Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal
December 1999 – January 2000, Issue 9
I Have a Theory: What It Means To Be Human
by Kristen Fox
I’ve watched many a Star Trek episode, old and new, that upholds the ideas of HUMANITY as pure gold. I’ve observed many an email list “conversation” where being humane and compassionate and what that really means was bandied around and debated until the cows came home. I’ve read email posts that insist that conflict, or duality, is what humanity is all about and why, on god’s green earth, would we want to try and leave it behind or transcend it?
We can look around our realities and SEE the duality, the struggle, the back and forth. It’s everywhere. It would be a “logical” conclusion to say that duality IS the basis of physical reality and of the human experience. And it would also seem somewhat romantic and sentimental to promote duality, to uphold it as a treasure we’ve polished until it gleamed.
I’ve experienced people who think that those trying to step out of conflict as being pretentious and trying to be “superior” to others. I’ve also experienced people who are interested in getting beyond all the struggle, fairly confident that there IS physical reality beyond it, even if they aren’t quite sure what it will look like.
So, I asked myself, what exactly is going on here? Best start with myself.
I started really seeing this kind of thing on one of the mailing lists I was subscribed to. Most of the posts involved verbal debate of the concepts on which the list was based. At first I participated in the debates, tossing my opinion in with everyone else’s. Then, after wondering what I was trying to prove, decided to change tactics into allowing and enjoying the validity of each different opinion. Then, I simply stopped participating after a while. And you know what? Nothing changed. The debates still went back and forth. From my perspective (of believing in an infinite number of valid perspectives <g>) the debating seemed cyclic and circular. Individuals would come and go, as my own participation did, working their way through one debate and out the other side. Many then simply re-engaged the debating on another topic. Which was more accurate, who was “right”, what was more appropriate, etc.
During the end of my time on that list, a few other list members expressed a desire to ‘move beyond’ the endless debating, wishing to move into a new kind of interaction. This mirrored my own feelings as well. Some people just loved the debating attitude, sending emotional energy back and forth with others on the list was, to them, a great experience, but I had seen the pattern. I had witnessed the dualistic framework of struggle within which this pattern existed – there was nothing there for me anymore.
Of course, I had to check around a little to be sure. So I monitored another list’s endless debates. Yup – same pattern. (How wonderful that we see what we expect to see, isn’t it. <g>) I saw some decide to leave the pattern behind, and others to stay.
There were no solutions that came out of the endless debating and struggling, except in the realization that solutions required stepping OUT of the pattern or framework of debating and struggling.
In my personal life, I began to apply the ideas of what I was coming to understand to my desire to create more money. I had been examining my experiences in this area for a few years, and had been trying to find a solution for myself. Then it suddenly occurred to me that this was no different than the pattern of debating. The framework within which all of my old beliefs about money had been couched was one of DUALITY. In all my attempts, I had been unable to come up with anything that would allow me to do as I pleased, to my specifications. That is, while I was still in the struggle and debate frame of mind, I would be creating experiences of lack and struggle. And the only “solution” was to step out of it.
This required letting go of a particular part of me that I had grown quite identified with – the part of me that felt frustration and annoyance when things weren’t going the way I thought they should. I mean, who was I fighting against, but my myself, no matter what it looked like on the outside. An excellent example of this letting go happened one day when I was taking the dogs out for a walk in the countryside around our house. They were off their leashes and having a grand time sniffing every tree trunk and clump of sage. When they wandered a bit too far away from me, I called them and they ignored me, intent on sniffing something probably “left” by a passing cow. I watched myself get annoyed and try to draw up power from that and it fell flat. In a moment that seemed to last a LONG time, I experienced the futility of going to that struggle perspective, and of feeling those angst ridden feelings. In this same moment, I just let it go, focused on what I wanted, on my intentions, and called them again. They looked up and then ran right over to me. Good Dogs! Way to teach Kristen to let go of struggle! Here, have a biscuit. <g>
Next, a situation came up where we were going to have to juggle a few bills and again, I felt the potential to start feeling frustration and angst. It was pointless. I just let it go. I stepped out of NEEDING it to be a certain way, and then allowed all the pieces to flow together as they needed to. I felt like I was getting a much clearer perspective, once again.
I remembered feeling this sense of clarity in many other areas of my life, areas where I had been able to create what I wanted rather effortlessly. I hardly ever got upset at all, knowing that everything would work out just fine, but only in areas where I didn’t get hung up in the struggle of getting what I wanted. In many “spirituality” circles, this is called, “being overly ego-identified” or something like that. Now it suddenly gets confusing – are we supposed to NOT want things? Are we supposed to just allow whatever the universe wants to hand us? Aren’t we conscious creators here?
This is where Abraham’s example of the cookie counter comes into play. The idea is that you simply choose what you want, like a chocolate chip cookie, without struggling against the fact that there’s oatmeal raisin cookies sitting there too! Why struggle against the oatmeal raisin? Of course, releasing our emotional attachment to the damn oatmeal raisin cookies can be a lot more “challenging” than a silly cookie analogy can make it sound, but it really IS that simple in idea.
I had a lot of my identity caught up in the feelings of fighting, struggle, and frustration. Not because I liked feeling them, but basically because I had imprinted myself with these patterns from the adults or authority figures around me while I was growing up. I don’t remember anyone interacting with money WITHOUT these beliefs and feelings of struggle and lack, and suggesting anything to the contrary wasn’t okay at the very least, and was irresponsible and WAY too airy-fairy to be taken seriously. I learned there was only one way to be.
Tied up with this identification with struggle however, there were certain kudos. The biggest one being that I could see an entire society out there that felt the same way – people with which I could bond and create a feeling of community with. How many of us joke about having to go to work on Mondays even when we don’t want to? How many of us make fun of those who seem to have lots of money and assume they have it EASY while the rest of us are struggling? How many millionaires are as universally beloved as Mother Theresa, even if they do all kinds of charity work? And it’s not just with money, but with ANY kind of struggle. I had learned to fit into a society that was based on struggle – it seemed more important at the time to be connected with others than with myself, especially when my ideas didn’t involve struggle, but creation. I succumbed, and, in certain areas, left my self at the door and donned this persona.
Back to the email lists. I found myself reluctant to leave. This didn’t make sense to me since I didn’t really enjoy any of the messages anyway, so I looked at my beliefs. If I left, then what? I’d be alone! That was another ‘fear’ I had accepted – that I can’t do it all by myself, that I NEEDED other people, and therefore had to stay where they were in order to be connected instead of becoming an island of Kristen. An island where I knew what WAS, and knew who I was, but didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. I found myself tempted to go back, tempted to respond. But I didn’t.
When I unsubscribed from those lists, it was about 24 hours before a new list was started, with many old friends, who seemed to have come to many of the same conclusions I had about struggle and debating, what one clever friend called the “offending and defending” attitude. I just had to let go of the past and take a moment to turn around, to see the future staring me in the face. Alone? Right! Fears are SO silly sometimes.
Then I had to deal with the judgments I had internalized about this clearer, nondualistic perspective. “You are emotionally distant.” “What, do you think you’re BETTER than others because you claim you don’t feel attracted to the struggles anymore?” “Aren’t we just a little pretentious, she who sits on her high chair above the normal humans.” Etc. One thing I realized that while I definitely still experienced my emotions, for instance, feeling good when I resonated with someone’s words or expression, and feeling ‘off’ when I didn’t, I was no longer identifying myself with these emotions, simply FEELING them and letting them go. But wasn’t this DUALITY still? Wasn’t this a conflict? I’d have to say no. Abraham uses the word “contrast” to describe differences, but sees no reason there must be conflict. At first, it feels a LITTLE artificial when you start NOT reacting to things like you used to. Like in that moment where I stepped out of my angry feelings about the dogs ignoring me.
Seems I had discovered that being in CONTROL of your emotions isn’t at all the same as REPRESSING them. I had made no such distinction when I was growing up. I had internalized a judgment that my clear, nondualistic approach wasn’t “normal” here.
Which brings me back to the whole point and title of this article. What exactly does it mean to be human? We’ve each got our own definitions, of course. But I’d like to offer the idea that “being human” is NOT synonymous with struggle. As a writer, I mulled this one over a lot – how can you have a good story without any struggle? Where’s the plot? Then I flashed on a science fiction book I read in college – Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke. In a near future earth, an object/spaceship is discovered on a trajectory that brings it close to earth for a few months and they launch a ship to intercept and study it. Most of the book was about the adventure of discovery – the characters working together, each in their own way, to get to the bottom of the mystery of the things inside this ship. Well, I read the book in just a few hours, couldn’t put it down. I was spell bound.
The characters hadn’t been struggling against each other at all. Sure, you COULD say they were struggling to uncover a mystery, but even so, that’s a struggle FOR, almost like the struggle of birth, not a struggle AGAINST. How many babies would be born if, in their effort to come out into the world, they were struggling against an equal but opposite force? Lots of energy would be exchanged and muscles built, but no birth.
Will humanity cease to exist when there’s no longer anything to struggle against? Not at all. “Humanity” will become something new altogether. Humanity – sure we experience contrast! Sure we have opinions and desires – it still matters to me what color shirt I want to put on in the morning. I still don’t like asparagus. I still like snowy weather. What the principles of reality creation have helped me do is step out of the duality so that I can clearly and freely choose what I want to experience, instead of putting my energy into an endless tug-of-war with other people and mass or default beliefs.
Maybe Kirk WAS right about Spock when he spoke during Spock’s funeral at the end of the Star Trek: Wrath of Khan movie. “Of all the souls I have encountered, his was the most… human.” Kristen the Star Trek geek pushes up her glasses and asks, “Hey Shatner, what the heck did Kirk mean by “human” in the funeral scene in the second movie? Did you mean Spock was human because of his apparently dualistic nature or because of his ability to be clear and logical? Or did you mean human in that he continually tried to repress his emotions in the original series even though he was only half Vulcan? Or did you mean human in that he chose what he wanted to do and didn’t struggle against himself because of fear?”
So, what does it mean to be human? Why limit the definition only to the past? Surely we haven’t run out of mysteries?! Is there nothing for “humanity” to BECOME?? I say, to borrow the Doritos advertising slogan of the century, “Crunch all you want – we’ll make more.”
©1999, Kristen Fox. Printed in the December 1999 – January 2000 Issue of the online Conscious Creation Journal. http://www.consciouscreation.com/ (Feel free to duplicate this column for personal use – please include this copyright notice.)
Kristen Fox is an Applicational Theorist- she “discovers” theories and then applies them to her life to see how they “work” in physical reality. Kristen also has a monthly column called The Art of Conscious Creation, in the midwestern new age newspaper called The Edge. You can visit her homepage and other projects at http://www.consciouscreation.com/