Hold It As A Precious Jewell

Can one remain with that pain? Can I look at that pain, hold it, hold it as a precious jewel not escape, not suppress, not rationalize it, not seek the cause of it, but hold it as a vessel holds water? Hold this thing called sorrow, the pain, that is, I have lost my son and I am lonely, not to escape from that loneliness, not to suppress it, not to intellectually rationalize it, but to look at that loneliness, understand the depth of it, the nature of it. – Krishnamurti, Mind Without Measure, p 57

Robert Augustus Masters


I am not usually drawn to books referencing psychology but I found what this author had to say about spiritual bypassing to be so relevant to my own experience. I also share the notion that psycho-therapy can be a very useful exercise as part of learning about ourselves. It helps that he finds relevance in meditation.

What Gives Light

“What gives light must endure burning” Victor Frankl

The latter part of my life has involved ongoing revelations, touching places in my unconscious that have been hidden and blocked in my earlier years. This has most certainly involved moving beyond a rational cerebral perception of existence. In fact a willful rational effort seems to have impeded a more authentic unfolding. I understand better that in the silence that I return to, observing experience more directly prior to dualistic habit, that I am opening in expanded awareness. This enables me to see more clearly what has in the past distracted me. I understand that there is inevitably more that I am not conscious of that blocks and affects experience. What I seek to illuminate emerges from questions that seek something more real than mind-made answers. The silence is a place where what has been hidden can somehow be illuminated. In that illumination there are moments when I must encounter and endure pain that has been buried that I am coming to be more receptive to seeing and moving into. From this unfolding I see light.

What I Trust In

I do not know where I am headed. I do not see the road ahead. Nor do I really know myself. I have only an intuition and faith that I am more than what I think. I desire to know what I am but it is not in grasping on to the known in terms of man made answers. I have had to undo some of my earlier understanding of myself and life but in turning to the silence I am led to deeper revelation. I turn to this in faith that it will guide me through my limitations, speech and judgements. And even though I seem to be lost at times it is in this emptying of what I have known that I find my way to love in which I can ultimately trust.

Moving Towards It

I addictively turned to drugs and drinking in my younger years. I experimented with and indulged in many ways of escaping the stress that seemed to come with the expectation of becoming a conventional person. I eventually realized that what I was doing was not bringing fulfillment, but was more a way of escaping and self-forgetfulness. It is tempting at times to find oneself looking to old, habitual ways of escape. They provide for moments of forgetting of everything that I had learned and been conditioned to think of myself and that I strived to be.

Most everything that life calls us to do seems to promote an emphasis on the “me”. My business, my career, my religion, my leaders and politics, financial and economic situation , my escapes and social activities, my support of one party and rejecting another—all of this is emphasizing and strengthening the sense of “me”.

This past week I kayaked and camped through the rivers and lakes of Algonquin Park. Even surrounded by nature, in the absence of all distractions, there seemed to be looming within an anxiety, somewhat existential I suspect, compelling me to act in ways to pursue a more secure self. In awareness I turn towards an alternative way, not of avoidance or escape. In awareness I “let go” and see through all that I think myself to be, all the desires, urges to escape the moment. I contemplate the possibility that “letting go” is an escape or way of forgetting. But there is something that realizes that what I truly “am” is beyond all thought and effort. Its not through a particular method, technique, philosophy or theory that I re-discover this. It is in awareness arising prior to the conditioned mind that it is realized.

Finding Life in Opening

In some ways. Germany is like being at a retreat for me. Its chop wood and carry water and a lot of silence and contemplation. I find that upon my return to Canada , I am once again sharing openly and intimately with others, expressing my experience. In doing so I enter into a place of feeling very vulnerable. In the past I mistakenly thought this experience of vulnerability reflected a sense of self inadequacy; that my experience of life was somehow unimportant or that I couldn’t trust my own perceptions and decisions. I now realize that it was these perceptions and beliefs that were blocking me from deeper realization. How easy it is to turn that sense of vulnerability into a story of inadequacy and something that needs to be fixed. Ive been doing this all my life. Much of my thinking has been about taking steps to validate my experience, as if I had to prove somehow that it was true. My self doubt meant that I was believing more in others perceptions and conventional explanations. Ultimately nothing resulted in me feeling more secure.

In letting go of all this I am now finding life in the vulnerability. My attempt to express my experience with this or any other experience that I have, in an authentic way is not the experience itself. It does involve something of me that is incredibly creative but that expression can take many forms. The truth is discovered here for me in my own direct experience.