I haven’t left the house today, except for my usual walk with puppy Shadow, this time through a condo development to a path into a woods that we’ve never visited before. Amazing, how, as my daughter-in-law Sue said to me recently, “the woods always feels so comforting.” Yes, it does, to be surrounded, surrendered to tree beings whose roots interlace, whose stalks reach for the sun, whose branches tangle with each others’, who lean on each other for solace, who spring up from nowhere and then sooner or later break down and come to rest on the ground rotting, food for insects, places of safety for animals, mulch for continuing plant life . . . .
Not for them this business of protecting themselves from other trees with guns. Not for them this stupidity of ganging up against some bogey-man as if once that’s done everything will be fine. Not for them this need to always be “right,” to “plan ahead,” “hold on,” “be number one.”
Just be, they tell me, just be . . . at one with your breath, your sure-footed trek on this path, your easy, serene communion with your dog and his constant joy and fascination with the gazillions of odors along the way. Just be. Just breathe. In and out, in and out. Soon enough you will be called back to making choices, to saying this, and not that, to deciding on the specific “form” that “this” post or “that” post will need to take to communicate your intent, here, on this blog.
I took this morning’s walk after my usual session with the internet, gathering stuff that I might want to look at and comment on here — or not! I never know until I start blogging just what I’m going to do today.
Yesterday, during our two-hour lunch with a friend equally attuned to invisible dimensions, she told me that since her mother, who had lived with her as a partner for many years, died, not even two months ago, she has felt surrounded and protected by spirits.
“Yes,” I responded. “I have felt that for many months now, actually for a number of years!” At first, it felt like a thick, sweet, infinite field of love, opened to me by my husband right after he died, in January 2003, of a heart attack. Over the years, the feeling has come and gone; or, I should say, I am more or less aware of it; certainly, within the past few years the field of love seems to be more and more populated, and within the past few months the space itself seems to be expanding exponentially, allowing more and more spirits to move in, crowd and jostle together, just as the trees do, in woods, except that, like me, the spirits move. I don’t travel through them, but with them.
As a result, it’s been a loooooong time since I’ve felt isolated, lonely, alone, separate, whatever word you want to use for that desolation that only those who have “been there” can understand in others. And who has not been there at some point in life? I can remember as a young divorced mother and graduate student, running along aside a bus as it was pulling to a stop for me to get on and get to class at Boston University. A thought hit me then. That as bad as it was, as awful and desperate and depressed as I felt, my life was in my hands. I could always decide to kill myself, throw myself under the bus.
That thought brought comfort. I was the agent of my fate. So if I wasn’t throwing myself under the bus, it was because I was committing to life, reaching for happiness; some day, if I kept on reaching, intending, leaning in that direction, it would come.
Another day I remember “waking up” to an habitual behavior for the very first time as I walked along, almost home to our lonely apartment, in late afternoon, after class. It was this: as I walked, I had been typing words in the air, over and over again, the same fingers in sequence, one after another, the same phrase. What was the phrase? I typed it again, this time with awareness. Aaaaah: “I . . . a. . .m . . . . a. . . .m . . . .e . . . .s. . . .s.”
I am a mess. I AM A MESS! Over and over again. I was mind controlling myself, conditioning myself to remain in a chaotic state, without realizing it!
At about the same time I picked up a book by Ouspensky that talked about the Russian philosopher Gurdjieff, his practice of “self-remembering,” whereby, in order to wake up, one says to oneself, at any hour of the day, inside any behavior, “I AM HERE!” Just that. “I am here,” when brushing my teeth, or changing a diaper, or raking leaves, or writing a paper for a class in epistemology. Just that, “I am here.” Wake up to the present moment, over and over and over again. That was in my mid-20s.
I’m now nearly 70 years old. Birthday tomorrow! I honor that confused young mother for having begun that practice then, the one that kept waking her up to the point where the mind-control conditioning awash in our culture through media, advertising, schooling, manners, etc. etc. no longer dominated.
I see through the appearances of things, to the reality that there is no there there. Nothing to grab hold of, only this gigantic collective projection that we keep “alive” through our long-standing unconscious social agreement to do so.
Could it be that this is what the Mayan Calendar end/beginning date is all about? About waking up? About committing ourselves to seeing through the appearances of constant conflict to the living soul of the universe? Could it be that the next gigantic Mayan Calendar cycle has to do with consciously creating a different illusion? One in which the happiness of all beings is included in a field of love crowded with spirits, all joyfully anticipating our birth into the multidimensional mystery we have hungered for all this time?
Could it be that even the trees will applaud us?