Saturday, September 01, 2012

Resistance is Futile

Q: How do I let go?
A: You can't, you won't, you don't.
My friends and I for some time have taken it as gospel that resisting only causes suffering – so stop it!  Let it go.  And what I am finding these past few weeks is that resistance is totally beyond my control.
It resides in my tissues as attachment - my entire love of Life as I have known it.  It is a gripping in my belly and even a hint of letting go evokes terror.  I am having pretty uncomfortable days.  

My friend’s response to my complaints was, “What did the sign say? Resistance is futile!”
She was referring to a sign Adyashanti used to post at his retreats.  But, she wasn’t sure of where the phrase originated.
So, as a joke, I found this clip from Star Trek.  What I myself did not recall was how intertwined the phrase is with my all-time favorite hero, the iconic warrior with great heart, John Luke Picard.  And too, I had no idea that the phrase refers to an epic struggle between separate self and Oneness.  It indeed embraces mythic roots.

Resistance is futile.
You will be assimilated.
Your life as it has been is over.

Wow!  That is just what my body tissue is resisting.  Intellectual understanding doesn’t touch it.  The awakening of belly letting go is preverbal.  And so the teaching goes:
How do I let go?
You can’t. You won’t.  You don’t.

I cannot stop thoughts arising in meditation.  Nor can I will myself to cease resisting.  That is my experience and it is backed-up now by neuroscience:
I was conscious of a decision to press my right finger down and you’re saying that six seconds earlier my brain had already made that decision.
[Yes.]  In your case, up to six seconds before you make up your mind, we can predict which decision you’re going to make.
Neuroscience and Free Will video clip

Resistance is futile.
Still, apparently, I resist right until the moment that I do not. That moment is beyond my personal control.  I’m getting this understanding with my body these days.
I can feel how cellular my grip is. 

And yet, from time to time, I notice the role of mind.  I notice how my mind can quiet as some intellectual reassurance dawns.
The intellect gets soothes and immediately there is relief: terror in the body is not as painful as a herniated disc.  So let the discomfort simply burn.
None of this struggle is absolutely necessary. 

Or more precisely:
You have no control over that… It’s something you realize when it’s pretty much done.  You look back and go, “What the hell was all that for?”
…It’s not necessary [to struggle] and if you can hear that…if it can actually be totally let into your system…which usually it doesn’t… it need not be difficult.
Adyashanti, on Effort

What I notice is that in going over the classic teachings, every now and then, some little word does get truly in.  It brings tears of relief and letting go.  The resistance in the tissue dissolves or is instantly just gone.