Archive for April 2009
The Great Fear: A poem & journal entry from Carole w/comments added.
15. April 2009 by gennyfer.
The feeling of Friendship was near.
But as always came The Great Fear.
That old, old wall That is much too tall
Would appear and say, “Now listen hear.
‘I’m right and you’re wrong.”
Is such an old, old Song. and we must
We too belong in - it’s grip.
For to Fight it would mean we must rip
apart some walls.
As soon as one of them falls it may mean that
We might see
And just possibly have to be part of a
The “great fear” freezes me. Resistance, (being uncomfortable) seems to be of help in the thawing process. It provides some type of reminder that it is possible to try – if only for a very brief glimpse. The image of thawing an iceberg comes to mind.
Occasionally there are reminders that it is important to acquire some knowledge: for example via Alchemy, astrology, Tarot - There is surface knowledge and there is a reflection of something deeper. “I” slows down now - Bawa’s letter must be read again and again as it is a strong reminder that provides the emotional center with some type of relief.
Glimpse of body neglect are strong, yet in a strong way they are ignored.
These seem to be my demons, Bawa, and this is only surface.
The opening prayer to God in our behalf. “You alone can bestow that Treasure of Peacefulness and Patience and Tolerance.”
Excerpt from a letter written to one of our Mother’s teachers from the late 1970s:
As a result of your brief mention of the Tarot cards, I am now pursuing the study once again. My task is to study three cards a day. About eight years ago I left the study of the cards, and now it seems that much of the information has dissipated. Consequently, it seems important to pursue the study once again.
I am sure all of you are nodding your heads in knowing agreement after reading this little excerpt from my mother’s notebooks. I imagine all of your parents were rigorous followers of some ancient Indian guru just like Bawa, and spent there down time every night pouring over Tarot card books and Astrology charts. That’s completely normal, right? What? What’s that, you say!?! Your parents didn’t do that? They didn’t constantly have some mystic teacher’s advice to follow. Some ancient form of divination to guide them through every decision in life, some weekend retreat to go off to and get that old timey religion? How could they make it through their lives without an I-Ching coin throw or a tarot card reading or an astrological chart to guide them? It just doesn’t seem possible to me.
To say that my mother was not herself would be putting it mildly. My mother was always dedicated to someone else’s teachings, or readings, or influence. She would not, could not, make a decision or have an original thought on her own. Everything in her life had to be checked and double-checked with a teacher or a guru or the cards or the coins or the stars. In many of my mother’s notes there are I-Ching symbols written in the margins. She even needed some form of divination to confirm what she was writing for herself.
Now I imagine, since we have established that perhaps all of you are not familiar with some of this whacked out stuff I am talking about, that you are scratching your heads right now, thinking, “What in the hell is an I-Ching coin toss, and who is this Bawa guy, really?” And didn’t she mention Alchemy? Most of that stuff you can look up on the internet pretty easily, although I would have to recommend Paolo Coehlo for the Alchemy part. As for Bawa (first up on google search), he was her first Guru, and also one of my earliest memories. I remember what a powerful man he was. He made quite an incredible and lasting impression on me.
My mom had a definite way of finding very powerful masters. I think the frustrating part was that she was never satisfied. If one teacher didn’t give her the answer the way she wanted it, she would find another. The tarot cards not falling the way she wanted? Time to read her palms. Or consult another astrologist. Some of you might glance in the paper at your astrology for the week, or even get updates daily online. My mother took down over 60 pages of elaborate hand written notes on her last astrological charts. 60 pages! Here she was in her sixties, having done countless and extensive astrological charting in the past, still trying to make some sense of it all for herself. That was the problem with her. Enough was never enough. There was no end to it. There were never any answers to satisfy the hole in her soul. Something was disconnected deep inside her, and she was never able to make that connection. In the end, her life looked a lot like a crossword puzzle with a bunch of the letters still missing.
I wonder if she wrote this poem about herself or if it was in frustration with someone else. If it was about her it was perhaps a glimpse she had into how closed off she was from other people. She was often part of spiritual groups. She fled from the values of her family that seemed materialistic to her yet it seemed to me that she never noticed while she was blithely wading in to the next spiritual discipline, that these groups were at least as flawed as the family she came from. She chose people to follow in an endless quest for self-improvement but what she really wanted was to be seen as special.
She would join a group and maneuver herself in to a position of leading in some way. There never seemed to be relationships that were with people she saw as equals. She either followed or led. I don’t think she ever really experienced a “sharing community” even in one relationship. She was often unforgiving and would walk away from these groups and friends over small or imagined slights that would leave people who genuinely cared about her feeling hurt and baffled.
She was intolerant of the messiness of life, she was afraid of the unexpected, terrified of making a mistake or being viewed as wrong. She consulted many divining tools through out her life. Tarot cards, the I-Ching, astrology were turned to again and again to explain anything that confused her and to help her make decisions. I never sensed that she felt she could control the events about which she sought foreknowledge. She just desperately wanted to know what was going to happen.