Somewhere during this past week...and I am not sure exactly when...I came apart. This is not a pretty sight to see. A 62 year old guy suddenly becoming a sodden mass of neurologically and psychologically diffused sensations is not the picture I would want to see of myself, much less have anyone else see. I learned some deep truths...ones that only fit my circumstances and life path. However, there is just enough of me left to realize that every human being has circumstances and life paths that are the same in character, though vastly different in content. Nobody is the same, yet we are all One. It makes a lot of sense, when we let that sink in. I am not going to make a theological structure out of it. Too many folks have, and...truthfully...most of it "just ain't workin'."
After a day of "process" early this week, I found myself literally yelling, "burn it!!!" No, it wasn't a left over mantra from the 6os (women's lib/Vietnam war/anti-establishment all used that phrase). I knew exactly what needed to be consumed by fire, and it was in me. It is my ego. I will say in summary, a lot of crap got burned up that day, but I still have an ego of sorts. I found myself in a place of pain early this morning...my ego smarting from yet another realization of a lie I let myself live for way too long. It is no deep, dark, Lance Armstrong-type lie. It was a lie I perpetrated within myself as a way of keeping myself together at a time when I should have let myself come apart. Looking back, I would have been much better off. But, as a relatively new, and very insightful friend told me Monday evening, "You are what you can be, because of what you have been...." No elaboration on that...it goes on a bit...quite a bit...which started the process I speak of above. It's going to be a somewhat long process I sense.
One thing I know to be true of all of us is that we are dualistic in nature. It's not hard to conceive it. Good-bad, Heaven-hell, rich-poor, smart-dumb, happy-sad....the list goes on for as long as we can create the images. We even dualize our sexuality....male-female. Serious folks: Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and a host of others over all generations preceding us have spoken of the external and internal universe being of the same fabric with only one capacity....being. I should have known this 40 years ago, but, the laws of inertia are hugely strong. That means that every thing comes to a resting place. The most comfortable for most all of us is that place where the self (Ego...internal hard drive of our consciousness) can be held together because it can say, "I am me." Well, then, there has to be a "not me." Ah, dualism is created...a creature of our own devising. God didn't make that. In fact, once we get nestled in that comfortable place of "ultimate" me, we can look around and see either what is similar (and therefore comfortable) for us and, then that which is different....ergo, opposite.
The hard part of this for me is that, when I order my internal universe and create my ego, it becomes a bastion of reality...MINE. The tendency is to see everything else as entrapped in entropy....disorganized and disintegrating. God becomes our definition for what holds us together. Evil is what tears things apart. Voila, the Universe According to Humanity is born.
In our ego universe, opposites don't much attract. The ego needs support, encouragement and justification. Attraction is to those who "think" like we do. There is no getting around this folks. Look at the shape we are in...and have been for way longer than anyone currently residing on the planet.
It's our fault, but not our fault. It's in our DNA pool...a strong force that pushes against, rebels toward a place of individuation. However, original sin is all about that indivduation becoming a structured and reinforced ego. Healthy individuation simply creates and maintains the energetic boundaries that knows where I, as a discrete entity, end and the other, as a discrete entity, begins.
There is only one causal force that gives rise to sentient life. It is the author of reality as we experience it. We have dared call it God for the past 1800 or so years. Our Hebrew forebears called this YHWH (Yahweh)...simply "I AM." The force is called Divine Love, by most traditions. Regardless of the name or our way of engagement, Love is the intiative, the beginning, the direction and the end of all that makes what we call Life.
There is no duality in Love. When we try to subjugate Love for the purposes of self justification (read: ego enhancement), it becomes necessary to see those who are not like us as "bad" or...."evil." I am taking this all the way to the end of the limb here. It is the journey I have experienced. Here it is: Evil is the ego in full, active rebellion...an ego that has encased fear in such a way that it has evolved in this pattern: fear leading to anger leading to hate leading to destruction (in some form). Anxiety is the early gnawings of fear. We all have experienced social anxiety as but one of a host of kinds and moments of anxiousness. It's our natural energy boundaries "sizzling" in a situation that reads "uncomfortable" or "dangerous." Anxiety is a natural, empathic, warning signal that would give notice of something amiss in our environment.
Anxiety that has taken a dualistic turn quickly can become paranoia. This is an ugly state of conscious and unconscious construction of stuff outside us that we deem harmful...even though they may be relatively harmless and easily walked through or with. Phobias are low energy paranoia points. Psychologists call it irrational fear.
"Burn it" was my cry in distress earlier this week. I went on and said, "burn the damn thing." Uh, yep, I was talking about my ego. Okay, then who was asking for the ego to be burned inside me? It was Self. Ah, here is that capitalized word again. Self is what really connects conscious reality to that reality which is not so conscious but nonetheless essential. A whopping 96% of who we are lies within the unconscious. Indeed, only 4% of our nature is working in what we call "conscious reality." That's a lot of me in this meat sack somewhere.
The character that makes us human is Divine Love. It is our very essence. You can call it anything you like. Some folks who may read this might be jumping up and down, almost yelling, "But...but...but..." and wanting to allocate me to some space. I challenge you, in doing that, to see that as a dualistic action. I may have beseeched God to burn my ego, but enough remains to know that I still "go dualistic" fairly momentarily. An event this morning called for the struggle to justify myself in light of information I encountered. It was painful...still is a bit.
However, something has been shifting a bit. That moment is an experience of looking at myself internally and asking, "so, is it true?" If it is, I join all of my fellow human beings in that truth. If it is a lie, I can either build something around it (self-justification) or let it go....get burned up.
I have to own what is true for myself. Lance Armstrong is in some process of doing that it seems. He is only an example....Not a focus. The seeming chaos we experience in our historical moment...now...is a complex interaction of supremely fearful egos. If it ever became possible for all those egos to dissolve their barriers...even a little...the seemingly insurmountable problems would be fairly easily resolved.
NO! I have no idea what resolution would look like. It would feel very loving and compassionate...of that I am certain. I just don't know what form it would take. If I tried to say what it would be, would that not be my ego trying to justify my own comfort zone?
This is what I am learning this week....the experience of being "remade" as it were. I almost have no idea what I just wrote. I will need to go back and read it....after I hit "publish."
Here goes. Love you all!