Notes to No One (Part 2): Your Life Is a Labyrinth You Build as You Go
Brief writings arising out of meditation, reflection, and inner listening
Welcome to The Living Dark. I’m Matt Cardin, and this is my blog/newsletter on waking up at the intersection of creativity, writing, religion, horror, nonduality, apocalypse, dystopia, consciousness, and culture. You can subscribe by clicking this button:
For the full introduction to this four-part series, see Part 1, in which I explained how I noticed a few months ago that my Twitter presence had accidentally, over time, become a repository for brief self-notes and journal-like entries, many of them recorded after they appeared during sitting meditation. That first post contained notes from 2019 to 2021. This second one, as well as Parts 3 and 4, will contain notes from 2022, when the frequency of these things accelerated itself.
To that original introduction’s setting of the scene, I will add only this: It has seemed that the implicit impetus to share these things publicly, and to word them carefully in a way that will be meaningful and accessible not just to me but to a notional “other,” has somehow encouraged them. Having journaled in private for many years, I find this to be an odd development.
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2022 (Part One)
When you’re born, you’re placed at the center of a maze or labyrinth. Your given task and implanted desire is to find the way out. Your activity of seeking this exit is what you come to call “my life.”
But you quickly find that your very act of seeking the exit causes your life labyrinth to extend, elaborate, and complexify itself. The exit becomes ever more impossible to find in direct proportion to the extent and intensity of your searching for it.
Eventually you feel completely shut in, utterly without hope. The walls of the maze are your sensations, perceptions, thoughts, emotions, memories, imaginations, desires, fears, and relationships. The maze is the inner-outer movie you call “myself.” It seems a perfect trap.
Then one day with a shock you recognize the trick, the con, the swindle: Yes, the game as given truly is unwinnable, there really is no hope — but only on the level of the game itself. Now you see what you always missed before:
There is no labyrinth, no maze. You dreamed the whole thing into existence. You never actually went searching through endless hallways with endless turns leading to infinite dead ends. You’ve always remained right where you started.
And right where you started is right where you always wanted to go. The exit is here, not elsewhere. In fact, elsewhere is an impossibility. Here is all there is. The labyrinth dissolves. You wake up and emerge into the light of the freedom you never left.
You can know that postmodernism, specifically the Lyotardian type (“incredulity toward metanarratives”), has conquered a culture when everyone talks about narratives, both other people’s and their own. In other words, when the concept of “narrative” has gone viral and become de rigueur.
The worst thing about the shattering of attention by digital distractions is that you’re never fully present. Trying to focus on a single thing feels like missing other things, so you’re never really able to experience, enjoy, or engage with anything at all. You’re a ghost.
Interesting how nondual awakening and conspiracy theorizing run parallel. Both see absolutely everything as evidence or proof of themselves. In both the very attempt to refute serves to confirm. Only the former is true, though. Reality itself as the ultimate conspiracy.
That frequent and habitual self-punking where the authentic, restful, happy practice of remaining consciously centered in the here-now is replaced by the mental-emotional simulacrum of seeking ego peace instead of the real thing. But of course the real thing encompasses this too.
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