Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hermitage, Part 2

Early in her aspirant life - when the process is completely internalized and outside wisdom has not yet been sought - she is like a toddler in its Terrible Twos. Response to almost everything the immediate world has to offer is, "No". No, don't want to come along, can't eat this, won't love like that, amn't impressed. No, thank you. "No".

She learns what she doesn't want a long while before she learns what she does want. It will be a while before she can even articulate the difference. As for being able to guide other Terrible Twos - that is eons away. As also is the trading of the defensive "No" and prickly layman intensity for the playfulness that real enlightenment brings.

Her litany of "No" is inconvenient for others. Flow with us, they say. Don't be difficult, flow. No, she says. No. What was 'inconvenient' then becomes 'funny'. "Such an eccentric!" Then it becomes infuriating. "So arrogant!" Then it becomes intolerable. Ultimate dismissal: "She has lost it."

*The newly sane closely resemble the deeply neurotic*.
Both experience a reality that isn't shared by the majority. The newly sane are as fragile as people that have been pulled out of a serious car wreck - safe body of their old life now fractured, broken, decimated. Willfully violent and courageous, it's only Step 1. Step 2, resurrection, needs more than brute force. It needs time, it needs the skillful intervention of people more resolved than oneself, and it needs great fortune. We have seen the pinched-up horrors of sloppy sutures and bad surgery. As for great fortune - maggots will make home in an open wound more surely than healing poultice will - thus, blessed are the broken that find intelligent healing.

Until sinews repair, bones realign, scar tissue forms, and lessons settle in - nothing is more necessary than safe refuge, safe hands. Hermitage until one can shed the fear and persecution complex; and generate enough tapas* to bring light back to the same world one forsook. There's a good reason why young initiates are asked to spend upward of half a decade in a monastery before they're ready to interact with the larger world.

* Tapas (तपस) : Sanskrit for 'heat'. In yogic tradition, 'essential energy' - a focused effort towards bodily purification and spiritual enlightenment.


Kabir said...

And if in the changing phases of man's life i fall in sickness and in misery
my wrists seem broken and my heart seems dead and strength is gone, and my life is only the leavings of a life...
then i must know that still i am in the hands of the unknown God,
he is breaking me down to his own oblivion to send me forth on a new morning, a new man.


Anonymous said...

ca c'est bon, mais peut-etre il faut cultiver de temps en temps les vers, les asticots fragiles et affames?!