Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The stone as psychosis

Two days ago, and the day before that, I had qualitatively very odd dreams (more odd in some ways than those I have described in the past 2 days).  I felt a sort of disconnection or madness. Now, I don't think I am going crazy.  I think I have been crazy and am very, very slowly going sane.  I have a very clear tactile--sort of, I get images that also have a feeling, a felt sense to them--"thing" that I can't describe.  Some elements of my consciousness I can't begin to put in words.

Be that it may, here is an image that works for me.  I have been rewatching my Tarkovsky movies, and his images of moving water I always find soothing and meaningful for me.  Imagine a smooth stream of water flowing out of a source smoothly into a stream.  Now imagine placing a large stone in its path.  It may be that the water flows at the same rate, but in very different ways.  Now imagine that water flowing that way for many years, with erosion on the sides of the stream, moss building up in some places, and the whole stream quite habituated to this whole arrangement.

Now imagine that stone is removed.  My god, the whole system will be in shock.  What just happened? New patterns of erosion will begin, the moss will need to adapt.  But water is the most adaptable solid substance on Earth.  It will develop new pathways.

Likewise, what happens when you have chronic anxiety across a lifetime, and it disappears, perhaps not suddenly, but steadily?

The essence of Kum Nye is developing relaxation.  In at least the tradition as represented by Tarthang Tulku, there are three phases of spiritual development: relaxation, mindfulness, and concentration.  For many years it was called Kum Nye Relaxation.  And those are the books I have, one of them dating back to the mid-1980's, when I purchased it from a New Age bookstore in Rancho Bernardino, California (I had both, but one ironically enough was destroyed in a water accident of some sort, the nature of which I forget).

It was later renamed "Kum Nye Yoga", over the objections of Tarthang Tulku, I guess in an effort to appeal to a wider market.  But it is relaxation.

And you three layers of relaxation (they like to do things in threes): superficial relaxation of the sort you get laying next to the ocean, or getting a good massage, or in the early stages of yoga (which likely has some similar conceptions as far as relaxation; or if not the conception, likely the reality as Savasana is pursued with increasing success); Kun Zhi, more about which in a moment; then deep relaxation which is the BEGINNING of authentic spiritual exploration.  That is where you can being to learn.

Kun Zhi means "heavy ground", if memory serves. What it represents is all your compulsions, your anxieties.  When you are silent, and things begin popping up in your mind, those things are being pushed by something below them.  And that something has something below it.  And that something has something below it.  You are digging, and this can take a long time.

I was having lunch with a friend the other day--the one who thankfully always listens to me, no matter how weird I am--and talking about how I feel I just need to go through one more gateway and then I am at bottom.  And she smiled, and then started laughing.  And I started laughing too.  She said "you've been telling me that for two years and I still have no idea what you mean".  And I know it's true.  I don't speak like most people.  My attention is not drawn to what draws most people.  And I have to admit I am comical at times.  I don't deny it. If it wasn't Tao, no one would laugh.  Now was THAT self important?  I don't know.

My belly button does still seem to be there, so I have that going for me.

But I picture this vast sky, then a thick Earth that we dig in.  We dig and dig, and underneath the Earth is more Earth.  But eventually, a hole appears, and you fall into a new sky.  That is the task.

And last night I'm dreaming half the night about an Apocalypse.  Not so hard this election cycle.  Some people were going to live in the "cages down below", some try to evacuate to the Coast, some to shelter in place.  Confusion, mass death, no good answers.  And where is my family?  Where are the people I know?  Where is certainty and affection?  How do I find them?  They are lost, in a hopeless immensity of humanity.

Certainly, I do think a mass disaster would be like this.  Some families might be split up, never to reunite.  How sad!!!

But on a deeper level, you have to go mad, if you are mad, to go sane.  You have to let go of what you knew, of the order you crafted on the basis of horrific bone-deep wounds.  There will be completely random, unfathomable, uncontrollable movement, and mourning and sadness.  There is no other way.

There is no other way.  That is my view.

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