“When there is no thought except for understanding and integration, the past fades and the future becomes a menial thing and you find yourself naturally, easily in the throes of joy.” -Amy Larson, amyjalapeno.com
Joy can be found in any moment we apply understanding and innocence. But for this post, I am specifically thinking of those moments with a significant other, when intimacy is immediate, when all that matters is the ribbon of space in between skin – the innocence of touch and taste and smell, as if you had not experienced these before.
If there is any true reality, it is this – to perpetually reside in that unknowing, that immaculacy, that incorruptibility, innocence and freshness of perception.
When one is unaware and views this purest reality as rare moments that “just happen” (versus actively and whole-heartedly inviting them in), the mind gets scared. It panics. The ego says, “Wait! You’re choosing without me!” And it uses memory to bring in all the reasons why that purest, joyful experience is something you should avoid. It will even paint it shades of shame, unworthiness, of anger.
In FREEDOM FROM THE KNOWN, Jiddu Krishnamurti mentions the movement from the ego (thought structures we cling to for a sense of safety) into perfect joy, which resides beyond the unknown…
“The movement from certainty to uncertainty is what I call fear.”
Fear, because the ego has no control over what is going to happen next. Its existence is at stake and it scrambles to set up thought structures in order to give you a sense of safety from apparent danger.
But when you let go of this internal dialog, you surrender to innocence and newness and free fall, to the purity of joy, which is ease and effortlessness.
Eventually (because not many can maintain such a high level of continual awareness), previously established certainty hijacks your ability to choose. This certainty (laid down by the ego) provides you with a sense of choice; but you have none, not really, not while the ego is driving. The ego occupies the mind, distracts you with pleasures, indulgences, even masks reality by using the memory of other joys (once a joy is remembered, it is no longer a joy – it is only a joy in the moment it is experienced), twisting them into the present to serve its agenda of holding on what it thinks is certain (which is precisely the most established and practiced mental grooves you have allowed thus far in your life).
This reversal of attention and awareness, of innocence and the immediacy of joy without effort is a retreat into the ego.
The movement from uncertainty to certainty is what I call pain.
And that pain seems to go away once the ego puts up the safety net of the familiar. But it is secretly hidden by the ego’s complicated, mind-twisting, distorted logic and it waits to resurface. Because pain does want to be recognized. It wants to be understood. And in this way, it is your friend, your teacher, and an integral part of your awareness.
The only ease of pain is in your understanding of it, of realizing that it is (and will always be) a part of you.
If you really want the power of “choice” you must watch the fear, the pain, the sorrow with perfect attention as if watching an imminent danger.
It is not the unknown that you need to be wary of, but wherever you have pinned your certainty.