We have all been oriented to use consciousness to keep us from being conscious. In normal day to day life, in not only western society and all mainstream cultures in the world, the orientation that people have been given since birth leads them away from self awareness, away from direct experience of reality.
Develop the intellect and use that as a master of the environment rather than being aware of what’s real. Use the intellect to create a new reality, or as Gurjeiff called it, rearranging the furniture in a prison cell and calling it freedom. Intellect can’t know freedom, can’t create freedom, because freedom already existed before the intellect started trying to manipulate it.
And in reality, we are in a flow, just like in the river. We are in a constant flow that we are in control of, we’re navigating. The idea of control is actually what keeps us from navigating effectively.
So many of us have a brief peak experience where we have this absolute knowing of the perfection of life, just as it is. And we have no guide to help us navigate the river of our society with that realization of oneness.
So we develop these places where we go and we can participate in our experience of oneness. Then we go out in the world and we try to relate back and forth. We say “when I go to the special place, I experience oneness. And when I go out in the real world, and I experience all this intellectual conceptualization of reality, and jockeying for position and advantage for this separate me. But according to my experience of oneness, that separate me is not separate or it doesn’t really exist or it’s really hard to define.”
The gray area in between those two concepts, because they’re only concepts, is not really experience at all, it’s the experience of reality. And we don’t have a lot of people who are actually guides to help people navigate that attention, that awareness of being in the flow.
If you go into the next rapid still thinking about the previous one, you miss the experience of where you’re at.
You could end up having some very unfortunate accident. You need to be where you are, in the river or in life. And responding to circumstances that are no longer present, while missing the cues for what action needs to be taken now, is generally unsuccessful no matter where you are, whether you’re in the river or in a business meeting or in a relationship. You gotta be with what is; you gotta be where you’re at. No looking back, although it might be nice to reflect on the day’s events sitting around the camp fire or sitting in front of the fire place at home. In the midst of activity, you need to be aware of the action that’s taking place.