The Woman Who Is a Complete Human Being

Reflected Love One of the most heartbreaking realities in our culture is the fact that all of us have grown up with and been taught to see our worth and our essence through the reflections back from family, lovers, institutions, job performance, career success or failure, how we look, to name a few.

And from these erroneous assessments we go on to believe that we are something inferior; not the beautiful Beings of light that we are, but somehow always on the outside of a perfection that we perceive to be in others or in the future but not now, not in ourselves. We go on to attack ourselves in this way, continually trying to fix ourselves, to fit in with others, social situations, public institutions, in order to feel that we are okay.

As women growing up in this culture the reflection often is fused with how one looks, or acts or if we are acceptable in the roles we have taken on. And so even our sexuality becomes a torment of trying to be something for others and in doing so we subjugate ourselves to something we perceive as a measuring tool for our goodness.

I went to hear Robert Waterman speak, an original founder of Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM last year. The title and prologue of his talk, drew me in a powerful way:

The Good That is Seeking You from Within

"The fear began when, in our curiosity, we stepped away from ourselves. The sensation of separation, while initially exciting, settled in as fear. From then on, we interpreted love through its reflections. Reflected love is a contrary and perverse partner. Love itself continued below the surface, growing in stature, yet undetected by fear. Our addiction and defense of fear masquerade as a dark lover. All this time, and we are ancient, while we fought the dragon, love continued to mature within us. On the surface we have come to believe we are experts, which effectively hides from our awareness the true mastery by which we guide our lives. When we discover how we actually make our lives, living from love is easy and powerful."ROBERT WATERMAN

I was personally and deeply touched by Waterman’s workshop that day. He is a calm very humble man whose presence is an abiding loving one.

Linley Solari of Taos, also attended this workshop and wrote a clear summary of the day’s offering by Waterman, which I include here in part:

“…And then he[Waterman] began, in earnest, by saying that our discomfort, our pain, our fear, our anger, our confusion is NEVER about what is actually happening but lies solely with our relationship to what is happening. “The difficulty is never the issue; it’s our relationship to the issue.”

“EVERYTHING is a reflection back to us, “he said. “It is not something to be judged or fixed or defended or protected. You are not something trying to find God…that is the reflection. You are already God trying to find itself in this world.”

What Waterman was addressing is the basic and fundamental split in our psyche between what we hold ourselves to be and what we actually are. We have all been hypnotized through thousands of years of imprinting into believing we are something separate from the foundational intelligence of the universe. We have all come to believe in the innate limitation and inadequacy of the individuatedself. And so we seek…we seek to find “something” in the “outside” world that will make us feel adequate: love, sex, money, family, knowledge, status, religion, accomplishment, power. We are seeking to somehow complete what we feel is incomplete: our very selves. “We interpret Love through its reflections.”—End of Solari’s summary.

the nature of illness

the nature of illness

Here is the dream I wish to end this year with…it is a celebration of human existence as learned from the woman in this dream. I pass it along to you.

2013   The Woman Who Is A Complete Human Being

I dream I am at a sitting with M and 3 other people, another woman and two men. M is sitting facing us and we are sitting 4 square facing him. The room is without light, it seems to be twilight. There is a knocking sound against the building. The woman behind me thinks there may be someone at the door. I know it is a tree branch but I cannot control my body from responding. My body crawls down to the floor and out of the room. When I cross the threshold I am facing an open door and it is broad daylight. I am in a beach town and the air and light have that quality and color to it. I walk out the door turning right without any idea where I am going. I wonder how or if I will remember how to get back here. I meet a child and she takes me to a house of an older woman. I met these woman years ago-she remembers what I wore, a silk shirt that she admired. The woman is lying on her back. A man friend is there who is my age, and she is showing him her chest, that is bleeding below where her left breast has been removed. Both her breasts are completely gone. The scars are there and her chest looks like a battleground-it is purpled with bruises and blood is seeping from below her breast scar. I am reminded of the portraits of Jesus on the cross. I don’t know if she has an infection or the wound is still healing. She shows this to him without any self-pity. To simply reveal herself. Then she is standing up and she has with her in her hands two of her favorite objects, which she seems to be gifting to him. One is a silver pen that she holds in her left hand. The pen looks like nothing I have seen before. It is about an inch and half wide, it is tapered at each end, it bulges a bit in the center. The ends that are tapered look a bit like the feather but it is symmetrical and very unusual. In her other hand she is holding a piece of silk, a small square of it about a foot square or a little smaller. The silk is gold but luminous gold, luminous from within the weave of the material. I love the realness of this person, and she strikes me as a complete and total human being, not simply a woman although she is certainly that.   I find I love her relationship to the man, the child and to life. It imprints me. I go to leave and as I walk out I think I am going back the way I came but I gradually see that the numbers are getting larger in the addresses and I see that I will not be going back the way I came. I feel at peace to be somewhere so foreign.

This dream in a way speaks for itself. I still see and feel the woman’s chest, my chest. I feel as if she lives inside of me and as if this potential is the most human and most awakened part of me. All that it means to be a real human being. The wounds, the pen, and the silk. Our human journey including our injuries, our creative ability to express ourselves and the essential fabric of our existence—the golden and luminous truth of who and what we are.

We can relearn our understanding of ourselves, our real selves, and begin to see that in others, honoring the truth of our realities to one another and to our children.

star gazers

star gazers

I wish you a very peaceful holiday full of joy and promise and renewal.

Patti

 

Ripping the Veil

And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:

A motion and a spirit,

That impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey (excerpt)

I would like to write about two topics over the next couple of weeks – one on the subject of persona and the other on the subject of reflected love.

We live our lives as if totally convinced of our stories of others and ourselves until we have an experience of another reality, a hidden reality.  Then the basis for all our beliefs wobbles and we see we have not been scraping the surface of bedrock, but the pillowed existence we have built on top of it.

Through this discussion my intent is not to bash the personality.  It is with us as long as we are in human skin.  It is shaped by all our life experiences and is part of the way we relate and make our lives work, pursue careers and have families.  It is a necessary aspect of our lives.

My intent here is to give it its place. And to raise the question about who and what we actually are, and what is keeping us in hiding.

In this first dream, a decision is made to face myself completely, not realizing what that might mean.

October 12, 2011

Papji, a 20th century Indian sage, once commented that the presence of a lion in a dream was a sign of the Higher Self in pursuit of you.

I am both in the dream and witness to the dream.

There is a lion, so small and harmless. I have it in a bowl of peanut butter. I am looking at it thinking if I let this cat out I will prove I am ready to face myself completely, knowing it will be life size if I do. With that thought the lion is out of the bowl, life size, in the room, my bedroom. It is very frisky and is nipping at me like a dog but it is a bit stronger. I look up and now there are TWO wild cats in the room. I watch my character get up on the bed with my back to the headboard, as far back as I can get. One of the lions jumps up onto the bed and with one stroke tears off my face. I hear myself saying, “Well there goes my face.” I am thinking, “I wonder what it will be like to live without a face.” Scene shift. I am with the lions again; we are in my living room. They are very lively and moving around. “It is Sunday,” I say, “and I can finally get to really look at the details.” End of dream.

Initially in the dream I am looking at a tiny lion in a bowl of peanut butter. The lion is like a childhood toy in a bowl of childhood food. When I see it there I am aware I am living behind the façade of being a helpless child, playing at consciousness, and that if I really wanted to know what and who I am I would only have to say it and the lion would be life size. And with this thought—poof! The lion is full-grown, there in my bedroom – the place of intimacy. The lion is frisky, not calm or serene, nipping me – making full contact with its mouth and teeth. And then there are TWO lions…and I feel their intent and pursuit of me. (When TWO shows up in this context I am reminded of the two headed snake, the two headed elephant, the Adam and Eve myth, the Shiva/Shakti story—the duality speaks to the masculine and feminine aspects but also to the sense that the Infinite embodies wholeness and is not in short supply. They come perhaps to represent the creative force of the universe-the ever-generative power of creation from which we are born.) I climb up onto the bed and press myself back into the headboard. I know the inevitable is coming and in the dream I want to feel the solidness of something behind me, bracing me for when it comes. With one stroke the lion tears off my face; there is no pain. Only a true wondering: “What it will be like to live without a face, what it will be like to be seen by others without a face?” And then there is a scene shift – and I am in my ‘living’ room (I have brought this shift into my real life).  The lions are there, very lively moving around. And almost in answer to my query of What will it be like,  I say aloud, “It is Sunday—(Sunday- the day dedicated to the sacred-the sun, the source of light), and I can finally get to really look at the details—(I can finally look without a mask at all there is to see.)

My intent is not to bash the personality.  It is with us as long as we are in human skin.  It is shaped by all our life experiences and is part of the way we relate and make our lives work, pursue careers and have families.

My intent is to raise the question about whether we actually have any idea who we are. And if we don't, what is keeping us in hiding.

shadow introductions

shadow introductions

“The ancient Greeks, in their renowned comedies and tragedies, had their actors portray their characters by holding up masks in front of their faces. The masks were known as “personas”. And so it is. We have come to identify with our “personas” rather than realizing that we are each but mere characters in a divine play. We get to explore life as our character and engage in the game of hide and seek wherein we seek and find the divine in each other and in all things. [But] More often we hide our divinity and hide the divinity of others and all things.”

LINLEY SOLARI

So to ask the question is to begin to lower the mask, to admit that we don’t actually know what and who we are.  And perhaps opens the way for the God within us to reveal a glimpse of our true wealth.

Friend, this is the only way to learn the secret way:

Ignore the paths of others,

Even the saints' steep trails.

Don't follow.

Don't journey at all.

Rip the veil from your face.

SACHAL SARMAST, Translation by Ivan. M. Granger