Life at Mach Zero
We are a culture that values mastery and control that cultivates self-sufficiency, competence, independence. But in the shadow of these values lies a profound sense of isolation from our human wholeness. As individuals and as a culture we have developed a sort of contempt for anything in ourselves and in others that has needs, and is capable of suffering. It is not a gentle world.
We are in the age of insincerity. Facebook addicts us to show the world how happy we appear to be despite our despair and unuttered disturbances we hide from the world. We organize our business lives to get followed, get attention, and become talked about, without it stemming from our sense of service to others. Where is creating value for the joy of it? To be whole, we must experience our caring and altruistic nature to act in the service of others.
But despite this source of enrichment and fullness, we reel ourselves behind closed doors, attempting to connect from the distance to avoid repeated pain from vulnerability. So protected, so security centric, we shape our lives to avoid the worst. We end up in the unlived life, empty, isolated and unhappy. How do we churn these inner tides and start really living?
We take the world in through our intellect. Like a flowing well of water, we constrict the flow by fashioning our certainties to what’s going on. We hitch our conditioned thought—assumptions, generalizations, expectations, and interpretations, and obscure the accuracy of our perceptions like a dirty lens.
We compose identities to offset our shame and sense of inadequacy. We attempt to put a veneer over our flaws by giving off false impressions to affirm our existence. We concoct a self from what we own, what we do, and what others think, to hide our secret self from the world around us. Then one day it all falls apart. Our number is up; the mask comes off. Our nets we threw on others no longer affirm our significance. Leaving this identity brings us into depths in ourselves, places where we reclaim hidden parts of ourselves, back into wholeness.
We come to realize that after all this identification with the material world nothing could fill the holes and emptiness that we attempted to cover up with artificial sweeteners to entertain us. The consumer became consumed in a sense. We move from victim, consumer, reactor, to creator, challenger, and chooser. This is a major fundamental shift in our orientation to live life.
The shift is a process of severance, of crossing into the unknown beyond the familiar and reentering the world from there. This place I call entering “Mach Zero.” It is where slow is the new fast, less is more, and everything right now is just genuinely as it is supposed to be. It is the vaccine to our love affair with speed.
As we move toward Mach Zero we undo the conditioned doer in us toward a powerful threshold. The threshold at Mach Zero has four levels that occupy us. And by crossing it, we learn to move more creatively.
Instead of being hypnotized by life’s context, we can move from what matters most to us. Essentially, we can choose live and move toward unfolding future possibilities instead of bringing the past forward. We come to accept uncertainty to yield understanding. We can learn to think better than our mental models conditioned us from the past. We see our own seeing—dogma, theories, assumptions, and constructs of who we are, what life is supposed to be, and how others are.
Our quality of awareness regulates the flow patterns of energy and information. Context in our life is constantly in motion. Using our keenest awareness of what is, we can learn to reflect IN action instead of ON action. We create separate from what we know, and create knowledge at the level of action.
When we bring this kind of faith and openness into our goals, we find the distances to them less intimidating and more energizing. Passivity and activity coordinate in good balance. The current reality becomes a close ally and powerful point of reference to make adjustments, capacitate, and move us closer to what matters to us.
By this, we can free ourselves from the bondage of thought and see from behind our biases and cognitive reflects. We can invalidate our own seeing, and learn to see anew. This suggests a more direct and immediate relationship with reality, which if not edited by concepts, life is seen in its aliveness. We see that everything, including perhaps or demise and disappearance is waiting for us.
In our lives we can sense a frequency like a dog whistle that only a few of us are inclined to hear. A certain energy and pattern of order trends around us beyond our habitual thought and judgment. Life is in a constant flow that our fear, cynicism, and judgments constricts. We then crank our minds into hyperactive gear. Rather than the flow pouring through us, our well is blocked from receiving signal, as we can only relate with life through our own biases. We hack our own software.
The frequency that we operate from can be referred to as “source.” The source is the inner place from which our decisions, actions, and communications operate from. Our quality of action is communing with this source if our interior condition is still. To tap into it we must become conscious at several levels.
We become aware of the fundamental choice to live on our own terms. We invent ourselves from our deepest aspirations and longings in service to others. This shift of interest is 1st person oriented to one that is 3rd person oriented. I call this crossing the identity threshold, where the vampires become givers.
This 3rd person orientation is accessible by opening other organs of perception. Some call this opening the heart, giving rise to qualities such as empathy, compassion and consideration. We construct our actions out of the way others change our interior condition. Be letting go into an open hearted stance we change the world as the world in us is changed by it, in conversation. Connection, depth, intimacy, vulnerability, these become available through the non-defended heart.
Beyond the open heart is another well that like ground water rests at the base of our being. Some have called it the open or grand will at the base of our divine stock. It is the whole that speaks from within us; our primary knowing; our authentic self or destined being; the nameless one from the future that connects with us to come into reality. Mach Zero is the silent place where the future sends it taxi to pick us up in the silence. But we must do our part to bring us back to right here, and start from nowhere—Mach zero.
This is the sensitivity to one’s place in the world coherently and collectivity around him. He cannot NOT do a certain thing, as if a sacred project was waiting in him to be born; it is pregnant, and he hungers to bring it into being. At Mach Zero the invisible and visible commune; work in common cause. We live out of our intention, and by committing to it wholeheartedly living forward into the mystery, the universe suddenly meets us halfway.
Our intention and attention coordinate amazing miracles and synchronicities that appear with unexpected perfection. The creations come into the world from the spaces we make for them. We learn to make room in ourselves to obey these peripheral and ephemeral qualities that beholds life at the level of life itself. If we learn to notice it, the generative qualities are triggered by our willingness and observation. Perception is just as generative as action.
So where does the creative fire come from? One word: choices. A choice involves a courage to step into the unknown, and operate from presence, like a future self that is bigger than our current self that runs us. We must learn to trust the invisible by walking into it holding our deepest aspirations and intentions to our actions. This walk summons new information as we walk, as if reality has an unfolding and emerging quality ready to reveal itself through us. Matter mind and information work in confluence when we hold reality in this manner, and live on these terms with life —open, fluid, and accepting of the current moment as if we invited it.
We must find the pathway as we walk on it and trust that everything the future needs is being given to us in this moment. In some way, the path is seeking us. It is here that we must carry on a deep and intimate conversation with the present moments, to connect our heartbeat with the contextual heartbeat. A deep immersion into the current reality we have composes the future speaking to us if we can quiet our minds. It’s as if a grid is standing behind us connecting the dots on our experiences that we can only behind us.
Ultimately, life is in the business of organizing life, and we are one part of a larger wholeness and order that like the dog whistle, some will catch a glimpse of it and get with the program. Like the chef throwing food on the table and hearing the recipe, or the musician listening to the music and playing, we can participate in the enactment of larger systems and movements.
To start Mach Zero, schedule 30 minutes each morning for intentional stillness and grounding. Deliberately do nothing, choose to sit quietly and silently. Ask: What is my work? What do I want to bring into the world? What destiny stands in need of me? What is waiting in me to be born. What is ready to end that I must let go? What is ready to enter, come in that I must stop postponing? At night ask what struck you today, inspired you, and challenged you beyond the familiar, this is the future seed planting in you to tendril.
Remember: Silence speaks. Listen generously. Obey the inklings.