Frame of Class living mysticism 02-21-2013
Thursday F‚Äčeb. 21st 2013
Me and It, or Hermit versus Hierphant.

"To be nobody-but-myself-- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting." (e.e.cummings, American poet, 1894-1962) That's the Hermit in Tarot i.e. being "nobody-but-myself" in opposition to the Hierophant, "doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else". That's the individual versus society or the collective. The truth is, however, that you need the "everybody else" concept out there in order to define who you are and who you are not. Nobody and nothing matures in a vacuum. A butterfly cannot be helped out of its chrysalis, otherwise it will never fly. It is the stress of breaking free of the chrysalis that releases the fluids that fill and spread the wings. No stress, no wings, no flight.

One of A Course in Miracles lessons, and interestingly the only one that is actually repeated (and it is repeated at least four times) is "I am as God created me". The repetition of the lesson underlies the difficulty and therefore the challenge of totally accepting and loving self. We believe that the human being comes into a life with self judgements from other lifetimes that are then triggered and played out again in this lifetime, with some hope and intent of healing these judgements. The persona that each one of us develops as we grow up is not, of course, the true self but more of a defence mechanism and therefore some kind of a vehicle in which to navigate the expectations and limitations of the conditions we have chosen for this lifetime. That inevitably means that parents, education, often if not usually religion, and society in general will put limitations and conditions on us, from which we then have to learn to emerge, just like the butterfly from the chrysalis. To quote James Joyce this time, in the person of Stephen Dedalus from "Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man": "when the soul of man is born...., there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight...... nationality, language and religion. I shall try to fly by those nets."

The problem is that the defence mechanism-personality or ego is too full of itself one way or another. It either gets all puffed up about what it can do or all wobbly and depressed about what it can't do or what it does that it is ashamed of. Expectations that seem to come or have come from outside are also inside and always have been. Some serious reflection and a healthy dose of humour can go a long way here. You don't have to prove your self to anybody; you don't have to do it all NOW; the more you push yourself, the more you are likely to find others pushing you from the outside, because the world is a perfect mirror of what is going on inside of you and in your psyche. Have you heard that from us somewhere before?! Mirrors! Mirrors! One of the reasons that you need the world outside of you is to mirror that which you are unable or unwilling to see on the inside. As A Course in Miracles defines it, everyone and everything that you meet up with along the way (of your life) is "a holy encounter", and ultimately to your benefit even if you don't initially see that.

One of my first encounters with someone accepting their limitations was my German professor at University. He explained to all of us in one of his early lectures, as he had no doubt done many times before, that he was a horrible fidget and had a lot of restless energy and therefore he would be pacing back and forth and rustling through his papers on the lectern throughout his lecture. I remember him explaining it but I don't remember noticing it beyond that. It was a nonissue. It was the way he was and we liked his lectures. In the movie "Hyde Park on Hudson", FDR explains to King George VI (the stuttering king of "The King's Speech" and father of Queen Elizabeth) that no one will be preoccupied with King George's stuttering or FDR's paralysis if they don't focus on it and get on with their lives and their work. FDR is remembered first and foremost as a president and not as the victim of polio. King George VI is remembered first and foremost for the admirable way he and his wife demonstrated leadership by staying in London throughout the war and facing the blitzes like the rest of London, and not because he stuttered. Additionally both of them might be admired for the way in which they dealt with their limitations. And poor old Congressman Marco Rubio did laugh about his water guzzling the next day ("old" being strictly an endearing figure of speech, since he looks like he might be about 25!). I'm not a great fan of Republican politics but I had a lot of sympathy for his nerves and obvious dry mouth, which I could hear, when he was giving the Republican rebuttal to the President's State of the Union address. (Have been there with dry mouth and done that with water guzzling myself!) Pride and defensiveness maintain the troubled state; being able to laugh at one's limitations can go a long way to healing. So... find yourself, find your chrysalis and learn to fly!

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