Living From The Inside Out

by Frank Dobner
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I was walking the path along the Fox River, near my house just recently. I stopped when I noticed a stretch of the path where the surface of the asphalt was getting punctured by plants growing from underneath. These plants, both indifferent and impersonal to this intrusion, were about to spoil the surface of perfectly good asphalt. This seemed to be a stretch of the path where the asphalt was new or maybe the plants very hearty, but apparently chosen carefully.
All my life, I have been amazed at the miracle of  a “frail” plant  punching through 3 or 4 inches of stubborn asphalt just to find the sky. A plant appears to be such a delicate thing. If you wanted to, you could probably easily pull this plant (weed, really) out by the roots with one hand. Yet, it has the wherewithal to decide that it will blossom despite this slight surface obstruction.
Yet that is indeed the way we grow. A lot of times, we think  that we do things because it is the thing to do, for financial gain, to impress someone, or maybe do the American way. The fact is that all life grows outward. It is actually not even
growing to anything. It is growing towards itself.
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In the movie “The Matrix,” Neo….Mr. Anderson (cue, deep slow agent voice) has the gnawing feeling of something big in him that is just not happening. He knows that there is something wrong. He is troubled and searching. When offered the blue pill, he declines it in favor of finding out the chance of something through the red pill about the Matrix. His only  promise, was as Morpheus warns Neo “Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”
I am not going to tell you a lot of patty-cake spirituality stuff. Spirituality is not out there! It is real and it is “in here.” The good news, is that all suffering is good. As Buddha states, all the world is suffering. Why is that good? Because suffering is nothing but information. It is emotional information created from your misperception about who you think you are. After Neo comes into his own, he looks back and realizes the value of angst and becomes “The One.”
I think it is really interesting to know in what succession all of this happens. The path of the realization of who you are does not come from what you think you are. At least not originally. The path of knowing happens sort of like I show in the picture I created and show here. BeingFeelingThinking-296x300
Being – First you just really are something incredible. You may be thinking that I am talkin about your body right now, correct?  Well I actually mean the whole thing, including your body. For most people, your body, your possessions and the people in your “life” are THE  prima facie evidence for your life.  But I am talking about the “iceberg you” below the surface. This is the root of who you are, that is real life. The root that says, “I am going through asphalt today.” It is the information that is expressed through you, without your permission. The plant does not get a choice, it is under strict orders. It is sort of like on-board system software that runs your hardware and appears unchangeable by you, the user. We are little more lucky than the plant, as I will explain.
Feeling – evolutionarily speaking, feeling is the system that allows us to process a multitude of data in a sort of summary fashion. Like a gazelle out on the savanah that can process thousands of blades of moving grass and can detect immediately that a specific type of movement is indeed a lion in tall grass and not just the wind blowing.
The problem with feeling for us is that our emotions are the product of a long evolutionary progression that has not yet caught up with our situation yet. Unfortunately for us, our environment has changed quickly. We are still reacting in a “fight or flight” response to information that mimics the physical reality that we once lived in.
For example, why should you really be afraid of making cold calls to make a sale to prospective customers? They are either going to say “yes”, “no” and possible just hang-up. You are not going to get bit by an animal or get clubbed by another human being, usually. Your emotions are treating the situation of a cold call as a synthetic stimulus that mimics a true and present danger that was true at one point in history, but is now, long gone.  Hint – This is where thinking can be your friend.
Thinking – the intellectual mind is very late in coming in human evolution. That is because, in relation to feeling, we actually think very slowly. However thinking actually has the direct ability to change things in our environment and can actually change feeling. The ego gets a bad rap these days. A Course in Miracles pejoratively labels the ego, but in fact without the ego, you may have a hard time understanding how to use a word processor for example.
It is both in thinking and feeling that we have a direct active and conscious part to play in our own individual evolution. I say evolution because your life on earth is just a segment of the life that just is and does not die, as we say here. Your life will progress with the assistance of this experience. When you encounter beliefs that are not in accordance with who you are, you will feel something vaguely dull and incorrect (just like Neo).
OK, so why I did I tell you all of this? The point of all of this is that everyday on earth is sort of a test. We are testing to see what works and does not work. We are testing different beliefs. We create thoughts from internal and external events and decide to enact them through beliefs (aka – long standing thoughts).
When your beliefs become out of step with who you are, you are misperceiving who you are. You need to change your beliefs, or suffering ensues. So you will get sent back to the endless reincarnation cycle of birth and rebirth, if you don’t do some heavy lifting. You want to cycle quickly through beliefs that are of disservice to your greatness, unless you want to spend your life as a figurative frog. Your choice….blue or red.
You can read more of Frank’s work at
frankdobner.com