DEEPLY AWAKE By Kathy Vik
So, I don’t know what it’s been like for you, but, holy fuck has it been weird around here.
I notice a lushness of internal experience, and a rock solid state of assurance. That’s a good word for it. I know of no one who has gotten off light here lately. Upsets at work, upsets at home, and as they unfold and mature, the us’s in these brand new, seemingly ever changing circumstances, have choices, as to how we handle things.
There has been a tremendous amount of science done on how the magnetics of the earth alter with the sensation, the act, the awareness, of compassion.
In Lee Carroll’s lecture last year, he presented the science, and I am woefully unable to remember the details, I mean, the name of the labs, projects, and such, but, it would be an easy and fascinating google search for anyone interested. But, the ideas are simple, and they go like this:
The magnetics of the earth are continuously recorded. And there are fluctuations, of course, because we live in a magnetized environment, but, human consciousness has been shown to have a measurable effect upon the earth’s magnetics.
During world wide, mass events that are world-known, shifts in the magnetics in and of the earth are measurable. When the miners were brought up, one by one, our metaphor for this new time, the magnetics shifted. As they did with the Tsunami. With 9-11. With other events, which trigger the most powerful of all awarenesses, compassion.
I think this is a very important piece of information, one which can be sneezed at, the words blurred, made nonsensical with a simple act of not disregard, not allowing the impossible a chance to be heard.
Whether one interprets this as the magnetics shifting with great suffering, or with great compassion, is where one’s style can be revealed. Where does all suffering lead, what is suffering’s resolution, after a moment’s slight, or a lifetime of exquisite suffering?
I’m the first to admit that I act, and often feel discompassionate. I have not seen myself as a compassionate person, and, truthfully, that hasn’t been very nice. Compassion is not kindness. Compassion is bigger than kindness. And compassionate action is at times very difficult, and looks a lot like other things. I’m nicer than I give myself credit for. And, oddest thing, I am finding that everyone is. It has been a revelation, that one. But, truth be told, still, sometimes I can’t access it at all.
Being accepting, and appreciative, and trusting of self, I think that is the place all goodness starts, and all happiness grows. This self love, this appreciation, it changes things. Could it be that compassion toward self might alter own personal magnetics, sweetening and lightening them? I have wondered that.
As I was pulling everything out of the boxes I’d squirreled away, and examined things one by one, through those weird years we just got through, I’d say that what I found changed me the most, and made me better, and, frankly, allowed me to go on living for another day sometimes, were the acts of compassion I was given.
I remember being a kid and asking the pastor, while still trying to make up my mind whether I wanted to be a Lutheran or not, the following question. I figured, if he could answer it, I’d be more willing to join his thing. So, there is this creator who made us, but he made us broken. And then he told us, ok, you’re really, really broken. And the only way you can heal is to ask me to forgive you your brokenness. So, Pastor Exley, Why do I have to ask somebody who made me broken forgiveness? I would think he’d want to ask us for forgiveness, for making us defective. It seems sort of mean.
He told me I think too much and I have to take a lot of it on faith. I told him thank you, and then broke my mom’s heart a little by telling her I couldn’t be a Lutheran, but I’d do the confirmation if she wanted me to. I did it, and I am glad, because, I got to know my buddy Jesus, and that’s a love affair that will never quit. But it’s the discompassionate doctrine, and the blind faith that I couldn’t do.
I mention this because I think that it’s a bit of a cultural norm to imagine that human beings are born dirty, or born to suffer, or born unclean, or even a blank slate. All of those things seem like stuff from a fever dream. What a bizarre set of ideas.
Human beings are born creative, interactive, intuitive, tender, loving, and whole. We never stop being those things. We just have convinced ourselves of some dumb stuff, I think.
In college, I was fascinated with the study of sleep, and consciousness states. It was just a kick of mine, brought on by being a bit of a sleepwalker and sleeptalker. I learned about REM, and wondered the most about the fourth stage of sleep, that murky place that is described in nearly Jungian terms by neurobiologists, or at least it was like that when I studied, a while back. The idea was, though, that REM is where the action is, where there is a mystery, where something magically weird happens. That’s when we dream.
Babies, I learned in nursing school, sleep 20 out of 24 hours, and most of it is in REM sleep.
What’s a little tiny baby doing dreaming? It puzzled and tickled me, and I found it a confirmation. I always knew dreams were a gateway to another reality. For a baby to come in so hooked into that, well, come on.
Ever after that, I imagined babies as these little compressed spinning galaxies, plugged in good to the other reality, the bigger one, and it was that connection that sustains us, our sleep patterns changing as we mature, as we find our land legs.
So, there is a lushness now that was not there, and I am at peace with knowing what I know, as big, and as odd and delusional as these inner knowings are. I know where I am headed. I know who is there. I know what it feels like. And I know everything is ok, even though things are weird as fuck right now.
I keep getting the imagery and the sensations of being in a plane, right before take off. There is nothing in this life, nothing quite like that feeling, when all of the preparations and anticipation and regulation following and line walking are done, you’re strapped in, shoes off, toes curled, and this is now the only thing in the world, this clean smelling plane, the taxiing accelerating with that nice gentle pull in your chest, and then, something magical happens. There is a change. Sometimes it’s bumpy. Always it’s pure exhilaration itself.
It’s not the ascent, and it’s not the hanging out at 30,000 feet that steals the show when I’m flying. It’s that moment, that precious moment, in between, the one breathing in between before and after, ground and sky, there and somewhere else.
Delusion, by definition, is when you have a severe case of the insides not matching the outsides, and yet, I think everyone I know could laugh out loud at how they have this problem somewhere in their life at the moment. There is a striving I sense in people, a pull in many, something calling them. I hear about it, from co-workers, family, friends, and I have that too. Something is off, or changing.
We all have our styles. We all have things that make us purr. And things that we find impossible. We all have things we cannot see compassionately, things we fear instead.
To me, compassion is a gift. It is not a right. It is a skill, and sometimes it is in a edit that I do to a story we keep telling ourselves. There are some things I have no tolerance for, and the thing is, honoring that in me is also an act of compassion.
Doesn’t it come down to what we are choosing to pay attention to? What meaning we are assigning thins? What kind of story we are narrating in our heads?
I find that storytelling is very healing, and very powerful, and, in the end, we are narrating a story, aren’t we? Isn’t most of this a really cool, sort of engrossing tale, each of us leading characters in a fantastic, creative adventure in consciousness and expression, creativity and adoration for the whole thing?
The mass shootings, the rampant violence, this is one thing to focus on, and I think it is fine to do so if there is a swell of compassion. If within people’s hearts and minds, those who learn of these tragedies, if their hearts expand, instead of contract, then I think we as a people stand a chance.
It is easy, I suppose, to feel hatred and fear when events are narrated for us, for these are mighty stories biased in fear.
When we learn details, it’s the stories that rip our soft skin, as they narrate to us these acts of barbarism and profound alienation, it is easy to turn to hate, to fear, to misery, as companions, with news such as this. It is then that the darkness wins, you know. We have a choice in that moment, to choose compassion or fear, light or dark, in other words.
I think that the time of mockery and intentional outrage and emotional cruelty might be passing. Although everyone has the right to express anything they please, in my book, I tire of meanness, disrespect, intolerance, that some expression drinks from. It is when this behavior is turned from and let to die the death it needs to, rather than attacked, that we might begin to see evidence of a gentler people emerging.
Perhaps it might be time to find some things that we can all agree we like, and that we all have in common, and think and talk about those. Thinking new thoughts, acting differently, it’s funny how solutions to once intractable stalemates are presented, and none of them involve murder, mayhem or mischief.
Here’s my other take on the Paris mayhem. Yeah, yeah, tolerance is all well and good. But, the most sacrilegious part of me thinks on things this way. If your idea of god is so tenuous that you, or him, can’t take a joke, then you don’t quite get it yet. Yes, it’s disrespectful to make fun of something someone else loves dearly, but, it will never be an excuse to express oneself with lead. It’s grotesque, a perverse exaggeration of the hostility so many feel, the powerlessness finally run amok, armed and completely unreasonable.
How we handle things is about our style, and, in the end, this is mostly learned and patterned behavior, until a light bulb goes on, and a person realizes they have a choice to think and act any way they wish, for the rest of their lives.
There’s no such thing as the thought police, and I can do this any way I want to. That’s sort of been my motto, through these transition years. It was really easy to get down on myself, because I wasn’t doing conventional things, you see.
But we change. It’s really not odd at all. We have a mind set that tells us our personality structures are set, that mental illness is a genetic prison from which there is no escape, that suffering is real and joy is a lie.
Change is not only something that can be done, it is something that none of us can stop. It’s silly to think that on this changeable earth, and especially in these shifting times, that change is anything but the electrochemical, biomagnetic soup we ride in every moment. I see this as a truth, because, in the end, I am not the same woman I was in 2011, or in the desert years, years I have begun losing interest in. We have, as a people, as a species, gone through a series of changes, and they are not stopping, they are intensifying.
I sometimes sort of goggle at the personal changes. I am amazed. It was gradual, intense but incremental. Not fast enough for me, but, in this I am not alone.
I know that my gift is to language these inner things, and it’s a gift I give myself, to think on things which soothe and quiet, things which calm me and help me to think kinder thoughts. Maybe I am adjusting to a new radio station, that’s what it feels like, and this one has soothing thoughts, quieting notions, reminders of simple truths in the background, pretty much 24/7.
It’s there, now, during my angry moments, and when I feel pushed, and when I am at my most arrogant, when I am reveling in the drama of disrespect. My style and yours may not be compatible all the time, it is true, but, with that spark of compassion, with the humor of a solid soul in a changing environment, with the choice of tolerance, maybe we can forgive the bumping into each other that we must do, as we encounter these odd times. The stylish know to throw in a a couple dance steps, reminding us that this is really just a story we are telling ourselves, in the styles we have come to prefer, styles, and preferences which are subject to change.