Thursday, March 3, 2011

Diamonds Take Time


Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 10:49pm

So, you wanted to know how one deals with continuous pain? Well, we take on our karma with grace, or we cry.

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional," the Buddha said. Well this journey for some of constant pain is debilitating, frustrating, enervating, and simply seems unfair. And like most things in life, we're left having to make sense of it all by ourselves, for another person's sense is not necessarily ours. It is the isolation of being in pain when there is no-one around to sympathize, empathize, or even bear witness to our endurance that pain really tests us, for in those long lonely hours, of what USE is our endurance and the suffering and the immobility and the harshness of our distinctive and seemingly unique reality?

It is precisely in those moments that the trick of minimizing the present reality becomes a personal practice, for I know that my own little clod of reality, as Shaw* would have it, is very much diminished in comparative perception of the universe, and of what I can do for it by honouring a larger totality than myself, by contemplating its vastness of potential, and of focusing on the creative, the generative, the mystical, the pragmatic, the absorptive, assimilative, inclusive and integrative potentiality that is the gift we all have, to whatever degree we realize it.  And so, like the choice of opening or closing the icons on a computer desktop, I minimize the pain window, open up and explore the other icons of my cognizance, and rather than pushing against pain, or being annoyed by its perseverance, I dial up some other icon and overwhelm the pain with some other aspect of my unlimited potentiality, given that I grant the same unlimited-ness to each and all in the essence of our being yoked to everything. And the more adept I become at minimizing my response to one set of provocations, particularly pain, and maximize the choice of my chosen direction, whatever creative or focused endeavour I turn my mind to, the more I become accepting of the moment by moment by moment. Move but slightly and the stab indeed brings me back to the painful reality of physical nerves rubbed raw and sudden jabs of agony, but then the journey resumes; it is a constant journey of voyaging with my senses focused on the next destination, rather than on the rattle and squeak of the bone-based vessel in which my being travels.

Wisdom would have us realize our journeys are at once for ourselves and others; we are cells connected to every other cell in a continuous process of covalent bonding, osmosis, and essential evolution. We are learning, voyaging, taking on a sea of troubles. Impatience with the process is among our many difficulties. Diamonds take time. How do we slough off the entirety of the old as we progress through to the new? How many times shall we pass the travail? How do we make the transition permanent by choosing to let go of the past habituations, by truly metamorphosing to become the butterfly from our own caterpillar-like crawling toward our larger destiny?

We move with grace and gratitude, or we cry. And crying too, has its place. Choice is our privilege. What part of everything is not?

* This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown out on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
                                                           (Shaw, 1903, Man and Superman, Penguin Plays, p.32)