Can one look at conformity and see what it does in oneself and in relationship with others? Can one observe how one is attached to something, how one yearns to belong, how willingly one obeys what is demanded, how one believes what is preached, how one imitates what is going on in the community one calls one’s own? How one goes along, becomes identified, begins to protect, cherish, and defend it, as well as to attack the deviants?
Is it humanly possible to walk alone, without any accompaniment? Not isolating oneself from human beings—I don’t mean that. What I mean is without the accompaniment of the constant soliloquies, the running commentaries, the comforting ideas, the hopes, the attachment through thoughts and ideas to people, beliefs, and ideals, the future plans and experiences?
Can one hear this vast running river as just that?
From The Work of This Moment by Toni Packer, page 56