When people tell me that they don’t understand the things I write/talk about I know that the only reason they don’t get me is that they don’t understand themselves in the first place. When dealing with me some feel confused about me, some feel frustrated by me, some dislike me, some quite like me—but if they cared enough most of them, I think, would be somewhat fascinated by (their idea of) me. Paradoxically, the less separate I feel from them (us) the more separate they seem to feel from me. The less there is of me and the more I loosen & relax into (us as) life they tend to project more and more of their issues onto me. In other words, people relate to people like me exactly the way they relate to life. It’s not personal at all. It’s just weird.
I’ve started the practice—the admittedly quaint practice I should say—of looking at people as if I was looking at flowers (partly as a countermeasure to the chronically clingy nature of my strategically aloof personality). Whenever a cute girl, for instance, turns me on and I feel a surge of an urge to pick (up) and possess or at the very least fixate on her from a safe distance I know that in a sense I enact the death of (the spirit in) both of us—as in: (neurotic) attachments retard relations (the dynamic unfolding of authentically relating to self & other): an image of ’her’ and an image of ’me in relation to her’ takes the place of the truth of the volatile moment. By making a mental note of this I manage to curb my fervid enthusiasm.
And gradually it’s starting to dawn on me for real what my spiritual savvy ego-mind has been telling me for a while now: that there really is nothing inside us. Nothing. We are truly empty—plain, hollow forms undulating, just like flowers or blades of grass in the fluctuating flesh of the air—we simply exist. In other words: there is no-one but ’only’ some body to us, we are no-one but some body. There is a subtle but all the more poignant sense of this creeping up on me now that just blows my mind—I wonder what happens when the recognition descends deeper into the heart and the gut: Nobody is special. There is no substance to (the idea of) anyone.
And yet, there is me and there is the emotional attachments plaguing me. There is me and there are the compromising (social, financial, health) conditions of me. There is me and his recognitions—A face grasping against the mystery of its abysmal depthlessness.
You say that you’re heartbroken over ’’moving on’’ because you’ve grown truly fond of the forms—the places, the faces—you’ve encountered. But let’s be honest: do you get as attached to plants too? Do you feel dejected when you see a blooming flower in April and think about the fleeting nature of your encounter?—Now, is this a silly comparison? Why? What is the extent of the difference? Isn’t it but all about forms? forms that you can appreciate for their unique flair or fail to do so. One thing’s for sure, we go easy on the plants because they cannot engage in our drama, but when it comes to people we turn into weird, needy little desperate Gollums clinging, grasping, claiming and demanding—no matter how passively—we proceed, in effect, to project the love that we are onto their form—their peculiar face and their bodily rhythms, gestures, postures and style of engaging—because we expect them to be someone for us so we can get to be someone for them.
Someone but One.
There are the faces around that we all are, faces, already fading, about to be forgotten faces, blooming, withering and vanishing sea waves of faces, my face and your face to be lost sooner or later we are to lose no matter how hard we try to save it on facebook, from humiliation and utter oblivion, always already fading from the face of the Earth, every single face you ever face faces to be replaced, by other faces, as our faces have replaced the faces flowering before us, under the sun, nothing special,
Do you see?
Do you see them now?
Do you feel the love you actually feel for all of them? The faces up the streets, in the shops, in the parks and on the trams. The faces at work and the faces at home. The faces from the past, opposite, behind and next to yours, the newborn faces. Out and about. Take a look. Variations on a theme. Beneath all these faces we all share the same essence. Underneath the myriad faces there is only one sameone there.
nothing stays, on the face of it
What remains, in the end, nothing else remains but awareness, of this moment, above and in front of all the toyful joys and the soulfull sorrows of the person who is losing everybody and everything, slowly and surely, all that it—as an I—has ever attained or missed and all that it has ever grown fond of and loved, sooner or later, falls away, and then the truth meets the truth… this heart is breaking and oozing gooey pain at the thought of my parents fading, at the thought of an ex and the countless unpursued prospects blending into the impersonal mass of the female flesh I’m so mesmerized by day by day: nothing remains that I could hold on to, nothing that I can grasp, nobody, noone, nothing to fixate on, nothing that fix(at)es, nothing that grounds me, nothing to write about really, all the writing blurs into noise, another iteration of the same old, same old, everything pixelates, with me in the middle of it all, alive, a heart, ready to burst, or stop, almost, for real, and it’s beating on, for it’s only the mind that is blown away by the overwhelm called truth
I remember as children we used to swing back and forth on all fours sitting on our shins in the bed with my brother to lull ourselves asleep every evening. In retrospect I see it as a compensation [for the unmet need of a parental ’’lullaby’’ or something] that arose naturally and organically.
Last night I went to bed quite early, I felt sleepy but I couldn’t fall asleep. I was tossing and turning and there was an escalating urge, essentially, to reach. In other words, I wanted to escape the situation: to preoccupy myself with some [more productive & useful] activity and get distracted from the pressure of this dead-end moment… So, what did I do next? You bet: I inquired.
Here’s the swift gist of the flow:
—Pressure. Lots of pressure. In fact, there is pain here, in this empty, depthless, pitch-black space of endless idling. It hurts, actually.
—Where does it hurt? Locate it in the body.
—I don’t know. It hurts everywhere. It’s diffuse. I just want out. It’s weighing heavy on me and it just feels so ’distressing’. It’s everywhere: In my neck, in my back, in my gut. I want out.
—What is it telling you Márk?
And roughly this is what it told me: First, it told me that I wanted to be held [like a little child] because I felt stranded in the dead of night. Then it told me that in reality the indistinct, diffuse pain I felt was nothing else but pure energy which finally got enough room to be noticed and acknowledged, and which I finally recognized for what it actually was. To put it bluntly, I sensed that this energy—as all energy, always—is the energy of love gently but persistently pressing against the foil of my mask, my persona, my denial—like a repressed spring pushing against fraying upholstery. I understood that this is the very same energy that all my life has been transmuted & transformed into a subtle form [a hormonal cocktail] of anxiety and that has compelled me to compulsively exhaust myself through various means of surrogate activities to find momentary relief before the next impending ’’nightfall’’. What drove me to swing myself to sleep as a child was this [emotionally un-expressed] energy too. I realized that this is indeed the same energy that pushes us all to prove ourselves and achieve things in life to find some measure of release in the approval of others. And I also saw that this energy is the same energy that could transform into the most wonderful chemical drug on the planet too when we merge—as we’ve all had a few times in our life when we felt seen, accepted, unconditionally met, accomplished, etc.—with the moment in ecstasy, when it freely bounces and flows and floods everything and time stops as we melt into the moment like butter melts on hot steak. In brief, I realized that what I was dealing with was nothing else but the movement of energy. And given the shift in the intent it could be transformed into a narcotic agent [state of mind] in an instant. It’s just energy and the way I choose to relate to it, or it chooses to relate to itself, rather. And it has always been just that. Energy. All the rest a play of shadows.
If you choose to go with the truth be prepared to be constantly criticized, tested & detested, guilted, shamed, misjudged, misunderstood and abandoned [by self & other respectively] because that’s what it takes to deliver it.
I is afraid that without the compelsory struggle it’ll be left stranded, naked and empty handed. If there remains nothing to grasp, nothing to cling & hold on to and nothing to push away what is the I to do then with its clever hands? Beyond a lifetime of perplexed grappling all that remains is the unconditional act of touching, I guess.