“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Accepting that some of our questions will remain unanswered is one of the bravest thing we humans do. Why am I so alone? Why is there so much injustice? Why am I hungry? What is stopping me from reaching my full potential and why do I sabotage any attempt I make to do so? What is objective truth? We can reach towards all of these answers but most of them will remain at least partially unanswered for us. Oh we can settle for the answers that religion or science gives but in the case of the former they tend to be unsatisfying to the brain and in the case of the latter unsatisfying to the heart. We worry and gnaw at these questions like a dog with a bone and yet only sometimes do we find any greater satisfaction. Sometimes we have to find a way to be ok with having the questions, even enjoying the endless pursuit of ever finding an answer.
“Everyone should have their mind blown once a day.”
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
Would we fear the other as much if we did not fear that we were the other? If we knew beyond doubt that we were different in ways that could be perceived both positively and negatively would we still find it so easy to reject people wholesale? Could we learn to embrace the very things that set each of us apart, our uniqueness and value that same uniqueness in others without seeing it as a qualitative choice? Why fear the mirror when it craves acceptance? If we’re all walking each other home why do we get so lost along the way? We all want to make a difference yet so many of us fear what difference is? Why do we need the acceptance of others to allow us to accept ourselves? What ripples can we set off by accepting the differences in others whether it be social differences, sexual differences, political difference, or Mental and Physical differences? Could we set off a ripple that could change the world or at the very least learn what true acceptance of our self and our shadow is all about?
“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Sometimes life seems to suck. We become disappointed in ourselves or in others. We may flounder spiritually or emotionally and feel lonely or angry without knowing why. We say we are going through a hard time yet is that necessarily true?
In retrospect some of the most difficult periods of my life have been when I have learned the most about who I am and of what I am capable. They have shown me who will stand by me in times of need, who may want to but can’t and who may not even want to know. I have learned during those times that I can trust everyone to some extent but to fully put my trust in myself and in the core of my being. Also, that I may bend but in reality there is very little that will ever break me.
So all times are good times. Either in their enjoyment or their lessons. Of course, some are more enjoyable than others.
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”
— Havelock Ellis
Holding on to memories of how you were
Clinging to a happier past
So hard to recognize the truth
that happiness doesn’t always last
Giving in to wider understanding
seeing things I didn’t want to know
Your slipping away into the darkness
and I can’t stand that your light won’t show.
Giving up the last of my resistance
I realize nothing’s as it seems
You are battling your demons for you
its nightmares and not dreams
Wanting so to help you in your struggles
knowing that I cannot win this fight
Every day you recede into the distance
and there’s no way to make it right
Digging in to try and find the courage
to find the strength to give you what you need
The time for words has passed us in the distance
Now I must show my love by horrifying deed
Letting go of futures that I dreamed of
Dealing with what is happening now
Steeling myself for new tomorrows
If you hate me I’ll make it through somehow
— G A Rosenberg
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
— Carl Jung
Accepting the facets that show and the ones that haven’t.
Accepting sanity and insanity and knowing that the distinction is perception
Accepting the shadow and the light and the interplay between the two
Accepting the aging physical, the loss or change of aesthetic
Accepting the thoughts and emotions that i call the dark when despair washes over and greyness covers everything.
Accepting all gods and demons and realizing there is another matter of perception
Accepting the family teaching and the cultural conditioning and the mad beast that rattles against the cage and the sheep that doesn’t
Accepting the all and the nothing
Accepting that all of this and so much more is myself…
“You’ve got to know yourself. You’ve got to know what ignites your magic, what fires your soul into performing majestic acts of love. You’ve got to know yourself so much that not even a hundred voices will drown yours. You’ve got to own yourself, this journey is all yours. All yours. No one can do it and you decide whenever you are ready to embark on it. Unlearn, learn, master yourself and love yourself or else they will define you and that’s a poisonous kind of life. That’s death.”
— Ijeoma Umebinyuo
I will not be a victim. Oh there have been times in my life where I’ve been hurt by the actions or thoughts of another and I have faced betrayal. In some cases I saw it coming and I let it happen anyway. Even when I hadn’t tho I learned to move on. I cannot let myself be haunted and poisoned by the actions of others. I have seen that happen too often. Not that I necessarily forgave them. There is for me a space of acceptance in between acceptance and continued self-victimization from the deeds of another. Not so much “I forgive you” as “It happened. You had your reasons and the script was played out. I hurt but I won’t carry the hurt because neither you nor I deserve it.” Finding this space has been a hard won victory for me. Yet for me to live in the realm of past pain is to deny myself both the present and the future. Likewise I have learned that past triumphs neither guarantees nor entitles me to present and future ones. Each moment is a new test of the spirit that requires coming to it as clean as possible.
“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”
― Joseph Conrad
Facing my own ignorance rather than arguing for it.
Facing my own lack of discipline rather than justifying it.
Facing my odd turns of thoughts and accepting them
Facing the things I don’t want to face.
Facing the injustices in front of me rather than decrying those in the world.
Facing my own inaction.
Facing my own joy in hopeless situations
Facing my partner with honesty and an open heart.
Facing my son through good and bad
Facing the sunset.
Facing the young children at play.
Facing the random acts of kindness performed by strangers.
Facing the joy in an old woman’s face watching her grandchildren
Facing lovers walking arm in arm
Facing the animals at play
Facing that their are good things in this world.
Sometimes it is as difficult to face the good as it is the bad. The difference between the two is not a constant but a variable and where the line falls can vary according to both the perceiver and the context in which they are perceived.
So the call of all Nondual traditions is: Abide as Emptiness, embrace all Form. The liberation is in the Emptiness, never in the Form, but Emptiness embraces all forms as a mirror all its objects…You and the universe are One Taste
Removal of attachment to disapproval…allowing thing to enter into awareness that we would normally dismiss out of hand…letting it flow out again…letting go… even of the things we like and love…allowing them to come and go at will…encompassing all yet holding none…emptying my bowl…emptying my cup… emptying myself…yet more seems to enter…the bucket never fully empties yet even that is an attachment…i will embrace what contains all.. my Nuit… and yet not embrace but join with …becoming centred in the emptiness ..for a second..for a moment..for eternity and then it fills again… release anger, release shame, release fear…release love, release confidence, release releasing and hold… with each wave..i become emptier then more full.. a never ending breath in the ocean of existence…consciousness of consciousness…nothing of nothingness…and so the dance continues …
“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
— Ram Dass
Accepting bugs in nature
we just let them be
Storm clouds we can see
we seldom criticize flowers
for not being the best
we put them with the rest
organic fruit misshapened
we eat it with the rest
it never fails our test
yet why with people
do we notice every flaw
subject them to our law?
Birds and Butterflies
we love them in their flight
not one is not alright
We never look at rainbows
and criticize their glow
we tend to let them go.
yet when dealing with each other
we scrutinize each word
let nothing go unheard
Even with ourselves
we criticize, denounce
on every blemish pounce
Why can’t we accept
whoever’s in our path
with hug or a laugh
Imagine a world
where every voice is heard
not one decried absurd
rearrange our thoughts
compassion in action
will yield satisfaction.
— G A Rosenberg
A little Sunday night doggerel because I find Ram Dass’s quote to be quite profound.
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. It’s like boats. You keep your motor on so you can steer with the current. And when you hear the sound of the waterfall coming nearer and nearer, tidy up the boat, put on your best tie and hat, and smoke a cigar right up till the moment you go over. That’s a triumph.”
― Ray Bradbury
I climbed the hill
in search of the promise
i thought I had to fulfill
It would take hours
still I continued
for there was a tree there
that held a message
with which I was to return.
When I reached the top
where the tree once stood
was a stump
I stood there crying
for how could I fulfill
what message could I bring back?
I sat a long time
close to despair
still it was rather nice up there
green grass and warm sun
and a quiet that I could hear
I left carrying
the hill’s serenity
and the message of “Letting Go”