Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Salle de Bain Sanity
Censorship - it doesn’t work!
I’ll just have to live with the risk of my sister once again calling to inquire because, “You didn’t sound well!” Well, hey, it was nice to talk to her. I think I am going to have to just let one rule of this Blog be… honesty… even when you’re stupid. That seems the only way.
So, perhaps a month late, here you go: “Salle de Bain Sanity.”
(And I am so happy you get to see the retro mint-green tiles.)
As it turns out I do my best thinking in the bath tub.
As it turns out the bathroom is my inner sanctum.
I use to think that locale was my bed, but as I’ve aged I tend to lose consciousness too quickly for the bed to be of much use.
So, I am left with my bath tub kind of by default.
The fault lines are what need exploring and exposing. And that is often a messy process of excavation. How handy to be so near water and a tissue.
So I lie there soaking in the warm waters of the tub, the urban dweller’s substitute for the Oceanic and tell myself a story as I try to think things through. And soon I realize…
“The Greatest Story Ever Told” isn’t in the Bible. It’s “The One You Tell Yourself” about your self (small “s”).
And what is even funnier (to me) is that people give me credit for this- this story telling. I’m a great story teller, down right life of the party. That’s what story telling is- pure entertainment. Such a ruse and yet, it is “pure” in the sense that there’s always the outside chance something wise might be conveyed.
So let me begin here with the retelling (cause All stories are Always a retelling) of a story that I actually got published in the Sun. I called it “The Secret of Life.” (Maybe… I’ll have to double check that fact.)
This story really began with a dream, a dream I had when I was a teenager:
Pop and I were standing in this line of silent and disheveled people, under a blackened night sky tinged by the red fires of Apocalypse lying just over the horizon. No one was in charge, yet we all seemed totally subdued. We just waited there in line, unconsciously, slowly inching forward.
Peering up ahead I realized that we were waiting to enter this dilapidated shack of an outhouse, just this classic clapboard thing. One by one, each person entered.
And No One ever came back out. The line was disappearing into this toilet.
And as the line crept nearer I realized, “The Secret of Life.”
The Whole Secret was Not to go in there. Just refuse.
It was that simple.
Just don’t go in and you’d be saved!
I tugged on Pop’s arm. We had to get out of the line. I tried to explain. He wasn’t listening. I tugged and shouted. “No, No! Don’t go in! Listen to me!”
I was still screaming and pulling on his arm as he did this slow motion header right down the tube. Like that, he was gone. Only the swirl of flushing water remained.
And Just like that I woke up in a sweat.
What a horror. You can know, you can be screaming the Secret of Life, and you can’t change a thing.
“The Secret of Life.”
That phrase means a lot to me. My seventh grade science teacher used it and so thrilled my soul that I knew right there I had to understand. He was talking DNA and RNA and I resolved to become a molecular geneticist, though it’d be decades before I new the label.
And taking that header of a dive means a lot to me too.
Maharishi used to say that meditation was like diving, simply take the correct angle and let go. Gravity will do the rest.
You execute an effortless dive into the Absolute.
And Adyashanti says that Where you go is into the Nothingness (that is Everything- but first you have to really understand… NOTHING.”
So as I soak here in my tub, viewing yet again those cool, mint-green retro bath tiles and allow that Silence and gap of witnessing to arise, I decide to simply accept the Gap.
Maharishi use to say, “Never try to bridge the Gap.”
Adya might say something like, “Approach with curiosity.”
So I do that.
And there ahead of me is such a hole. Such a chasm I could simply take a header into. It’s as if I am standing out on the end of the high dive trying to screw up the courage to simply lean over and let go.
That’s what I’m doing.
I’m trying to get my courage up, because this is no belly flop I’m risking.
This is The Great Flush. This is down the tubes into Nothingness. And even the splash I’ll make will get sucked down after me, pulling all Creation down the tubes also.
I mean this is direct perception!
“That’s all folks!”
The Loony Tune would be over.
There’d be no more stuttering.
No one talking and no one watching.
…As it turns out, I not only made up the story but also the audience.