It takes courage to truly encounter one’s Self. It takes honesty, and sincerity. The sages tell me all the answers lie within. Others tell me nothing resides there. Looking within, lovingly, unflinchingly, non-judgmentally is easier said than done. We might discover hate, or fear, love or anger. We most assuredly will discover something different than the stories we tell ourselves and others. We might discover…ourselves.
Being naked before my own discerning gaze, standing in my space with no props or illusions, with no stories is not the most comfortable place at times. Chewing the often bitter cud of self-examination is not for everyone. Many spend their whole lives avoiding this. Being present for my own ‘shortcomings’ is no mean feat. Being loving and accepting of them is sometimes a Herculean feat. Sometimes it is as easy as falling off a rock.
As I gaze down into the depths, I see the ‘me’ that was, in all his tattered glory. I see the ‘me’ that is now in all his frail and fallible humanity. I see the ‘me’ that will be, that could be, in my hopes and dreams, in his shining truth. I see. I pray I see clearly, that I have the strength and wisdom to see clearly, this one thing I need most to see clearly.
Sometimes, it is like gazing into the abyss. Others it is like gazing at a sublime sunset.
I gaze and gaze. I begin to see that, at my core, I am no different than others. We all bleed, all dream, all laugh and cry. We live out this fragile and nebulous human existence, half-blinded by ego and desire. We live it, hornswoggled by our own stories about ourselves (and others). We see dimly, as if through a veil.
I hate her. I love her. I hate what I did. I hate what she did. I hate, I hate…
I love her. I hate her. I love myself, and the joyous gift I am. I love, I love…
There’s so much in there, all swirled around, like melting ice cream of many flavors. It is sometimes hard to tell what is me and what is my story. My heart knows.,.but it ain’t telling. It doesn’t speak, at least not in words or concepts the mind can grasp.
The second proposition of the yoga sutra is that the purpose of yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind. Why would one want to do that, you might ask. Why? Why, to see clearly…ourselves, others, the Divine. Why else?
That is a lifelong task, to see clearly. Or is it?
If I squint, and the light is just right, I look real great. In other light, I look just as fucked as I sometimes feel. It’s all a matter of Light, of viewpoint, of perspective.
Some say I am great – others surely say something else. Luckily, most of the latter are in my past. Yet they are there. The truth is perhaps less black and white. I just gaze at it, like trataka, until my eyes begin to water and my heart tugs at the strings mooring it to the ground.
Ek ong kar, sat guru parasadh.
What was it the oracle at Delphi said…know thy self?
Sat Nam…truth is my name. I will try to live that truth, to see that truth. I must admit, I am a bit myopic, though.
Still, I gaze. Still, I try to discern. Still, I gaze into the depths of myself. Sometimes I am amazed. Sometimes, I am confused. Not as rarely as I’d like, I am disturbed. Is this all one long suicide note? Is it a declaration of independence, an emancipation proclamation? Only (God) knows…I sure don’t. Thank the theoretical God for that.
I just try to look. I sing my naked songs. I write my unheard words. I gaze.
Quite often, I simply breathe, leave all that for others. I relish the space in my body, the quiet of my heart, the blazing Light of my soul. I am. I just am. That is enough. All this introspection and self-examination is of questionable value, regardless of what the sages say. Perhaps all I seek is within, all I need. Perhaps.
I just breathe.
Hey, Mata Durga. Hey.
AUM, Hari AUM.
“…but words and music can never match the beauty that I’ve seen…looking into you.”