May 4, 2008
Souls cannot think straight in the face of our ego’s gross matter – our energy field loaded by the energy released by the myriad of desires and weaknesses we indulge daily, monthly, yearly, even though we all manage to repress some, maybe even most. There is a misconception that some souls can become dark and bad. Souls are souls, divine energy, and so they remain, no matter what we get up to.
Every time we pay into the culture of our culture, we fail to be present. Pleasurable pursuits such as retail therapy, sex and holidays are all good, harmless and legal, but they are all engineered to take us away from the moment, from our ‘present’. They are, after all, called escapes.
We taint the moment energetically by releasing ‘spikes’ of energy, of adrenalin, each time we want to possess whatever object, person or moment because as well as the exciting high of the chase, such pursuits trigger irritation, anger, fear, resentment, disappointment and insecurities.
Even the rush to end-of-year sales triggers its spikes. However harmless they appear to our ego-persona, all add negative blots to our energy field – to the general karma that we actually need to edit out of our energy field.
Possessiveness is an indulgence that denotes emotional insecurity, whether what we are losing is a lover, a friend, a pet, an object, or a way of life. Adult possessiveness is no different from the fear a child has of losing her teddy bear or that favourite hair band that cannot possibly be replaced, in her eyes, at least.
No action ever happens in isolation. Every action triggers an emotion, a thought, a reaction in ourselves and in others. Always. Even when we do … nothing, as illustrated by a little Zen tale that has been around for quite some time:
A man stood on a hill. Three men were out walking and notice the man in the distance. They began to argue about the man’s purpose in standing there. One said, ‘He has probably lost his dog.’ The second disagreed: ‘No, he’s probably out looking for a friend.’ The third said, ‘He’s only standing up there to enjoy the fresh air.’ The three could not agree and were still arguing by the time they approached the man himself.
The first man asked him, ‘Tell me, have you lost your dog?’
‘No, sir’, was the reply. ‘I have not lost him’.
Another asked, ‘Have you lost your friend?’
‘No, sir, I have not lost my friend either.’
Finally, the third man asked, ‘Are you here to enjoy the fresh air?’
One of the men finally blurted, ‘Why, then, are you standing here for since you answer no to all our questions?’
The man shrugged and said, ‘I’m just standing’.
With any possession we clutch to our bosom, physically or figuratively, comes the fear of losing it. The two make a whole.
Because I accept that my moods, my anxiety, have twin corollaries imprinted in my energy field, even the buzz that I am feeling, as I type these words, is questionable. If, as agreed, I am only my soul’s vehicle for this lifetime, then the thoughts lined up on these pages are all hers. I am only the keyboard operator. As long as I recognize my little spike of excitement for what it is, I know I am aware.
No different, either, for A.A.s or Weight-Watchers: amendment, editing out of detrimental habits, begins only after a sincere wish to change has been formulated and is followed up by rigorous self-observation.
“Tov [OK, good, in Hebrew], C.C.,” wrote Yudit, my mentor, “Here is a little humour for you to decode in a spiritual way because a little humour goes a long way towards helping understanding.”
A man who was obese went to a doctor for advice. The doctor said: ‘Look, I’ve just put together a new weight-loss plan that I think would suit you.’ The patient agreed trustingly, and the doctor led him to a very big hall and left him there, locking the door behind him. Out of nowhere appeared a beautiful naked woman who smiled at the man. She said: ‘Catch me if you can, and I’ll be yours!’ She trotted off and the large man ran after her, around and around until the doctor returned.
When the man climbed on the scales, it was clear that he had lost three kilos in two hours. The doctor asked: ‘Are you mabsut [satisfied] with the result?’!
Oh, yes,’ replied the big man. ‘Mabsut meod, Doctor. Very satisfied, indeed.’
On his way home, this man met a friend who was equally large. Proud of the three kilos he had lost in two hours, he recommended the doctor’s treatment, saying that, he, himself would be returning the following week. And so, the friend also had his first session in the big hall. However, after the doctor had locked the door behind him, instead of the gorgeous naked woman he was anticipating, it was a huge man, a body-builder, who jogged towards him – totally naked except for a tiny loin cloth.
“Hey, mister,” said the body-builder, shaping his fingers into a fist. “Start running now because — if I catch you – you’re mine!” The poor man ran with all his might to stay ahead of the naked man whom he thought was hot on his heels.
When the doctor returned, he had the man weighted. The scale showed that he had lost 3.4 kilos. The doctor grinned and said to the man, ‘So, you must be mabsut with the result.’ The big man answered: ‘No, I’m not! Why is it my friend had a hot chick to run after but I had Hulk running for my buns?”
“‘Tov, what do you expect,’ replied the doctor. ‘Your friend paid full-price for the treatment since he doesn’t have insurance coverage.’
‘And so, he gets the most enjoyable treatment. You, on the other hand, your paperwork, shows that you’ll be able to claim all of it back, so … it’s all free for you, so what are you complaining about?’
Admittedly, though that little piece made me smile, I was like, “OK, but where’s the spiritual content here?” Perhaps, I thought, Israeli humour is different from ‘anglo’ humour but, in my inbox, the next day, I found Yudit’s deconstruction from a spiritual perspective.
“C.C., what we see in this story is that both men were very large and wanted to lose weight, yes? Symbolically, the extra weight the two men carry represents the emotional clutter that weighs them down. This clutter, that weight, though they despise it, gives them the illusion of being insulated from the world.
Their extra weight is a metaphor for hiding the self behind something as large as the Great Wall of China. They went to the same doctor and both of them lost the same amount of weight. Their decision to seek treatment means they agreed to get rid of their weight clutter and because they were ready to pay for it in one way or another, they expect results. Though the first man didn’t know what he was in for but trusted the doctor, the second man clearly expected the experience to be wonderful – not too challenging, not too confronting, and totally enjoyable.
Why was one of them happy while the other one threatened to sue the doctor? Because one had a most pleasant experience while the other one thought he had had a hellish one. But, really, C.C., you have to agree that it’s all very subjective, yes?
All in good humour, we can ask ourselves if the second large man had been gay, would he have objected so much being chased by the naked man with the very small loin cloth?
Again, if the first large man in the story had also happened to be gay, would he have enjoyed having to run two hours non-stop after the naked woman, however gorgeous she was? Would he have run fast enough to lose three kilos in two hours? Would he even have bothered with it at all?
If we look at this from a spiritual point of view, the process both men underwent shouldn’t matter at all as, in the end, they both got what they wanted and paid for – a weight-loss program that worked. But, C.C., surely you can see how the whining ego-persona got in the way of the second man’s progress.
You see, the second man wanted exactly what the first man had had, like a child who wants what his little friend has. When he didn’t get it, he became angry. Later, he will probably whine in self-pity, but what has happened is that the second man had a hidden agenda for joining the program. He had expectations; he would not be risking much of himself, not much out of his wallet, either. And though the program worked for him, the hidden lesson is that he needed to trust, to give more of himself, to be ready to dig deep inside himself and for the right reasons – not out of fear.
And so, what this joke tells us is that, when on the spiritual path, we get back exactly what we put in. I mean, the greater the open-hearted commitment, the greater the reward. But also, C.C., the doctor’s behaviour is not spiritual, either. You see, he made a difference between a client who paid full price and the other one who would get a rebate. No matter how you look at it, this is separation. This is not universal love, which is about treating everyone equally and from the heart.”
“Groan,” I moaned, once Yudit had finished. “So much for a little light humour!”
It is true that, to some degree, ignorance is bliss. At the moment, I do not feel ignorant and I do not feel blissful. Now that I know what I know, I also know what I don’t know and I feel my practical work on the ground still sucks big time. And if I let this perception turn into frustration then, it will be the sure sign that I have dropped out of the present moment, that I have let old thoughts intrude, that I am no longer flowing.
While I was in the process of writing each of my novels, I would joke that I had a muse hovering above my left shoulder, as I sat at the keyboard. How else would I have come up with seven novels in three years and the luminous or evocative language appreciated by readers that surprises even me – I, who had never thought of writing anything? These days, I know I have a muse, and my muse is my soul.
The main stumbling blocks to my spiritual evolution are finite words, lazy thinking and the lack of awareness that my ego-persona leads me ‘by the nose,’ as easily as the farmer leads his cow by her nose ring. That – and my western education.
Imagine a maze of labyrinthine proportions. Imagine it white. Imagine darkness all around it. Now, half a meter into the maze, imagine a tiny white mouse. This little mouse, nose a-twitchin’, hurries through and around a few sections until she hits a dead-end.
The little white mouse scoots back to the nearest opening and trots off, seemingly unperturbed, in another direction altogether. This mouse is actually quite a clever little mouse. There are some, you see, that would keep trying to get through the same passageway, again and again, so sure that the piece of cheese is right there, on the other side, but they get zapped again and again.
Back to our clever little mouse. Luck is on her side. With a clean run ahead, she puts a wriggle in her wiggle – she has things to do, places to see and she senses that the piece of yummy cheese is within her reach. Woohoo!
Oh, ouch! Just as she thought she had this nailed – ZAP!!! A little shock on the tip of her pink nose makes her whiskers twitch. She sits on her haunches, shakes her head a couple of times, scratches behind an ear and off she goes again, but in another direction altogether.
Like the ball in a pinball machine, totally random, bouncing off from stimuli to deterrents, the little mouse keeps going – the blind little mouse that she is.
She cannot guess which section of her labyrinth will take her on the long and happy run to the nice bit of cheese nor can she anticipate which turn will lead her to yet another dead-end or, worse, to the electric shock that zaps the tip of her nose. After all, our clever little mouse is no more enlightened than all the others.
The way I see it, these days, the cause of our miseries is not so much the sequence of dead-ends inherent to the karmic maze we have been dropped into pre-birth, little mice that we are. I accept that the cause resides in our ego-persona that has learned, from the dawn of time, to follow her nose, her conditioned ‘lust’ for life and her creature comforts which include, unlike all other creatures, her need to crave and hoard more than she needs, yet seldom feel she has enough – as well as a damning compulsion to sift the present through the tight mesh of her memory.