I used to think I was a bad person.
Like, Incredible Hulk bad.
It seemed like it was true.
I tried to prove it by pointing to a direct, take-no-prisoners style and inability to suffer fools...
(Something those of you who work with me might know has not gone anywhere : )
...as well as commentary by others saying what they thought of me.
It seemed like people could get hurt by me.
It seemed they needed to be protected from me lest they get hurt.
I felt like I needed to keep quiet, hidden, locked away.
To protect others.
Although, while focusing on what kind of person I seemed like, there was much I didn’t notice.
Because when we focus on what things feel or seem like...
we miss stuff.
Stuff that may not support the reality those words create.
Does a bad person care about hurting others, and so much that she’d lock herself away just to protect them?
I failed to notice that what it felt like I was and what I actually was...
were not the same thing.
“It feels like”… “it seems like”…These expressions keep most of us from seeing straight.
Because they’re describers of something, not the actual something.
They’re a repeatedly-present example of how language creates illusion and obscures truth.
By using these harmless-seeming words everywhere (watch and see), we don’t notice thought creating a problem where there isn’t one.
“Are you unsafe?” “It feels like it, yes.”
Is that the same as, "Yes?"
Is feeling unsafe the same as being unsafe?
Not even close.
Of course, this may seem like an exercise in, “Really Judy, who cares?”
It would seem to be not much of a big deal.
But humans are bat-crap crazy.
And what do humans have that no other species has?
Language. Aka symbols. Aka meaning.
No other species draws pictures on cave walls.
Words are symbols. They describe. They create meaning.
(Or seem to, anyway.)
They’re not a thing in themselves and not the thing being described.
Words, language, symbols have created our sense of reality.
But a sense of reality is not reality itself.
That’s just more seems like.
Seems like reality.
Living in a symbolic, pretend-it’s-real, seems-like world has made us nuts.
So it never occurs to most of us that maybe it doesn’t matter what it feels like.
It never occurs to most of us that constantly describing what things feel or seem like, obscures what is.
And what is what is? What real thing are we left with without words?
Well, completely take away language and we find…
Experience with no describers.
Which as it turns out…
Is whole lotta nothing.
You can test this for yourself.
For just a moment, try to experience without describing what you’re experiencing or whether it feels like a good thing or whether you like it or what it means.
Try to experience yourself without any words at all.
Maybe you’ll notice how diffuse and decentralized experience instantly becomes.
No words = no thoughts = no reality.
So ok Judy, well, no thanks. Right?
Yeah, we prefer descriptions, thank you very much.
We prefer the fakery of seems like to nothingness.
Which is fine.
But when we’re hurting or scared, as so many are these days, it could just be…
that things aren’t actually as dark or as painful as they seem.
Because words keep suffering in place.
That seems like something that might be worth experiencing.
Wouldn’t it seem so?