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i n n o c e n c e

Regardless of what we think, feel or do, our shared reality is yet quietly there.
That is what it means to "be".
Being never changes, and so nothing is ever "happening" in reality.

Denial appears as though it is the exception.

Reality is whole and all-encompassing. Being unencumbered and singular, there is...
  • nothing to limit reality
  • nothing to bind it
  • and nothing "else" to attack it.

Conflict then, is impossible in reality, and is not part of what can be literally "known" (what we call knowing is not knowledge). One cannot know conflict in reality. On the surface, that might sound like a wonderful thing. However, "lack of conflict", which is the opposite of conflict (or a non-conflict zone adjacent to conflict), is also not present. Beyond denial's appearances, we are totally free of these "opposites pairs", along with being free of time, space, energy, matter, anything at all going on, change, choice, etc.

Denial however, starting as choice, stands out as though it were an exception. Although perceived evidence strongly suggests to us that choice is real and necessary, and that choice is producing experiential outcomes, choice is not real (i.e.-permanent and faithful).

As we look upon all that we together are, we know we are one and yet also know that our oneness is not singular according to the common understanding (as in one among many), for our oneness is found in that we are one reality sharing all that we are everywhere. Another way of saying this is that our freedom in the completeness of being one together has within it the freedom to deny that we see or know that which we look upon with whole vision. Our denial is mental in nature, for reality cannot literally be denied, set aside or seceded from. The illusion of denial is the only variable. The freedom to deny and thus create illusion cannot be removed. It is thought of as "freedom of choice". This exercise of freedom (energy by "vexation of mind", seemingly created along with "occluding structured imagery"), allows us to proclaim to ourselves that reality can be divided, providing us with the illusion that there is more than one among which to choose "this not that", saying "See? These images are proof that choosing can produce a created world and created children." This is the foundation of conflict...denial expressed as choice (as judgment).

We've been conditioned to think of denial as negative in many contexts and it is true that denial expressed as choices does result in conflict. When unduely exacerbated, denial's created apparent evidence and outcomes become seemingly painful and fatal. So it makes at least some sense that we have this view about denial. Without denial (or exercise of the freedom of choice) however, this world in any form and even the universe itself could not appear in perception as though it existed. "In reality", these do not in fact exist, but only exist within the framework built out as layers of structured denial. Denial basically works like this: We look upon the infinite whole of the reality that we are, and see and know it fully...and yet we intuitively know that we can deny this vision and mentally act out denial (as conflict which can easily get out of hand).

We might wonder why anyone would ever deny whole vision. We deny because freedom to vex our peaceful mind and to deny by choosing is integral to what we are, and because denial has a purpose. Denial, including its "children", born of choice, maligned and misunderstood...is purpose.
The freedom to deny (or the freedom of choice) is the basis of desire. Desire, when not energized, nudges the mind to investigate what denial is or could be or could look like...instead of whole vision (the serpent in the Garden of Eden). Another way of saying this is that the temptation to attempt to see more and other, and thus to occlude whole vision and effectively "look away", is present as desire, born of freedom to deny. Whole vision cannot show the answer to this because "denial of whole vision" itself, the byproduct of freedom to deny, is not part of indivisible, unchanging wholeness.

Note that whole reality and the vision of wholeness are inseparably one. When the mind is vexed, this whole vision is not literally split or separated from reality. Instead, desire is energized by vexing the mind to create a substitute for vision, which is split by the design built into choice, the mechanism of vexation.
Questions and answers are also unknown in reality. So, there is in fact, no "real" answer. Answers of any kind belong to the domain established by and as denial. Denial's unique, changing, energetic domain, and its ever-whirling questions and answers, use vexation of mind (i.e.-energy in all its forms) to produce a mental effect that seems to occlude portions of whole vision. Since whole vision cannot literally be divided into portions, denial's vision involves creating counterfeit substitute vision which does allow dividedness to seem to appear...as perception...of illusion.

Perceived illusion, the product of vexing the mind to create denial's domain, is set in place layer upon layer, structure upon structure, as complexity, or the denial of the simplicity that undivided wholeness and its real vision is. These structures are locked in place in ways that make this house of cards, built upon an illusory foundation and composed of parts, seem very real and permanent, despite the fact that it is always changing by destroying and recreating itself. The vexation-generated imagery is given preference in mind, and set in memory as the belief that these are reality. The mental act used to accomplish this is the actual denial attempt, instructing the mind to believe in and rely upon changing, volatile imagery instead of whole vision of reality.

And so we see (perceive) and experience (perceive) our universe and our world, and all its separate objects and people. Not such a bad thing really. And yet, because denial's desire-driven impetus is to divide, and thereby to create, it continues to do so in a manner which would be endless except that it has a built-in limitation. Denial can only vex and divide and create to the extent that the mind's invented, largest possible intellect structure can hold and keep track of it. When that limit is reached, there seems to be nothing else to be conquered and divided; it seems that denial has successfully shown that its creations are real, and are collectively the legitimate substitute for reality. Thinking, denial's substitute for knowing peace, proclaims its created imagery perceived in mind as reality itself, not just its substitute. The result in mind is believing strongly that the universe and world we see, and all its objects, people's physicality, and our experiences are reality. This is universally participated in, and thus cannot be simply an error, but is intentional. Denial, as response to the innate desire to see more or other, expresses as creation, structuring and seemingly solidifying multidimensional imagery, our pseudo-reality overlay superimposed on vision as its substitute.

Instance by instance, after reaching the limit to which vision can be denied and seemingly split, the interest level driven by desire wanes, as it seems to have no further purpose in terms of denying reality's vision. However, the nature of denial, as an energetic process vexing the mind, must continue to operate or its entire structure and all its creation and appearances will instantly vanish. So denial continues to deny, but since it no longer sees reality as needing to be denied, it instead denies its own creations. This occurs immediately in some respects, and yet in other broader, more complex layers, may seem to occur over very long periods of time. Just as denial has its built-in limit, so also the continuance of vexation during waning of denial's desire and interest level has a limit. That limit is reached when denial entirely completes the cycle of denying reality and then denying itself by denying its creations. This leaves the mind empty of denial's creations, at which point, by default, the mind sees wholly once again as pertains to any specific instance of denial. There are innumerable instances however, and so denial's process continues. Many have sought to move humanity toward returning "home" or entirely to this point as it were, as though that would solve the world's problems. But if it were indeed both possible and desirable to return entirely and to permanently see only wholly once again, we would have done so long ago. It is the freedom to deny vision, integral to whole vision itself, which precludes this alleged completion as the final step of the journey in any total sense. Each instance of denial has a beginning and an ending...both of which are illusion. The overall denial process did not have a literal beginning. The illusion which is denial is founded upon freedom; which itself is very real. There has always been reality and its denial...one real and one illusory, for reality always has and is whole freedom, which includes freedom to deny. Reality does nothing and does not change. Denial's created structures change endlessly and are in motion at all times in order to continue to appear. Denial, rather than simply being the bad guy because of exacerbations of conflict and resultant illusions of pain and death, is the impetus by which creation takes place, and is that which gives purpose to what we call life. Another way of saying that is that light can only shine in darkness. Light is energetic and darkness is not. Light therefore, although often regarded as "good" in the ultimate sense, is "good" only in a context of "good versus evil", the setting forth of opposites pairs as creation. One cannot banish darkness without also banishing light. Denial presents boundaries by which we can identify separateness and believe in it, as well as every nuance of differentiation, color, size, texture, etc.

A short time before the death of my father, a very religious man, he had this experience: He was sitting on the sofa, awake, and suddenly he was transported away in mind to a place of total darkness. He found it a bit frightening, and called out to "God" (according to his belief). He asked if that was how it was in the beginning, and perceived hearing the answer, "Yes". His religious training did not speak of such a place or condition, but at least in his mind, there it was anyway.

Over the years as well as during that period, my father would pray for me. I had gone down a difficult path, and eventually ended up speaking of things that did not agree with his religious training and beliefs. We would argue a bit, neither of us getting anywhere. One day he came to me and truly shocked me: He said he was praying and "God" told him I was just fine and that he need not worry about me. We never argued again. I'm sure he didn't suddenly change his beliefs, but he did begin to allow for the possibility that his training and beliefs were not entirely correct.

It is important for us to consider...that the things we learned while growing up, both religious and secular, are not necessarily true or correct as taught. Not that people should believe what I say, for these are just words on the wind, regardless of what I have to say. Still, it is worthwhile to consider pausing the sway our beliefs have in our thinking, and our activity, and becoming more willing to allow ourselves to be shown that which is always present just beyond our thoughts and actions...for that reality is the truth, far beyond what any words could ever tell.

We may well wonder then, what can we do, or what should we do, or what is possible for us to do that would truly benefit all? Fortunately, there is a good answer for that. The "answer" however, is not found in the words of what is presented (here or anywhere), for the denial tools of "words and actions in time" cannot be the remedy which we would then perceive as the solution or answer. What we can do...is nothing (from time to time). All of our actions are actually sequences of structure views within the created domain of denial, and thus actions (as denial) reinforce and use denial to create more structures. In other words...words and actions can and often do exacerbate the conflict aspect of denial and its creations.

Doing nothing is not actually the opposite of doing something, but instead is the pausing of the vexation process of denial, even if briefly and even if only partially. Doing nothing also is not a choice. Vexing the mind into the throes of denial is (innate real-) desire expressed as choice, and doing nothing is relaxing our determination to choose denial. The whole vision of reality is (seemingly) occluded by the constant energy of denial's desire-driven creating (and maintaining of its creation). Removing such vexation entirely would vanish the universe...not exactly a solution. However, reducing vexation (by pausing in "do nothing" mode) reduces the volume of creation of the appearances of dividedness, hence lessening the opportunity for conflict. I like to call this looking at the reality of self (which self is one and is all). Conflict at a level which people can handle while still maintaining a good quality of life experience is the solution.* The solution is discovered by pausing our inner activity regularly (regardless of for how long). By intentionally injecting "doing nothing" into the stream of "doing something", we remove the fuel from denial's engine just a little. We are, in effect, looking beyond what illusion would show us. As we do this regularly over time, the levels of conflict drop...here a little, there a little, until we find a level that is acceptable individually and globally.

Oh yeah...we're talking about innocence. — An aspect of vexation of mind (to deny and occlude whole vision) is an undercurrent as a sense of guilt, resulting from being responsible for the delusional aspect of illusions created, and their eventual outcome of ceasing to exist (or dying). People get sick, and die, and ultimately, it's our own doing, or rather undoing. Everything done in terms of creating must eventually be undone, for that is the design of illusion which allows it to appear by cycles of energetic distraction. Everything that has a beginning, by its temporal design, also has an ending. Rather than this guilt being intense feelings as we're accustomed to thinking of with regard to guilt, the guiltiness I'm referring to here is generalized across everything and everyone. When exacerbated however, it becomes painfully problematic. As cycles of what we've come to call living produce evidence of coming full circle, and as we sense the end of that cycle approaching, guilt arises in the form of fear. Fear may be deeply felt, or just noticed as dismay at what is happening to us (or others). Exacerbated guilt compounds the conflict experienced in life, and with self-demeaning belief systems in play, can quickly grow into shame. In any case it can be quite worrisome, especially when seeming to pertain to ideas about an eternal future defined by a denial-based belief system.

Because in reality, we are not split off and separate from the one shared reality we are, we are not in conflict and are not literally ensconced in the denial we've come to believe in as our life-and-death version of reality. We are always innocent without exception. We may experience feelings relative to judgments we've placed against ourselves or those entertained by others, but judgments are not real. The behaviors we've participated in or witnessed however, regardless of whether "real" or not, impact us right now, in this world, in terms of guilt, outcomes resulting from the behaviors, and the need for remedies, recovery and restoration.

Peace is the only power.* It is reality itself. Peace is not condemning us in any way for being, or for whatever we perceive and believe in as our history of doing. When we realize this, another view can be entertained...one that allows for innocence to be seen and understood as the truth. Fearful thinking and believing keeps people operating from fear on one hand, and manipulated to live in terms of commitment and compromise as forms of accepted and admired sacrifice on the other. These three, commitment, compromise and sacrifice, seem very necessary in the world; however, the toll they exact upon us, generation after generation, is needlessly heavy. This is so because they support the guilty, exacerbated denial entertained in mind, bringing many things we do not desire and yet accept and consider to be necessary evils (often as commitment, compromise and sacrifice).

* When all illusory overlays from denial are absent, the default vision is to see reality as it is. This reality, or peace, does not need struggle to bring its presence to our awareness. It is already there. Whatever power is real...is peace and is not strife or conquering of one illusion over another. Thus peace and its natural, unhindered vision are the only power. In time, or in the illusory world we experience and embrace, power seems to be much different, and it is this conflicted understanding which keeps us bound to behavioral patterns based in excessive conflict.

It may seem that if people are free, then they would just go crazy with wild evil schemes and abuse everyone more and more often. Since people are often out of touch with their reality of innocence and everything pertaining to it, such a view makes sense. Rules and laws, rituals and obedience-oriented behavior is a way to keep people from destroying one another, and yet levies a heavy toll as well.

When people regularly pause in remembrance and do nothing in the midst of their usual activity, it's a bit like fasting. We start to detox from the effects of our (denial-oriented) thinking, feeling, acting and reacting, etc. Over time, we discover that pausing is not merely wasting time doing nothing. Instead, it is offering ourselves the opportunity over and over to face the reality of self, and to gradually notice the truth about ourselves outside of the flow of activities and the incessant use of judgment. What we encounter as that reality of self and of all...is peace, is freedom, is loving in terms of its impact in this world and our lives, and is completely without judgment. In other words, it is the very essence of innocence. Beyond any words offered here, we are having a moment of opportunity right now. As we ready ourselves to move back into activity from each moment of pause, we take the impact of that moment with us. Because peace is what we encounter by opening ourselves in moments of pausing...our thinking, feeling and behavior begins to integrate the influence of peace into everything we do. The influence of peace is much more than being peaceful. Whether we at any moment seem peaceful or not, our moments of pausing are gently obviating the far-reaching impact of the influence of our reality, and our reliance upon its influence is becoming the status quo. We may or may not think of it this way; however, over time we begin to notice that we are actually viewing things differently, and perhaps interacting with others differently as well. We are not doing the inner work which outwardly begins to look like change. Instead, we are opening to that which influences us in every respect, not only behavior. This is faith, because in our pausing and doing nothing, we come to rely upon that which is forever faithful, unchanging and certain.

For those involved in AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project), participation in the workshops (as a participant or facilitator) is done in an environment setup to evoke looking at self and others beyond judgments. In part, this is precisely the same thing as pausing activity, for we are pausing our usual activity and taking on a more open way of viewing each other beyond our usual judgments. Although we are participating in activities, in addition to any value gleaned from the exercises themselves, we are also using these exercises to distract us (essentially pausing) from our usual thoughts and activities. Because of this shifted, more open view, these activities are less exacerbating of the conflict aspect of denial, its judgment and guilt. Choices (which are denial) are used in the exercises, but they are gently put forward in a freedom of choice format (which "freedom of choice" format is denial, but is fundamental in nature and not exacerbated). The setup and agenda of the workshop, and the removal of control to a great extent, evoke openness...and openness helps us to view ourselves differently, to view others differently, and to more willingly immerse ourselves in an internal environment and attitude that is more open. Being more open in this way, is pausing our participation in much of the control structures found in our usual belief system. Control is not real, and is frequently unnecessary. Being open allows us to realize this little by little and to integrate it into our self image, our world view and our behavior. As this happens within us, whether from workshops or simply from pausing activity to notice whatever is there, we begin to notice our innocence, and that of others. Innocent people find one another worthy of attention in more and more ways, engendering cooperation and a desire to share. This is innocence...found even in the midst of denial and a world spinning out of control toward an uncertain future.

The notion of karma suggests that our behavior is key. Innocence tells us that willingness to be open to giving and receiving attention on the basis of our noticed and shared inner reality is key. Variations of the karma view have been extant for millennia, telling us over and over that we need to disclipine ourselves and behave in certain ways, for (according to karma) our behavior today determines what happens to us tomorrow. Innocence however, tells us that we can pause and look directly at the essence of the reality we are without fear, and trust in that which we then see to guide us from moment to moment. We discover that behavior will take care of itself as we reap the benefits of becoming more open. Thus it is not the change in our behavior that is the issue. Instead, it is reliance upon the utter freedom of our inner reality, and trusting it to govern. This is not reliant upon our choices, but upon our restoration of awareness. When we deny, our innocence is effectively what we deny. Guilt is a temporary state of mind. Innocence is peace, the eternal reality...and that is what we are. We are not guilt...we are peace. Self-discovery then, is rather important. It is the return to innocence.
Geckos: As a metaphor, on this page, we find the intellectual overlay occuding a field of nature and its activity. The field of nature is not intended to represent reality, but is merely to reflect the richness of what the world could be like if our human-generated overlay was reduced, allowing a more natural expression of the created world to appear in our perception. Messengers from such a world, just beneath our human overlay, rise above the intellectual overlay into our more readily available conscious minds, to show themselves briefly, coaxing us to return to the garden of our delight. These messengers are expressions of less-voluminous, less denial-exacerbated, less conflicted denial structures, and of making choices that are more free and spontaneous...expressions of living without synthesized constraint. Such messengers are in the illusions we perceive in our world, like a host of miracles built into each and every instance of the illusion. They appear to us in many forms, both subtle and obvious, according to our willingness to notice them. Such willingness is increased by moments of pausing our energetic inner activity. These messengers, here represented by free, run amok geckos, are not living the perfect life, but run helter skelter, occasionally bumping into one another (i.e.-conflict), sometimes even flipping over with a kick, trying to go about their journey, often stopping to redetermine just where they were going or where they want to go next. They do not linger long to ponder and judge these collision conflicts, but simply move on with their journeying. We can perhaps find a place within our hearts to allow ourselves such freedom and a place of not clinging heavily to conflicts or giving them too much importance in our minds. Rather than struggling continually against conflicts, we can regularly pause the denial machine, and allow non-conflicted reality to more succinctly influence our lives and our world.

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