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Friday, October 17, 2014

The Past is Present

Several mornings this week I have had the vision of a sort of funnel with all that has happened in my past contained therein, plus in a slightly distant and more faded way, all that has happened to my ancestors. All present in a certain way in my current life.

I have emphasized living in the here and now for many years, and that is a key to effectiveness and mental peace. Yet there they are, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly of my journey, hovering overhead.

It seems to me that each is a thread or two in the fabric of who I am in this moment. Even more, they only have power to distort this moment if I allow them. They have had their moment. They have softened, hardened, kneaded, and in many ways affected my 2014 me, back in the day when they were actually present and in my life. Today they are in my life as past influences, or if I invite them in, once again, recycled influences.

I can invite someone, some memory, out of my "funnel" here and tie up lose ends, suffer again, dismiss, or simply observe. I can forgive and release. I can rejoice and celebrate. But what I cannot do is erase them from the fabric of my life. They have already been in my life and have already left a thread. I can redefine that thread, but I cannot rip it out.

In a less direct way, the threads of my ancestors live in me in either stories once told in my presence or in my DNA. In some ways I see I can restore the story of those who have gone before yet live in me by making the choices they didn't have the strength to make. Confusing? Okay, for example my mother's father commited suicide when she was 7. Things had gone sour in his once successful life, and apparently he turned to drink and then a gun. Things have gone sour in my life (as in most if not all lives) and I have not turned to drink and have chosen to hang in there. I don't know if the DNA is changed in its forward movement, but the stories told about me and my perserverance in the face of dire obstacles is a different one.

At least, I think we might consider what influences drift in and which we do or do not wish to play out in this here and now. Just because they once were, does not mean they have to continue to be active in our life.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

P.S re: non-attachment

On the road to non-attachment, there is loss. Loss requires grieving.

I have experienced a huge pile/piles of loss along the route of this life, and consequently spent some considerable time grieving.

In my imperfect state of non-attachment where I currently reside, there are moments of loss, remembering loss, and the wrenching pain of grief.

There is current loss, sometimes seemingly insurmountable. There is the lingering sorrow over the loss of my violin that sometimes peeks at me as well as other fleeting memories that haunt me from time to time. There are losses I define as big - loss of family, etc.

The state of non-attachment spoken of by spiritual greats, is probably not completely attainable in this life. Yet to realize that the energy focused on lost violins is energy not focused on God and thereby a distraction of life purpose, helps me to move through the grief more quickly and to let it, whatever the it is, go. The letting go takes multiple expressions depending on the degree of attachent. The joy I had in playing "Red River Valley" and other songs, coupled with the sense of betrayal, the powerlessness over any hope of recovering my beloved violin, create a complex situation that have made the release more difficult than otherwise might be so. Not to state this is a constant thing, but it does pop up from time to time and require working through once again.

Just in case you are getting ready to send me a violin, that's not it. The moment has passed, etched as a dip in my route. I cannot be in 3rd grade again and re-do it. There is no rewind on earth, except with television movies perhaps. It was a complex moment that I have not totally resolved. I only bring it up by way of example of how imperfect I am on the way to full non-attachment.

There are other, larger losses that haunt me of course. Some I come to peace over and they fade away, some reappear in my consciousness from time to time and require further work. I realize this releasing, this letting go and letting God, this trusting that all works together for good - this non-attachment process - it is imperative for my spiritual growth. Without it, every loss in my life lives on in me to stand between me and residing in God.


Upon reading some Meister Eckhart this morning, the thought has struck me that much of my life has been focused on teaching me non-attachment. I am not certain that all of it was intentional on the part of the "teacher" yet I am fairly certain they responded at some level to a general assignment to teach Marlene non-attachment for the benefit of spiritual understanding.

A few words from Eckhart: All God wants of you is for you to let go of yourself and creatures and let God be within you. The smallest creature image that takes shape in you is as big as God. Why? It deprives you of the whole of God. As soon as this image enters you, God with all His Godhead has to exit. But when the image exits, God enters... What harm can it do you to do God the favor of letting God be God in you? Let go of yourself for God's sake, and God will let go of Himself for your sake!. When these two have exited, what is left is one and simple. In this One the Father bears His Son in the innermost source.

Letting go of oneself, it seems to me, is fully non-attachment.

It began in my childhood. My mother cut my pacifier and told me President Roosevelt needed the rubber for the war effort. My precious box of comic books under my bed vanished because I was too old for them, mother insisted. My violin was gone, I was tone deaf she said. On and on it went. The things I loved were whisked away.

Things vanishing continued, but were added to by people vanishing or being banned. I wasn't to be around my father's people. I couldn't sit on my Dad's lap anymore. I couldn't play with her because her mother was divorced. I couldn't go to art school. I desperately tried to create a life that was under my control. But it didn't work. My husband died suddenly. My son turned away. My mother increased her attacks. Things and people were ripped from me.

I developed a sharpness of protection that sometimes lashed out. But, finally I began to see a larger scene, mystical writings spoke to me, and slowly it dawned on me that Paul was correct, "All things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes." I certainly was called, as anyone who knew me could see. I began to accept that everyone and everything was my teacher. Everyone and every thing came bearing a gift of awakening.

And eventually, I began to see that one of the big life lessons, at least for me, is non-attachment. These things, these people, these moments are not satiating my soul's hunger.My soul hungers for God. These things can either be there or not, either way they are not in charge of my peace of mind.

So here I am with almost everything stripped away. And, I am at peace. Perhaps things and people will be returned. Perhaps not. Perhaps my life is much simplier than I had thought I wanted. I strive to let God be God in me, to listen and follow.