That Which Makes You Blind
The second EAP Principle states that you can’t change what you can’t see. This would imply that there must be something that blocks one’s view, which inhibits change. This notion is intrinsic to many of the great religions. Buddha calls this blindness ‘ the three poisons’ because of its ability to cause sickness and disease. Jesus, in his usual manner, resorts to a parable to convey his message. In the Parable of the Sower he uses a farming metaphor to depict the same blocks that Buddha uses. Jesus wanted his message to be clear, since he went onto say that if people could hear with their ears, see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, he would heal them. Healing is another word for change.
What is Awareness?
The reference to ‘seeing’ is representative of the state of being aware. Awareness is mindfulness enmeshed with compassion. Mindfulness is when we remain the observer using our senses. Awareness is when we remain the observer using the soul’s senses. With the next three articles I will be exploring these three blocks to awareness that result in our suffering. Suffering implies a burden carried. It is one thing to experience pain, it is another thing to put up with the pain. It is that ‘putting up with’ that turns pain into suffering. There are essentially three forms to our suffering, and these are the evidence of the three poisons that Buddha referred to.
Forms of Suffering
The first form of suffering arises from of ignorance. This is being unaware of what causes the suffering and will see the sufferer resort to finding a remedy or treatment for the pain. The second form of suffering is associated with the pain experienced when changing one’s approach to life. This type of suffering manifests through avoidance, knowing what needs to be done but failing to do it. In avoidance, people need distractions from the obvious need to change and often develop addictions to avoid the pain. The third type is suffering sees people trying to be free of their suffering and achieving it for a time, but finding themselves constantly back in the middle of it time and again. This is indicative of attachment or being attached. These people need a midwife, someone who understands the nature of pain but can guide them through seeing its value and create a vision of what exists through the other side of suffering. They often mix gurus up with midwives.
In the first article I will explain the nature of ignorance and how, as a block to listening, it stops change. The majority of the population live their lives in a state of ignorance, functioning subconsciously from their familial and cultural programming. I will also introduce the the remedy for ignorance – confession (being honest) and expanding knowledge (being informed). In the second article I will describe the state of avoidance and how it maintains your suffering. A good example of this are people who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and who do nothing to manage it. In fact much of our ‘lifestyle diseases’ can be attributed to this state of blocked listening. I will explore the remedy for avoidance – being strategic, having a clear strategy for adopting a more supportive approach to life. In the third article I reveal the state of attachment and how unsustainable values keep undermining sustainable change. So many people who have genuinely sought change find themselves in this position, trying but failing. They’ve tried a lot of things and they help for a while, but it wasn’t lasting. The remedy for this block to listening requires a shift in values, which embraces the awareness of others, more commonly known as service.
Take a Moment to Consider
Are there areas in your life where you are still suffering – relationships with family and friends, poor work/life balance, financial burdens, health issues? What have you done to resolve them in the past and why do you think you they remain unresolved? Do you fit into one of the three categories of suffering and their associated blocks to listening (being aware)?
This Weeks Video
Read More From This Series
Read About The Other EAP Principles
Having completed the Enhances Awareness Program one of our clients had this to say, “I am in a very good space thanks to you and Lynne and the EAP course I did. I have experienced the spirit and purpose you talk of for the last few months and it’s lifted my optimism and belief in myself no end.” Esther NZ