Wednesday, 11 March 2009


The Parable of the Cyclist is about enlightenment. I don't care for that term; like being "born again", abuse has obscured the meaning it was intended to have. One of the reasons for these difficulties is that the transcendence they are pointing to is beyond language of any kind; like trying to express the scent of a flower using pen and ink.

The most explicit description I've ever come across is Martin Heidegger's analysis of Being and Time. To achieve that precision he needed to more or less invent his own language. Very good for those of us who can grasp hermeneutic phenomenology, but (as Jesus knew) most of us get more out of stories.

Us and Them

At a forum of there has recently been an interesting discussion about New Age shops. As often happens, the discussion polarised according to those who were sympathetic to new agers and those who were not. That is, those who had approached to topic by feeling from the inside (the "us" view) versus those who were treating the topic with rational objectivity (it was about "them").

The tendency for this distinction to become a division is understandable. Knowing who are like us and those who are not (them) avoids misunderstandings. It is the good work of our protector mind (ego) keeping us from disillusionment and pain. After all, expecting people who are not like us to behave as if they are, can only lead to disappointment, right? It is the first step down the slippery slope toward being a cynical old fart.

Well that's true, if the ego is all we have. The "everyone is us" view is only possible when we are in contact, at least partly, with the universal mind (spirit); the source of power to forgive without limit, to tolerate abuse without retaliation, and the endless outpouring of healing that can restore damaged or hopeless situations.

So do we have to reject rational thinkers that divide the world into us and them? NO! Eckhart Tolle points out that the only way to maintain contact with spirit is for there to be no blocks. These express themselves emotionally as resentment, intellectually as judgement. So rejecting those who divide the world (unlike us?) is the surest way to lose any maturity we have. Does that mean we have to tolerate the imprecision of fuzzy thinking or people who cause trouble through poor judgement? NO! "Toleration" is merely the polite disguise of resentment. We have to embrace them with enthusiasm and accept them with love, just as we love and accept ourselves!

Disgusted? The Parable of the Cyclist was for you. Read it again. The stabilizers are the constructs/understandings our ego mind makes as we "make sense" things.

Making Sense

There are two places where the boy is without stabilisers: before he is able to ride, and after he has learned to ride skilfully. The thoughts we have about things are scaffolding our ego mind uses to support us -- to help us live. But these are no more than crutches, helping us through the transition time between birth and maturity. They are part of our growing up, but we are supposed to grow out of the habit of trying to "make sense" of things. (If you know the Tarot, look at where the Swords end up.)

Those of us who are good at "making sense" of the world don't like that very much, hence Avoiding Bethel. Even though the gateway is open and stepping into it is simple, we prefer the "riches" we have, even though in real terms that choice keeps us poor. Our ego mind shies away from the simplicity of the present moment. For we can only simply be by laying down our precious understanding.

Does this mean we have to abandon rationality? Only if that is where you live; if it is important to you, your "riches". Like the stabilisers, if you are depending on them, they are getting in the way, preventing you from learning how to live. For the only way we can live is in the present moment, and thoughts are at best no more than constructions about it.

It is like looking at a window; the ego (protector mind) looks at the pane of glass where our spirit (universal mind) looks through it. Looking beyond doesn't mean we no longer distinguish things or lose our powers of reasoning. We can still understand what is and think concerning what we see there. But the discernment loses the edge given it by our protector mind; there is no longer the need to judge what is good (us) and what is not (them).

The same acceptance that enables us to abide in the present moment dissolves ego centred distinctions. We no longer need the "sense" we made that propped us up. We realise that life is actually more fluid (and more fun) without over thinking things. And we are happy to let our stabilisers go.


  1. Thank you, Chris. I understood this. Yay!

  2. Life is also more fluid and fun when we stop looking outside of ourselves for ways to attain enlightenment or growth or whatever you want to call it.
    I wholeheartedly agree with you, life is simple it is only our enquiring mind that confuses matters. Life is for living, experiencing and enjoying not enduring. However in order to get to the point of trusting and accepting you have to go through the stages of enquiry.
    As human beings living in this world our ego is necessary for us to play the 'life game' Until we can accept that it has its place in our lives in order for us to function and be accessible and amenable to others and it is not our enemy, then we will continue to struggle. By accepting and taking away the negative connotations attached to our ego consciousness then we can release its power and start seeing our fellow human being as our equal.

    I'm so proud your my big brother xxxxxxxx