A simple little incident

We live everyday without really paying attention to how we operate. Why is this? Because most of the time we work with our thinking without leaving a just a little space for the unconscious to emerge. What is that? What does it mean? I will proceed to explain in my own way  what I do mean with this relating to a small incident that happened the other day.

Well, you might say of course we have to think in order to operate. True, this is normal you might even add. Thinking is how we operate, how we function, how we act and how we lead our life on a day to day basis. A necessary tool of course. So what are we talking about there? If I need thinking to function in our life what wrong with this?

Well, there is nothing wrong indeed. Thoughts, we forget are only a little part of our life, but it plays an enormous role and has taken over in more ways than we can imagine. We are word addicts more than coffee, drugs, nicotine and any other substance you can imagine. My father said that many years ago: ” Words are a drug and we don’t know that we are addicted”. Thoughts have taken over our life and we don’t know how to stop. Stop? how can you do that?  Yes, of course there are countless methods that will tell you how to do just that. You pay for them and follow them: the gurus, the methods, the masters, the newly illuminated that have found peace, the countless men and women that swear that they have discovered THE WAY.

AM I to believe them? AM I to follow them because they are gurus and masters?  Tempting no?  Well, I have decided to look at it all in a different way.

If I follow all these masters and know-it all men and women, where do I stand in all that? I’ll be merely a follower. Nothing wrong of course if that is what you want to do. But why can’t I be my own master and guru? Can I discover by myself what they have discovered? Why can’t I do it? What peace are they all talking about?  If they have done so, it must be in all of us. Therefore what is the obstacle?

So, here is my little incident that helped me see through a few things related to thinking and how AT TIMES it can be a real hindrance.

The other day, a friend of mine was looking for a phone number. Have you seen that phone number? No, I said. Never saw it. So, he went on looking for 10 mns solid searching for this evasive number and could not put his finger on it. I remained silent and did not utter a word. After a while, I said: “did you look in the 3rd file in the filing cabinet”? So, he went there and could not find it either. So, he went on looking for a while longer to no avail. That is when I got up, searched that very file in the filing cabinet  and found it. The 3rd one from the back. Dumbfounded he could not understand why he had not seen it.

How many times this happens to all of us? So, I ponder on it for a short while and suddenly it became clear why he had not seen it and why we are not seeing when the object is there in front of our eyes. My simple explanation is that we are taken so much with our thinking that we do not pay attention to what we are doing. We are not with the ACTUAL process. Our mind is filled with ideas hence cumbersome to see the obvious. Our mind is busy, busy with formulating ideas that represent only the world within our frame. We see what we want to see or not see. Seeing requires an attention to the process (thinking) that guides our activity. When that process is too taken by itself it becomes the obstacle. It becomes a hindrance. We can observe here that thinking is necessary but not the ultimate tool. A tool that it is, and that is what it is. A tool that allows us to go to work, to drive a car, to walk through the door, to build a house, to water our garden to cut down a tree and so on. But I would not go as far as saying to know who we are. Thinking can’t know who we are. It approximates our status and makes us THINK. But when it ventures into the realm of being it has lost its power. It pretends and can’t get a foothold. Hence the justifications and the reiterations of its position.

We see the world according to our perception of it. That perception is molded by our background, upbringing and education. Everything is translated by what we know. Of course that is necessary and I won’t deny it. But it becomes an obstacle when that is the only thing that supposedly exists. We forget this. We forget that they might be some other ways to see the world. Thought has become so dominant( addictive) that it remains the only thing that is viable. Hence our narrow minded views of the world. We can’t extend further than what we have become accustomed to “seeing”. We fight for it, go to war on it, annihilate countries and people, torture, maim, rape and so on.

So, if my friend, could have only extended his vision outside his thinking process he might have been able to see the paper and the phone number that he was looking for. In other words he remained glued within his narrow frame of vision and did not see the obvious. That happens to all of us all the time. It is because we do not leave a little space, we do not pause, we do not arrest ourselves just a few seconds that there might be another way of looking,  another perspective on our pseudo reality that we latched onto  as being the only reality that ever exists. How small that is!

It is therefore important to stop and take a few seconds to envisage another way. To let our unconscious speak. It knows what to do and how to go about it. But that is very hard one might say. Of course it is hard because thinking does leave any gap. It engulfs us and we say that there is no way out. What else should I do? What Can I do? Can you give me a trick or a method? and we do not realise that it is thinking that is speaking. Yes, thinking does not see this realm, can’t fathom it,  can’t hold it, can’t touch it, can’t sustain it, can’t even start to imagine what it could be like or look like. This realm, is not within the grasp of thinking.  It encompasses thinking but not IT!

So, the  pause that is needed to see is gone,  and we remain with the status quo…I can’t find it and start to search around. Stop, and let the mind rest for a second or two. I am not keen on the saying: “search and you will find” it may apply in other occasions but not in that instance. If our mind is perpetually busy,  the standstill, the suspension and the gap  just disappear and we are left with the same old story….the incessant roof brain chatter that hinders us for being present. Being present is  where the thinking does not get involved. It has nowhere to go. In fact it can’t deal with the present since it does not “know” it.

Till next time.

Back to the ranch

We have been back 2 weeks now and the first week was spent in bed recovering from a heavy cold. Both of us got it pretty bad. Not had a cold in such a long time!

I guess the travels added to a lot of fatigue. It was a great holiday in all. Visiting the family and also friends in London and south of France. Enjoying good food and wines…maybe a little too much I guess. The extra kgs are showing it at the moment. But having just recovered from this cold I feel right now is the right time to get back into shape.

Shape it is! I spent all morning cleaning the curtains and behind the sofas. In spite of having a charming lady looking after the place, the mice did not ask permission to their right of abode in our house. They were quite a few. The first thing was to get rid of them. After all they are not paying rent and were not asked to come in. So, right now there are little corpses to be picked up and buried far from the house. The chicken coop also had their mice number up. It was a real invasion there. They were scattering everywhere. They had the time to multiply with all the good grains that were fed to the chooks. What the difference now is that our beloved python is no more to keep them in check. And of course they had the chance to nest around the coop and had a ball. Yes, had. Because now the poison had the opportunity to work its miracle and I am pretty sure that they are not going to stay that long. Revenge! yes, they managed already to eat all my melon seedling that I painstakingly planted the other day. Yum! Melon seeds. But that will be dealt with shortly.

The cows have made it back today. All in form and are looking fabulous. Nice to have  our little troop back in the paddock. I did miss them. When they entered back in, I called them and they picked up their head and look at me. “Haha , you are back, I am sure they were saying, so are our treats ( I do spoil them rotten with special lucerne hay…nice and green). So, they came rushing back to the edge of the fence expecting but looked puzzled that I did not have it ready. Yes, girls, it will come. give me a minute!

Little butcher bird greeted us by coming straight into the kitchen demanding its ration, and that was on the first day! Lucky I had kept some meat in the freezer for him…sorry her. I just found out it was a female. I fed it and it did not want to move at all. In fact she remained there for quite a while on the sofa, its usual place. Welcome home little bird.

As for our fat Labrador it was such a rejoicing for her,  she could stop wagging her tail, but with her it is hard to know if it is the tail or the body that wags. That night she climbed up the stairs and onto her favourite place, beside us at the foot of the bed. Not on the bed mind you that would have been impossible. She did not wake us that morning to go out. She waited patiently till we got up which was quite late. She went for a little walk  but came straight back inside. No, I am not going to let you out of my sight right now she must have said to herself. And the whole day she followed us around keeping an eye, making sure we would stay put. And put we stayed indeed with that rotten cold.

Spring cleaning is under way. Washing all these dirty curtains scraping the dust from winter as well as the smell of burning fires of these cold winter months. Rugs got a heavy pounding and they are soaking the spring sun at the moment. Behind the fridges and the furniture with the vacuum and a good disinfectant.  It smells wonderful and ready for these balmy evenings where the breeze is caressing softly the top of the bamboos which sway gently. against the backdrop of the mountains.  It is a delight to feel the gentle warm evenings, the calm and serenity after busy London, Paris and Bangkok. The superb sunsets, the tweeting of the birds, the swamp hens that have taken refuge and settled on the edge of the dam, the rails that have had babies running around everywhere foraging, the magpies still shy  but ready to be fed if I called them, the mudlarks dirtying our windows as they see their reflection on the glass and peck it. What a mess they make! The wallabies hoping around the fields at sunset. A delight to the senses!

It is hard to reintegrate into the routines and the mind wonders about living somewhere else. Having another dog, living in Thailand where it is nice and easy, fantasising about all sorts of possibilities, hard to get re acquainted with friends and even forgetting some of the names. I always do that, finding it hard to remember names when I get back. Ready to take off again! dreaming, yes. But that was when we were in bed sick and lamenting about our health. So, the mind goes to find dreams and projects.

We are back on our feet and getting back into our routines and all these fantaisies have disappeared …almost …for the time being. It  is back to the ranch and back into our lovely setting and breathing fresh air and eating our garden produce. It was great to go and travel to see especially family, friends and relatives but it is even greater to be back and we settle into our home.  Comfort you might say, yes, there is something to be said about routines and the feeling to reintegrate what you know. We are creatures of comfort. A bit like a cat that loves the plushy sofa and stretches lazily. That is what I feel right now that lazy feeling of being back home.

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Oh! and also the fact that I am going to loose these extra kgs . I have started already. No more rich sauces, wines, cheese, heaps of cakes…tho I am not so much of a sweet tooth, but I had a bit of Peter’s all the time and my own to be honest. These lovely buckwheat pancakes, with Calvados/cider from Brittany, these rich butter cakes called Kouing Aman warm and so easily tucked into! That delectable EDDU, a whiskey  made from buckwheat in Brittany…These oysters and mussels accompanied with french fries. No, my mouth is not watering right now, but I am happy and fulfilled to have indulged in these delectable specialties. Again? yes, but not so soon! Now for some more sober eating.

Till next time.

Coffee, scones and clotted cream at Selfridges, London

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Mussels again and fried potatoes. Yum!