Archive for November 2016

Control…..You Don’t Have Any.   Leave a comment

Before reading on please hear what Sensei has to say;

 

Illusion of Control

 

 

 

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”

― Alan W. Watts

Control: The Illusion of Control or “How I learned love to have faith in the glitch”

Being a human has many wonderful and detrimental qualities; curiosity breeds innovation and destruction; empathy breeds compassion and gullibility. Control is one of those qualities, both helpful and harmful at the exact same time, a dichotomy. One must believe they have control and yet the very faith used to maintain control is the exact faith that is necessary to free oneself from that burden of control.

Now you may be thinking, “I control many things in my life! You cannot tell me I do not have control”, yet as you go down that list of things you control something happens. One begins to see the levels of control and yet the inverse becomes amazingly apparent. Stop!!!

Ha! Control. Such a beautiful illusion. If you will notice the last sentence is not grammatically correct. It is not “controlled by the norms of literature”. This is the beauty of the post. Throughout there will be many examples of break in control, “glitches in the matrix”. Why, because to perceive an illusion one must “see” a flaw.  Control is the same way, to perceive the “loss of control” you must first see the flaws in your “levels of control”.

So let’s start at the beginning. You have no control. Take a deep breath. Are you breathing because you choose to or because of the directions given or even the bodies need to receive oxygen? Which of these responses do you really have control over? Starting at the basics of control one can start to see where the illusion becomes faint. Now this illusion is not present in our early years due to many factors. We as children understand innately that we are the world and the world is us and there is no controlling either. We eat when we are hungry, sleep when we are tired, and play when we feel stimulated. As we mature, the illusion starts to manifest almost like a spell, cast by our predecessors.

We become aware of the “controlling factors” society and culture. We must conform our thoughts, actions, and being into something that fits the definitions of those factors. We began “to clothe” ourselves in the illusion that we must “control ourselves for the betterment of ourselves” to better society and culture. As an example let’s examine personal relationships.

Most would agree that personal relationships are an aspect of life that we, as individuals, control. The idea of determining whom the individual surrounds themselves with is considered deeply personal, yet in reality it is not. Many sociological studies have shown that personal relationships are usually defined by compatibility, communication, time, openness, and emotional investment. All of those 5 characteristics cannot occur within a vacuum, that is to say multiple factors are in place to facilitate their development. Most of, if not all, of those factors are not within an individuals’ sole control, yet anxiety and other negative emotional factors arise from the “perceived lack of control”.

An example would be the “meeting of someone special”. Two people meet and develop a bond. Now most would say there is control in that meeting, but if you look closely at the illusion you realize that “controlled meeting” isn’t controlled at all. Either person could have chosen to do something else, the weather, transportation, or any myriad of factors had to align to bring those individuals together. Even after meeting multiple factors outside of their control will determine whether or not a relationship will develop and in what form it may take. Yet, most people do not account for these factors when assessing why a potential situation “did not go as planned”. Most will develop an anxiety based upon the “perceived lack of control”, when in reality given the number of contributing factors there was never any “control” in the first place. The same arguments can be made for what we consume (nourishment/information) and how we devote our personal resources.

As a person matures, the illusion of control comes to symbolize the unknown. The myriad calculable factors that contribute to every moment of our being are compressed into a miniscule idea that “I am in control of X”. It’s a comfort mechanism designed to contribute to conformity within the society and culture. Those that embrace said idea are perceived as paragons and elevated to higher positions within society and culture. They are the “Chiefs” the leaders and bosses, while those that eschew said ideas are seen as “Outcasts, Rebels, or Renegades”. Oddly those individuals often times become the “Shaman” or advisors of society and culture, innately due to their ability to separate themselves from the illusions.

The “Outcasts” see that the “emperor isn’t wearing clothes” because they understand that control is an illusion and that to even attempt to maintain it is humorous. Much like in the video, the Sensei sees his pupil trying to achieve something that is impossible. Not because the task is unobtainable, but because the very idea of the task is futile.

Now that you can perceive the glitches in control the beauty of the illusion becomes apparent. The release of burden comes from the understanding that “if you have no control, it is not your fault; if it is not your fault, you should not be worried about the results”. Loss of control is the quintessential step in the concept of “faith”, it is the ground work for which faith (as the foundation of all religions) can grow and connect us to our higher purpose. In the video the Sensei, does not instruct the pupil to do anything but “believe”.  Belief highlights our inner knowledge that through all of these myriad calculable factors affecting our lives, everything will work out.

So in conclusion, you have no control and in having no control there is freedom. Therein lays the ability to believe in anything and everything possible, because you are no longer bound by illusionary limitations that were never there. When you are stressed or feel anxious just remember that there are factors outside of your control that are influencing your situation and just because it may seem negative in the moment just “believe” and that moment, like the illusion of control, will fade away.

“You only lose what you cling to.”

― Gautama Buddha

Stay peaceful

 

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