“under the present brutal and primitive conditions on this planet, every person you meet should be regarded as one of the walking wounded. we have never seen a man or woman not slightly deranged by either anxiety or grief. we have never seen a totally sane human being.”
― Robert Anton Wilson
Carrying the wounds but not victimized by them. How can we be when on some level we have chosen the wounds, the ones who inflict them and how we carry them? Our spirits choose the wounds so that by learning how to bear them and heal them we can grow. We are all the fisher king and all the knights who seek the grail so that we can heal him. It may be daunting but never impossible. The first step comes with hearing the call and refusing it. Tho the healing cannot be refused and the quest lies before us. Well, ultimately do we have anything better to do?
“Most of us are only willing to call 5% of our present information into question any one point.”
― Ken Wilber
Think of everything you presently know to be true. Now think of all the things you once believed at any point in your life that you no longer believe. Does this raise more questions? Most of what we know from experience we know to be only partial truths yet how much of your reality can you bring into question? How much do our beliefs shape who we are?If I am as I believe myself to be and yet I know my beliefs are only partial than how much am I willing to surrender? How can we come to a greater understanding if we are unwilling to let go of most of our present ‘knowledge’? If a caterpillar is willing to sacrifice it all to become a butterfly can we do any less? What if our beliefs are shaped around the need to surrender our beliefs? How much are we willing to sacrifice to become something more?
“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”
― Aldous Huxley
The other night I was discussing how small changes in routine can give us the courage to make larger changes in ourselves. At the very least, it can cause energy to flow into new channels and perceiving these flows can be instructive. It may be something simple like walking the dogs an hour earlier which results in the day ending earlier and either getting more rest or starting the next day sooner. Commit to starting the day by watching the sun rise can have huge implications on our appreciation of beauty. Ripples spread out from there. When we change our perceptions of our days or ourselves, we change how we perceive the world which on a very personal level causes the world to change. As we address the world with heightened perception, we change how it responds to us as well and the ripples of change spread out further.
“We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”
― Marshall McLuhan
What tools do you use? Do you use a torch to light your way and become a dispeller of darkness? Do you extinguish the light to ensure night takes its course? Do you wield a sword or a pen with bladed words of discernment? Do you serve wine or solace to those in need ? Do you work the earth and till the soil? How much of who we are is dependent on what we do and how we do it? How do we shape our lives and how does our life shape us. I feel after this past few weeks especially that it comes down to our choice and that sometimes the choosing is not very easy. But then baby steps are ok also.
“You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”
― Robert M. Pirsig
When we find ourselves on solid ground we walk with confidence. We need no assistance.It is when we are most unsure of our footing that we call for support. This seems rather obvious on a physical level but it rings true also on emotional levels (we tend to surround ourselves with friends and family when we feel shaky). Robert Pirsig suggests this is true on intellectual and spiritual matters as well and this also sounds right. Compare a wise yogi or any person with strong faith and spiritual insight. While they may be open to people learning from them and vice versa, they seldom push their beliefs on others. The ones who clamour the most about saving the souls of others are often those most unsure about their own salvation.
“Try to find pleasure in the speed that you’re not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you’re the one who must decide how you handle it.”
― Paulo Coelho
How can we continue to complain about our lives if we are unwilling to make changes in how we do things? Changing little things can break the ice and make it easier to either make greater incremental changes (baby steps) or get us over the fear of change altogether and allow us to make sweeping changes and build the new lives we dream of. It can start with one small change in our routine. Taking a different route to work or eating something new for breakfast. Perhaps try to do something with a different hand than normal. Once we open the way to change than the transformation begins.
“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
I build my house
with dreams of rock and
feet of clay
and wonder why little emerges
I once dreamed of clouds
and built towers high on illusion
and watched them shatter
I shifted then to practical things
adding brick after brick
in random patterns
the mosaic was pretty enough
but not functional
How do I mix my dream materials
with my life substance
to erect something fulfilling?
As long as I keep building
the hope remains strong
“You haven’t yet opened your heart fully, to life, to each moment. The peaceful warrior’s way is not about invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability–to the world, to life, and to the Presence you felt. All along I’ve shown you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is a warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.”
― Dan Millman
Open my heart enough to bleed
Open my eyes enough to cry
Open my arms enough to hug and be hugged
Open my mouth enough to laugh
or speak of my pain and joy
Putting up a front is easy
Building a wall
to say nothing of the words in which I’m armoured
Words of comfort and joy
Words that speak of a serenity
I have yet to find
and an equanimity that eludes me
I will speak of my pain
and own it
It was my gift to myself to grow
I am no one’s victim
just a being searching for a way in
Or perhaps a way out.
“We Die To Each Other Daily.
What We Know Of Other People
Is Only Our Memory Of The Moments
During Which We Knew Them. And They Have Changed Since Then.
To Pretend That They And We Are The Same
Is A Useful And Convenient Social Convention
Which Must Sometimes Broken. We Must Also Remember
That At Every Meeting We Are Meeting A Stranger”
— T. S. Eliot
We are all influx. We change by the moment even when we feel that we are stuck. As we change so does everyone around us. We cannot take another person’s being for granted even if we feel that we have known them for years. For not only do they have sides that we have never seen but they are constantly manifesting new elements of themselves. To deny them this is to deny our experience of them and choosing to look at an old snapshot rather than dealing with someone fresh, new and exciting. We may not always respond well to the changes. That is only natural at times and how we respond may easily become a catalyst for changes in ourselves. We are all changing evolving playful beings revealing and creating ourselves one moment at a time.