Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground.– Dante
The only thing that is missing or imperfect or wrong with this moment is literally the finite mental and emotional process saying “there’s something wrong”, “there’s something missing”, etc. Removing this continual flow of mental projection is the return to peaceful eternity.
We’ve each got a set of unique and self-perpetuated desires, fears, meanings, etc. outside of ourselves, which we believe can magically bring about happiness or ruin. Just observe the process dispassionately. The machine of the mind is the lack, the sensation of not enough. There isn’t actually anything missing or imperfect, whatsoever. I promise you. It’s an acquired and repeated mental process that cumulatively forms a feeling of stress or inadequacy or discomfort. It has no actual reality of its own. It is not the case.
There isn’t the thought plus something concrete that is actually a problem, there’s just the mental process of “problem-ing” and the anxiety that comes with it. And this actuality is at the root of meditation, the transition from “I have a problem” to “there is a mental process of an apparent problem temporarily passing through awareness”.
At that point you are able to make the distinction, you see that all these apparent limitations and stressors are just habitual neural networks firing in the brain which you have the option of engaging with or not. It’s got nothing to do with you, just let them drop away.
There is X amount of mud built up in the brain, and the practice of meditation is just allowing the mud to settle without doing anything about it. And this can feel miserable or boring or sad at times only because the thoughts are firing and not getting the attention they are used to.
Not too far down the road fMRI technology will probably be cheap enough that the average person can see their baseline reading and “progress” via the activity (or lack thereof) in the default mode network itself. There is a consumer product available called Muse, designed for monitoring meditation by measuring alpha and theta brain waves with a personal EEG headband. However, the scientific evidence that correlates meditation to specific brainwave frequencies seems a bit too general and inconclusive from what I’ve understood. So we’re not quite there yet as far as that goes. I’m sorry, I haven’t solved every challenge in existence yet. I’m really slacking, I know. You’re just gonna have to goddamn trust me a little bit here ok?
You determine the weight or value that is given to each “problem” or thought. The thought enters, it’s more like a proposition. And your energy is either diverted into it, strengthening that neural network, or you ignore it and stay in the silence, which dissolves and eventually eliminates that neural network. Its really that simple. When all the mud is settled and the DMN is neutralized, “you” are eliminated entirely. Or, to phrase it perhaps a bit more positively, “you” merge with the whole of existence, the kingdom of heaven. And again, there never really was a “you”, there was just this obsessive-compulsive projection that we keep grabbing hold of until we fall for the trick of separation.
And while it is that simple and the whole thing can be condensed into a few paragraphs, on a practical level it is unlikely to be that straightforward due to the amount of unconscious trauma and nonsense that the typical human mind inevitably accumulates over the years as a result of being subjected to this ass-backwards zoo of an existence that we call ‘life on planet earth’. It isn’t so much letting go that’s the barrier, its realizing that we are conditioned against and actively resistant to surrender in the first place.
So… the tricky part isn’t in presenting this process or its implications but in determining the particular set of protective mechanisms, ancestral and environmental traumas, and other tricks that “your human” has developed in order to avoid surrendering the insistence on there being something wrong. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one doing it. Look around at the world, this is a damn cancer eating away at the collective human species.
There’s free will, unless you mean you have free will. There’s just the free will unfolding through many apparent forms. No one is “doing” it or choosing it. Even the illusion of choice, waving your hand either to the left or to the right, comes about and is decided through countless prior interactions and impressions utterly out of “your” control. There’s never a point where something chooses.. life just unfolds. But because there is a conditioning to attach value one way or another, this outcome is good or this one is bad, then the identification takes place. Then I am this or that. Expectation breeds discontent.
Life is valueless, meaningless, resting perfectly at perpetual zero. But the mind makes that statement into a negative. People try and add value, they say oh great my life has meaning because of so and so. And then I say no, there is no meaning. So then this upsets you and you add value to the other side instead, oh no there’s no meaning how terrible!
I’m telling you, throw them both out. There isn’t a meaning, and there isn’t not a meaning. Stop trying to insert yourself into this mess, put down your obsessive need to try and stake a claim one way or another. Just sit in the middle and watch, until the whole mechanism dissolves. Then its just a play, we may manufacture meaning sometimes for the fun of it, but it isn’t serious. How could it be? Nothing is at stake. There’s nothing to lose, or gain. Just swinging through the trees yelling wildly like Tarzan, or maybe just a good nap. I don’t care what you do, just leave ‘me’ out of it.