Boxes, Part 2: On Cages

“Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.”

-Bruce Lee

 

Conscious cages.

Our inattentiveness to this Moment (because we are focused specifically on some thing else). One that has been and continues on.

 

Temporal cages

The past and the future. A minute ago, an hour away.

 

Reactive cages

The immediate brashness of our way versus  our duty to being responsible.   

 

Subliminal cages.

Those that secretly bind us.

 

Un and subconscious cages.

The unaware confines that silently control our decision-making processes. The bellows of a timeless alternative beyond one’s self control.  

 

Linguistic cages.

The trouble of describing my interpretation of reality accurately without offending or understanding yours. Language, and its interpretation, as a divide. Describing the smell of a flower to someone who has never touched the scent of one. Truth, for example. 

 

Ascetic cages.

Sacrificing companionship/relationship (everything) for disillusioned selfish abandonment (nothing). It’s cages all the way down, including yourself.

 

Societal cages.

The dumb made dumber. The rich made richer. The numb made number.  

 

 

Cages we are gladly apart of.

People walking to work to sit down in their cages. Caged by caffeine. Caged by nicotine. Prescribed cages. Caged cereals, caged lox, caged cream cheese, and burgers from caged beef. Caged carbs (“I’m on a diet”). Are not we ever-encasing ourselves from the freedoms of the natural world into more and more mechanized cages? Each cage serving as another separation, another divide from our natural tradition. 

 

Marriage as a contractual cage. Credit card cages. Debt, the capitalist foot holding down the cage. Educagetion – more specifically- specification through debt as a cage. When the field of study has been outsourced, innovated, or even automated, to what extent have we lost our time, effort, and money? Buying a house that’s too big, buying a car that’s too new, buying, buying, buying as the capitalist crutch. Now that’s a cage! And then saving as a cage. Scared to lose our cages. The stacking of the bars of materialism. Why do we keep voluntarily putting ourselves into bigger and bigger cages? Is this not a human zoo? Well then, I want the most  magnificent cage!

 

Don’t trade your box for a cage.

 

How many cages of distraught will it take to sufficiently motivate us to break free of the cages of our perception, of our culture, of our self-confined idealism? To what extension of our personal freedom will we be bound by societal constraints & norms? To parental standards? To peer pressure? To our own internal faculties raised in fault by the mechanistic cages behind our own awareness?

Anxious misperception, the narrow binds of our cognitive faculties, the confinement of our minds, the shallowing of our hearts (and conversations), the ever-lessening lesions of our sensory capacities (due to over-stimulation, over-masturbation, and the constant technological infusion before us now), the lacking thrust of our awareness towards an integrated reality-society, the restriction of our creative capacity, the inability to concentrate, and scanning, scanning, scanning the page (due to the massive digital bombardment of information): each of these fixations have become the atrocities of our caged culture. And with each restriction we knowingly or unknowingly choose comes a loss of potential which occurs against our innate ability to relax, to enjoy, to breathe, and to actually experience this world as a part of it, instead of trying to cage it, control it, extract it, and deny the whole in exchange for our individual self-structure. In the confinements of our cages, we extract none other than  ourselves. Piece by piece, our wholeness is split, our freedom to be is lost, and sentience is left behind.

The Great War of Ignorance is always before us. Self-realization is a game of daily struggle, not a spontaneous illumination. This is not running away and meditating in a cave or on a mountaintop, it is cultivating appreciation now, in your relationships with the world and within yourself. It’s helping others get out of their cages, even after we think we’ve escaped our own. The greatest challenge to understanding the divine, to experiencing happiness, and to alleviating the notion of constant discontentment is overcoming the limitations of cages we have chosen to put ourselves in. Likewise, how many years have we been held under societal, parental, and cultural cages unbeknownst to us? There’s an immense difference between being genetically caged by a rare condition as opposed to not realizing your own power to escape a situation, bad habit, and flawed ideology suppressing who you are.

Life itself is nothing more than a caging of the Spirit waiting (and hopefully coming to realize) the ever-present beauty before The Great Release into that which cannot be defined, constrained, or contained.

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Cages are a good mantra for our attention.

Take some time today and consider the following: how many cages have you noticed today? How many cages confine your self-image? What cages are preventing you from accomplishing your goals? What confinements are holding you back?

 

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Thank you Beth for the photo above!