Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Face It

5th grade skit by Seeking Tao
5th grade skit, a photo by Seeking Tao on Flickr.

I sit here in this chair, and I am alone in the universe,
and I alone am the universe; outside of every system ever conceived.
How could this have ever occurred? …
Why do I look at the baby in the stroller across the room and only see myself? Not as a literal projection, but as something that is not separate from this organism.
I am not really sure why, or that it even matters.
I am keen to find out, however.

Takuin Minamoto, Emptiness and Levels of Consciousness

I think it started with FaceBook.

Carin, a childhood friend I’ve not seen in 40 years, posted a picture of David, just one of the people we went to high school with - David a year older, Class of 1967.
Now, there he was, 2011, smiling in a pink shirt, blond hair spiking just a bit.
God, he looked great!
And I thought, "David?" The name was so familiar, but I could hardly remember. What had he been like? - a nice guy, student council type.
And as I clicked to find out more there was one other photo: He and another handsome fellow, both in tuxes, silk vests, and boutonniere.
Underneath, a woman had commented, “I thought he was married to Philip.”

My god!
People in Decatur Illinois talking about gay marriage as if it were the most normal thing in the world?
I was deeply moved, because I know what that path was like from the clueless closet of MacArthur High School to 2011.
And now, I can count four of us as having made it. Who else? Who else shared that path?

That night I had a dream.
I was at David’s house, the lawn set out with white clothed tables awaiting the reception. As the guests arrived I was amazed to see all these old high school acquaintances.
Face after face.
It was delightful and heart rending. It was wonderful to see those who’d largely just meant pain.

Then I saw him, Carin’s father.
He was old. Not at all the robust beer drinking, cigarette puffing joker of my youth, but an old man with watery eyes. His name was Bill, but my folks had always called him Henry.
I went to him and we shared the softest kiss.
Then I stood back waiting for my hug. But, he was not about to reach out.
Puzzlement. Then he said, “If I were to hug you, I’d never let you go.”

With those words such love exploded. With a jolt I was awake.
Lying there in my bed I discovered I was crying.
I lay there for a moment trying to orient myself.
It was then I noticed there was this small burning pinhole of light right in the middle of my heart.
What a strange way for one’s heart to break.

I thought of Carin. I would write her in the morning and tell her, “I dreamed of your dad last night.”
A couple months ago via FaceBook she had told me, “He has his good days and his bad now.”
I thought of Carin’s mother, how when Pop died my mom had told me she had gotten a phone call: “Rusty, it’s Fuzzy.”
At first, that was all they’d needed to say. And I could hear exactly how Carin’s mom had sounded.
“Rusty, it’s Fuzzy.” …stop, beyond all words, just stop.

So, I’ve learned a strange thing from these FaceBook encounters, from these reunions with old friends and even with the ones I’d thought hadn’t really mattered.
They all mattered. Every single one.

They all matter because I have discovered that they no longer exist as separate entities.
Retreating into memory and mind they have become a part of me.
They constitute my Life.

I love them as myself.
I am so surprised to understand that.
I wish I’d known that all along.

What does it mean to believe in a perception?
It means that you are unconsciously assuming that the world you are perceiving is real....
it means you are assuming that whatever is perceived, is really there as something in and of itself; as having an independent nature; a solid existence...

When we realize this ...we stop solidifying our experience as being a single entity in a world full of other individual objects and people...
Whether you have your eyes open and believe you perceive 'external stimuli' or whether you have your eyes closed and experience your thoughts, emotions, or even meditational states ...
All is just that same perception of awareness. Just like the movie screen will always be the movie screen and the projection will always be the projection, regardless of what is shown.

Bentinho Massaro

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