And Another Thing:

Every once in a while i feel compelled to dash off some writing that I don’t know what to do with -so I put it at my other blog and release it to the wild for it to do whatever it is supposed to do on its own.

You can read it over there if you want.

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Perhaps I am an alien – or more likely, just experiencing alienation, again.

But I watch our culture’s primal death denial play out so constantly, so strangely, in such peculiar ways – and so few seem to question it.

I’m sure I once saw it all as normal too. And although it certainly is “the norm” I have come to see it as a sign of cultural madness. Evidence of the pervasive disease of individual and collective exceptionalism and the mass illusion of immortality.

There was a time, upon hearing the news that a friend or an acquaintance had died, was dying, or had a life threatening illness that I needed to know the details too.

People ask me about my own cancer diagnosis:

“How did you find out?”
“What symptoms did you have?”

Upon hearing of the death of others:

“Was it an accident? Was she ill?”
“I heard…

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Dreams of 45

I’ve started a project – that I will ultimately write about in some form – although I have no idea where this might lead us.

I’m collecting the (sleeping) dreams and nightmares that others have had about our current president, and I’ve set up a blog to aid in gathering and archiving them:

45 Dreams Project

Gathering, organizing, archiving – and eventually writing about – our collective dreams of the current sitting president – in order to see what themes emerge among us:

What guidance does the psyche offer?

How does the individual and collective unconscious respond to the strain of this moment in history?

Let’s listen:

  • He was walking north up Fifth Avenue with a sub-machine gun, shooting everyone. Rocking a Davy Crockett fur hat…

  • I’ve had several Trump dreams that range from punching him in the face to getting sexually accosted.

  • I also had a dream about Hillary the night of the election. I was holding her on my knees & hugging her while crying. I don’t know if that was the result of my surgery meds

  • After the debate where he creeped up on Hillary, I dreamed he was trying to find me to do me harm.

  • My friend, who is a very…

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Dream Time

What if time isn’t money – but  a currency of its own?

Because it is.

What if time is finite and therefore we need to curate every moment as carefully and mindfully as possible to stay aligned with our purpose, not to be diverted.

What if every minute, every second, is an investment spent out of a limited time-life-savings account? What if our holdings are dwindling? What if we waste it, squander it on crap because we never check our balance, because we imagine that our accounts are inexhaustible when they are in fact running out, fast approaching a negative balance?

What if we truly spend time and must pay out our attention?

Because that is the case.

How would you live? What would you spend your time on? What would you allow to occupy or drain you? How much of your account would you expend? What losses would you be willing to write off if you knew the truth: that death is life’s companion, that uncertainty is reality and that the notion that our time-accounts are safe and secure and abundant is an illusion?

What would you let go of? What would you commit to?

What would you allow to preoccupy you? What noise would you get caught up in? What would you do when you recognized all that you have squandered? What would you be willing to gamble on?

What if you reviewed your accounts and saw that you had been negligent, allowing your limited holdings to be stolen from you, in tiny increments, barely noticeable? What action would you take when you are shown for the first time all of the fees deducted, the secret unnamed penalties and surcharges that you never noticed were contractually attached to hundreds of daily, habitual transactions? What would change if you woke up from this indulgent dreaming and saw that every moment is both precious and able to be wasted?

How would others appear to you? How would you relate to all of those caught in the thick dreaming all around you? Everyone operating as if they have been granted an infinite and inexhaustible trust-fund of time to fritter away and squander, who take time for granted so profoundly that they don’t even know it is a limited resource, and that it will run out. 

All those who have no idea that they are actually writing the story of their lives by how they spend each and every second.

This is either an initiation into a new reality, or maybe a new dream in and of itself.

Dream time is strange and non-linear, it compresses and expands, slows and speeds up, and circles back upon itself. I listen to dreams for a living – and so I have heard this statement more times than I can count:

“… and then the dream changed and I was somewhere else…”

When I received a strange diagnosis last fall, my dream changed and I am now somewhere else.

Maybe I have ten years of time and relative health left in my account. Or maybe this unique and peculiar central nervous system cancer continues to behave in an anomalous way, and slips through all attempts to treat it. Maybe next week I will find that I have a lesion on my optic nerve. Maybe I will lose the use of my legs in two years time. 

Might I get to hold my grandchildren one day? 

Will I live until my children graduate high school? 

Will I see their thirtieth birthday?

Or, on that day, will I merely exist as a framed photo on their bureau? 

A memory of having been loved.

I am living in the reality that life is an inherently insecure proposition.

And all the years I spent as a psychotherapist trying to make people feel safe, when I still believed that that safety was an entitlement and not an illusion.

I should have helped people feel brave instead of safe.

The illusions protect us from the terror, but life is more exquisite and time is more real and precious without the insulation.

There are many who live for a year or two in this dream – I watched my mother, and my chosen sister pass through this space on their way to death. They relished life, and I saw their eyes wide open drinking in every beautiful heartbreaking mundane moment.

Every dirty brown sparrow was a beautiful bird.

Every bite of food was an explosion of gorgeous flavor.

Every second counted.

And there are those who may expect to live long term, for decades in this poignant space, with the illness present, alive, but managed: People with AIDS, those with slow or degenerative conditions. Those who actively live, as Gillian Rose says, “in symbiosis with the disease.”

Will I dwell here for months or years or decades?

No one knows, because there is no knowing.

There never has been any knowing.

I’ve found compatriots in books as I always do, others who have lived connected to Uncertainty and Death as close and familiar traveling companions.

Keep your mind in hell and despair not.

A crisis of illness, bereavement, separation, natural disaster, could be the opportunity to make contact with deeper levels of the terrors of the soul, to loose and to bind, to bind and to loose.

~ Gillian Rose, Love’s Work

 

I only know one thing, and that is to shout to my children ‘Long Live Life!’

~ Alphonse Daudet, In the Land of Pain

 

And memories of friends long lost:

Mike, who died of AIDS in our early 30’s in our last phone call, a sudden chilling cry: “You don’t know what it is like to live with something in your body that is trying to kill you!”

He’d been living with it already, running from it as fast as he could, for ten years.

Bob, who died of AIDS in our 40’s. His Lazarus-like rise from the dead when protease inhibitors rescued him from a near fatal T-cell count. His insane, mischievous, provocative giggle. His deadly serious, heroic foolishness.

Their dream changed too.

Time became something else. Something other than what it was before. Friendship became something else. More essential and transcendent.

Love, pleasure, color, contact, all intensified. Everything heightened. 

A life binge.

and Time becomes a sensation, a visceral bodily experience.

You live time like you breathe air.

And when the dream changes you can suddenly hear the heartbeat of the universe beating, underneath everything, the baseline pounding, the clock ticking, under all the noise and silliness and tragedy and suffering.

And the beating rhythm of life says this:

This is life. This is Life. This is Life.

And this is life too. Every single moment.

Pay attention.

Spend your time wisely.

This is life. This is time. This is life.

You are alive this minute.

This is the moment.

This is all the time you have got.

 

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Gold and Mercury

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Gold

I recently came upon this passage as I was re-reading Alice Miller’s Prisoners of Childhood for a larger project.

And the words tore through me:

In Alphonse Daudet’s Lettres de mon moulin I have found a story that may sound rather bizarre, but nevertheless has much in common with what I have presented here. I shall summarize the story briefly.


Once upon a time there was a child who had a golden brain. His parents only discovered this by chance when he injured his head and gold instead of blood flowed out. They then began to look after him carefully and would not let him play with other children for fear of being robbed. When the boy was grown up and wanted to go out into the world, his mother said:
“We have done so much for you, we ought to be able to share your wealth” Then her son took a large piece of gold out of his brain and gave it to his mother. He lived in great style with a friend, who, however, robbed him one night and ran away. After that the man resolved to guard his secret and go out to work, because his reserves were visibly dwindling. One day he fell in love with a beautiful girl who loved him too, but no more than the beautiful clothes he gave her so lavishly. He married her and was very happy, but after two years she died and he spent the rest of his wealth on her funeral, which had to be splendid. Once, as he was creeping though the streets, weak, poor, and unhappy, he saw a beautiful little pair of boots that would just have done for his wife. He forgot that she was dead – perhaps because his emptied brain no longer worked – and entered the shop to buy the boots. But in that very moment he fell, and the shopkeeper saw a dead man lying on the ground.
Daudet, who was to die from an illness of the spinal cord, wrote below the end of this story:
This story sounds as though it were invented, but it is true from beginning to end. There are people who have to pay for the smallest things in life with their very substance and their spinal cord. That is a constantly suffering recurring pain, and then when they are tired of suffering…
~  Alice Miller,  Prisoners of Childhood

Many are familiar with later editions of Miller’s book: The Drama of the Gifted Child. But its first edition was drawn from her observations serving as a training analyst in a psychoanalytic institute.

So let’s be clear: When Alice Miller wrote this, she was writing about the dilemma of being a psychoanalyst.

Psychotherapists are the prisoners she is referring to.  They are the ones who live in constant danger of giving out of their core,  excavating treasure out of their very central nervous systems, tearing fistfuls out of their spinal cords to care for others.

It is often said that psychoanalysts suffer from a narcissistic disturbance… This can be confirmed not only inductively based on experience, but also deductively from the type of talent that is needed by an analyst. His sensibility, his empathy, his intense and differentiated emotional responsiveness, and his unusually powerful “antennae” seem to predestine him as a child to be used – if not misused – by people with intense narcissistic needs. ~   Alice Miller, Prisoners Of Childhood

I’ve read this all before. Many times over the past twenty years.  I’d read it feeling smug and well-analyzed, so very processed,  I had mourned,  and finished with such archaic relational patterns – so relieved that I was conscious and had avoided such unconsciously created calamity.

Daudet’s original fable offered other warnings, which I’m sure I  would have been just as dismissive of, if I had read it before cancer.

Before I knew had a rare and chronic cancer in my spinal cord and central nervous system, floating throughout my cerebrospinal fluid, swirling around my brain. Before lesions on my lower spine deadened my nerves and distorted my sensory perceptions.

Before I fell.

The full story of The Man with the Golden Brain tells how the man left his mother’s home and squandered his treasure. Spending lavishly on everyone around him.

“You would have thought his brain inexhaustible. And yet it did become exhausted..”
~ Alphonse Daudet, Letters from My Windmill

It tells of his horror upon realizing the enormous hole he had slowly torn out of his core. It tells of an attempt to reform and rehabilitate himself, to create a new and corrective scenario where he would set and hold self-preserving parameters. And of the lure and seduction of his central problem, his compulsion to repeat, to re-enact his core-conflict, to give himself away to death.

Daudet did not have cancer. He had advanced syphilis of the central nervous system.

And I do not have a golden brain.

Nickel or silver or  copper at best. Maybe just some useful, work-a-day cooper wiring, the kind they steal from abandoned homes and sell on the underground construction market – supplies that would not buy me or others indulgent luxuries, but that could be sold for some modest profit.

And which I gave away as if my supplies were inexhaustible.

Until I learned that my supplies were exhausted.
Until I saw the gaping hole.
Until my ability to spend myself recklessly perished.
Until I fell on the ground at the crossroads.

A pile of stones marked the intersection.

There was no turning back.

************************************************************

Mercury

Everywhere that Hermes appears, even when it as “guardian,” there is an influx and invasion from the underworld. This is not an invasions of death but rather, of “underworldly  life” ~  Karl Kerényi,  Hermes, Guide of Souls

As I sat (and continue to sit) in meditation through this cancer I found my mind sheltering in a new imaginal space: I lay on the ground, on my back, on the floor of a contained and insulated biosphere, surrounded by plants with broad leaves and the smell of rich loamy earth. The arched glass dome above me is silvered with mercury. The quicksilver allows only a healing opaque light into the sphere while it also obscures and protects me.  Its outer shell impermeable and reflective.

And for months I lay there in that spirit-bubble. Inert. Unable to move at first, and then over time, having no idea how or where to move.

I had fallen into a new world. A space between life and death.

Life inside my body was changed, confusing, unrecognizable to me in its depletion and limitation.

A life that has no prognosis. Not a bad prognosis.
Just none of any kind.

In real time I listen to others speak confidently of their long term plans, their retirements, their vacations, their children’s future college careers. They speak with a certainty that I have lost. A confidence, that I do not begrudge, but I know is illusory.

An illusion I do not get to participate in anymore. A confidence in the future that I will never have again.

This is difficult, impossible for most people to understand. Or maybe it is just intolerable to contemplate until you have to.

No one wants to imagine that I have been altered, permanently, pressed into living a new and unrecognizable life.  They imagined that I would be sick for a time, and die – or be sick for a time and then  “get well again” my gold, (or nickel or copper) brain restored.

Back on the ground in my domed solarium I knew that I could not  move, that I was not permitted to move until I was shown a way foreard. 

Until it was certain that I would not go back to the road I was on before, certain I could protect myself, preserve my very spine, my treasure, and leave the childhood prison behind.

He guides souls out of his realm – the world of paths and roads – back into the warm life of the household. ~  Karl Kerényi,  Hermes, Guide of Souls

And this is what I contemplated above all as I lay broken on the ground, basking in the warm light, guarded  from predators, sheltered by broad leaves, near the pile of stacked stones:

Whatever labor I undertake  must take nothing away from my children, my family.  Any energy expended must be returned to me in full, in kind. It must provide me with more time, resources, gold to invest in my home life. I cannot afford to become depleted for their sake. My family is my primary mission on this earth. They were my ground, the rich, yielding earth that held me as I lay on my back. The soil that infused me with life and with purpose. 

For months I couldn’t imagine how I could ever return the profession of psychotherapy again. I could not envision how to return to work, or make a living or pull my weight or feed my children. My old way of being, my grandiose belief that I was inexhaustible, my cocky confidence in the future, my faith in my capacity to be abiding, and consistent and to “go on being”  – all of that was gone.

Stolen.
Or perhaps I gave it away.

But I was not left in a void.

I was not banished to Hades.

I was deposited in this other-world,

And the mercury sky-light guarded and protected me,

and I listened to the implicit directions and I would not move until led.

I lay there a long time. 

(I am still there now)

Hermes reveals a new kind of thieving or larceny, a divine kind. ~  Karl Kerényi,  Hermes, Guide of Souls

A great deal was stolen from me, and subsequently from those who were attached to me.

My children lost a healthy mother, one who could take on big ambitious projects, who planned big adventures, who was physically strong, who could support them logistically, financially, and make them feel safe. I am now a source of worry, a fragile mother, who they must stay away from when they are sick. A mother with a chronic illness that will be terminal one day but who knows when, who gets bone tired even on a trip to the nearby mall and needs to sit down to rest. Who has a doctors appointment, or another test, or who forgot to take her medication.  Who needs them to get their chores done, who asks for help cooking dinner, whose limitations now impinge on their adolescence, constricting our finances, limiting our recreations and freedoms.

My husband lost a reliable partner, a fellow bread winner, and was left with a weepy, shaken wife with a damaged body numb from her waist to her feet. Who is courageous  for the kids and chatty with the neighbors- but who saves up her fears and frets and floods to share only with him.

Clients in authentic states of primal dependency, negotiating psychiatric crises lost their therapist entirely  – and were referred on when I was diagnosed to seek out other professional supports. I no longer have the fortitude to tend to them as their needs demand. I am too flooded with my own vulnerability to withstand, contain or carry anyone else’s profound dependencies.  I am no longer anyone’s life-ring. No one can cling to me hoping that I will save them. They must find other therapists who have the resources  and abundance to follow more self-sacrificing gods.

Other clients, with greater autonomy and stability, those who come to accrue wellness rather than to treat illness,  will need to choose whether they want to work with me as I am now:  My perspective changed, my needs more explicit: Higher fees. Fewer hours. They lost a comfortable, easily affordable, accommodating  and convenient psychotherapy. 

It may not be worth it for many.

Hermes is  a trickster, and the paradox became clear – that “going back to work” actually meant releasing it all, letting it all disappear if need be, leaving a vacuum that may or may not be filled.

Maybe we were all fooled. Maybe the violence of this theft was necessary for us all.

Hermes is the god who leads you on. ~  Karl Kerényi,  Hermes, Guide of Souls

And a stranger tweeted this to me:

J.D.‏@juanviejo:  Hermes as ψυχοπομπός, guide of souls, conducts the soul of the dead to whatever lies beyond the wreck of this life.

J.D.‏@juanviejo:  Hermes did not heal. Like him you are and have always been a guide of souls.

And these words were not only kind – they were relieving, enlivening. Only then did I realize I had been sheltered under Hermes/Mercury’s quicksilver sky, and that my work was simply to take up residence at the spot where I had fallen.

To live out the rest of my life at the cross roads.

I remembered how I helped my mother to cross, as she gasped autonomically, like a fish out of water, in her final hours of life. I don’t know how I knew what to do, but I knew:  I told her to lay on her back, on the dirt, in the grass at her childhood home and look up into the sky. I told her to watch a hawk, circling, higher, higher into the sky, until it was just a tiny speck, disappearing in the clouds and then returning, disappearing, higher and higher until it was impossible to tell if the speck was still there or there was nothing but sky.

And I told her: Grandma and Grandpa are here to meet you. And you know that Grandpa never ever comes late. And he never comes early. He only comes right on time, and he is here to meet you now. Go straight to them.

My mother took her last breath. And shut her eyes. And went.

Gentle Hermes led them down the dank dark passage ~ The Oddessy

I remembered all the words I have written and shared here and spoken and emailed to friends and family members and clients who have died or who have wrestled with death and lived.

And the bereavements I have guided others through as I negotiated my own grief. 

And I also thought about Mercury’s function as escort to the living through moments of fate filled challenge and decision.  He does not travel with his charges for long distances  or assume responsibility for them forever- but simply escorts them through from one state to another.

And then he is gone.

Hermes escorting men is your greatest joy, you above all gods.  ~ The Iliad

Hermes the messenger. The giant-killer who destroys all states of self-inflation and aggrandizement. The guide to the underworld. The escort at the crossroads.

And from my prone position I saw a path began to open near my right side, through the underbrush. An image of a feasible, sustainable, way to work in the world. The only way that was possible or ethical for me.
It is 0nly a nascent vision, a tentative plan, that may take a long long time to manifest:

  • Short term work:  five to ten sessions because I cannot carry the dependencies that I used to.  (and who knows what the future holds.
  •   Escorting the living through crossroads and decision points
  •   Guarding and guiding others who are facing down the underworld
  • Clinical guidance and supervision 

Hermes is a trickster, and the crossroads could begin to spin and send my fate flying in an entirely different direction.

There is no way back. 

Only the emerging possibility of a slow road forward.

Whomever does not shy away from the dangers of the most profound depths and the newest pathways, which Hermes is always prepared to open, may follow him.
 ~Karl Kerényi,  Hermes, Guide of Souls

This story sounds as though it were invented, but it is true from beginning to end. ~Alphonse Daudet, Letters from My Windmill

 

 

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The First Natural Enemy

 

 

Fear is the first natural enemy a man must overcome on his path to knowledge… A terrible enemy – treacherous, and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling, waiting.

~ The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, Carols Castaneda, p. 62

I’ve been diagnosed with a cancer that must have been dormant in my system for a very long time. It emerged in manner that has never been seen before. I am the only one with this cancer in this way.

At the same time a cultural disease, the signs of which were long ignored, finally erupted, explicit on the national stage. Like nothing seen before in our history.

And the synchronicities between these realities are sometimes overwhelming:

The first symptoms of both of these diseases (and for me they are inseparably one) emerged in October. Some discomfort, some concern, but nothing that could or should be taken too seriously – all easily resolved, the problem could still just go away – and it would have been silly to be too worried. Maybe over nothing. No need to assume that the sky was falling.

Over the course of the month it became clear that signs  were accumulating, that some alternate reality was gaining momentum, that indications were pointing toward dangers more serious than imagined. But, still, nothing was definitive. Yet. Denial had its function. We didn’t know for sure. Nothing was confirmed. Yes, it was disturbing to even have to consider some of the potential outcomes, and to come so close to such a dire forecast – fear began to mount, but still: it could all be just fine, or maybe something that could be dealt with. There was nothing to be done until the final test was over.

And then, the second week in November – the results. The diagnosis confirmed. The disease named and explicit. The vision of future forever altered. The prognosis? Unknown. We could have eight months, or eight years left. Or a cure could come from out of the blue and save us all. It could be terminal. Or we could survive with it –  but there would be unavoidable losses, inescapable suffering. 

And survive or perish: we are all called to encounter our first natural enemy in one form or another.

********************************************************

I first read Carlos Castaneda’s series about the teachings of Don Juan the summer before 7th grade. I’d spotted them on my defacto step-brother’s bookshelf, and had seen other college kids with them before. Even looking at the book jacket frightened me: images of large crows with knowing eyes, luminous eggs, and shining human forms, filled with light, devoid of faces. I’d heard the books were about “drugs” and I doubted my mother would let me read them if I asked.

We had all just moved in together after relocating to southern California from the midwest– my brothers, mother and myself with my soon to be step-father, who we all feared, and his son, Steven. We moved into a cheap two bedroom apartment in San Marcos while Mom looked for a job and a house for us to live in. The boys shared Steve’s room and Steve’s orders were not to touch anything of his.  Nothing, understand? Don’t. Touch. Anything.

I slept on the couch.

But my real “room” was the nearly empty coat closet. I’d arranged stacks of my favorite books, along the back wall. In one  corner  – I’d squirreled two couch pillows and fashioned them into a reading nook, with an industrial flashlight and a box of Ritz crackers. I’d read all of the Judy Blume, S.E. Hinton, and the Narnia books in my stacks at least twice, and so, when everyone else was watching 60 Minutes, I snuck into Steve’s room, and slid the Don Juan books off his shelves and deposited them in my make-shift sanctuary.

The books were about drugs, peyote, mushrooms – but they were also about magic and sorcery and seeing – as an anthropology student finds himself falling deeper and deeper into hallucinatory shamanistic practice. It was the strangest fairy tale I had ever read. There were long boring parts. Detailed passages about growing plants and preparing magic concoctions to smoke or eat. Peyote and mushrooms used as port-keys to other worlds instead of a wardrobe or a pair of silver slippers. I had no idea if what I was reading was fiction or non-fiction, dream or fact.

But I knew this: Carlos Castaneda, Don Juan’s apprentice  was afraid all the time. And Don Juan trained him to face his fears – by testing and terrorizing him. By frightening him over and over again. By telling him his life was in constant danger from spirits and dark sorcerers. By warning him that if he did not develop a warrior’s heart he would be destroyed.

“And what can he do to overcome fear?”

“The answer is very simple. He must not run away. He must defy his fear and in spite of it take the next step in learning and the next and the next. He must be fully afraid and yet not stop. That is the rule!”

~ The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, Carols Castaneda, p. 62

I was afraid all of the time. I needed those books. I wrestled with my fears every day and took on a dark sorcerer who seemed, in every way, to have power over our household, to have taken control over my mother and threatened to destroy everything I cherished.

I am afraid now. Cancer challenges every premise, every value, every belief that I have ever rested my sense of identity upon.

When visitors come to our home they ask how I am, but quickly the conversation shifts to our collective fears – the larger cancer that we are all contending with.

Fear is triggered by the sharp sound of a stick snapping in the silence. By shocking news that threatens your survival or your chances of happiness. By events that could consume those you love and cherish. By orders  that could harm your child, threaten your health care, deport your neighbor, cause you to question everything you believed about “inalienable” rights.

Fear reminds us that nothing is inalienable.

Fear grips physically, neurobiologically, spiritually – taking us down to the place where we contemplate losing everything, every one, our very lives. The most brutal primal experience of fear is a physical one, a visceral pain that burns like fire when we realize that our deepest attachments, to each other, to our children, to our neighbors, to our values, to our hopes for the future can all be severed by forces greater than we are.

And sometimes fear arrives like a disembodied spirit – in the middle of the night, stealing sleep, rattling dreams. We can be afraid and not know why we are afraid. Fear can fill up the empty hours like inhaling a gas in and out, until it fills every cell, contaminates every thought. Fear is a demon spirit that can possess and destroy us.

And you will learn in spite of yourself, that’s the rule.

~ The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, Carols Castaneda, p. 34

But the fear can also be the refiners fire – burning away anything that is unnecessary or excessive. Purifying, clarifying priorities. Boiling down to the essence:

What do we fight for? What do we live for? Who do we mean to be?

And if the fear is allowed to burn through – and this is a repetitive task because fear is never  extinguished as long as there is life, as long as there is attachment – we can find ourselves in a place beyond fear:

A place where the outcome is none of our business.

A moment that is lived so thoroughly, so impeccably that what happens next is irrelevant.

An instant that reveals everything that is more important, more essential than fear.

The split-second when our core purpose is located.

A space where we do what we must do – for love’s sake, for integrity’s sake, for the sake of our own fragile soul – because our heart has become, for the moment, a warrior’s heart. 

Oppressors and oppressed meet at the end, and the only thing that prevails is that life was altogether too short for both.

~ A Separate Reality, Carlos Casteneda, p. 143

 

 
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