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The Problem of Influence

It seems to me we do not like endings or loss; we seek continuity, we fear transience, we fear one thing ending and turning to something new. We hold on to the old.

We have images of ourselves which are mere representations of reality, because truth is not static, cannot be an image and is not a mere recording of the mind that is locked in time. Truth moves and changes and is not a fixed idea; ideas cannot be truthfully superimposed on what actually exists.

The image is a substitute for reality. The reality is that everything and everyone changes every moment. What is old dies off and something else is created, is born. But we want something permanent and secure, not something “unsure” and uncertain that will end.

This is why we want to be influenced. To be influenced implies there is an “I”, implies that there is an image meeting the influence and being influenced. We have this image we’ve projected that is supposedly standing the test of time and that we want people to believe we are; it is also built up, subsequently, by what others think of us. We want their thoughts of us to sync with the image; or we make the image sync with what they think of us. Either way, there is still the image. The image must be protected and allowed to live; it is “I”, the ego, a collection of thoughts of experience, ideology, identifications and associations with people, places, things; it is only thought.

Therefore when we are either elated or disturbed by what others think of us, and affected by others’ influence on us, we are thinking of the “me”. Thinking about the “me” strengthens it: It makes the ego bigger.

The conflict of what others think and their influence gives “me” more of a sense of existence. This, we consider, is better than death, even though it makes life more difficult.

The image is a source of security and must be protected and given further continuity, therefore, paradoxically, it can be hurt, it can be disturbed, it is afraid. The “I” is fear, is time; it is an attempt to find security in psychological time: The “I” of the past being projected into the future. This “I” and this psychological time are the root of thinking which creates fear. In other words, thinking creates fear. Mainly, we fear ending, the ending of “I” or “me”.

Of course, “I” and “me” create division and conflict. Not only am “I” the source of my fear, but “I” am the source of war, degradation, poverty and hate. This ego is isolating and fearful. It cowers at any sign its “life” is jeopardized. The influence we fear is also the influence we want; that is, we fear what others think of us but want them to think of us and effect and give continuity to the images we have of ourselves.

Influence is merely the make-up of this image of “me”. It is the borrowed thoughts of others embedded in consciousness.

Without the image, without me, there is no conflict of influence and public opinion. The fear wrapped up in the image and time-based thinking of “me” is part and parcel of influence. When you are not influenced, you simply see. Thought is not diverting perception, you are not bound by psychological borders and divisions and there is only the truth of what is.

Which means the ending of “I”.

Truth is not bound by time, it is not bound by “me” or influence. It is not restricted by path or idea or method or any other mechanisms and fabrications of thought. It is there right in front of you when you are not blocked by thought and artificial divisions concocted by thought and influence.

Kris Krug, Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Featured image: Pandlers, deviantART. Some rights reserved.

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