A Slow Awakening

I share my experience in that there might be the possibility that even one individual might see that there is another way. Influenced by my own life struggles and many years serving as a social worker with children and youth in crisis my perception has come to be that so many of us are on a path towards waking up, often not knowing in our early years what this is about. For many years I didn’t know that I was in the early stages of a long struggle to free myself from various traps that my serial attachment to ideals and wishful thinking only served to mask and strengthen. I now know that I was looking for something that would free me from something that confined me. I didnt know what that was? In an unconscious way I searched in the most bizarre and contradictory places for a life energy that could assist me to emerge from something unrealized that was consuming me. For the longest time it was just about surviving from day to day. I almost didn’t, and others that I grew up with didnt make it. Being lost, I was consumed by doubt and related emotion and confusion.

Slowly I came to a realization regarding how much of my life had been spent inside various boxes, trying, mostly unconsciously, to get out. I had always been drawn to the reflection and evidence that others might have, of moments of vision and insight in which the deeper meaning of life is revealed. My heart was generally closed but increasingly non literal inspirational experiences would arise. Simone Weil wrote about this search and insight that is experienced in life, “To love truth means to endure the void and, as a result, to accept death. Truth is on the side of death.” Something dies every time there is change. I was learning that I had to be able to let go and make space for the true; that familiar well-worn habits must give way. I am recovering from a literalist vision that gave me a world where things and mind are separate and language is the creator of “meanings” connecting the two parts of reality. In those moments that I give up the notion of any literal reality I am free to feel the psychic nature of things and the thing-like-ness of thoughts, that mind and nature are not separate. It was becoming increasingly clear that the tiny spark that I tried so hard to protect and defend against the darkness isn’t a thing at all. In opening to that darkness there is a world more mysterious and wonderful than we can know in our literal way. Behind our collective attempts to conceptualize and control, manage, and civilize our worlds there is so much of life that we are missing. The universe is more unusual and more than we can know through the use of concrete abstractions.

Yes, I have a framework through which I see life which includes a set of categories that structure my experience, but I understand that this or any other framework is not universal and necessary. If mine becomes too stifling and damaging I can utilize another. In the end the simplicity and permanence of literal understanding is limited in comprehending the impermanence and complexity that is the nature of all that exists.

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