Posted by: innerpilgrimage | July 1, 2011

Power Word: Recovery

      Happy July!
      I’m currently reading Power Versus Force by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., and it’s over my head in some places and I can grok (thank you Heinlein for that great word for understanding and knowing completely) some of it. The rest whizzes past my intellect like quantum . . . particle/waves. But I am sort-of getting it, which is nice.

      I was introduced to this book (and Saint Francis by Nikos Kazantzakis) through a lecture-on-CD I borrowed from the library. This Wayne Dyer live lecture, entitled There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem!, was very powerful in a jump of consciousness that allowed Easter 2011 to be a day of serenity (overall). I’m not sure how terribly safe it was physically journeying at the same time I was taking a spiritual journey, but I was opened to a whole new philosophy on life and recovery. The power of healing (real recovery) over the force of treatment (being a “dry drunk”, or on an “OA diet”) makes more sense.
      This book hits a lot of walls of ineffability for me. A combination of not understanding the nonlocal theory of consciousness and nonlinear theory of organic processes has led me to the edge of my own understanding. I am a Newtonian thinker–effect follows cause in a logical sequence, and Universal constants can be set into Laws I can understand; to ease my way to the door out into quantum theory has been a challenge. Non-linear thought breaks the walls of sequential cause-and-effect. In essence, I toss what I think I know in order to intuitively trust what I don’t know.
      Yeah. Makes about as much sense to me, too. And it’s scary, as well . . . for I have a story of pride that involves an ability to glean information with enough determination. But it seems, now, that I’ve been slamming my head against brick walls to get through them. Yes, the brick wall may give way with steady application, but I also end up with a cracked skull and a headache. There are so many more ways to deal with a brick wall . . . including patiently walking the length of it until I find where it ends (for all brick walls do end–even the Great Wall of China ends, and one can get around there). Then I go around it, avoiding the wall entirely.
      Impatience to get to the answer creates the focus to force my will onto a problem. And when I have laserlike focus on a very small area? I generally miss the open doorway in the wall a few feet down. The most direct route and the path of least resistance are not mutually exclusive (one event cannot occur if another occurs) or collectively exhaustive (one event of a set must happen–excluding all other possibilities, ie. assuming a coin will only land heads or tails, while excluding the possibility it will land on its side). I suppose this is the realm of synchronicity and nonlocal consciousness. If the brick wall in front of me receives my unwavering sensory attention, it would take some jolt of awareness beyond that focal point to notice a person walking through the doorway a few meters down. Or, even more subtly, notice the wind passing through the doorway in a way that would startle me into awareness that the expected behavior of the wind at a solid brick wall was suddenly . . . different.
      So it goes with recovery.
      This book also introduced me to a concept that I had experienced personally but not understood–addiction to recovery, itself. Trading the cast-iron chains of addiction in for the golden chains of spiritual ecstasy is still bondage. And instead of a physical-realm drug (alcohol, illegal and prescription drugs, nicotine, food, passion-induced adrenaline) which blanks out the bad feelings for a limited time? The spiritual ecstasy (escaping from fear, rejection, pain-and-suffering, alone-ness, and even time itself) is also a temporary condition. The suffering of reaching inspired divinity only to be cast back into what seems to be mundane existence is like being thrown out of Heaven and into Hell (to use a Western World religious concept). The bounce from a dawn of spiritual awakening to a dark night of the soul is exhausting. It is my addiction on the grandest scale I can think of–the extreme of suffering self-denial in stark juxtaposition to the extreme of hedonistic self-indulgence. And yes, I believe chasing down spiritual elation is hedonism. It is taking serenity and making it aloofness. I am so above this, reasons the ego as it’s taken along for the spiritual ride, that all that mundane crap other people deal with doesn’t affect me. Heh. That’s how we fall, by the way. The self takes credit for the effects of surrendering the self. Once the pain is gone? The ego asserts its place as the anchor to the physical realm. And for the spiritual-high seeker? It’s a Helluva downer.
      I think I definitely agree with David Richo’s assessment of the ego being necessary (a healthy ego, not an inflated ego) in his book, Unexpected Miracles. A healthy ego, as described by Dr. Richo, is one of using the tools of the physical form to enrich the experience of the spiritual self. The physical form has the ability to observe, assess, act, and make choices. Where these are sourced from? That’s where the balancing spiritual self comes in. In other words, this whole time I’ve been trying to strip myself of ego. Balance isn’t about stripping myself clean of ego and living as a solely spiritual being in a human body (completely unawares of the sensory input because it doesn’t matter to the spiritual self). I was born with an ego for a purpose; that it accumulated the label “self” was an unfortunate incident which led to a long series of personal inflated-ego stories (involving blame of others for my choices and perceived lack of choices) and choices based from expectations and assumptions built on the foundation of this sensory-based ego.
      I misunderstood (or perhaps all-too-well understood) Rene Descartes’s statement: “I think, therefore I am.” Thinking does not prove or disprove my existence or lack of existence. To be honest? There are billions of people to whom I do not exist. I am not even a blip on their awareness radar. I both exist and do not exist. Perhaps in a greater theory I exist, but I exist as one of whatever-billion people lumped together for the sake of convenience. And that person (along with many, many others who have never come across my physical form or any of my writings) who does not even realize I am sitting here writing my blog, can disbelieve me. Heck, a person who has serious psychiatric issues can disbelieve me. Therefore, I both exist and do not exist–and Rene Descartes’s statement of self-identification simply by being able to self-refer? Well, as I understand it at this point in my life, I find it has become erroneous and should be discarded.
      I am not my thoughts. I do not exist because of my thoughts. My thoughts are not me. And, to further that concept of one’s thoughts not proving or disproving personal existence? Talk to a person who can actually clear their minds of thought during meditation. Well, not during meditation . . . that’d be unkind. But before then after that person comes out of meditation, talk to them. Somehow, even without “thinking”, the person who meditated did not disappear in a puff of logic-based philosophy.
      That said, retreating from the world completely and allowing the form to atrophy (the asceticism of Saint Francis in Nikos Kazantzakis’s fictionalized biolgraphy exemplified this . . . dancing while shouting “Love, Love, Love!” then punishing himself) somehow jars my sensibility of loving all living things–including one’s self. I suppose that’s why the tenets of Buddhism generally make more sense to me. Disengage from the extremes of ravenous excess (hedonism) and saintly suicide (asceticism), for both are paths to bondage–one physical and one spiritual.
      Freedom is in being both, not cutting the connection entirely. To live purely in the physical treats the nonlocal, nonlinear spiritual consciousness as a delusion–a mental disorder. Things become elevated because we deny the potential of anything existing that we cannot experience, ourselves.
      To live purely in the spiritual treats the body and mind as a disease. When the body and brain are neglected for the connection to the divine, the body and mind atrophy and die. It is self-mortification, the active process of justifying isolation from humanity in the name of lofty spiritual goals.
      So, here it is. Well, for my journey, anyway. The ego isn’t bad or good, just like a hammer isn’t bad or good. It is merely a tool, which can be used to create or destroy. The body is like a 4×4-readied Jeep Wrangler (complete with the heavy-duty tires and axles, winch, and gas cans). It can be used to help people out of the mud or it can be used to destroy the environment by off-roading in delicate ecosystems. And now I get to understand that the belief I held in 1991, that we are all simply a little extension of G-d and return to It when we die (with what we learned here on Earth), was probably about right. I denied it for 20 years because it sounded insane.
      Well, it probably still does to people who rely on demagogues to tell them what to think, so they can reassure themselves they exist because of collective agreement. They, of course, also including me–that’s the core of the approval addiction right there. Approval means the world collectively agrees I exist and votes me into humanity. I become part of the exclusive elite of whatever group I choose to adopt (even if something within triggers that sense of disharmony and asynchrony). To drown out the quiet insistence that something is wrong, I bang my cymbals harder, sing louder, and work harder to be a paragon of someone else’s vision of “good”. Then I fall into that dark night after exhausting myself reaching for that delirious high of being part of the in-crowd.
      Sheesh, this has gone grim.
     
      Okay, let’s end with hope, then. Despite everything I have done in order to gain the acceptance of the world, and despite everything I have done to reject the world and gain acceptance of the spiritual . . . I’ve spent all this time human DOing. Seeking the answer is human DO-ing. Chasing down how to halt behaviors is human DO-ing. Even getting onto WordPress and writing out my thoughts (worrying that the people who will read this will think I’m daft or a New Age zealot) is human DO-ing.
     
      To a hedonist? I guess it is insane to consider nonlocal consciousness and nonlinear causalities as possibilities. Everything is written in stone and anything that cannot be sensed isn’t real. For me, however, I see the effects of the wind and rain and blowing sand on the ancient stones of long-gone civilizations, and all I see is impermanence. When a raindrop hits my windshield right where another did a few moments ago yet zig-zags a different path down the windshield, I see cause-and-effect is impermanent, too. I also know that the body I am currently in is not the body I possessed 10 years ago–the cells that made it up are long-gone, having passed through their life cycles and replaced themselves . . . yet the memories and the consciousness somehow stayed even as my body and brain morphed. And, I believe, as William James did, that a truly scientific mind cannot say something is impossible if all possibilities are not exhausted. And in an infinite Universe? We are faced with infinite possibilities.
      Therefore, the possibility exists that my consciousness did not suddenly kick on when the right switches in my brain were flipped in-utero and will not shut off when my brain flatlines at the end of my natural (and hopefully long) life. The possibility exists because people have bizarre coincidences happen to them, have moments of awe, and even have unexpected moments where they seem to transcend their bodies (like being “uplifted” by classical music or losing sense of their bodies as they look at a piece of inspirational art). And for those of us who dream (and vividly daydream, or take fanciful flights of imagination)? Why do I even have the ability to do that. I shouldn’t be able to dream of places I’ve never been, things that don’t exist (except in mythology, mythohistory, or imagination).
      There is no definitive answer, only hypotheses. To state an hypothesis as definitive when we can’t even measure thought (the content of the thought–not the brain activity triggered by the action of thinking, itself) is stating that all crows are black because one has never seen a white crow.
      Apparently, all one has to do is go to Vancouver, British Columbia. They had multiple sightings of two white crows in 2008. And if one Google searches images of albino crows? There are quite a few. And they’re kinda cute, there.
     
      My name is Jess. I don’t really know what I am (addict? recovering addict? what?), but I do know that when I think that my body and brain are all there is? I despair. I’ll either starve myself of food and companionship in order to disconnect from the suffering of the world by disconnecting from the world . . . or I’ll chase down the physical-world hedonistic high of eating too much in defiance of forceful food tyrants and beauty demagogues. Or worse, manipulate people where I want them with artificial sweetness and false compliments.
      There is power in the conviction to choose to be human yet politely reject mass culture when internal disharmony erupts. Mass culture says for me to indulge in longing for sensory indulgences of food and sexuality but do not dare satisfy those manufactured urges. For me? I would rather be doing something to bring people living in deficit of basic needs at least closer to getting their basic needs met. I have more than enough, and I consider that my time is best spent helping charitable organizations help people who are actually not getting basic needs met.
      And no, it doesn’t make me better or worse than a person who wants to own an airplane and a mansion and a dozen luxury cars. What they pursue is theirs to deal with. I don’t want to steal their wealth and redistribute it; I don’t even want to guilt them into redistributing it, themselves. To demand a person distribute the luxuries they accumulated over their life’s efforts is to use force. That will meet with resistance. Power comes in choosing to be the change wished in the world–not whining “Someone should do something about this!” then not taking action when the spirit is begging for one to take action. Why else would one shout, “Someone should do something about this”?
      Me? I think it’s the Higher Self shouting at the self-serving ego to be that someone.
     
      And this entry is long and rambling. Well, I can’t be sensible all the time, right? 🙂

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