Reality

Well, after writing about my pain, I realized that Helena and Northlight were right. I could still compose my thoughts; I just had to acknowledge the lens through which my ideas are currently being filtered. I had meant to write about this very topic before the current misadventure, and besides, it bubbled up on its own during my walk. And thank you to all who have sent their prayers and love. I truly appreciate it.

I have just finished my walk and am now sitting in a Takoma Park café. Not quite on the sidewalk, but hey they have wifi. I was thinking about the nature of reality. I have been reading several mystical texts and this subject comes up frequently.

As I walked, I had observed the interiority of my experience. I was forcing myself to really look at the trees and plants. During the pain-free window, I was delighted to discover just how beautiful this park really is when you open to it. I always knew it was beautiful, but I had no idea how much of the beauty was unknown to me. Now with the pain pushed just a bit away by the prednisone, I was able to briefly access the reverie. There is still too much pain for me to completely open. I could feel it acting like a dirty lens over my senses.

I despise this crippling. Now that I know what is possible, I want to drink in the beauty and allow my soul to take flight.

I equally despise pain pills however. Back in 1980 when I initially injured my knee, it was the pain pills that caused me to do so much harm to my body. I thought naively that the pills were a cure. All they did was mask the pain, so I kept running, lifting weights and climbing ladders. And oh my god … by the time I figured out what was happening I had ruined not only my left knee but also my right one as well. So I do not trust pain pills.

But, that is also not the complete truth. I also despised what they do to my perceptions of reality. When I was recovering from my emergency surgery of a few years back, first the nurses then Ishtar had to force me to ingest my cocktail of drugs. I was on oxycontin, percasec and vioxx all at the same time – and I was still in pain! The only thing that made me take them was the knowledge that the extreme level of my pain was actually interfering with my recovery.

Still … I hated how loopy and out of touch I was with reality. This probably sounds odd considering how much time I intentionally spend in a spaced out state as a mystic. But I know exactly where I am and what I am doing when I cross that boundary. The drugs took me there without any of my hard won self-awareness or self-control.

So I intensely dislike how the prednisone is messing with my emotions. Dr. H says I can double the dose, but I am reluctant. I do not like how it disrupts my almost Vulcan-like self-composure. Now I completely get how my subjective perceptions do not match up completely with how folks who know me might describe my emotional flexibility. I am fully aware that I am quite capable of expressing a wide range of emotions and the overall healthy way I can access my emotional core without a lot of prompting. Yet, I do have a sense of what does and what does not disturb me. So I do not like how my emotional balance seems to be at the mercy of every insufferable passer-by. And yeah, I know that it is a subjective assessment.

Subjectivity has its place along the spectrum of perception; we each in our own ways can provide a slightly more objective assessment for each other. But even as we mirror and validate, or correct and inform each other’s subjective assessments, we too are victims of our own subjective filters even when we view each other.

We exist and intermingle alongside each other at the subjective end of the perception spectrum. Further along is what we refer to as objective reality, which is just a tad ahead of what we laughingly refer to as consensual reality. We call it consensual as if we have a choice – we don’t. Consensual reality is more like the gates parents erect to keep their children safe. It provides a safe place for us to grow, evolve and transform. The edge is “sanitize for our protection.” Beyond this consensual barrier is what we mystics call the Absolute Reality. It contains the building blocks of life, the playground of the gods and the essence of existence. We are not supposed to live there. In fact, we developed as individuals so we could populate the subjective end of the spectrum. That is our domain.

But realizing there is something beyond our subjective sense is one measure of evolution, and dare I say it … of maturity. Not just as individuals, but most especially as a culture, a nation, a species and as a planet. So the call from the divine we hear is actually a call from the other side. It is a call to awaken and a call to return. To get there however, we have to climb back along that ladder back towards the real.

And so I acknowledge that I am stronger than I have ever been and healthier than I ever dared to imagine. And … I am in pain. I want enough of a break from the pain that it no longer blunts my living in beauty, but not so much that it wreaks havoc with my emotions. Ultimately, I want to be rid of this constant pain. I am willing to undergo the journey, but I will do it on my terms.

So for at least today, I will enjoy the beauty that peeks through and allow my Vulcan side a bit of peace from the storm. And I completely own that this is my subjective view of what we call reality. I heartily encourage all of us to do the same.

Thanks for all your prayers and thank you everyone for listening.

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Judith (not verified) | Mon, 05/25/2009 - 11:27pm

Thanks for posting this and your previous post. It comes at a time when I am trying to wean myself off a painkiller which, I have come to the conclusion, has ceased doing anything to alleviate pain. It is one of those drugs which has withdrawal problems, but fortunately I never took much because this (& other painkillers) dope me up, make me dizzy or dopey. I have, to a certain extent, trained myself to think above the pain, and I choose to have some pain and still be able to think and create at least at some level, than being only cognitive enough to sit in front of the tv all day. You sound like you've found a good doctor who is willing to take the time to work with you on this. Unfortunately, in my experience, this is rare--one of the lesser spoken-about problems with our health care system. OK. I will stop before I'm really off on a rant. Again, thank you. And I hope you continue to feel better.

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