Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Viewing Furniture

Have you ever considered the point of view of furniture? It's rather amazing that so few have done so? It can be quite educational. Take a moment while sitting in your living room and observe your furniture. Each piece has a different purpose, each is labeled accordingly: table, chair, couch, footstool.

The labels and definitions are based on concepts, and the human purpose invested in the design. However, the objects themselves have no such identity or purpose. A wooden chair, for example, consists of wood, shaped in a particular way. But, does the chair know its purpose? Does a chair know its meaning?

Does a couch know that it is for sitting or laying on? Does a table know it is a surface for holding other objects, or for eating from? The whole meaning of these objects is a projection of the human mind.

A chair was conceived by the human mind, created by the human mind, and human hands. It's chairness is a human factor. To the chair, is there purpose? Does the chair know it is for sitting on? For the chair, is there such a thing as a chair?

To a very large extent our concepts of ourselves are just as meaningless as a chairness to a chair. We are programmed with ideas and concepts about ourselves that come from conditions that no longer exist. We are living our lives based on traditions that are no longer valid, and may in fact be harmful.

There may be some validity in looking at oneself as a peace of furniture. Realize that you might be rather presumptuous in your ideas about yourself. You may, in fact, have totally defined yourself by what you were told to believe. You may be living your life entirely based on projections you received from your parents, your brothers and sisters, and your culture. None of these are you.

As created beings we may not be in a position to know what our meaning is, our purpose. Having taken up our roles as prescribed by the play, we act them out with sound and fury, and yet unconsciously. Perhaps if we looked at ourselves as furniture in a room, we might discern a self nature that is something other than what we have projected on ourselves.

There is something deeper in us. An essence, undefinable, ineffable, yet knowing. We don't become aware of this essence, playing our prescribed roles. We become awareness by stepping aside, by letting go, by questioning our ideas and presumptions. Step back and observe oneself without ideas, and see what arises.

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