I’m up late again. It’s easier to think when the world quiets down and the conventional urges for sleep draw most into the machine of cultural routine.
It’s easier to sprout wings and fly amidst the stars, so late – to embrace my birthright of exploration and discovery through reasoning, learning, and creativity. Things the accumulated weights of habit, routine, and community wouldn’t necessarily lead me back to.
A very old wound is finally beginning to heal – a stifled mind. I came to Austin years ago to train in transformation in Landmark Worldwide’s Introduction Leaders Program, and I was told by those training me that my intellect and my reason were only “resistance” and “identity” and “strong suit”. I surrendered my mind in order to produce results…and was heartbroken when the results never materialized. All I had to show for it was a newfound willingness to abdicate the sharpened sword of thinking-for-myself I had spent so many years cultivating…I no longer trusted myself.
To some extent, they saw something valuable that it took years for me to also see and to fully embrace: THAT I have feelings and they matter, THAT I have a body and it matters, and THAT respecting both through touching-and-staying yields joy as much as power. To another, one that I’m only reintegrating now, the most beautiful gift I’d spend ten years building – my intellect – was shoved, held underwater, and seemingly drowned. I kept drowning myself (all doubts, all curiosities, all excitements) that the simplicity of a single often-terribly-articulated audio course (however many truths might definitely be there, despite a profoundly poor understanding of science from an unqualified articulation)…and then the certainty and faith (built justly from actual spiritual experiences that merit such a degree of faith, in his world and for him alone) of one of my mentors…was enough to continue all this, to wrap my mind in the straight-jacket of whatever I was told…from a messy imprecise hodge-podge buffet of New Age beliefs.
No more. Teaching Philosophy again has been like Jacob wrestling with God in the desert and receiving a new name in return. That name, so far, is the act of distinction and the power to be found there. That name, so far, is actually listening to what people are saying and asking if it makes any damned sense before wholesale accepting it. That name, so far, is a mixture of willingness to try things on…and also to completely let go of beliefs that don’t have proof.
It’s right and just and healthy and good that I be critical and considerate, thoughtful and prudent, rigorous and precise. That I question any claim to “intuition” or “divine guidance,” especially when it isn’t also engaging in a rational dialogue around systems of economic, racial, and sexist injustice and unconsciousness…where there’s not enough leverage to have them confront the truly intricate complexity of the world.
I’m doing the work to reconcile Faith and Reason within me, teachability versus holding my own counsel, surrender versus self-assertion. Both are necessary, but in what order? How?
If philosophy weren’t the call of my heart, why would it feel so very good now to ask these very questions and seek the answers?
All the more so, I’m cause in the matter of how I surrendered, uncritically and casually, to ILP. The scar left there was as much from my own choice to lose faith in myself as from the social pressures of the group and practices I’d taken on. Just as I’m now cause in the matter of chasing and learning the balance between faith and reason.
In the same way, it’s right and just and healthy and good, the craving for intimacy that I feel. To share and connect and touch and nourish another with words and presence and heart who is willing to meet me there…Stealing Heaven was so tragic and beautiful. I spend so much time with my masculine that the feminine has grown even hungrier. Abelard was similar.
Masculine and feminine, healing together at once within me. I can only be infinitely grateful.
Recipe for Bliss # 490: Heal all your wounds, no matter how subtle.