I somewhat cynically used to say in my youth that unconscious meditation–the kind we all do when we are obediently serving The Matrix–is the single most untenable problem in human history.
I’ll agree with that now in my mature years with the exception that “obediently serving The Matrix” is not “untenable”. Why? Because it’s a matter of choice. It’s one thing to point out how we are all victims of our own unconscious behaviors (which is a victim statement in and of itself), it’s entirely another to transcend that victim mentality with the freedom of choice.
I call the obedience to The Matrix hypnotic compliance. And meditation is the “red pill” available to you anytime to wake up from the trance.
I go further down the rabbit hole by claiming that the whole conscious-subconscious model of human psychology is a myth. We say that a person is “driven by subconscious motivations” when they misbehave or fall victim to depression, criminal activity or insanity. No. Why? Because if it were truly subconscious we wouldn’t be conscious of it, and once conscious of it, it is no longer subconscious. I know, I know…sounds like semantics, but is it really?
Isn’t it more accurate to say that a person chooses to give up their own power or self-determinism and that’s what we’re calling “subconscious motivations”? We choose to shut off our awareness of some things and then classify it as the “subconscious”, which has a definition that includes “out of our control”. This is a myth. At some point there was a choice. Of course, we can also forget what we chose, but that’s forgetting something on purpose in order to dodge responsibility for our actions.
There’s a type of hiding in forgetfulness of our choices that got somehow mixed up with victim advocacy. When a person is a victim, others with control issues advocate for them, saying, “This person is not in control of their actions. They need me to help them live.” This is all a master-slave crock of shit.
I got into a debate with a Caucasian friend of mine on Facebook who was bemoaning the fact that she felt she was–somewhere down deep inside–a racist. Despite the fact that her grandmother was black and her mother was brown, she saw something in herself that she labeled as “racist”–a kind of resistance or unwillingness to empathize with another person of a different skin color.
I said that it was a matter of choice, whether or not to be racist. And if there were racist thoughts and feelings coming up for her, that she could practice mindfulness meditation–a type of meditation that allows undesirable thoughts and feelings to simply float on by like clouds in the sky, and from this, infinite options show up to choose something different.
Well, this got her dander up. “I love meditation, but I find it incomplete as a means to address issues of social justice. There’s more to do. And ingrained subconscious beliefs are not so easy to release… I worry about hiding behind spiritual concepts.” Then don’t hide. These “spiritual concepts” you speak of are what make the world go ’round. The thoughts we create that lead to the feelings and actions we do out there in the “real world” are all driven by our own choices. Failure to choose is at the heart of complacency and victimhood.
This discussion illustrated for me, once again, what I refer to as the “Quantum Reality Gap”, which I’ve written about before. It’s the perceived difference between what we desire to see in the world and what we think we see in the world. I’m saying that there really is no difference. It’s just that everything is happening just as you’ve chosen (or not chosen) it to be. There’s just time in there to make you doubt yourself.
Life can be a living meditation every moment by simply paying attention to your thoughts and words, allowing them to flow, and choosing something different when you want to change things. There is no powerful “subconscious” that is causing all the ills in your life–that’s victim behavior. Choice is more powerful. Choose to be happy. Choose to be healthy. Choose to be the very best of who you are.