The external appearance of life cannot demonstrate awakening. Life appears in all its shapes and sizes, forms and fascinations. It does its dance, sings its song, appears as all appearances: disasters and blessings, joy and sorrow, illness and health, poverty and wealth, regardless of one’s understanding.
The thinking mind, the compare and contrast mechanism, says if I awaken my world will be repaired. I will have enough. I will be okay. The holy grail of finally-getting-it will heal all things in my life and at long last I will be able to relax and enjoy, have and appreciate.
Wouldn’t that fairy tale be nice? That’s what it is, you know. We have so many of them. Religions seem to be based upon such tales of redemption, of finally, at long last, returning home. So are the religions of money, fame, longevity and denial.
No one wants to hear anything that dilutes their poisonous preference, that dashes the hopes of escape from this realm of suffering. We all want to find our way out of the maze into amazement, to that wondrous place where death falls away, where the bluebirds of happiness sing all day long.
Most live a fairy tale life, not in the wondrous amazement sense but lives of hope — always waiting for the prince, or princess, to appear, looking down the road for the knight on the white horse to come thundering in to save the day … or so trapped in the castle’s turret that the story of escape is not even a chapter in their book.
What is it that keeps us mired in the tale, safely tucked inside the belly of the beast?
Fear, simple, basic, fear … the same fear that most everyone denies experiencing.
Fear of having to feel, of being face to face with the monsters of life with no place to run or hide, left with no ability to smooth it over, to improve the look, to soften the feel, to alter the course, having no choice but to experience life as it is, utterly vulnerable to whatever appears even if its betrayal, humiliation, rejection, abandonment, abject loss, all those feelings that have passed for proof that we are unworthy untouchable unlovable.
To be here.
To be now.
To stop trying to wriggle down off the cross that life is.
That’s what life asks. Anything less feels inadequate, tightens the tension. It IS struggle and resistance, a big pointless fu<k you to the House.
… and the House always wins. It has all the cards, all the money, all the time in this world of form.
Awakening, down to the ground — embodied — isn’t about escape or a better appearance. It is not about accessing or creating a nicer illusion. It’s about being here as it is, about feeling all life offers, about raw vulnerability, about standing in the midst of it all, struggle and resistance included.
That’s why most prefer their religion of choice. Our intricately woven stories insulate us from having to feel deeply utterly absolutely. They keep the big bad world at bay. It’s also the reason we don’t feel alive. Resistance exacts a toll. It erects walls, creates fairy tale worlds. To be truly alive is to stand without story as wild unconditioned aliveness itself.
Image by Daniel Arrhakis https://www.flickr.com/photos/arrhakis/25533798407/