I’m back in the U.S. on a 10 day retreat now and there are some very deep things moving for me here. The beautiful part for me is that, like the title of this blog, they have to do with a love of and yearning for the truth. If you’ve been a reader here for awhile, you’ll know that I’ve continued to move more and more in the direction of striving to be sincere with my behaviors and to be less and less influenced by others and more of who I truly am, which of course is an ongoing revelation. I wrote this the other day, which feels potentially like the opening to a short story:
The spotlight beams, removing all color, the Big Top Band contracts its circus music to silence, patrons’ jaws drop agape, and there I stand, with a broken had-been-spinning plate at my feet. I stand there with a simple apologetic bow. It’s not an “oh-crap-I-just-really-screwed-up-didn’t-I” kind of apology, but more of a “sorry-but-this-is-just-the-way-things-are” apology. Watches pause their ticking, waiting as incredulous on-lookers reroute synapses as they struggle to entertain the concept that I have completely stopped attempting to spin the remaining plates, which hover canonizably as I stand, elbows bent, palms upward, head tilted a little forward and to the right bowing my head ever so slightly, a subtle curtsey of the heart, begging your pardon please sir…. please ma’am, but not truly begging nor wishing pardon. The plate, broken at my feet, spurs minds to inject calamity into simple broken fact. As second hands slowly again begin to sweep, the other plates accelerate their wobble, their fall and shatter absorbed with precision into the silence. I don’t watch as I seem to no longer care of consequence. I am simply done – with this performance, with this act, with this tour, with this career in fact. The spotlight further efforts its concentration on me and these scattering porcelain shards in a desperate attempt at revelation.
As you can perhaps tell from that, I am feeling that I would so much rather be true than anything, even more than being liked, or seen, or supported or cared for, or even loved.. I don’t know exactly why this has been growing in me so strongly over the past several years, but it’s true. The more steps one takes on a particular path, it seems, especially when tread mindfully and with intention, the harder it becomes to turn back or diverge in another direction.
When I talk about a yearning for the truth, I’m not necessarily talking about something measurable or provable. What I’m talking about is “what’s really happening right now?” The trick to this is that our minds are so full of projection (seeing through the prism of past experience), fantasy (making up stories so as to better be able to grasp whatever is happening), identification with the mind (we really think that we are what our minds tell us), and misperception (we all experience things differently yet we believe our perception is correct). When these tendencies begin to lose their stranglehold on our experience, what begins to emerge is something which is unsullied, something so pure and simple that it doesn’t even seem to require words. I realized yesterday why I’ve been having an experience over the past year of feeling more and more that I have nothing to say. It’s that the present moment doesn’t need proof or explanation, it simply is. I’m not claiming enlightenment or anything along those lines, but there is a realization happening. When we begin to recognize our minds as not being the ultimate in truth, the future and the past begin to fall away and what remains simply “is.” And simple “isness” does not seem to need to explain itself.
I believe that the truth is found in this moment, and not only in our ease and joy and simplicity, but also in our reactivity, our fear, our projections. I’m not saying that the content of our reactivity, fear or projection is actually true, but that it is happening is in fact true. As we attend to these experiences rather than act blindly from them or dismiss them, they gather the weightiness of truth, often disarming them and transforming them into something much lighter, much more akin to simply being.
I don’t want to apologize for the “out there-ness” of this writing, but feel the urge to acknowledge that I do know that for many of you, this is a very different way of thinking or experiencing and I appreciate your doing your best to hang with me on this. My plates are falling these days, but there is liberation in each shattering.