Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cashing in the Chips

Grandma  by Seeking Tao
Grandma , a photo by Seeking Tao on Flickr.

After Evie got the news about her PET scan, for about the next twenty-four hours I kept envisioning a cashing in of all the chips. I kept seeing this poker table in my head and hands pushing all the chips forward. We had finally arrived at that all or nothing bet.

All the chips were in, pushed into the center of the table which seemed awfully like the edge of all creation.
That image and the ensuing free fall into nothingness kept looping through my mind until I heard a quiet voice ask in wonderment: What is it that you throw it all into?
Immediately I realized the obvious: It was the Void and it was God.

Once you've put everything
on the table
once all of your currency is gone
and your pockets are full of air
all you've got left to gamble with
is yourself.

Go ahead, climb up onto the velvet top
of the highest stakes table.
Place yourself as the bet.
Look God in the eyes
and finally
for once in your life

So that is what I did and that is just what happened.

I have a friend who’s fond of saying that there are really only two prayers in the world:
Help me, help me, help me! and Thank you, thank you, thank you!
It seems to me there might also be a third and it’s called surrender:
You look into the Void of Unknowing and toss yourself into it.
It wasn’t even a “take me, take, take me!” It was just a reverential toss, like you’d drop a flower.
And there wasn’t any great swell of emotion, but rather the cradling gentleness and love inherent in deep trust.
And then… there were about three weeks that felt like wandering lost in darkness of the Void.
During this period I recalled Adya’s advice to not resist the freefall or try to orient yourself. And, for once, I found I could simply wait and trust that the way forward would eventually become clear.

I wondered if Evie understood this “cashing in” and decided that most probably she’d say that something deep inside, some tight constriction had been broken. She’d felt a jump into living in a new manner where some of the old rules no longer would apply. But, I don’t think she’d speak of Void or even God. Perhaps she’d mention sacredness and energy or maybe even archetypes.  People noticed she was strong. She mentioned she was scared. But, she did not hesitate to act.

Leigh Fortson, having traversed three rounds of going deeper and deeper into the healing of her own cancer, puts it this way:
I find it hard to call it a "will to live," because I think will is different from what I tapped into and what I think people tap into when they heal themselves. Will is the energy that you use to carry out what you learn to do, but the initial thrust was a combination of surrender to something that you don't understand, that you can't control, that you can't comprehend-which goes outside of the arena of will.
It's like, "Okay, there's a power in me, in all of us. There's something in me that I am asking to tap into, that I will surrender to, that I will give myself to in every way that I can."
…It's a combination of will and surrender and dedication and self love.

When I read stories about healing the impossible, be it via diet, or energy, or Shamanic journey I always find that the person gave themselves to the process entirely.
Entirely! Do you realize how very seldom we actually do that in life? Hardly ever. We always hedge our bets and hold something back. In fact, we call that being smart.
This plays right into the discussion I posted recently about the placebo effect – how there is now a theory that placebos work by simply giving ourselves permission to heal; that we are biologically programmed to hold back some of our healing resources for a later date and more dire straits and placebos relax that rule… well, finally- no more holding back.

There was nothing I could do. So I cashed in all my chips.
Only to discover, there was nothing I need do because deepest desires are not personal.
By that I mean that when you really feel the gut wrench of true desire -that desire transcends the personal.
I want to live is built into our cells. It arises from the species. It arises from Creation itself.
Once you know that, then you simply play your part (or work your butt off) as an agent of Let Thy will be done.

This is the first thing I have learned about true healing: Give yourself entirely.
Give yourself so fully that you see firsthand just how the personal becomes impersonal and infinite. And then, you work from there.
Or, as the Bhagavad Gita says:
Established in being, perform action.

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