Posted by: Sarah Lidsey | March 7, 2010

House of Straw

I had the great good fortune last month to attend weekly talks, entitled ‘Living in the Long Now’, with Prof. Robert Thurman, skilled teacher, amusing raconteur and inspired transmitter of teachings on the Buddhist path.  Our first evening addressed the subject of Life and Death – You are going to die; there’s no getting around that fact; realize that it could happen in the very next moment; examine what it is that you have not grasped in this life to date – generosity, compassion, patience, wisdom etc.; commit to embracing those qualities and live them in your life now, so that if you die suddenly the knowledge you’ve accrued in this life will help to propel you into a ‘good’ future existence.  In this one evening Bob focused me in a way that I had been missing, and illuminated for me the very structures of my existence, this perhaps because I was already in the foundry of my Being thanks to some piercing guidance received through another masterly teacher, Tom Kenyon.

In January this year I received an invitation from Tom, as a result of a question posed to him, to look into the hidden depths of my character structure in order to wake up to what I have been creating and transmitting in life. That movement has catapulted me into the darkest, deepest fears I hold around my very existence and caused me to meet those parts of myself that I’d rather leave alone in the shadows.  In those places I have encountered feelings that shatter my sense of self into a thousand pieces.  The ‘hook’ that encouraged me to look deep into these painful places was two-fold.  Firstly, I felt ‘seen’ so clearly and I recognize the truth and the gift in the words used to pierce my illusion; and secondly, it was clearly spelled out to me that if I did not choose to go right into the darker side of my existence with an intention to transform what I found there, then the delusional part of my nature housed there would take hold and distort my relationships in this world.  There was choice there, but to me it was a choiceless choice, one that in the very moment of reading engaged me in the process of change.

With this wake-up call, my structures of existence began to shake violently.  I saw that I wasn’t what I was perceiving at all, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but it didn’t make it any less uncomfortable. From that place I saw the illusion, and the structures that I had created to hide this hurt, this primal place of separation.  As I saw through the smoke screen and the willingly embraced deception that I’d constructed to mask my existential fears, it dropped away, leaving me raw and exposed, and then immediately I observed my ego getting up and attempting to construct a whole new reality structure to feel secure in.  It was artful and incredible!!  Now I fully understand that this world I live in really is an illusion, and also that one structure of illusion is no better or worse than the one before it – it is just an illusion.  What this awareness is also bringing me is an appreciation and an understanding that these structures are useful tools that allow me to live a relatively normal life. We live in a playground of illusion. It’s the theater of the ego, and I see that I am constantly in the process of creating the drama of (my) existence, called Samsara and so too is most of the rest of humanity! 

Structures guide us into form, into life, and as the consciousness that they hold transduces down into this dense material realm, what they hold can become distorted. At the start, the unique essence of life that is each one of us comes to a place of incarnation within the whole of creation, and aligns with the sacred geometrical structures that allow it to step down into form, so that it can come into existence in matter.  This essence, a consciousness that holds the wisdom of all existence at its core, as well as all lifetimes and all experiences, then moves from formlessness, through the structures of the soul, which I see as intermediary structures, into life.  As each being comes into life it is either met and mirrored, or not.  If met then it may have the experience of a secure attachment that allows love to blossom and the human heart to open right from the start.  For many, this does not happen and in the briefest of moments the new born feels separation and fear, and pulls away.  The heart learns to develop in a more guarded fashion, and develops other protective strategies to make it feel safe in life.

As a matter of course, each human being has experiences that constrict the structures of existence.  The ‘base’ notes to our structures are set in the early years of our lives as we learn how to interact with those around us and experience either acceptance and love or repulsion and estrangement, and every response in between. They are our attachment patterns, patterns of interaction that color our worlds and our reactions to it.  Mostly we are unaware of these or we take them for granted, but either way we don’t step back from them often enough to see how we use them to create our individual and communal realities, or to question them.  By the time we reach adulthood they are so inculcated that they form the solid structures of our existence.  Our unique ‘dreamings’, our individual realities are thus created and our unity with the Mystery of all creation from whence we came is forgotten. 

Over many years I have met the distortions that color my existence, and bought awareness to them, though all too often I have shied away from the core issue of separation behind them.  This time, though, I am meeting that existential root. I am gaining a real understanding of where and why I live the lie. I’m viscerally learning about the connections of sacred geometry to sacred biology, and how the spirit gets veiled as it steps down into life. I am also learning that things may not be what they seem and that what seems rock solid, may in fact just be a fabrication of the mind.  It’s almost like an ordinary day suddenly being turned upside down by the shock waves radiating out from an earthquake.  Another reality births – Life turns on a dime, and you deal.  ‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down’ …. That was one of the thoughts that I woke up with recently as I felt into what has come ‘home’ for me over these past weeks.  The ‘house’ that I live in had seemed so solid, but that was an illusion – it was just another reality structure that I’d built for myself, and once Truth walked in the door and Awareness met it, the foundations crumbled and it was blown away, like straw. 

I am going to die, in fact I am dying now …into life …as I step down into those dark places in my cellars, and discover the false concepts that are rooted there. There is no choice for me but to take this journey – I can’t live in those old distorted ways anymore where I couldn’t feel, or hurt myself before daring to live fully and love. It just doesn’t feel good. So, I am diving in and daring to look. I can see that, in fact, wherever I have been holding on or hiding, thinking I was creating protection not separation, I subjected myself to a form of death. It is in those places that we miss the fullness of Life now and the true nature of being, part of the beautiful, ever flowing, ever changing movement of pure creation. 

Sometimes evolution isn’t easy, but it brings with it enormous freedom, relaxation, and peace.  Ultimately, it’s a relief to see through the deception.

©2010 Sarah Lidsey.  All rights reserved.


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