The Love Lobotomy

“In a society at war with man and nature, a religion of peace and love might be fantasized into creed, rituals & otherworlds while it’s professed adherent continue to live [in a way that doesn’t support it]. ~ Jim Corbett (Goatwalking)

“Everything is Love” is a mantra that’s begun to grate on my nerves.  It’s achieved a cult-like status with millions of people, variations shared ad nauseum, memeified with pretty pictures via social media.  It’s surpassed ‘group think’ guided by a guru (or two) and segued into a something resembling mass hypnosis & contagious complacency. Except the behaviors we exhibit in oversharing online are not mimicked in the physical, public space.

Second-hand thought (see Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead for a good definition & description), is, essentially “thought based not on direct sensory experience but on assumptions, teachings passed down by others.” It’s a lot like sensory deprivation.  Intentionally, albeit not consciously by the consumer, stunting our vision and growth.  We lose creativity, the knowing of real connection, openness, access to all that surrounds us–like a lobotomy.

To me, the notion that “Everything is Love” is nothing more than a panacea–a proverbial pill–that inhibits real exploration of self and the world, an experience of the interconnectedness of things within and without us.  Especially in this New Age/transmodern melange of metaphysics, self-help and spiritualit-y & -isms framed loosely by interconnectedness, by being One.

I mean, we all want to acknowledge being connected to things that feel and appear loving, loveable, lovely.  However, the notion of being connected to infanticide, fear, rage, paraphilias, betrayals, massacres, starvation, torture, other forms of cruelty (never mind recognizing our responsibility for and in response to those things) or perceived negative behaviors & actions with which the world turns isn’t our cup of tea.

To me, the over-simplistic notion that every thing (think about it: there are somewhere between 3 and 100 millions species–the specific is certainly arguable amongst most scientists–but there are about 4000 species of aphids alone) is any one thing is what contributes to what I call contagious complacency.

All of life and the myriad of systems that create and move it are intricate, inter-related and so complex that most cannot ‘see’ or sense it, much less grasp it intellectually or logically.  I don’t understand the need or desire to simply things in such a manner.  I know that slicing and dicing things into smaller bits makes them more digestible but when ease of digestion is passed as universal truth and eaten up, well…

There is no shortcut.  There may never be a way to describe the wholeness of life but to ignore the dirty, nasty, funky, skunky, for the light and airy (or ambiguously defined ‘love’ that’s not that love) does the every one and thing a great disservice.

Love is a magnificent foundation for every being. I’d say it is the foundation from whence we begin, initially as much of us as star dust.But it requires more action than ‘share’ or ‘like’. Rather than being shelved in a personal museum, love requires conscious engagement, even if it is with or for ourselves. That matters, too.

Don’t send love. Love. Create it, nurture it. Say it!  Say it to yourself! Practice in front of the mirror until you’re comfortable with. Accept it when it comes your way-without judging it’s deliverer or your perceived unworthiness. It doesn’t need to be held tenderly or meticulously folded into a small corner of your world, our world. It is a powerful force beyond your fear of feeling. You’ll never understand the Everything or the One without it.

 

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Lonely

The loneliness is immense,

rounded, like a halo.

Maybe it’s holy, too.

 

I wonder if it spills

from me like

the milk from the moon.

Lighting the way, maybe

a companion of itself.

 

It’s lighter than

the Other responsibility

but somehow bigger.

 

Not peace-less yet

not a piece of anything

puzzled or partnered.

 

I wonder if the moon gets lonely.

Principles and Visitations from the Mother

I’m reading a book called Benediction by Kent Haruf. It’s one of those that I’m forcing myself to finish for reasons I can’t comprehend. It’s annoying. Damn-near all dialogue and not a single quotation mark.

There’s a scene in which a preacher pisses off his congregation by suggesting that loving thine enemy and turning the cheek might be literal expressions of Jesus’ teaching and not a mere metaphorical for living peaceably. He preaches, many congregants walk out, cursing him after he postulates that America, as a government and society, could do just that.

Not only does a large part of his congregation walk out on him, his wife later publicly announces she’s going to do the same to the remaining congregation. This is part of the ensuing conversation (I’m adding the quotation marks here because there’s no need for all of us to be annoyed):

“All right,” Lyles wife said. “I’ll admit he has his principles. I am aware of that. I used to admire him for his principles and his generous intentions. But what good are they, finally? You can’t eat them. You can’t depend on them. There’s no security in principles.”

Later, the preacher explains to his two remaining supporters:

“I think I’m done…People don’t want to be disturbed. They want reassurance. They don’t come to church on Sunday morning to think about new ideas or even about important old ones. They want to hear what they’ve been told before, with only some small variation on what they’ve been hearing all their lives, and then they want to go home, eat pot roast and say it was a good service and feel satisfied.”

I’m feeling that preacher in more ways than one. He’s right. The disruption isn’t wanted, but the lip service is. However, here we are. Disrupting right as we move along and no matter how many people turn away from us, in anger or fear.

I’ve been done a few times in the past eighteen months. Stick a fork in me, I cannot go on done. The first time I thought about walking away from all things Fuckery was on October 17, 2017, when Ariel Begay’s body was found. I packed up my things, drove the three hours to be with her mother, and decided half-way there that I wasn’t going back the desert. That fucking desert. Fucking hot, fucking dry, the devil incarnate hiding behind ‘medicine’, evil people doing evil things to children. What the fuck do They think one fucking person can do? I’m not that fucking person!  By the time I landed in her front yard, I realized I was lying to myself and that there was no way I was going to leave other victims behind. Who the fuck am I kidding? Don’t be fucking stupid.  I cried a lot. I bitched a lot. I found a place to rest and then put on my big girl drawers and went back.

The second time I thought about walking away was a little over a year ago. Profoundly depressed and ashamed and guilt-ridden and angry, I crawled into bed one night determined to pack up and leave the next day. Before my head hit the pillow, the room filled and there She was. In front of masses of other, Older female figures who I described as the Holiest of the Holies, Mother Mary showed herself again. This time there was no pleasant conversation in the kitchen. Without words she didn’t merely ask, she didn’t demand or argue; she beseeched and her plea was like no other I’ve felt except, perhaps, my own prayers as a child. The others stood behind her, saying nothing but Being with a strength and power that I’d not felt in a looooong time. The collective, halos aglow, prayed ‘don’t go’. What was I going to do with an ask like that? Say no? I stayed in the desert another two months until it was clear that I was under physical surveillance from 200 yards away and that not only was I in deep doo-doo but I might end up in deep sand pretty quick.

In the run-up to Christmas, I considered walking away again. With little support, multiple dangers, some masked as men in blue, a quick cost-benefit analysis seemed to make the decision an easy one. The impetus to carry on in December, though, didn’t come from another plea but in being spectacularly pissed off that another highly-regarded organization was identified as involved in the Fuckery. Simple rage and indignation fueled re-engagement. How dare those in the US Armed Forces be part of this?!!  Not that it was a real surprise. Soldiers around the world have been part of moving slaves as long as slavery has been around. The stories of rape as a weapon abound and the United Nations’ Blue Helmets involvement in trafficking is well documented. But, my country’s soldiers and seamen? And so we’ve carried on.
If I could argue with the preacher’s wife (which, admittedly, I sort of did by talking to the page like I do the GPS), I’d tell her that the only security may be in that principle of loving, of loving no matter what, no matter how much it scares other people, or confuses them. Or ourselves.
This is about the love for a little girl with a pink rose in her hair, for the Ariel’s of the world whose prayers have been heard, for the love of the Ancestors and Others for whom I work, for those whose own despair and desperation leads to the highest order of human cruelty.  It is with the deepest love as the guiding principle that we carry on.

“I never knew I was cherished. Until now.”

-1383January 02, 2005

I never hungered for food as a child. I starved, though, for the love of my mother–something beyond the loneliness in the emotional sea between us and the actual fear of her ferocity. I thought it’d be in the cupboard of good grades, good behavior (and the occasional hope the connection would be found in the bad as well), diligence and, perhaps, talent.

As an I’ve grown into thisness, though, the opposite has become true. I’m often physically hungry but live steeped in the kind of love that exists beyond a mother’s capacity–that thing of the larger universe that binds us through those perceived seas between us.

There is no longer an attachment to those feelings held as a young child and young adult. They helped mold me and guide me to this place and the beings I am and work with but no longer exist as they used to.  My brain and body no longer hold them but I am reminded each time I touch another whose path has been similar to mine.

When the cells and selves that have held the fear of fist, abandonment and invasion of safety and sex zones, are ready to be opened into the light of mercy, what happens is the thing of dreams. That love that I’m steeped in and of, is felt for, often the first time, in the entirety of another.

To be with someone who, for the first time, can know they are cherished and treasured by all that is holy is magnificent.  When inner strength formerly girded by insecurities opens into love and begins the process of angelic unfolding, I’m reminded of our glory, our potential and the hope that each of us brings the rest of us.

To know–and to feel within every fiber of our being– that we are cherished–without exception, without expectation–is our birthright.

I love you.

Compassion is Everywhere

      To take responsibility empowers you to do something about whatever it is that’s hindering you. As long as we blame, as long as we avoid or deny, we are removed from the realm of possibility and power to do something about our lives. ~ John Daido Loori

There is a prevading myth that is repeatedly memeified, attached to cute animal and ‘uplifting’ videos, and used as click-bait. It often appears as a form of spiritual angst, discomfort with perceptions of the world. It is a myth that states this is a rare earth one in which human-kind is a mass of twatwaffles and so inexperienced in or incapable of the ways of lovingkindness  there a vacuum of compassion. It is expressed by “my faith in humanity is restored” or “I wish more people were like this (referring to people)” or “I wish more humans were like this (referring to animals)” or “If only the world were more like this, then…”

Stop it.  Just stop it.

Compassion is everywhere. It exists inside and outside of you. You are the one who has the power and choice to engage with it anytime, anywhere. But it requires action.

It is not other humans responsibility to engage in the way you would prefer them to. It is yours. Yours alone. If you are not choosing to act with compassion, lovingkindness, and open-heartedly start now. When you begin that practice, you will see it everywhere because it will be returned to you tenfold.

Gandhi’s ‘Be the Change You Wish to See in This World’ wasn’t meant to be a mere ideal aspiration. It was a directive to help change your perspective on the state of humanity–by first changing your own.

Instead of wishing that things would be differently for you to see, put your rear in gear and mind in motion. Ask yourself how you show compassion to others. What did you do today or can you do tomorrow to share a loving act? What can you do to restore your own humanity? Be the human you are admiring in another? Behave like the animal you’ve humanized? Move past discussion of what consciousness looks like into what conscience is?

Sharing a Twitter Love Lesson

Rumi love's secret

A couple of days I ago, I popped back onto Twitter and saw this nifty nugget:

This world seems to be designed to give you all the reasons NOT to love , so go against the grain and love.

My response:

I view it as designed with infinite reasons and ways to love. 🙂 It’s not difficult to make that choice.

And we continued in this fashion:

So why then is it so difficult sometimes?

Love can be a noun, a verb or and a state of being. As a state of being it is effortless.

Love isn’t difficult.  To be love isn’t difficult.  Neither is to love or be loving–once you make that choice.  There is nothing complicated about.