Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sacrificing our “awakening” on the cross of love…



It is not possible to give everything for love, to burn in the purifying fires of intimacy, and to simultaneously escape utter, unbearable vulnerability. It is not possible to let the unknown guide us into the uncertainty of the grace-caves of love, and not live every moment in a transforming field of utter groundlessness. If what we really want is love, we must be willing to feel everything – especially the tender sadness and sweet longing at the core of each and every human heart, which is none other than our own. As love burns through this body, these senses, through each and every cell of this heart – through the light-strands of this DNA - it obliterates our spiritual ideas that there is some place we are heading toward (or are “finally,” “permanently,” and/or “fully” “in”) where we will never experience conflict again, where our heart will never shatter, where all the yucky gooey gummy stickiness of our humanity will be absorbed into some great cosmic, 2012-infused, super-duper-mega-me-consumed-awakening.

But is this movement one of love or one of fear? Are we willing to look closely? We see that our deep, habitual need to create some sheltered reality where we “have no charges,” “never experience conflict again,” “never feel any hurt” and so forth is the spirituality of fear, not love. When we take the risk that love always requires, we surrender, once and for all, the frenetic need to live in some protected, guarded, safe place of “no conflict" and “no suffering,” where we live out our remaining days transcendent to the raw, naked, unbearable reality of the heart. We intuit that even our spiritualities of specialness will not be able to protect us from the purifying transformation of love’s raging flames. Nonetheless, somehow we take the risk to step outside of this awakening-bubble of transcendence and sacrifice ourselves on the cross of love. 

Yes, we see that we can construct some life where we don’t have to feel too much (no yucky “charges” or too much sadness or anxiety or conflict or “suffering”), protected by our fables of awakening, enveloped by our “me and my specialness” spiritualities and “very powerful” weekend workshops, seemingly untouched by the gaze of the Beloved in all her forms. We see that it’s just not too hard to hide out in our safe “states” of consciousness, our “powerful” experiences, our comforting “ancient” superstitions, our cozy dreams of the “shift” which has occurred, and our stories of how fabulous we are now, in our post-shift reality. But a part of us knows, deep within our precious hearts, that a confrontation with the truth of love - if we can somehow allow it all the way in - is sure to bring down the fragile house of cards of me and my personal identity project. But is this really what we want? Are we ready to set aside the profound longing we have to be seen, to be special, to be “awakened,” to save the world, to never feel anything too yucky, to fall into the safe waters of transcendence, far far away from the deep, dark, and radically-demanding oceans of intimacy? And trade it in for what, exactly? Ordinariness? Life as it is? Actuality? You mean, where I can’t tell special "awakening" stories about myself? Don’t get the seat on the white couch at the front of the room? I have to give this up, too? Hey, wait a minute… you never said that. Did you forget about ME? About me and my “states” of consciousness? About me and my utter awesomeness? It seems perhaps that you have…

Alas, at some point, we will be asked to surrender the irresistible movement to exit our embodied, immediate experience for some other state of consciousness, for some pre-programmed, second-hand way of being that was taught to us by some magical being beyond it all, wrapped up in our spiritual fantasies and fairy tales of “awakening,” “enlightenment,” “pure consciousness,” “God-realization,” and all the rest of it. There is a part of us that knows, though, that none of this can survive an encounter with love, for such a meeting involves a shattering, a loss of every reference point, and a plunge into a luminous charnel ground where the Beloved is waiting. Somehow we know that if we give ourselves to love that there will no longer be any view that we can grasp onto, form our identity around, co-opt in response to our unmetabolized psychodynamics, make use of to secure ground for our vulnerabilities. Yes, we know that even our fables of awakening will be obliterated in one encounter with the love that keeps the stars and planets from falling out of the sky.

In this love, we are crucified, resurrected, and transfigured over and over and over again, recycled by the Beloved and seeded as grace-fertilizer throughout every star in every galaxy, no longer riveted to what new glorious spiritual experiences or “states” we can construct and scramble to in this day, but rather to: how can my life and my love for others become one continuous prayer of gratitude in motion. I’ll take *this* life, thank you; *this* experience, *this* state of consciousness, without the demand for some other, better, more “spiritual” or more “divine” one. For I know that everything I could ever want is embedded by the Beloved within it, and has been laid before me as light-particles of grace, sent from beyond to show me the endless revelations of this precious human heart.