A Note from the Bridge over the Chasm Between Darkness and Light

May 5, 2020

“Ignorance is bliss.”

–“They”

Ignorance is not bliss. He knew that. And awareness is not suffering, as the old saying seems to imply. And yet both can be seen as either, through the magick of language. Ignorance can seem to be bliss, and awareness can seem to be suffering…for awhile.

He thought thoughts such as these from time to time–more frequently than most other things, anyway. He was not ignorant, but of course he had been, as most everyone is at one time or another. Though his ignorance had lessened in the light of understanding of himself and The Way The World Works, his awareness of his ignorance had grown, and so his ignorance seemed greater than it had been before.

The tide of ignorance hadn’t crept farther in; the inner lighthouse had simply revealed more of it. There’s always a trade-off, always a balance to be struck by human nature, by the flow of Life in a human being, by the forces of Nature within and without, and by the oft-shifting currents of the Divine Urge that flow just beneath the visible All and are detectable to the sensitive.

Give and take. Give ignorance and take awareness. Give suffering and take bliss. Or vice versa.

There is, of course, a paradox among it all, as there tends to be when life is viewed from more than merely a first-person point of view. Things seem one way from one angle and another way from another angle. One angle is not right and the other wrong, at least not most of the time. When divergences appear, they reveal the existence–somewhere above or beyond or in between–of a convergence, a unity, of which the seemingly opposing points of view both partake.

A truth to be uncovered, in other words, and then understood: a truth severed in half and taken hostage by two opposing human camps.

So there he was, aware of his condition–trapped between awareness and ignorance, far enough from ignorance to be untouched by some of its more common sufferings, and yet still deep enough in suffering himself to be unaware of certain things of whose existence he did not yet know, but which called softly to him in quiet moments.

In other words, he was a member of two worlds: the free and the slave, the wise and the foolish, the light and the dark. To tell the truth, he enjoyed the fruits of both–and at all times was aware of which side of the line he was dancing on.

He was an apparent contradiction, to many on both sides of the fence.

(He did not believe in the fence.)

In his limited awareness, he saw the suffering that his actions even now still caused from time to time. Even so, he was able to shift his perspective to a much broader view and see the eventual bliss that his actions would bring–not to himself, but to the All.

Over and over again came the lesson, spoken at certain times from somewhere deep within:

“Trust.”

In some ways, this one word was the key to all understanding. It hinted at the interconnectedness of the All, including his apparently separate personality. It was a clue to the mystery of the importance of individual human experience to the All. It was a word that echoed, although sometimes twisted beyond understanding, in spiritual messages throughout history.

“Trust.”

So he trusted. Time and time again he failed, but he sought with straining ear to hear the lesson gained each time he failed. He mistrusted. He un-trusted. He resisted. He battled for days. He fought passionately–to see what he could not see. Eventually, the vision always became clear.

There is much that happens on the surface of things that doesn’t reveal right away the great improvements being made underneath. That’s where trust comes in.

What’s underneath is infinitely more complex, rich, and complicated than what we see from day to day. “There,” moments of time are not measured in days or weeks but in years, centuries, and eons. A moment of pain and suffering can bring years of bliss and freedom. A slight happenstance can reverberate for centuries in humanly unpredictable ways.

In our hubris, we “important” humans desire to control, believing that we know and understand enough to decide the fate of the world around us. We exert ourselves in our effort to make things happen. We calculate the future and decide our actions based on that mental blueprint. All the while, life is happening as life happens, and we are either its pawns, its victims, or its messengers.

What he wanted was simple: greater good for the All and a clear and peaceful mind to understand and enjoy life. He didn’t know why the Universe had spawned him for the purpose he was living, except that he was the best candidate for the job. Maybe the others were sleeping in or dancing around a fire.

After hearing the call, he had responded in his own broken way–and then resisted every step of the way, like a dumb puppy who ends up with shit on his nose over and over again. He had learned. He had learned to listen. To trust. To move with courage and confidence when he heard the call from within. It had not been easy.

And still he fucked it up sometimes.

Not any time had it been easy to look at the face of experience, listen to the voice inside, and believe what he knew instead of what he saw with his eyes. Every succeeding chance to exercise trust brought with it a greater apparent reason to resist and control with his earthy self. Even so, he could not avoid the lessons (and opportunities to learn them) that came.

Once the light is on, it stays on.

He was being used, he was aware, as a surgical tool for the hand of the All. Why? Because he had proved himself to be worthy of the Voice. He had risked, and lost, and learned, and been restored because of his willingness to obey. He was willing to be (that is, to look like) a fool–for “God.” He was willing to give up, to lose, to trade, to give away, to shed, or to appear evil or wrong or misguided or stupid.

And at times he did, or was, any or all of these–but mostly he was not. He knew he was not. And yet sometimes he felt that he was these things after all.

He was not perfect, but at least he could see. At least he could see well enough to know that things are not always–not ever–as they seem to human eyes. In that, he could trust and feel bliss.

And suffer, a little bit.

He knew he wouldn’t cross the bridge while in this life. (He did believe in the bridge.) He would remain forever on it, one foot in each world, bridging some gap that no one else had claimed.

And he knew that this certainty would one day change. Maybe even while in this life. But, for now, it was right, whether he liked it or not.

“Trust.”

Written on May 4, 2010 and freshly formatted on May 5, 2020.


It’s Not About Me

December 14, 2011

I blind my eyes and try to force it all into place,

I stitch them up, see not my fall from grace.

I blind my eyes, I hide and feel it passing me by.

I open just in time to say goodbye.

—from “That Was Just Your Life” by Metallica

The New Year finds me at or near the end of a long, underground tunnel where I’ve spent months digging through muck, gathering nuggets and gems, and seeking the light that I hoped I knew must be at the end.

It was both an exercise in faith and a lesson about faith. It sucked, horribly—but it was a profoundly meaningful experience for me. I recently arrived at the end of that particular tunnel, and it takes a little while for my eyes to adjust to the newfound light again.

But it isn’t all about me. I’m just the guy writing and sharing, the guy who has gone inside and plumbed his own depths a little and told others what he found down there. I’m not a bottom-dweller, but I think that to ride the river it helps to know where the rocks are. You can see them a lot better underneath the surface.

If my words seem to be loaded with heaviness or melancholy or “sludge,” it’s only because my time below has been so recent. Like a miner who emerges from a long day’s work, a nice shower and some rest makes everything better and shinier again.

I don’t intend to live in the darkness of pain and suffering. In fact, I’ve emerged from it now anyway. At this point, I’ve reformed my inner world so that it’s more in harmony with Life. Now I’m taking steps toward celebrating life again.

And I’ll share that part of the journey, too. Why? Because I don’t see anybody else doing it in quite the same way.

Like I said, it’s not about me. It doesn’t matter what I have endured to reach a point of greater understanding. All that matters is that we learn from our experiences and don’t get dragged down (emotionally) by life experiences we can’t control.

My life is the same as yours: a function of the Universe, a point of Consciousness, a lesson, a wave to be ridden for all it’s worth. And to go back out and ride again and again and again.

I’m not special. I just learned in 2008 to surrender to the Will of…Whatever You Want To Call It.

And you got to have a ringside seat.

(written in 2009)


Healing in Relationships

December 10, 2011

We are all broken by the time we start to seek partners. Real love heals us, and it grows as we heal. Maybe the trick to romantic relationships is finding someone who understands this, who will stay in the trenches with you as you both fight and kill your own demons with each other’s help. Maybe a true partner is our “wing man” in our struggle to heal ourselves, which is our life’s work.

In my experience, there are many hurts that we can only heal with a partner’s help. I think a lot of conflict in relationships is “just” one partner becoming aware of a problem (an unresolved hurt) in the other and making the other aware of it through the mirror of relationship, while the other’s ego reacts in self-defense.

After the conflict, with that particular battlefield clear, when the healing is done, maybe we can go about enjoying a deeper love and connection than we enjoyed together at the beginning, when we chose each other—before our inner battles became shared, when new love was easy.

Maybe this happens in steps, again and again, over a long time together, until all our hurts are healed together—both the past ones and the ones that happen along the way.

Not all old couples are just living out their marriage contract. There’s something powerful there, in being with someone who knows you thoroughly, scars and all. But to get there I think there are some uphill battles to fight along the way. That’s where commitment comes in. To me, commitment is faith—faith in yourself, in the other, and in the togetherness you share.

I think we only find what we’re really after when we see and accept each other’s pain and ugliness, and resolve to accept each other completely in spite of it. We can’t do that if we try to find a mate who is already perfect when we are not.

Nobody is.

(written in 2008)


Tomorrow Never Comes

December 8, 2011

If you wait for the perfect time, it will never come. Your idea—your hope, your dream, your vision, your plan—will never materialize. If you want to make something happen, you have to start where you are, with what you have, and take the first step.

You cannot wait for it or it will never happen. You are a function of the Universe, carrying out the desires of Life Itself. These desires—your desires—must be fulfilled through you.

The first step is a step of faith. After that, the Universe responds to your faith and begins to contribute to your creation. Ideas will come more quickly, you will meet people sympathetic to your dream, and you will encounter situations that “coincidentally” help you along the way.

The first step is always the hardest one to make. Every one after that is easier. Eventually, you wonder why you waited so long to start.

To keep pondering some idea that you’d like to bring into reality “someday” is to keep it in the unseen future—the world of possibilities that may or may not become reality—depending on you. NOW is the time to begin.

Tomorrow never comes.

Fear holds you back, and fear is a harsh overseer. Fear hates you and everything you hold dear. It tries to make you form a protective womb around yourself, filled with amniotic fluid. You know, like back in the womb, before you felt the cold harshness and separation of being your own person. Back when life was warm, safe, and comfortable, and you felt your mother’s heart beating, the soothing sound of her voice, and the gentle rocking of her movements. This was your experience for most of your first year on Earth.

Those memories are still with you. They are your first impressions of life. But that life is long past, though you might unconsciously try to return to it. And, as an adult, it’s no way to live.

It’s scary to step out into the darkness of the unknown. The other option, though, is to stay in your fake womb with your TV and your bed and your familiar objects. Safe. Protected.

Dying inside.

There is light out there! The light within you aches to meet the light outside. They meet when you break your shell and take that leap of faith, not knowing whether there is solid ground to stand on.

It doesn’t matter, though. You have wings.


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