Archive for July, 2010

What’s new

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Nothing. 

The imperative is to say ‘yes’ to life.  Accept now.  Embrace the present, whole heartedly, loving the precise quality of what is. 

Why do I do this?  Why am I stuck on this tune?  It is grating to my ego, torture to the little self that creates the artificial fantasy in which I exist.  He would much rather contemplate suicide, imagine some future of escape, wallow in the suggestion of perplexity that such an ‘untimely’ end might create among those around me.  Or, somewhat less drastically, he would love to get enmeshed in the depression he creates, the endless wailing, the never ending swell and fall of dread and despair that my journal has so tediously documented.  And it implies the end of this; no more familiar cyclical moodiness, the end of the illusion in which I have invested my whole life up to this point.  The end of him. 

Can I surrender all that?  Am I capable of that much surrender?  Can I endure the removal of the ‘core’ of me, the substance I have become?  Can I relinquish this fond little mottled clay sculpture to which I have been adding bit after bit for over fifty years, in the hopes of finally, one day, becoming something? 

Walk into the wilderness.  Leave the roads and paths behind.  Veer away, flee the light pollution, head into the night, find stars. 

I ask myself, “You want a revolution?  Want to change the world?”  I accuse myself, “You just want to talk about it.  Full of shit.” 

Well, I think, at least half of that’s OK; full is good.  Shit is not so good. 

“You wear your cowardice like a badge, you wallow in your cream and sugar existence like that is all there is.  And if you say so, then it will be.  But you know that is not what you really want.  There is an un-discardable kernel in you, and no matter how much you coat it thickly, pave it over, bury it under distraction—it can still be heard; you feel it.  It feels you.” 

“It is you.” 

Hm.  So, to survive, to go on as-is, denial is the only option.  And it has been denial all the way up until now.  A masquerade of living.  I have been pretending to be alive.  It doesn’t matter why, really, but it is probably because it all just scares me so much.  And it all waits for me.  And I either face it now, or at the end. 

But if I know all this, if I am aware of the denial, it cannot remain denial.  It becomes a willful lie. 

<Sigh>

It sucks to be me right now.  Either that, or it is the greatest thing that ever happened to me. 

January 29, 2003

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Been rummaging in the archives again.  Shoot me. 

war

I am depressed.  The fresh-face and bright-eyes of youth have given way to hairy ears and bad skin.  My faith and optimism from another time is now dark doubt and cynicism.  I may have chosen incrementally to make it so, but I don’t like it.  The beautiful earth is more paved and more poisoned than when I came.  The vale and stream, mountain and forest where once I met the Spirit is inaccessible to me now.  The trees and rocks are still there.  The clear, cold streams still flow and the air, on good days, is still fresh and pure.  But the things I have learned in life have left me inconsolable even in the presence of the Spirit, even in the gentlest, most tender hollows of Spiritplace.

I am a lover.  As my beloved physical life deteriorates, soon to hang in ragged shreds, it thus reveals an invisible structure that never decays, which has always supported all that lives.  There is a memory of the pure, unsullied flesh, but everything tells me to let it go, that it is not the true object of my desire for it will one day be gone.  I love eternally, therefore the object of my love, once found, will be outside of time.  It will remain after these rocks and stones have ceased their song.  It will remain when this dear earth and all its blue beauty exists no more.

And so not only can I tolerate, but I can participate in all the follies that life presents, both those caused by me as well as those inflicted by others upon me, for they cannot obstruct my contact to what really matters.  There are no obstacles, only distractions.  I need to write this down, for in the face of the horrors in which I participate today, I need the reassurrance of these words. 

And the comments from that post.  (There once were comments!)

Bad day

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Is this depression?  I do not think it meets the clinical criteria for Major Depression, and besides, I am fairly suspicious of the validity of those criteria anyway.  I get up, move, approach things I hate (workplace), evade oncoming traffic when crossing the street, maintain vegetative functions, and resume an unsatisfying sleep without too much difficulty, nor a whole lot of drugs, either.

I suspect there may be some who feel now an urge to educate me about what depression is, and how it can manifest.  Thanks.  I appreciate your concern.  But (and I think this may be included in the aforementioned criteria), I don’t care.

Can I just be alone?  That is not really an option, you know.  Yeah, sure, there are in this and other cultures examples of the hermit, the solitary meditant, the mystic.  But drawing back from the ideal for a moment, and landing squarely in the middle of a dirty kitchen floor, with laundry to be done, a broken bike to fix and bills to pay, then such romantic vapors dissipate quite completely.

And being alone is not really what I want anyway; I just do not want to sacrifice conscious awareness of that which cannot be known, and I do not want to sever connection with that which cannot be found, both of which are prerequisite conditions for almost every ego-based interpersonal transaction.  And discounting and discarding such prerequisites tends to make others view one as ‘weird’ or in extreme cases, even as insane.  We relate as egos, it is required by friends, lovers, family members.  “Get in costume will you!  Stop being so lazy!  Stop being such a dolt!”

What are you, nuts?

It’s phony.  And we know it.  But we just shrug as if it doesn’t matter, and move on.    Maybe we think it is the best we can do.  And maybe it is.  That is truly tragic.  What I am and what you are is infinitely more than that psychological entity we call ego.  In reducing ourselves to that level as a prerequisite for relating, we lose almost everything.  Losses of that magnitude might well result in something that might qualify, according to our crass metrics, as depression.

So, it’s a bad day.  I am stuck between two untenables.  I don’t want to engage in the artificial pretense, don the mask, and play the game that costs so much—too much for me.  But I am also too afraid to disarm completely, drop the shields, the masks, and once and for all discard the ego.  A good day is when I play the game and everybody buys it, and I don’t care how much it costs; that is a ‘good’ day.  A bad day is when I know the truth, know how much it costs, and know how impenetrably terrified I am.

Today was a bad day.

Closer to nothing

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I started to write something here.  I’m way over due.  But whenever I come back to this blog, I re-read so much, that days pass before I press a key on my keyboard, and weeks pass before I finish any hesitantly started entries.  In the weeks since I started to write this entry, I’ve read at least a couple books-worth of my own writing in this blog.  I don’t think it is healthy to re-read oneself, just as mind and ego are unhealthy places in which to dwell.  But I never made any of my lovers use a rubber; I don’t do ‘healthy’ well. 

In the endless maze of revisiting ten years of my own mind—from which I have miraculously returned—I found something that said better exactly what I had half-started to write.  It seems I haven’t made much progress in eight years.  I wrote this in September of 2002:

castle keep

I’m afraid of you people.  Don’t you know that?  No.  How could you?  I think I hide it pretty well, and I almost never admit it.  In fact, most of the time I deny it, even when nobody’s asking.  Just by being whole, functioning human beings, you scare me.  And even if you are not whole and functioning, you still look like you are to me, so you still scare me.  If you reveal that you care, that you’ve invested even a pennie’s worth of emotion in me, then you scare me more.  How am I supposed to handle what you’ve given me?  How am I supposed to give you anything back?—or maybe I am not supposed to treat it like an exchange, or am I?  And if you are an authority figure, if you’re a cop, or a boss, or bigger than me, or more scared than me, or as angry as me, then I’m going to start out so terrified that I’m going to have to hate you just to hold myself together. 

And if you never notice the panic that I’m in, and never see the hysteria that I hide inside, and if you treat me like the whole and functioning human being I pretend to be, instead of the trembling, quaking, crumbling, sandcastle that I am, then I’ll try and make you go away.  I can’t disintergrate, I just can’t.  So I’ll try and make you go away, even though I don’t want to, because I don’t know what else to do. 

I’m sorry. 

Where to go now?  One wonders, when tied to the bow of a ship, like a giant tanker moving swiftly through the swelling sea, things like “What direction am I going?” or, “What port will I see next?” or, “Will they inadvertently plow through something floating in the sea, some debris insignificant against the steel hull but terribly significant against my tiny, tender, un-steel-like form, thereby reducing me to a smear of red and pink on the rusted hull?” 

Where to go now? 

More immediately, and with a somewhat less expansive scope, one instead wonders how to escape the overwhelming rush of sea into one’s face.  One wonders how to breathe.  One sees one’s life gurgling by in the tiny little reflective universes that are the bubbles all about as one plunges into and out of and into again the relentless sea.  That is where I find myself now; quite overwhelmed, quite helpless.  Quite afraid. 

A moment ago, I sat upright on the edge of my chair, un-reclined, with back straight, in a proper typing posture for the first time this year.  It was a position I adopted every day when I wrote a journal faithfully, a position my now worn-out chair is all but incapable of maintaining, it has been reclined for so long.  That moment was one of those reflective bubbles of my past life, long lost, passing before my eyes. 

There has been progress, though it chills me to admit it.  My question of a moment ago, “Where to go now?” is just what I imagine the sailor about to be keel-hauled would ask himself right after being pushed off the front of the ship, as he bobs and chokes near the crest of the plunging bow before being dragged under.  I, like he, am closer now to nothing.  Nothing is where I need to go.  I have a book by Ayya Khema, the title of which captures what I am trying to say; Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, Meditations on the Buddhist path.  Presence—consciousness beyond form—is the goal.  And ego appears to be the enemy.  So writing is a poor crutch to help me on my pilgrimage.  Like eating chocolate to lose weight. 

But that is consistent, the incongruity, I mean.  I alternate (when not writing, which is all the time lately) between listening to recordings of Eckhart Tolle, and watching porn.  One encourages me to be conscious, present in the moment, and say, “Yes”. The other is pictures of porn stars saying, “Yes”, discourages consciousness, and facilitates escape from the moment. It seems ludicrous that porn and Tolle are in the same sentence, but characterized as diametrically opposed, which they are, I can’t help but see this conflict—this manic switching from one to the other and back again—as making perfect sense.  One is presence, the other is escape.  One is awareness, the other is unconsciousness.  One offers freedom from form, the other is obsession with form.  And while there are some truly wonderful forms visible in porn, there is a whole lot of really bad porn out there.  I know; I’ve been looking. 

I’ll spare you the pearls that come from the naked boys, and instead share with you the wisdom of Eckhart Tolle:  “The purpose of life is to die before you die.”  Now, relax your definitions a bit, and try to understand.  There is a difference between losing form, which is the death of the body, and letting go of form, which is deliberately releasing our death-grip on that which is physical, and willfully embracing that which is formless, that which is the enemy of the mind.  Letting go of form is conscious death, that is to say, death which is experienced consciously.  The trick is to let go without physically dying. 

Letting go is something your mind does not want you to do.  It wants to stay in control, it wants to keep you subservient.  It is what it is supposed to do; it is mind and that is its nature.  It will make you think you are dying in an effort to make you grasp and cling.  The trick is that when it makes you think you are dying—let go completely.  Quite a trick.  That is dying before you die. 

Anyone who knows me knows I have been saying it most of my life:  “I want to die.”  Maybe I knew of more than I was aware, because physical death was never what I really wanted.  Letting go is what I came here to do.  It will happen when the physical form goes.  Or, if I wake up sooner, it will happen before that.  And whether it happens or not?  It doesn’t matter.  Consciousness is all that matters, and consciousness is indestructible.  If I wake up now, consciousness will be there; if I wake up on my deathbed, consciousness will be there then. 

And if I never wake up at all, consciousness will still be there.