Monday, January 16, 2012
Lift Me Up
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
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Books like the Meditations require a lifetime of rereading, for they cannot possibly reveal all they have to give in one reading. The reason for this is we are never ready to hear it all, to use it all. Last night this passage jumped out and took hold of me. At first it was the action "hurl me" that stood out, but the soul of the passage, the one I want to give you is "My spirit will be gracious to me there..."
It is the still point of consciousness: no matter what happens outside of me, as long as my actions match my nature, my spirit will be gracious to me. Gracious and satisfied.
* * *
It is impossible to speak of graciousness to the fucked, for they know nothing of it. Grace, the stillness of knowing who you are, is utterly foreign and smacks of holy-roller bullshit. Satisfaction is defined by The Stones, is something forever out of reach. Can you imagine what your life would be like were it attended by a gracious and satisfied spirit: your own? Can you imagine a life that is less interested in the makings of graceless men, and is more interested in actions that match its unique and irreplaceable nature?
What would that look like?
What sort of person would you be if that was so for you?
Here's the answer: unfucked.
There is no reason to be miserable, tense, huddled, frightened. How could there be? Yet, for us fucked fuckity fucks our lives are miserable; we are tense; we do withdraw; we are afraid. If there is no reason for it, why is this so? Because we would rather have the misery than be without it. We would rather the comfort of our fears, the place we retreat to rather than meet the world as it is. Our payoffs are the certainty of our wounds rather than the uncertainty of knowing how to align our spirit's existence and nature with our actions. We cultivate ready-made excuses by focusing on the fact that we are lifted and hurled by circumstances beyond our control and believe that if we could just catch a break we could catch our breath, that if it weren't for the marriage or the divorce or the illness or the boss or the economy or the Chinese or the price of gasoline or the Republicans or the Democrats or whatever it may be that we choose as our external bogey-man that our lives would miraculously run in greased grooves.
An endless focus on externals breeds discontent and a sour soul because what is happening outside of your spirit is endlessly changing, endlessly breaking off and reforming, endlessly beyond your control. All you get in this world is a chance to live, a chance to find and live from the still point of your gracious and satisfied spirit no matter what is happening around you.
* * *
Here's the news: your fucked life ends when you decide it ends. I have no idea what it will be like for you to get to that place where you can make that decision and live by it. I have no idea how much misery you can bear. I have no idea how married you are to the vicissitudes of chance. I can't know. Only you can.
Each of is on the road to find out how much we can get wrong before we let go of living as playthings of chance and instead match our actions to our true natures and so let our spirits be gracious no matter where we are hurled.
The still point is the you you may yet be, is the acceptance of your unshakeable death and the grace and satisfaction to live fully awake until that very moment no matter what guise it comes in or when it announces itself.
* * *
Boom, baby. Boom.