Do I need to be seen?
My mother took me to a TV show where we played a mysterious game. We sat down, stood up, and circled our chairs. Someone removed a chair and, when the music stopped, all the children rushed for chairs. It took me a while to get this, and I went for the last chair – me and this other girl. So I gave it to her in a spirit of generosity, love and sisterhood. She was in and I was out. Apparently this spirit made me a loser.
I watched the game. At the end one child was lauded on stage and awarded sugar in the spotlight. She was the winner as she had grabbed all the chairs. I was watching it all with nonjudgemental 5 year old wonder; and this – repetitively – was how I was inculcated with the “need to be seen.”
We now talk about being seen like we talk about breathing. I need to be seen for who I am, we say – but who am I? Really? My persona – and this need – is mostly a jumble of programs, reactions, considerations, masks beneath masks, contradictions. Is it me? Is it what I have learnt that I ought to be?
Now I see that I took on this “need to be seen” – coz I can see that this scene is completely illusory. It’s been entrained in me, entrancing – see?
So now I’m fighting my spirit to be someone when what I really need is nourishing. Sleight of mind made me believe fame would feed me. As it apparently feeds those who are better at this game – the winners.
The drive for connection is too close to competition and therefore goes against my nourishment. I’m not nourished by grabbing chairs, certificates, snuggles or celebrating my circumstances. Not by screaming, sobbing or smearing sticky substances. No microphone opens my heart and applause, I don’t get it.
Trying to be seen in a whirled which is oblivious to what is obvious to me? That it is fakery. The only one who can truly see me is me – wanting the other to do it is futility. Truly to be seen I need to turn the gaze within me.
“Everything I had spent a lifetime identifying with as “Me” was just a fleeting object in awareness. I was – and had always been – one step removed from body, mind and world. As Jean Klein the French teacher of Advaita Vedanta observed, “If you can see it, then you cannot be it.”
“And everything is seen. The whole world of people, places, experiences, thoughts, sensations, moods, imagination, causes and effects, are just the shifting foreground.
“They are precisely what we are not.
“So I had been living back-to-front, grasping at and identifying with the very things I was not and could not be. No wonder I had suffered and felt trapped.” Mike Kewley.
So become the witness.
It is a conscious choice.
It’s not the resentful, puzzled surrender of the masses to the quotidienne life 9-5, witnessing television. It’s not striving to be a big fish in a small pond, seeking success. It is as a drop is the ocean.
Drop in. Go deep. Here. Now. Here.
Where it’s all at. Nowhere else.
No more fighting. No more striving. No more burns from exposure. Almost nothing, just dropping into nourishing.
And I don’t need to go anywhere.
I like it right here on the mountain.