I’m in the middle of reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly wherein she speaks in a psycho-social manner about vulnerability and shame. It’s good stuff as far as it goes. I see her work as laying a kind of groundwork for the radical shift in consciousness, the miracle needed to change our lives and the world. This morning I received a text “feeling like I’ve been dragged over a cheese grater.” This person has a great way with humorous metaphors. I know the feeling of raw exceedingly tender vulnerability that speaks to and can relate. When our good ole tried and untrue defenses come down, yeah howdy! How much energy do we put in trying not to be seen with our pants down! The resilience needed to remain in the vulnerable–openness continuum of Being This Human comes from a sense that everything that is occurring is valuable and worthy of our kind attention, our positive regard, our acceptance of ourselves as is. This incredible undoing and unlearning we are undergoing will bring up raw realness of such a sense of exposure we can hardly tolerate it but it is intimacy on the deepest levels, the intimacy we long for and without which we are miserable wretches. You know, that wretchedness that only grace assuages.
In our rawness we can become not simply vulnerable, but permeable to This something that is greater than we are, that is knocking on our inner door. So we are not simply at the effect of everything around us, we are receptive to what is within us that can resource us in life. From this, you may understand why people orchestrate dyads, true friend meetings in which vulnerability can be explored in a safe place with one another without it being interposed by sexual dynamics as well.
I read and wrote this as a note in my book, perhaps you’ll find it useful.
Daring to Be Permeable to the Divine
When I started asking participants about the experiences that left them feeling the most vulnerable, I didn’t expect joy to be one of the answers. I expected fear and shame, but not the joyful moments of their lives.
Without permeability, I don’t experience the divine nor the divine’s joy in Being Here alive and real. The cost of permeability is having our systems be open and vulnerable in an impermanent reality. Being connected and in communities/communion with our changelessness amid the ever-changing assists greatly. Belonging, reSoucefulness, that felt sense of Presence within, with us and actively engaged makes all the difference.
I, of myself, am not enough. I see and feel my personal inadequacies every day. I fail frequently in some sense of the word. If I hide or cannot tell the truth about that, I am not permeable — I am defended. The truth is humiliating to the ego self and thank This that’s not all there is. We see all around us the inadequacies of people trying to do it on their own or having faith in some distant God that may or may not help out. We are conditioned to live like this and the insanity of it is hard to bear. Good news!
The intimacy permeability allows is excruciating. Hold on–what? Yes, excruciating! When This LHB (LightHearted Being) has access to us there’s nothing unknown or hidden. Even what we’ve hidden from ourselves gets exposed. We are becoming naked and restored to innocence and original blessing, but the process of the removal of defensive layers and being stopped, stripped bare even by the most loving Presence is a kind of vulnerability that leaves us quite raw. Heaven forbid someone should show up in our field and say something that inadvertently hits right smack dab into that place. Yikes! We’re likely to fall apart on the spot. We can feel quite fragile and it gets coded as weak, inadequate, not enough instead of strong, courageous, and valuable, right and good in our raw alive state.
We don’t trust one another and with good reason. Our trust was broken in relationship. We don’t simply sit and Be present with one another as is, entering in and being permeable to what’s here. We’re full of the 10,000 things and perhaps defended ourselves from whatever stimulation we’ve just had that was too much, feeling inadequate and out of touch with our inner reSourcing. How often do we quiet down, empty out, take in our surroundings, breathe and be, let alone notice our inner and outer cosmic comic consciousness, the One life we are, and rest in This Peace? In other words, center, align ourselves vertically and horizontally and start our conversation from that sweet spot that has everything This is available to us? More than enough with twelve baskets left over? How often do we benefit from the feast of living waters, fresh daily manna, and bread coming from the flow and substance of our true nature?
In a psycho-social realm based on painful scarcity, whether appearing as disproportionate wealth and poverty or simple inadequacy to the incredible complexities of the religious legal economic world of dominance and control the separated mind has made, we can easily feel woefully inadequate. Our defenses then come to bear. We are so busy rushing from one thing to the next we scarcely breathe, pun intended. We are running on our own limited resources unbenefitted.
Most of us leave the sanctuary found within via spiritual engagement the minute we get up or step outside. We run up into our minds immediately picking up the 10,000 things. That’s a basic defense against permeability vulnerability engenders and — oops! We are on our own again. I, of myself, am not enough but I have to deal with all the stuff. AND I don’t know how! (if I admit it) How I have longed for a clone to do all the stuff I don’t get to every day! It seems to take two or more people to live a single life… but what if it takes One? What if downsizing to a simpler life of highest values incorporated which includes the effort it takes all day every day for the mystical life of Being to essentially engage with every moment?
In This we can discover selfless effortless flow, fully engaged in the moment, resourced, creative, playful, enjoying and finding fulfillment regardless of outcome. What an investment! We have all felt it, experienced it at times, it’s actually natural. We can dare to be real and permeable to the divine that resources us to be in our lives, with one another in the risks of vulnerability.
Can We Be This Real?
Courage is a value I’ve discovered is central to my life, the way I live, and to my well-being. It’s the virtue at point 6 according to the Enneagram. It’s a heart-centered capacity and capability that allows us to stay in our experience and with one another even when it gets confrontative. It sets boundaries when we need them and gives us a sense of value, worthiness, and integrity when we stand up and in our truth. Veracity (the virtue at point 3) and the truth is another of the values I hold dear, not only truth-telling whether relative or sacred, but living into the truth of our unity that has been made so incredibly clear to me. The truth of our true nature and all that it is, is the Light of LightHearted that emanates in and through us when our inner permeability is working with our availability to be seen as we are, to tell the truth about our experience, the Whole truth inclusive of our Black Wholyness, the fathomless depth of our being as well as the goings on in the waves of the surface whether disturbed or placid, defended or scared vulnerable, risking all to be Real. How do we make ourselves safe for those around us to be real? How do we tell the truth and stay for its effect? How do they learn how to Be, and be vulnerable and appreciative of the importance of it, of staying with us as we are? It’s a complete cultural shift that begins with us, in our homes, workplace and with our friends.
Can we Be This Real? That is my highest value that includes whatever is going on at the surface, with my human life as it is. To be available to let This breathe itself excruciatingly close into my experience as it is, no lies, cover-ups, letting all be known as only Omniscience can know it all by Omnipresently being all. There is no distance. For years I have inquired into the virtue at point 9, my home point: right action. It is allowing This to have Its way, to do the works. It is essential engagement with the moment by bringing all I Am to bear on my experience, pure loving kind compassionate empathetic unconditional Awareness awake and alive, knowing Itself to Be what is, All that Is, that ONLY is: the unity consciousness of LightHearted Being. We all have it, are fully equipped with it, but like the days before we knew about electricity, we don’t give ourselves access to it. Thus we only had firelight and candles, and long dark nights. And then there’s Omnipotence. Imagine having all the cosmic comic consciousness of This loving mystery having our backs all the live-long day!
If I find myself experiencing disconnection, I know it isn’t actually real, though it is being experienced and not to be denied. What is meeting that experience? The Presence of awareness is always here, on board and available. “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else will be added unto you.” Where is this kingdom? Within. So in this situation, I turn to deeper than thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions experiences, the data banks of knowledge. What is here when all that is dropped for a moment? Thank you Gangaji, Papaji, and Ramana! It is literally essential to find out every time. Before being overcome by stressful experience, I stop, empty out, Be still and know, be where I am, notice beauty, harmony around me. Rest. Take a breath, breathe out all, breathe in all This. If I’ve become stressed, overstimulated, I’ve still got to stop and drop all the way down in, as well as outwardly connect with the natural realm of pure Being, the beauty around me to remind myself my story is not the whole deal.
I don’t have to come up with courage on my own. Courage arises in the willingness of an open heart to Be This Real no matter what, and comes from what is not afraid, has no reason to fear even though the body shakes, the soul may even quiver. This has me, I’ve got This, and even that dualism disappears into only This Is upon occasion making Itself Real. From contact to connection, to communion to union. How? Because the conversation is continuously going on within me, in silence and in stirred consternation. I remember one day in contemplation being struck by Jesus’ words when he was giving thanks for the bounty about to be received but not yet manifest, “Thank you Father, I know that Thou hearest me, and Thou hearest me always.” I wondered what that was like, to be so certain of that and that the responsiveness was immediate, the invisible making itself visible right then and there. I wondered daily and for weeks, months I lived inside the inquiry, exploration, experimentation. I have since been given to realize it is always so, to feel sense and experience the essential conversation of This formless invisible Presence with Itself formed and visible in unique formations, infinitely, eternally.
I had no such relationship with my own father. He said, “Children should be seen and not heard.” I actually tried to be pretty invisible as well, the archetypal lost child. To be seen. let alone express my feelings, to be vulnerable was exceedingly dangerous in my household. I knew nothing about it. I realized I knew nothing about the Father Jesus had such an amazingly close relationship with, “I and the Father are One.” I even wondered what kind of earthly father Joseph was who was in on the fact that we are all actually born of This that only is, and this particular child Jesus especially so being the culmination of generations of Essenes dedicating themselves to bringing forth the Messiah. It has taken a LOT of investment of dedicated time, energy, exploration, study, examination, truth-telling expression to get my system to the place where this relationship of unity is recognized and consciously participated in daily, on-going. Where is the focus of my attention? I have been unlearning at the unschool for the Holy Fool a long long time and the results are incredible, beyond my wildest dreams, hopes and imaginings and continuing to come unexpectedly, surprisingly.
My portal, the door upon which This knocks, has been the present moment as is, I as I am in recognition of what actually Is and what relatively is being experienced. My subjective experience in one hand, and my knowing of the truth of life in the other, and the reconciliation that occurs in the willingness to tell the whole truth and nothing but, to be exposed at the deepest levels of my consciousness. What really allowed it was when I recognized that at the deepest level, beyond all the layers of defense built up around the hurts the primordial wound of separation and the many ways it plays out, was This loving embrace, This all-providing Presence. Over and over and over, in this situation and that one, this devastation and loss, and that confusing painful matter I applied the healing balm of truth and kind concern. This learning to value everything as it is as the golden opportunity; as the potential for This to act, and as the unfolding of This that Is all. It takes quite a bit for some of the crap experienced to become compost, to discover lurking under the surface is Its purity. To confidently experience that This is coming up through the asphalt and concretized reified beliefs in and deep imprinting of our separation. Ramana said that when we drop down in, the heart rises to meet us. It is so true! And amid all that the gift of humor, the humorous perspective that allows not taking everything so terminally seriously but cosmic comically.
I come back to simple joys in a humble unpretentious life, those that touch my heart and soul deeply and that I know are impermanent, just a fleeting moment in eternity. My life is abundant with them now, and I enjoy each and every one as fully as possible as they slip beyond my grasp as soon as they arise. If I were attached to those things, I’d be in a heap of misery. The glow fades, the day ends. But the deep dark womb, the black wholy Mystery always has more in store, and the trend is always to better, more full, deep, expansive experiences of Being This Hu-man, This One that only Is.
All I am speaking of is the Wings of Freedom: presencing and inquiry — the means of getting to the true heart of the matter until the realization enters life as Itself. To me, it is the wholy point of human existence, and all the peace, harmony and fulfillment in life we could possibly want in relationships, work/contribution, re-creation, creativity, play and fun, adventure, aliveness beyond the need to be safe and secure, healthy with enough but inclusive of those human needs … well, there’s nothing denied us. We limit ourselves unconsciously and even consciously at times, thinking about, speaking aloud and acting upon, sharing culturally accepted misinformation. The discovery and deep profound realization that there is enough, we are enough, we have enough; that scarcity of separation that our economy and our interactions are based upon simply isn’t so is world changing — as we live it. And we can live it in the simplest of daily acts of generosity of spirit, kindness, offering space to one another to be as we are. To give and accept such offerings from one another as the greatest most valuable precious thing we could possibly give and receive: being real, true to the truth, open and courageously available to one another, honoring one another and our needs for silence, for boundaries that are permeable, negotiable, flexible and yet strong, a mutual upholding what is valued most in life, and our needs for genuine connection and belonging. Then we have lives of meaning and purpose that has nothing to do with the values born of the ScareCity culture. Move out of there pemanently! Such are the tender mercies we receive and can offer one another. So it is, and through us, so may it be on earth.
LightHeartedly, wholy with love,