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Brian Gordon

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Get Your Foot Off My Neck
By Brian Gordon
Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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The Way of the Bodhisattva is shown as the only way to Enlightenment. If we do not show compassion with mindfulness we will never awaken completely.

Get Your Foot Off My Neck

You are struggling to make a journey across a sea of bodies. At first you are just making your way through a  crowd.  You push your way through. to get to a line. Finally you get to the place you want.

You are at the end of the line to get your ticket. When you finally reach the head of the line and buy your ticket. It is to a movie. You go into the theater and there is a line to get your seat. You sit down and the lights dim. After some previews which you ignore the movie begins.

On the big screen there is a sea of bodies. As you struggle to make your way across the sea of bodies you feel a pressure on your neck. It is almost as if you are sitting down straining your neck to see past someone and your life is flashing before your eyes like a movie! Absurd!

You reach in and absently pull out a hand of popcorn and put it in your mouth. This movie is good! Why does this movie seem so familiar to you? Oh well a lot of good movies are similar!  Otherwise they wouldn't provoke such intense feelings. But lately the ones you have chosen to see also seem to provoke more than just feelings but actual realizations bordering on revelations.

Take this movie you are currently watching for instance. It is almost like a dream it is so surreal. As you struggle to swim over the sea of bodies and yet you are walking trying not to step on anyone's neck! Yet it is almost impossible. There is such a sea of people themselves struggling to move forward. They move but not forward. They are stuck. You can not tell a persons foot from their neck. If you slow down to look you will sink into this sea of people and lose who you really are.

As you step on yet another persons neck you begin to feel a sharp pain in your own neck. At first it is a numb like tingling. As you have slowly fallen asleep sinking and sinking. But as you hear a buzzing sound in your ears getting louder and louder the pain in your neck becomes more severe. And as you wake up in your bed and turn off your alarm you get a sense of dejavu. But lately you have always been getting a vague sense of dejavu when you wake up.

Only as you make your way through the crowds to the temple the dejavu becomes painful. You push through the sea of people. A man stops you and ask for money for food. He would probably just use it for liquor. You push past him not wanting to be the victim of idiot compassion.

You enter the temple and find yourself a seat. Your teacher begins. Today our lecture is on idiot compassion he says. Again this seems all too familiar. What is idiot compassion if everyone you meet is yourself? This is a problem of all or nothing. He says. You do not want to give money to the homeless person on the street because he may be fooling you so that he can buy liquor. So if he is not hungry for food at the moment you assume he is not hungry. But there are hungers of other kinds. Maybe he just needs someone to talk to ?

But the next time you decide to engage him in conversation. At some point he begins to lose interest and even becomes irritated with you. He realizes that he has not gained your trust and therefore you do not offer him money. At this point he either begins to move away from you or push you away by being threatening. It was always about the money. Whether it was for liquor or cigarettes you feel used.   So you walk away vowing  to not be a victim of idiot compassion. After all time is precious. And you wasted it talking to him. Or did you? In his case or your case a waste of time depends entirely on what either of you are looking for.

If he is constantly looking for his next fix and you had no intention of helping him with an indulgence of this sort then you have wasted his time. Do you resent this? You wanted to help him but he was too attached to money. Or was it you too attached to money? You have very limited money. You are willing to give money to someone in need. Did you make this clear to him? Or did you just try to do your duty and try to talk to him to clear your conscience on not exercising enough compassion?

That is homeless people need to talk to people too. So you talk to him because you do not want him to feel that you see him as beneath you. But did you practice mindfulness and observe that you were in fact treating him as beneath you? Because compassion exercised without mindfulness is idiot compassion.

Am I to understand that you believed that idiot compassion was specifically giving help that will  be misused? So if you give money for food and that money is used for liquor instead then that is idiot compassion to you? Have you ever asked why giving help that is neither helpful nor appreciated defined as idiot compassion? Do you assume the answer has only to do with how this would affect you? Then this is not compassion at all! Idiot or otherwise.

Do you assume that helping people is idiotic??? This will lead you to the false conclusion that all compassion is idiotic! Why emphasize the words "idiot compassion" if all compassion is idiotic? Why do spiritual teachings emphasize compassion at all?  Wake up!

Idiot compassion is a form of compassion that is not practiced with mindfulness. To the level that you are not mindful you are not awake. If you are not awake you are practicing compassion in your sleep. It will never work and you will conclude that compassion does not work!

What about when you are in pain and others seem not to want to understand? What about when you need help with money or someone to at least listen to you but nobody will? Once somebody realizes that you are trying to sell them something or otherwise get money from them they tune out or get aggravated with you. Does not all this seem familiar to you?

When you are approached by this homeless person where is your compassion? Are you not awake? This man is YOU! This homeless person is you in another life. He is a manifestation of you in your next life if you do not change your ways. Think of this as a movie preview before your life movie begins! 

Now go watch your movie but do it awake this time! If you forget you are watching a movie you might eat your popcorn and forget you are really sitting there and eating popcorn and you might choke and die but who will hear your struggles and come and help you ? They are watching their own movie! And they are not even aware they are watching a movie! You better become aware and practice mindfulness starting NOW.

Because there is only the NOW. Then he looks you in the eye and ask you. "Haven't you heard this all before?  Your alarm goes off.

What a weird dream! You were
struggling to make a journey across a sea of bodies. At first you are just making your way through a  crowd.  You push your way through. to get to a line. Finally you get to the place you want.

You are at the end of the line to get your ticket. When you finally reach the head of the line and buy your ticket. It is to a movie. You go into the theater and there is a line to get your seat. You sit down and the lights dim. After some previews which you ignore the movie begins.

On the big screen the is a sea of bodies. As you struggle to make your way across the sea of bodies you feel a pressure on your neck. It is almost as if you are sitting down straining your neck to see past someone and your life is flashing before your eyes like a movie! Absurd!

You reach in and absently pull out a hand of popcorn and put it in your mouth. This movie is good! Why does this movie seem so familiar to you? Oh well a lot of good movies are similar!  Otherwise they wouldn't provoke such intense feelings. But lately the ones you have chosen to see also seem to provoke more than just feelings but actual realizations bordering on revelations.

Take this movie you are currently watching for instance. It is almost like a dream it is so surreal. As you struggle to swim over the sea of bodies and yet you are walking trying not to step on anyone's neck! Yet it is almost impossible. There is such a sea of people themselves struggling to move forward. They move but not forward. They are stuck. You can not tell a persons foot from their neck. If you slow down to look you will sink into this sea of people and lose who you really are.

As you step on yet another persons neck you begin to feel a sharp pain in your own neck. At first it is a numb like tingling. As you have slowly fallen asleep sinking and sinking. But as you hear a buzzing sound in your ears getting louder and louder the pain in your neck becomes more severe. And as you wake up in your bed and turn off your alarm you get a sense of dejavu. But lately you have always been getting a vague sense of dejavu when you wake up.

Only as you make your way through the crowds to the temple the dejavu becomes painful. You push through the sea of people. A man stops you and ask for money for food. He would probably just use it for liquor. You push past him not wanting to be the victim of idiot compassion.

You enter the temple and find yourself a seat. Your teacher begins. Today our lecture is on idiot compassion he says. Again this seems all too familiar. What is idiot compassion if everyone you meet is yourself? This is a problem of all or nothing. He says. You do not want to give money to the homeless person on the street because he may be fooling you so that he can buy liquor. So if he is not hungry for food at the moment you assume he is not hungry. But there are hungers of other kinds. Maybe he just needs someone to talk to ?

But the next time you decide to engage him in conversation. At some point he begins to lose interest and even becomes irritated with you. He realizes that he has not gained your trust and therefore you do not offer him money. At this point he either begins to move away from you or push you away by being threatening. It was always about the money. Whether it was for liquor or cigarettes you feel used.   So you walk away vowing  to not be a victim of idiot compassion. After all time is precious. And you wasted it talking to him. Or did you? In his case or your case a waste of time depends entirely on what either of you are looking for.

If he is constantly looking for his next fix and you had no intention of helping him with an indulgence of this sort then you have wasted his time. Do you resent this? You wanted to help him but he was too attached to money. Or was it you too attached to money? You have very limited money. You are willing to give money to someone in need. Did you make this clear to him? Or did you just try to do your duty and try to talk to him to clear your conscience on not exercising enough compassion?

That is homeless people need to talk to people too. So you talk to him because you do not want him to feel that you see him as beneath you. But did you practice mindfulness and observe that you were in fact treating him as beneath you? Because compassion exercised without mindfulness is idiot compassion.

Am I to understand that you believed that idiot compassion was specifically giving help that will  be misused? So if you give money for food and that money is used for liquor instead then that is idiot compassion to you? Have you ever asked why giving help that is neither helpful nor appreciated defined as idiot compassion? Do you assume the answer has only to do with how this would affect you? Then this is not compassion at all! Idiot or otherwise.

Do you assume that helping people is idiotic??? This will lead you to the false conclusion that all compassion is idiotic! Why emphasize the words "idiot compassion" if all compassion is idiotic? Why do spiritual teachings emphasize compassion at all?  Wake up!

Idiot compassion is a form of compassion that is not practiced with mindfulness. To the level that you are not mindful you are not awake. If you are not awake you are practicing compassion in your sleep. It will never work and you will conclude that compassion does not work!

What about when you are in pain and others seem not to want to understand? What about when you need help with money or someone to at least listen to you but nobody will? Once somebody realizes that you are trying to sell them something or otherwise get money from them they tune out or get aggravated with you. Does not all this seem familiar to you?

When you are approached by this homeless person where is your compassion? Are you not awake? This man is YOU! This homeless person is you in another life. He is a manifestation of you in your next life if you do not change your ways. Think of this as a movie preview before your life movie begins!  Now go watch your movie but do it awake this time! If you forget you are watching a movie you might eat your popcorn and forget you are really sitting there and eating popcorn and you might choke and die but who will hear your struggles and come and help you ? They are watching their own movie! And they are not even aware they are watching a movie! You better become aware and practice mindfulness starting NOW.

Because there is only the NOW. Then he looks you in the eye and ask you. "Haven't you heard this all before?  Your alarm goes off.

 


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Reviewed by Brian Gordon 1/2/2012
I did intentionally duplicate parts but this was in fun to show a loop in time. Although this in fun there is the metaphysical implication that our reality is just another level in a dream. To give an idea of my thought process I was recently reading Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts (Writer on Zen) and just recently enjoyed a TV movie short 12:01 PM (1990) and and the independent film called Happy Accidents. I am really glad you enjoyed my story. I am working on short stories now in preparation for publishing a novel. Although my books on philosophical topics will probably come out first.
Reviewed by J Howard 12/31/2011
i enjoyed your story. however....did your story duplicate toward the middle ...or is this circular reasoning, that which i no nothing about... or just fun, that which i do know something about-ha!

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