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“Tripping the Switch Fantastic”
By Julian Wash
Today I would like to return to your awareness an aspect of the Human condition that can toggle between the worlds of internal and external experience. This “switch” enables us to compare and contrast what we hold to be true against the perceptions and opinions of others. This handy switch is essential. It promotes growth and awareness by opening doors to new ideas and possibilities while keeping us tethered to that familiar landing space we call self. It also serves as a protection device that can “switch off” stimuli deemed unacceptable or too painful. Switching off can manifest in any number of ways ranging from amnesia associated with traumatic events to simply dismissing the mundane botherations of life.
For some, this switch can get a little rusty and can even get stuck. When someone is said to be “stuck in their ways,” then that’s a sure indicator of a sticky toggle. So long as we are open to this expression called life, it will serve us to keep this switch in good working order. Our invisible relay works harder and faster than any other aspect of the mind-consciousness.
In the following paragraphs we will set our toggle to manual operation so that we can slow down and observe the process of “A Switch, B Switch,” outward and inward experience. Along the way we might discover a thing or two about ourselves and the illusion we’ve all been swept into.
A/B Switching: As we live from day to day we incorporate a feedback loop that guides us along the way. This sensory feedback mechanism is exemplified by touching the proverbial hot stove. We learn quickly to be wary of where we place our hands while the stove is doing what it does best. Keeping our hand on the stove will surely cause pain and damage to our body. But we are also fascinated by all that heat. So if we are intent on touching that burning stove, then we must invent novel methods of doing so. And this is exactly what we do in life— and this is exactly how we grow.
Our experiences, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, are linked to that little toggle switch within us separating internal and external worlds. A loop is created between both worlds when we touch a hot stove and hastily pull away. A loop is also created when one is hostile toward another. Some will pull away from this “hot stove” and retreat in solitude to assess their wounds and ponder their confusion. Still others might wield an ax in a defensive gesture asserting that a boundary has been violated. But there will be some who will invent a mechanism to cope with the assault, harness or discharge the negative energy, and perhaps build a bridge in lieu of lowering that hypothetical ax. Invention can offer the best form of resolution yet it necessitates high-frequency switching between both worlds.
Externalizing anger is a coping mechanism that often comes at the expense and peril of others. Those prone to such outbursts and attacks lack balance between the internal and external worlds. They are not “switching” at the speed necessary for clarity and resolution. They are not able to process a given situation with objectivity, equanimity and the required modicum of disassociation. So they drop to a lower density and vomit their indigestible mind sludge so that others can assist in dealing with it.
In the process everyone ultimately gains something from the experience. A solved problem represents a closed loop that returns positive energy to a circuit. Such a feat requires a space of high clarity and invention. One is likely to achieve this optimized level of performance by switching efficiently and seamlessly between the worlds of internal and external awareness.
In a slow-motion capture we would see that toggling over to the “A” side of the switch is all about experiencing the external world. Here we rely on sensory input and observation. On the “B” side of the switch, we move to the inside layers to analyze and process sensory supplied information into something meaningful. This outside/inside cultivation of data rocks back and forth on a little switch that flickers somewhere near the speed of light.
The external experience is married to the internal one. We compare and contrast outside stimulation with what we feel within. We set a tone and mood for others to read. Likewise, others set a tone and mood for us to read. When these “tones” are harmonically balanced, there is a comfortable ease by how information is exchanged. Best of friends harmonize in this manner.
In the mid 1960’s, prolific songwriter/poet Paul Simon wrote “I’m A Rock” which definitely describes the “B” side of the switch rusted in place. Here we find extreme introversion and shyness. There is a withdrawal from the physical world because that “stove” was perhaps too hot to deal with. Here’s a lyrical snippet from the song. Simon says:
“I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.”*
The Two Channel Life: Many who have experienced a spiritual awakening feel trapped between two worlds of a different kind. Again, we can use the “A switch, B switch” analogy. They recognize the external “reality” they’ve been fed is synthetic, a type of gilded cage replete with illusionary freedom. On the internal front, they see how education-instilled conformity and fear-based religion was branded into their brain. So the A/B switch is forced to operate between two pseudo realities. Wow! Imagine how difficult it is for most to break this spell? If you’re one of them, you are indeed extraordinary.
In a sense, the spiritually aware are forced to live a double life. On one hand, they are required to function within the framework of societal norms and expectations so that they can earn a living and have a place to call home. On the other hand, they yearn for a most perfect world of balance and harmony. A society built on foundations of fairness, love and compassion that would allow the Human condition to become fully realized. Instead, the aware must “play the game” and “go along to get along” just to put food on the table. It is difficult and challenging to be awake and aware in a society that neither recognizes nor supports such a journey.
And so the spiritually attuned use their A/B switch to help guide them between the real world they know (within and without) from the false world that accosts them on a daily basis. There’s a lot of flipping back and forth to take in and absorb little bite-size pieces of this staged reality. It is frustrating to be slave to a system that we cannot fully embrace with our hearts and minds. It is a society that rewards us for being good little boys and girls and by not asking too many poignant questions. Therefore, it is vitally important that we frequently return to nature and recalibrate our vibration back to its natural rhythm.
Playing Make-Believe: The Human mind is amazing in what it can do. We were designed to handle a myriad of challenging predicaments. But the intelligence of the mind is so great that it can empower illusions. In a sense, that’s our downfall. Humans are perhaps too smart. We play make-believe and end up really believing it. The stage is set in this false realty and all that’s required is for the players to assume their roles.
So what can we do about it? My advice is to simply be aware. Ultimately all journeys are a solo experience. It is important that we recognize how these constructs are fashioned together so we don’t become an unwitting partner to it. And perhaps we’ll find ourselves in the position to help another who is waking from their spell and has that all-too-familiar look of shock and dismay on their face.
I don’t know about you, but when I go out for dinner I most often choose a restaurant that doesn’t have a television blaring in every corner. How can anyone retreat to their inner space with Orwellian insurrections of this order? Do they not even want us to have meaningful conversations over a meal anymore? I wonder. They want to keep us in that phony “A” external experience and, should we fall back into that “B” internal experience, they want to push all the buttons there too.
Often we find ourselves just playing the game. We can discuss politics, sports and religion and anything else for that matter by staying in the “A” position while around “A” position people. Since I’ve lost interest in “waking” the sleepwalkers, I merely switch over to my dumb-ass “A” state of mind in most social gatherings. I can usually maintain this taxing state until I get back home where I’m free to return to my more natural and comfortable “B” state. Of course, I can always spot another “B-minder” in the crowd because there’s an almost telepathic connection.
Final Thought: I know this got a bit weird and confusing. I truly apologize for that. I’ve held off writing about this topic for those very reasons. But I find it extremely important to separate oneself from all the insanity that’s been funneled into our brains since the moment we uttered our first sounds. Virtually all of us at some point have bought into this synthetic construct, this fabricated world we call reality. We hardly had any other choice. But a rare few were able to sense that something was amiss. It required extraordinary minds to initially see the little strings holding those carefully placed props in place. But those enlightened souls have paved the way and have helped many of us find our own reality.
For those who have had an awakening experience, reality can be a rather creepy walk through the park. For me, it’s like walking through a carnival after everyone has gone home. The lights and sounds were so hypnotizing and yet after the plug is pulled, all that remains are lumbering shadows and an eerie stillness. Rides morph into ghostly, metal statuary glinting in the moonlight. A lone carny shuffles his feet across the way, not wanting to be spotted with his half bottle of Jack D.
And so I walk through the House of Mirrors and see myself in multiple forms. Then I walk into the Haunted House and see the tether on the “Disembodied Man.” I think to myself, yes, this is indeed reality. My reality. Until next time…”