fuel for the weary

February 2, 2017

This is a fustercluck the likes of which we've never seen, here on US soil, though some would argue that it's always been this way - just depends on your vantage point. Anyhow, the stage has been set perfectly, and perhaps it's true that this upset will serve as a purging -- of myopia, of greed, of racism, of sexism -- of all the darkest corners of the human psyche. Perhaps we do have to see our darkness more clearly before we can develop the antibodies, and heal.

   Nonetheless, as the walls appear to crumble down, the temptation to fold into old patterns - anger, depression, powerlessness, spiritual bypass - or some other cage -  is strong.  The deepest consolation is spiritual practice, but it is also true that as long as we are in human form, we will never be exempt from engagement. One cannot not act. (Bhagavad Gita lesson #1) We all stand for something, and this is certainly a moment to feel one's feet on the ground.

 

   It is incumbent upon us to know ourselves, and to have the wisdom to console ourselves when we are fragile and to know what to do with our anger. These 4 letters (poems, really) are to the one who feels powerless, and is scrambling to make sense of it all, the one who is fragile, and cannot tolerate the inner strife, the one who is angry, and the one who is weary... you can continue reading on the blog.

 

here follows the first -- letter #1: 

to the one who is scrambling to make sense of it all:

 

your mind is a mess of information, and you remain hungry for more.  you need answers, answers. the mind is trying to build a cage of thoughts against this grief.

the truth is, there is no cage. 

there is no stance. there is only standing. there is only one action at a time. 

 

life is a gerund, said my wise teacher once.

i know it's scary -- the sea of human interactions is full of tumult, and the human way is to seek safety. 

 

but question: where is safety, really? the mind (when frightened) builds an island out of straws. an island of ideas, of defenses, of meanings. it has the appearance of safety, but is it?

yours, too, love: your beautiful, loving, fragile mind, terrified, tries to cement together a case, around what it all means.

but question: is it any safer to know what it all means? How about not knowing what it means, and simply standing there?

 

i am standing. for beautiful human diversity.

i am standing. for love. every form of love.

i am standing. for freedom of expression, freedom to dissent. 

i am standing. for compassion, especially towards those disenfranchised by the antiquated systems of oppression.

i am standing. for equality.

i am standing. for this planet.

 

standing here takes effort. dissent takes effort. for this journey, the mind must be quiet.

 

 

 

 

to the one who cannot tolerate the inner strife:

 

While one part of me is enraged, another part does not tolerate the rage well. She has been more afflicted in this life; she is more fragile. She cannot bear the destruction being wrought, nor the rage it engenders. That mind will try to make it alright somehow. I've seen this before. she will either rest on cynicism -- this system has always been broken, she will say.  truth: what is happening will never be alright. it never was. What T**** and his cronies are doing has a sickness in it, a sickness at its core. That sickness is the vibration of fear and greed. We are all very familiar with it. They need to be contained.

But it's true, dear, if your own hands are trembling, you will tire easily. 

 

(so take care of yourself impeccably. touch your own knowing. there is no evil in the world that is not based in ignorance of true nature. so at the end of the day, you must just find yours.) 

 

But you cannot not act. (Bhagavad Gita lesson #1)

You might act quietly, but as long as you are in human form, you will never be exempt from engagement. it is the blessing and the curse of this project, this human experiment. the gunas will act upon the gunas. The darkness of fear, inertia and sloth (tamas) will create a vacuum that pulls rajas into it. And rajas (greed and agitation) will burn it's wick quickly, for it has no true fuel. 

 

so dear: each letter you write, each call you make, each movement of money; look at the hands moving upon your wrists:

like magic they move, no self behind them. 

each painting, each poem, each blood-curdling howl, feel the raw energy that fuels it's beautiful creation. 

 

pause.

be fueled only by truth. you don't need to stay angry, or stay scared. but watch you don't try to explain it all away. perhaps your life has been a litany of assaults already, and you fear you might crumble yourself, if you engage this too deeply. 

it's ok. take care of yourself. live quietly. your own healing is of tremendous value.

 

{ Meanwhile, the ladybugs are resting under the cover of arugula as the rain falls. And Nano is building. He shows me his latest lego creation: a chicken with spy glasses. I'd not known that could be built from legos. Confirmation, again, that I know so little. Get up. Wash your bowl. }

 

 

 

 

to the one who is angry:

 

according to a hindu legened, the world was once overtaken by evil in the form of a demon, rakta-bija. the goddess durga tried to slay the demon, whose name means 'blood-seed'. every time she raised her sword, each drop of blood she spilled became a seed. that seed sprouted into another demon - a clone of the first. legions of warrior demons descended upon her and on every corner of the earth there was terror.  she became incensed, and from the deep concentration of her fury, she changed form. she became kali. kali raged with fury. she opened her gigantic mouth, outstretched her behemoth tongue, and lapped up each demon, and each drop of blood, each blood-seed, on the battlefield. her rage vanquished the demonic force, and one would hope this would be the end of the story --  but the plot thickens. Trouble was, kali too is vulnerable to her own anger - and she was overtaken by the trance of it. She raged and raged, destroying everything in her path. Shiva was raised from his ecstatic dance, and was startled to see his beloved Kali in the process of destroying the world. he did the only thing he could think to do. He threw himself down at her feet. She danced in rage upon him, in her trance of destruction. In moments, she realized what she was doing - she came to. she saw her beloved, and returned to herself - or her other self - the calm, full, beatific form, who rests in pleasure.

 

it was the deep concentration of her fury that let her change in form. she did not try to cage her fury; it was the storm that fed her, it was the storm that transformed her. your anger is useful. but you must have deep bonds of love, lest this anger overtake you. go ahead, witches, cast your spells, do your magic. but don't let the magic turn black. you will be saved from your darkness by your deeper allegiance to love.

 

 

to the weary:

 

 beautiful activists. you are the channel, dear ones. but don't build an identity around this, lest you tire too easily. find the imperishable self, who was not born, who does not die. (bhagavad gita lesson #2) that self, whom water cannot wet, whom fire cannot burn - that is the true self. that is you. Be there, and knowing will flood you. 

you have done none of this. you have not written those letters, you did not hold that sign. you were not in that cell, you did not suffer those blows. so do not hoist that burden, it was never yours to hoist.

you are the channel. 

surrender each action as it flows through you. action is it's own reward. (bhagavad gita lesson #3)

 

keep leaning back on to the truth as it lives in your own body. lean on krishna. lean on shiva. lean on orula, allah, jesus, mary, whoever you can lean on, lean now. lean on the earth's beautiful unfolding.

 

keep dancing through this, love. keep dancing. keep your hands in the dirt. keep growing your food, holding your children, pausing.

 

i know you will never stop fighting, though you are weary to the bone. 

you will stand against ignorance, especially where it is assuming power. 

you will organize however you can.

but pause. pay attention. it is the root of science. if you believe in science, practice it. observe before concluding.

and collect yourself. find your people.

hand-wringing in groups is much less soul-draining than hand-wringing alone. 

 

dance. to remember, to forget - whatever it gives you  - dance. 

there is no harm in joy.  never has been. the fiercest champions of the cause have had a little spring in their step. this is a long march. pack rations of joy.

 

 

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