Humans are funny mammals--funny tragic, that is. At our core we are infinite spiritual beings, and by the time you zoom in through all the levels of power dissipation, we're left with individuals with tragically limited personal power, separated and compartmented into a matrix of beliefs about who and even what we are.
I've been stepping up time spent in clearing meditations (see Two Tools), and as I shoveled on through what sometimes seems like miles of decisions, judgments, conclusions, choices and self-evaluations, the image of a huge bureaucracy came to mind. And this huge bureaucracy was making up who I think I am, or have been.
Let's see. We have The Shoulds Department, where I can wallow in suffering because things should be different--as if that's going to change anything. But it's great for copping out and not confronting the truth of a given situation.
Then there's The But Department. Here we have the thousands of employees that immediately yell out, "BUT" when any idea that might lead to more freedom or personal power is broadcast. This is designed to maintain the status quo so there is no failure should the idea actually attempt fruition. After all, the worst BUT of all springs from the fear of failure or success.
Ah, yes. The Conclusion Department. This is the shut-off valve for practically any access to infinite possibilities. I can search for answers here, and this department will spit out the immediate reasons why such and such is true. For example, I can ask, "Why is my bank account so depleted this month?". A typical answer from the Conclusion Department is, "You didn't work hard enough," or, "The economy is down overall, globally, so that's why." Oh, okay. So I'll work more hours doing what I've always done. Ugh.
And, my favorite: The Judgment Department. Here I can dependably find all the self-evaluations, conclusions about others' behaviors, my body appearance, and of course, all the "hard data" about how I've messed things up, and how I could have done that better, but will never do it. Here I can cop out of trying to access any personal power, because, well, you know, I just don't have what it takes, I'm not good enough, and it's too much work, and no one cares anyway about what I have to say, or what I do.
We are complex beings. In fact, it is our complexity that limits us. We make things so complicated when we consider our infiniteness, our immediate access to total freedom, and our direct connection to Universal intelligence, that it looks like an impossibility that these desirable states are actually attainable.
We dumb ourselves down in order to conform to a set of arbitrary rules and laws. Why? To discover our infiniteness and our total freedom, apparently. The funny tragic thing about that is we can choose to break out of the bureaucracy of self and relatively immediately find ourselves shining like a star in Universal Oneness, unencumbered by the box we have called "life".