Today, after a full night of tossing and turning, I felt it… a spark of innocence floating in the air. It seemed very real, yet somehow not of the same universe or substance as the rest. I watched, my inner vision locked in on the hint of the glimmer, as just like the Good Witch’s bubble in The Wizard of Oz, it grew bigger and bigger; there, yet also not touching anything else.
I asked myself, which is the dream? It didn’t feel like an angel I was wrestling with last night, more like the baggage of a thousand lifetimes, but surely I awoke to some kind of gift.. a new opening of mind or sense of liveliness and freedom through which the wonders of life may flow more freely. Or at least, my awareness of them…
When I first began meditating. I met a monk (who was or wasn’t – it doesn’t matter) in a virtual world who, listening to me talk about my spiritual experiences and visions, cautioned me not to become too enamored, a la Narcissus with his reflection. He suggested I instead consider the taste underlying the experiences, and let that taste spread out, permeating into the rest of life.
While I don’t think I missed the point entirely, it would be a long time before I could see that not owning personal experiences, not holding them too tightly would enable growing wings.
However, something else clicked when that feeling of claiming ownership of experiences fell mostly away. Even to tell a simple personal story began to feel pointless or indulgent. I often felt guilty, or like I was lying. My context was way too wide.
Yet, that’s how people converse. It is normal to ask about someone’s past or hopes for the future. Locating one another in time and space seems necessary to further connection.
So it felt for a while as though I’d undergone surgery, but the wrong part had been removed, leaving me unsure how to interact with the world. Thankfully along the way I found other ‘spiritual types’ who felt this way, and more patience to wait for that phase to pass too.
It was then that the insecurities of childhood and fears of adulthood reappeared with brand new ferocity, and wow, such deep feelings of regret. I suppose now that what happened is that I hadn’t had to deal with those fears and inadequacies for a for a while amidst my blissful romance with meditation and spirituality, and was caught off guard to find the wounds still there, still un-healed.
Doesn’t that sound similar to what people describe in romantic relationships? So much can be covered initially, by awe and newness.
I think that’s what the spark of innocence that greeted me this morning means to remind me. That although my field of perception may feel full of the beasts of doubt and fear at times, I can recognize that they aren’t ‘me’ or ‘mine’. That there are muses of clarity, too. Now I want to see and converse with them all, hear the strange and wonderful things they have to say.
Sometimes when I write a post here, something comes up on twitter that speaks so closely to it that I find it hard to leave out. Today it was,
“…to arrive at that beautiful ancient innocence which consists of the ability to plunge into dream…”
-Albert Camus, Youthful Writings; “Essay on Music,” , 1932 – quoted by Rubynola82
What comes to mind too:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi