Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Friends, Lovers, and Other Strangers?

The question is....Exactly what is it that I see when looking at another?

In the midst of trying to give this inquiry my full attention I find myself giving several distracted glances in my husband's direction.  I note the rounded shoulders of his seated form as he reads from his laptop.  Then I remember that he hates that laptop.  Or maybe it's just a healthy disdain for Windows 8.


Besides the visual cues of shape and color, I'm pretty proud of my spiritual acuity in easily noticing that there is absolutely nothing there that says "husband".  That notion, I understand, comes in a series of thoughts which claim to tell a story about that particular shape and form.  This is a textbook case of realizing the difference between actual experience and thought overlay.

I get 10 bonus points for this round of inquiry and move onto the next space on the board.
Next, I start looking at the question of how and where these particular thoughts came to be.  It seems that there was an event at which time everyone agreed that the story of  The Spouse would begin and then conditioning by way of repetitive reinforcement carried it forward.  For years.  There's just one curious thing... all of the stories I hold are not the same stories he does.  While they intersect, they are never the same, just agreed-upon.  How can I say this?  Because more often than not, we have to compare notes for the exact same experience:

"You seemed to enjoy yourself at the party."

"Yeah, I did!  Did you?"

"Did you see that guy fall into the pool?"

"Hah!  It was the Cuervo, I think."

Yes, that's us as we check each other's accounts of the same events.  The question at the heart of this exercise is whether we'd seen the same things and interpreted them in the same way.  In other words, we'd like to know whether or stories match and if they don't, we usually begin to fill in the other's gaps!  This is how we continue the conditioning and create a mutual world!

Looking into this even further, I realize that whenever I look over at him, a new and different thought pops.  Some seem to be related to previous thoughts, but they're actually new each time they appear.  What's more, sometimes they're contradictory.  But only completely.  One moment my thoughts recall a wonderful deed and a bit later, I might be bristling at a perceived slight.   The key word, of course, being perceived.

What does that contradiction say about whether I have the ability to REALLY see him or am limited to seeing my story of him?  If I hold opposing ideas about the person that he and base those ideas upon my current mood or state of mind, I can't be sure which are truer.  The question then has to be asked... do I understand who or what he is at all?  He seems to be more an amazing and ever-changing mystery than a limited idea called Spouse. 

Where this hold true for me, it must also hold true for him. 

I suddenly wonder about the mystery he sees. 


  1. "This is a textbook case of realizing the difference between actual experience and thought overlay."
    I'd think that thought overlay is part of actual experience, and that the realising is just another overlay.

    "Where this hold true for me, it must also hold true for him."......Must?

    1. Great points, Neony, and thank you for providing more opportunity to do inquiry. My next post will take a look at your comments. Thanks again.