the truth transforms us (message to Christopher)

February 10, 2014  •  254 Comments

 

Change is rarely met without the struggle of moving forward. Change, when it occurs with anything that we place high value on. Especially when it involves that vulnerable aspect of ourselves, the human heart. I'm discussing human relationships of intimacy in particular. The communion of 2 lovers and the separation that at some point inevitably follows. Inevitably, because even if there is complete unified harmony between 2 people, no one is acception to the law of impermanence. Death. Myself, I went thru the process yet again of being in an intimate relationship only to have it end after 5 years. I have experienced loss before, in various forms, but nothing quite seems to compare to the pain as when making myself vulnerable to another human being and then parting ways. The physical, emotional withdrawal at the end is not without tremendous difficulty. Never is one so alive in an autonomous way, where even a molecule of dust on the skin is met with intensive sensitivity. The world has opened up, and it is overwhelming. The heart is exposed and ever does it hurt. Paradoxically, what a powerful place to be in. Of course, this is easier expressed in hindsight. It was only a little more than a year ago, that I could not go a day without crying, vulnerable to nostalgic thoughts that brought up fierce emotions that would have me drift away regardless of what was occuring in the reality of that given moment. The paradox is that behind the pain, exists the potential to not only heal, but to experience such deep realization of ourselves. One has to experience the pain however, walk thru it like walking thru a wall of fire. And walking thru this wall will burn badly, however, the fire is not real and will not singe one's skin. It will hurt nonetheless, and though it may not feel this way, know that you will not die from this yielding. Our thoughts and emotions may overpower us with intensity, but they can not kill us like an actual fire can. And only when walking thru, will this intimidating fire of fierceness be transformed into a transparent crystal body of water of bliss which we swim in towards our healing. Culturally, we are not taught how to deal with ourselves when we experience this separation, the breaking of attachment with a loved one. We cope, we deny, we blame, distract ourselves often thinking the hands of time will heal. We run away from the pain. We run away from ourselves. We run away from our healing. And this becomes the pattern for death when it raises its head in all aspects of our existence. We spend our whole lives running away. Yet, if we look at this situation when it arises, as it will, over and over in various forms, perhaps we will see the paradox of it. And so be inspired to stop running away, and start running towards ourselves. And perhaps there will be a contentment, an inner peace that is familiar, though years forgotten, that we exhaustingly devote so much time and action towards externally, yet never able to find. And perhaps in this realization, the contentment acutualized is the result that there is no place left to go.

   To my brother Christopher who is in that process of separation. Nothing but love to you and the continued path of self realization and victory. You are a beautiful man. Do know this, and an expression shared to you from the words of Thomas Merton... "In actual fact, conventions are the death of real tradition as they are of all real life. They are parasites which attach themselves to the living organism of tradition and devour all its reality, turning it into a hollow formality.
      Tradition is living and active, but convention is passive and dead. Tradition does not form us automatically: we have to work to understand it. Convention is accepted passively, as a matter of routine. Therefore, convention easily becomes an evasion of reality. It offers us only pretended ways of solving the problems of living - a system of gestures and formalities. Tradition really teaches us to live and shows us how to take full responsibility for our own lives. Thus tradition is often flatly opposed to what is ordinary, to what is mere routine. But convention, which is a mere repetition of familiar routines, follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act, without trying to understand the meaning of it all, merely because everyone else does the same. Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving - born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way. Convention is simply the ossification of social customs. The activities of conventional people are merely excuses for NOT acting in a more integrally human way. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention merely disguises its interior decay.”

    There is an eternal wisdom of the world that is not limited to, but more familiar to us in spiritual writings/teachings passed down for generations that exist somewhere in all cultures that unifies the nature of us all, beyond the words that only exist to communicate their meanings. It was in my place of nakedness, humility, and pain that I opened my heart to it's transmition. In this way, I feel blessed for the pain bestowed upon me, just as much as the bliss, the love that preceeded it .And please do not mistake these words as religious born again whatever, this is the expression of the realization of genuine human beingness, on the most basic, fundemental level of experiencing the world as it is, as a human. Such an example of that eternal world's wisdom, I feel, can be experienced in the words of Thomas Merton. The following drawing is paying homage to him, and his words and the writing below are excerpts of his writings which I have also incorporated into the piece. Enjoy and best to you.. always.

homage to Thomas Merton, ink on paper, 8.5" x 10", 2014homage to Thomas Merton, ink on paper, 8.5" x 10", 2014

“Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.”
"You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else's imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!”
“The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds
“Pride makes us artificial; humility makes us real”
"We have the choice of two identities: the external mask which seems to be real...and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing, but who can give himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists."
"The solution of the problem of life is life itself. Life is not attained by reason and analysis but first of all by living.”
“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.”
"The question of love is one that cannot be evaded. Whether or not you claim to be interested in it from the moment you are alive you are bound to be concerned with love because love is not just something that happens to you: It is a certain special way of being alive. Love is in fact an intensification of life a completeness a fullness a wholeness of life.”
"Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone we find it with another.”
"We live on the brink of disaster because we do not know how to let life alone. We do not respect the living and fruitful contradictions and paradoxes of which true life is full.”
"This act of total surrender is not merely a fantastic intellectual and mystical gamble; it is something much more serious. It is an act of love for this unseen person, who, in the very gift of love by which we surrender ourselves to his reality also makes his presence known to us.”
"Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being. Between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.”
"A man who fails well is greater than one who succeeds badly.”
"In actual fact, conventions are the death of real tradition as they are of all real life. They are parasites which attach themselves to the living organism of tradition and devour all its reality, turning it into a hollow formality.

Tradition is living and active, but convention is passive and dead. Tradition does not form us automatically: we have to work to understand it. Convention is accepted passively, as a matter of routine. Therefore, convention easily becomes an evasion of reality. It offers us only pretended ways of solving the problems of living - a system of gestures and formalities. Tradition really teaches us to live and shows us how to take full responsibility for our own lives. Thus tradition is often flatly opposed to what is ordinary, to what is mere routine. But convention, which is a mere repetition of familiar routines, follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act, without trying to understand the meaning of it all, merely because everyone else does the same. Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving - born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way. Convention is simply the ossification of social customs. The activities of conventional people are merely excuses for NOT acting in a more integrally human way. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention merely disguises its interior decay.”


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