On your own but not alone…
Times like this, when cognitive dissonance is at it’s peak, with no one knowing what or who to believe or dis-believe, most people have two strong opposing desires build up.
One is to just get away from it all. Strike out, hide, self-depend. The desire to hoard, to save your immediate family or loved ones. Attachment.
The other is to grasp for community. Safety in numbers. Shared responsibility. Laying down the burden into the collective pile. Detachment.
Perfectly understandable, ne?
As always, balance lies in the middle path.
Understand that in spite of the cultural womb of family and society, we are in the end, solitary way-fareres. We enter as individuated entities (Ego, Id, call it what you might) to experience life-school, take our lessons and our knocks and our beauty and truth and lies and then leave, again into a great un-known. Come in with no-thing and leave with no-thing. All of the attachments dangled before us in the name of “security” are ephemeral. And notice, we are a-apart from them and a-part of them. Very liberating realization.
And then there is all the conditioning, from baby-hood, that makes these relationships and dependencies “real”, inasmuch as anything is real. The mother breast-feeds the body growing around the core she carried. That is real. You can extrapolate from there. A bad interaction with a tree or a sharp knife will injure the body. That is real too. Inasmuch as anything is real.
So the battle from that oldest of points, fight or flight, union or disambiguation…. is real too, inasmuch as anything is real.
The key, to my mind, is to hold both those “realities” in perspective. We live in a world born of a visible duality and an in-visible third, the trinity. There is no re-solution to this in ordinary thinking, with words or deeds or any such mundane creations. Our task, as the Zen masters discovered, is to doubt the duality, fiercely, raising cognitive dissonance to the height of the Everest, till your logical mentation crumbles under the weight of separation and you find whole-ness.
There, you find that you are on your own, but never alone.
When you are alone and not lonely, things gather around you, un-bidden. Ties that set you free.
And that is where you want to be.
Remember, in a furiously spinning top, the center of the spinning axis, the locus of movement, moves hardly at all, at peace amongst all the whirling.