I won't just gripe about the state of non-union without a how-and-why session.
Why do I write here, and why do I talk about things which are directly unspeakable?
Well, joy. Not joy as an antidote to pain. No--more a holistic, perfectly self-generating potential that registers as a newborn feeling in the heart, in all senses, in the most common or sublime moment. Even the most painful moment, even in a state of "shock". Even when the conditions here are interpreted by the mind as being not optimal. A joy that doesn't need a reason; a joy that "I am".
I'm compelled to share this in almost the same way that a teenage girl in the throes of fascinated love starts every other sentence with "He"...is so beautiful, so perfect, so cool, so powerfully yielding...and I am so into him!! (I can tell, because although we may be talking about dirt or moldy cheese or biological warfare, somehow He always fits into the conversation.) The only difference is that the He/She is not someone "out there", but is, instead, the all-inclusive fact of being. I am in love with my imperfect life, in all its perfection.
How did I arrive in this love, this state-of-all-states?
In the most basic sense, I didn't, because "I" am nothing except a mental reference point. When I talk about any journey that Maria made, it is a tale chosen out of the grand alphabet soup that concurrently creates billions upon billions of other stories. I have to "ignore" the big picture in order to focus on a detail--"myself", in this case--which I am nonetheless aware is literally fashioned, sculpted, delineated by all the elements of Big Picture itself.
Still, on the level of the story, I can see strings of non-mechanistic cause-and-effect that seemed to unfold or open consciousness in such a way as to "reveal", ultimately, a kind of depth. I've called it the Can Opener of Life...but it is anything but a machine, or a mere tool of some cosmic other. I am both the container and the opener.
Someone recently asked about "paths"--the ways, means and education of arriving in realizations that actually change a person's worldview and manner of being--some kind of knowledge that trickles or blasts into the practical to make this existing business easier and less of a struggle, if not downright pleasurable.
I can repeat the obvious, which is to say that paths are as varied as people are, and that probably every well-traveled road is that way for a reason. I can also say that setting out on a path for the sake of "enlightenment" immediately delays it, because it is not a thing to be gained, like a hot date or a fat bank account or a chemical "high". Hard work, certain moral values and lofty ideals do not "produce" understanding. When the understanding dawns--that is, when we stop fighting it--one can "look back" at all the resonating points of contact and say with total confidence that it was fifteen years in the lotus position that brought about this state of love. It was also the strict adherence to/defiance of some kind of diet; prayers/silence entered; TV talk therapy or ayahuasca; a religious experience, a sexual experience, or both; something seen in a tele/microscope; a lucid dream; the raindrop falling from a fir into the Pacific Ocean.
Choose your story. Now choose what chooses.
There are some well-known energetic ley lines to follow, though I would advise an investigation out of pure curiosity, just to see what's around the next bend--as if you were nine or ten, barefoot on summer break, and those in charge just informed you that yes, you can explore the creek (take this cellphone, mind you!). And you have all day. No chores. Sure, the dog can go. Now, scoot while the sun shines!
These singing energetic pathways coincide with those of our bodies, hearts, minds, planet, galaxy, and so forth. In the beginning, the starting-point for exploration reflects the "temperament" of the explorer. For instance, some choose a physical path having to do with moving or manipulating the body. Some investigate the intellect, thinking and the imagination. Some prefer trials by fire. And some dive into dreams of past and future and their deep realms of hidden feeling.
No matter the initial starting point, there comes a day when one is standing in a place where all the lines converge--when one can no longer deny the physical, intellectual, destructive or loving forces that interact to dream us up. At that point, exploring the intellect will uncover the body, or vice-versa. Falling into feeling will reveal the healing of addiction. No matter what way is chosen, there is a sudden overlapping of all things, and a common denominator. You.
This is true for all of us...so what is that point of no return, the holy leaping-off place, the grove of Aha?
I am standing in, jumping off and absorbed into it right now. The liberation is in the following of any path all the way to its origin. You. Trace the intellect to its source. Trace the proddings or denial of the flesh to theirs. Follow the intensity of feeling all the way around to your own heart. Every experience you ever have, or wish you did or didn't, or have no knowledge of, is sourced in you. Reading these words, staring off into space, calculating the distance between you and a mountaintop, your girlfriend or your next meal is you seeing your own face, imagining your own span, relating to your own heart and your absolute longing and abundance.
No matter how many divisions you make or paths you dream up or stories I tell, there is no escape from such a vast freedom!
Tell me, how do you know you are loved?