In the previous post, we examined what it is to become a renegade through a shift in perspective and perception. We examined the primary cause of suffering, which is mistaking a narrative for a fact. This primary misapprehension births all other beliefs and ideas that lead to a contraction of the energy body. This, in turn, leads to more narrative about the feelings, giving rise to more suffering.
It's a vicious cycle.
In this series, we will examine a whole host of misapprehensions that I'm calling masquerades. A masquerade is a false show or a pretense, and often, even the masquerader is unaware of the pretense since s/he believes it to be real and true.
In some traditions, this inadvertent masquerading is called "near enemies," which refers to qualities or mental states that closely resemble desirable or virtuous qualities but are actually subtle forms of their opposites. These near enemies can be misleading and lead us astray if not recognized.
In The Renegade Method™ algorithmic self-inquiry, we begin with exploring the cause of our discomfort at any given moment:
What is the data versus the narrative?
While this distinction seems pretty clear when we are analyzing here in an impersonal way, it gets murky as we become entangled with the emotional, psychological and mental implications associated with the data. In fact, the degree of entanglement (and therefore, the lack of clarity) is directly proportional to how personal the issue is.
The degree of entanglement (and therefore, the lack of clarity) and lack of distinction between data and narrative is directly proportional to how personal the issue is.
The Great Masquerade
Nearly universally and continually, we mistake our narrative for data. And as soon as we pick up one narrative, other sub-threads of the narrative begin to weave around what appears to be sound, true and factual. Before long, we are so deeply embedded and entrenched in the fabric of the narrative that the original event or encounter is distorted. The story-fabric becomes our living reality where we begin to believe the what, how and why of the inciting event.
In other words, the narrative overshadows, overpowers and diminishes the data in our own perspective. This is why each of us remembers common events differently - each of us has seared into memory how we interpreted the data, and not how things actually unfolded.
Why we interpret things the way we do is the crux of the matter, and in this algorithm, we get to it systematically and holistically - not merely mentally or logically. As we all know well, logic can never satisfactorily resolve emotional issues. A different approach is needed...
However, before we even get to an approach, we must understand the real source of our suffering.
It's never the data - if we can perceive events and circumstances as such. It's the story-telling about the data, which poses as facts.
Nearly universally and continually, we mistake our narrative for data.
The Many Facets of the Narrative
Below are some general distinctions between data and narrative. In general, data = experience = the sensations of the senses. In the purest sense, data is without words or thought and occurs as a bodily experience.
You hear a sound, see a form, etc and register it without words. If we can describe data in its purest form, it would only be in terms of sensations and not how they impact us. Strictly speaking, how anything impacts us has nothing to do with the event and everything to do with our pre-existing concepts, ideas and beliefs about how things should be.
Realm of sensations
Ex: His voice was loud
Realm of thought/emotion
Ex: He was angry
Ex: He spoke hurriedly
Ex: He blabbered because he was nervous
Lack of assumption
Ex: He was pacing
Ex: He was anxious/stressed
Registration of event
Ex: My heart is racing
Assigning meaning to event
Ex: I'm stressed out
Ex: I'm ok with this sensation of heart racing
Ex: I need this to stop now
Lack of Projection
Ex: I'm experiencing discomfort
Ex: He is the reason for my discomfort
Lack of (self) pity or blame
Ex: What's this feeling all about?
Internal Projection as (self) pity or blame
Ex: I'm such a loser. I suck, I deserve it
Ex: It's raining today
What Should Be
Ex: I hate it when it rains in summer
Where is the Love?
One question that comes up often with a description of data is that it is too sterile, "But where is the love, the juice, the fuel of emotion?"
Well, as anyone doing this work knows, the process of allowing data to be as is without constantly adding our interpretation to it is intensely joyful and orgasmic.
This is because the energy that was being expended in the weaving of the story-fabric and becoming entrapped in its folds becomes available to experience life in an increasingly pure and incorruptible fashion. Getting out of our heads with our penchant for thinking, analyzing, assigning meaning, making assumptions and presumptions, projecting to others or resorting to self-pity or self-blame is not easy.
Yet, it can be learned.
The energy and beauty gained in the practice of sticking to the data is the sweet practice of surrendering to the marvel and beauty of life as it unfolds in the here and now. This energy becomes available for creative endeavors, for love, laughter and exploration of life in all new ways.
The energy and beauty gained in the practice of sticking to the data is the sweet practice of surrendering to the marvel and beauty of life as it unfolds in the here and now.
You become a renegade when you begin to recognize the narrative, the great masquerade.