How do we distinguish integration from delusion?

Delusion is completely convincing. This point can be difficult to acknowledge. When we suffer under a delusion we accept its rationalizations completely. We simply cannot see any incoherence in our outlook. We are certain.

How then can we tell whether attending to coherence is not just another delusion?

Living in delusion we find ourselves bound by unintended consequences. We are confused, “Why doesn’t anything work out the way we’ve planned?”

The concept of coherence does not exist for us. We have no view into what it might be; how it might work.

When we discover coherence we begin to find a way to understand our delusions. We are no longer confused by unintended consequences. Coherence shows us that for our reactive thrashings there could not be any other outcome than further separation and destruction. When we act out of delusion we always get results that run counter to what we were looking for. This insight marks the dissolution of delusion and our introduction to coherence. From this moment we have gained a compass to navigate awareness. A compass that shows us a way past our inability to question our certainties and that shows us when we slip back into delusion. We’ve discovered Proprioception. After this moment life is never the same….

All is not clear sailing even then. Knowing how something works does not give us the power to change it. This common assumption that knowledge provides a lever holds true for complicated systems, like machines. What we have missed is that we are immersed in complexity, not simple complication. Complex systems, and Everything, the sum of all complexity, never shows us its complete workings. Its dynamics resist understanding and remain mysterious. We cannot attend to coherence so long as we hold onto an assumption that we can ever learn enough to crack the mystery. This assumption of sufficient understanding becomes another route back into delusion.

Our error is first to not see how complete our blindness. Our second error is to believe we can learn; gain sufficient knowledge, data, facts; to arrive at a point where we have figured things out. Coherence shows us that these are the same error. Our efforts, intended to give us enlightenment, return us to delusion.

Coherence, an awareness – more a feeling or a sense – that…, and here as Jeff Shampnois puts it, our negative awareness, the way we can recognize that a lack of coherence, incoherence, gives us a chance to develop a sense of the direction of our movement: Are we sliding into greater delusion or are we dissolving delusions?

This capacity comes with another sense that all this is sufficient. Or, to put it another way, that this is all that can be accomplished. We are less likely then to chase after desires of mastery and control. We are less likely to compound misery and suffering. And, again, this is sufficient.

Integration, intra and inter-personal, is this movement towards less incoherence and a growing recognition of coherence as it is encountered. Where continued delusion saps our strength and mires us in escalating suffering and destruction integration releases energy and brings us an awareness of…, and here this is crucial and subtle beyond exasperation, not potential or possibility, but a view of what-is that brings us into participation within the unfolding of the implicate into the explicate order of our existence.

Even this tenuous description is likely to cause more trouble than it alleviates! Integration and the experience of coherence is there in the living of the moment and can only be acknowledged as a vague sense of being…, not off track.

More on this in the next post….

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