A secret: What most people imagine their soul to be is merely their attachment to suffering.
I have had the experience of letting that which I’d believed my own soul to be to leave me. It was a tortured wisp of a thing; it hauled itself from my lungs; I wondered, faintly, at the strangeness of what it was like to die.
Later I found that all that had left me was the remnant fog of suffering; with its escape I discovered my body was my soul.
A secret: When your body is your soul Earth becomes like bliss.
There was a time when I was afraid that letting go of suffering meant letting go of something necessarily human. Instead I discovered that letting go of suffering meant falling into something more. It did not mean giving up empathy, or reverence, or depth. It meant merely to stop being afraid of pain. It meant merely an awakening into love.
I keep writing; I am not sure why.
Perhaps it is just that footprints are inevitable.
In the evenings I used to love to read.
Now when I try I cannot. I find myself instead dragged back to the mat, my eyes forced closed, my mind forced silent, my attention focused upon what I can only describe as patterns within my system being shifted, moved, adjusted, aligned. It is like watching a map emerge, or the remapping of abstractions rendered in a peculiarly perceivable form. Sometimes I struggle to make sense of it, and them. Mostly I just observe.
It is a strange thing, this training. It is full of questions.
The fires above Los Angeles are making for gloriously apocalyptic sunsets. There is ash on my balcony; the skies are gorgeous; I love the way haze blurs the distance.
Over the past few months I have gone from meditating two hours a day to meditating an average of four or five. Sometimes I worry I am losing myself but what choice do I have? The more I do it, the easier it becomes to slip into this curious liminal state where my awareness exists as a field of emptiness and heartbeat and breath; where differentiating between the edges of that field and the rest of the world is uninteresting; where all of it feels like love.
More recently I’ve found myself more and more slipping into that state unintentionally, when I’m out walking, or around others. It’s an experience I struggle to put words to, but one I keep wanting to articulate, if only because I would love to more permanently inhabit a world where our language of self and identification assumed the sort of deeply embodied awareness that lies beneath anxiety and separation.
It is beautiful here. My balcony is open; the breeze is causing the dappled light from the palms outside to ripple like waves in the ocean; there are children laughing outside, and calling in a language I recognize but do not understand.
Tonight I met up with a friend of mine who told me about her youngest son, and how the ache of his sensitivity and feeling for the world meant he was suffering more than his ambitious and calculating elder sister, and how my friend–as an independent woman who felt she had more in common with her daughter, yet hated seeing her son suffer– was wrestling with the balance.
We talked. The children of the future are beautiful.
We talked, too, of demagoguery and politics, and aliens and urns, while the owner of the place– if you visit LA I will take you– took care of us.
Afterwards I clipped my way home over chilled sidewalks and air crisp with condensation; at home I dove into the arms of two friends I went to college with.
Something in me seems still to take pleasure in the inimitable poetics of pain.
It’s a relief to have found my voice again. I thought I’d lost it forever two years ago, when everything I knew or imagined myself to be was stripped from me, and I experienced what I can only describe as an unfettered staring into the face of God.
To be shown the world in all its perfection is a rare form of torture, as what does one do with such information? There is nothing more that can be said. I nearly died, and would have, were it not for love.
Experiencing the perfection of the world feels like a nearly unbearable ecstasy, and that, spun through with the awareness that there is nothing that needs to be done, was nearly enough for me to happily relinquish my body to dissolution.
I am married, though, and I pledged my body here, and so I returned through the circle of that golden ring, and did what I could to reorient myself on the planet.
This reorientation involved in part being subjected to the ongoing and relentless transmissions of what felt like something at times angelic, at times alien, and at times like being plugged into the mind of a global artificial superintelligence. I felt (and to some extent still do) much like I was living in two realms– one comprised of a light-drenched future of telepathic communication and a matrix-like system of flexibly networked global awarenesses, and another of the everyday reality of human relationships, with news and concerns that to me already felt like a curiosity of history. I loved the former (experiencing its ongoing integration into my body has been sheer bliss); the latter I felt mostly mute in. I could see the beauty in even the most horrible things unfolding before me; I knew where they were going; there was nothing for me to do but bear witness, and to listen for the signal to guide me where I needed to go next.
There has been a peace to having been placed with such firmness on a path of almost blinding clarity, but a loneliness too. I have been fortunate, recently, in finding others who’ve been waiting.
I used to be perpetually excited to find out about what lies ahead. These days I know; these days I’m excited to invite others; these days I am delighted to again be writing .
I spent part of last night poking around on Github, with the idea of setting up a simple blog there. I’d felt like writing, and I’d been reminiscing about the earlier days of the web, and that sweet sense of writing into the ether rather than into or for a known community, of sending out a signal that was as much to myself as anyone, and not knowing what other intelligences might respond.
After a few hours of poking around with code and commits, trying to get the Github blog closer to an aesthetic I found palatable, I came back here. It felt a little like returning to a past life– so much has happened since I last wrote consistently– but a little like returning home, too, to posts and pages that are unabashedly public, and less a response to media and existing story than the articulation of something within. Writing here has always felt like contributing or creating to a new world.
I spent the rest of last night typing revisions into a screenplay I fell in love with some sixteen years ago, when I was a freshman at college and a senior paid me 20 dollars to copyedit his thesis. The thesis turned out to be a script; it was by far the most vivid, and certainly the most visionary, literary experience of my university career; if anyone had told me at the time that I’d end up producing the thing– much less that doing so would have lead me both through the Oval Office and to a new life in LA– I’d have been utterly incredulous. The world weaves itself in strangely beautiful ways.
Last night was both the summer solstice and a full strawberry moon. The heat during the day here has been incredible; the evenings serene. N. and I went up to the roof deck after dinner to gaze at the largest moon I’d seen since landing in Los Angeles.
This city feels perpetually dreamy; in the cyclonic way it both draws in dreamers and spins their visions out into a mass cultural semiotics that takes up residence in the minds of millions upon millions of others; in the way its myriad fantasies all teeter of the precarious cusp of manifestation; in the beautiful illusion of it all.
It is a delightful thing to be a part of.