What can we do about dogmatic trance?
If dogma is practically a reflex, is change even possible?
I could say HAVE HOPE. CHANGE IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE. And you could believe me because I’m super spiritual or whatever. But enough of that, yeah?
Wouldn’t it be comfortable if we could be certain that change is possible? It would be worth doing if we were guaranteed to succeed, yeah? I’ll vote if I can convince myself my candidate will win. If it seems scary and uncertain, then better to insist that voting is meaningless. Certainty or doom!
The way we break the shackles of doom and dogma is to cease in constantly grasping for certainty and comfort. Instead, consciously choose to take action in full doubt and uncertainty. Push nothing of yourself out of view.
Witness your doubt. Witness your courage. They do not cancel each other out. You are vast inside. There is room for all of your feelings, all of your identities, all of your states of beings, all of your ideas.
If we can’t find a way for uncertainty and certainty to coexist in our hearts, without constantly trying to dominate one another, without constantly trying to decide which one is True -- how will we learn to coexist in our outer world, with the rest of humankind and all of its diverse spirits and ideas?
If we constantly take the side of certainty, how will we feel about people who cause us doubt, either by the questions they ask or even just by virtue of who they are? If we hate feeling out of control and uncertain, how will we feel about those inspire our uncertainty?
Decide that change is worth working for whether it’s possible or not, whether you see it in your lifetime or not. You do not have to know the results to choose to act. You don’t have to be the athlete telling the reporter before the game: “We’re going to crush them. I KNOW we will win.”
Even in supposedly open-minded, modern spiritual movements we find Dogma:
Stop negative thinking. Learn to eliminate doubt and negativity and become a True agent of the Light. Negative thoughts will prevent you from fulfilling your mission. Suppress them by repeating this affirmation. If you have negative thoughts you will have a negative life.
Is that okay, because the affirmation is positive? I know I’ll win! I know I’ll win!
But we just said, every group thinks their dogma is positive.
The quality of the content is subjective. And you’d be surprised how many people end up terrified and in crisis when their positive affirmations aren’t working. But why were we so attached to the idea that they would?
Well, we read it in a book, an authority. The book said it was so. I wanted it to be true, I wanted to feel safe and certain.
We who are fortunate enough to not be embroiled in extreme, hateful dogmatic trance have a duty. We need to work hard to find another way. If we can recognize the seemingly innocuous dogmatic trances around us and free ourselves of their traps, then there is hope for all the people enslaved to more destructive spirits.
If we can realize that just because we experience love and positivity, that this doesn’t mean we are free. People trapped in dogmatic trance can experience love and positivity.
We need freedom.
If we are seeking freedom the answer may well lie not in avoiding this innate power of the human mind that is called trance, but in engaging it even more intentionally. Engaging it by our will. Learning to enter and exit by will. Learning to initiate it and break it. Being able to smell the spirit of Trance from a mile away.
I already said, but I’m going to do it one more time. Those seeking the power of trance are often drawn to trance-inducing plants and synthetic compounds. A trance induced chemically teaches us how to surrender to a mind-altering process, that once initiated, cannot be derailed until it has run its course. Surrender contains powerful wisdom.
But it does not teach us how to enter and end trance by our will, such that when faced with an abusive or dogmatic trance, when faced with a world filled to the brim with abusive trances, we have the ability to free ourselves instead of surrendering.
Seek a meaning for your life that is deeper than the one you now possess, whether you find it or not. And if you find it, smile, and then search for a meaning that is deeper still. Don’t bother getting comfortable, keep going and keep growing.
Instead of looking for companions of LIKE-MIND, look for companions of LIKE-ACTION, and LIKE-HUNGER. Let your differences of mind and spirit provoke uncertainty in each other. Uncertainty is essential for our perspective to evolve. Willingly engage with people who confuse and surprise you. Willing engage with the part of yourself that confuses and surprises you.
New perspectives don’t always strike like lightning, often they emerge from a solid period of wandering, lost in the woods.
In short: Learn trance. Fuck dogma.
Let’s recap: The Mechanics of Trance.