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On Restraint

Cezanne - Boy in the Red Waistcoat

Take notice of yourself. Take notice of the energies working within you. They flow from the highest undifferentiated source, drip and trickle and fill until you respond to them. The patterns are well laid out by now.  Instincts are attended to with unconscious action. We speak, we act, we engage lustfully, and behind all these actions is the unacknowledged flow.

There are two intelligences. No, there is one intelligence, and the mind who agrees or says otherwise. The first, unmovable intelligence, rests in knowing always. It is the steady rock of knowledge, the philosophers stone. This resides deeply in our center and is usually felt through the stomach.  The mind carries its own banner that is sometimes in discord with the unmovable intelligence and has plans of its own. Timing too plays a role in what drives us. While the unmovable intelligence knows from the beginning the correct action to take, the mind always comes later, and we often have to go through the experience to reach the same truthful conclusion. This leads us to a correction through unintelligent action. But by going through the unintelligent action, we often get ourselves in trouble.  In most cases it is not so drastic, just sillyness. In some cases we end up hurting ourselves or others, especially through periods of prolonged unintelligent action. In these prolonged cases, it is nearly always the instincts which lead us on, and we don’t give a pause before the action. We wake up over and over in the same situations, having gone through repetitive sillyness, and we ask ourselves how is it possible? It is the drunkards redundancy. At this point we truly know what is working and is not working, yet we continue to follow through with the same unintelligent action. The pause is missed. There was no pause.

Bringing awareness to actions lets us in on the deeper secret. It is not the action itself that is the powerful thing, it is what lays behind it. The action is a result of the flow of energies that are worked through in some physical manifestation. These energies are nearly always directed into action. Not knowing how to properly channel the energy in us leads to acting unconsciously. Take for instance the sex instinct. This powerful drive is always operating in us, sometimes hotter or cooler. When the sex instinct is high, we are driven to act on it, often without giving it the royal pause. The sex instinct is sometimes not even felt in the body. It usually takes the form of restlessness, the need to connect, the need to be out and about, the need to have communion. This is surely a good thing, for what is life without connection? But when it is running at such a hot pace and there is no awareness brought to it, our actions will follow. We will often wind up in tricky situations and only later, when the sex instinct is cooled, do we see what trouble we’ve gotten ourselves into, usually bringing some other poor fool along for the ride.

The energy to connect is what catches us today. We process so much information through life and there is much in us that wants to be seen by others. We refuse to apply restraint here. Our new pastimes revolve around sharing details of our mind that are largely unconscious and knee-jerk. Instead of holding information and making long form connections in the mind, which allow us to take leaps in consciousness, we broadcast minute by minute.  We are spilling and spewing and falling over this instinct in such a way that new companies develop ways for us to more readily spew. By not holding off here, we continue to pile up unnecessary content. Easy and cheap content that lasts for a few moments. Where is the pause before the speech? The right speech can be healing, and here we are wading in endless easy swamp phrases and dredging up mostly mud.  There is no pause.

There is a training that is required in going the other way. Because we have been used to acting unconsciously for such a long period, the rate at which we physically process through energy is usually too quick for us to bring awareness too, at least in the beginning. Such a thing takes practice. This is restraint. The action of no-action, bringing restraint to an energy, moves it. The instinct energy either goes to the action or it goes into the consciousness. When the action is held off, the consciousness is raised. The old sadhus and tantrics in India have known this for years and put it into more extreme practices, abstaining from all sorts of things, even the hunger instinct, to raise consciousness. The same laws apply to us nightshade goons. When the instinct energy is moved into the consciousness, we find ourselves looking at a situation from a distance, the distance of having held off.  The new consciousness is the consciousness of seeing. We have put this distance, or pause, between the energy and the usual unconscious action and we can begin to see so many things. We see the eventual consequences of our actions. We observe our instincts. We say to ourselves, Look at me, a little dog, being run around by my instinct without me even knowing it! How goofy I act when I am under the influence of such a thing.  Bringing this sort of awareness in a non-judgmental way allows to act intelligently when we do. The unmovable intelligence has of course known this all along, both when to act and the correct action, but instincts are powerful and minds are flimsy in response to them.

Restraint is a powerful tool, it is an alchemical tool.  We are working with varied energies that are a constant in the human experience. These energies are pure life material in themselves and not harmful when channeled correctly. They are in fact life affirming. Where we get caught is when they move past us unseen, resulting in unconscious action. The patterns are well laid out by now. You are deeply acquainted with your actions, but not with their movers. Take notice of them. Restraint then becomes the baton by which to direct and manifest new levels of consciousness and intelligent action.

photo Cezanne – Boy in the Red Waistcoat

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