And Under the Gaze of God? (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 189)

It was a life of order and strict service, an unending sacrifice, a constantly renewed striving for clarity and justice. It was much purer, much better than the life of an artist, vagrant, and seducer of women. But seen from above, with God’s eyes — was this exemplary life of order and discipline, of renunciation of the world and of the joys of the senses, of remoteness from dirt and blood, of withdrawal into philosophy and meditation any better than Goldmund’s life? Had man really been created to live a regulated life, with hours and duties indicated by prayer bells? Had man really been created to study Aristotle and Saint Thomas, to know Greek, to extinguish his senses, to flee the world? Had God not created him with senses and instincts, with blood-colored darknesses, with the capacity for sin, lust, and despair? These were the questions around which the Abbot’s thoughts circled when they dwelt upon his friend.

Yes, and was it not perhaps more childlike and human to lead a Goldmund-life, more courageous, more noble perhaps in the end to abandon oneself to the cruel stream of reality, to chaos, to commit sins and accept their bitter consequences rather than live a clean life with washed hands outside the world, laying out a lonely harmonious thought-garden, strolling sinlessly among one’s sheltered flower beds. Perhaps it was harder, braver and nobler to wander through the forests and along the highways with torn shoes, to suffer sun and rain, hunger and need, to play with the joys of the senses and pay for them with suffering.

Narcissus and Goldmund

Hermann Hesse          1930

I did not know (Love vs Sex 247)

And I felt that I never wanted to leave that room, I did not want dawn to come, I did not want the atmosphere that enfolded me to be dissolved. I felt that my dreams and thoughts and prayers were living things, living there in the darkness with me, hovering about my bed and standing over me. And every thought I had was his thought, and every feeling his feeling. I did not know then that this was love — I thought that it was something that often happened, a feeling to be enjoyed and taken for granted.

Happily Ever After

Leo Tolstoy          1859

The Passing On of Life or Lifelessness (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 188)

In the premindfulness* state, our minds are most often operating independently of our bodies, on a different level, as it were, from the actions that our bodies are performing. When I read a bedtime story to my children, for instance, I can, at the same time, be plotting out the details of my next writing project to myself. If one of my children interrupts me to ask me a question, I find that I have no idea what I am reading about. Rather than being mindful, I am instead reading mindlessly, and while I would prefer to think otherwise, my children’s experience of me will be lifeless. Similarly, when walking to the store, washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, or even making love, we often are split off from our physical experience: we are quite literally not present. Our minds and bodies are not functioning as one.

*mindfulness, as defined in Buddhism – being aware of what is exactly happening in the mind and body as it is occurring.

thoughts without a thinker

Mark Epstein, M.D.          1995

It is Little to Give (Love vs Sex 246)

“What is there I can give you? Love, it is true.”

“And is that so little?” I asked looking into his eyes.

“Yes, my dear, it is little to give you,” he went on. “You have beauty and youth. Often now I cannot sleep at night for happiness: I lie awake and think of our future life together. I have lived through a great deal, and I think I have found what is needed for happiness: a quiet, secluded life here in the depths of the country, with the possibility of doing good to people to whom it is easy to do good which they are not accustomed to receiving; then work – work which one hopes may be of some use; then leisure, nature, books, music, love for a kindred spirit – such is my idea of happiness, and I dreamed of none higher. And now, to crown it all, I get you, a family perhaps, and all that the heart of man could desire.”

“It should be enough,” I said.

“Enough for me whose youth is over, but not for you,” he pursued. “You have not seen anything of life yet. You may want to seek happiness elsewhere, and perhaps find it in something different. At present you believe that this is happiness because you love me.”

Happily Ever After

Leo Tolstoy          1859

Cribb Comment: I am extremely fond of this passage. Tolstoy reveals the hard to tell truth about love that most do not want to hear or even come close to contemplating; it must be grandiose and dramatic, fervent and uber passionate, and a thrill ride of unending emotional hype, stimulation, and volatile exchange, never just basic, simple, easy, and quietly profound in its energy and transcending bond. He also touches on the attainment and understanding of happiness in life which requires a security and willful stability in individual perspective and contentment of purpose. His promotion of the importance of untainted and unhypocritical good will towards his fellow man is also captured elegantly and succinctly by “doing good to people who are not used to such things and doing so without forcing this “good” upon them in an overstep of intent.” Lastly, his point of youth and its hunger, aware or unaware, for more than love, for more than genuine happiness, is presented with the unselfish tenderness and empathy of a saint. It is an undeniable truth that most youthful “old souls” can’t quite accept about themselves and their overriding desire. They seem unable to digest that real happiness and real love might just be too pure, obtainable, and stable, for the premises and constructs they have anchored into their psyche as defining a normal existence.

I would have preferred for Tolstoy to postulate a manner or theory in which these two characters could have worked together to address and resolve the youthful subconscious yearnings (their burden of misunderstood nervous and excitable egocentric energy) of the wife more effectively and profoundly. It would seem that Tolstoy might believe such a transition utterly impossible without the context of further life experience to curb and temper such youthful yearning.

2017

But It’s Here Now (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 184)

“Some people think that it’s only possible to be happy if one makes noise,” she said, after a pause. “I find it’s too delicate and melancholy for noise. Being happy is rather melancholy—like the most beautiful landscape, like those trees and the grass and the clouds and the sunshine today.”

“From the outside,” said Gumbril, “it even looks rather dull.” They stumbled up the dark staircase to his rooms. Gumbril lit a pair of candles and put the kettle on the gas ring. They sat together on the divan sipping tea. In the rich, soft light of the candles she looked different, more beautiful. The silk of her dress seemed wonderfully rich and glossy, like the petals of a tulip, and on her face, on her bare arms and neck the light seemed to spread an impalpable bright bloom. On the wall behind them, their shadows ran up towards the ceiling, enormous and profoundly black.

“How unreal it is,” Gumbril whispered. “Not true. This remote secret room. These lights and shadows out of another time. And you out of nowhere and I, out of a past utterly remote from yours, sitting together here, together—and being happy. That’s the strangest thing of all. Being quite senselessly happy. It’s unreal, unreal.”

“But why,” said Emily, “why? It’s here and happening now. It is real.”

“It all might vanish, at any moment,” he said.

Emily smiled rather sadly. “It’ll vanish in due time,” she said. “Quite naturally, not by magic; it’ll vanish the way everything else vanishes and changes. But it’s here now.

They gave themselves up to the enchantment. The candles burned, two shining eyes of flame, without a wink, minute after minute. But for them were no longer any minutes. Emily leaned against him, her body held in the crook of his arm, her head resting on his shoulder. He caressed his cheek against her hair; sometimes, very gently, he kissed her forehead or her closed eyes.

“If I had know you years ago . . .” she sighed. “But I was a silly little idiot then. I shouldn’t have notice any difference between you and anybody else.”

Antic Hay

Aldous Huxley          1923

 

 

 

 

Taking Someone Along in Your Soul (Love vs Sex 245)

He knew nothing of the figure’s origin; Goldmund had never told him Lydia’s story. But he felt everything; he saw that the girl’s form had long lived in Goldmund’s heart. Perhaps he had seduced her, perhaps betrayed and left her. But, truer than the most faithful of husband, he had taken her along in his soul, preserving her image until finally, perhaps after many years in which he had never seen her again, he had fashioned this beautiful, touching statue of a girl and captured in her face, her bearing, her hands all the tenderness, admiration, and longing of their love.

Narcissus and Goldmund

Hermann Hesse          1930

The Song of the Psyche; the Song of the Soul (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 171)

We are not being taught or encouraged to engage in real conversation with one another. Instead, we are being taught to have vocal exchanges of non-conversation, to bark at one another with a particular absence or lack of sustenance in what we present and how we respond. It is a portrayal of exuberance and eagerness in the desire to form union (whilst happily exchanging or sharing the energies of observation and experience), which is enthusiastically insincere in its advertised intent regardless of the pseudo-bonding emotional hype said intent, interest, and comradery rides upon. It is much “Hey, What’up?, How are you?, How’s it go’in?, What’s up bro?, (fistbump), How’s your family’n’em?, How’s everything?” about nothing. Most often, it is only the bottled up energy of an advertised existence which is incapable of achieving the stable state required for authentic self-aware output and accurate objective perception, drawn from the marketed hype and armchair quarterbacking of all of the mundane irrelevancies, occurrences, and distractions within the universe; it is the vocalization of undead maws, a chorus of soulless, segregated, and detached cacophonies.  It is worse, much worse, than the instinctual bonding which reflexively occurs in the realm of utter silence.

We are taught to pretend, to act, and to feign; we are taught to amuse and to be amused above all other perceptions of relevance and significance; we are taught to bark and laugh, to look beyond and askew, to jitteringly posture and not sit too still for too long; we are taught to annul the reality of ourselves and the reality of any mutual existence of higher meaning under some sort of unspoken indoctrinated commitment to the supposed beneficial preference of marketed and rewritten reality for all. Hear ye, hear ye! Disengagement and delusion, for all!

Reality and the graces within require respect if they are to deliver revelation and transcendence unto humanity. Respect requires a noble effort of the soul which surpasses the temptation and compulsion to subconsciously taint and twist all of our perceptions of mutual objective existence with our own isolated egocentric sin of doubt, fear, and selfishness. Noble effort is composed through the prioritizing of our own focus of empathic intent; and empathic focus of intent is only achieved by those willing to fully expose the tender sensitivities of their core essence and inner sanctum to the raw exoteric and indomitable landscape of independent coexistence and ceaseless vulnerability. Regressively, awareness is thus born and given its proper birth rite.

If we are not to rewrite and bastardize one another, ourselves, and even the realm of existence itself, if we are not to foster an oh so lethal and infectious madness within all of our hearts, minds, and souls, we must engage in awareness. Our fear, our petty amusement, and our overdominant ego, must let go for such awareness to thrive and flourish, and if we can do so, if we can become less than ourselves, and simultaneously also much, much greater than who and what we think we happen to be, we will come to crave and savor the ever-constant truth and reality of the independent and indomitable exoteric universe which is easily found once we are able to escape the prison of our own isolated mind.

This is the potential of earnest conversation and exchange; the gift of greater awareness, understanding, empathy, and union; upward transcendence. It should be the primary focus of our collective and individual humanity. Change everything, it would. To shun awareness and deny engagement with objective reality is a decision and action based in fear; and fear is always isolating and tortuous to those it possesses. Pretending to be someone else or not to be anyone at all during interaction, enclosing oneself in a buffer bubble of amusement and fun, or exsanguinating one’s soul out to the nervous vampiric energy of an overemotional horde, are all acts of fearful self-negation and they never will confront, nor can they ever overcome being possessed by fear.

Pretending, in all of its various forms, is chosen fearful non-existence and verbally, it expresses itself as chosen fearful non-conversation. The pretending must stop for individual and collective existences to start, for the hidden reality known deep within a man’s bones and humanities blood to obtain a peaceful synchronicity with the spiritual nature of his, and their, psyche. Real non-bastardized, non-marketed, non-tainted conversation, is the song of this psyche, the song of this soul.

We all need to stop pretending. We all need to talk to one another. Our souls all need to sing to one another and join in chorus together. This is the true path out of and away from fear; the path towards genuine individual and collective peace; the only path, the only one, that leads to union and transcendence.

Cribb          2017