Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beyond The Yellow Brick Road...

I wasn’t sure I was going to write about the most recent violent tragedy here. I’ve been attempting to find the words all week.  My heart feels a deep compassion for those who *survived* this most recent act of violence; for the ones who are traumatized deep in their psyche, that will carry this wounding for life.  My heart aches for their brokenness.  May their hearts and minds find solace and healing. 


We all live in “The Matrix” of a sometimes painful world – a name coined by the title of a famous movie of the same name – a world apparently gone mad.  As many of you know, “we” experienced yet another traumatic, violent event a week ago - one of many violent outbursts from “The Matrix” that continually occurs all over the world everyday.  But when they happen in America, or very close to us, we tend to be shocked – as if we feel we are immune to such happenings.  Then we get focused and fixated on the event – on the drama - and “the evil one” with 24/7 TV coverage.  But what if the “evil one” is a messenger – of sorts?  What if these tragic events are a cosmic wake-up call to come out of “The Matrix”: our dramas, our characters, our illusions and delusions of comfort and entitlement, safety, security and conformity – a call out of our dualistic “spiritual” ignorance.

What if the “evil one” isn’t – well – “evil”? What if he is just like us – experiencing deep pain, confusion, anger, mis-identifying with his character, experiencing mental illness due to the circumstances and events in his own life – and then acted out of that deep pain.  I’m assuming, like me, you have known people who have acted out of deep pain and despair.  Even if they haven’t become delusional and killed anyone, or themselves, they still wreak havoc in other people’s lives – emotionally, and sometimes physically.  But are we not also supposed to try to understand and have compassion for these so-called “dark ones”?  It’s much easier to throw people into black and white categories – and dark dungeons – finding self-righteous dualistic explanations of good and evil for the tragedies that play themselves out in life – like a movie. 

Isn’t it ironic that in a country where the majority *watch* violence, in the movies and on TV, or video games, or read it in books, or even write the books, that we are appalled when it actually happens *to* us.  Just *watching* the violence from a distance allows us to be unaware of the consequences of violence, the trauma that is experienced for the rest of one’s life, whether it be soldiers with PTSD, or the consequences of domestic violence, world terrorism, or domestic terrorism, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, child abuse – and every other kind of abuse that man does to man in its ignorance of its own True Nature – our Eternal Beingness -  not to sound too abstract, too esoteric, or too simplistic here.  Isn’t that why some of us are on the “spiritual paths” that we are on – to discover and *know* this Heart of Beingness that we are – some call it Enlightenment.  And isn’t that what ignorance really is – the *not* knowing this Beingness that we really are - which then creates all this havoc and suffering; duality, separateness and drama; the need to separate black and white, good and evil; the need to separate ourselves from life’s darkness, out of fear – as if we could.  I’d like to think that simply living more deeply *aware* of our True Beingness is enough… But maybe that’s a delusion as well…

“Spiritual teachings” say that whatever happens is all part of experience of “The Matrix” we live in – the result of the deeply grooved habituated matrix of the unawakened mind – AND – that it all happens *within* the greater context of Non-Dual Beingness/Consciousness; Beingness seamlessly experiencing ItSelf…  In other words, Beingness/Consciousness experiences and is inseparable from the totality of human experience.  There are not two separate entities called Beingness and human, or “good” and “evil”, or dark and light, opposing each other, independent from Beingness.  It’s hard to accept that the dark and the light are of the same Beingness, especially in times like these.  Almost sounds blasphemous doesn’t it…  We want to separate them out, and say no, that can’t be right!   It should be all light! – all “good” – all “peace.”  This *shouldn’t* be happening.  But it is…  Can’t we *do* something about these people!? (As my mother exclaimed.)

Some spiritual teachings say that the Pure Beingness (Consciousness) that we essentially are allows life to be exactly as it is, experiencing it all, embracing it all with deep compassion and love for humanity’s brokenness and the unfolding of life as it does. We share our humanity – and – a universal compassionate Beingness beyond the sometimes villainous characters we meet on the yellow brick road…  But are we able to see that Beingness from the open, aware, compassionate Heart of Being - no matter how clouded in darkness that may be…

There is only
Grace and Love…


“It is time to wake up from the dream of non-duality,
with its clichés like: “there is no me”, or
”there is only Oneness”,
and truly meet each other.
For it is our sons, our daughters, our mothers and fathers
and husbands, and beloved friends that have just dropped dead.
No formulas about reincarnation,
karma, soul journeys and the existence or non-existence
of the afterlife will hold up here…

[It is the] furnace of intimacy – the intimacy
of the broken heart…”


  1. Beautifully expressed, Christine... This has been much on my mind too, wanting to post about it, but not quite sure how. My heart breaks over the loss and what happened in Aurora, CO. The amount of violence in the media, entertainment and elsewhere (for it seems to be at every turn) does not help, surely... Anger is often a reaction to such things. Usually I feel a deep, profound sadness that things are such as they are in the world sometimes...In the meantime we can offer up our love, compassion and broken hearts and find healing together. ((HUGS))

    1. Thank you Tracy... Yes, I thought of your own "massacre" in Norway not long ago - and all the traumatized hearts in need of healing everywhere... Hopefully we can use each "trauma" as a way to "wake up"...

  2. a brave and complex post. i'll have to reread it at some point. Chogyam Trungpa in his shambala training talks about being a "broken-hearted warrior." Not warrior in the sense of creating wars but just someone going forward through life (my interp). We are always broken hearted, life and the world are so complex and we are just one little person. But I guess I do think that if I try to live as you say more aware of my true beingness, offering love and compassion to both my friends and my "enemies" that I will be doing one teeny little drop of counterbalance during my short time on the path of life.

    1. Thank you Suki... Yes, "broken-hearted warriors" who can meet life as it is, and as you say offer love and compassion in the face of tragedy - remembering the Truth of our Beingess. You already offer a wonderful heart of compassion here.

  3. Yes Christine. A truly brave and honest sharing. The difficulty comes in that while we accept this person as part of 'our being' - it is his/her behavior that comes from fear that continues to startle us and we distance ourselves. I wrote a haiku awhile back that speaks to this in its own way:

    election day
    who's going to save me
    from me

    1. Yes, so true. It is the behavior that comes from fear, and understandably we distance ourselves - in fear... And certainly this person needs to be in prison, or the state mental hospital... And it *is* hard to see through his darkness of mind to the Eternal Spirit that is there. There are no simplistic answers for sure. These are just my reflections based on "spiritual teachings" that I have been exposed to.

      "Snow Branches" (in my blog roll) has written a wonderful post on rehabilitating murderers through Zen practice in prison - and has some wonderful links. One is DhammaBrothers about a group of men who practice meditation in prison that has had a remarkable effect. And another blog, Lake Chalice, has a couple of interesting posts along the same line.

      Love your little Haiku - yes, who is going to save us from us... :) Thank you for being brave enough to share here :)

  4. Your beautiful post on a difficult question reminds me of a quote by Gandhi..."To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face, one must be able to love the meanest of all creation as oneself."

    1. Yes! Goosebumps. Thank your for that quote! "Seeing the Spirit of Truth face to face..." Yes... You find the most wonderful and simplest ways to express this... With gratitude...


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