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#4207 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - Editor: Gloria Lee

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  • Gloria Lee
    #4207 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - Editor: Gloria Lee The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights LIMINAL LIGHT A liminal state is a
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      #4207 - Thursday, March 31, 2011 - Editor: Gloria Lee
      The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
       
       
       
      LIMINAL LIGHT
       
      A liminal state is a "threshold" period of transition where normal limits to thought,
      self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed - a situation which can lead to new
      perspectives.
       
       
      Sunday, January 23, 2011
       
      Meaning and Purpose
       
      I'm in a middle-ageless funk, a huge pool of loss with no bottom, a nest with the
      twigs blowing away in a cold, cold wind. It's a perfect place for existential
      angst of every variety. What's worse is that there is no story I can weave fast
      enough to fill the gaps--no sparkling distraction to keep my gaze off the
      dissolving structures I used to stand on. Sad times.
       
      Still...
       
      There is something very...oh, words are failing me. There is something real that I
      can't define about watching every effort get immediately sucked into that
      freezing maelstrom out there/in here. The Earth, the Story, the Mind, she is
      a-changing, and there is nothing I can do in the face of such momentum. So I
      stand still. I surrender. It's not as if I have a choice.
       
      I am learning about my "will", about the meaning of persistence (a temporal
      fight), and the seeming waste of personal energy it is to continually beat my
      brain against my own walls. I say "seeming", because there really is no such thing
      as a waste of energy, no matter what opinion arises. As I throw one more pebble
      into the mother of all chasms in my life, I realize that each action happens just
      so, exactly on cue, with precisely the force necessary to remind me that making
      myself into anything is futile. And perfect.
       
      So I'm standing in the shower, wondering what to do with myself once I get done
      with all the dailies. Is there something to look forward to? What state should I
      attend? Should I make a huge change in routine, or resign myself to my fate, or
      leave everything and everyone behind? Maybe I should just continue to "work on
      myself"--you know, yank all my issues into a ruthless psychological glare (with
      high-powered magnification). At the very least, this makes me believe, for a
      minute, that I'm doing something worthwhile and, perhaps, rewarding. Somehow.
       
      I hear the thinking, and I don't remember if I washed my face. There is a deep,
      restless, furious churning going on. I want to run around the block. I am anything
      but content. I am not happy. I don't even know, for god's sake, what happiness
      is, anymore.
       
      Some time later, drying my hair with a towel, silence falls inside. My thoughts
      dissolve, and I watch them, and I am still the same, still the same. No matter
      what I fill myself with or throw away or grieve over or welcome, I am still the
      same. Water doesn't drown it, fire can't burn it, earth can't bury it and air
      can't breathe it! Whatever this is stays undisturbed, untouched. Tension and
      laxity, suffering and joy all share the same vast, spaceless space.
       
      This is the point where I touch what's real. I fall in. There is a baseless,
      non-reactive equanimity, with a tendency to delight in Itself. I am that,
      underneath all of the thinking and feeling, inclusive of both. It does not relieve
      any pressure--pressure loops out of and returns to this. No relieving, and no
      necessity for it--but both pressure and release are completely viable options. I
      can "waste" my energy in suffering and finding the end of it. I have all the room
      I need. It may furrow my brow even more, but there is no furrowing This...I may
      as well draw a line in the water.
       
      What does this mean? I don't know. To what purpose? No idea. When I cease
      trying to find and do the "right" thing, the correct Maria, the appropriate
      response, I am free to be anything, anywhere. So much freedom--nothing holding
      me down, no mistakes, nothing to regret. I can't even fathom this, it's so simple.
       
      But there is a direction--yes, this is true--there is a leaning into joy, into
      senseless delight, into pointless contentment. It's a deeper, wider thing than
      emotion, than the brief ups and downs that stories are so full of.
       
      This, too, leaves no trace. If I try to hang on to that invisible ship cutting a
      wake through endless seas, it becomes a piece of flotsam in a swirl of foam.

       
      Friday, March 18, 2011
       
      Pointless Word Power
       
      I really love words and the concepts that can be constructed with them. Words
      and their feelings create worlds, cultures, societies and stories, both lovely and
      horrific. My favorite words are those used to make art, to communicate
      sensation like ocean waves, and to give thanks. My least favorite words are those
      used to attack or defend. Not that these aren't art forms in their own
      right...just that I prefer to use words in other ways.
       
      We can grant words both "positive" and "negative" creative power. We spin
      them one way or another. We give them impact, or not. Long ago, I was given an
      opportunity to see the world without names. Without descriptive words in my
      head when I look at the world, there is a raw kind of seeing, an original feeling.
      There is no date, time or world removed from this one. I remember wanting to
      live there...which sprung from my belief that I was somehow apart from this
      place. Alas/thankfully...I am a character in a story, here, with a map agreed
      upon by this culture, in which I participate, most of the time.
       
      Sometimes I think I like to paint, to be an "artist", because it gives me
      sanctioned time in the wordless world. Meditation does the same. Anything
      requiring a degree of concentration will turn down or off the chatter inside.
      Most of us, though, don't notice. And over a period of many years, certain
      word-patterns--thoughts--become habitual and hypnotic. We believe fully in
      their power and act accordingly.
       
      If I boiled down the negative messages I was fed and began to believe as a
      child, the concentrated stuff at the bottom would look like crap and sound
      something like, "I'm not good enough." I used this sticky belief to flavor lots
      and lots of storylines (all of them had sad endings). I used it as a cave. I used it
      to attack, and I used it to defend...and to grieve, and to need. I used it without
      knowing that I carried it like some powerful totem.
       
      In spite of this unconscious stuff, there were still those times I would fall silent
      and pristine. I contrasted these two feelings--caramelized crud with open
      spaciousness--and concluded that I was crud, trying to be spacious more often. I
      understood the openness as a part of myself, and loved the good feeling of relief
      it gave me, but the density always returned.
       
      Paying attention really paid off in identifying those "core beliefs", as a
      psychologist might say. I realized that when things happened (or didn't), it was
      always due to the fact that I wasn't good enough. Someone looked at me and said,
      "I want a divorce." Obviously, I wasn't good enough. I wanted to travel, and
      lacked the funds, because I wasn't good enough at fund raising. I wanted more
      peace, but wasn't good enough to deserve it. I wasn't good at saying "no" when I
      needed to, or making friends when I needed them. Seeing this one-size-fits-all
      ingredient was highly agitating, at first, and somehow a threat. I, I, I.
       
      Eventually, I found myself wanting to "sit" with this agitation, trying to trust
      where it would lead, what I may uncover...I just looked at it, looked at the words
      and their effect on my heart and body, the memories they stirred up, the
      hopelessness and helplessness engendered again and again. In the midst of this
      "being with" agitation and anxiety, one day, I found the silent clearness welling
      up, and just looked.
       
      Here it is...the wordless. I am. This is it. Too much, too much.
       
      That's all I could say, smiling in the rush of love, in the sweetness and safety.
      Some time passed, and I found itself almost afraid, suddenly, to
      breathe--because I didn't want to disturb this peace with thinking, with
      grasping, with despair or grief or longing. This peace was fragile, too beautiful,
      and I was...not good enough to keep it! Somehow, though, I had leaned back into
      this trust. Thoughts fell into it like pebbles. Ripples happened, and the "water"
      remained, just as it was.
       
      I have no effect on What Is...whew. Further, that "I" is just an effect. Words
      like these are puppies biting their own tails, always pointing to the circularity
      of reasoning. This is why I can no longer believe in what I think, and tend to
      think mostly for fun. Thinking is useless for solving philosophical problems...only
      because there really are none! On the other hand, all my thinking, all my
      problems, had to be exactly as they were/are.
       
      I have to tell you that believing my own stories--from the perspective of "the
      world"-- is habitual, ingrained, and sometimes painful. Realizing that the
      "I"-creature is another story on a profoundly visceral level makes the whole
      experience Being much less painful. This is fabulous, and very freeing. I am free
      to love or dislike myself, or just not have a self.
       
      Under all that, there is nothing to be understood. "I" can't possibly understand
      anything but a product of itself, which is incredibly useful in daily life, and
      psychologically speaking, a dead end. Inevitably, one comes to a place where the
      tail-chasing is not so important. The puppy sits down, falls over into a boneless,
      natural puddle of trust.
       
      Ahhhh. :)
       

       
      Maria Smith is an artist, writer, and "sensual contemplative".
       
       
      [ http://marias-arts.blogspot.com/ for our plain text digest readers.]
       
      http://www.nonduality.com/hl3496.htm  previous issue with Maria Smith, 2009
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