beyond the natural mind – a 21 day manifesto
“ Today I will start to realise that all I am does not depend on how much I have, that I have infinite potential for creation and understanding the true nature of existence.”
Me: “Could you tell us a little bit about yourself please?”
You: “Hi, my name’s alan, I’m forty three, I work in banking, I own my own house, and I drive a BMW and I have a holiday villa on a golf complex. I have a wife and two children.
Me: “Thank you alan for telling us what you have, but could you elaborate on who you are”
You: “Well, I was brought up in London, and went to Eton college, and then Cambridge. My father is an industrialist, and both my brothers work in business.”
Me: “Thank you alan, but that’s not what I meant. Could you tell me who you are? Who are you when we strip away everything you have?”
You: “I don’t understand the question. I already told you everything about myself.”
Imagine yourself on a desert island. You are sitting there naked. You have enough water to drink and enough to eat. Who are you?
Imagine yourself on your death bed. You have minutes before you breathe your last breath. You are alone. Who are you?
Imagine yourself in an office surrounded by people you work with. You have worked there for twenty years. You are summoned into your boss’s office and told you are being let go. Who are you?
Imagine yourself sitting on a cloud, looking upon the life you created.
Who were you?
Strange questions? Stupid questions? “Who am I? What’s he talking about? I know who I am!” Or do you?
The great thing about the question, “who am I” is that it can never be answered! The brain is limited by itself, and the question will have you running around in circles for the rest of your life. You will be stuck in a loop!
The great thing about humans, is that underneath the old, I am a banker, I have a BMW, I have a wife scenarios, they know it’s all a load of superficial nonsense, but still they continue with the pretence, as it’s good to fit in!
If there’s a terrible storm that floods everybody’s houses and causes chaos to the city, the banker knows that nobody needs a banker, but they might need someone to put up sandbags, help old people out of their home, help coordinate rescues, and the banker may rise to the challenge and be the hero. On the other hand he may become the victim, and hide in his house like a frightened mouse!
But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, and make him a hero. And our hero did well. Here he is interviewed for television news.
Interviewer: I’m standing here with local banker alan macmillan orr, who has been assisting the emergency services helping people out of their homes to safety. Alan, what made you want to help?
Alan: I don’t know really. My own home was completely flooded, and everything was ruined.
Interviewer: That must have been shocking for you?
Alan: It was at first, knowing that most of the possessions we had worked hard for were lost, but then I saw one of my elderly neighbours out in the street helping someone. This was someone who I had dismissed as being just an old man, but he inspired me to get out there. The emergency services are doing a great job, but I am supporting them in any way I can.
Interviewer: Thank you alan, keep up the good work.
So what happened to our wealthy banker? Did he instantaneously change and become a decent person when disaster struck? Or was it in him the whole time?
Whatever the truth of it may be, his job is not the sum of him, even though he would like to think it was.
But why does it take a natural or man made disaster to uncover some truth about ourselves? Why is it when the order of society breaks down for even a few days, that some people reach out to help others, some steal from unattended department stores, and others hide and do nothing?
What we are seeing is people beginning to show, not “their true colours” but a side that may have been hidden under the controlled society we live in.
As we go deeper into our minds we find words like banker, hero, thief, coward, start to dissolve and we start to uncover beautiful colours, pathways we have never walked, and a level of understanding that has been closed to us since soon after we were born.
Five years after the flood, I went back to talk to various people who had been affected by it.
Soon after the flood waters receded I went back to work. Everything downstairs was ruined but the insurance company was very helpful. We got brand new everything, and although the house smelled terribly damp, we were so busy organising all the contractors who were re-painting etc. that we didn’t notice it.
We also took the kids on a holiday to the maldives for three weeks to get away from it all. I didn’t want them having to suffer while the building work was going on. They were really upset as all their toys got ruined.
Yes it was upsetting for everyone in the floods but we’ve all got to get back to work.
Do you know what, when my mates told me they’d seen me on tv running out of a store with a flat screen tv, I couldn’t believe it. I knew I was going to get nicked by the police, but you’ve got to take what you can.
There was no one in the shop, and it wasn’t doing anyone any harm.
I got fined a lot more than the telly was worth, that’s for sure.
Would I do it again? I don’t know. Probably. As long as I wasn’t going to get caught on CCTV!
I was so glad when it was all over. I was scared half to death! I know there were people trapped in their houses along my street, especially an old bloke I knew but you’ve got to look after yourself haven’t you?
I heard he died soon afterwards, but I don’t think there was anything I could have done. I mean, my house was under water too! I had to stay upstairs for two days before anyone came to rescue me! It’s ridiculous. I don’t know why we pay so much in taxes if they can’t get organised in a disaster.
Three stories. All different. I bet you thought they would have changed their ways after the natural disaster didn’t you? I would have thought so too.
I would have imagined the banker understanding the nature of his superficial possession led life, and given it up to help people, after all, he showed that he cared in the floods didn’t he?
I would have imagined the thief, after being publicly humiliated on tv, and fined, would have realised the errors of his way (and the irony of his crime, given that he stole an electrical appliance when the electricity was cut off ) and realised that stealing was a pointless way for humans to live.
I would have imagined the coward would have realised that sitting in your house waiting to be rescued is no way for someone to live, that he would have changed the way he thought, and created personal power, taken responsibility, and started living as opposed to just living in fear.
But none of these people had made the changes I thought they would. I thought people changed when large scale events like this took place. Obviously not!
Why could they not change? Why would they not change?
The flood could be interpreted as a pattern interruption, not a pattern changer. They were aware in the present moment just for a moment. They experienced a change in how they perceived the world, but only for a moment, then allowed the pattern to resume.
Work. Charity. Fear. Banker. Thief. Change. Crime. Help. Nature. True.
I stare down from my cloud
I am aware that I am observing I am looking through time
I see myself
I see through myself
I see my mind and body, though they are not solid
I see for the first time, the beauty and simplicity of myself
I am present but I am timeless, for time bears no boundaries on who I am. Long past is my concept of who I am. I am no longer banker, thief, coward, I am all of them and I am none of them. I am the creator of all I perceive. I experience my life through that which I choose to perceive. I am no longer constrained by this body yet I choose to stay within it.
Moment to moment I experience what I choose to experience. I am not limited by words, nor events. I am not limited by anything in any time or space. I am the banker, the thief and the coward, and today I let go of them.
by alan macmillan orr