Sansaku: An Incredible Intention
Coyote said, “Right here, right now, the tree and ground, it’s the smackdab center.” He hadn’t heard the news, astronomers had a new instrument to measure gravitational waves and detected two black holes that collided some two billion light years away.
There’s a black hole at the center of every galaxy and some are super massive. Light shines in and nothing comes back out. But when I hear about the big bang and the universe being born, it’s an easy association. Sounds like life. Is it conscious?
Alchemists and physicists share a delusion that’s paid off. What they study out there looks a lot like the consciousness in here, but that’s a hard argument to make. Some wise guy said, “We don’t see how the world is, we see how we are.”
Joseph Campbell had a story he liked to tell. When Black Elk returned from his vision quest, he made this comment. “The center of the universe is Harney Peak.” It’s the place where he sat in the dream state. But he added, “It’s the center, just like everywhere else.”
Since Hansel and Gretel are grown, I’m shortening their names. Han now sounds like a Chinese dynasty and Gret has tough gritty sound. Her voice has some gravel and edge. Both are waiting for Coyote to say the word. They’ve come to the shadow gate. Eyes closed.
Coyote’s eyes are open and he’s smiling. Han and Gret have taken themselves a little too seriously and forgotten Coyote’s a trickster. He’s messing with them now. “You had me going,” said Gret. She’s wasn’t pissed, but a little disappointed. She was ready to cross. Coyote said, “No, you’re not.”
Han felt the boundary and something watching from the far side. “What was that?” Coyote threw the question back, “What did it feel like?” Han said, “Like I didn’t have any clothes.” Coyote said, “I guess you did.”
When I asked Irma before she died, “What have you learned?” She said one word, “Tolerance.” She went on to say, “We are all needed and all belong.” I wouldn’t call her exceedingly self-conscious, but she was very sensitive to what others thought and felt.
If human sensitivity was graphed on one axis and tolerance on the other, three of the four quadrants will have a negative charge to them. Only the sensitive and tolerant are open to everything.
Usually we project and see the evil in others, not ourselves. It’s our intolerance and shame, our unwillingness to face it in ourselves. It can make us insensitive and numb.
We seek comfort and escape from the emotions we don’t want to confront, and these defensive maneuvers build the walls and gates. It’s why most spiritual paths suggest we face the fear and the shame we avoid.
It’s what Buddha did under the tree on his psychotic three-day journey. Jung self-analyzed himself and said, “At the bottom, you can’t fall any further.” It’s the working through and takes determined mindfulness and all kinds of compassion. It’s an incredible intention.
At the shadow gate we ask an unseen presence, “Tell me what I don’t want to know, what I avoid and hide from. Show me what I don’t want to see and have turned my back on.”
The alchemists discovered if you heated a solution, it cracked and separated. The dark and heavy dropped out first, finally the distillate.