"COMING OUT OF THE SYSTEM" by Stephen Russell (Barefoot Doctor)
---“Counter Culture Copyright” by Aurailleus
Just billions of people, joining up at least five days a week to engage in habitual interactions, the form and terms of which have been previously agreed upon but which are subject to change as things progress and which, one way or another, lead to pollution in the atmosphere and sewage in the sea. Hence, by group consensus, we have traffic jams at rush hour, globally, every morning and every evening, and people the world over believing in the power of money. A minority regulate the status quo of this conundrum and the majority goes along. This is normal and results from the inefficient use of imagination on the part of the individual.
As a warrior, however, you have the freedom to choose your own path and, as long as you don't get too attached to home, status and possessions, will be free to exercise that choice whichever regime is in power. In other words, just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you have to, too. Just because the majority live their lives a certain way, doing traffic jams twice a day, doesn't mean that's the right way for you. In fact, if you examine the mess made by the majority over the years, it's a safe bet to say that if you do the opposite you'll be on the right path.
This is not to advocate anarchy or chaos. It is simply to say that if you live from your imperishable core, in harmony with your authentic self, you will be following your own path/Tao, and not necessarily the path everyone else seems to be following. You will then automatically find yourself choosing work [see Your Life's Work p. 185] and play situations mostly outside the nine-to-five context, and may find yourself riding your bicycle (or if you must, driving your car) to work, against the traffic.
You are an individual - literally, one who is not divided. This means that to be authentic and live an authentic life you must be clearly focused on a single path, which means being focused on a single point. When you are thus centered, you see that there is no system, just lots of individuals playing in the playground. There is no system to come out of or rebel against. You simply play however you choose.
This is no less valid when living under the jurisdiction of a totalitarian regime; you just have to be more discreet about it. A warrior is always free.
A quick cut to seeing through the illusion of systems is to do the upside-down contemplation:
You have always assumed that the sky is up and the ground is down. This is based on the now-defunct flat-earth theory. As we are actually on a globe, it is only possible to say that the sky is farther away from the Earth's center, and the ground is closer in toward its center, relative to where you're standing. This being so, it is perfectly acceptable to replace this nonsense of sky-up and ground-down with its opposite nonsense of ground-up and sky-down.
Just like a bat hanging "upside down," imagine that the ground you're hanging from is up, and the sky into which your head is hanging down, is down. Look up to the floor and down to the ceiling. The treetops are reaching down into the sky. Birds fly down there, and planes go really deep.
Practice this lying, sitting or standing still and then take it out for a walk or run. This visualization is powerful and can make you throw up if you overdo it on a full stomach. As well as helping you to see through the apparent system in general, mastering the upside-down contemplation is effective in high-stress situations like courtroom dramas and other such instances where the "system" illusion is strong. A few moments of upside down will concentrate your chi and spirit. It's also wicked in a headstand.
For more complete coming-outness, don't use credit cards and borrow money only from friends.
Barefoot Doctor's Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior