Experience Is Divinity, Part Ten – The Truth One Dare Not Speak: How Evil Is Reality? How Much Fear Is Real?… Even in the Seemingly “Darkest” of Places, There Is Light.
But what many of you are thinking is, what about the horror? About that part—where we as Divinity experiment with things that are very painful or horrid, which we would never want to do again…. I don’t know enough about this to know if it becomes an acquired taste for Divinity. I don’t even think that that would be very “healthy,” if you know what I mean … in a universal sense. This is where being human and less than Divinely aware, I have to stop. I cannot cross this line.
So, no, I do not believe the Divine desires horror. An enjoyment of extreme experience, perhaps. But an acquired taste for like evil or for darkness? I do not see how the “friendliness” and compassion that characterizes existence coincides with a “creepy” Divinity. But, I don’t know, I really don’t. Here I have to go with a more traditional explanation that horror is allowed not sought for. And that since it is ephemeral and passing and ultimately insubstantial it qualifies as more “spice” of existence and for Divine inconsequential status.
The Truth One Dares Not Speak
The other part of this, though, the part of it that I am reluctant to speak, is that we do not know how much horror really exists, for we magnify the darkness of existence in our imagination. As I said earlier, that is how we create the ideas of hell and Satan. It is part of the game we play.
I do not want to say this part “out loud” because it goes up against one of the most enforced of social sanctions. We have people who cause suffering and are insensitive, and we have those who wish to relieve the suffering of others. Of course, every one of us thinks we are the second type. Even the most horrible acts are rationalized by their perpetrators as somehow being good. I’ll save getting into that for another time, though.
But we also have those in the second camp, the “caring” and “sensitive,” secretly aware that they have some of themselves that is like the other and so are ever vigilant to scan for and “rouse the masses” upon any sign of the first type. That is how they are able to deflect attention away from themselves as possible perpetrators. It is why we have had stonings and witch burnings. It is the way those with insufficient self-knowledge defend against the darkness they have inside themselves—that is, by raising a ruckus around any perceived darkness around them. Hence what I am going to say will by those fearful people put me in the first group, the insensitive, and anything I say afterward will not be read or heard. But I persevere.
To start, I wish to say that we exaggerate the pain of ourselves and others for many good reasons that have to do with trying to sway the actions of others and thus future events; exaggeration is one of the defenses we use against possible pain. If we tell others our pain is unbearable, we know it is less likely it will actually become unbearable. We know there is a lag time between when we express something and the social environment around us responds. Exaggeration is one of the defenses we use against the horror we imagine actually happening! And if you take note of the amount of words of complaint that are expressed, complaint being one of the forms of this exaggeration defense, you will see how often we do that.
It is similar with the pain of others. We know there is plenty of insensitivity in humans, so we overcompensate by dramatizing the suffering of others. It is a way of fighting back at that insensitivity … hopefully the world will be swayed and the suffering we imagine in others will be lessened or not occur.
And at this point is where most people, and most of my readers, are found shouting out, “No! MY pain is horrible! You have no idea.” Or, “You have no idea how much these people suffer,” etc., etc., etc. And from the first group we have cries of, “Yes! They are all just cry-babies!”… “sitting on the pity pot”… and so on… BOTH of these are ways of not understanding what I am saying.
Let me tell you how I know that the exaggerated pronouncements are not exact statements of reality—something that I am taking the risk to attempt here—but are intended to have an effect and to influence the quality and nature of the upcoming course of events whenever they are asserted. I can tell you that a) I have gone through the most intense psychotherapy involving feeling the deepest and most traumatic pains that we experience in life …. especially that coming into the world. b) I have lived through the most horrible events, including almost dying several times. And c) I have lived in the most squalid of conditions, including years of homelessness, and endured extreme deprivation of many kinds. Indeed, in trying to make a life based on truth work, I have been able to manage to be in poverty in almost the entire of my sixty-two years. You have to really despise money—or actually what you have to become in order to get it—to be able, with the intelligence and skills I have been blessed with, to succeed in pulling that off.
At any rate, I can tell you that the most amazing thing of all of these is they were never as bad as I imagined. Indeed, the fact that they were not was a cause of a little joy of its own.
1) I found that in my deepest re-livings of primal pain, there was an undisturbed self, an observing self, that was completely untouched by it all.
Some people call this the Witness Self. And, indeed, its serenity, calm, and quiet joy were made the most evident in contrast to the turmoil and agony I was experiencing for the most part. This is the seed of light in the deepest darkness: There is a drop of joy even in agony, even if it is only that in feeling agony one feels at least alive!
And this is without even touching on the delight that comes with learning the real truth of one’s existence or the pleasure one feels in throwing off one’s chains.
2) In coming close to death—for example, being in a car accident where the car rolled three times and I found myself face down on the road, banged up and with some stripped skin—I never felt any pain!! There was discomfort afterwards, certainly, but ever since then I have not feared death, for I feel that death is not the painful thing I, and I think most of us, think it is! I have come to believe that the body only registers pain within the acceptable or manageable spectrum and beyond that it shuts down or fails to relay it to consciousness. I was napping in the car before the accident, while my wife drove. I woke up feeling my face against the asphalt and not having a clue who I was, where I was, or what this reality was. I had slept through the entire horrible event! And to this day, I cannot tell you what my body went through. It was as if my consciousness was transported from a time before the accident to a time right afterwards and was not there during the event. Both then and now, considering what my body must have gone through, I consider that an incredible blessing.
I can make a similar case for the beneficence of Experience using examples of the pain and suffering I went through, and the near-death, in my experiences of and with alcohol/drug addiction. That is an even longer story that will have to wait for another time.
About that, I can tell you about one time, though, which is illustrative for the exposition here. Once in particular, for an entire day, I experienced such pain that I had all I could do to keep from jumping in front of a car or in some way ending it immediately, for good. I remember the minutes ticking by so excruciatingly slow. I would look up, thinking and hoping that fifteen minutes had gone by, only to find that it had not even been two. This made the pain seem interminable, so that I thought I would lose my mind.
In fact, I felt then and afterwards and to this day, that the pain was so severe that if I could know ahead of time that I would ever again in my life have to go through that again, even just once again, life, no matter its joys or the amount of time I would have in it, would not be worth living, weighed against the suffering of such a day again. And though I still feel that way, still I have come to the conclusions and hold the beliefs about pain and suffering and the Divine that I am here expressing. And that was hardly my one experience with overwhelming pain and agony, but enough said for now.
3) I have lived on the streets, been poor, been abused, been taken advantage of, been robbed … you name it. I can tell you that the most amazing thing of all that, too, was that there was a part of me that I was aware of that I can honestly say appreciated at least the novelty of the experiences I went through. A big part of that was realizing that life, even in its seemingly “shadier” of places, still contained the light, that is, love, compassion, wisdom, and all the rest was found there, too … indeed was almost more evident there, and beautifully poignant, than in the more “defended” and sanctioned of society’s places. That is to say, for example, that I often found more love, compassion, and tolerance among the “least” of us than was to be found among the “churchly.” Jesus well understood this in his day.
So, part of my quest to understand pain and fear has been to go into darkness and to see how much fear and pain there really is in existence… to see just how “bad” …or “good” Existence, God, or Reality is, to see how much fear is warranted. It has been an ongoing and increasing joy to find that, while darkness, pain, and fear exist, there is less than what one imagines and that even in the seemingly “darkest” of places, there is light. Or, what one might say is I went to find out if really God was everywhere and found out that, indeed, She was!!
And there is also a certain pride in succeeding at being happy in circumstances that one knows that others would be terrified to be in. And sometimes what was enjoyable was unveiling the novelty of experience that a life lived as mosaic revealed.
I will have lots more to say about this at a later time when I can think of a way to express it that will get past the “guards” of moral outrage that virtually all people have erected against this notion that pain and suffering are not as bad as we say they are.
I’m only bringing it up now because we are looking at this idea of the horror of existence, and I have to put out, for those with ears to hear, a reminder that it is our “human nature” to magnify and exaggerate all our experiences when we are expressing them to others, for many reasons. But that in order to look at the ideas of suffering and pain vis-à-vis God and a compassionate universe, the truly enlightening revelations come when one is the absolutely most honest about one’s experience and with absolutely no ulterior motive to defend against or sway the effects of one’s expression or future events from it. So the upshot of my saying the above is to raise the point that in talking about the suffering and horror that God allows (or causes) in life, virtually no one, not even philosophers, evaluates it free from the constraints of bowing to social appropriateness in magnifying the pain and horror that God supposedly is causing or allowing.
There is a societal taboo, coupled with strong individual disinclination along the lines that one dare not “tempt fate.” I don’t know anyone who does not feel that if one were say “out loud” that one’s fate is easy (or enjoyable), that one’s pain is manageable (let alone secretly pleasurable at times), or that one is really happy and has it good in life, that one would like a wack-a-mole be slapped down by the Universe or the people around into the common required understanding that life is overall a struggle, painful, and miserable … and often overwhelming and unbearable at times … except for the occasional “vacations” we can win by complaining how bad it is for us. By “praying” and complaining to the Universe and others around us, we seek to better our lots in life; and we invariably pick out the worst parts to better make our case.
On the other hand, we cannot help but feel that if we actually acknowledge the goodness of life, we will be setting in motion the forces to bring about the opposite of that. No doubt this is why the poona avatar, Sathya Sai Baba, would say that gratitude is the highest prayer, actually, the only worthwhile (honest?) one.
There are reasons, rooted in our experience of coming into the world, that have us thinking that we tempt fate by acknowledging goodness, which I deal with elsewhere.
But you don’t have to go quite this far to get my main point.
The Darkness Getting Blacker Means the Lightness Becoming Brighter
Backing up, it follows that by experiencing in life even the “horrible” things, so to speak … and really being rooted in them and experiencing them, kind of knowing them … that then one would experience the opposite of it, the love and bliss, as being all the more wonderful … beautiful … exquisite. It is all the more of a deep experience of beauty because you have the deep experience of the other which contrasts.
That is the meaning of the metaphor of having a darkness or blackness which the light is made brighter by.
Continue with Every Path Is Magnificent and Maximizing Your Poignancy: Time and Uncertainty Are the Screens We Erect to Block Out Knowing Everything
Return to When Life is Ever New, a Revelation, One Has Turned the Good into the Wonderful: Experience Is Divinity, Part Nine — God Invents Joy by Forgetting.
To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Experience Is Divinity
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