We have an Osho book in the bathroom, “The Man who Loved Seagulls”. When there’s an extended potty break or bath time, I enjoy reading it a bit. I find that Osho’s books work very well as bathroom books as they often tell little stories, little points, one at a time. You can read it, digest it, walk and test it out for yourself. Next time you come back, you read a little bit more.
The last little story he told, was about a woman looking for a needle out on the street on her hands and knees. People came by asking what she was doing and started helping her. Someone quickly realised it would take ages to scan and search the whole road, and asked her the exact spot where she lost her needle. She said she lost her needle inside the house. That her house is dark, she doesn’t have a lamp. Out on the street there is light and she can see, so she decided to look there. People told her she was mad to be looking for it outside. That she should look inside the house. ‘What a wise response’, she told them. ‘I was just trying out your ways, always seeking and searching, always outside – never inside’.
The little parable shows how we tend to look for things outside, seeking for something. What? We don’t know exactly. Power, love, money, success. And when we have got one we go looking for the next. Because it still doesn’t feel quite right. There’s still something missing. We’re always looking outside, where there is light. We don’t look within where it is dark. We get uncomfortable being with just ourselves.
I did a little experiment in the bath, but really you can do it anywhere anytime if you have even just one minute available. I looked at the tap. And I set myself to look at tap, only the tap and not think. How difficult such a small feat can be! When I wasn’t thinking, I wanted to move my head. Look away. In a way, still think through my eye movement. When I was steadfastly looking at the tap, I could still feel my eyes shifting. Not that my actual eyeballs were shifting, but a movement inside my eyes, forwards, backwards, side to side. As if your eyes are blinking without you’re actually blinking them. Programs wanting to activate and run. So many programs ready at any given moment. When we have a moment to ourselves, how quickly do we grab our phones to check for any notifications? Start scrolling aimlessly at our mobile feeds? We’re always looking for something, searching for something. It’s like we’re so absolutely scared and terrified of ourselves that we want to keep ourselves way from our interior no matter what.
The Osho story didn’t tell me anything (k)new. I already knew what he shared, but was reminded once a gain of what I know but do not apply consistently and diligently. This past year, I noticed two definitive stress factors for me. One of them reared its head when I had to apply once more for a visa to stay within South Africa, this time to hopefully be able to stay here permanently. The other one is money woes. They work quite well in tandem. I might not be able to stay here, and even if I can stay here – will it remain financially viable? These points are my major ‘looking outside’ points. I really dislike the uncertainty, desiring safety and stability. Though I know deep within me, that even if these two points fall in place – I will find something else to stress out about and seek to ‘secure’. The only secure fact in our existence is that nothing is secure. Everything is always changing. I’m sure we’ve all had those moments. One phone call, one message, one email, one conversation – and suddenly your life is upside down. You know it’s never going to be the same again. The past few years have been rough for me in many different ways. And in the last year I’d say this point solidified itself even more. That no matter what – I can only be secure in who I am. That no matter what is happening in my external reality, in the end what is going to determine everything is me. To constantly be analysing your life and environment as if you’re betting on the stock exchange, constantly looking at all the variables, everything that could go well, everything that could go amiss – so that if we see something move BAM we can be on it. To quickly change the variables so they don’t influence our reality, or at least are minimised. Our eyes, glued out there, fixated on everything and everyone that’s moving around us – whilst being blind to ourselves. So caught up in anxiety, fear and control, that it becomes our default state and completely ‘normal’. As things get rougher and rougher in your life and more unpredictable, you start to see how little ‘control’ – you actually have. That the strings you were pulling, were not actually attached to anything and that all your attempts to orchestrate your life around you were completely futile.
I’ve had a lot of body pains this year, and often when I can’t completely get to the bottom of it or need some assistance I ask LJ to work with my body and read the points. After a while, I would just tell him “let me guess, it’s Fear and Control”. Those were the two points that kept popping up over and over again. We get so stuck in protecting ourselves, who we believe we are, our self definitions – that we can’t even see or conceptualize who we can become. Our definitions, like prison bars, we hold on to them every so tightly to keep them in place.
So for this year, I am ready to leave behind the Fear and Control and step into the darkness, to Self Responsibility and Self Directive Principle (on which there are awesome lessons in SRA4 of the Desteni I Process by the way!) and will share this process on my blog.