Saturday, May 30, 2009

In the jingle-jangle morning, I'll come following you.

This small, yet significant attempt to share myself with the world is currently going out to a few very specific people who deserve much more than a blog post from me. There is a poem by Hafiz that goes like "After all this time, the sun doesn't say to the earth 'you owe me'. Look at what happens with a love like that-it lights the whole world". That sentiment expresses a love so sincere and selfless that it can only happen with family; and true family might have been there from the beginning, watching you shoot out of your Mom, or maybe family has been there since whenever you were lucky enough to find them, and have been watching you struggle, find the funny, learn, be rejected, realize hope, and all the while, drinking white wine by the jug because that is how classy ladies do.

I have been adventuring and experimenting and reading and listening for years partly in search of a better understanding of who I was made to be, and what that person can do for this world. Excursions of the Middle Eastern persuasion have left me with an unparalleled appreciation for falafel (and a whole lot more, let's be honest), but the past 6 months of living with people who are so much more to me than just housemates have been absolutely incredible for my development and understanding of myself, that I might as well have been locked in a house with some of the most interesting and caring people on earth who care for me equally as passionatly.

When I look back on my last two quarters of college, after getting back from Israel, I would say that they were purposefully spent securing a job for next year, learning as much as humanly possible from education inside the walls and inside relationships, and every available moment with people who remind me so much of God that sometimes I explode with affection. None of those activities were things of productive significance, such as starting a non-profit, or working relentlessly on the behalf of others; and although I do not want the rest of my life to be as such, I am very thankful for the gift that I was given to simply be for a little while. That being said, it is difficult for me to believe my wonderful housemates whenever they express admiration, because the truth is that I feel like I've taken a bit of a hiatus from striving since I have lived with them, which is where most appreciation in our lives are rooted.

I have been loved unconditionally, not in spite of my lack of productivity, but in lieu of it. Perhaps those moments of shooting the shit in the kitchen are far more eternal and holy than bringing down "the man" in one single swoop, though that is completely legitimate as well. It's entirely possible that learning how to accept love when I truly feel as though it is undeserved is the sole reason why any of us, not just myself, are here. And maybe that's the answer to the second part of that question, what can we possibly due for the world?

I step out into a new frontier of Land of Enchantment: New Mexico with the full confidence that I am appreciated and taken care of just because I exist. It is only with that confidence that I can be selfless for the people who need me to be selfless, and that, my dear friends, is the most beautiful cycle of all. Your companionship is enough for me to believe that God, or the universe, or breath, or being, or anything at all, is a good thing. This collective gives me hope as bright as the sun that community of that splendor can happen again, and will only add to the continuing investment and adoration that exists in this moment. I sincerely agape (what's up, greek roots?!) you all.


Brett Horvath said...


You're highlighting some great questions/definitions around personal development, impact, and time well spent.

Maybe its just because I wanted to make this point anyway, but in your post I hear some personal questioning of your impact or what you've done over the last year.

As you know, I'm a big believer in coming to terms with your own "story" or "personal mythology". An image of yourself that you can confidently build-up and live out. It's a powerful measure to take, but it has some serious drawbacks and issues to confront as a strategy.

Over the last couple years of I've been an intense student of ego, both my own and generally. One book I've found much wisdom from is "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle. Tolle has been great at challenging many of my deeply held assumptions of personal growth and ego.

One of Tolle's larger points is the ego's need to play out role's or fit into forms for personal fulfillment. For instance, How well am I being a leader? Or how well am I being a world changer? Then the ego can build itself up in these forms through specific accomplishments and metrics. It feels good DOING something, feeling productive answering questions like "How many people did I register to vote?" or "How many loans did I give out". Often, in our minds, these actions replace true Being and actual connection to the Whole.

Literally minutes before reading your blog post, I read this chapter from Tolle at Bagel Oasis (still there writing this BTW: ) So I'll just transcribe some of the awesome ideas I just read.

"Giving Up Role-Playing

To do whatever is required of you in any situation without it becoming a role that you identify with is an essential lesson in the art of living that each one of us is here to learn. You are most powerful in whatever you do if the action is performed for its own sake rather than as a means to protect, enhance, or conform to your role identify. Every role is a fictious sense of self, and through it everything becomes personalized and thus corrupted and distorted by the mind-made "little-me" and whatever role it happens to be playing.

In a world of role-playing personalities, those few people who don't project a mind-made image-and there are some even on TV, in the media, and in the business world-but function from the deeper core of their Being, those who do not attempt to appear more than they are but are simply themselves, stand out as remarkable and are the only ones who truly make a difference in this world. They are the bringers of the new consciousness. Whatever they do becomes empowered because it is in alignment with the purpose of the whole. Their influence, however, goes far beyond what they do, far beyond their function. Their mere presence-simple, natural, unassuming, has a transformational effect on whatever they come into contact with.

*Post contined*

Brett Horvath said...

*Post part 2*

When you don't play roles, it means there is no self (ego) in what you do. There is no secondary agenda: protection or strengthening of your self. As a result, your actions have far greater power. You are totally focused on the situation. You become one with it. You don't try to be anybody in particular. You are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself. But don't try and be yourself. That's another role. Its called "natural, spontaneous me". As soon as you are trying to be this or that, you are playing a role. "Just be yourself" is good advice, but it can also be misleading. The mind will come in and say, "Lets see. How can I be myself?" Then, the mind will develop some kind of strategy: "How to be myself." Another role. "How can I be myself" is, in fact, the wrong questions. It implies you have to do something to be yourself. But how doesn't apply here because you are yourself already. Just stop adding unnecessary baggage to who are already are. "But I don't know who I am. I don't know what it means to be myself" If you can be absolutely comfortable with not knowing who you are, then what's left is who you are--the Being behind the human, a field of pure potentiality rather than something that is already defined.

Give up defining yourself--to yourself and to others. You won't die. You will come to life......Why does the ego play roles? Because of one unexamined assumption, one fundamental error, one unconscious thought. That thought is: I am not enough. Other unconscious thought follows: I need to play a role in order to get what I need to be fully myself: I need to get more so that I can be more. But you cannot be more than you are because underneath your physical and psychological form, you are one with Life itself, one with Being. In form, you are and will always be inferior to some, superior to others. In essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. True self-esteem, and true humility arise out of that realization. In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same"

*Brett again* So I don't drink anyone's kool-aid all the way, and maybe part of my own limitation is my ability to let go of form completely. This has been my biggest point of inertia with the Eastern Traditions, we as humans are beings of Story, of Mythology, of Cycles, of Dramas, of Crisis, of Heroes, and Battles. These are deep seeded, and personally powerful, and moving for entire cultures and civilizations.

I have had much success and fulfillment when I can, in Obama's words, "Hold the tension of the opposites". And in my humble speculation, I will be even more successful and powerful if I can better (not necessarily entirely) internalize the Tolle passage from above. Also in my humble speculation, I may still think you will be better served by building out your own narrative and mythology, though I'm less steadfast in what that means.

However, when it comes to functioning from a "deeper core of Being" As Tolle puts it: "Those who do not attempt to to appear more than they are but are simply themselves, stand out as remarkable and are the only one who truly make a difference in this world. They are the bringers of new consciousness".----You got me beat girl, and stand out as someone who will continue to spread love wherever you go, no matter how many Indian Math and English test scores you improve.

With Love,