One evening a grandfather was teaching his young grandson about the internal battle that each person faces. “There are two wolves struggling inside each of us,” the old man said.
“One wolf is vengefulness, anger, resentment, self-pity, fear . . . The other wolf is compassion, faithfulness, hope, truth, love . . .”
The grandson sat, thinking, then asked: “Which wolf wins, Grandfather?”
His grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”

This blog is about the constant struggle. Mostly about mine, but then all the major themes running through my life are universal to everyone else. If my experiences are able to help even one single person find their way through the labyrinth of life, then I am better equipped to stand in the face of any adversity and say, "Bring it. BRING IT! And pack a lunch." Its not about me at that point. And for me, that is the point, the whole point, and nothing but the point.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stop hitting snooze on the alarm clock of love and wake up already

Love is almost like a video game. You get to the next level by mastering the first level, even if sometimes accidentally mastering it with luck rather than skill. And you sashay in to the next level with the exuberance of victory over the first, until you see that things are flying at you faster, and the skills that were necessary to accomplish the completion of the first are simply not refined enough for the second. And so it goes, layer after layer.

Like in the movie Inception, each level down into dreams gets closer to the subconscious, that spooky realm where everything lives- every memory, fear, hope, desire, every dream and nightmare- all swirling in a cauldron of you, and the collective, which is all the yous you have ever been, all conspiring to both help you attain another level, and also fail. Ego lives here. And so does soul.

I find these metaphors, pedestrian though they might be, sufficient enough to stand in for universal themes. There is a verbal roccoco and frothy emotionally sentimental way of decorating concepts about love, but I prefer to ground it all in moe palatable terms, and to investigate the phenomenon rather than be run over by it, puzzled and spinning.

First, there is the initial thrill of the first level, the falling, at first seeming effortless and almost beyond choice because the game sucks you in and allows many small victories to encourage you onward. “I got this,” we think, suckers that we all are. Then, BAM, next level, suddenly the stakes are higher, if you lose then all those snazzy points you worked for are gone, and moreover you want that feeling of mastery again, that exuberance that is so satisfying that so quickly departed upon entry to the next level. But new skills are required. (And I think most people stay in the first level, they don’t want to bring what it takes to go to the next, they want to continue in what they know and understand, and thus the curse of the human condition. Fear of what comes next, desire for what must be given up)

What happens is that the new skills are developed on that level, more quarters thrown in the video game (OG) to go back over and over again to learn what needs to be learned to master the second level. It gets tedious sometimes, frustrating. “How do I navigate this?” “I didn’t see this one coming.” “I can’t take this, I suck at this, I give up.” “I can’t give up. I want to see whats next. I want to be good at this.” “Fuck this.”

Then, the next level is attained, and falling, again. And even with the elation and the glorious ache of it, there is knowing that it heralds a new level, and new skills, and deeper trust. It gets closer to the subconscious, no longer content to frolic in shallow water. The subconscious, where archetypes roam, where a universal language is spoken and immortal dialogues take place in the primordial ooze of all potential, where everything we know and everything we don’t know we know waits to be discovered.

What strikes me as odd is the consensus that anything is really real. In the sense that we mostly take for granted that we live in a solid, static, predictable world that does its own thing and we just try to fit in the best we can. The fact for me is that it is all a divine exchange, constantly creating situations that challenge the spirit, spirit constantly creating situations that challenge the soul, the darkness trying to get us to believe that there is only this and nothing more- it is the intent of the dark side, absolutely; it is it’s only job, and it never sleeps. It never tires. It is not only as smart as we are, it has us believing, too often, that it IS us. We carry it inside us, and listen to its voice and act on it as if that was our own thought. It wants to lead us into darkness. Away from the light. It wants us to believe the lies and the hype, to keep us from the truth. Because, I think, there is no reward if there is no struggle. The more we go towards the light, the more we master the levels, the more intense the game gets. Darkness gets more clever, more crafty, more cunning. It has to; as we get to new levels, so does it, right along with us. But without that, we would not get the the level of soul mastery that will allow us to be what we were truly meant to become. Transcended. Pure harmony. One with God, which, in effect, means we are God, we become God again, on a soul level. There is nothing more important, and yet so few realize this. This is why we are here. Not to be distracted until death by personality. To come to God through principles.

Love is this. To be loved is amazing, but to love is the key to all the levels, it’s the magic coin that gives special powers in the invisble realm where all the work takes place. Not just romantic love, but where else is anyone so challenged on such a personal note? Who else but our beloved will bring out every deep seated insecurity, every trust issue, every conceivable character defect? All these tools of the darkness, attempting to prevent the soul from reconnecting with the source, are in full force in a relationship. And maybe one of the most decent concepts that get lost in the idea of commitment (in that most people fear commitment more for what they lose access to once they are all in) is the idea that you have agreed with another person to go the distance, to go as deep as you can go, to continue to do battle with the darkness that is brought up in the relationship; in effect, you are a team, working towards the most spiritual level of all- where God in me connects with God in you, and allowing a sacred space for that to exist, a new world, which can only happen inside a relationship. There is so much to distract from this; the shallow diversions of the ego- desire, the handiest tools of the darkness, like catnip, so easy to divert an individual from the real work. And fear, the other handy tool. Its hard to survive this- Darkness weilding its power tools, desire and fear, running amok in a new relationship, trying to destroy the divine spark. And not just any Darkness, The Darkness. Tailor made for you. Stamped with your own seal of approval. Your very own ego.

Then there is the soul which wants nothing less than ecstatic return to God. It is like a piece of God inside that throbs with a great longing to be reunited with its lover. And so it does also love love, because God is there inside the other if the obstacles can be overcome. The soul is The Lover, and the Darkness is so able to take that soul longing for God and cunningly fill it with desire for other things to satiate it- material posessions , ambition, addictions, obsessions- like giving a screaming baby a pacifier when it wants its mother’s soft nipple and milk. Eventually it accepts the substitute because the same motions are present. We are so lucky in AA, at least, to have access to another level, to reunite with the soul and recognize the Ego as having fooled us, allowing us to take a sincere yearning for a spiritual experience and warp it with toxic substitutes. The gentle Soul, lifetime after lifetime, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. Love is the great battlefield of triumph over evil, in its best and most pure aspect. Oddly enough, this is never even really seen topside. As if the relationship takes place above the water, while dragons are slayed and wars are waged invisibly just below- ancient combat, immortal victories and epic defeats. And on the surface, we are going to dinner, fucking, talking, texting. Rarely realizing what lies below the surface. As above, so below. And vice versa. Life is but a dream. But love is the alarm clock.

No comments: