The Difference Between Being And Doing Nothing is Thoughtware
We do not interact with the world as it is.
We interact with the world through what we could call worldviews, perspectives, cultural images, etc… In the context of Possibility Management, we call these perspectives ‘thoughtmaps’. The set of thoughtmaps that you use to interact with the world is your ‘thoughtware’. Exactly like you would interact with your computer through software, you interact with the world through thoughtware. Just like the software on your computer, your thoughtware can be upgraded. If you have not upgraded your thoughtware for a while, maybe you can upgrade it now. This is amazing news.
We have thoughtware for just about everything in our lives. I want to talk about one particular piece of thoughtware right now, the thoughtware about ‘Taking Action’.
In modern culture, the thoughtware about ‘Taking Action’ is directly connected to the sensation of having to ‘Do’ something. We assume that to ‘Take Action’ we must do something. That is our way of approaching the problem called ‘Taking Action’.
The industrial thoughtware of modern culture hammers in us that we must use our time to ‘Do Something’, and that if we are ‘Doing Nothing’ then we are a burden for society, we are not contribution to the economy, and we are not worth being taken care of by the nation-state. In Standard Human Intelligence Thoughtware (S.H.I.T.), ‘Doing Nothing’ has been equated with ‘Bad’, and ‘Doing Something’ (or at least acting as if you are ‘Doing Something’) has been equated with ‘Good’. The more you ‘Do’, the more you are valued as a human being.
Perhaps you have occasionally observed yourself following an urge to ‘Take Action’ for what might seem like ‘Good Intentions’, for example, to help your community, the Planet, your children, to shift out of modern culture’s crazy patriarchal empire towards some kind of sustainable or regenerative culture? (http://patriarchy.strikingly.com). Your thoughtware gets hold of the urge to ‘Take Action’ and automatic concludes that you must ‘Do Something’. For example, you might leap to conclusions such as, “I have to meet with people, create a project, raise money, translate this book, create a center…” and so on.
After following your various impulses to ‘Do Something’ for awhile, perhaps you and your team might be finding yourselves exhausted, maybe even burned out. Even after all of your combined efforts to ‘Do Something’, nothing has actually changed for the better in your community, with your children, or for the planet. Why is this? How could this be so? This is the question that has been bothering me. Here is what I am beginning to wonder. Could it be that our urges to ‘Create Change’ automatically link up with the thoughtware to ‘Take Action’ which triggers our modern culture thoughtware inexorably to conclude ‘I have to Do Something’?
I am starting to develop a theory. It goes like this: You cannot create results that are different from modern culture if you keep using modern culture thoughtware.
This lead me to start investigating what thoughtware might be different from modern culture thoughtware. My first effort was to read Buddhist books, sit in Buddhist Monasteries. By the time I added Yoga something finally started to dawn in my awareness! These Oriental philosophies seem to be begging us born-and-bred Westerners to make the distinction between ‘Being’ and ‘Doing’.
But here is where I got confused. My thoughtware automatically connected ‘Being’ with ‘Doing Nothing’, and I already knew that ‘Nothing’ is a terribly ‘Bad’ thing to ‘Do’. In fact, I could not ‘Do’ ‘Nothing’ because I could not figure out what the ‘Action’ part of ‘Doing Nothing’ was. I did not know what to ‘Do’ to ‘Be’ that was also not ‘Bad’.
To resolve this dangerous paradox (dangerous because if I am caught ‘Doing Nothing’ I might be rejected by my family or friend, perhaps also from society, then I might die…). I would wrap my experiments in the acceptable activity of ‘Doing’ seminars. I would go meditate, be in silent retreat. Then I could bypass the busyness of incessant appointments or socially pressured commitments to ‘Do’ things in an acceptable way. Still I noticed that my urge to be ‘Good’ and to ‘Take Action’ did not vanish. It persisted in pushing me to keep creating, to keep trying to change things, to move things around, to use all the ideas that would come to me.
A doorway opened when I added a further distinction to my thoughtware. The distinction is: “When you center yourself in Being, the Doing happens all by itself.” This led me to realize that ‘Being’ and ‘Doing Nothing’ are behaviors that come from two different universes! Two completely separated contexts!
Both the ‘Good Doing’ thing, and the lazy, disrespectful ‘Bad Doing Nothing’ thing emerge from modern culture’s “I think, therefore I am” (Rousseau) thoughtware, centered exclusively on the mind. The guilt is horrendous whenever I would not follow the voices in my head commanding, “You should do this and that,” or paradoxically, “You should not do anything for such amount of time because you deserve it”. These authoritarian voices moved me here and there my whole day through.
Finally in Expand The Box training I learned an effective way to make dust out of those exhausting voices. I learned to use my Voice Blaster. Everyone has one. You get it when you are born. If you have not been using your Voice Blaster it is merely because no one told you how to use it. Your Voice Blaster is slid into your belt behind your back. I immediately fell in love with my Voice Blaster because the voices in my head are not my voice! Each time I heard the manipulative inner-praising, the guilt-laden commands to ‘Do Something’, or the inner voices criticizing me for not ‘Doing Something’ I would whip out my Voice Blaster and BLAMMO!!! I would just shoot out of the air. Not shooting these voices would be like letting a vampire suck my life-energy out of my neck. If you want to know more about how to heal from vampire voices that are eating your life energy, please go to http://voiceblaster.strikingly.com. It says that the only conversation to have with voices in your head is “BANG!”
After persistently shooting any vampire voice that came around me for a few months I started experiencing myself moving from a different place of origin than from voices in my mind. I had sensations that I was not doing anything, yet things still happened. It was as if my Bright Principles were moving me. The action was coming from a different point of origin. To put it in words the action seemed to come from Being Present. I would keep breathing to stay in my physical body rather than the whirlwind of thoughts, and I could sense myself Being Grounded into Gaia, Being Centered in my Being, Being Present with myself as I am, Being Present with someone else as they are, Being in a minimized NOW where there are no stories. I was totally surprised to experience that I could stop thinking and I did not die!
‘Taking Action’ when I am centered in ‘Being’ can look very different from what my mind had in mind. I would curiously find myself writing new lyrics to well-known tunes, seemingly for now reason, yet the reason becomes obvious through the results of following the ‘Action of Being’. I would find myself walking down a different street than I usually took and encountering unexpectedly beneficial coincidences, nothing I could have planned or figured out with my mind. I even find myself writing an unexpected article about Being…
Gradually I trusted to weird sensations when the ‘Action’ part of ‘Being’ happens all by itself. I no longer had to coerce myself with imperative voices “You must!” or “You cannot!” Miraculously, ‘Doing from Being’ was giving me more energy than it took away. My ‘Being’ was actually nurtured by it in a kind of energetic body ecstasy.
It started seeming to me that the Universe’s point of origin is ‘Being’. When I could put my own point of origin in Being, then it felt like I was connected deep into the Universe and its flow. If I could avoid trying to force a conceptual time-plan on the Universe then it would come along at its own timing and carry me.
My experiments implementing this practice of centering myself in ‘Being’ instead of torturing myself with the modern culture thoughtware of ‘Doing/Doing Nothing’ is opening up more and more doorways for me in my daily life and work. The most accurate way I’ve found to describe it these days is ‘Being Naked Without A Plan’.
Here is how you can start experimenting with this yourself. Lock away one day each week in your calendar as a ‘Naked Without A Plan Day’ where you refuse to commit to any appointment or deadline. Not when you are supposed to wake up. Not when you are supposed to go to bed, or with whom. Nothing is supposed to happen that day, or not happen. You can do this experiment alone or with another person. If you experiment in the company of another person, I strongly recommend that you first learn together how to ‘Negotiate 5 Body Intimacy Journeys’ (http://intimacyjourneyers.strikingly.com/).
The experiment starts when you wake up. You are in bed and you know this is the day of your experiment. Your mind is maybe already active with modern culture thoughtware thoughts like, “I have to do my yoga. I need to drink my coffee before then. I have to answer Joe and Mary. The garden needs to be watered. I have to wash the windows. Look how dirty they are…” On and on and on and on… Stop it! Don’t stop it by resisting ‘Doing’. Stop it by sensuously experimenting with totally other things. Here are some suggestions.
Lie in bed and watch the highway full of thoughts going by in your mind. The mind’s job is to supply you with and endless stream of meaningless thoughts. The mind is just doing it job. Let it do its job. You don’t have to ‘Do’ anything about it!
Maybe you are unconsciously reaching for your phone like an addict reaches for his needle. Don’t even care about your phone. Turn it off the night before. Put it in a drawer. Breathe. Find your ‘Energetic Center’ and use your intention to place your ‘Energetic Center’ on your ‘Physical Center’ and feel the joys of ‘Being Centered’. (For more clarity about ‘Centering’ check out http://becomecentered.strikingly.com).
Declare your ‘Grounding Cord’, a flexible bond that connects you from your ‘Center’ to the ‘Center’ of the Earth. Your ‘Grounding Cord’ has a particular color that may change from day to day. Your ‘Grounding Cord’ is a two-way connecting. Lie there and clearly ask Gaia, “What do you have for me today?” Then listen with receptive openness for a while and sense whatever She sends you. Maybe you will set out on an adventure for the rest of the day!
Find and hold on to your ‘Possibility Stone’ (http://possibilitystone.strikingly.com). And wait. Only move when you are moved by something other than a reason or a thought. It might take minutes, maybe hours. Do not move until you authentically move yourself. This is the experiment.
When your ‘Being’ moves you, follow where the movement leads. Do not try to understand or to make sense of it. Do not imagine trying to be able to explain yourself to anyone. Go through your entire day in this experimental and experiential mode. Each time your mind tries to make you see reason or tells you that you ‘Should Do’ this or ‘Should Not Do’ that, simply pause. Notice. Breathe. Center yourself. Ground yourself. Only move again when you are back being you navigating with impulses that do not come from your old habitual thoughtware.
By upgrading my thoughtware I have become a different person. By changing myself, I have changed the world.
All the best of High-Level Fun,