Approximating Zero

‘What are you going to do if your ‘friend’ doesn’t come back?’ “It’s not about that. It’s about going on a journey to give him a copy of my book. After all, he was so instrumental in it.” ‘Hmmm.’ “I take it you have some doubts.’ “Who wouldn’t?” ‘Well, to tell you the truth…’ Alarm bells sounded. ‘…I don’t think he’ll be what you expect him to be.’ “I know, I said quickly  as if dodging a bullet, but I’m trying my best not to go there right now.” Expectations heaved. Stabilizing,other than appreciation for being there so much for me. I know he might be married, drunk, doing drugs or whatever, but it’s what I feel to do.” ‘I just don’t want to see you disappointed or get hurt.’ “Thanks, but neither do I. That’s why I have to be careful of what my expectations are – if any. But maybe I need that experience in order to move on.”

It was a ‘simple’ conversation about a touchy subject that affected everyone to some degree – relationship. I knew myself all too well: good old Pisces, falling head over heels in love and into all kinds of illusions. Yes I wanted to see him one more time. But more than that I wanted to do something; be something. Was that too much to ask for? My whole life I’d sat around waiting for things to happen. I just wanted to be in charge of this one thing just like when I was homeless and had no one else to turn to. Yes I’d learned about expectations and not interfering and trying to save people from themselves, especially when unasked for. But I knew from experience how people felt, especially men, when someone went out of their way to care about them. It been appreciated so many times in the past by the way he took the time to talk, visit and keep me company. When I told him how the Universe had told me he was waiting for me while I was away, the look on his face was one of childlike wonder and appreciation. And not throwing him out for kicking me in the nose or his possessions and birthday present when he’d chosen not to live with me. And there were so many others. Where were they and so many others in my equations of life?

Yes, I could go by the book and play it safe, but like my friend said I had a big set of balls – spiritually speaking. But that only came from facing my fears as they arose and daring to see things differently. If anything, homelessness had taught me the difference between following other people’s thoughts and my own inner feelings. And I wasn’t as afraid to die as most people. In fact, HIV and any disease not only made me appreciate the time I had left, but allowed me to see death for what it was – a transformation, not an ending. Most people I knew shied away from the very things that could make them stronger if they faced them. And as a result stifled their own learning process. I was tired of the restrictive control games of others and myself. Armed with my skill-set, I wanted to do go on an adventure and see more of life.

I was a subset of humanity, who was a subset of other planetary beings, who in turn were subsets of cosmic beings, energetic beings and so on all the way up to God, the Creator. And like every set it also contained the empty set. Maybe that was where our inter-connected creative potential resided?

In a flash of blinding insight, I saw how it just might contain the essence of creation or the Big Bang of physics. All the elements then became the set of evolutionary possibilities within respective dimensions. While according to physics nothing existed before the Big Bang, it didn’t answer the reason why it needed to go ‘bang’ in the first place or if it was internal or external. If ‘God had given a piece of Himself’ like my friend had said, then maybe that was one of its inherent qualities? If it really was the eternal dimension where things, nothings, every-things existed, co-existed, non-existed in union, intersection and relative and absolute complements to one another, did it have to feel so gut-wrenching? Or was that how the Universe felt in the dimensionless dimension? Where were happiness and joy in the equation?

As I pondered these questions, people walked, talked and stalked in ghost forms. Smiles and laughter pierced the senses like sword thrusts. How could other people be having so much fun while I was so close to the edge? Couldn’t they see me? See my pain? Feel my sorrow? “Please, I just want to be happy. I just want to be loved.” ‘Who do you think you are to ask for anything?‘ Who was I indeed?

What was the point of continuing if, after all the work I’d done, I was no happier than before? Had it all been a lie and I its gullible fool? Doubts resurfaced. My mind exploded and imploded simultaneously. I felt them in the deep dark waters of my emotional being flailing around like octopuses’ tentacles trying desperately to make anything prey. It was a game I’d played a thousand times before – ‘Validation.‘ Cold and alone I scurried under a rock and peered outwards.

‘What if my last ‘student’ hadn’t loved me?’ But he’d said so without me even wanting, needing or asking him. ‘Big deal. He might’ve been lying. They were all liars. No one can be trusted, you know that Who’s the fool now, eh?’ But we’d done things together; shared laughs, cries and yes even a few tears. What if my masks had come off too quickly and I was feeling real pain for once? God, it hurt. it hurt so much. And, well, I’d done so much, seen so much – maybe too much? What if I was dying again? Was that even possible? What if I was being reborn and it felt like dying? What was the difference between birth and death anyway? I mean, from the death of the zygote came the fetus and from its death the baby. Even the mother died sometimes…. But I didn’t want to go there. Not there. Not if I had anything to say about it.

So many if, ands and buts…. I didn’t know where I was, what I was doing or what I had to do anymore? If this was the end was I ready to go peacefully, quietly without making a scene?

Tired, I got up to leave. Funny how no one could hear the sounds I wasn’t making. With no one heeding the calls I wasn’t making I could go home and … and do what? Sit around, watch TV, surf the net, sleep and write some more endless bullshit about my life. Sure people got off on it, but did they really care? How would I really know? I mean really know for sure. Inside, a massive gate began to slowly open. The dam was being breached. A torrent of tears waited to flood the plains of Mother Earth herself, but I held back. I wasn’t ready to let go and let others see me out of control, unhappy or even angry. Not yet. Maybe not ever. But it hurt. Hurt to wear the masks of being in control, feigning happiness, being brave and there for others while inside no one was there for me. At least, not in the ways I wanted them to be. Not in the ways my last ‘student’ had been. The truth was I missed him. I missed him so much. But that was the problem wasn’t it? Too much missing was drowning out the living.

Alone on the sidewalk, I saw the nowhere before me. ‘You can’t run from yourself,‘ I used to tell myself. Now those words hit home with renewed force.

Before having nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one to talk to was tantamount to being exiled, now I saw its inherent beauty. I was being given the opportunity to deal with it in the here and now rather than avoiding it. Yes, I could survive it. I could survive anything. But that was the problem I was good at surviving. Now I wanted to do something else for once. But something was holding me back. Unable to put a name to it I called it fear. But fear of what? Finishing something – anything, any one thing? Was that it? I was afraid of finishing my book? A relative thought so. But how could it ever be finished, if I was writing my existence into creation? ‘In the beginning was the word.‘ Yes, I could see that now. But there was more to it than that. I could feel it. I felt so afraid, so lonely, so alone.

Wearing the medal for the world’s greatest survivor around my neck, I did the unexpected and walked back into the healing center.

Back inside, mind tossed and turned while people were oblivious to my mental meanderings. I wanted to cry, do something, anything. Now I saw how not showing my true colors was working against me. What were they were doing? Why were they doing what they were doing? Did they even know? Nothing made sense anymore. No wonder the Buddhists said ignorance was bliss. If this was transition why did it have to feel like hell? ‘Hold on Mike, hold on.’ But what was the point of holding on when everything ultimately fell to the ground and became dust?

Grayish forms still swirled around in dizzying madness, but I paid them little heed. Was this how everything would end? Was this my final goodbye? How would I know? I didn’t – and it didn’t matter anymore. No one cared if I lived or died. No one cared if I’d ever been alive. I’d tried so hard to learn, love and live, but now it was abundantly clear it was all pointless.

So this was it, my own personal crucifixion. I knew it was coming, but nothing prepared me for how it felt. Through grey-filled eyes, I cried out to the Universe one last time for help. ‘Help me. Please help me or just let me go. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. No more. I’m ready either way. I don’t care if I don’t reach some state of enlightenment or not. I just want to go home.’

Had I been sent back to experience death? Surely I done that before in my many thousands of lifetimes on the merry-go-round of life? Looking into my heart revealed I wasn’t scared to die. Maybe I didn’t know how to die or what was the best way to not make a scene, a mess, for me and others? But I didn’t want to just survive if it meant having to go through it again and again and again.

All I’d wanted to do was find a way to reach my last ‘student.’ I didn’t care if he rejected me, didn’t want to see me anymore or was getting on with his life with someone else. I just wanted to experience bringing closure by myself for once rather than have always being at its mercy and having it imposed on me. Was that too much to ask for? I knew the consequences, but I’d also seen the Universe work its natural magic in ways most people could only imagine. If I didn’t I’d risk being lonely and depressed because I hadn’t at least tried. Yes, finding him would be tough, but not impossible and I had Divine Guidance to turn to like I’d done so many times in the past. Yes going by the book worked, but it wasn’t the only way. And given what I’d seen it felt more like a straight-jacket than anything liberating. Besides, I wasn’t them and they weren’t me. I was me!

Maybe I’d die along the way? Maybe I’d win the lottery? Maybe I’d meet a rich man, some man, any man and…. So many if ands and buts that confounded the mind in senseless torment. But one ‘if’ rose above them all. If I didn’t follow my heart I’d always live in regret. Sure the distance between us was great, but was I about to let something like distance stand in the way of following my heart’s true desire? What about the theories of non-locality and quantum entanglement? Surely they affected us just as much as any sub-atomic particle? Other people thought I was foolish and would end up disappointed, but I already felt like that. So I had nothing to lose other than my dignity – whatever that was.

Finish what you started and the things you love will fall into place.‘ Words that sounded so wise, yet felt like hell. But no one would know because I was still good at not causing a scene.

In the dark night of the soul the survivor had run its course and another aspect was making itself known – the pioneer. All of my mentors: JesusBuddha, Galileo, Einstein, Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Krishnamurti, John Lydon of Sex Pistols and Public Image Limited fame – even my own mom and dad – were  survivors and pioneers. The fact I could even see the pioneering spirit at all was clue enough I could only see what I already recognized. And I could only recognize what I’d already experienced.

In the discontinuity of being shoulds and should haves, woulds and would haves, coulds and could haves battled with actuality. Yes, I should, would, could do many things, but only what I actually did benefitted my soul. So why was I still following others when frustration and heartache spoke otherwise? Why didn’t I listen to my so-called negative feelings? I knew why. Fear!

Rather than being two separate entities utilizing similar resources, undergoing similar dramas and facing similar adventures, survivor and pioneer revealed themselves to be two sides of the same coin? Yet they also had one crucial difference: survivor waited and reacted to his environment; the pioneer was ventured forth and was more proactive. When apart they acted like sibling rivals, but together they formed the natural process of healthy risk taking and adventure. Now, the problem became how to bring them together and make use of them both in my life’s activities?

© Michael J. Varma, The Gong Show, 2011 –

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael J. Varma and The Gong Show with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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