Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream
It is not dying, it is not dying
Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void
It is shining, it is shining
That you may see the meaning of within
It is being, it is being
That love is all and love is everyone
It is knowing, it is knowing
That ignorance and hate may mourn the dead
It is believing, it is believing
But listen to the color of your dreams
It is not living, it is not living
Or play the game “Existence” to the end
Of the beginning, of the beginning
Of the beginning, of the beginning
Of the beginning, of the beginning
-Tomorrow Never Knows, The Beatles
It is believing, it is believing, that this is real or finite in any way. I don’t think it is. It is a hologram and this is a waking dream, in my opinion. I don’t matter and you don’t either, money doesnt equal value, career means nothing, I could be homeless and I could be in jail and serving a life sentence and I’d still be a divine miracle. Beliefs are cheap, and stupid. The only truths I have been able to understand and comprehend in this life have been a result of direct experience: meditation, yoga, plant medicine, contact with inner guidance and wisdom. Everything changes and everything is changing constantly, even the laws of physics and laws of space and time are altered over the centuries and millennia. So what I believe today is bullshit in 20 years, in 5 years, in a month even. Homosexuality used to be a mental illness in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, for psychiatric disorders), up until the 80’s. Astronomers used to think earth was the center of the universe. People used to think Psychedelics make you go crazy and jump off roofs. Congress thinks mentally ill people cause gun massacres, not guns. Cars don’t kill people in DWI’s, alcohol does.
I used to think my problems mattered. I used to think my relationships mattered. I try to imagine a world in which I never knew my brother, my sister, my parents, I try to imagine if they all died today, or if I never knew them or grew up never knowing them. This is practice, for when I get hit by a bus or have a heart attack or overdose on an impromptu bender in Vegas. (I’m sober now, but I only have today.) My parents will likely die before me, but wouldn’t it be wise to work on detaching from them now? Accepting and embracing my impermanence? Realizing that the fact that I am a temporary physical being/organism is what makes life a gift and is what makes me grateful each day I wake up. No other human being has the power to sustain to me or nourish me. It must come from within, my appreciation of this breath, this view, the love I give out to others, will outlast me. “That you may see the meaning of within, that love is all and love is everyone.”
My only inner peace is to be found in knowing that I am not my body. It is my meat vehicle, but my essence is the temporary flash of vitality in an otherwise rotting sack of bones, blood, organs. It will decompose and be dust and dirt under my grandchildren’s feet. But no energy goes away, it only changes form.
It is my opinion that we are only released from the shackles of self and our predicament of cluelessness about the fate of our souls by surrendering, to letting ourselves be immersed in the ocean of consciousness, with its unpredictability swaying and thrashing. I’m sorry, I’m sorry if it scares you that the “after life” might not be a golden elevator that goes up to the pearly gates and there Saint Peter determines if you get into heaven or not. I think it is actually light years more miraculous and blissful than that.
I had a dream the other night that I was on a rowboat with my dad in the middle of the ocean. We came upon a massive cruise ship, that would likely crush us, the engines would surely mince us into ground beef. We came up on this one gigantic wave about 30 feet high, the water was gleaming turquoise, I wasn’t scared as much as I was enamored with the shape and force of the wave and the beauty of the water. As the wave was about to come over us and we were about to fall down and crash, immediately I was transported or appeared in this void and blackness, I was falling backwards. I had a continual sucking of my stomach, that rising feeling of the anticipatory landing that swells in the stomach when one is in freefall. As I was falling, I kept thinking: when will I hit the ground, when will I hit the ground? when will I hit the ground? In a nervous panic, or was it just a desire to get the annihilation over with? And continued to be unsettled by this anticipatory dread and stomach clench as I was falling.
Then I thought of the Beatles lyric “Surrender to the void” and somehow I let go of the idea of the impact, and I began to embrace the free fall, it seemed to be endless in this span of 10 or 20 seconds in the distorted dream time. It wasn’t that I consciously “thought” of it, more that some type of inner guide let me do it. I have been trying to contemplate and reflect on this idea of letting myself become a part of the ocean of consciousness and stop trying to control. I thought, might as well enjoy the rest of the free fall before my dream death. These swirling, colorful geometric symbols appeared as I plunged down the black void. Suddenly I felt such peace, the falling was enjoyable, like the universe could take the wheel and had things in control. I thought, my God it feels so good to surrender and forget about when I will hit the ground, or die?
Was it a metaphor for my grasping of material and life and pretending I have any control over anything? It was utter bliss in the free fall when I let go of outcome and surrendered to the forces of gravity and the universe. How profoundly liberating, to be unshackled from the responsibility and need to go on living forever and ever and ever, that this universe knows me intimately and would never let anything bad happen, yes death is painful and can be horrible agony in some cases, but to have any kind of intuition or reassurance that something spectacularly beautiful, with love, transcendence, unity awaits me when I return to the source, makes me grateful and proud to be human and living. Like…. yea my creator is a badass all-powerful infinitely forgiving and loving motherfucker. I still don’t know him or it that well but we are just beginning to become acquainted through my spiritual work but I have been injected with hope and resilience and a belief in the need to be fierce in the fight for the sanctity of what my creator has made, which is me and every other creature.
Reminds me mother Earth, the higher power, God, whatever you call it is benevolent and maybe we aren’t headed for eternal blackness. Maybe we get reincarnated, maybe we don’t, but to have that trust that I have never had before that the universe and nature already knows me and my DNA and I don’t have to explain anything. The infinitely forgiving love is waiting when I die. The mystery grows every day and my appreciation for the mystery of life and death grows every day, also, the perimeter of my ignorance grows every day. Because I am clueless, but the wonder, the awe, the majesty of this world we live in floors me every day. It stokes the fire in me, the intellectual and spiritual thirst that I hope never abates.
I have so much to be grateful for this year it feels overwhelming at times, being on this ride, this astoundingly beautiful world and all the people in it. I am reminded immediately of this when I sit quiet and breath. My sensitive temperament has required more time to process and unfurl the tangled lines of emotion and recover and heal from the wounds of others. It is a daily and ongoing process. This is a result of taking false words from others as truth about myself for the majority of my life and constructing a narrative around it. How could any person know anything about another person that is not bound up in his own conception of himself? I know I can’t, when I judge others, when I label, I am lost, how could I claim to know what’s best for anyone when I am so consumed by my own hurt and healing?
Only I can be there in those quiet moments, when I reflect on a person speaking about me after I have left the table, or adjacent to me when they are not aware I am there at a party, the shame cascading down on me like a rock avalanche, crushing me and pinning me down so breathing becomes labored with constricted ribs. At this point, after a period of complete withdrawal and recovery from the gut punch, other things come into a more focused view, a less grandiose and delusion filled view. I am humbled, I am grateful for this, I am grateful for the girl in class who thinks I am weird or narrow-minded. It reminds that it is futile to chase after any label or title or reputation. I am released from the ball and chain that is grasping at the adoration of all people. I am implored by the universe to stop clinging onto labels people put on me and attaching significance to certain people liking me. It is meaningless window dressing, more grasping at things that are impermanent and will go away. Later in my room, I sit quietly and try to find my breath, sit with it, close my eyes, and realize it is all I have and to experience emotions now is better than jumping into distraction. These emotions have much to teach about my ego and grasping and pain.
Delusions in this world are endless, this attachment I feel to physical form and ego, the grasping onto I do, The girls and guys who don’t like me and think I’m weird, spineless, aloof, awkward, boring, emotion-less, dull, too many of them to count now, but each one is a blessing, there is a lesson in non-attachment contained in each rejection.
I have had a growing suspicion this year that my paranoia and ego is so strong that I actually make myself hear different words than the person is actually saying, to make it sound derogatory towards me. Because why wouldn’t I do that? When the lower part of me, the victim, the self-pity junkie craves it like another bag of heroin. I only recently have given more credence to this idea, that I am just as deluded as anyone, that my ego and primate mind/ego is so powerful that it alters words of those around me and I hallucinate a person gossiping mean things about me. Maybe they are just saying mean things, but maybe my lower self craves it like a hungry parasite. OH, OH, so that is just another craving, a byproduct of my ego grasping at things? It’s not that I am a terrible person, it is that my patterns over my life have led me to enjoy and crave a reason to feel lonely and be a sad sack pity addict.
“pete just goes with the flow, nothing fazes him.” someone mock evaluates me in the presence of two other classmates. How do I make it known how deeply I do feel? That I am screaming inside the rubber room where my heart is locked up. That I have felt the pain of rejection and being ostracized and all the self-imposed mechanisms of shame and self-punishment. HAHA, people think I am cool, calm and collected, because I’m a great actor I know how to regulate, repress, suppress emotion. How can I bridge this gap between being overly expressive and out of lock step with social norms and not being completely guarded and closed? This is extremely difficult some days. It is either shut off, shut down, retreat into the turtle shell, or is it, fuck them all and sing the song in my heart that wants to come flooding out of me like a tsunami? That I have been holding in my whole life.
I must continually remind myself that my instinctual reactions and thoughts are not to be trusted, human’s perception doesn’t see reality, we see what is most advantageous for the human species’ evolution over millions of years to eat, reproduce, and survive in a hostile ecosystem. Primarily, the ability to scan and sense threats and impediments to survival. “Reality” for a human is not “reality” for a plant, plants are 100% conscious and sentient yet they experience consciousness on a completely different plane than we do. Who am I to say my experience of consciousness and intelligence is more legitimate than that of the plant realm? In many ways the visionary plants have helped heal and guide the trajectory of the human race more than any other influence. They want us to grow and flourish and protect mother Earth in the process.
There’s up, there’s downs, but it’s all growth, it’s all lessons. Bring on the lessons, bring on the personalities that don’t mesh with mine, bring on the extroverts and the drama queens and ideologues, the stubborn, the ignorant, the scared, and hurt,the timid, and narrow-minded, because I am and have been all of those things and I will be them in the future. Just like you have been or will be all the things that I am, it will just take more time, or it has happened in previous or future lifetimes. Maybe I’ll be a busty female pop star in my next life and I can learn the machinations of duplicitous men, or I will be born destitute and begging for food. I await the lessons.
Scan not a friend with a microscopic glass
You know his faults, now let his foibles pass
Life is one long enigma, my friend
So read on, read on, the answer’s at the end.
-Sir Frankie Crisp