Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Give It Up

Posted throughout the not-so-hallowed halls of memory are gold-plated admonitions to "let go and let God", "sacrifice and surrender", "offer up your life in service", and similar spiritual maxims aimed at gaining a "higher" sort of understanding.

None of these bits of advice ever sounded like much fun to the sensitive, rebel child within. She gets her feathers ruffled quite easily, you see, but is also charming, a bit roguish, and admirably brave--like a female stowaway on a pirate ship in a romance novel. :)  She is a wonderful underground spy for the Resistance (pick your cause), and has made a career out of being a sort of "devil's advocate". Drawn as she may be to Big Love, a life of service smells like the starch in the old school uniforms, and sounds like a bunch of hard, puritanical work--maybe even a type of authoritarian control psychology aimed at the hapless masses. (No, thanks. I have my own way of serving, and it doesn't involve passive cheek-turning. So, there!)

As is often the case with such spitfires, however, she can be very lost and deeply depressed. So much underground energy goes into wandering the valleys of Emotionally Burning Questions that she often finds herself burnt-out and washed-up somewhere, imagining all of life as meaningless and herself as pointless (and you thought all of this stuff vanished with adolescence!).

Lately, I've been hanging out with the redheaded nomad (I? I, who? Don't ask!), due to the realization that she is someone I can never entirely disown, in spite of the fact that she is high-strung and very, very difficult. I confess that I haven't respected her point of view, and this disrespect is akin to abandonment--which immediately brings out the most un-charming aspects of this facet of the Great Diamond, resulting in a fight. Sigh. I hate fights.

All summer long, I have been collapsing back into myself--all "parts" of self--and have found her company again and again. During an episode of deep depression, I heard her say sadly, "I don't know how to love, really."

An instant protest arose, but before I could give it voice, I paused. This sounded less like self-pity and more like a truth...and was odd, coming from such an egotist. After a moment's consideration, I agreed.  Of course she didn't know how to love...not by herself, not so alone! All she knew was how to separate, discriminate and consider all things in the light of her own interest. Real love was not in her job description.

This simple admission sent me spinning into a vortex of insight. It was not my task to fight with, change, teach, or otherwise attempt to alter these legends of my own mind. I was only to see and feel them (and everything else) exactly as they were, and then...

(Before I go any deeper into this little story, let me clarify the "I" that I am speaking from. During these times when I am "being with" my deepest feelings and thoughts in an attempt to understand some kind of inner turmoil or excitement, I tend to step back and away--more, more, into a very fine and observant self--perhaps the barest feeling of "I" that is known. Instead of declaring, I listen; this is the point where I feel like a gate between opposites, a transition space--that liminal place I have often tried to describe.)

I felt my little rebellious and tired identity fade away, and suddenly I began to coalesce around "letting go". The words just appeared, along with a tide of information. I fell into it, allowing it to flow.

I could tell you that I saw God...but that wouldn't be entirely true. I did, however, sense an epic Presence within and without. Part me, part impossible to be, considering that It was the source of Being, all of it, and can therefore never be subject to scrutiny! Slippery character, this God/dess. 

Anyhow, I intimately understood this Unselfish Self for a moment, and saw that we humans "cheat" our Most High, our Spacious Lovingness, when we hang on so tightly to experience in our bullheaded, unconscious way. I don't care if you think of God/dess as an actual deity, perhaps on a different plane of existence, or simply as your highest and wisest self...either way, there is a circular, rhythmic movement to the whole process of manifestation, in which the mysteriously sacred is necessary. All things arise from no-thing, and return to the no-thing--all sensual and extrasensory events. This goes on whether we feel it, or not--but when we consciously and lucidly offer up experience to That which we cannot, a hugely charged energy appears. It's almost as if a circuit is completed when we observe Vast Openness accepting, without question and with the utmost alacrity, whatever it is that we are feeling, doing and being in the moment.

Did I just suggest offering something up in service to...Whatever S/He Is? Yes, I believe I did. Denying our wholeness is insane; denying our individuality is also insane. Lest this sounds like crawling on one's knees down a gravel road, let me assure you that giving the moment over in this way is more like cosmic sex. There is a vast difference between whatever myself-in-the-moment is and the Three-Hundred-Sixty-Degree Light; realizing this, opening my hands, a conscious unity occurs...impossible to sleep through!

When I'm in the dark depths of an argument with my mouthy inner gypsy, I believe that I'm trying to get rid of her--actually, I'm tying her to me with any loose string I can find. I am identifying with this character and her dramas and perceived flaws, effectively damming off that lovely give and take of the Tao--the very give/take which adds a deep breath of life, and so much dimension and interest that no identity can hold it. But when I catch myself arguing, resisting and dictating, the very recognition is a letting-go, a releasing back into the river of Being.

Somehow, the awareness of this lightning-fast letting-go is what allows experience to be full and complete.

It's almost as if (dare I say it?) the Absolute "needs" completion, needs "me" to be transparent and freely offering of everything that comes via Maria, in order to be whole. Otherwise, God stays distant and unfulfilled. Experience is not thorough, but seems partial, trapped in a whirlpool or eddy that I can only call a sleeping self. From a point of pure observation, that self is an illusion, a clenched knot that can never understand knots.

I don't feel the entirety of myself as long as part of me is hanging on, trying to make rising and falling experience "me". And the longer I stall, the more frozen and cramped I become. In a sense, I've been trying to "protect" my interesting characters, keep them still, somehow, in time and space, fearing their demise, on some level. But sacrificing my crazy child, letting Universe take care of her, somehow brings her a newly balanced kind of life, in which her fiery nature is appreciated for what it is...destructive, sometimes, but only in the interest of a greater good that she will be eternally unaware of.

Perhaps it's the religious varnishing and hard, wooden-pew feel of "dedicating" or "devoting" that disguises its incredibly practical and downright sensual nature. Relaxing into all aspects of what I am is an ongoing project, the most worthy one I can imagine. 

All these thoughts are meaningless, you know, except as gifts back...with my thanks!


  1. Such a rich, full and descriptive post! I was particularly drawn to your inner stowaway on the pirate ship, who doesn't know how to love! We may have been on the same ship in different trunks :) Seems that's the human condition, don't you think? We all seem to have (or have had) a hole in the heart where love should be - until we don't.

    And this "consciously offering up our experience to this Vast Openness" (including all the other words you use to describe this "I"-ness.) YES! It has felt to me like a kind of "Cosmic Intimacy" where one is not in service *to* the other, but there is a gentle, intimate dance that occurs. At times it almost feels like a "succumbing" to this "epic Presence" - which also may be an emotionally charged word - but is meant in the best sense. It feels more like a fluidness - a willingness to dance the dance - partnered equally. Being dancing with ItSelf...

    Beautiful, Beautiful dance...

    Love/Love - Christine

  2. Many thanks, Christine!

    Succumbing, surrendering, opening/receiving, all kinds of lushly descriptive words...emotionally charged for a reason! I think when we push and struggle, that's what we get; when we surrender to what we really are, that's also what we get. We open up; Universe does, as well, and we find an incredible strength in our perceived weakness.

    It truly is the deepest intimacy I know!

    Love also,