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Archive for June, 2013

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Yesterday’s journal drawn in darkness with pencil…..

“I have not loved the world, nor the world me.
I have not flattered its rank breath,
Nor bowed to its idolatries a patient knee.
I stood among them, but not of them,
In a shroud of thoughts which were not their thoughts…

What is the worst of woes-that wait on age?
What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?
To view each loved one blotted from (my) life’s page,
And be alone on Earth as I am now…

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes
By the deep sea, and music in its roar.
I love not man the less, but Nature more.”

Excerpted from writings of Lord Byron (with apologies for my appropriative use and with gratitude)

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Marianne Williamson recently posted in Facebook:

“Enlightenment doesn’t mean we were never wounded; it means we’ve found a way to evolve beyond our wounds. Enlightenment isn’t idealistic; it’s practical. What’s idealistic is thinking we can live from our wounds, stay in our weakness, and ever transform the world.”

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With the greatest and most sincere respect to the expert here (that would not be me), I must disagree.  I just didn’t feel this rang quite true, or at least in conflict with itself in its articulation.  Sadly I’m not terribly concise, so my explanation may beg your patience.

I differ with Marianne on the idea that being wounded and weak are necessarily separate in the individual state from Enlightenment. I would suggest that they are all parts of all of us, and do not travel separately in our lifelines. To me, that is far too generalized, tidy a package to put upon a real human life, and is itself an idealized perspective on life. In fact what is idealistic is thinking that one is ever completely free of weakness, wounds, or failure, and if this were a condition of Enlightenment, then no one could ever transform the human experience of the world. Since people have done and are doing that, then they are accessing Enlightenment from their actively imperfect existence, which is always in flux, in degrees, and sometimes weaker than striping, or vice versa. Weakness and wounds are integrated into our being and integral to balance and action, none of which are static or distinct from potential. Living from wounds and weakness, sitting with that for as long as you’re not done with it, can be the impetus to develop means to transform the world. Acting on it may or may not best come from having already emerged stronger for it. In fact, sometimes it may be the better place to begin the bridge from one place to another.

I would say that Enlightenment is not only found in those who “have been” wounded and weak, hopeless and stuck in the past. Enlightenment is not a distinct state that waits out there beyond one’s wounds snd weakness, sitting apart for some point beyond one’s pain, suffering, despair, weakness, or feelings of the futility of it all that things–we–the world can’t change, or there’s nothing we can do, or wanting to just give up.

I speak only from the experience of just my own myriad experiences, when I say that at the very the darkest of dark points of one’s existence, in the worst imaginable Hell, with no possible chance of change perceivable, to experience life when one is the most helpless, abandoned and perpetually wounded and weak and diseased, inside and out, to be the most despised, attacked, trapped, and as yet fixated on bitterness and impossibility of change, Enlightenment is quite present somewhere already within us all. It is there from the first spark of life until the last spark is done with us. It persists in us, even in that worst of quagmires.

Though we are not healed, though we are weak and wounded, yet there is a part of us, whether we acknowledge it yet or not, that is thinking and acting, and holding us to life, and to something possible beyond weakness. And even if we aren’t consciously thinking it, the fact that we are yet alive at all, is the proof of it, though it may be all that we sense of it, it still acts, in that moment, and this is realistic and therefore must be enough for the moment, and enough to start building change. It may be the only sign to remind us that within us Enlightenment is in fact actively part of us, alive, and holding us yet.

If we can think any thought, even those that are keeping us weak and wounded, and stuck looking back, not yet moving beyond to healing, Enlightenment is also inextricably a part of that active process, somewhere in one’s being, even as the faintest whisper that “possible” can come to us in the next breath, or that there are important places that our minds are just not looking, cant yet see, or has yet to ripen.

Enlightenment persists despite everything, I believe, for reasons that I cannot yet, or may never totally fathom, reminding me like a beacon that has the power to cut through the cacophony screaming that all is pointless. Yet no matter how much one’s frailty, wounds, weakness and fear are pulling us down, back, or holding us where we don’t want to be, or that our paralysis, depression, and fear seem more like prophesy that we will remain imprisoned forever, looking only at all of our “had nots, have losts, will never haves, should haves or could have dones, if only”.still this tenacious even annoying, unrelenting thread of a whisper may yet pull us somewhere different and better.

Our souls know whether we listen or not in this moment, that somehow we can yet discover, either alone, or with unseen hands, that a quiet belief in “possible”, is in us somewhere, though weak. We may not imagine it yet, but if there is life, it already exists in us–there it is, in the core of our life, moment by moment, Enlightenment is a living process, not an after state, so long as life exists in us or even after us,, a tiny flame of “possible yet to happen”. The awareness of this is woven into our conscious path, just as much as a certitudevthat if nothingnchanges for the better, that we may surely perish–perhaps waxing and waning twixt them, like life’s currents tend to do, as we move through each moment. But they flow in life inseparably, just as surely as the fact that from birth, we also begin the process of death in an active sense. The processes are inseparable, whether we perceive both together or focuus on that or not.

The mind is a lazy kind of muscle, arguably to conserve resources and energy and effort, and when facing the hardest or new things, it defaults to ingrained patterns, hard-wired in us. Past is the source of hard wiring; new ways have yet to take root, and require effort to act on new things. What my short 53 years of life have shown me–the one singular inseparable consistency–and what always has persisted when everything and everyone left me alone, helpless, wounded, weak, afraid, without comfort or protection or shred of security, and the only alternatives at the time were usually worse than what came before, and when I also lacked vision, skills, resources to effectively change things for the better, something always held onto me, though I struggled and denied it, and looked back, not forward, when to me there seemed to be no forward, and didn’t want to look ahead, believing it was just going o be even worse. This unseen force always held fast to me, though I screamed, inside and out, to just “Let me go! You’re not real! Go away, and let me let go!”

When one can see no other lifeline, no respite, yet there is still a kind of faith that you can’t explain, is too unbelievable to be true and you hate it, but forces periodically a listen, maybe in dreams, that, despite being wounded, weak, and subject to all the frailties of one’s human existence, past and potential future, and all that has happened or may happen, that whether it gets easier or not, whatever may come, despite all that has and may be shredded within us by our hand or others, or burdens borne or yet to be laid upon us, there are yet important possible paths ahead of us, known or unknown, seen or yet to be seen, doors, windows, footholds almost imperceptible yet sufficient, partings in life’s forest of brambles, yet to be discovered or even made by our own hands, our chin, a single toe, a single thought, and that can change much more than even what you think you want or need. Just not there yet. Though we cannot see it yet, and however dire things may seem, or pointless, or unjust, or seemingly at some unwanted end, an unmovable mountain or in-vanquishable and seen to be the most evil of evils we can imagine, those things seem to stand between us and a moment of Life worth living, worth trying, and doing, even just a glimmer that there is a chance to heal, to rise and move past the weakness, wounds, and being stuck bitterly looking always back, someday, whether the actual effort succeeds or not, as we intended, we experience Enlightenment in those fleeting moments that tipped us to choose to imagine, to try, and that alone is success. That is Enlightenment, not in an ideal world or life, but in the reality of one’s own imperfect, broken, wounded actively real state of life. It exists despite our lazy brains; we choose it one moment at a time.

I know life as moments this way because I am autistic, brain-injured and altered early in life, and everything I’ve acquired of life, in knowledge of my universe, of people, things, ideas, feelings, beliefs, potentials, systems, is a compilation of all of them in my life systems, “from the ground up” detailed, a multitude of moments, much like giant jigsaw puzzles, and patterns woven into an ever changing landscape of perspective, in all of my ongoing olearning.

Conversely, top down, quick grab, big picture perspectives have their efficiencies, to be sure, but they make people vulnerable to generalizations, distortions, cognitive biases of all kinds, personality “dis-orders”, lead to fixed and fixated thinking that is more often wrong than right, and to throwing things away in life before we are ready to appreciate, learn and grow stronger and better from them. Too much running, rejecting, blaming, regretting, shaming, knee-jerk journeys through life this way. And apathy. It is a lot of labeling and shorthand, broad brushstroke acceptance or rejection of things and people superficially.

Maybe this is why it is so hard for some people to see their own Enlightenment in whatever their state internally, to imagine there will be something they cannot imagine yet but maybe later, to maje possible their way from life that is wounding to a winding one–that theirs is a spark cannot be perceived or experienced through extrinsic means or generalized recipes from diy cookbooks. It comes from within, a process intrinsic to each person individually, and its form and connection evolves within and interconnected in our unique existence. When one is stuck and blocked from it, very often, they are stuck in top down generalization mode. In the stillness of moments –and moments –and more moments, that is where one can begin to see, in themselves, with more clarity, a way to connect with that spark that only they can really know, as it inseparably is a most personal facet of their own self-made mirror, and it can only be perceived by them in their own way and in their own time when one is ready, in that moment, to see.

That’s my understanding of Enlightenment anyway, for what it’s worth.

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