Friday, February 25, 2005

"Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right- Here I am.-

.
.
-stuck in the middle with you."

It’s amazing how many times the lyrics to a popular song apply to life. There was a period here where I was in danger of opening every post with a Beatles lyric. This one, I think was written by Gerry Rafferty when he was with Stealer’s Wheel but I’m guessing. Most people remember it from Reservoir Dogs but I intend a more benevolent aspect at this time. I’d like to think I intend a more benevolent aspect at all times. I’m probably not centered in the light at all times, probably, (smile) but I’m trying.

We were talking about being in the groove, that is, I was referring to staying the course; a bit of a tongue in cheek reference that you should be able to connect to on your own. How often are true statements found compromised in the mouths of false men? That would be, plenty of times. It is a common activity of pro-active ignorance to compromise the things we would aspire to believe by associating them with glaring examples of hypocrisy. This then kills our faith and drives us toward cynical judgments about life. Don’t let this happen to you. Just because you see self-proclaimed representatives of cherished ideals dragging the skirts of virtue through the gutter does not mean that virtue is compromised. Real virtue is untouchable. It’s not unreachable though as one would find could they get close enough to touch the hem of its garment.

The lessons in literature of characters like Elmer Gantry and the lessons in real life of Jim and Tammy and Jimmy Swaggart should not imply that the hoax being perpetrated is an indication that nothing is there to begin with. If that were the case you wouldn’t be reading this. You wouldn’t have the means to comprehend it. Every thing you can do comes about through the good offices of divine agency. Yes, even when you screw up. All that indicates is that you haven’t learned all the steps yet. But if we waited to learn it all before we started dancing we would never get on the floor. We learn by doing.

I mentioned staying the course and that would seem to say that the course itself is the thing itself. Perhaps to some degree this is true. More true though is the fact that while you are on the course you are centered in a way that the light can move through you. It is the light that accomplishes everything. You only make mistakes. Just as the light illumines everything is shines on, it also lights up the chamber through which is passes. Are you looking for kicks? Take it from one who has not missed out on any of the sensations available ‘out there’- there is no greater kick than this.

Contained in our personalities are dark spots. Dark spots are the food of light. In our imperfect view we associate ourselves with these dark spots. Subsequently, when the light is eating them up some discomfort may occur. To the degree that we can surrender, our discomfort is decreased. It’s all about attachment and attachment hurts. The motive intention of the life force is to take you to a place of greater freedom. Greater freedom can only be achieved by letting go of attachments. At one time some of these attachments seemed essential. You fully believed you needed a defense system to protect you from the raptors and reavers of this world. Your parents had them. Their parents had them. You inherited them. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Your parents and their parents aren’t your parents in fact though, not in the way you understand it. It’s better to think of your parents as teachers through whose hands you passed. Teachers don’t always teach useful things. Teachers can teach bad things and pass on erroneous information. It’s as much as they knew at the time.

You are a child of divinity. God is your mother and father. In your mind are both your mother and father. They have a position given by your experience of them. They continue to act in you. However, in nearly every case, your earthly parents passed on bad information with the good. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to reunite your parents inside your mind in their proper relationship. We need to recognize that there is a more perfect schematic, a more effective interface than the one we’ve been relying on.

How do we make that adjustment? We don’t. In the process of being on course this is an automatic byproduct. Your job is to stand still while your mother washes off the dirt you picked up playing with your rowdy friends. Of course, after you’re cleaned up and you’ve had your lunch you want to go back outside and see what you can get into. Your mother knows what is waiting out there for you. But what’s a mother to do? She lets you go; she lets you go to explore the world; to get knocked about, to have a cracking good adventure or a devastating, heartbroken passage over forty years of bad highway. She knows. She’s also waiting for you to come home. Father and mother sit on God’s Front Porch and wait for you. You may have gone far afield but that Love stretches across every darkness and defile. You’ve only got to get on the course and the slipstream will carry you home.

How did you learn? How did you get to be who you were at the different points that you became what you were? Many of the things you know did not come about through experience but rather from memory. You sit atop a vast sea of experiences, not all of them your own and not all of them from this present journey. At different points you suddenly knew things that changed you, yet you can’t seem to find the demarcation point. Though some of you seem to have grown by default, some of you moved in the direction of natural abilities or available opportunities. Things happened. You happened. You’ve found that the things you do best are the things you love. The things you learned most quickly were the things you loved. All of us have picked up the guitar; meddled with astronomy, fiddled about with all sorts of things we later abandoned by the way side. We didn’t love them. Love compels.

It stands to reason that you can grow into anything just by having it uppermost in your mind; by loving it. Love is the accelerator and the assimilator. We grow into what we love. We are the embodiment of what we love coming into being. If there were any one quality that one should work at increasing it would be love. Of course, most of us are selfish to some degree. Love and selfishness don’t play well together. The world is designed to inhibit love. The world is also set up to appear more powerful than love. Faith isn’t easy when results are not immediate. But, as we’ve been told, faith can tell a mountain to go and cast itself into the sea. The hardest work we do is to develop the faith to believe in what we have yet to see. It’s said that faith is the substance of things unseen. In other words, faith is the actual material out of which the product of its focus is made.

You can’t know what has value until you have been disappointed in everything else. You have to walk through the fire or burn. We spend far too much time berating ourselves for the mistakes we have made, never realizing that they were the agency that brought us to this moment. We are all the product of bad parenting. We have to forgive that. We have to look back down the way we have come and bless every single event. We have to declare that it was all good. Until you have proven to yourself that a given well is empty you have to go back time and time again. It is this suffering that will convince you of your right and destined road.

Speaking for myself, I cannot tell you how many times I have been disappointed in myself. For years I could not resolve the situations I passed through with the real and lasting intentions of my heart. At times, trying my hardest to find a place, to succeed at something, I was crashed to the ground. Believing that love would carry me I still found myself surrounded by shadows with no evidence that it would change. Something told me that I must never give up; I must never believe that the shortcomings of my nature and what seemed to be cruel and indifferent fate, were the final destiny of my life. However long we have labored in our deceptions and the blanketing ignorance of our surroundings, when we do find that groove, success can be very rapid indeed. That path opens for us when we recognize that we really just do not know. When we can surrender the false concepts that we have imprisoned ourselves with then we will hear the tinkling keys of the jailor as he moves toward our cell.

Trials and tests may yet remain but they are no longer our responsibility. We have handed that over to a more competent hand. There is such a comfort in the visceral grasp of our limitations; the acceptance of our helpless state. Faith is made into a rock when the willing heart can embrace the certain truth of what it cannot see.

A man must come to the desperate edge
Of the walls he’s built around himself
And beat with his hands on the cold hard stone
And cry for the years that he’s been alone
And break like a dry dead twig
Under the wheel of time
And rise
And live
And understand
The power of love in his masters’ hand.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too damn good man, too damn good. Love the ending.

ben

Anonymous said...

It is a distinct and continuous pleasure to come here.

Anonymous said...

Words fail me. They certainly don't fail you. Good work!

Bruce

MsZilla said...

I have opened this comment field several times, and I honestly can't figure out what to say except, "Bullseye!" It's going to take a while to process this one.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Les. You know you are many kinds of a writer. You span the gamut and I like it all. Yet it's the times of deep sensitivity that just blow me away.

I realize you can't stay in this area and I think I know why. That's besides the fact that each day brings a different moment to reveal. I'm just aghast at yor abilities.

z a

Anonymous said...

The things I have read here have changed my life. I have read a lot of books and gone to many seminars and gotten bupkis. Some of the books were good but I always felt at a distance from the author. You pull me in close and hold me tight. I like that. I hope you will continue to do this for some time. You know, if you've reached even one person you've accomplished a lot.

Barry Weiss

Anonymous said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh yeah.

Anonymous said...

It just flows doesn't it? When I'm reading your work it just seems to flow. I get the feeling you just turn it on and off.

ciinc said...

LesV -

This one was revised and worked on with you in mind; the story-within-the-story comes from "The Razor's Edge", where Larry goes to India, then comes back and gives up the babe cause all he needs/wants to do is drive a cab in NYC. Bill Murray starred in the 1984 cover of the original 1946 movie with Gene Tierney.

By the way, Gene Tierney went crazy, probably because there was no one around back then like you writing stuff that could a helped her.

ciinc

Dull (strict 8/7-syll met revision)

8 When I was young I hated all
7 things Indian and Hindu,
8 just because a girl in tenth grade
7 English class conversed in French
8 with ease and seemed to know what
7 the Bhagavad-Gita was.

8 The same as when I really did
7 spend two years driving cab down
8 New York avenues: I never once
7 saw Larry at the Belmore
8 eating lunch there, a shloka book
7 in hand while we played gin.

8 But whenever much much later
7 now I walk into the dawn
8 around this house hard-up against
7 the pasture which still borders
8 on this subdivision, one cow,
7 just one, always looks at me.

Anonymous said...

This, and your last post (and so many others), they're like a map of the road I'm on right now. It's a narrow road, Les, and sometimes I can hear things howling out there in the night, but your writing lights the way for me, like a bright North Star that I can follow and know that I am not lost, not crazy - that I'm on my way home.

Thanks for doing what you do.

Anonymous said...

Disappointed as I find no new essay today. I was sure there would be one. I count my blessings that you do this at all. Some days I just need it more than others.

The good news is that I had not read several of your first efforts before so it turned out right after all. Be looking for you tomorrow though.