Spirit might’ve been ready for union, but I didn’t know if the same could be said for my ego. It sounded somewhat similar to what my friend once told me about his ego ‘knowing’ its place. While it sounded like subservience to my ears, fortunately I knew him better than that. If anything, it meant fully appreciating the role the ego played as part of an intrinsic team without the self-sacrifice. But that didn’t stop my ego from burning. Evidently, mine still had a ways to go. Luckily, I managed to catch myself before spiraling into God-only knew what form of depression awaited. Yes, I had more work to do, but that wasn’t the whole truth. My ego was burning because it realized it wasn’t as perfect as it thought. Oh well, at least I’d been able to hold on. That was something. But it did bring up a deeper issue: my relationship with people and the Universe.
From set theory I saw the similarity between keeping people and the property called relative complement. Extending it to the Universe it became the property defined as absolute complement. But there was more. On the backdrop of the absolute, the relative hung like a spider webs forming delicate patterns of one-to-one correspondence with their respective weavers. At their points of intersection dew drops formed glistening like stars in the night sky. Tracing a single shimmering strand, I intrinsically felt its connection to ‘The Conformist‘. But this was just one strand of many. Finding security in points of intersection might’ve served me well at some point in my life, but now it limited my ability to access other properties in the web and other webs like set difference and complement. Yet only one property contained elements of the others and those unique to me: union.
In a flash of insight, I saw why opposites attracted. Apart they were singular aspects, but together they became part of a dualistic system. And it even included other opposites like the signs of the zodiac wheel for example. On the seesaw of quantum entanglement, as the Rebel went up, the Conformist went down and vice-versa. Now everything became clearer. From the Conformist’s perspective anything that didn’t conform to its actions was perceived as a rebel and vice-versa. Yet in an inter-related system, the actions of one weren’t independent. If anything, they conformed to the actions set in motion by the other! The Conformist created the Rebel, just like the Rebel created the Conformist. And just like other seeming opposites, they co-existed and played together simultaneously. Was that what my dad meant when he said: ‘it took two hands to clap‘?
Was there another form of action that was free from the reactions of others? Was that the ‘zero’ point, the fulcrum of the seesaw? I didn’t know, but anything was better than feeling like a trapped fly in my own webs. But that meant leaving the safety to embrace the unknown ‘union’ expanse of my web. Would I really weave something that would hurt me. Not by conscious choice perhaps, but maybe that was where trust came in. And there were other webs to contend with. Could I trust not getting entangled in those too?
Mind struggled to comprehend the magnitude of what it was being shown. While I’d read countless books on being ‘at one’ with everything, for reasons unknown I was still left feeling more disconnected than ever. If they were simply words on paper conjured up my some illiterate chimpanzee for the gullible, then I stood guilty as charged. Sarcasm aside, the overwhelming nature of the task seemed daunting if not next to impossible. Yet as long as a sliver of hope remained I felt compelled to at least try. Then it hit me. What if I was going about it the wrong way? What if the doorway to union was through me? What if I was the door and all that was being asked of me was to open it? But how could I open a door I couldn’t see? ‘Close your eyes to see,’ came a loving voice. And so I did.
In the space of contradiction something opened before me. It took an act of surrender to become one with myself. But there was more. The more I surrendered the more in union I became until finally I was at one with the Universe itself. Until finally there was no separation at all. I recalled the time I saw a fish in a stream. While that wasn’t a surprise, what it was or rather wasn’t doing was. It was swimming, but not moving as if the stream was flowing through it. The same was true of birds hovering in the sky as if the air was going through them. What was happening? Were they being swam or flown by external forces? Was there another way to interact with Universe besides domination, competition and the like? Was this the proverbial ‘going with the flow‘? How could I find out? I didn’t know, but the way my body was feeling I knew I was on to something.
I felt alive yet sad at the same time. For in order for something to be born something had to die. As mind struggled to hold on to its possessions, heart held out its hand asking it to turn over its contents for loving consideration. It reminded me of what Emmanuel Swedenborg had written in his masterpiece Divine Love and Wisdom many centuries before. Could head and heart work together rather than apart? What if the product of such a union was the ‘flow’ or even the mythical ‘force’ from movie fame?
Before passing away, another good friend made an impactful statement: ‘who cared if a tree fell in the forest and made a sound or not when people fell in the streets, alleyways and gutters unheard?’‘ Trying my best not to detract from his wise observation, I reminded him that the Universe, God, Creator or whatever name it went under always heard, felt and sensed everything. Could we? He bowed his head in silent recognition of the task at hand.
Suddenly, I realized what I so admired about my last ‘student’: his groundedness. From it strength, courage and a fearless ability to face life on his terms flowed through him with little or no resistance. Yes he’d been direct and needed tempering too, but I’d been too tempered and needed directing! No wonder I loved him so much – he complemented me. We complemented each other! Whether he came back or not, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing we’d experienced together. Not one co-dependent aspect of it. Everything that happened, good or bad, sad or happy, was necessary to transform co-dependency into inter-dependency. And for that I was eternally grateful.
Back to the present, it was hard admitting I might’ve been going about it all wrong. That I didn’t need to always struggle to get my needs met. That there was another way: showing up and letting the Universe flow through me. Not that it was wrong to struggle; it just wasn’t the only way to learn and manifest. Besides, the prime directive of non-interference dictated I had every right to find what life was about for myself, but not the right to tell anyone else how to live theirs – no matter what I thought! Maybe that was everyone’s divine right regardless of what society, religious leaders, politicians and the like told us. It was similar to what I’d discovered and passed on to the street kids all those years ago: individuality wasn’t just about rebellious independence, but accepting our dependencies as well. Only then could true independence be obtained. It was the Serenity Prayer in living, breathing action! No wonder it was such a powerful tool of transformation.
With so many family, friends, healers and street kids assisting in the repair of my earthly vehicle, my ship’s crew slowly made their way back on board. The only thing needed now was for the captain to return to the helm and take command. But if the captain was me where was he? Or was he waiting for the right time to make his presence known? While the addict wanted it all now, my heart cried out to be heard. ‘Let go Mike and trust your experience of your journey.‘ Words, so beautiful to the senses permeated every cell of my being. Now it made so much sense to turn myself over to love, gratitude, patience and trust that I had the necessary tools to plug those leaky holes in my being. One such hole concerned my last ‘student’ and his decision to return or not. If he did – he did. If he didn’t then he didn’t. I couldn’t make him or anyone love me. I’d even told the street kids that when they thought I’d succeeded in making Tom love me. They didn’t know that wasn’t my true goal and they didn’t have to know. Yet I did learn an invaluable lesson: if I stated my needs, wants and desires with a pure heart and clean mind then I’d done my best. Now the desire to go on another journey knocked at the door of my heart. Knowing it was the journey and not the destination that really mattered, I envisioned helping others ‘dream of a better land where all my brother’s walk hand in hand,’ like Elvis sang in If I Can Dream. Either way, it was my dream.
In a vision I saw a child walking around the table. While he was a little older, I instantly recognized him. Heart beamed with love and affection seeing he was still alive and walking on his own two feet. Then he ran into the welcoming arms of his loving father dressed divinely in white robes. As he was rocked back and forth, love radiated between them. Then he climbed onto his father’s back and was gone. My body shook.
At first I didn’t know what had happened, but then recalled a tale from my Greek mythology class many years ago: Kronos, the Titan god, who’d eaten his children. But maybe there was more to the tale than met the eye. If the processes of ingestion, digestion and elimination were metaphors then maybe Kronos was related to the Crone?
Back in my karaoke session, the changes were revealed. I felt more relaxed and at peace with myself than I’d ever known. In another flash of insight, I saw the real power behind singing. Besides, superficial anger and romantic distortions, it allowed the rebel and conformist to experience one another in a sacred dance in space and time. Mutual respect was far more powerful and safer for both than resorting to lying, cheating and threatening to make it happen. Suddenly, another dimension opened and I found myself in land if infinite complexity. Mathematically speaking it was like being released from the black and white confines of integers into the infinite land of irrational numbers. Now with so much room to move and breathe, heart danced, played and sang with almost unrestricted subtlety, articulation, freedom and playfulness.
In another recurring dream, I found myself in the basement of my house. I looked up to see the stuccoed ceiling swarming with long-legged spiders. I cringed in fear. As I looked at the window in front of me they motioned as if wanting release. Wrapping my hand in a cloth, I reached for the handle swarming with spiders, moths and other bugs. I turned the latch, opened the window and ran. Then surprisingly, I stopped and turned around. I couldn’t believe it. They were marching outside into the nooks and crannies of the outside world. Not only were they leaving, what they represented was leaving too: actions, fears, and fear of actions were being cleansed of entanglement. I awoke feeling lighter.
Then everything brightened again and a new truth permeated the senses: I’d actually been more afraid of the light than the dark! Now, as a testament to the work I’d done, I saw why: it was too bright! Then it hit me. I was still in that same or similar jail cell like Krishnamurti had said! I was still learning to walk in the light and not the darkness. Only foolish pride made me believe darkness was light. But now another truth shone forth: darkness was the absence of light. It seemed like such a no-brainer, but the real beauty was how it connected two seeming opposites. Now instead of two things I only had one to deal with – the light. I didn’t have to deal with darkness because it no longer existed at least not in the form I once believed. Now the task before me was to make peace with the light.
Mind struggled with the anxiety of being exposed and vulnerable, but years of searching, learning and healing had gifted me with new tools, knowledge and the wisdom from experience. Suddenly I felt the ground beneath my feet. It felt more solid, yet in a non-threatening manner. Past thoughts and feelings of who I was and wasn’t fell cascading into the present. A light turned on. I smiled. I was right back where I started. In fact it felt as if I’d never left! Suddenly, a strange yet familiar feeling overcame me: I felt young, incredibly young. Then I felt it. I was still that same loving; starry-eyed boy I’d always been, but with one big difference: I didn’t need drugs, alcohol and other mindless escape vehicles to enjoy life. I could do it with or without them. The choice was now mine to make. Beautiful, warm loving feelings erupted within. In a blazing flash of insight I saw it hadn’t been wrong to dream, wonder, escape, ask questions and reject things that didn’t suit my purposes. I’d finally found myself!
Everything brightened again revealing a new truth: pride was responsible yet again for skewing my vision and making me mistake lack of understanding for shame. Realization emerged like a butterfly from a caterpillar’s cocoon and the captain took his rightful seat at the helm of his earthly vessel. Now I could go on a journey to see my last ‘student’ and state my heart’s intent. Whether he came back or not wasn’t the point. It was about me following my heart and doing my best. Nothing more; nothing less. The only thing stopping me now was me. Like Captain Jean Luc Picard commanded all I had to do was ‘make it so’.
‘Ad astra per aspera.’
(‘To the stars through difficulties.’)
© Michael J. Varma, The Gong Show, 2011 –
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