An A.K. Reader: Original Sin as Original Blessing (2004)

Midway way through an explosive, exciting Jupiter/Uranus/Pluto August 2013 that features enormous, long compressed emotion erupting from below in just about everyone I know while we are all being swirled together as in a boiling cauldron (grand trine in water: Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn), I went searching for an essay of my own from the past that might express some of what we are suffering and hopefully, help show a way through. Here’s what I came up with.

flowerEssay: Original Sin as Original Blessing


(Here’s how the essay starts)

Author’s note: Only a few months past the first anniversary of my husband Jeff Joel’s death on January 3, 2003, I abruptly fell into a year-long karmic relationship with a man whose dominating personality mirrored my own. Unlike my relationship with Jeff, the connection with Vince was sexually magnetic; however, I was forced to learn that Vince’s values and ethics were not compatible with mine. This essay was written about half-way through that period of mutual confusion and suffering.

Catholics say that we arrive wounded and marked with “original sin” that only baptism eradicates. I say that you cannot get rid of it, that it follows you like a shadow. I tell you my story, of an innocence hurt and crushed. Each of us, if we look within long and deeply enough, re-enters that original wound. The pain started in childhood. Or at birth. Or in the womb. Or in another life. Or even before that. How do you go back to the beginning and not go further back?

(And here’s how it ends)

We all wish for an end to suffering. However, I must tell you that in decades of experience with my own hidden, inner pain, I always encounter more; always more pain seeks to surface. At this point, I do sense that my pain belongs not just to me, but to us; that it is ours, our pain, Earth’s pain. For as I surrender to my most vulnerable feelings, the walls that divide me from others and from the natural world thin and dissolve. Indeed, if everyone’s personal pain is an aspect of a single phenomenon, then what makes us curl up in despair, is shared. Our Oneness as a species we know first in our agony.

I have but one need, to enter the inner space and resonance of a roomful of monks, chanting. I have but one prayer, to slow down for the whisperings of sacred, inner reality inside this fast-track, centrigugal world. I have but one directive, no matter how many times or how often Small Mind flies off, that I spiral back in to full, expanding awareness of the present moment. In this painful birthing into a larger universe, I step into the hush, the hum, the blessing — of a mysterious living presence. My center is Ours, and it is not empty, but full — spacious, expanding, and alive.

About Ann Kreilkamp

PhD Philosophy, 1972. Rogue philosopher ever since.
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1 Response to An A.K. Reader: Original Sin as Original Blessing (2004)

  1. Colleen says:

    Thank you Ann for this amazing look at your personal pain. Amazing because of how accurately you described that black hole of emptiness and despair that I fell into at age 35 precipitated by moving into an upgraded house with my husband of 14 years and two young daughters. I can’t recall seeing it described so graphically. Back then I struggled to escape this mysterious indescribable but devastating pain by reading anything that seemed at all helpful. I remember Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less Traveled, helped me hang onto my sanity and start to believe that there was something outside of my small mind that could help me. As a devout ex-catholic I had turned away from belief in god to guarantee my freedom from the church’s control over my mind and body. I began a journey that ended my marriage, and opened me to exploring and seeking an authentic spirituality that was helpful in my life rather than crippling. My connection to nature deepened and continually nourished me through the darkest times with my daily walks with my dog in a nearby nature sanctuary. I’m grateful that the black hole led me to therapists who cared, and 12 step groups where I was accepted for myself and not who I thought I was supposed to be, and had miserably failed at being. Just as you describe I had focused completely on my external life and failed to notice that my inner self was collapsing in on itself and taking me down with it. As dark as those days were, I couldn’t possibly have imagined all the crisis and darkness we’re confronting today. I think I’m able to take it in because I’ve already gone down deep and come through alive. I used to believe I’d eventually reach a place of resolution and the end of pain, but the journey continues as I process the loss of a 15 year relationship that I thought would last for the duration. So when the pain comes, I follow your method when I am clear enough to recall that I need to go into my body to go through it, and not try to distract or go into obsessive analysis of what’s causing it. Realizing that it’s not necessarily my personal pain that’s arising is indeed helpful when it sneaks up on me unexpectedly. So grateful you put this essay on your blog.

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