritual practice. Or maybe it is just taking a moment during the day to mentally step back and observe. And from this we can carry with us the continuous knowledge that the external affairs of the world are simply a component of our greater soul-based reality.

This is a lesson that seems so easy to discuss, and yet, at the deeper levels, it is so difficult to truly live. Each day, I find myself occasionally lapsing into the old ways - fully caught up in the world. And so I hope that someday, I will truly understand.


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2 comments

1 Sep 2004 @ 19:58 by qmal : qmal
Very moving ....clear, good idea to look at ones life from many places, moments, macrofies ones perception of ones self. The definition--you said-

"In hypnotherapy terms, I had gone into trance; my critical facutly was bypassed, and selective thinking had ensued - which is the definition of hynosis."

I do the steping back and looking thing a lot, practicly all the time -- coupled with the reactive doing or not doing ,am I in constant selfhypnosis? Is that possible?  



1 Sep 2004 @ 20:03 by craiglang : An interesting question
Actually, hypnosis is simply the bypass of the critical faculty, (e.g. a belief that a process will work) and selective thinking. In that sense, hypnosis and meditation are arguably similar or even the same (I will probably hear from someone about this...). Methinks that what you are doing is probably more like mindfulness. Whether that is a form of hypnosis is definitely open to debate...

Typically hypnosis is more focused, and more purpose-oriented, usually a zeroing in of attention on some part of the subconscious, or an object of attention. Meditation (especially mindfulness) on the other hand is the stepping back and taking in the bigger picture.

I was referring to it as hypnosis when my attention was captured by something like a book, which is the focusing of attention. Whereas what it sounds like you are doing is the opposite, a broadening of perspective. In that sense you might think of mindfulness as un-hypnosis... :-)

Of course, one can make the argument that we can look out to the universe by looking within, etc... So in the end, all definitions are just that, definitions.

Thanx for your quesiton.
Namste,
-Craig  



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