It might be easier
To fail, with Land in Sight
Than gain, My Blue Peninsula
To perish, of Delight.
*Emily Dickinson. "It Might Be Lonelier."
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Emily Dickinson provides insight into the general human condition of "I like" and "I dislike." Yet, the condition is more subtle than usually assumed, the boundaries of "like" and "dislike" and "I want" and "I don't want" we can question. In questioning, we might come upon a knowing that a life we cannot conceive of awaits us outside the dualities, even making possible the dualities, that mark our usual way of seeing life. If so, this emptiness may then be known as full of all we have ever most deeply longed for, even that we have longed for that has never risen to mind or been framed in word.
What we most deeply yearn for cannot be thought, simply for it is ever-fresh and, therefore, not of memory, so not of conceptualization. You cannot tell anyone what this is, only be surrendered into the knowing of it actually, immediately.
* * *
We seem not to like emotional suffering, but our-not-liking is an odd, subtle liking. While the ideal ~ as defined for us ~, is a something other, even better or best or holier or more enlightened or more mature or healthier ... we are drawn to. So, always seeming beyond reach. Yes, our "I don't want" can be really "I want" or "I want but don't want." Is this confusing ~ we are.
* * *
We call this polarization reality and ideal. Yet, is either the real real or the ideal ideal? Or more or less so either? How do we know? Can we know, if we see ourselves part of the same pervasive background of "yes or no"? From "yes or no," can one see "yes and no"? That is, is there any way to know freedom in actuality, not theoretically, from within this mental construct of polarization-of-suffering-or-not-suffering? Or must we come upon something not of suffering or not-suffering, of Harmony itself, to taste even a moment of the actuality of pure quiet?
* * *
Rather than inner peace, however, is it not true we easily become infatuated with our internal emotional drama? We are in the show, we are the star. We may oft complain of the affliction, but we are in-love with it. We see the drama as making us feel alive, giving a purpose to move toward a conquest of the unquiet foe. We contemplate the oasis of quiet and paradise, of love and joy, and keep contemplating, keep deliberating, keep postponing. The plot seems never to resolve into a satisfactory denouement. We have brief periods when the plot settles into some semblance of peace. Then, the tension begins building again, the music escalates in the background. Being not only protagonist, but audience, we move again to the front of the seat, stress in the body builds again, the heart rate becomes more rapid as blood pressure intensifies. We sit in some mystified enjoyment of the torment, indulging in the horror. We love this, we hate this. Yet, we are more alive, for we feel more alive? Are we? And, anyhow, would life not be a bland boredom without this drama? Would it? How can I know what might be outside this terror, what bliss may feel like, if I refuse to see outside this horror flick?
* * *
We may fear accepting bliss. Dickinson speaks of the fear of losing Him by inviting Delight. Is not God often more linked with pain and hurt and suffering? How often do you see Jesus smiling? And while Buddhists speak of freedom from suffering, or nirvana, there seems to be a Buddhist indulgence with speaking of suffering, rather than realizing that focus may itself be part of suffering.
* * *
Yet, what if nirvana is suffering and suffering is nirvana? What if heaven is hell? Hell is heaven? What if life and death create each other? What if the root of the continuance of suffering is living as though these opposites are apart and we, who are apart too, must choose one or the other? In doing this, have we not only furthered the root of suffering as keeping in place the painful polarity? Could there be one moment to stop and not consider a choice needs to be made between suffering and not-suffering, but to drop choice altogether?
Then, maybe, ... we will quietly see what arises ... receive, without trying to get ... know the flowing of life and ourselves as life flowing too ... sense we are no longer in an experience opposite to another experience, no longer trapped inside that sweaty, claustrophobic cocoon of contraries, of conflict between other to other ~ even subject drops, for with subject must be object, so division, so opposition, so conflict.
* * *
Now, this writing raises many questions, possibly, for the reader? For today, I wish only to leave you with this possibility, an invitation, that by dropping the idea of "suffering or not-suffering" a release occurs, and you feel this in the body. You seek neither suffering nor not-suffering. You trust God, Life, Love, Grace, the Self, ... or whatever. And, if you wish, you do not name this at all. You can see this knowing as religious, spiritual, or just natural. You drop all paths to this or away from this. All thoughts of getting it drop. With no ideas of how this something, or Something, appears, you relax and let it show itself to you. I leave you, today, with this invitation of pure relaxed openness, now and now and now. Thank You!
*All material, unless another source is cited, is authored by the presenter of Lotus of Heart, Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Use of the material is permitted; Brian only requests that credit be given and to be notified at email@example.com .
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union, is available through major booksellers.
*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.
The Sacred in Me bows
to the Sacred in You