We are not encouraged to admit how lost we feel. This is seen as weakness, as a flaw. Being found is viewed as superior to being lost. Being saved taught as correct, being unsaved incorrect. Being enlightened is taught as a state free of delusion, rather than including delusion as itself in communion with clarity. In this training to keep states divided, in opposition, rather than union, we remain divided, posturing to appear the right way, and this leads to much suffering.
In this, we miss the spaciousness, the Love, integrating passing feelings and thoughts in harmony. Love includes no exclusion, even what we might see as wrong, evil, godless, for Love is prior to all passing states ~ all thoughts, all feelings. This does not mean Love encourages or inspires all states, or that all states are loving, or that one can love and use that as an excuse to be a serial killer. Inclusion simply means there is no denial, there is no seeing of a clear dividing line between apparently separate, passing states of internal experience, there is not even a loveless state of being that is not included in Love, for Love includes all, even lovelessness.
And, from this harmony, of integration, the sense of apparent opposites can flow in and out. In this, we have no agenda to be or appear any way at all. Appearing a particular way is only an experience; being this or that, we see as passing feelings, not who we are, not who anyone is. So, "I feel lost," one could say, meaning, "A feeling of lostness is present." One can observe angry feelings in oneself, knowing anger is simply what is arising in the body and will recede by leaving it to be what it is. When anger arises, can one find the anger? No. When anger leaves, can one find the anger? No. Thoughts, feelings have no substance, they arise, they dissolve. From where? The "background," the potential of every passing experience of thought or feeling, the same "background" from which arises your sense of being a self, a person, an individual among other individuals.
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So, as for lostness, embracing how lost I really feel, divesting myself of the delusion that I must always feel found, brings relief, brings equanimity. Feeling lost is simply a normal experience, neither weak nor strength. Authenticity is lost in always thinking oneself to feel the right way, for no one always has this feeling a right way.
But who dares admit it? Do you ever hear a clergyperson or politician or spiritual teacher ... say clearly, unapologetically, "I feel totally lost." No, we are rewarded for a presentation of having it all together, of faking the real human condition we feel ~ feeling lost sometimes, for some of possibly feeling lost almost all the time. Yet, in this denial, we do not have harmony, for we are presenting a false face, we are presented self-dividing, we are being a no-self self. How can authentic Love thrive amidst such duplicity, when Love itself includes what we refuse to include? Such duplicity is the effort to make Love what Love is not, and this is impossible, so leads to much suffering. Love thrives in authenticity, even if the authenticity does not fit an approved norm of appearance.
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I like being around persons who can embrace being seen as lost ~ they seem more real, more loving and compassionate, to me, than persons who parade themselves as the found. I seem to stay lost much of the time, if not all the time, and sense in the Mystery of Grace that sometimes lost and found, as death and life, are wedded in a lovely, peaceful ~ even if at times painful ~ union of ineffable love. This being said, to say, "I am lost most of the time," means, "Lost is simply being found, for in being found is being lost." That is, there is a beingness including both in harmony, so one never feels one or the other in completeness, neither is felt to be a threat or as abnormal, as a deficient to character. So, in this purity of integration, one knows lost apart from being a single state of being, or found as a single state of being, but, rather, an expression of Life including both in complete oneness.
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The mind divides, one could say, what the heart holds in union. In return to the heart, one returns to harmony. One does not create harmony, harmony is known in the return to harmony. Harmony is harmony and, so, needs no effort for it to be. Disharmony is simply the apparent movement from harmony. How does one know this? This movement from harmony is communicated through the body. The body registers movement from or into harmony. Harmony expresses as a felt-experience. So, even in a sense of upset, harmony can be felt, for harmony, for Love, includes pleasure and displeasure. Also, a sense of being lost can be known beyond the duality of pleasure and displeasure, based on whether the sense is aligned with the inclusiveness of harmony, so aligned with harmony. Then, feeling lost is simply feeling lost, nothing more. One does not live to feel lost, or to feel found. One lives.
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Possibly, some of us live lostness, choosing that or being chosen to that, not as my being lost - a personal lostness -, but through identification with the lostness that is so much a part of the human condition. Possibly, our living lostness is an invitation that one can feel lost and not feel inept or deformed, damned or unspiritual, but actuallly just experiencing life as a sacred Journey entailing many diverse ways of being alive, a Life moving moment-to-moment, consistency being in the unpredictability of what is to arise the next moment.
For myself, I have found a lovely quality inside the sense of being lost, an ineffable, unspeakable beauty I cannot give a name to - I do know it as and feel it to be a quality of Love.
We could call this lostness groundlessness. Yet, ironically,in spiritual contemplation, lostness becomes in-harmony with foundness. How? Simply, intimacy with one resolves the sense of otherness of that one, returning each passing state to its oneness with the apparent opposite. So, when feeling a groundlessness, feel into that sense; one finds, then, the sense of being grounded. The groundlessness becomes being grounded, so harmony is restored. An example, also, is how one cannot hate someone he or she does not love. That one loves the other is a ground for the arising of hate; without that love, there would be no potential for hate, one would simply have no feeling of either.
I invite you to practice this in meditation, meaning not in a technique but simply sitting quietly. How? Rest and remain receptive to whatever arises. Do not judge. Do not cling. Do not try to create any particular state of feeling. In doing this, you see how different, apparently contradictory states arise and dissolve, and without your consent. You see you are not in control of this. You may see how you judge some states and not others, trying to choose what "ought" and "ought not" to be, rather than being receptive, welcoming to whatever arises. In doing this, one, over time, becomes more welcoming of the harmony of this Life-dance, not personalizing it. Even loving someone becomes less personal, and, with that, hating someone becomes less personal. One may experience even a passing state of love and of hate as arising, with no feeling of personal added to it at all. So, all these states can arise without the "I" stamp, that claim to be someone who does this or that. One finds in this a more authentic experience of life, a more real self-presentation. Equanimity becomes progressively more present, as all experience is slowly drawn into the background of Presence itself, not the "I" that claims experience. And, one discovers more spaciousness to allow life and relationships to unfold gracefully, without a felt-need to be the executive in charge. One learns to trust life, as the sense of self recedes into the background, when before that "I" was in the foreground. A more restful, caring relationship to life occurs, for now life is more open, more welcoming, more the expression of pure Openness, of graceful Grace.
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*Lotus of the Heart is a Work of Arem Nahariim-Samadhi ~ a Hospice Chaplain, interspiritual author, writer, poet, and bicyclist. He is someone in love with Life and inviting others to that same ecstasy of Love ~ and, by the way, herein is nothing he claims as his own.