I’ve been feeling in a rut-like state for awhile now. I’m not sure how or why (serendipity as C4 would probably say) but I’ve found myself facing back into work on my bodymind. Namely life skills–an ability to trust my own intuition and to, how do I put this, just do stuff correctly in life.
Translation is not a really helpful term, but it’s in that arena.
Human potential has too much of a 60s California ring to it—no saunas or hot tub conversating with anyone.
So I’ve got no word (yet?) for it, but it goes on, needing not a conscious word to encapsulate.
I experienced a very powerful visualization yesterday.
[Timeout: I hate the word visualization (am I the only one?) but again what the hell other word covers it. I guess technically I hate what New Age has done to the word….my apologizes Sister Visualization. Visualization minus the hooky-ass flim-flam connotations].
Timein: The visualization gave me a sense of my voice that I had not experienced before. Or at least not trusted in the same way before.
I was struggling for awhile with this idea that I had no connection to my subtle faculties. That I was all conscious mind/rational.
I mean I don’t have the visionary qualities of Joe, the artistic genius of the Polysemy crew, or the emotional and pastoral subtlety of Shannon (Erosophy).
Compared to all that, I’m just a nice guy book nerd. Or so I thought.
But there is one other: voice.
I don’t really cover it here at “IU” but the voice (a voice?) emerges (submerges?) in preaching and teaching.
For the record, I don’t posts my sermons because:
A)I never write them down (I don’t use notes, ever).
B)They are experiential and can not be conveyed through the written word (as a series of “Talks” say). That might work for others, but not for me.
And the other realm is where I use the writing medium to push my mind/attention to its edges, even just beyond them. For me, that is my meditations on post-metaphysics.
On that topic a note of thanks to readers. My thoughts on post-metaphysics consistently get more hits than anything else on this site. Plus some very kind reader response to those pieces has encouraged me in that regard.
In short, I’ve been given a series of great graces: a visual/path to reconnect whenever necessary (in image form) to the source of my passion and mission. [in broad outline only].
The rest of the effort and the real hard work to come will be making all that concrete. That is where so much of my struggle originates from. Because a voice, teaching, speaking, writing is so abstract, it can easily float away.
I’m from a very non-personal (not anti-personal just un-personal) spiritual tradition. A path that puts the major emphasis on detachment, awareness, humor, sacrifice, and abandonment. So language/practices of achievement, hell even focus, is quite difficult for me.
I went tip-toeing down this same road a few years back, in some ways very unprepared, and got burned as a result. That time taught me a great deal about the need for psychological smarts on the spiritual path, particularly in the mode of accepting (relatively).
That gives me more trust heading back into these waters. i.e. That whatever arises again–in the way of fear, failure–can be accepted.
But the acceptance that I have these underlying issues is not enough. Necessary but not sufficient. I still want to work on them. It’ll never be perfectly healed or fixed or cleared or whatever term is best.
But some of it clearly has to be or else the pattern from my life up to now will simply repeat and these elements will bring down, sabotage the voice elements.
When I spent years as a spiritual seeker I faced some crazy stuff–don’t know how else to put it. Stuff that I think for others would be pretty terrifying. By grace, they weren’t as much for me. I think in large measure because I had been raised in and had models of people (both alive and dead) who made me less afraid.
This other element, the psychological/worldly (gross bodymind ego), I really don’t have models for. This side of life, which for others comes fairly naturally, is for me profoundly terrifying. Because I feel going into it that I am truly alone.
Facing the question of the ultimate nature of all existence, one is truly alone. In my case, I think my difficulties with low self-esteem actually were a great gift. Because you have to face the real possibility that your life will be annihilated and there is no guarantee that you will be embraced by the Void of Godhead. You may be crushed. It happens. There is no knowing why this is the case for some and not others.
For adoptees the self is usually not felt as wrong but as not “there”. Empty–not Shunyata Empty/Emptiness but just something is missing. There’s no there there. So I think when facing the Void I was not as concerned about the possibility of a loss of myself because I wasn’t even sure I had a self. [I mean a relative self]. And if I did, I apparently wasn’t really that concerned about its possible destruction—upshot of the low esteem.
Detachment is not about seeking out certain forms of realization, needing them, identifying with them, making oneself into a spiritual hero/athlete. But it is also not to actively prevent them from occurring either. That is the other side of the seeking coin (negative seeking). You are equally free for them to arise as to be absent.
I (consciously and unconsciously) negatively seek on my bodymind level. Shadow hugging it is sometimes called. In this case I’ll be alone but the curse that was my gift the last time around (low esteem) will be the gift that is my curse. Not an aid, but the very crux of the issue itself.
Knowing all this heading in doesn’t in any way solve anything. The best it can do is give me perspective to respond with some more humor and grace to whatever arises.
I want to give–my true desire. But the road to hell is paved with good even holy desires. I don’t want to give all of this shadow–like smallpox on a blanket.