Soul’s full bloom opens
with the light of
dawn’s bursting frenzy,
Through the eyes of
birth, death and rebirth
cyclic and eternal
scions of divinity’s
I suppose awakening fully to the knowledge that you’re not being all you can be is a daunting prospect. Realizing that all that you’ve done during your life is only a portion of what you’ve always been fully capable of is an indictment of intention and purpose that really begs the question, why?
Why do we not live up to our potential? What choice is it that we make that leaves us lying in the bed watching motes of dust dance on sunbeams as the morning passes and midday approaches and we listen to the cars in the distance, floating gently in recrimination and soothing, non-judgemental daydreams? At what point do the circumstances of your life reach a critical point at which you must, finally, make a decision regarding who you are and where you are going?
Can it be so easy? Is there one, specific point in our lives that we can look back to that we can say, without hesitation, “There. That is the place where I decided to be the person that I am today.”
Maybe mama’s soothing voice carried you through childhood and beyond, echoing in memory as a rippling reflection of perception. Maybe it didn’t and she was a cold shrew, her eyes lasers of recrimination and unrealized dreams. Memory and love play hide and seek sometimes, ducking behind feelings and scenes that seem set in stone. But you can never be sure if what you remember happened exactly as you think it did, in fact, talking to others sometimes bring forth memories you’d forgotten you had, or recasts other memories in a new light as you are reminded of specific incidences that you may have suppressed, or, more likely, not paid attention to when they were occuring in the first place. Daddy was there or not there, sometimes stern and strong, sometimes weak and vacillating but he was daddy, and you loved him either way. Only child or burdened with brothers and sisters, the lessons of responsibility came hard and fast during the maturation process, interactions with family preparing the way for school. The early trauma of playground bullies, treacherous playmates or home situations that were less than perfect mark the twisted path with signposts of screaming pain, each of which turns us from one direction to another or beckons us further along that smaller, darker path, leading down into the brambles and underbrush of the deep, scary forest of lost dreams and desire.
Is it truly a choice to be slave to your conditioning? And, if so, at what point does one realize it, if ever? And, if one choose to become fully realized in such a way, what does it take to move past the conditioning of the past, and become more than a familial or societal Manchurian Candidate?
It is at the point where you realize that carrying around the old scores and festering wounds of ancient, and fresh, trials and tribulations is actually weighing you down – preventing you from moving forward into the present without anger, without pain, without interpreting every, single event that happens to you through eyes that are still seeing your father, mother, uncle, cousin, friend, enemy of years and years ago, doing whatever they did, saying whatever they said, being whoever they were to you, back then – that you become consciously aware of your enslavement, and are able to make sober decisions regarding your present course of action.
I don’t even have to close my eyes to see Del City, Oklahoma, me on my Grit route delivering my papers, and Mike Clark and his little toady following me through the neighborhood shouting taunts and racial slurs, me finally making it home only to have my next door neighbor and best friend, Jeff McDaniels, ask me why Mike Clark was calling my mother a “Black Bitch”? Mike Clark and his curses didn’t hurt me half as much as that smirk Jeff couldn’t hide and the gleam in his eye that told me he knew the place those words came from intimately and that, just maybe, he was not the friend I thought he was.
Continuous series of memories of ghostly interactions that are no more real now than they were when they occuring. The statement by the spiritually-evolved that life is an illusion makes a little bit of sense when you think about how quickly things happen, and the fact that by the time something happens it’s already over and you’re interpreting it in your mind, applying weight and meaning to events that occurred in the space of an instant and then receded, becoming memory almost before you even knew that it was happening. All of life is like that, and most of our mental work is concerned with keeping up, trying not to go down beneath the continuous flow of happenings, of thoughts, the cause and effect of all movement, be it mental, physical or spiritual in nature.
What does it gain us to hold on to pain, when it is just as easy to let it go like an amnesiac? Is it true that we are defined by our past? By who we have been? When someone asks you about yourself, what do you say? Do you rattle off a litany of facts? “I am so and so from somewhere or another, my mama is that woman and my brother is that dude. I went to school here and joined the whatever and spent five years over there doing this and that until I got back here and met you right now.”
Is that truly who you are?
Or is it, rather, who you were.
And, if that is who you were? A continuous series of “weres” that is in progress even up to this very moment, then who does that make you right now? I mean, right then? And then? And thenandthenandthenandthenandthen? Who are we, right Now, right this instant, and how do we determine who we are? Can we do so through the eyes of others? Through our parents? Our siblings? Our significant others? Do they know who we are? When they tell us who we are, do we always agree with them?
Hm. The process of ‘determining’, of ‘defining’ is a process of thought, of judgement, of rationalization and of stultification, whereby you take on the characteristics of a fossilized instant, projecting your past into your future through the medium of the present. Make sense? I’m who I am and I define I by who I was then not by who I am Now or who I will be along the continuous series of Nows.
All of this occurs beneath thought. It is programming, barely conscious and runs like a maintainance program beneath the web browser of our senses, and while we’re dealing with the detritus of the material world, watching the dust motes, listening to the cars and birds and thinking about where we went wrong in our lives, we are continuously sinking deeper and deeper into self-definition and further enslavement to the “Me’s, I’s and You’s” of the past, the manifestations of Ego that work remorselessly at self-preservation. Realizing that your ego structure has to maintain itself constantly by making us think that we are only human, and not super-human spirits on a journey through time and space, not at all bound by the confines of our bodies or this world.
If we realized that Truth in every moment, we would not be bound by anything or anybody. It is the Ego’s task to keep us grounded in this world, though – bound to the lives we’ve created – to whisper to us from the depths of the subconscious, “You can’t do that. You aren’t trained for that line of work. You’re too shy. Nobody can levitate. It’s impossible. C’mon. She’s too beautiful for you. He’s too smart. Don’t you remember what your daddy did to you when you were small? What your mama said about you? You’re nothing but a little slut, a big dummy, an ignorant boy and silly girl and you’ll never, ever, ever amount to a thing.”
Falling beneath the weight
of the past
peering out from under
words and deeds
woven in a tapestry of Life
Black depression, pressing
down, breath harsh
wheezing, eyes dimming
tears flowing, falling
cold distaste regarding a
life less lived than
Taking control of your mind will be a form of warfare. It is used to being in charge, to defining who you are, to telling you what your goals are. Becoming familiar with what lies beyond the mind, then, becomes our paramount task. That powerful consciousness that observes, watches, calculates and stores energy and intention in a depthless resevoir of potential. Accessibility is gained through prayer, service and meditation. Prayer addresses the Divinity in Creation, the perceived Outer World. Service is an affront to the Ego, because the Ego is selfish, and so by serving others with a good will and true heart, the Ego retreats from the stage, leaving your individual portion of Divine Love shining like a star for all to feel, and bask in. And meditation familiarizes you with those inner shores of your spiritual sea, the waters that connect to the greater consciousness without, making what is within part of that greater whole.
The path can take us through a lifetime, or become the choice of a moment. Releasing the ‘stuff of the past’ depends upon how much we use it to define us in the present. Letting go of past loves, past pains, just the past is difficult, since we are who we are because of who we’ve been. Living life with the full spectrum of possibility available to you is such an inconceivable thing that we dare not even dream of what it means.
So take a moment right now, and do what your Ego does not want you to do. Dream, and realize that you are whoever you choose to be and that, whoever that is, is something and someone new upon the face of the Earth, living each moment in joy and the abandonment of wondrous and continuous birth, accessing all of the powers of the Divine to consciously co-create the Now.