~*in the wordless chamber*~
they feared death
thus they clustered to the fruits of the earth
as if to avoid knowing why
in the wordless chamber
they feared life
thus they proclaimed any given truth
as if to justify their fear
he knew that there had been hordes of seers
who set out to cure
though, the sick wished not to part with
as if it made them feel
in the wordless chamber
he accepted desperation
and the unpredictable manifestations
The belief that we each orchestrate the entirity of our experience on planet Earth is still a very controversial one. It’s not hard to understand why. As children, most of us grew up hearing adults talk about cause and effect as something out of our control. As adults it seemed completely natural to point fingers at the cause of whatever negative effect we are [seemingly] subject to. Few of us were raised knowing that each new “problem” is one we’ve orchestrated for ourselves, a tap on the shoulder pointing to what current lesson needs learned. This is key when attempting to continuously incarnate into the weightless joy~state that is natural to the soul.
We’ve forgotten how to use our brains in the way they were meant to be used: as powerful tools that shape matter into forms. We are composers, using many instruments to bring our songs to life. Our judgments and opinions of this world hinder us from seeing what is real: that every instrument in the orchestra is required, “good” and “bad” alike. Much of the time we don’t even realize we have created opinions about something until our body and/or emotions react, as indicators that we have moved out of the natural state of relaxed, thoughtless observation we experience when we feel that all is right with the world.
Our greatest moments and most unique gifts all spawn when we are in this state. We have been so addicted to thought for so long that we have forgotten that we were meant to use thoughts as an instrument, instead of being an instrument of thought. I am no exception.
Biologically, our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are meant to be at a balance. The parasympathetic system is that part that releases calming neurotransmitter agents. It is the state that we are supposed to exist within most often. The sympathetic nervous system releases adrenaline~based agents, which were meant for singular situations that arise in our lives, those “fight or flight” moments. For countless years, modern~world humans have been existing in the adrenal states most often, our bodies receiving constant fight or flight alerts due to the stress we have become accustomed to creating in our lives. At this stage we see ourselves as helpless victims and blame our own, created situations or other humans for our unhappiness.
The concept that drew me to Tibetan practice and the Ancient Teachings of Masters (ATOM) was that of laying down our entanglements with others to take up the mantle of self~advancement. As an empath, I was very drawn to the assurance that I could relinquish the need to bear the burden of each human’s grief upon my shoulders. There is a certain and promised freedom in laying down the chains you bind your world with. By chains I mean the categories we put people in, blame we lay on others and the anger that is the outcome of not accepting responsibility for what has happened and is happening to us as exactly what we ordered.
~*The I left behind
The ever~fading I of the moment
The I shifting and bending into the horizon of the unknown*~ ~~Starofash
Once we comprehend that we are the composers of our lives, we wax and wane in that knowledge. Sometimes we fall asleep again only to find that we have succumbed to negativity as ego takes control of thought and directs the symphony. Things began to fall apart in our daily lives and we suffer from poverty and pain. It starts off small (though not always) and gradually gets worse and worse until we are left wondering if we can take any more. It is most often once things have become difficult when we remember that it’s all just another composition, with a single instrument off key: ourselves.
That’s what I am learning right now. Today marks the seventh day of yet another debilitating illness. Severe and unexplained stomach cramps have kept me bedridden and doubled over. Doctors cannnot help me. I’ve finally stopped feeling like a failure every time this happens, but it is hard to be patient with myself when the bills are piling up and I’m off work, unsure why I’ve chosen this particular path for myself.
Life Lesson: Profoundly unhappy people enter your life when you’re most in need of learning the lesson of acceptance.
I’ve had a lot of time to think, and have been retracing this sudden bout of ailments back to a particular job I did a couple of weeks ago. I work inside client’s homes for a living. Sometimes I end up spending a great deal of time with the homeowner. My initial conversation with this stay~at~home mother of four caused me to feel at ease. She told me that her own mother was “crazy” but that she had broken the cycle of abuse and created something new for herself and her children. Being a paradigm~change enthusiast I replied “Cool! So have I!” But it soon became obvious that she hadn’t come out as unscathed as she believed.
Observing her interactions with her children was like watching a live enactment of my own, painful beginnings. By the end of the second day I had a panic attack, a thing that has not happened to me in decades. Previously~unremembered memories began surfacing. My first instinct was to leave and not come back, but I was contracted to be there for several weeks. Knowing that this woman was a homework assignment I had chosen for myself didn’t keep me from having to do the homework.
I began piling my feelings about my mother onto this woman and could not see beyond them. Because I could tell that we’d been through something very similar yet I alone had come out awake, I internally made her into the criminal and I played the hero, even as I decided I should make peace with her.
When we craft an act of life for ourselves to play we pick our own part, and the other actors perfectly, complete with every nuance of our design. Over the main course of my time with this woman I felt as if I’d made peace with her (and, essentially, my past), but looking back I was reflecting false pride and pity. It was in her nature to reject sympathy and any motions of friendship, thus my resolve fractured.
~*Absorbed in itself all the way down to the ever hushed cry*~ ~~Peccatum
I lost consciousness as a loathing grew inside me towards this woman. I felt “subject” to her constant negative chatter day after day; blaming the world for problems she created herself, taking her anger and resentment out on her family. I pushed against every word that came out of her mouth. My own words to her sounded kind but my heart was lashing out. I became angry at my own mother all over again, then my grandmother for ruining the lives of her children.
Human action can be a poison that, when unchallenged, infects each new generation that it comes into contact with. As well, human action can be the cure, but even with the best intentions no positive change will be made if we believe the story we are telling ourselves about the situation.
That’s the hard part about this journey, that we are blind to our true desires and intentions. Had I been able to stay still and silent inside myself, an empty vessel filling with the light of the Beyond, I could have reflected with understanding and deeply touched her. It was compassion that I set out to accomplish, but because my basis for action was negative I did little more than simultaneously feed her ego and cause her to dislike me.
Sometimes we simply cannot do it right, too many wounds within us have gone unhealed. If we can’t then we can’t. Nothing can fill us with a joy we don’t have space for. But we must then be prepared to suffer the consequences of our inability. We must allow ourselves to be human.
Over weeks, the anger continued to spread to the rest of my life. I began to draw others to me which caused me to be angry; a friend’s new girlfriend that I don’t like, an old acquaintance at odds with everyone around her. Soon I was not able to sleep for negative thoughts, and waking in the morning in a unnameable state of panic. I found myself complaining about people and being very negative. I can guess I was acting in the very way that I was blaming others for behaving [aah thought, deceiver of the very mirror before me!]. The more my mood spiraled the sicker and sicker I got. Now here I am, bedridden, in pain and forced to watch my love ones worry over me and tend to my needs…and I’ve done it all to myself.
So what is left, once things have fallen apart? What can we do? It is our first instinct to feel sorry for ourselves, to worry, to suffer. This does not have to be the case. We have the choice to either continue to fall apart or to surrender. When things get tough I don’t want to let go of the song I’m composing, but when things get serious I find I have little other choice than surrender to the real tale. The facts do not matter; whose fault it was, what was done wrong. I’m just starting to understand this concept.
Whatever the reason, the solution to the problem is the same. This situation is as I have created it. Until I have learned whatever lesson I was meant to learn — at least enough to create a different scenario for myself –I will continue to experience in this way.
If there is no purpose for pain then the purpose of living in a pain~filled, physical reality is void. Being that I do not believe in a pointless existence I choose to believe that everything happens for a reason, and that this moment is a smaller piece of some bigger puzzle that I am putting together for myself. Therefore, I must trust that everything will turn out okay. A quick recall of past, more intense lessons shows that, indeed, everything has been for a reason, nothing left out. Why would the future be any different?
And what of the fact that there is no future? This moment, for better or for worse, is all that I have. So I say to myself:
“I allow this moment to be exactly what/as it is. I accept it, just as it is. I have created this for myself and it is okay; every part, even the pain and frustration.”If I do not believe these words they will produce no positive results. If that is the case, I must accept that as well. When I choose to surrender everything that I was fighting against I lay down my weapons, my beliefs and excuses and validations and say “I am done.”
There is a difference between surrender and resignation. The image above is resignation, a clear signpost pointing towards a chance for surrender. When things seem to fall apart it is an open invitation to begin again! When everything is wrong, when failure is looming just over the next horizon all we must do is let go of our worries, our fears, our expectations and our fortune~teller tendencies and simply…..aaaaaahhhhhhhhh…. breathe it all out.
Let go. Give up. I don’t pray for myself because I believe that everything is happening just as it should. In my tradition I give it to the master. That’s what “grace” is — something, anything, bigger than you, anything which lifts your burden when your feet are too tired. You don’t have to believe in any god or religion to gain grace. You can surrender your worries and fears to the sky if you wish. Just…don’t hold on to them anymore yourself, say “This is bigger than me.” and let it go.
Once I allow myself to surrender the mood changes, my physical self relaxes, my mind ceases to war inside my skull. It reminds me of that moment in black~and~white movies when the man grabs the woman and she struggles against him dramatically before falling into his arms for the kiss she really wanted. We, each of us play hard~to~get with joy and surrender, and we don’t skip any steps because we can’t. We must break and crack in the process of shedding the many, weighty layers of belief holding us to the ground before the weightless being of light can fly free.
I’ve managed to mess everything in my life up right now. I’m not happy about it, but I’m no longer angry anymore. This is just a wave, one wave of many. It passes and returns to joy. It comes, it goes, waxes, wanes. All was made right again in some moment in my future when I surrendered.
Surrender feels light, like walking into mist. It can feel really bad to relinquish that amount of control once you’re deep in. Especially when I’m in severe pain, the fear is that things will always be this way and that I have no control to change them unless I think my way out of them. But as I take a step into thoughtlessness I find I can see just enough ground beneath me to take another.
This thing that we are is an empty vessel in a constant state of revision. We are the vessel and the potter that crafts it, moulding and remoulding our perception of the world based on our current state of thought. We begin weighted, as clay; heavy and made of the soil on which we stand. We don’t require a form yet we build walls with our opinions, our judgments, our beliefs. What meanings we place on certain events and situations and people cause us to react accordingly, colouring us and the world around us.
The thinner our walls the more we are worth to others. With work our grains are rounded, with fire they meld. We become like blown glass, filled by breath and light as a feather, beautiful in our translucence. I must honour every step in the process of refining my grains, thinning my walls, gaining clarity, an ever~finer version of myself on this quest for weightlessness.
This is that process. In our starlit, love~scene minds we imagine that it’s a beautifully tragic process, all done with grace and wisdom. But it’s not like that, it’s this, kicking and screaming, refusing to let go. It should be honoured, every part. I cannot be anything but what I am in this moment unless I believe that I should change. If I cannot change, I shall honour that part of me as well. It’s how we learn.
How will I create anything new of myself until I discover all that I do not desire to be?