The Inside Out

It’s not such a simple task to turn the inside out. For years I had no emotional memories or feelings about my first girlfriend Gwen. Something of me has blocked any kind of passion or affectionate recall. But there is something of the inside that is now turning outside. I’m now remembering her in a loving way, regretful of how I contributed to her suffering. Peeling the layers away to reveal what has been blocked sounds so abstract and mechanical a process. But there is something in our human “getting by” that we grasp on to ways of escape.

In his bookDoors of Perception” Aldous Huxley acknowledges that it “seems most unlikely that humanity at large will ever be able to dispense with Artificial Paradises.” Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.

Peeling away has to do with dropping these ways and it seems to be more of being at a point where the body/mind is ready to cope with the pain that has been inseparable from existence. As well it seems to involve becoming conscious of ways that I have avoided it. Escape in general has not been something that enables maturation, emotional awareness or resolve.

The Inside Out

It’s not such a simple task to turn the inside out. For years I had no emotional memories or feelings about my first girlfriend Gwen. Something of me has blocked any kind of passion or affectionate recall. But there is something of the inside that is now turning outside. I’m now remembering her in a loving way, regretful of how I contributed to her suffering. Peeling the layers away to reveal what has been blocked sounds so abstract and mechanical a process. But there is something in our human “getting by” that we grasp on to ways of escape.

In his bookDoors of Perception” Aldous Huxley acknowledges that it “seems most unlikely that humanity at large will ever be able to dispense with Artificial Paradises.” Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.

Peeling away has to do with dropping these ways and it seems to be more of being at a point where the body/mind is ready to cope with the pain that has been inseparable from existence. As well it seems to involve becoming conscious of ways that I have avoided it. Escape in general has not been something that enables maturation, emotional awareness or resolve.

Turning the Inside Outward

The act of creating for me involves turning the inside outward. I paint and write as an expression of what is experienced inside. It can also be called revelation, showing or phenomenalization. Creating is an attempt to express what is hidden. The painting and written story is outsideness for the creator; they are phenomenon, things shown. But they are revelatory of the self that is creating. The form that results is contingent upon the artist and the artist transcends them all, but the artist is really present in and as them. The artist,s inside turns into the outsideness as the creation when the artist paints and the writer writes. This action of turning the inside out is a type of ecstasy; an attempt to express the dance of the cosmos. It is a revelation of a sort; a phenomenalization of being: a kind of incarnation of what is present within. It is inseparable from the direct experience of being; an act of agape in that creation.

What Flows From Within

Emptiness seeps from the cracks of brokenness. Something of my humanity is enabled in that emptiness; surging forward over the crumbling barriers that ensured separateness. Perceptions, beliefs and desires that have blocked me from what is true of self are eroded in the flow. Beneath a surface of seeming incoherence, innate hostility and hopeless fragmentation a “living and deep-rooted unity” is trying to break free. I can no longer bare to be unreal. A humble realization of my imperfection and a sense of compassion emanates from the heart, replacing willful intent to become other.

I long to share with the world what is illuminated in the darkness, although to enter into dialogue with those who fail to see one’s point requires extreme spiritual stamina. Later I realize that what radiates within is actually ineffable and is best emanated not with words but from being. How long will I be able to resist the lure from without to define in words, reduce and become.

To Fix Suffering, or not.

I write or paint most every day inseparable from reflection, contemplation and meditation. In this universe that is ever unfolding and changing I don’t look for security or liberation in these acts or in things external to me or in the pursuit of fixed promises. I have woken to the lie of self or any other incomplete idea or explanation that does not realize it’s own time bound limitation. Nothing is fixed. The only way now, for me is to allow myself to be immersed in that change and the consequences that it brings. Pain and suffering is inevitable in change, a necessary consequence of an unfinished universe. I do not seek to be liberated from that suffering but to be open enough to accept it and allow the change in me that it brings in its movement through me. A challenge for me is to use language and other mediums in a way that reflects, expresses and helps me to be with the impermanent nature of life, in seeing and being as I see it in an ever evolving world, relating to what arises in form out of the formless.

The Gift of Change

There is something of our conditioned self that resists change and something of the human collective that resists it that extends from that. Perhaps as well there is stress involved in all kinds of change and transformation of form. There is a transformation of form implied in human change and their is stress in that. Things are born and come to die. I don’t adhere to the notion that suffering can be eliminated and in turn that it is something to be fixed. There is an aspect of being closed to change implied in that. This can serve to intensify the discomfort that change can bring. We can perhaps come to relate to that process of change in a different way than we have been conditioned to that involves opening within, attending to what is arising in change and the gifts it brings.

A Consciousness Evolving

I’m noticing how habitual it is that I seek to search out familiarity in daily routines; often being of the quality of distractions. It seems to me that this routine of habitual distractions serves as an insulation and if it is interrupted a sense of apprehension and anxiety in the possibility of encountering something unknown arises.

I am becoming aware that to engage in a creative embrace of existence involves some risk, some encounter with what is unknown, and that there is the possibility of experiencing a sense of vulnerability in the openness and newness that it brings. I now see that that this is the essence of existence. To learn to be with all that is new that arises out of formlessness, provides opportunity to encounter and respond in a creative, new way. In its unfamiliarity it involves learning to relate to that sense of vulnerability that arises with what is unknown. This world and universe is unfinished and is ever changing. What is unknown is endlessly emerging. We somehow strive to be something permanent in an impermanent existence. The experience of pain and suffering are a necessary consequence of an unfinished universe. How are we to find comfort in that?Somehow it is in a more conscious response, that involves a willingness to enter into openness and what is unknown and encountered of it.