Being Lost, Embedded in Love

blue dominant
Blue Dominant by Emil Schumacher 1958

Contemplating the sense of being lost, really lost in this world, this dimension, this life… contemplating feeling lost and how that feeling has tugged me along this Way and that Path… sometimes alternating with a sense of being found by Light, by what convincingly felt like Ultimate Truth, by energies of bubbling bliss encompassing me whole bodily, coursing through these very veins, at least for a while. And always returning to being lost…

Slow contemplation: not avoiding the silent desperation of being bodily anchored in the shallow waters of a backward planet pretending to be modern, even post-modern or post-post-modern, whose leading nations boast in being rational, level-headed, the heirs of the Age of Enlightenment centuries ago, but whose populations, however rich or poor they are, are haunted by the destinies they struggle so hard to deny and therefore avoid seeing clearly. Blind to the festering wound called capitalist economy: really a systemic way to rob those that cannot properly defend themselves, the whales in the oceans, the magnificent great apes and elephants, just as much as the overwhelming majorities of our own species so very populous. Blind to the continual bleeding of all that is kind, and humane, and collaborative, and symbiotic, the blood being sucked up by all the parasitic vested interest groups.

Contemplating slowly and without protection, without turning blind eyes but rather feeling the hurt, tears welling up, heart aching: this surely is a Lost Planet filled with lost tribes, lost people, lost souls. Empty of all true meaning, no substance anywhere, nothing that fills, or fulfills, rather full of emptiness, full of ritualistic forms no-one can believe in, full of priests, mendicant monks, potential saints, therapists, fixers, healers, change-agents, desperately struggling to turn the tide, to cause a sea-change, to stem the tides of unending ignorance glossed over with slick entertainments on all channels.

Original + Fälschung 17 by Sigmar Polke, 1973

Having utterly failed as a species, daily abusing our magic for destruction, fleeing towards transcendent potentials, aggrandizing people which lead our parade to a future full of shining promises never to be kept, promises dangling in front of the nose of the so very beloved self, the individual soul whose dignity is elevated in stories told a thousand times, yet a dignity trampled underfoot every single day…

I finally settle for the truth of actually and truly being lost. Refraining from healing, not even trying to change or transform this lostness; just sometimes going through the motions as to not unduly disconcert my contemporaries:

I walk through busy streets and see multitudes, see each uniquely individual, as if the wool gathered ’round the central void, the fabrics encircling the central hole of lostness, was what really mattered. And as long as it matters, it surely seems substantial, it surely looks like the thread  leading you out of the labyrinth… if you had the stamina, the power, the guts, the energies needed to follow the thread. Yet, upon exiting, you find yourself in an even greater labyrinth that is alive and well, the maze no human power, nor divine power, nor cosmic power can escape. You try transcendence, imagination, spirituality, fabrication, religion, philosophy, entertainment, dream, and all the myriad forms of making meaning.

Things may align for you, they may coincide. If you’re lucky, the Great Escape finally collapses, and you rediscover how all of your striving was to no avail, was nil and empty from the very beginning. You never escaped the void at the center of you. And now, finally, without any more hesitation you give in, you surrender to the inevitable.
Since now you stopped looking for the way out, and you see your friends, your acquaintances, your strangers, your anyone on the street, without the consolation of your compassion or any other soothing altruism, your eyes and all of you can really see. You see the Love that embeds it all.
The Love that cascades from the clouds, and the trees, and the stranger’s eyes. The Invisible Love that flavors the air. The Love that seasons the void from the very beginning of what naively is called time, which is really just the way you keep relating to it all. You wouldn’t possibly know what Love is, the Love that Embeds it all, and you surely couldn’t reduce it to a feeling or explain it even to your listening mind and self. Yet, you know this Love was there always, and you solemnly and irrevocably declare it to be prior to the void.

You state by Your Given Grace, as Prime Participator in this Ambiverse, “All, including everyone and everything, are embedded in love. This is how it is and always was.”

And you know this beyond even the Greatest of Doubts, that in the beginning you said, “Let there be Love.” And lo and behold, There Was Love.


PS: This is to be the core of the next Neuroplastic Experiment: All is embedded in Prior Love.

Interlude in Love

Petals in the Park

Walking through the park I contemplate the love I’m giving to myself, my family and friends, nature. A flash back in time takes me to my broken young years where the love I received was so thwarted and sporadic, where rebellion and resentment became my basic gesture towards humans and even life herself, and where I birthed the delusion for revenge to set things straight again. Now I appreciate, how loving myself has soothed me enough to shine a different and probably permanent light on all of this. And I am thankful to myself.

As I walk the newly gravelled paths my longing grows. A longing to be held, embraced wholly, to be loved, pure and simple. And after this longing rushed through my every veign, as it spread out beyond my body into the aura of the park, the flowers and birds, the many paths, a woman in a wheelchair beckons me. The new gravel makes it hard for her to push herself, and I am glad to grant her wish. We speak about how the gravel makes the paths in the park less muddy in the rainy times, the beauty of the park in spring and the rose petals coloring the grass. I feel her scariness; she may be sensing the love spirit that’s touching me inside-out and all over, or more likely, she may resent feeling in need for help by a stranger.

The minutes before her beckoning were filled with my longing alchemically merging into Love which now is overflowing into me from its seat of splendor, its omnicentric throne in the sky and heart of all matter.  And as the woman beckons I’m getting a fill of understanding of Love’s way. Pushing the wheely chair and asking the woman to not aid me with her hands, for it is no help, we’re constellated perfectly for a lesson for yours truly.

Petals in the Park

Returning through the park from shopping for groceries I see that in a way I’ve been debilitated, unable to receive the Love from all around and in its never ending shades. I’ve been struggling so hard for Love that when she comes I’m trying to help her, and thereby hindering her and protecting myself from her intense presence. She loves me so much that I can remain seated, debilitated by all my tragedies,  and she simply carries me.


From the Trenches of Being my own Best Friend

Embedded in my flowery self

17 days ago I started the practice of Being my own Best Friend, and I’ve wanted to spill the beans of what has happened in life and my reflections on it since.

The picture on the left comes from Ecstatic Thursday, the day when being my own best friend was turning my soul into such sweetness that I had to run out of a work-related meeting, lie down amidst the flowers, and catch it on photo to share some of my felt delight with my friends.

But let me try to be a bit more chronological. One of the first obstacles I had to overcome in my contemplation on what it really means to be my own best friend was, “Do I really have a best friend?”
I mean, yes, sure, I do have a best friend, but is he going to cry when I die?
My own crying isn’t a good comparison in this matter: I already shed a tear or two when I see people hugging on TV. It took me a couple of days to figure out if my best friend, U., really is my best friend. When I visited him a week or so ago I found that, definitely, he is – and I told him so, which was an added pleasure. So yes, that obstacle has been overcome, but it illustrates what I feel to be a necessary part of these experiments. Seriously look at everything that comes up ― ruthlessly facing the reality of what my body-soul-mind-spirit-system offers, exploring the whole range of what friendship means to me.

I was amazed at what I found out after a few days when investigating the origins of the word “friend:” The Germanic root of friend is “vriunt, friunt”, which means “the loving one; the one that loves [der Liebende]”. Moreover, “friunt” is closely connected to “vri, fri”, meaning, yes you guessed right, “free”. Vri, fri means, “to belong to the loved ones, the tribe, the clan, and thereby to be protected”, and/or “beloved, wanted, wished for”. Contemplating this heritage of friendship was and is a delight, “To be free is to belong to loved ones, and to be a friend is to be a loving one.”

Being my own best friend is all about love ― which in Ancient Greece came in four different flavors: agape, eros, storge and philia, of which the last one is often used translated as friendship (philosophy, “friend of wisdom” from philia and sophia). Aristotle, which I read in the Wikipedia article about Philia says interesting things about friendship, somehow sums up why one actually should be one’s own best friend, “the good person must be a self-lover, since he will both help himself and benefit others by performing fine actions. But the vicious person must not love himself, since he will harm both himself and his neighbours by following his base feelings.”

Inner Landscape

The first 10 days of this self-bestfriending practice where very encouraging, easy, most of the time imbued with a deep sense of well-being enhanced with the contemplation that this is the foundation of being my own best friend, this sense of bringing well-being to myself.
And then it got challenging, all the ‘good feelings’ left me. My ordinary sense of self returned, a sense of slight skepticism ’bout everything; this may sound harsh – at times it actually is – but it’s founded on what I learnt through my parents, cultural history, growing up in opposition to the given order of matters and things, “You can’t take anything for granted;” “You have to question everything and everyone;” “You’ve got to continually prove you’re worthy of all that is good;” etc.

I didn’t wake up in the morning anymore, like in the first ten days, automatically remembering that “I’m my own best friend,” which meant a whole-bodily remembrance until that point. Rather, some mornings I entirely forgot and only remembered later on the day – to my dismay! “What’s happening,” I thought. “Why isn’t this happening all by itself now?” Maybe I’m mistaken about Neuroplasticity?

It took a couple of days before I realized that being my own best friend wasn’t about feelings. It’s about facts. The sweet ecstasies of self-friendship, and the feelings of friendship with people I interacted with, the deep feeling of connection I share with a very few people, and so on, these emotions can be mistaken for friendship, for love even.
Let me give an example; I have a son. If anyone would ask me at any moment, “Do you love your son?” I’d answer unequivocally, “Yes!” I wouldn’t go check my feelings first and then answer according to what I find. Rather, my feelings would follow my response – right after giving my answer my feelings would acknowledge what I just said. Please don’t misunderstand; often my feeling will be faster than my answers or even thoughts, but in the case of relationships it seems these feelings are there to anchor, acknowledge, affirm what I am already certain of. [An aside: You may not know that I know, in one glance, if a person is a real friend or not – it’s a soul2soul thing that I’ve learnt to recognize. That doesn’t mean that I know how it will develop, I just know the foundation.]

So, maybe losing the first rush of self-friending is a good thing; I’m deciding that it is so. Neuroplasticity is, once your brain has responded by building the proper neuro-infrastructure, all about automating the behavior and way of being that you install. So that it can run in the background with all the other functions and behaviors that we do not have the consciousness-bandwidth to run in clear awareness. (Here for a book I read ages ago on the bandwidth of consciousness.)
[An aside, as the above terminology can sound harsh. A metaphor I use to make this view clear ― consciousness is akin to water. Boundless consciousness is like the ocean; there isn’t a clear sense of self or anything else for that matter. Our character is like a huge delta of a river, all the little streams and rivulets are the way the water takes. Our personal character and our brain are pretty much the same; you damage your brain, your character changes dramatically. So our character is the form, the riverbed of the originally totally free flow of water/consciousness. Also: We can only focus on a very small area of the delta at any given time. What I call bandwidth of consciousness above I’d better call bandwidth for focused consciousness. Maybe more about this at some other time.]

Focus is always limited; no focus, no limits.

So now, after 17 days of practicing Being my own Best Friend I’ve come to understand and trust that apparently my whole body-soul-mind-spirit-system has already automated self-friending. I’ll still, in the spirit of completion, go for the full 21 days of conscious practice, but not out of need, or to be sure. I know that there’ll be moments to come when my awareness notices, “Hey, this happens because I’m my own best friend,” but there is no need to verify it any other way. Real friendship doesn’t need verification. You just know, you’re certain.

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.
― Rumi, translated by Colin Barks


Being my own Best Friend

The next couple of weeks, or maybe months, I’m going to return to changing my own brain — yes, that’s right, my brain. I’ll do so by embodied and lived inquiry, contemplation and open focus. And I know that it works because I trust the new science of Neuroplasticity, and because the first experiment of a week+ in which I looked at “love” along these lines have been very enlightening in practice. It was during the last day of the experiment I discovered a deeply hidden resentment of the world and most of all all the idiots that co-create and prolong suffering for others. I saw how this resentment informed and motivated most of my projects in life. And, at this point the newly formed pathways in my brain played a decisive role, where formerly I would have simply observed this ‘fact’ now I spontaneously forgave myself for this foundational resentment. [I know, to some of my readers love is situated in the heart, and I won’t deny that it may play a role, but it seems the brain plays a major role in all our emotions; and yet, inasmuch as love is not an emotion, but rather a natural force, like gravity, it may be the imaginal heart that is its major conduit.]

This week I’m going to experiment with “Being my own best friend.”
I’ve chosen to strengthen, enhance, grow this particular “brain-area” as it seems foundational to what I’m planning to embark upon. You see, one of the effects of loosing my resentment of the world and its huge population of idiots and ignorants and just plain bad guys and girls has been that I’ve lost quite some motivating energy which was caught in my rebellion. Part of my character is crumbling. The sense I made, These ignorants and suffer-makers are to be resented!, doesn’t make it anymore. So I want to re-build my character along other lines, that have yet to reveal themselves to me. Being my own best friend seems like a good place to start.

As the first day of doing this (sketching the way I go about this at present below) unfolds, and I’m writing this blog, I now see that, it may sound absurd, I resent myself somewhat. “I’m not good enough,” you may know the sentiment.
Exploring this feeling what pops up first is my utter imperfection: I’m too dreamy, I lack perseverance, mostly I’m not doing my best but settle for the mediocre,  I’m lazy, often act automatic, unaware, kind of scattered, and more.
Yet, when now I think about my friends, my few close friends, than surely they are not perfect, some of them are dreamy, settle often for less than doing their very best, etc. Does that effect my friendship? Do I therefor embrace them less? Really, these questions bring a smile to my face, Of course not! They are my friends just the way they are.

So how do I proceed for now, being my own best friend?

Every day - at the same time - cat waits for dog, and when he comes they go for a walk

When I wake up in the morning I remember whom I’m being with: My best friend! And I embody the feelings I have when I’m with a best friend; we hug and it feels good to be in his/her presence, enjoying the presence of the friend.
At any time during the day I remember to “be with me”, considering whatever I do as I would if my best friend would do this. How does the world look, how does my body feel, what spirit I’m in, when I regard my present moment – just now – with the eyes of the best friend?
When I contemplate and meditate, it’s a friendly exploration of whatever is the case – so when I’m aware of my breathing, it’s my friend’s breathing or, if I’m contemplating a matter than I’m as clear and honest as ever, only I’m contemplating before a friendly back-ground.
And before I go to sleep I’ll look at the days events and meetings and doings and non-doings as I would look at a friend’s day.