A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our Mute God

Maybe about five percent of our entire mind is conscious.  Much of what  goes on inside of us is a mystery.  We speculate that all of our memories are stored in the unconscious in some kind of retrievable order.  If we are not conscious of the process, who or what organizes our memories?  Much of what we can retrieve is visual rather than verbal.  Our night dreams give us glimpses into our mental process of often working through the things that disturb us in life, but much of our awareness of our dreams fades quickly upon waking.  As for our conscious minds so many of us are pulled into habitual, non reflective patterns of living.  How “awake” are most of us?  Not many.  Waking ourselves up requires a spiritual discipline that most of us are either ignorant of or evasive of.  And so we attach to the superficial as if it were profound when the superficial is just the tip of the iceberg in a wide open sea.

For those of us who believe in an entity or great spirit we call the Higher Power, that Power has been throughout history mute.  God does not “talk” to us directly and yet so very many of us believe that we commune with God anyway and I believe that we do.  Communion is not so much intellectual as intuitive.  How could it be any other way when so much of our minds are submerged.  Those that rely mostly on reason with its facts and its proofs, with its intellectual analysis, ignore that they, too, are mysterious to themselves and don’t know themselves because so much of our existence is ruled by unconscious processes.  Our very spirits cannot be contained and analyzed and so it is the same with the Higher Power.

The Higher Power relates itself to our entire spirits, not just the conscious part.  While we over attach to our skills at verbal and written communication, our language is still woefully lacking in expressing the depth of each of our spirits.  Language necessarily reduces the individual and complex to the simple allowing us to use and misuse the symbolism contained within it.  Our languages are a blessing and a curse, both potentially  uniting us and also dividing us.  Our extensive use of language is what sets us apart from other animals and allows us to embrace the arrogant notion that we are not  really animals at all.  We have all been wounded at a young age by thoughtless comments about us by our caretakers and other children.  We, in turn, all learned how to wound others with our words.  Words are a double edged sword.  The sickness deep within our spirits gets expressed through words and abusive actions.

It is no wonder to me that the Higher Power does not speak to us in words.  They are neither a pure enough form of communication nor an accurate one.  Words are in themselves manipulative and God is not.  Words come from the individual who utters them and not from the Great Spirit that tries to guide them through other means.  God works through us and our experiences of life, through our conscious and unconscious lives.  God can inspire individuals to touch on great truths through their words, but the illnesses and biases within our souls always come through.  We are finite beings.  We have many limitations and we need to be humble.
I don’t believe there are any holy books precisely because man wrote them and the true spirit of God cannot be reduced to words.  It is too vast and too brilliant and we are not.  And yet we continue to presume and continue to divide ourselves from each other most hatefully by using these “holy” books as a basis for our actions against others.

It is my belief that God exists in space, as a kind of holy spirit, and thus is everywhere, inside and outside of us.  Space cannot be captured or manipulated or controlled or even defined and yet it is integral to everything.  Space is always receptive, non harming, non judgmental.  Space is and always will be greater than we are.  That is the natural order of things.  It has no voice and yet it makes its presence felt, especially when we stop taking it and the great mercy of it for granted.
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