Saturday, 1 February 2014

On 13:58 by Victoria Stanham   No comments
My habitual pattern of reaction, of body/mind/emotional/perceptual tension, is always haunting me. It is so easy, so tempting, so oiled in its workings, so strong, that it grabs me by surprise and I am fully in it before I realize it. It is the known, and because I know it so well I believe I am actually in control of myself during the time I live it. The illusion is perfect. The pattern has become my self-definition; I no longer distinguish between it and I: it is my use, but it uses me.

The new possible patterns of reaction are not strong. They feel strange, not-me, they are the unknown

I have taken many many lessons in the Alexander Technique, and quite definitely my self-definition has changed: my posture has changed, I have more energy, more grace, more lightness and freedom of movement, my means-whereby have changed...

And yet my habitual pattern is still there. How can this be? Haven't I beaten it after all these years? Don't the perceivable changes in me prove that I have overcome my habitual pattern?

Ay, there's the rub.

I am neither the known that I believe Victoria controls, neither the unknown that I believe Victoria has (yet) no control over. My self-definition has changed but I'm still defining myself. It's inevitable. I haven't completely taken off the habit and seen myself naked, for that nakedness is pure awareness, and the eye cannot see itself other than as a reflection in a mirror.

But I have learned to recognise the means-whereby not as me, but as the building blocks of my self-definitions: these means produce this version of Victoria, these means produce this other version of Victoria, these means produce this new version of Victoria, ad infinitum.

I am not my use, I am not my means-whereby. I use my selves, my ahankara.

And who or what is I?

Aham brahmãsmi

Prajñãnam brahma
Ayam ãtmã brahma
Tat tvam asi


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