Depth Perception

Turning ourselves inside out takes courage, and a willingness to accept ourselves as we are without blurring the lines of what-is with the stories we tell ourselves.  Transformation is difficult because what the ego labels as “truth” in any given moment is subject to change.

The mind has a way of taking you down whatever road it finds most comfortable – in other words, whatever mirror reflects the ego’s current beliefs, that’s the mirror it looks at.  The ego must surround itself with those reflections in order to strengthen and qualify its current version of the truth, its version of what is real.  It’s as if the mind picks up a handful of – well, whatever it can get hold of – and calls it “the truth”, labels it “the world”, classifies it as “the way things are”.

Yet it seems that truth is highly subjective.  One person’s truth might contain grains of another person’s truth, or fragments of a larger truth, or be shared among large groups of people.  But any one person’s individual version of truth cannot help but be small, narrow and limited, because as individuals we cannot help relating all information back to ourselves somehow.  We are unable to perceive things as anyone other than ourselves, and we cannot process information with any perception other our own.  Not to mention the fact that our field of experience is a field of opposites because we live in a dualistic world.

No one’s truth has anything to do with anyone else’s, and yet we are all headed for the same ultimate, inevitable truth of death.  As Prince sings in his song Controversy: “life is just a game, we’re all just the same”.

So, can we not be a ghost of ourselves?  Because all the ghost does is forever haunt the same old unresolved house of all the thoughts, emotions, and beliefs we once had.  Resolving emotions doesn’t mean abandoning the house, though – it means repairing it before you move out, fixing it up better than it was, and then leaving it behind like an insect larva shedding its exoskeleton so it can grow and assume a new form.

To loosen our grip on what we feel so certain is the truth would be to allow ourselves to change, to become “unstuck”, to actually go ahead and love the hardest person there is to love: ourselves.  And instead of playing it safe and always only being one version of ourselves, we may as well be all of it: our whole self, every part that’s ever been, and every part still to be discovered.  Could it be possible to make contact with the deepest parts of ourselves?

It’s a scary prospect, a stone our controlling ego would rather leave unturned.  We may not meet the world’s approval of what we find there.  We may be judged, disliked, dropped like a bad habit, even hated by those who take the easy path of judgment rather than the much more difficult path of understanding.  Why take ourselves to an uncomfortable – painful, even – place, and try to stay there?  The mind would much rather lounge in the warm glow of synesthesia – a stimulating confusion of the senses – than to broaden its understanding of itself.

Yet it is possible to open more fully.  Go on now.  Shine a light in the darkest corners.

No Rush

You don’t have to rush.  You don’t have to be in such a hurry all the time.  You don’t have to feel pulled in a hundred different directions.  It’s only the energy of the society around you, and has nothing to do with the conversation your life makes with the world.

When you give up the habit of rushing and the need to be in control, it creates space in you for peace.

Notice how any system has rules and limitations, and must operate within its own boundaries in order to control effectively.  Notice how weak – or how strong – any single aspect of a system becomes when approached in a non-systematic way, or when it is removed from the system to which it belongs, revealing just how limiting a system can be.

Fear, desire, and the need to be in control are like obstructions in a river, blocking the full potential of the water’s flow.  You can always be less rigid and more fluid, less like stone and more like water.

To live less systematically – and let go of the rush – is to allow the space and flexibility for peace to flow more abundantly into your life.

 

“May I be the tiniest nail

in the house of the universe.

Tiny, but useful.”

Mary Oliver

 

Quote by Erich Schiffman

“When you let go of everything you think you know about yourself and stay with what’s left, when you willingly abandon the contradictory evaluations of who you are and courageously reach deeply into yourself in order to experience yourself directly, you will come upon a new experience of who you are.”

Erich Schiffman

Say Yes

Say yes to storms, stillness, success, failure, silence, noise. Yes to high winds, bitter cold, sweltering heat, crushing loneliness, joyful connection, isolation, liberation.

Yes to the broken and the unbreakable.  Yes to the shaken and the unshakeable.

Say yes to danger, safety, pain, pleasure, exhaustion, energy.  Yes to the suffering you’ve known and the gifts you’ve been given.  Yes to a small and closed-in place, yes to the mystery of limitless space.

Say yes to old hurts, fresh wounds.  Yes to your rise and yes to your fall, to effort and ease.  Yes to the fields of time and timelessness.

Say yes to all the things you think you could never do or be, yes to anything you’re afraid of.  Yes to duality and oneness.  In saying yes, you become unstuck.  When you say yes, nothing can hold you hostage.

The Tourist

Why do I wake while morning is still night?

I grope along endless caverns, it seems, descending many fathoms deep into memories of the past, and dreams of the future, my hand outstretched, a flickering candle in the curl of my fingers.

Journeys that – in the present light of day – I struggle to recall.  And I am a tourist there, though I carry no passport and leave no footprints.

People whisper, muttering: “Oh, he looks tired.  Something wrong with him?”

Yet I just smile because I know my pockets were sewn with fortune-thread.  And I know I am the ragged onward-goer, the ever-forward marcher.

 

 

Just Know

Just know that you are the master of the singing bowl, the viscous ripples in the air, the temple in the clouds and mist.  Know you are the heart that leads the way, the swan who dives, the moon in May.

Just know you are the artist, the canvas, the muse.  Know you are the bomb, the flame, the fuse.  Know you are the axis of an exchange between many sides of Self, the sides being at times parallel and at times perpendicular.

Please be contemplative and not complacent.  Please don’t fall back into old ways unless the old ways are better – in that case, return to the Old Ways.  Please don’t descend upon new things in too much of a hurry.  Consider, savor, examine, turn things over and over until you have tired of the contents of your mind and it’s time to empty it and practice letting go.

Just know you could set everything aside and transmit love, broadcast joy, illuminate.  Just know that I love you the way I love the lumbering grace of knowledgeable bears, the way sunflowers turn their heads, the way cats land on their feet.  Just know I love you the way I loved the world when it broke open in me, and I broke open in it, and we turned in on ourselves and became tangled up in all the phosphorescent splendor and all the damage done.

Just know it’s only fear that comes with change and rattles your life to its outermost edge, even as courage comes with its broad brushstroke and wakes all that is sleeping.

 

 

 

 

Open Up

Sometimes we are born with deep secrets.  Secrets we don’t even know we’re keeping, until they unveil themselves.  Startling surprises.  So open up, open up, roll back the curtain, don’t close yourself off, don’t shut down, don’t do it.  It is tempting to keep quiet and lay low, but let your heart take a few lashes, let all the voluminous light inside of you come out before your inevitable worldly departure.

Contemplate the line between who people think you are, who they need you to be, want you to be, and who you truly are.  Let yourself change, stretch out, grow, expand.

One would think that once your heart has taken its share of lashes, you might retreat, pull back, run for cover.  Never mind this, it’s only logic tugging at you.  Go up and out instead, run towards the fire.  Open up the wicker of your rib basket and pull your heart loose.  Set it down gently, still beating, in the eye of the whirlwind.

You never know when you might see yourself.  Not a glance, not an examination.  See.  What you once could have sworn was solid now reveals itself to be translucent.  What once looked to be a pillar of immovable strength now strikes you as fragile.  So take everything they think they know about you, every last scrap of how they think you should be, of who they think you are, and just burn it.

Don’t be frightened, it’s only death and resurrection.  Open up.