Friday, June 29, 2007

Excuse #3: “I’d Rather be a hamster”

Polly Sentada
Originally uploaded by Woupidy
I was talking about “excuses” – the barriers to enlightenment, which Adyashanti claims are all conceptual.

I am not sure I believe that, so I have been examining the idea and in the processing looking at what I do believe.

In a somewhat similar vein a student mentioned, on an Adyashanti CD, that she has been spurred by his teaching, “You always have what you want.”
She was looking at her physical disability.
She was asking herself, “What purpose does it serve?”

Well, I can relate!
My own body has been horrific lately: migraines, vision difficulties, nausea, poor memory, and cognitive malfunctions. It feels as if my brain is being torn up.
It’s scary.
It’s frustrating.
It’s a huge struggle at times.
I have missed so much work that I decided I really had to take some action.

Luckily my brother is an expert in functional medicine. He has his own lab and can run the book of subtle, metabolic tests on me. He’s figured out my body since that first “kundalini frying” back in the ‘70s.

This time, I carried along some new research on migraine and depersonalization.
It seemed to me my visual problems are both migraine aura and depersonalization,
which is a great confusion to me since depersonalization in many ways seems to the physiology of what meditators call “witnessing.”

Witnessing is a bug-a-boo to me.
On one hand it’s an experience to be commended.
It is one way of describing the effects of awakening.
You discover that “the Self is separate from activity.”
Oh yeah. I am so separate that at times I feel as if I am a pea rattling around inside this tin can called Creation.
I am so rattled or non-attached I cannot even latch onto the world visually.
Thus, there is the strangest visual “something.”
Something is all wrong with my eyes, except that I see fine.
No blur, no lights, no distortion.
Yet, it is totally non-connected in some way impossible to verbalize.
In the end, I avoid using my eyes – I get too nauseated.

The eye clinic refused to see me. I wanted them to look at the blood vessels of my retina. I wanted them to measure the pressure of my eyeball. Just some quick check for a tumor.
Instead they said it was a migraine aura without the migraine. “Glasses wouldn’t help.”
I know glasses are not gonna help!
But my complaints don’t sound like any aura I have ever read about either.
But then, I don’t feel enlightened either.
So surely my witnessing is a symptom of pathology not an indicator of awakening.

Or, am I using my disability as a conceptual barrier?
What if all this is just my way of justifying,
“Enlightenment couldn’t happen to me, so I must be sick.”

Excuse Number What? “I can’t become enlightened until my health is better.”

Even if it’s my direct perception that my self is separate from activity,
Even if it’s my direct perception that all Creation is not really Real,
Even if it’s my direct perception that all This could dissolve into That – Nothingness.
This last is one scary as hell perception.
No wonder I do not really want to see it, though my body seems to be insisting.

Rather than accept that I am sitting on the border of awakening, it makes better sense to me to think:
I have weak adrenals.
I have a carnitine deficiency, or hypoglycemia, or migraines, or yada-yada pitch a fit.
Apparently, Anything is better than saying, “Yes,”
and simply dropping the excuses,
dropping the pathologizing.

Because then, I’d have to drop the Big One, that one that Adya mentioned,
“It can’t happen to me.”

It seems that letting go of that last excuse simply requires … too much love.
That’s all that it would take …

It’d take a smile to myself.
It’d take a bit more compassion than I now can offer to say…

“Yes, Dear, this is for you.”

Apparently, I prefer a self-image more along the lines of a hamster,
a hamster running round and round on that little exercise wheel in her cage of samsara.

So for now, I run in circles…sporting the most lovely, chubby cheeks
that can squirrel away all kinds of lame excuses.

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