Freedom is "to be free IN all conditions..."
It is NOT "to be free FROM any of them!"

"The Integrated Yawning and Stretching Technique" or "AuraPuri"

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Conditions and Conditionality

Conditions are Givens

The word condition consists of two parts, con- and -dition:
  • con- derives from Latin, it means with,
  • -dition also derives from Latin, from dare to give.
That what comes with life – the conditions of life – are thus givens, and within the general conditions of life for all of us, each one of us lives their individual life in their own individual set of givens or conditions. (Data, by the way, also means givens in Latin.)

Conditions of life are 'that what comes with' life.
Conditions of life are life's givens.

One can of course investigate life's conditions, but they are not to be questioned in a reactive or grudging manner. It would be fruitless if one did, as such questioning would not affect life's conditions in any way… conditions are after all "what they are": givens. They are to be unconditionally received and accepted even in circumstances when non-acceptance seems to be in order.
This does not mean that when conditions are not comfortable, that one cannot do anything about them: conditions can of course be replaced.
The problem with suffering is though that the sufferer is under the impression that:
  • non-acceptance by itself causes a change of conditions to occur,
  • they (the sufferers) cannot replace or alter any conditions themselves,
  • they (the sufferers) are convinced that any alterations have to be put in place by others than themselves.
One needs to become aware that just having difficulties with conditions in life, doesn't change those conditions at all, nor does it stop them.
What is the reason for the inability to bring about change?
One can go through life for long stretches:
  • being bitter,being ungrateful,
  • being resistant to whatever is around,
  • displaying stubborn reactiveness,
  • refusing to surrender to circumstances,
  • holding back one's approval,being lethargic,
  • etc.,
but as one is doing that, nothing changes, nothing stops. In fact, that what one doesn't like remains as it was. One could almost say that matters get worse when one is having difficulties accepting them.

A habitual mode of non-acceptance or reactiveness does not guarantee any change or stoppage of conditions at all, on the contrary.
So, what does one feel when one is in a mode of non-acceptance and lethargy?
What is going on underneath the stance of negativity?
What is interfering with the motivation to make changes?
Could it be that we feel that we are in a situation of inner and outer conflict? Could it be that something internal – the core of our being – is in conflict with something external to us, and that that external something is actually not some unacceptable condition that we have difficulties with, but that it is... someone external to us... a second person singular, not something but someone from our past, someone not physically present now but present as a personifying memory, a memory that/who keeps turning up as though being present now... latently present... forever present!? Could it be that it is not just a memory of a past situation but a memory of another person, someone we know very well, although we may have almost forgotten...? 

Someone else's conditions or... 'conditionals'
But because that other person is not currently present in our life - at least not in the same role that he or she played in our past - this second person singular has now somehow turned into a presence in hiding.

Thus, our inner conversations - our internal dialogs - the ones that speak of conflict, are actually still the arguments and disputes that we had - and still have - with that person from our past...
So when a stance of non-acceptance apparently does not change any hard-to-take conditions, could it be that if we genuinely work towards a successful resolution of the conflicts that we had with that other person, that we would return to our original state of ease and comfort, a state we would have had had we not disadvantageously been interfered with?
Let's say for now that the answer to that question is "yes", then immediately another question arises: "What was the nature of that conflict?" which is then subsequently followed (when we find the nature of that conflict and after its resolution) by two more questions: "Will the acceptance of our current perceived problematic conditions become easier?" and "Will we discover that we actually might not have had any problems at all with any conditions ever... only assumed problems, only fabricated problems and thus: no real probelms at all?

Ah, those adulterated views of conditions eh?! None of them real conditions, all of them conditional conditions!
Do you see the illusive nature of problem situations? *

Ambulatory creatures we are!
There is more to this of course. Let's back-up a bit.

What is said here is not meant to say that we cannot alter conditions...
After all, it may be too cold or too hot, or a knife may actually have cut into our fingers, or we have grown so much that our feet do not fit our shoes anymore.
Not accepting conditions (thinking that non-acceptance is enough to bring about change) is NOT the same as changing conditions, we CAN change conditions, we may walk away, we may go forward, we are enabled to do so...we are after all ambulatory!
But... we can only alter conditions successfully after we have removed the conflict surrounding the non-acceptance of any current conditions.
Of course when we cut our fingers with a knife or so, our reflexes make us react immediately… and that is very OK. We may also follow such an accidental cut with an acquired expletive other than just a simple "Ouch!" Whether we accept the condition of the cut or not, we luckily usually immediately react to it... Darn it, we may even follow-up with a remark that we should not have cut our fingers at all. We obviously won't question the automatic reflex (although… the expletives we may) but none of our remarks, voiced or verbalized, will change the situation and the conditions of that situation, because for that one's personal transformative action is required.

A change in conditions or... a diaper change?
Maybe we can find out how it happened that we came to rely on changes to be made to conditions by others than ourselves.

All too often when we don't or cannot accept a certain current condition, we expect someone else to change the condition for us. Hmm... is it like diapers?

It is very likely that we as little ones were "forced" to undergo changes in situations where those changes might not have been as warranted as they seemed, or where the forceful ways in which the alterations to conditions were performed, were not equal to the discomfort experienced by us as little ones.
It could also be that in many circumstances our condition was felt to be more uncomfortable to our caregivers than it was to us, when we were fussed with and fussed about by concerned caregivers who suffered more about us than we suffered from ourselves... Could be!
What about that bit of poo or pee or that snotty nose, or the dribble of food dripping into our bibs?
Certainly worth looking into those dynamics!

What may have felt like "small potatoes" to an adult caregiver, teenage babysitting sibling or neighborly babysitter, may have been experienced as undue or overly strong interference into the state of comfort of the young child itself. Babies may very well have more resilience built into them than feared, the problem is though, when undue stress, duress, fear and worry are put into their environment that resilience is not available.
It is not for nothing that babies cry so much... The question is of course, why the crying? Was it due to:
  • undue help enacted or
  • due to what was considered a condition that was seen to be in need help even if the help was not needed (even if it came under the guise of well meant care and concern)?


When we were very young we most likely lived in a world of "Bingo!" when assumed uncomfortable conditions appeared to be immediately replaced, memories of it either not made or quickly erased and... no patience seemed needed as it all got done in a "jiffy" – but... really only seemingly so.
But even now, as we are older and definitely out of the diapers, when conditions are uncomfortable we still whine, object and complain – we cry a little or a lot and expect new conditions to be put in place by others and that pretty well immediately. We don't even think we should need patience. Hence our disappointment and the ensuing bitterness when we notice that such seems not the case anymore despite the fact that it actually was never so, is not so and will not be so.
Again, that is not to say that conditions should not or cannot be altered by others, ourselves or together, but change takes time, concerted action and collaboration.
Even if we don't remember from when we were little, that change took time, even if in our childhood crying and apparent discontent seemed to make changes in conditions happen forthright and forthwith, now that is not so.

It is not the immediate replacement or substitution of a previous condition that leads to or makes any changes, nor is it an automatic response to complaint and non-acceptance that makes change occur, but we are still all too often disgruntled and disappointed that it is not so.

It is unfortunate that we as babies got entrained long enough to experience life to be that way.
It is unfortunate that we got so primed that we later in life still expect the same. "Yep! Bingo!" We still expect instantaneity.

But "Nope, no Bingo!"

Well, I suggets it is! It could very well be related to those early days of our lives! It might indeed stem from the time when we as babies got so entrained by circumstances around us, that we were made to bond to the appearance of immediate change in our conditions as we either dozed through the time it took for change in conditions to take place or – and that is more likely – that we were less conscious of the goings-on around us while we cried ourselves through whatever took place, our own tears preventing our visual sense from doing what it is meant to do: registering the time it takes for change to take place and noting the actions by others that were required for the changes to be put in place.
It is, by the way, interesting that while crying, we hear our own crying as little as a snoring man hears his own snoring, but even so, while crying, our auditory sense still takes in and records sentences that surround us under conditions of stress or duress. (Obviously that is a notion that could benefit from some serious research.)
What if our visual and tactile senses would have operated unhindered and unimpeded, not blotted out by our painful uncomfortable reactions to our caregivers' help or interference – well meant for sure, but still possibly help that was either premature or post-mature.

It actually does not happen that way anymore once one is older and not under the care of a 'care-giver' or 'care-taker'. And THAT is our current conflict: our caregiver(s) are not here anymore, at least not in that capacity, but... their words of yore, the words and sentences that surrounded the change in conditions taking place around us, are there still, but now mixed in with our current internal verbalizations that express disappointment and maybe even spite – our internal conversations still arguing and responding to sentences from the past from the now "third" parties that are actually not even here but according to our expectation, ought to be or should have been.

That is the conflict.

Indeed as babies, no patience seemed needed, as no time-lapse between old and new conditions was observed – remember we cried or where dosing through them – but now we are older (often very much older) and we still automatically expect the same easy change of conditions, preferably done by others and… we don't even think we need patience to expect that... and that may be why:
  • we are impatient,
  • we cannot accept anything as is,
  • we question our living conditions almost incessantly,
  • we require immediate change (substitution) of conditions,
  • we are disgruntled when second or third party help is not forthcoming.
Is that perhaps also why our conditions don't change forthright and forthwith despite (or is that because of?) our misgivings and complaints about them?

Yep! Bingo!

So that is why a child's, an adolescent's and even an adult's whine or sadness still resembles so much the cry of unease of a baby.
Is the baby perhaps still part of us, did it ever really fully grow up?

And even now, now that we are older, still the help we cry for, as we lodge complaints about our condition, that help still tends not to come, and we are upset about that...

And even if help does arrive, we still question if it is the right kind and why so little of it and so late, and we comment too easily too soon that it is "Too late!"

And thus our all-too-human-conflict!
Or, looking at that expression carefully: conflict may not be human at all, as conflict does not really belong to human nature but to the de-natured human who was so – almost convincingly – made to believe that unconditional freedom could be lost to dependency.

* It is often said that the Buddha held that life is suffering or illusion. Many of us have been made so dependent that they cannot seem to do anything else anymore but respond to the expectations of competitiveness, survival syndromes as well commercialism with all their illusive, oppressive and repressive conditioning and conditionalizing. But... that can hardly be called life! That is how the Buddha came to call this kind of surrogate life suffering or dukkha (Sanskrit): an illusive pseudo-life, the guise of make-belief reality.

Comment by Ryan:
Wim, you said, "A state we would have had had we not disadvantageously been interfered with? Let's say for now that the answer to that question is "yes"...", 
But what if the answer is not "yes" the answer is "no", so now what? 
You also said, "[we] CAN change conditions, we may walk away, we may go forward, we are enabled to do so...we are after all ambulatory!" 
But Wim, not when you are in prison. If you can get away from the problem you are not suffering (unless you are getting away in drugs or something), then you probably aren't suffering, so walking away is not an issue. 
Are you able to help by any chance? I am drawn to what you said as you seem to be the only person who understands my suffering? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

01 April, 2011

I provided Ryan with my phone number, but he has since not called back...

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