The first burning question is “Will I ever get over how good an Onion is as a metaphor for Life?!”
I suspect the answer is NO!
Let’s peel back my eye watering analogy.
Is it a good analogy because life is often able to make you cry? – no.
Is it because of the bitter-sweet nature of life? – no.
What about the circular nature of life? – No Silly, it’s all about the layers! Life as a multi-layered existence.
When you are born, you enter into Society, whether you like it or not.
The author Henry David Thoreau used to quip that no matter how deep into the woods you go, there will always be somebody following you in, insisting that you join in with society!
Society requires that we all play the game.
If one person decided NOT to conform, then the whole of society Is questioned.
Non-compliance can break it all.
Traditionally, what’s happened is that when you don’t like your society, you pack your bags, and go somewhere else.
The Pilgrim Fathers being a good example. When they were not allowed to follow their own religious path in England, they packed up, sailed to The Americas, and started a whole new nation, with a brand new version of exactly the same society..! (If you leave anything long enough, it’ll come back to its own level.)
Broadly speaking we have several societies – Western societal ideals, Eastern ideas, Middle Eastern and African societies. The idea being that you pretty much know how to behave, with the general populace, when in these regions of influence.
There are no straight lines or hard and fast rules, but Society is a simple shorthand to help us understand ourselves and others.
Its a behavioural structure by which you live your life.
Peel back this layer of your Onion, and what’s beneath your behaviour?
There’s a layer here, that we often construct for ourselves.
It’s a thin-ish layer, that’s created as we grow. Its made like layers of wrapping paper, it’s delicate and easy to poke your finger through, if you are not careful.
These are the stories we tell ourselves on a daily basis. (I’m not good enough, I’ll never understand maths, nobody will ever love me…etc)
They are just patterns repeated like prayers, that finally STICK.
One teacher I met, told our group, “You practice Negativity so much, so often, you should have a PHD in it! Doctor of Depression! Try practicing positivity as often, and your life will change!
The Next layer has an emotional flavour.
Underneath our Society-selves runs a deep river of feelings and emotions. These don’t always align with the Society-self. Sometimes society challenges this layer so heavily that the only option is to pack up your ship, and go somewhere else..
Society stops one’s emotions from disturbing everybody else.
If you are constantly violent and angry towards others, then society will jail you.
If you are constantly angry and violent towards yourself, then society will jail you, in a prison of a different type, normally with walls made of tranquilisers.
Society equals stability, if your emotions are not stable, then society is there to make them so, whether you like it or not!
So we control this emotional layer for the sake of others, and to make life better for all.
When our emotional layer gets disturbed, we write about it, or talk to friends about it, rather than picking up a gun – unless of course, your new wonderful society allows you to bear arms as a right!
Somewhere deep beneath the roaring rivers of emotion, the next layer of you, contains what the “New Wave” would refer to as your “Spiritual-Self”
I guess the idea is that religion, or belief is one of the most deeply and earliest planted seeds of our youth.
In the layer below what you feel is the layer of what you believe.
These are the cast iron “go-to’s” that you fall back on, when everything else is collapsing around you.
In the deepest darkest moments what belief system is going to see you through to the other side?
As there is rarely ever any proof available to anybody, we discover that “Beliefs” are just hardened thought systems, that we have been taught NOT to question.
It’s a bit like society. People will follow you everywhere, insisting that you believe in what they believe in. If you question it, or turn away from it, then it’s just as likely to collapse.
(Yes, this brings us back to The Pilgrim Fathers example again! – Get on a boat…you get the picture…)
Life and Death
Maybe the next layer concerns Life and Death itself! (And our belief systems therein)
What happens when you die? Do you remember a time before you were born?
Do you remember how you felt before you awoke this morning?
I’m not talking about the dreamstate – although to be fair, I believe that EVERYTHING in this whole world of ours is actually “The Dreamstate!” – no, I don’t mean the topsy-turvy movie that your head projects for you nightly. I mean, what was the darkness like, the place beyond dreaming?
For me this is a world of free-will. As my lovely teacher friend Lu says “What you want, you get!”
Think about that for a second, “What you want, you get” – the enormity of it…
I genuinely believe that if you believe in Heaven, when you pass, you’ll experience that, if you think you are going to Hell, then YES! If you believe that you’ll be reincarnated, why not!?
Anything is possible in this dream.
We tend to think we come into this life, and then leave it.
When we leave it’s done.
But that makes no sense, surely the system has to be complete? Like the turning of Yin and Yang, there has to be another side, no matter how immaterial it might be.
Don’t forget, for me this is just like existing in a computer programme. If I decide that “purgatory” is a thing.. I write about it, I popularise the idea lots. Many others jump on the band-waggon, and pad the idea further.
It’s like writing a new adventure story, a new programming loop, to add to this life/death circuit. I think it then becomes a path you can travel if you believe it powerfully enough. It’s really up to you.
What lies beneath when we peel back this very thick layer of our Onion-selves?
When eventually you have shaken off the rules of Society, when you have shaken off the patterns and stories that you tell yourself about who you are every day, when you have escaped the prisons of your belief systems, there lies your Trueself.
In the system I study, the Trueself differs from the Natural Self.
Natural self is basic, caveman you. It’s you at birth, no systems in place, no thinking process clouding your mind or making your judgements.
It’s possible to peel away the layers and return to basic self. If you choose, you can sit in a cave, slack jawed, mind in neutral. It’s not a bad choice..
The Trueself is different.
This is you, as the Universe.
It’s an “understanding” of total Awareness, where the word “Understanding” does this state, no justice what-so-ever.
In my overworked (And possibly highly over-rated!) Onion analogy, by peeling away the final layer we discover that there isn’t actually anything in the middle after all!
All that peeling, all that crying, the snivelling nose, the sore red eyes, and after all that nothing!?
That’s it! Finally, the truth emerges, it was “nothing” that we were looking for all along!
You are the Universe!
Nothing, and at once, everything too.
It’s the final brilliant realisation that you are the Universe, that you are god, that you are total awareness, experiencing itself through this wonderful 3D game that we all believe so fervently , is real!
So, what to do with this information.
Well, the realisation that none of this is as important as we believe, is a relief.
You can’t make a mistake.
Nothing is ever wrong
Everything is exactly as it should be right now.
There is only one sin in life, and that is NOT realising that you are god.
Nothing more, just this.
I do believe that you should try to behave the best you can, be a happy optimistic person, treat your fellow man as you would wish to be treated.
The rules of our social game are ever thus, and it keeps us in the flow of the Dao. It keeps us in line with the general flow of the game’s energy.
I think it also releases us from a huge amount of pressure too.
Everything is actually OK!
Whether you live or die, it’s all ok, if you are all that there ever was or ever will be, then everything is OK!
Smile, enjoy your days, one day at a time, and be kind to yourself! You deserve it, You are god, after all!