02 March 2006

Needles in Haystacks and Diamonds in Shit

I've come to the conclusion that I'm a metaphysical mess.

Is this a good or bad thing? Well, on the one hand I guess I'm a whole heck of a way better off than those who see the world as neatly parceled and black and white and think they have it all sussed. On the other hand, this awareness that we are more than this life, more than the physical, interconnected; has, all my life, made me anxious to make sense of it. To find anchors and truths. To find concepts that sit well with my soul and my sense of fair play.

If you are feeling the chill in your spine, if your cuckoo radar has gone off then fine - scroll on, I hope I see you again later. I am doing my damnedest to avoid being preachy or use exclamation marks, but I ask you this:

If you believe that this life is all there is, that we are disconnected individual entities with a fixed shelf life, have you never, even once, experienced any of these?:
  • The sense that someone is watching you - you turn around and they really are.
  • The atmosphere in a place - calm, or peaceful, or aggressive - good or bad vibes just from a building or room
  • Intuition
  • Deja Vu
  • Good luck - where someone turns up with a spare whatever-it-is, just as you were grumbling to yourself that you could use one - and nobody could have known or guessed.
  • The strong sensation that you have been somewhere (new) before - that you know what's round the corner etc
  • Coincidences stacked like pancakes, like three big ones in a row
  • Knowing who is on the phone before you answer it
  • Seeing someone for the first time, from behind, and just knowing before they turn round whether your character and theirs are going to gel, or what attitude to take with them
  • That sensation of tribe where someone sticks out of a crowd for no reason as being on the same wavelength as you.
  • Telepathy, where you are sure someone you are close to said something, and they only thought it - or moments when you make a suggestion and your partner says 'you read my mind!'
You could analyse and dissect these experiences to the Nth degree, point out how this or that factor might have been read in a subconscious, subliminal fashion. You could list all the clues, in retrospect, but it doesn't change the fact that, without ever consciously developing or exercising these skills, we are every one of us more aware, more able to defend ourselves or reach out to others than the standard humanist approach would have us think. If you accept that we have these untapped skills; well, wouldn't it be fun to develop them, and see what happens?

As it is; I feel for you, being in a similar boat. I am in the odd position of owning a new book - an Amazon lucky dip, bought for me by a friend when she couldn't find the exact title she had hoped for.

Its actually pretty awful, in places, and the odd thing is that for that reason alone, this is the best book that could have come to me at this point in time. The contradictions, oxymorons (section one is riddled with them) and annoyingly feminine, frilly, pretty-pretty terminology are just not my cup of tea, but until I started ripping its message to shreds, I hadn't much idea where I stood on most of the issues it raises. It is forcing me to think and to learn about myself and for that it's invaluable.

If I had seen it in a bookshop, I admit I would have dropped it and run; dismissed it (wrongly, as it happens) as yet another coo-ing exhortation to live for number one and sod the rest.

See this is my central issue (yeah, the central one; not the pride, disdain, fear of blind trust, inflexibility - they're just symptoms and added extras):

I believe that I should love my neighbour as myself.

That's it - that's my whole disaster. Provided I understand what love is (debatable) I would say I have no problem with loving my neighbour, but loving myself? Ptah. And if I don't love myself, how can I love my neighbour properly?

Sure I get selfish, self absorbed, defensive, but is that love? It's a self-loving reaction, perhaps, but one that grows from a deeper assumption that I need to watch my back, that there are rules to the game we are in, that being lovable to myself involves effort.

I guess when it comes down to me, I 'love if', 'love because', but don't really just 'love, full stop'.

Do any of us? Really? Haven't we all slipped up socially, made a mess of things accidentally, and taken that on board as a sensation of guilt? I mean, do any of us ever, ever wake up in the morning with the sensation that today we have a completely clean sheet? That we are lovable and loved by God/The universe/ ourselves without a single 'if' or 'but'? That we have nothing owed to us emotionally and nothing to pay out? Nothing to share out or express, but joy?

All this is leading me back into my personal take on Christianity. I could give you so many quotes - from instructions as simple as 'Have no anxiety about anything' 'How much more will your Heavenly Father give good things to those that ask for them', and on and on. Abundance quotes. Phrases that have a new depth of meaning to me in light of (not in spite of) metaphysics.

I'm not saying I've got it all right, not by a long shot. I am officially screwed up. If that wasn't the case then I would be closed and stagnant and unaware of any desire or need to learn. That's what makes me shudder when people like the author of this book I'm reading begin making categorical, dismissive statements, try to explain how they have got it all sorted and hold 'the' answer rather than 'an' answer. Its OK, we're all learning; including those of us who don't feel we need to, any more.

Back to this book - 'Living Magically' by Gill Edwards.

Its funny. Gill contradicts herself over and over in the first section, in her own, heartfelt effort to make sense of where society has gone wrong; how we have become so closed off. Bless her, so many of her revelations (exclamation marks included) are so, so basic and obvious, from my perspective, yet other things, which she counts as just as important, are ideas that I would discard completely or at least have trouble wrapping my head around at this stage of my journey. To give you one example she pigeonholes 'all religion' as causing this, that or the other wrong way of thinking, but then goes on to contradict herself, by quoting the books or central figures of those religions, citing what they say as The Truth.

Mixed up kid.

Same as the rest of us, really.

Which brings me to another quote from my favourite dust-gathering book: Through a glass darkly. Yup, in case you are thinking I am in to detective novels, that part sentence is in the Bible. Somewhere.

So, this book is an honoured gift and my feedback is being hoped for. I admit that early yesterday that was my only reason for going more than four pages in. No longer. I've had it twenty four hours and it's already covered in pencil notes because now this is important to me.

So my spiritual purse has pearls in it that this dear lady has never found. It figures hers has some (or maybe a good many) that I've never seen yet, either, and I will sift the gravel until I find them, testing each concept against the truth I already hold, and only taking what is precious. The good bits will enrich my outlook, but then so will the bad - each time I come across an idea which feels wrong it has this wonderful bonus of helping me to look inside and work out exactly what feels right, instead.

Sticking with this will mean doing some visualisation exercises that will make me feel like a right idiot. What the hell; if I had to learn to swim at my age, I'd also feel like a proper twat, stood in the public baths wearing arm bands. Let's give it a go.

This time I'm not going to let 'keeping up appearances' get in my way, but if in a month or so, I start spouting home grown wisdom like a wannabe Joseph Smith or James Redfield (or Gill Edwards), you have my full permission to get in the comments here and tell me I'm being a pompous arsehole; in fact I'm trusting you and banking on it, because there are enough divisive preschoolers out there and I don't want to be one.

Lesson one in metaphysics - IF we are connected to higher planes, if we each have a bigger soul than represents itself in physical form, then go find a picture of MLM legs - that would about duplicate the basic schematic, with God/The Universal Force being the bubble at the top. From that perspective all these channellers and spiritual types are jumping up and down because they have finally learned how to talk to their sponsor, or the guy above that (tangent: that's another thing - why are the 'uplines' all blokes?)

How come every so called guru who believes in the 'new way of thinking' (ROFL - so conceited!) also seems to believe that their 'leg' is the only one to join, to guarantee you get the right support from the top? Blind, bless 'em.

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Rain said...

Wow Cheryl, you have covered a lot of ground here. You have 17 times the mental stamina that I do :)
What I have learned about metaphysics, spirituality and religion, is that the uncertainty is part of it. Learning to be still and okay with not knowing is the hardest part, but also the main event. Ceremonies help to keep us still enough to become aware of the metaphysical world, but if we are too long away from them, we get choked up again and we can't sort things out. My point is that you have to pick some form of religious belief and follow through with the ceremonial parts of it in order to calm your mind and gain any insight. This can be anything from bible study to the Native American lodges, Wiccan or whatever floats your boat. Part of the problem is that we run around looking for the right belief system, when any good one will do, because God is in all of them, in my humble opinion.I liked this post Cheryl, you are not the only one who is searching.

Badaunt said...

"If you find the Buddha on the road, kill him."

Remember that quote? (Where does it come from?) I take it to mean that if you come across anybody who claims to know the answers, er, kill him? No, maybe not. But they DON'T. Know the answers, that is.

None of us do.

ella m. said...

I always chalk up deja vu or any of the something similar, not as the proof of any proof of life beyond, but merely as a manifestaion of the 90 percent of our brains we don't use. Who know's what we'd find ourselves capable of if we studied more of that lesser known/used region (scientifically speaking).

Odd how big things like that skew simple to me to decide but little trifles like what to eat for dinner take serious deliberation.

fineartist said...

You write all over your books too?

My daughter loves to read my books for the side notes, or so she says. My oldest son will write side notes to my side notes, like, “Calm down pit viper, it will all buff out.” Pity he can’t follow his own advice sometimes.

This post is so rich and full of thought, I’m going to have to let it sink into my brain properly. Then I‘m off to lay against my heating pad, I seem to have developed a totally abnormal fixation to that warm soft device.

Thank you for the healing vibes and vitamin information, I’ve been taking the vitamin b’s since you mentioned them, and am much better.

Xxx, Lori

zilla said...

My favorite thought, recently, on the matter of religion is, "the trouble begins when we start taking our metaphors literally."

My favorite thought, always, on the question of any spirituality -- Christian or New Age -- is, "He who says he knows, does not know; he who says he does not know, knows."

Have fun, Cheryl.

Celtic Princess said...

LMAO! This is not to be rude, but you have come into your own human concept of your life. In the end, almost every women who doesn't end up in that almighty soulmate relationship comes to the terms of where you are in your life, as usually it ends up in a full metaphysical sense.

I was raised in metaphysics by my Ordained Minister Grandmother.

You don't have to choose religion or ceremony to achieve your goals in life. You do, however, have to BELIEVE in a HIGHER POWER and KNOW that your HIGHER POWER will bring you what you NEED. It is simple to ACHIEVE. All you have to do is ASK! You will be surprised at what you get. Make sure you ask exactly what you want, as you will get exactly what you ask for.

Cheryl said...

In the same spirit -
See thats what I mean, Celtic,
too many complete arseholes around acting like they know it all ramming their version down peoples throats, and telling people that they must, need, have to and saying their version is the only one.
A complete fucking turn off, if you dont mind me saying, so go 'laugh your arse off' on your own fucking blog - or else go do some counselling training so you have the words to guide with instead of ones that push people around.

Need, should, ought, must,have to; these are all pushy, bossy, alienating phrases, can't you see that? Words that make people leave?

Besides which I don't need nursery school, thank you.

Oh, and try not to shout in your posts with capital letters - I do it too sometimes, but it reads as aggressive.