Emotional ramblings from the unpublished journal Some Other Burning:
I was a phosphor cloud of burning white. How long before I began drifting above the earth? The cataclysm of the practice world coming into being, a thing of light; giving and receiving, a membrane made to collect the emanations from the source… there was no other activity. The deep practice wanted, and received, all, every fragment of a life consumed in an instant. The fire only grew. It would be my end, there was no question. Like the serpent biting its tail, I was consuming my own entrails and would soon vanish. But I wasn’t only a man. There was something much greater blasting through the walls. I gave myself to it, fully. In return it obliterated me. Everything of Tae and the forest consumed, only the sound of it, the wild chaos of it. All my life to face it, to know it.
“Only meditation practice can give you this experience (One Mind) directly. When this experience becomes completely yours, you attain your wisdom.” – Zen Master Seung Sahn
A day of clearing the emotional field. Today I understood…
The great love, great peace of the One Mind is the true emotion.
Our attachment and desire for heightened states creates closed loops, which can’t sustain themselves. The systems we’ve developed to cope with these closed-loop emotional crises don’t address the fundamental problem. But it’s very difficult to connect to the One Mind. It requires a deep sacrifice, a whole life. Nobody can do it, as this putting down a life has to be supported by a framework of long practice. Really it was beyond my abilities. I had to die and come back from the dead. Though I turned radioactive, and things were coming to pieces around me, some part of me remained impervious.
I took it as far into the abyss as mortally possible, still she remained. The love just wouldn’t die.
“Hope is written on the gates of hell.”
I heard the crow in the trees, separate and distant. It had never been otherwise. Self and other continued as different occurrences far beyond any threshold I’d penetrated. The deep state had completely overtaken my life, filled it with a radiant, great peace, one that only increased. At the same time, my heart completely broken, I was a ghost.
Inside the storm there was no calm eye. I had to live the wild. I saw so deeply into its dark unearthly revolving. I had no way. There were less than silver rays, filth; the dull, heavy mist pressing, hanging so that I would not stay but it was the same inside. I didn’t rise for some time. I held to the dark cleft of the woods – recapitulating an unbroken chain of despair, other times, a whole world, so close to the skin. The cold misery of the winter fell gracefully, softly. The despair was so eloquent that it rose to meet the One. I didn’t know that it could be, but the breakthrough’s I’d had – it was always there. Not only the state itself, but all the way back through the past, a threading through them all, all returning to some point of origin, of perfection. All contained an element of the eternal that now, on the surge, completed the circuit. Each rose to the height I could manifest at the time, with the weight of my longing, my spiritual darkness holding me to the street, the dark forest, the flash of light through the window; a Sisyphean mechanism that created its own dark current which appeared at all points to lead to my doom.
I have to be careful here. It’s important that this be put in order, not left to a poetic interpretation. I didn’t find a way through despair. I released it. I gave everything. The despair I felt in the cleft, it was long after the One Mind state was known and known. From that deep inner knowing I could return through despair, as well as from any other emotion. Going through the dark revealed all recurring pools of darkness, extending back to the initial break from my childhood. I don’t know if despair itself is a way. It’s a hard way, and dangerous. It has the element of its own emancipation in it, but who would be strong enough to go through it without disintegrating? How to practice? We have to go all the way through the experience. When conditions are right, it appears. The right conditions mean no conditions. You understand. Finding the way through despair was more unexpected, more welcome than the love – more familiar, steadfast, dependable, a frozen flat calm that continued far into the night, beyond sadness, beyond fear. It was a raw, primal power, my power.
It was wonderful to finally see the swell of love pass, to again feel the delight of the world, of being alive. But it wasn’t the same as before. Though I’d survived her, there was little left: my empire flattened, my love lashed to its tattered remains; the seeds ruined, its dead form immobile, like an unearthly statue. Dark, calm, its death exuded a sweet smell; so complex, so rare. And though the joy the despair a thousand times more.
“To make absolute, unconditional surrender to the woman one loves is to break every bond save the desire not to lose her, which is the most terrible bond of all.” –H. Miller
I would live in darkness if the light was this. It was a joy to kill love: what I had to give up, what it fostered in me. The One Mind… my poor soul could not rest in either world, though it proved resilient. It was a sweet, enveloping mystery to fall in love again, to see the framework from the inside, to withhold, withstand, and to give it back, with respect, with joy. I gave my weathered and torn entity, it fell to nothing. It didn’t stop anything. The eternal aspect, what was rising, had no emotional need. It contained all, asked for nothing. It was fast to the work. One to the next, it never hesitates.