I find it challenging to listen to people running themselves down because all I see is beauty and amazingness. This blog post was originally written in response to me having listened to a student one day.
We were just starting the process and she felt alone and unworthy and lost, so I reminded her that there are no such things. These are merely stories well tell ourselves. We simply are where we are and we’re doing what we’re doing. All the judgment is just fluff in our consciousness. All I did was help her to quiet that internal narrator and in the ensuing silence she felt natural —which is to say: fantastic.
I was disturbed by the distance in her consciousness between her actual Being and her sense of herself. So when we got off the phone I immediately sat down to write this. And as soon as I was done I knew that it was—in my own view—the best piece of writing I’ve ever done on what is a very slippery subject for any kind of language.
I believe the metaphors here are clear and concise and that virtually anyone would benefit from meditating on the ideas it contains. It was a pleasure writing it and I certainly hope you find it a pleasure to read. I know I’m very pleased to offer it to you as my personal favourite for Best Blog of the Year. Enjoy.
The Soul Kitchen
Do you feel guilty? Do you have regrets? Do you wish you could have done better? Do you wish you were different?
Look at how disrespectful you are. The massive, roiling, infinite soup of the Universe assembles you from trillions of cells, made from trillions of atoms, made of trillions of Higgs Boson’s —or whatever metaphor you want to use— and you use the voice you were given to say back to the Universe, “Sorry, but this is weak work. You created a ‘faulty’ person that should change before it’s allowed to exist in peace. I’m sorry, but I cannot be happy with this sad state of affairs.”
Well now, aren’t you bold.
Imagine you are in God’s / Nature’s / the Universe’s kitchen —the place where the Universe comes into Being. Imagine that All-That-Is, is in fact a large pot of soup on God’s stove. This soup contains all that ever was and all that ever will be. Everything that exists in the space-time of the soup is always just reconstituted soup, just as the atoms that make up us are in fact bits of old stars and galaxies.
We aren’t so much “ourselves,” we are a collection of other bits that are currently cooperating to Be us. And when we die our personal thoughts will subside and the bits that are “us” will return back to the Universe to be reconstituted yet again, like ink returning to an inkwell, ready for a new story to be written.
Can you see in this analogy that it’s sort of silly for a little piece of the soup to suggest that it doesn’t belong or that it doesn’t fit in? What does it think “it” is? Does it think the cook can be wrong?
This soup will be made for all of eternity. What exactly would define wrong in that sense? How can soup that’s all made of one ingredient have parts of itself suggesting that other parts of itself are wrong? We’re hilarious with our thoughts of separateness.
There was a terrific guru named Sydney Banks who passed away a few years ago. Syd was a wonderful man and, like most true Guru’s, he had his own unique way of imparting the universe to others.
The Buddha talked about illusion, Lao Tzu talked about the Flow of Tao, Jesus talked about a lack of judgment, Abraham-Hicks talks about Belonging, Eckhart Tolle talks about Now, I talk about reality, and Sydney Banks talked about Mind, Thought, and Consciousness. Using this last metaphor, let’s look again at our soup.
Mind would be the soup itself. Everything is made of Mind. All that ever Is begins with Mind. And we could define our Consciousness as the ability to freeze soup. Consciousness can freeze the soup into anything. It’s not frozen soup itself—it’s the actual ability to freeze reality. It’s the act of freezing.
We can freeze soul-soup into soft curvy shapes or it can shape it into sharp angular ones, but the act of freezing doesn’t differentiate or judge —it simply freezes into existence whichever thoughts we choose to think in our present moment.
Thought is what chooses the shape you freeze ourselves into. Read that again: we take the open, infinite possibility of the soul-soup, and we use the abilities of our consciousness to freeze parts of the soup into whatever we think is us.
In the end, there isn’t really an ‘us,’ “we” are merely a part of the larger soul-soup that’s currently frozen this way or that way, and it’s frozen that way by our personal thinking.
I’ve traveled a lot around the world but don’t take many photos. When I do look back at old photos I do have, I’ll often see ‘me’ frozen into a shape that I no longer am. Younger versions of myself entertained different thoughts about the world. The me of today would have a shape that would conflict with the me of yesterday. But the conflicts are irrelevant because it’s all soup.
What important is the fact that I used my consistent ability to freeze-think myself into existence and over the years I’ve chosen different shapes. Those shapes were who I said I ‘was.’
Do you see how cute my identity is? This soup will be cooked for eternity. Eternity. Does it seem sensible that our little frozen part of the soup should imagine that it’s somehow wrong or faulty or otherwise undeserving of being a part of the soup? And which version of me gets to be the ultimate judge of the other versions of me?
Think about this some more. That frozen bit of us-ness is just the Soup of Mind, frozen by Freedom of Consciousness into the Identity and Experience of Thought.
This means the little frozen-us that is made of soup, is floating in the soup it’s made of, and what it’s doing as it floats is it is telling stories to itself about its separateness —about how we aren’t really soup. Ironically, we then create a desire to be reunited with the Soup, all while Being soup itself.
We have never been separate. We have never been alone. We have never been wrong or undeserving. We have merely thought all of those things. But when we stop our busy personal thinking what do you think happens? Do we cease to exist? Or do all of the parts of soup that came together to Be us simply melt back into the soup? That melting is in fact the act of connection. It is a meditation.
We are Enlightened every time we lose track of time. We do that because we are simply Being Soup rather than thinking ourselves into a state of seeming separateness. In the end it doesn’t matter what shapes the soup is frozen into —it doesn’t matter if it’s frozen into peace, or into war, into marriage or divorce, into success or failure –it’s all just Soup.
Acceptance is key. Life includes Yin and Yang. But the important part is that the Soup is always she Soup. We need to stop trying to change it and just start tasting it instead, because there was never anything wrong with the soup, so there can never be anything truly wrong with us either.
Enjoy your day. You can’t go wrong.
I love you. s
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own over-thinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.