Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scylla and Charybdis


a cool breeze clears the eyes
a cool breeze clears the eyes

Let us talk of sacred things.
walks in the cold night air.
I want to bath myself, in cold water.
Cold, because I want to clean my spirit, not my body.
I want to be awakened, and shudder at the touch of something intense, something that breaths life into me, that the warm, stuffy, artificially lighted building has sucked out.

I want to speak about many different things.

I don't want this blog to become something self indulgent. It already has become somewhat self-indulgent, but in the sense that it gives me a feeling of connection to friends, which I miss.

If it ever becomes self-indulgent in the way artists become egoic, that is, "look what I've made, aren't I so great" then it will be time for me to shut it down.


Promises. Vows. Perhaps I should restrict my computer time, and my indoor time. like a parent with a child. Except me to myself. It's not something I've done before. I wonder if I could maintain it?

One the one side (of the rock and the hard place) is being too attached and controlled by sense-desires. On the other side (the Charybdis) is loss of compassion. if you move to much away from one, the other will get you.

It's primarily an Indian wording, talking about the Senses controlling the mind, rather than the mind controlling the senses. This is like when men chase skirts, or dogs chase balls, or businesspeople chase dollars. There is some sense, that is overruling our better judgment. We just really want that cookie, even though we know it's bad for us.

My primary one, that I think of right now, is Story. I crave for endings. I crave the secret behind the mystery. I want to know how it ends. I want to see it end happily. I want to be complete. This is the force that drives you on to read a book, watch a movie, late into the night. We desperately want to know that the character (which we've associated with us.) is going to be ok. Is going to find what they've been searching for.

And that's not how it works.

That's not how it works, with any of the senses. That's not how it works, with the mind craving for the how of things.

We search for satisfaction in such small things. Sex, food, television, relationship, job, money, fame. At there best, they provide a few brief shots of fulfillment. maybe five minutes for every month of searching for them. And then it's gone. And we keep searching. I realized long ago it was a fools game, and no one who played it won. So I started looking for a game that was winnable. Enlightenment promised to be that game, and looked promising, with some good customer reviews, from a lot of spiritual big-wigs. It was the best option I could find.

And it has delivered, partially. "Partially" means it has moved me more and more in the direction of an underlying fulfilment that doesn't come and go with "things." But, it hasn't gotten rid of that aspect. Maybe I just need to meditate more, as my first dogma/system suggests. I don't think that can possibly be correct. I found the meditation my parents taught me to be extremely useful. I can't think of a more useful single thing I did than regularly practice meditation. But it's bullshit when they say that's all you need. You need YOU. You need sincerity. And eventually, you need to listen to the voice of something bigger, moving you through life, to where you need to be, to what you need to do.

The shit gets hard and scary sometimes, and you somehow need to find a way to weather through it, and if that's faith in the Lord Jesus or a personal vendetta against God, I don't think it really matters, as long as it gets you to the next step. (I think eventually you'd need to replace the "vendetta against God" motivation, once life started getting nice and you no longer hated him(her).)

There are people on the spiritual path that are spinning their wheels. All of us do, at one time or another. But there are those who have been spinning their wheels for decades, and those ruts they're creating are getting pretty deep. And that's sad. Because either they're going to die in the same place, or something drastic and probably extremely uncomfortable (though possibly really nice, depending on the karma (call it luck, if you prefer)) is going to shake them out of it.

Here is a good way to avoid really bad things happening to you: pay attention. Because nature will almost always give you relatively gentle signs that you are stuck or going the wrong direction. The scope of how often and precisely nature does this is nothing short of miraculous, though usually the vehicle looks quite mundane. Doesn't matter. Listen carefully, and nature doesn't have to get out the bat.

I don't have any more I can say, express, comprehensibly. I am dealing with surrender, though that word is a poor shadow of what I 'm dealing with. What I am feeling trying to flow through my heart is something amazing and mundane and miraculous and real, as real as your chair and the feelings you have right now.

All this stuff, that's happening to me, around enlightenment, is organic. I can't think of a really appropriate word. By organic I mean... like, fleshy. Like a body. it's very real. It has ligaments and muscles. It works a certain way, and it has certain limits, and if you want it to do something there is a specific process you go through. And it's not exact, it's sticky and one thing kind of flows into another, with only occasional clear boundaries, and even those, are pressed up right against each other.

Especially now, as I'm dealing with action. action in the world, as opposed to thinking. I'm very good at thinking, and creating in the mental realm. I'm good at listening to and telling stories. But even just me walking outside in the cold air and moving the garbage and recycling bins to the side of the street, cannot even be approximated.... well, actually, maybe they can be... huh.

but required of any writing that accurately approximates reality, is something that ties it in with a shared experience. I need to write and conjure up a memory of the readers. That's the only way you get close to reality.

But even then, we have our stories about life, and then there is life. And so many of the stories I've read, just don't describe life well. Hell, even the "true" stories, don't describe themselves well.

Because of the multi-dimensionality of living, verses verse. I told you about my trip to take out the trash. But did I tell you the colors of the recycling bin? the order I did everything? the feeling of the sticky handle? the spiritual change the cool night air brought about? The thoughts that went through my head in that short trip? I've been trying to write about them this whole post.

And I wouldn't care, except I'm trying to learn how to live, and when a story creates an image inside me, and then I try to create that image, act out that story, in the world, and it doesn't work, because real life doesn't work like I imagined it did... then I feel sad, and powerless. wisdomless, because some bit of wisdom I learned in a book, or from a mouth, refers to a fictional reality, that works differently than mine.

This is not really a problem, just a problematic approach. I'm trying, (dreamer and mind-dweller that I am) to gain an understanding of the world, from imaginary worlds. Change the approach to gaining an understanding of the world, from the world, and suddenly the teaching stories become potent tools, pointing the direction for fruitful exploratory action.

But it's really fucking scary; doing stuff, taking risks, doing something new, in the real world. Going to a strange new place, talking to people I don't know, trying to date, trying to change myself, trying be more disciplined, trying to surrender to what my heart directs.

The lesson for today is: Do not be afraid of Death.

This is the lesson because it's the answer to the internal dialog whenever you are asked to trust and act on something that frightenes you.

The Big One: Do (fill in the blank)
little me: but what if it's not right? what if something bad happens?
B1: it's the right thing
lm: but what if something I don't want happens
B1: what's the worst that could happen
lm:... Death, I guess.
B1: and what's the worst that could happen, if you don't do it.
lm: ...I guess that would also be death... I guess that could happen any way.
B1: and do you have any clue what is the right thing to do?
lm: honestly, just you.
B1: and I'm telling you to do it.
lm: I'd rather just think a bit and delay. if I do nothing, or just do what I'm comfortable with, it feels like its less likely something bad will happen.
B1: like death.
lm: yeah, if you take it back far enough.
B1: Don't fear death. fear never living. as you are doing right now, every second you delay doing what your heart knows is right. Maybe you will die. But at least you will be closer to having lived. And nature, God, will protect those, who give themselves to him(her). To Me. To You.

That's surrender. I'm not good at it. I'm afraid. I'm a slow learner. I'm good at weaseling out of facing it. But I'm not giving up. Because, frankly, it's the only game in town, for me. Compared to this, there is nothing worth doing, in my world. (I say, "compared" because everything is worth doing. But this is a whole different caliber, dimension, level, of "worth doing.")

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