from the Conclusion
Reverence is not prized by self-forgetters (privatives). Yunmen’s “Buddha is a shit-stick” runs along this current. Note, however, that privatives usually don’t go out of their way to insult revered objects or venerated traditions; it just occurs by happenstance. Privatives are not so much indifferent as oblivious. They are dogs. This does not mean that they require to be taught to show respect. On the contrary. At one time, they were almost certainly too respectful, not necessarily in the sense of obsequious, but rather painstaking to appease others, even at the cost of sacrificing their own personal emotional satisfaction. Privatives were once extremely well-versed in politeness and reverence; that is the very problem which all their efforts since then have addressed! Privatives have gained their obliviousness through prolonged struggle and intense focus. Those social rebels who flout traditions are not privatives, because they continue to define their identity in relation to the social conventions that they flout: i.e. one can conform, or one can dissent. Privatives do neither; they forget the rules. Such ‘reprogramming of the active unconscious’ is selective. Privatives are not sociopaths; they do not forget not to harm others. But they do forget manners, customs, patriotism, religion, and so on. They might even forget some of the myriad rules surrounding private property. But again, just as they are not sociopaths, they are also not vandals. They might sleep on your verandah or sit in your garden, but they do not leave a mess, or scrawl graffiti, or break valuables, or steal. And though they do forget proper deportment and social dress codes, they also forget sexist, racist, ageist attitudes, agendas, and inculcation techniques.

But, someone might argue, can privatives not simply go along with social rules for the sake of appearances, so as not to upset other people? The answer is that it is dangerous for a privative even to temporarily pretend to conform to some social custom, such as, for example, standing during a national anthem. Why? Because conditioning of the brain never vanishes from the unconscious; at most, the conditioning goes dormant, and the privative is able to operate out of an accessible unconscious that exists without triggering old conditioning patterns. The privative who risks pretending to conform is re-activating those old conditioned patterns, and thus in danger of losing her or his hardly won self-forgetting. This is due to a large degree because originally, the individual who has now achieved a privative state, was, during an earlier time, even then pretending to conform, consciously, painfully, probably resentfully or fearfully. Thus, to now pretend again, is to behave exactly as she or he has learned to forget. The action reignites dormant unconscious brain behaviour.

As for an observer, distinguishing between a rebel, a bum, a vandal, a privative, an artist, and a lunatic is a matter of subtle observation and intuition. A privative is likely to receive the social abuse frequently heaped upon other nonconformists. The difficulty for the privative then is not the abuse, but rather the reminder of definitions of socially acceptable behaviours and attitudes. The reminder, of course, reminds the privative of what she or he has forgotten! The privative therefore uses the situation to reinforce forgetting by recalling that the entire situation is natural. [SEE the Easy Way to Enlightenment.] Learning is ongoing, until perhaps, at last, the natural for the privative is so natural that it is unshakeable.

Cord-Reading, A Bodying Practice

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