“The conflict about who I was, what I know to be true innately and intimately, and what I was taught to believe is the truth about the world, fractured my sense of self … i.e.: my ontological integrity. Instead of remaining secure both in who I was and how to aim myself into my future, I had conflict.”
Today I would argue that the ontological crack is really a separation between accepting direct sensory experience, and how someone has been taught (by choice or coercion). In the process of being taught they learned to think about what they experience other than as they themselves experience it directly.
We are taught to turn sensation into ideation … lived experience into abstractions and the representations we substitute for it.
We learn to “process” our experiences to project meaning onto them, not to have our experiences directly and perceive meaning based on what we experience as it emerges and unfolds before us.
In not knowing how to have the experience of our life in favor of “processing” our experience, we do not just lose touch with the direct sensation of what is happening as we experience it … we lose ourselves as well.
Mistaking ontological longing for existential longing, i.e.: mixing up your desire to know yourself as you are, with the desire to find meaning and purpose in your life, especially in your work, is common when your ontological integrity has been compromised.
Doing what you are doing and accepting it for what it is, and no more than that … i.e.: farming makes you a farmer because you are farming, not because G-d destined you to have a farmer’s soul … provides existential peace.
Today we are taught in every way that we must find our purpose to experience existential relief, substituting what we do for who we are, as the basis of our being. Depending on how you look at it this is either insanity … or what must be a leading cause of it.
A way of talking about being at and operating from your center is, “Bringing the system to rest.” Being “at rest” refers to the entirety of your experience in the world … internally, your body-mind experience, and in relation to the system that you are a part of that simultaneously contains you externally. When you are “at rest,” you are settled and at ease, without conflict, internally and externally … simply resting in a “Ready State.”
In the Ready State you can easily take action … or not … there is no hesitation or urgency to act, both are equal and remain fully available based on circumstance and choice.
The beginning point is somatic integration, becoming aware of what you are experiencing as you are experiencing it, i.e.: awareness that is sensory-based and embodied. This sounds remarkably obvious and simple, and it is once you have learned how to do it. Yet without access to the Ready State being aware of what you are experiencing, as it happens, is somewhere between unlikely and impossible.
At first I bought the theory that experiencing extreme stress as you make “progress” in your life is normal, and I thought I was sane, or at least as sane as anyone else I knew. Then I began waking up and realized I was truly living an insane life within an insane social model. When I sought relief, I found that all the ordinary physical and/or psychological medical references controlled by the insane society I was living in had to offer me were ways to modulate and cope with the “symptoms” of stress I was experiencing.
Like this, I was lost and had no easy or clear way back to sanity on my own. I was caught in the web, but I knew enough to recognize that struggling against it would only ensnare me further. While I did not have a path to freedom yet, I decided that I had to begin to make my moves within the structure of the system without attracting to much undue attention from it. From where I stood it appeared to me that “the only way out was through” … so I dove in, going deeper, becoming fully present to the insanity I was living.