Deeply Awake — Better Now 1-20-14 By Kathy Vik
Collective Soul does a song, “Better Now,” and I have hugged trees to it, driven while speeding, and cleaned the house to it. There aren’t too many words to it, so I’m going to write them here.
Oh, I’m newly calibrated
All shiny and clean
I’m your recent adaptation
Time to redefine me
Let the word out, I’ve got to get out,
Oh I’m feeling better now
Oh, I’m happy as Christmas
All wrapped to be seen
I’m your recent acquisition,
Time to celebrate me
The world is done shakin’, the world’s done shakin’, the world’s done shakin’ me down…
And because that’s how I have been feeling here lately, I thought I’d start out by quoting my favorite band. Once I am done here, I intend to go buy, and then drink, some whiskey, and I’m going to watch the rest of Grey’s Anatomy, and will, at some point, wind up in a warm, scented bath. The world’s done shaking me down.
Of course, after the trips I have had, I understand a little better than this “world” doing all the shaking down of people is nothing more, in the end, than my perception of the world, and getting shaken down is not the end of the world, so to speak.
This brings me to the miracle I have been wanting to tell you about, since it happened to me, Sunday morning.
I woke up feeling, almost immediately, sort of sick inside for having written what I wrote last. I had a long list of reasons to feel all sorts of awful about it, and then, just as strong and pure as you please, something happened.
I realized, sitting there emoting, sitting up in my bed, feeling that odd mixture of terror and doom that I get when I feel I have exposed myself inappropriately, and inexpertly, I realized just a few things, in rapid succession, and had no argument to any of these new thoughts.
I guess I am equivocating because the thoughts themselves seem to be so obvious, and so well worn for me, that to admit that I just did not GET them until Sunday morning is a little embarrassing, all on its own.
I heard/understood and then really, really got, believed, accepted, the following: It really is ok if I wrote eleven pages of sheer crap yesterday. It really, really, really is ok. Because hardly anyone reads me anyway, (A), and B, who gives a shit if anyone, me included, likes it one little bit. So what? So what?
And with that, it was as if years of self-reproach just sort of peeled off of me. To say there was a before and an after moment would be shockingly accurate. And, once I was in the other camp, looking back on my fear and belief in karmic punishment, and taking myself oh-so-seriously, I felt new, and I felt better than just better, now.
I have written about it before, how you can read the same language, parrot it, even, and until it just gets in, until it sinks in, really really sinks in, it’s different, than when you finally get it.
It’s like math, or any other thing that one must pursue doggedly, see repeated often, and feel so allied to that even though the questions and refutations still keep active within, after that moment of grace, when everything can be accepted, it’s just a concept, or something someone else says that fires you up.
It has always been that way for me when I have worked with teachers, and books, they are my teachers too. Gurus, I have, I guess, had them, although I consider them my higher self in someone else’s bio-suit, but books, even movies, they can all be teachers.
I surrounded myself, these last couple of years, with the things which always made sense to me, even when they made sense to no one in my tribe. I kept my head down and wrote about the things that came to mind, and I chronicled my meditations and hallucinations, and felt, very early on, that even though I could get into an argument about it all, the bottom line is that I had found something that spoke to me that was left lonely by the thoughts and activities others pursue as if they are life and death. For me, understanding God was life and death, understanding myself was life and death, and finding peace was the only option open to me.
How does one love the unlovable, the unloving, the cruel? How does one find courage in the face of social death? How does one find peace when there is no peace anywhere? How does one stop feeling lonely, when alone or with a group of friends? Do I fit in? Am I accepted? Do I have a right to be here? How did this all come about?
And on the questions went, on the adventure went, and I followed the clues that came to me, and found, bit by bit, that even if no one else ever understood the things I did, at least I was beginning to see some sense, for me, always just for me, because finding these truths tended to really alienate people from me, did for a long time.
But something happened about a week ago. The energy just was different. I woke up one day, and everything just felt different.
Like other times in my life, this new chapter has its own feeling state, its one body state, and with it comes smells, and scenes, and things I know are real, but just haven’t shown up yet. And that is a far cry from where I once was, groping, hoping, feeling absolutely lost and found all at once. Deconstructed, I was, have been, for a long time.
And then that morning, just a week ago, I felt a sturdiness in the air. I think, on my facebook feed, I said that everything just feels more REAL.
That sense has not abated. It’s not wishful thinking, that things have changed, or are gonna change. They have changed, and now I am in something altogether new.
And so, then, in the morning a couple days later, when it was simple and obvious, that feeling all those old feelings of self-doubt, recrimination, blame, shame, all of it, it all seemed like a time consuming and technicolor exercise I no longer had to engage in, I got up off my bed, and got into the shower.
This is new. This understanding that I can, I really, really can, dangle on any cross I want to, there are so many to choose from, but, today, nah, I think I’ll just walk, well, that was a day for the books.
I think what is important, for me, is to remember that things are problems until they aren’t, for me. Whether this is due to a cumulative learning style, or whether it’s me, intuiting energetic changes far before they are obvious, I don’t know. And I do know that there are many who have never felt a need to wrestle with any of the things I have, and so they may see no merit in the struggle and no joy in its end, but, for me anymore, I am not interested in comparing my road with anybody else’s.
And I remain totally disinterested in doing anything but sharing my patch of road with you in this way. It’s not mine to tell you how to do things. It’s mine to figure out how to do things, just for me, for my own well-being, and then, if you want to ask me a few questions, well, then, we are going to have a wonderful talk.
I will tell you, without divulging too much, that these miracles started before the delivery date, so to speak. I experienced, last week, a massive healing, over lunch, and the peace I feel from those hours still calms me, and makes me smile.
An ancient trouble was forgiven on that day, forgotten, really, and left to die under the table. An afterthought.
Two great souls got out of their skins, out of their stories, and I was given such love, such honor, such love, and I really really needed it, but just from this one person. It was a thorn I have had in my paw for decades, and it was taken out with love, patience, humor, recognition, by a very dear friend, someone I’d lost hope I’d be able to refer to, truly, as friend, this lifetime.
And so, I remain unconvinced that all th work I have done has been for naught. I used to think this scribbling was unimportant, sometimes, and narcissistic, and without real purpose. I was wrong, though, about all of that. I know that now.
I have been great at shrinking from the world and its obligations, and there is still a lot about how people behave that I just don’t get, but I guess what has happened is a critical mass has been met inside me, and what was once conjecture, what was once a pristine and beautiful belief structure that I knew to be true but had been, I’d felt, untested, is now working, gloriously working, pumping to me things I understand, events I have prayed for, and feeling states I have longed a lifetime to own, embody, not just know about or agree with but be.
The feeling states are simple ones. That I am fine just as I am, and no one can really be my judge. That there are very few people I meet with an inner authority like mine, and for years I doused my authority because I couldn’t feel any resonance at all. That the things I feel the most ashamed about are just as beautiful as the things I feel great pride in, and there is just no need to hate myself, or to be depressed.
Imagine, understanding that, no matter what, I will never be depressed for long, that I will always, now, find that center from which the narration, the dictation comes, and I really am ok. Hours and hours go by now, and I realize, sometimes, there is just not one thing to worry about.
That is what , I think, that morning miracle was all about. I realized in a flash that I really could go down the rabbit hole and start worrying and hating myself and fearing, but I didn’t have to, not anymore, and I was serving no one’s interested by engaging in that thinking. And so, I listened to the sense I heard being made in my head, and I went a different route, one which is lighter.
And that’s how I feel. I feel lighter, my mood has lightened, my thinking has too, and so have my sights.
There is a trust which comes from having abandoned all hope to finding a home here on earth, among people. There is a trust which has settled into me which has, now that I look over it all, comes from incrementally walking from everything which did not feel tolerable, true or beautiful, and going a different route altogether. One no one, at the time, understood or respected. But I did. And I pursued my interests just as I have anything which matters to me, at the near exclusion of everything else.
But to solve my Existential Depression, to solve the issue of my soul, to solve the riddles which The Teachers whispered to me all those years ago, it was worth the dogged pursuit, it was worth what I gave up. All of it has been worth it.
And so, the feeling at hand is that of the world opening up, but it being a cooperative opening, not the pinata feel I have had when things have gotten good in my life. This is like walking on a path so much that, one day, you see you have made grooves, and where once there was wilderness is now a very clearly defined road.
I know I am not the only one, and hence, the writing, but I know that I am feeling some of this because the grids themselves have changed. There has been a loosening or a shifting, and things are just easier now, it’s easier to think clearly, and somehow, now when I anticipate the outcome of this or that little drama, I feel less ambivalence, knowing how things feel like they’ll play out. That’s a big part to being psychic, I think, if it still can be called that.
But this is different than simple projection of consciousness onto a probability field. This is something different. It is knowing that I am having a hand in whatever is happening, and loving myself enough to love what is in front of me, accept it and learn from it, and do my best to speak clearly, speak from my heart, modulate myself, help others, but still feel intact.
And this opening I sense I think you might also be sensing, because this too is a cooperative thing. We have done this together, and, sure, it might be when we are asleep, and we may be consciously aware of just a little sliver of all of it, but liking this sliver, accepting it and loving it and finding it precious, this has been a big leap, and one we are making cooperatively.
I have heard it said that these years are about support. I have had visions of my books on the bookshelf of my next mom, and I have not one doubt that living in peace and tolerance and celebration of differences, and being surrounded by people who do not engage in shame or tempers or insecure behavior is what is to happen to us as a people, still, when the wolves are howling and things look bleak, it is hard to think that positive thinking is anything but a narcissistic reaction to an appropriate situation in which to hate oneself. I know what we have all done, and I can just now begin to feel that we have broken the back of the monster that used to keep us up all night, afraid to sleep, afraid to pee, afraid to ask for help.
I’ll tell you, to close this little love letter, one thought which I find myself having whether I go looking for it or not, and am always glad to find it has been trotting along with me this whole time. It is that things just never have to get that bad again. Ever.
So, in the spirit of this thought, with good news keeping me awake today, while I should have been napping in preparation for work, I will l tell you more of my new vows.
I made vows a while back, wrote a nice essay about them. But I began to realize today that the vows I took, that I held sacred through so many lifetimes, they were not just vows. I think of my new ones, and I always say, “I am” in front of them, but I had not done with that with the old vows. I tried it on for size, and saw the spines of these four vows snap like twigs.
I had taken the vow of poverty, many times, deeply and with great pride, I might add. But I didn’t realise until this afternoon that I had sort of taken to embodying this, and all, my old vows.
I understood how cellular a sacred vow is, an agreement I made with my soul, one which I took all care in preserving, knowing what was at stake. I am now released from this, my sacred vow of poverty.
I am no longer poor. Instead, I am the Fat Farmer. I have created fields upon fields of abundance, co-created, knowing I am integral in their harvest, and I take the best of it all, and I give freely to all others who want or need nourishment. But I feed myself first. I am a fat farmer.
And this vow of knowing, really really knowing darkness, I also revoke this vow. The vow every poet makes to his muse, the vow every nurse, doctor, clergy person or confessor takes, that of knowing the dark so thoroughly that you can write songs about it that break people’s hearts, I relinquish this. Instead, I am The Love Puzzler.
I will see darkness, and I know darkness, can feel it and can see it, but it is becoming so plain to me as to look comical, a lot of the time, and it no longer is my best friend. I think that I had to bed it and wed it to really get to the place in my soul where I could come to see that it is not mine, it’s not personal, and it is just a function of the reality set up.
There is a breaking through the darkness, and what is waiting for us is love. How rape, abortion, abandonment, betrayal, lying, all these things are part of a puzzle of love, and if you look hard enough, softly enough, benevolently enough, each and every horrific thing that can occur is just loaded with love.
A bursting through has happened for me, and this darkness is just not something I own anymore. It is a traveler, it is something to be aware of, but owning it as mine, wearing it like skin, I just don’t need to, or want to, do that anymore. I am a love puzzler.
And so, this brings me to the third vow, the one I took time and time and time again, that of chastity, of separation and aloneness and feeling like an alien. The agreement I had with my soul that I could just stay apart, that’s how everyone wants it, and it’s how it has to be…
The vow of chastity, that I am chaste, is long gone. I have ample proof that I have lived neither a chaste nor a temperate life, but still, the core of me, when the work had to get done, insisted on feeling all alone. And so, I take instead the vow of the Supreme Hedonist, and I think this is the one I want to focus on tonight, because it feels so damn good.
To not feel worry, to not fear, to be glad, and to have absolutely nothing to pin the gladness on, but there it is, spinning in the middle of the room, broadcasting good cheer, for no reason at all.
I am The Supreme Hedonist, and I may light incense, put on a long youtube of “Om” chanting, take a bath and unwind, so might I pour a finger of whiskey, and ease into that tub with a smoke in my mouth and KBCO playing as loud as my phone can. There are so many ways, as a supreme hedonist, I might spend those hours, but “what” moves into irrelevance as “how” gains prominence, tonight, all days, always..
The part of me who felt a need to elevate things by remembering how dark it is here, oh, those vows are old, and they no longer pertain. Physics itself has realigned to make hedonism a viable lifestyle. And so, I am the supreme hedonist.
And so, to close, I give you my fourth vow.
I thought for a long time that the rules others had for me, their expectations and the way they did things, that they were right and there could be no arguing with such a pushy force. I took the vow of powerlessness, the vow of obedience to others. And I obeyed myself, but really this only happened the last couple of years so blazingly, but this vow of obedience to others, this is what I am breaking to bits now.
I am The Queen, Sovereign. I am sovereign in my reality, no one else. What has to be given up to achieve it? To achieve abundance, I lay down the vow of poverty. To achieve inner balance, I lay down the vow of dark poet, and to achieve pleasure, I had to lay down the vow of chastity. But this one, sovereign, what must I lay down to achieve the embodiment of it?
I think it is blind obedience I must lay down, and questioning everything, including my own thinking, which led me to these particularly warm and fragrant waters. And this is no small thing, relinquishing anything that looked like sense, and going my own way, letting that which is within me, bigger than me, loving me, to lead me home.
When I worked with The Teachers, although we focused a lot of our time on ascension, I never really could bring into my understanding that I was in training for this lifetime. I held it at bay, thinking that it would be in the next lifetime, or some other lifetime, when things were sweeter and people were easier to work with. But no, I was wrong about that.
Ascension is now. It is now. And it can be called all manner of things, I just don’t care about the verbiage, it’s what is being described which is key.
I have heard it said that big souls cannot come into the body all at once, and as a person ages, then, more and more of the soul can come to inhabit the physical form. If a soul were to inhabit a body all at once, it would pop, blink out of existence. And so, when all is said and done, I think of ascension like that.
There is much we cannot yet see, hear, smell, taste, but all of us, or most of us, can feel it, and many can admit to feeling it. There is something else that is guiding all of it. Ascension, for me, is embodying so much of my soul, being able to hold so much of it physically, that even simple physics bends to my consciousness.
Peace, bliss, nirvana, DNA activation, there are lots of names for it. But it is becoming a friend to one’s soul, and letting the amnesia, and the blind spots just be, smiling at the dark and whistling, knowing that when the lights come on, I’ll see that the only thing that ever was there was the dark, no monster, no punishment, no cruel twists of fate. Just the dark.
The lights are on now, and I know I am not the only one feeling this. I know, have evidence to support the knowing, that things never have to get as bad as they were, and that things are steadily, now, in a state of improving.
We are doing this together, all of us, and we, I think, deserve each others’ love and respect. Sure there are levels of growth and maturity, sure, but all of it fades when we, individually and with much thanksgiving, begin to realize it really does begin and end in our own skins, in our own minds, and our thoughts are a vast engine in all of this.
Thinking clearly, seeing things as I now do, has made me feel all better, and I really do hope that you, too, are feeling better, now.