Thursday, February 6, 2020


I am always looking at what I am looking with.

I heard that phrase for the first-time decades ago. After pondering it for months I thought I knew what it meant. After grappling with it for years I realized I did not know what it meant. And all these decades later I still dance with what I suspect is one of the most confounding and yet liberating notions that I have ever heard.

I am always looking at what I am looking with.

We as human beings are emotionally imprinted and carefully programmed and conditioned. We are not responsible for these imprints or filters.

We are, however, responsible TO them.

Human consciousness evolves via the way we relate to our imprinting, programming, conditioning. We are here, in part, to transcend the limitations of our tribal paradigms. We do not do this by getting rid of them. We do this by relating differently to them. We do this be awakening to the fact that these early imprints and programs are running the show we call me. We live largely on the autopilot of reaction until the pain of this reactivity begins to shake us and awaken us.

I am always looking at what I am looking with.

What we generally call reality is really a filter we are looking through. There is a constant commentary, narrative going on as we mentally label and assess whatever we are looking at. A process of constant evaluation is always going on. We look at, we evaluate, and then our emotional body mirrors the felt-equivalent of that evaluation.

This is not a problem.

The problem lies in that we believe our evaluations.

The problem and the suffering lie in that we forget that we are always looking at what we are looking with.

In speaking for myself I am dedicated to awakening to the fact that I am the one narrating my experience. I am the one responsible for my inner atmosphere and experience. I am the one that decides to momently awaken to the power of interpretation and to the subsequent contribution I am always making.

There are many things I find disturbing about our culture, our country, our world, and the way in which human beings treat each other. I feel the equivalent of value-violation daily. I know that I could choose to scream at those current appearances and spend much of my days in angry reactivity. And I know that I would be contributing to the problems I find disturbing.

I am always looking at what I am looking with.

Though each of us are carefully imprinted, programmed, and conditioned we are also beings of free will and choice. This is so by virtue of our creation. As we awaken and evolve choice becomes more and more available. Automatic reactivity softens as the neo-brain slowly takes authority over the lizard. We begin to find that there is always something greater than the tribal paradigm. There is something transcendent of the old programming. There is a Power within us all that can use the disturbance rather than being used by it.

I am always looking at what I am looking with.

The lizard part of us is always on the lookout for what is wrong. For what is threatening. For what insults or diminishes the me. It is always seeking an enemy, always poised in fight or flight.

The invitation of an awakened consciousness is to internally dwell in a place that is aware and accepting of this circuitry yet is also choosing to wakefully relate to inner-reacting and unconscious acting out. An awakened consciousness responds rather than reacts. It is open and available to transmute the triggers. To bring presence to the programming. To contain the conditioning.

This is possible once we realize that we ARE what is looking, not what we are looking at.

When I am awake to what is looking, I gaze in compassionate response.

When I am awake to what is looking, I am aware that everything I am seeing is an out picturing of individual and collective consciousness. It is all artifact of critical mass core belief. Though often tragic in its effects it is still potential awaiting activation.

And that is where I come in.

I am always looking at what I am looking with.

The way I choose to look at what I am seeing either perpetuates of transforms that which I am seeing. If I choose to look at and react to things as fixed realities to be believed and conquered, I relegate my power to the externals. If I choose to look out from a place of contemplation and compassion that way of seeing has a transformative effect on what I am looking at.

When I am unconscious, I am in reaction. When I am conscious, I am in response.

The choice is up to me.

How I see what I see isn’t about it. It is about me.

For you see, I am always looking at what I am looking with.