Instead of talking about ‘the vibration‘ as being the basis for everyday life, we could equally well talk about habits. A habit is a vibration, a routine is vibration, all purposeful activity is a vibration. If take any routine, we can see that there are two ‘ends’ to it – one end is where there is a need or the deficit and the other end is where the need is met, the deficit made good. Once the need has been met then everything is fine and there’s no call for any activity anymore; before very long however the need will arise again and we will have to do the whole thing all over again. This is of course implicit in the word ‘routine’ – it’s not just a once-off, it’s something we have to do time and time again! We keep having to go back and from the pole of ‘need’ to the pole of ‘need-satisfaction’, in other words. This is the circle we are involved in.
Habits are the very same thing as routines, even though there is not necessarily any actual real practical ‘goal’ to what we are doing. The motivation to enact the habit is the habit itself, rather than what that habit might achieve! It’s pure inertia we’re talking about here, in other words. So for this reason we might say that habits are ‘pointless’, but even so they obviously did have a point once upon a time and if I do something that has a point then this is the start of a vibration. What we are saying therefore is that anything we do for a purpose is a vibration, even if the purpose is now relevant, even if we no longer know what that purpose is. This is not – needless to say – a familiar way of looking at purposeful activity – we don’t see PA as we get trapped in, we see it as something we do in order to get somewhere.
This is the very nub of the problem – we commit to purposeful activity because the thing that is going to get the summer, whilst the exact reverse of this is true. What actually happens is that, by fixated on the goal, we become incapable of seeing that attaining the goal is not really going to get us anywhere. Why is this the case, we might ask? Quite simply, it is because in order to construct the purpose for us to aim at is first necessary to drastically reduce the number of different ways we have available to us to see the world, and once we have done this we lose the ability to appreciate that we have lost this all-important perspective. Without perspective, we are always going to get trapped! So, the only sense in which we are going to ‘get somewhere’ is in terms of this limited viewpoint on the world, this closed viewpoint which doesn’t actually have any perspective in it. We might achieve our ‘goal’ alright, but we are not escaping from our closed mindset, and this is the only thing that really matters in life. If we did escape our ‘closed or limited mindset’ then the goal question would no meaningful to us in the way that it was. We’d be freed from the compulsive need to attain it, therefore…
In order to have a goal we first have to ignore the inherent complexity of reality in other words, and when we ignore the inherent complexity of reality we are no longer in reality, we’re in ‘something else’ instead. We’re now ‘trapped in duality’ – everything has been collapsed into the black-and-white format of ‘subject’ and ‘object’, the ‘seeker’ and what is being ‘sought after’. Or as we could also say, everything has been collapsed into ‘the problem’ and ‘the solution to the problem’. This is of course the actual world we live in; the only world we generally know about. We would therefore claim that this isn’t a ‘collapsed form of reality’ at all but simply ‘reality as it actually is’. Problems are real, in other words, and there’s nothing to do apart from try as best we can to solve them! This is the world that thought presents to us every day (it is the only one that thought can present) – the world where problems are real and have to be solved!
This is therefore a ‘compulsive’ or ‘coercive’ reality, so what is being claimed here is that actual genuine reality has a nature that is essentially unfree – there are rules, and rules have to be obeyed! How often have we heard this? Saying that ‘problems are real’ is another way of saying that they ‘have to be solved’ and saying that they ‘have to be solved’ is another way of saying ‘that there is a rule and the rule has to be obeyed’. It’s all the same thing. This is how the thinking mind presents reality to us and because this is the way the TM presents reality to us this is how we understand it – we don’t have any other way of understanding it and that is why we live in the virtual compulsive mind-created reality. Space itself has become defined and we have to fit into this space (obviously) and so straightaway there is this tremendous lack of freedom, this tremendous lack of choice. If we do conform to this predefined version space then (so we’re told) we can ‘get on with things’ – we can then, having made this basic necessary adaptation – achieve many important things. We can achieve our goals, we can realise our dreams, and so on and so forth.
But if there was ever a ‘low-down dirty trick’ this is it! How can freedom come out of adapting ourselves to a predetermined version of space, a version of space that actually has no space in it? All we need to do is consider what space actually means, what the word ‘space’ actually signifies. Saying that there is ‘space’ in a situation means that there is the possibility of free movement – we can move this way or we can move that way and it doesn’t in the least bit matter which way we opt for. There is no inbuilt bias, in other words; there is no ‘hidden agenda’ as to what happens next (or as to what should happen next). The inverted form of space is therefore precisely where there is a hidden agenda, where there is prejudice in the system that we can never question you’re adapted to that system. We can in this case only ‘move’ in accordance with the way that the system allows us to move; the system decides how we move not us, in other words, for this reason we can say that the system doesn’t have any space in it. The system gives us that this freedom to do what it wants us to do, what it demands that we do, but this is not ‘freedom’ at all, obviously.
Space means zero bias therefore and zero bias means no rules. What ‘no rules’ mean however is something that we just can’t comprehend; we can’t comprehend space because we’d need rules in order to comprehend it! Space is something that we just can’t comprehend and freedom is something that we just can’t comprehend. It’s all the one thing and that ‘one thing’ is something that we can’t get to grips with. We can’t get an angle on it; we can’t get an angle on it because there are no angles! The word ‘symmetry’ is a good one to use in this connection – a symmetrical situation is one in which all directions are the same. All directions are the same in the sense that there are no rules telling us which direction we should heading in – there is no biasing factor operating anywhere. If we go back to our earlier explanation of the type of reality that thought presents us with as ‘a reality in which problems are real and have to be solved’ then we can see that the type of world which we know and are familiar with is one which is made up entirely of ‘right and wrong’. We try to get it ‘right rather than ‘wrong’ because that’s how we obey the lack of ‘freedom’ inherent in this world.
This lack of freedom is cleverly disguised however – it is so cleverly disguised that we don’t ever spot it. The idea that there is something that we have to do that is the ‘right’ thing to do completely throws us off the scent; the TM (or society) tells us what the ‘right’ thing to do is and we never see that we are losing freedom this way. We’re in too much of a hurry to get the validation that comes with ‘getting it right’; we’re addicted to obtaining that validation. The underlying truth is however that there are zero freedom to be had in ‘right versus wrong’; this is the world completely without freedom and never ever spot it. Validation only comes when there is bias; it only comes when there is a ‘lack of symmetry’ in the situation – get rid of the inbuilt bias and we also get that of the possibility of validation (or ‘approval’) and so – to our normal way of looking at things – taking away the inbuilt bias from the situation is truly fearful thing. Taking away all the rules that tell us what to do (and how to look at things) is a truly fearful thing. Freedom is a truly fearful thing.
And yet space is not a ‘lack’, it is not a deficiency, it is not a privation. We could say that it is ‘the lack of the possibility of being validated by some external authority’ to be sure, but in same time it is the loss of the possibility of being devalidated (or of being disapproved of) by some external authority as well, and so we’re not really ‘losing’ anything. A trick was being played on us, and we are so very habituated to the trick, so very conditioned by it, that we relate to ‘honesty’ (i.e. the lack of any trick) as if this were truly terrible thing! What creates the illusion of loss, the feeling that we are being deprived something necessary, is the false basis that we have of seeing everything, the false basis that is created for us by the ‘positive’ or ‘rule-based’ reality. This false basis is ‘who we think we are’, or ‘who we understand ourselves to be’. We can explain this ‘who we think we are’ business by saying that it is the one who stands to be either validated or devalidated, rewarded or punished, based upon whether they ‘get it right’ or ‘get it wrong’. This is the ‘conditioned self’ in a nutshell therefore – this is all we need to say about it. This is the beginning and end of very that we need to say about the condition self – it is the one who stands to either win or lose, feel pleasure or pain…
What we ‘lose’ when we gain freedom is then this particular basis – this basis from which we are unable to look at the world in any other way than the way of ‘right versus wrong’. We will of course conceptualise this ‘loss’ as being itself ‘wrong’, but this is of course quite ridiculous. To lose the false basis from which we can’t help seeing everything is either being right or wrong is itself not wrong; obviously it isn’t ‘wrong’ because as soon as we lose this basis then nothing is either right or wrong anymore. This is no more right-versus-wrong. Once we do lose this artificial basis then there is no more dissymmetry. We’re not losing anything real (we’re only losing the illusion of positive space); far from losing anything we’re gaining something, but it just so happens that we have no way of knowing what it is we are gaining as our ‘basis’ for knowing anything has now disappeared from the scene. This thing we call ‘knowing’ is also reliant on the polarity – the most basic polarity (or dissymmetry) being that of ‘is/isn’t’. Not only do we lose the dissymmetry of ‘right and wrong’, we also lose the dissymmetry of ‘is versus isn’t’ (which is of course the very same thing at root). We lose all the biases – there are no biases in space, no rules in freedom, as we have already said.
We can explain the positive reality by saying that it is that situation (which the system of thought presents to us) in which they are ‘real problems that need to be solved’. Naturally ‘real’ problems need to be solved – what else would you do with them? The fact that we are seeing things in this way shows us that an information collapse has taken place – a very big information collapse! The collapse is both very obvious and very hard to see, despite the fact that this is a contradiction in terms. Here we are looking at a world that is full of ‘real problems that demand to be solved’ (there’s no freedom not to solve them) – and we can all understand this scenario very well – and yet at the same time the idea that they could be such a thing as a world full of problems that need to be solved – is a laughable absurdity – the world isn’t full of problems at all, the world is just ‘the world’! The only way the world can be ‘full of problems’ would be if we imposed our own agendas on it, our own ideas on it, our own rules on it. Once we start doing this then problems spring up in great profusion – problems of every shape and description spring up everywhere we look! This doesn’t mean that they’re really there of course – it would be very naïve to think this!
It might seem that we are being rather reprehensibly dismissive in our attitude here but the truth is the truth – the problems which we relate to as real things are only projections. When we say that reality contains (or consists of) real problems that absolutely need to be solved then we are ignoring the fact that this is not reality but what happens to reality when our game-plan (or our ‘framework’) is imposed upon it. We have turned reality into a game, in other words. We’re actually doing a switch here – instead of acknowledging reality as being primary, we are saying that our rules are what comes first. Instead of saying that ‘problems are real and have to be solved’ we should be honest about it and say, ‘rules are real and have to be obeyed’, because that’s what we really mean! We won’t say this though (or rather the thinking mind won’t say this) because that would give the game away. When what we have called ‘the collapse’ takes place then everything gets seen as the ‘photographic inverse‘ of what it really is. The world has become the photographic inverse of what it really is because everything is now seen turns in terms of the rules – the rules say what is right and what is wrong; the rules say whether we are to feel good or feel bad. The rules determine the reality of the world we perceive and therefore live in.
The big consequence of living in the ‘collapsed’ or ‘ inverted’ version of reality is, as we started off this conversation by saying, is we never really get anywhere even though we keep on thinking that we are. Freedom has been replaced by ‘negative freedom’ therefore, where negative freedom equals ‘the freedom to obey the rules’. When the rule has replaced reality, negative freedom is the only type of freedom there is! It’s all there is. If we were to ask what the difference between freedom and negative freedom is then a very simple (but good) way to answer this question would be to say that freedom is where there is genuine movement whilst negative freedom is where the movement that is going on is ‘apparent but not real’. Further to this we could say that genuinely free movement (or change) is not in any way ‘forced’, whilst negative freedom is ALWAYS something that is imposed upon us from the outside. If we could see the lack of freedom that is being imposed on us from the outside then it wouldn’t be negative freedom – what makes negative freedom into negative freedom is that we don’t see this. We don’t see this happening but – instead – we identify with the rule (i.e. with the external compulsive/mechanical force) that is making us do whatever it is that we are doing. When identification with the external/mechanical force takes place we lose ourselves (as J.G. Bennett says here); we lose ourselves and never realise that we have done so, and so this is ‘negative freedom’. This is the freedom of the illusion to do whatever it wants!
There is one final aspect of negative freedom (or of ‘identifying with the rule’) that we can comment on here – the movement that takes place in accordance with the rule is not genuine movement (as we have said) but it appears to be so. It appears to be so because there is apparent movement from one opposite to the other; specifically, there is apparent movement from the situation of ‘not having achieved the goal’, to ‘the situation of having done so’. From the ‘collapsed’ perspective, – which is generally the only perspective we have available to us – there simply cannot be any more dramatic change in this. This is a change from failure to success, after all; we’ve gone from being ‘a loser’ to being ‘a winner’! But because the goal that we have been aiming at is no more than an extension of our original (unexamined) viewpoint, the movement that is actually taking place is deceptive; there is no movement involved in the change between ‘the position assumed by the viewpoint’ and ‘the extension or projection of this assumed position’. There is movement there, but it is circular movement, it is ‘the movement of the vibration’. It is circular or vibratory movement because it can only ever go from one opposite to the other. Where else is there to go from one opposite except to the other opposite, after all?