The Placebo

Seeing through the placebo reintroduces one to oneself and others. It took me a long time to understand what “placebo” meant. My entire life until now. But the abiding presence of a deep peace or the absence of defense and attack, and their army of insecurities, is a sure sign that you are no longer living at its level any more (the placebo’s level).

I wonder where the rubber meets the road.

There is a woman in India who travels the world to hug people. There are rock bands who travel the world to play their music. I get the rock bands. Music is wonderful; to be enjoyed alone and with friends.

We make a spectacle out of our idols. Some idols mirror a deeper poverty. What I find ironic about the hugging lady, is that people would queue to hug her when there are so many people, in our day to day lives, that we don’t value and fully embrace. Maybe we have yet to fully embrace our deeper love of ourselves.

Folk will drive hours and line up in a big hall to hug this woman. That takes effort. An effort is an attempt. And an attempt is an effort to achieve or complete something, typically a difficult task or action. But, will we pause to question our judgments very deeply? Or hug the most difficult people in our lives (without imposing an actual physical hug on them)?

Isn’t that where the rubber meets the road?… where self-loathing peers into the mirror of its own undoing. We peer into the distance too. How distant is that undoing in you?

Root means radical. 

A clever man can make simple things complex. He can try to fix the whole world with the noise of his ideas. A peaceful man sees through to the root of things.

What binds us versus what undermines us. 

Have you made it a rule to live by that you will pull out of any social contracts where you sacrifice your worth, and others worth, for a casual lie another refuses to let go? 

Isn’t that fueling fear and loathing when you don’t do that?

The Ears to Hear. 

If you are very lucky, in life, you will meet certain people, who have a depth to them that will shock you. They won’t settle for your provincial tired lies to yourself. They will see through your ego to something else. But you have to have the ears to hear and the desire to attune yourself to that quality of listening. Or you will walk on by them, like a man who has never really seen a tree.

The most powerful things. 

I could sit down and write the most powerful things that were ever said to me. 

They might be:

“When you meet a fearless person, …”

Beyond the psychopathic interpretation of this, in the deeper sane meaning of the expression, I wanted to know what that meant, not as an idea, but in my own mind, and in how I saw another. 

Then there was someone who said (slowly):

“I am determined to see differently. 




Not one of you in this room know the state behind that word.” 

That was an invite to see the pain body and how it created a false umbra of logic out of a shallow falsity. 

And later: 

“Peace is more important than passion.”

That gave me the keys to the doors to the deepest happiness. 


When you clear out everything casual in your story, something deep and beautiful replaces it. It doesn’t take much. Just a dogged persistence not to undermine what is meaningful: you cease to take anything vital for granted. You see the ruse that is too busy to care. And from that quiet, distilled seeing, a flower blooms. 
This photo was a gift from a friend today:

When we say “I love you.”

Witness when someone says: “I love you”, …

Is it true? 

Is it just words? Self-involvement? Fear and insecurity? Or is there a fire burning there that will burn up all of that?

In other words, do they know themselves? 

Have they looked carefully at the blocks to love within the story of themselves? Have they understood self-loathing? How it attacks and defends and kills in the name of a flag or an ideology? 

Have they looked at anger like a child watches a gorilla in a zoo? Have they come to learn what it means to be free inside? Have they distilled the spirit of themselves in the meanness and plenty of life and found themselves, and others, not wanting, not weary and lacking? 

Have they learned to cherish and refused to dine at the pig trough of insecurity? Have they graduated from all that inferiority and superiority, to dine with lovable fools and wise men? Is their life no longer a predicament, a story to lament?

And have you cradled them in your heart today?

What your relationships mirror. 

This is the root meaning of the word “granted”:
Middle English: 

from Old French granter ‘consent to support,’ 

variant of creanter ‘to guarantee,’ 

based on Latin credere ‘entrust.’

What is guaranteed in your connection with the flower, with your friend, with an abusive ego? Your behavior will reveal it; it will demonstrate what you value, what quality of connection you are the guarantor of. 

To grant then is to entrust or to consciously consent to support. You grant someone your trust, your affection, attention and friendship. And they extend that to you too. 

That is connection and it is not an idea. Connection is a living thing. Relationship connects us and if we take it for granted, like a house plant we forget to water, it withers and dies. Often an idea is enough to smother and blind and sever a relationship. 

I have noticed with mindless or inattentive and busy minds, stuck in their ideology and reactionary thoughts, there is often no connection. 

There is a connection. It is implicit. What often is there is more a hubris; a very limited and fear based connection. The noise of my idea and my image about myself and the other becomes far more important, somehow, than being real with another. 

You have to start by being real with yourself; looking at your prejudices, honoring your preferences and being attentive to how I condemn and limit my appreciation because of my attitude and attachment to fear.
When the mind is very busy, tangled up in a lot of unquestioned erroneous beliefs, it often binds itself to a certain apathy and helplessness, often, ironically, that shows up as helping another or unseen blind allegiance to a number of unhealthy authorities in the mind.

It might be saying ‘yes’ to a sociopath because he is the boss, when your wiser self would walk away or stand up to abuse. Or it could be the mind hinged to a belief that condemns another because of my unquestioned prejudice, etc. Or it might be attached to an ideology or a belief in God or no God. And so, it is those things that meet when people “meet” and so they do not meet. What meets is the noise in my head versus the noise in your head. 

Quantum physics acknowledged that the presence of the observer changes outcomes. An attentive mother or father can listen to a child and witness some pain. It may be a pattern of behavior that brings pain to the child. And very sensitively, they might find ways to help the child see the pattern so the pain body is not fed further and conscious awareness takes its place. 

The antidote to suffering lies in entrusting your attention to the principles that guide us when we confront a lack of love in ourselves or another. That way we weed out fear and encourage the heart to grow in feeling and wisdom; rather than blocking it by the inattentive activity that lets the house plant of human need wither and die. 

Either inattention flourishes, and leaves a withered and pained heart in its wake, or we entrust ourselves to the music of a deeper wisdom.
Have you the courage that your deeper honesty will reward you? “Courage” means, the heart, the seat of feelings. It means to give yourself to its wisdom and beauty, rather than be bullied and blinded by the testimony of fear.