To take in all that is happening – including my reactions to what is happening (like, dislike, irritation, impatience, anger, sadness, hurt, joy, elation, the ego wanting recognition, etc. etc.) WITHOUT any reaction to my reactions – that is the POINT OF SEVERANCE. At that point I refrain from feeding the age-old dynamic of offend-defend, which is the vrtti-vortex dynamic. This dynamic is our bondage.
I withhold my adherence to the story of the past. Then I SEE the whole business because I am not engaged in it and have no stock in it. Having my agenda about what is happening, having stock in a certain outcome distorts my perception and gives not only my perception a direction, a spin, but also fuels my attraction to or refusal of certain aspects of ‘what it’. Therefore what I perceive is an illusion, skewed by my reaction to what is happening.
Choiceless awareness is the term that K uses to designate this point of severance from the past. So I live my life as always with the one difference: I stay awake to the point where it has been my habit (and all of humanity’s) to be triggered by a happening, a situation, and feel irritation, which is a very destructive energy. My habit has been to allow this irritation energy to dominate my system and determine my behavior and my actions. Seeing this point, where the irritation energy would have its way and conjure up before my inner eye an image that justifies my action of speaking angrily, or of being passive aggressive, is the point of severance. I then step on the clutch, figuratively speaking, and disengage.
Then I look at my reaction to the situation, do not deny it, feel it and watch it. Because I have emotionally and mentally divorced myself from the situation by SEEING the destructiveness and the whole business of how thought built the image that “justifies” me acting out of irritation – “this is choiceless awareness, because the thought process, which in its essence is choosing, is silent. This is what it means to be in the full present, and the past is absent.” (see related article: The Wake of the Ship )
To say that I divorce myself from the situation is not really correct. In reality I am more in touch with the situation than before, because the image of why I should react with the destructive emotion of irritation actually creates a gap, an interval between my system and the true perception of ‘what is’ free of the emotionally-charged image which interprets the situation very selectively. The image is an abstraction and leaves out many aspects of the situation, as well as the ‘bigger picture’ within which the situation occurs.
This ‘bigger picture’ is the actuality that I AM my reactions, I AM also the entire situation, and I AM every element of the situation, including all persons involved. Seeing this, I get how ridiculous it is for me to want my irritation to have free rein and hurt the ‘others’ in the situation. Seeing how treacherous the image is, I refrain from giving the image credibility simply because I now see that it is a lie.
The exploration continues…