Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Interference
Abandoning Our Nature
All this inner activity makes it difficult for us to be ourselves in two fundamental ways. First, our interference blocks the arising of who we truly are. Because we do not embrace whatever is arising, our experience doesn't have a chance to unfold and manifest True Nature. Our activity prevents it from expressing its natural dynamism, its natural tendency to simply and spontaneously self-reveal, and so we do not perceive or recognize our True Nature. Second, when we think that practice means changing our inner condition instead of letting it change itself, we are taking an orientation toward ourselves that is inherently very different from that of our True Nature. In other words, by siding with this inner activity, we disconnect from our True Nature. Our True Nature is simply there-ness. So, by being internally active, we dissociate, we become something different than what we are, we leave our place of abiding. In some sense, we abandon our self, our nature, to become this active entity that is always trying to change itself.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 98
Discovering How We Interfere
As we continue our study, we will learn more about the various ways that we interfere with our experience. But however we interfere, it is always true that because we don’t have the infinite wisdom, intelligence, and awareness that True Nature has, we don’t know what should happen next in our inner experience. Doing anything to make our moment-to-moment experience different from what it is means we believe we are God; we believe we know how things should be.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 28
Fighting With Ourselves
This brings us back to interference and the difficulty we have in keeping our hands off our experience. Interference in our experience always implies a division: We separate ourselves into parts through meddling. So, maybe there is me interfering with my fear. Or me interfering with my love. Now, this division is recognized, or reveals itself, most clearly when we meddle with an experience, or some aspect of an experience, that we would rather not have or don’t feel good about experiencing. Maybe it’s something that’s scary or painful, or it’s something we think is shameful. Perhaps it is something that we feel is too much—too delicate, too sweet, too strong, too powerful—anything that threatens or contradicts what we take ourselves to be. When we are not informed by our True Nature, then whatever it is that we find threatening or objectionable, we tend to oppose or reject. We want to fight it off, to push it away or push against it. We don’t want to feel it or we don’t want to feel it fully. This tendency to fight with ourselves and the elements of our experience is what we usually call resistance.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 35
Interference that Springs from Continuous Thinking
We can see the movement of projection or judgment. We can hear, feel, sense our hate and our rejection. But this other category of activity cannot be as easily identified. At first, as we engage in it, we will think that we are just being where we are and are not doing anything. But as we notice and observe our reactions in different situations, it becomes possible to begin to see that much of “being where we are” is still the result of interference. Why is this kind of interference so difficult to perceive? Partly because the more explicit activities of interference occur intermittently, and thus are easier to notice when they arise. This other kind of interference is a more subliminal, sometimes even unconscious, inner activity that occurs all the time. Its usual explicit manifestation is our continuous thinking process, our almost constant inner dialogue. We can sometimes notice it as an agitated, energetic quality inside us, though we may not be clear what is creating it. But whether or not it comes to our attention, it affects our experience, molding it one way or another according to our accumulated knowledge—which is based on our ignorance. Hence our experience is not free to spontaneously manifest exactly what it is, or more accurately, what it can be.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 127
So let’s take a deeper look at noninterference—keeping hands off—because it is one of the main keys to our practice. Noninterference is referred to in Chinese as wu wei (often translated “nonaction” or “nondoing”), and the followers of Kashmir Shaivism call it Anamaya Yoga. It is one of the tantric methods and, in that kind of yoga, it is usually reserved for the last stage of teaching. The instruction is this: Do not do anything to anything; just be present and aware, and whatever obstacle is there will dissolve to reveal its True Nature. If you feel an emotion completely, without adding anything to it, for example, it will transform to reveal its true condition, which is our True Nature in one particular flavor or another. Some emotions lead to joy, others to compassion or strength or peace—all distinct qualities of our True Nature.
But that direct transformation can happen only if we are already present and aware and fully in touch with our True Nature. Most of the time, however, we are not in that place. When we are in our usual consciousness, even if we can stay present with an emotion or manifestation, it doesn't immediately transform into its True Nature. It usually transforms into another emotion or feeling. In other words, we must undergo a several-step process before the experience finally reveals its True Nature.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 32
You Cannot Predict the Direction of the Life Force
If you try to do anything other than understand the situation, your effort will be a blockage, a resistance, an interference. You cannot make yourself grow; you can only cease to interfere. You cannot make yourself happy; you can only stop your judgments. Growth and expansion are natural; they are the life force itself. And you cannot predict its direction. If you recall the times when you have experienced a release, when there was an opening, you will see that it was always by your understanding something, by your somehow getting out of the way, by your letting go of some belief, some resistance, some idea.