Do people still wander the web, looking for kindred spirits? looking for answers? looking for the right questions? 50 years ago there was no way to connect to others, far away and unknown to us. Even if they DID have a clue, an insight, a word of compassion, there was no way to find them. Living in the suburbs during the Pax Suburbiana, it was slander to suggest that something else, something more might exist elsewhere. Age 12, I took my babysitting money and got on a local bus (leaving the subdivision, horrors!) to seek out the forerunner of a 'mall,' 2 strips of stores facing each other with a concrete walkway in between. This was high culture in the 1950's, and worth every penny of my weekly wages.
But even those excursions did not satisfy my young and darkly forming spirit, searching for vitality, for acceptance, for direction, for a voice, an ear.
When the internet appeared, I set up a website, thinking about young people still stuck wherever they might be stuck, suburbia or urban or rural wastelands, they are all the same, au fond. And I wrote essays based on what I had learned, what I knew...things that might help. Essays on grief, on addiction, on alcoholism, on creativity, on incest. On dreams. On co-dependency. Over the years, people have read these essays; sometimes they write to me and tell me their story. Sometimes, they sign my guestbook and say a word or two. Sometimes they call me. Sometimes they come in.
In those dark places in the heart, it is hard to find the place that realizes that we are all made of the same stuff, we ARE all the same stuff, floating around and bouncing off each other in the zero point field. The hard boundaries of separation, the flanged shells of deficiency impose their truths on us: we are alone; it is night; you are forgotten in the eyes of one; you are abhorrent in the eyes of the other.
Or perhaps you are abused by one, ignored by the other. Only when you really let yourself go deep within can you feel this place. Perhaps it has to be very dark, and you are under the covers. Perhaps you have to be all alone. Perhaps you have to have been alone for a few days. Or maybe you are working on allowing up old structures in the way that spiritual paths conduct housecleaning, to find the remaining areas of concentration. Then, sometimes, you can feel into the particular 'flavor' of the space.
So the flavors might be "SO alone, peering into black space, and no one is there," which feels like an eternal aloneness, black aloneness with perhaps an eye gazing out. Or there could be "Abhorrent in father's eyes, and consigned to the dank basement," which feels like a collapsing building, a deficiency so forceful, it pulls you down into oblivion. Like that, in this way, each space has its own feeling.
When we are small, we don't know how to transit these holes of deficiency; we only know we feel bad, we hurt, perhaps we want to die. We don't know that there is in fact something of a formula for sitting through these pains, and emerging into something much brighter. Of course, you've got to feel them first, through and through, if you want the issues to be metabolized, if you want-- as you say-- 'ego death and the grace of enlightenment.'
So we will let it be for tonight. Sit with that devastating feeling, see how it affects your body, your mind. Don't get lost in the story of it; just feel it for now. That is a good learning.
Someone said that for her, the feeling was despair, that she would never be adequate in the eyes of the father. She did not qualify for life because she could never claw her way into his approving eyes. To her I say, poke around that incessant trying, and see how it might feel to simply give up. Give up. And see what might be there then. I think you have to give up; I think that is what is next.
Somehow that is a daunting proposition for someone who has spent her life trying, succeeding, pushing, climbing, convinced that she could convince him and herself that she WAS ok, made of the right stuff, worthy. It will be a growth step of its own to S-T-O-P. Stop and go to bed. --- Ok I will.