Saturday, July 10, 2004

The Quality of Pain

The feeling of raw nerves, inflamed and exposed, rubbing against each other is the quality of loss and pain. Where one feels so frayed and edgy that every stimulus that does not directly address the situation is only perceived as an irritation. Pain is cold and festering or hot and boiling and everything in between, from dull and numbing to throbbing and all consuming.

This is how I feel right now and every other moment in the Now. There is no concept of this ever stopping or ending right now. I feel that this dullness and aching and longing and yearning is what my life will be like for some time to come. The not knowing where you are, what you are doing, who you are with, what you are thinking, feeling and whether you even care. That all these sleepless nights and restless days, that are so my reality right now, have no meaning or even existence for you. You will never know how much energy I have expended on you, thinking, feeling, hoping and yearning. Longing for a phone call or a message or just the sight of you walking down the street, newspaper in one hand and coffee in another. Standing at a bus stop, perhaps listening to your iPod. Who knows what are all the daily routines that I have no clue that you follow but that right now I would give anything to know and be part of. Do you wake up in the morning and writhe around in bed for a while, willing yourself to get out of it or do you spring out of bed and jump into the shower singing merrily and looking forward to the dawn of a new day? Are your nights composed of mellow music and a light dinner followed by reading in a comfortable chair until it is time to attend to the nightly routine, dim the lights and ease gently into bed? Or do you stumble home exhausted, after 11, nuke some cold pizza and soup in the microwave, wolfing it down as you stand at the kitchen table scanning your mail and then stagger into the bathroom for a quick wash and plunge into bed sometimes not bothering to even undress fully or turn the lights off? Are you happy in your world? What do you yearn for? Who do you think of when you are alone? What passes through your head when you listen to my message on your cell or read my email at your desk at work? Do you wonder why I persist in calling you with my little invitations and check-ins? Are you irritated at my attempts to include you in my world by telling you about my life and my struggles? Do you roll your eyes when you sense my nervous energy and obvious attempts at attracting your attention? Do you laugh with your friends, over a drink, when you tell them about my latest attempts at closeness? Do you feel nothing but indifference and disaffection when you think of me or perceive me? Do you even care or am I so not even in the realm of your vision of your world?

Or, are you feeling some of the things that I am feeling? Are you equally scared in some ways but being a different person, dealing with it in a different way? By immersing yourself in work and reminding yourself that this is not the path that you can follow? Do you think of me as being this dynamic, charismatic individual who has a full and fulfilling life, someone who is bound to be attracted to similar, upwardly mobile professionals? Do you feel in anyway inadequate when you think of yourself around me? Do you see me, and my life and friends as intimidating and out of reach for you? Do you wonder what would happen if you reached out but I expressed that my feelings for you are as they would be towards a friend? Does the thought of disappointment scare you to not even acknowledge affection? Do you really care and then stop from hoping for more, scared of a response that would not be optimal? Are you scared of intimacy?

Are you just like me? I don’t know. I guess I will never know. But I can follow my heart. And I can listen to my head. And I can sense my gut. So where and what would they say and do?

My heart says go for it – whole-heartedly. Don’t look back anymore. Feel it and want it and yearn for it so bad that you know wholly and completely that you tried your best and that at this point there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. My heart tells me that I love you.

My head says wait and watch and proceed with caution. My head brings up scenarios from the past and of the future. Bringing up ugly images of running into you in a club or on the street and feeling exposed and embarrassed. Of not knowing what to say when obviously there is a huge disconnect that sits amidst us, stopping any further attempts at contact or conversation. My head says turn away, now. Now when it is still early. Now when there is a lot that can be salvaged including pride, self worth, stability and health. My head stays stop. Walk away. Move on. This is dysfunctional and not healthy.

My gut says that this will not happen. Never. My gut says there will possibly be a couple more encounters. Attempts at us getting together, with me wanting to express clearly what I feel and struggling and failing with it. And you listening compassionately and attentively for a long length of time and then saying that you just do not have the time and space to deal with any of this right now. That you are busy and overwhelmed and consumed with work and friends and your life. That you have no place in your life for me right now. That you are sorry but you cannot help me. How many times has this happened before? After all these years, unrequited love seems to be my forte. What I do most well.

So there you have it. After a certain length of time raw thoughts and emotions can be churned and processed and refined to such a large extent that the original instinctive and intuitive reactions are lost. Too much thought and regurgitation makes one lose the essence of the emotion, the spontaneity of the reaction and the naturalness of the feeling. I have thought and processed and feared and worried and hoped, and then dashed hope, and cried and yearned and talked and dreamed and expressed and written and read with trepidation and dread, about you and me and us and this situation and the future and the past too, too much. I have stopped living in the present and letting my higher self show me the way. I have lost my equanimity and general direction and positive attitude in my own life.

I feel like I have lost something, but that which I can actually never lose. It is still here. Right where it was, within me, always within reach, but at this moment in time so buried in this confusion and pain. This quality of pain that has covered the luster of my Spirit like a total eclipse of the sun. But which can never hide the brilliance and eventual re-emergence of it in all its blazing, shining glory. When the clouds part and there is only naked sunshine. Everywhere. Especially within me.

Friday, July 09, 2004


This process of identification with a thought and building a world of judgment, reaction and projection around it is what is the source of all fear. Fear then is the separation of Me feeling this Thought from the Thought itself. And as a result of my memories, I have emotions and associations with similar thoughts from the past. Remembering how I have felt in the past, I project those reactions into this moment, and now build a distance between the thought that I am thinking and the Me that is thinking this thought. This distance creates a relationship between The thought and the I thought and that is what leads to conflict. The I thought does not want to feel the feeling that The thought will bring with it and that is because of memory. This generates conflict and resistance and ultimately fear. Therefore, fear is the process of the I thought creating a separate identity for itself and then casting judgments and aspersions on every other thought that rises based solely on the memories from the past. As soon as this duality is generated there is fear and resistance.

So, the bottom line is to be able to not create this sense of duality and to embrace everyone and everything as simply occurrences in this eternal Now that are happening in conjunction with all the other thoughts and emotions that are rising in this Chitta. In fact, allowing all this to happen without building a strong resistive sense of the I that will block these thoughts from their natural ebb and flow in the Now. As long as one creates a mountain of resistance by the I identification, so long there will be friction, resistance, and a steady erosion of the Now. And as soon as the I thought is eliminated or leveled to the ground, everything will be free flowing and will be perceived and returned into the eternal Now.

But then that is the perfect scenario, the ultimate rising of Pure Consciousness. What about the rest of humanity who have lived through years and years of this time bound Universe as the I, building a strong sense of I and feeling this deeply urgent need to protect and serve it forever or till death do us part (Interesting, who is the Us in this situation, the I and the ???). So, for all of us, it is simply impossible to, one fine day, say “Okay, from now onwards I will not live in this Universe as an I but simply as Being without reactions and resistance and projections and conflicts”. Instead, I believe, a more practical scenario is to feel this I become less and less solid and more and more fluid….like a blade of grass merrily swinging with the lightest of breeze in any direction that it blows, with the least resistance, the most compliance and in complete joy. At that moment of perfect harmony is when the experience of Living is truly realized, without any filters of the I staining the canvas of the Universe that is simply trying to put it forth into the eternal Now as yet another karmic seed that needs to be processed.

Finally, then, while I can think this intellectually and sometimes experience this personally, I feel encouraged that one day I will indeed be able to feel this emotionally and live this spiritually as well, since the knowing will become so deep rooted and integral to Life that an I, separated from this sense of Universal Oneness will become incomprehensible and “unexperienceable”. Until then, however, there is always good weed…