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 theirform—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.
I love wallowing in blue bouts of self-pity. I love melancholy. Because it feels reassuring, to put it tersely. Self-pity is but a way of re-assuring the cherished idea that I have about meself. Fact of the matter is: the bittersweet blue molasses of melancholy and the overall sluggishness that accompanies it feels so deeply soothing precisely because that is my preferred way of maintaining a sense of separateness. Others have other ways of dismissing the truth [of our being] I happen to be choosing the sweet asphyxiating molasses of melancholy. To be honest, though, I’ve always thought that my melancholy was in fact the truth in the guise of a bit sad but still small voice—until the recent recognition that for the most part it’s merely my ego’s way of re-assuring itself and its sense of separateness. I saw at once that I’m heavily addicted to it too. When the going gets tough the compulsion to scamper back into its insulating confinement and then allow my harried self to mellow the duck out feels quite overwhelming at times. Once there, I’m on cloud 9, no doubt. The outside of it does feel unsafe but on the flip side the inside of it feels cosy and refreshingly familiar—I loves the sense of being taken back there, no matter the depth of isolation.
Until I drop my fascination and fixation on them: the insights [I share on this blog] will keep coming—ebbing and flowing—because rather than embodying & becoming the ground from whence they issue I’ll keep a distance and be a mediator instead. And of course, as anyone in their right mind, I’ll always prefer being a mediator because that way I gets to keep a sense of specialness & separateness alive.
The ego is like the ultimate search engine—slick, sleek and stunningly swift—designed to seek and invariably find new frontiers to keep reassuring its own raison d’etre. That’s how yesterday’s selfless flow turns into today’s fixation overnight (especially among folks of the spiritually/transpersonally inclined). Even the gesture of total transparency and exposure—like the one attempted on this confessional type blog and other transpersonally oriented sites—quickly turns into a posture, a new way of reassuring a sense of separate self in control. But at least I (!) know that LOL.
How absurd and how tragic that parents hurt their children by shaming & guilting them for things that, in effect, they themselves bequeathed them. Instead of encouraging the blooming of their unique flair they (in)directly transmit their own anxieties on to the opulent and highly impressionable, fecund minds of their children. The child practically becomes the site of the parents’ internal battles who then identifies with and enacts the emotional pain their parents suffer from. But who is there to blame? All of this is impersonal, trans-generational stuff. Part of growing up is waking up to and seeing through these internalized (personally taken) impersonal patterns—which, incidentally, we’ll never manage to get rid of since, by definition, we as a person (as an ego) are the creation of those very patterns. Of course, what we truly are is infinitely vaster than the personal self we are tormented & so deeply smitten by.
/Besides inculcating a necessary ego function this is the overall sense that is to be cultivated in our children from the get-go.