the path paved with pins and needles

My calves always get pins and needles when I meditate.

The thing about emotional pain, when it’s really self-focused and self-inflicted, I think it’s just as much of a divine calling as creating a piece of art, or experiencing a revelation.  Not because you need to hit rock bottom before you can move up, and not necessarily because, you know, if there wasn’t bad stuff you wouldn’t know what good stuff was, however the saying goes.   I think it is a divine calling because you run yourself so deep into a delusion that something has to just snap.  Like a rubber band that can only be stretched so far, then it has to boomerang back.  Or it can break. But either way the tension releases, and yes, the more taught the band was pulled, the sweeter the relief, the more orgasmic it is.

God doesn’t appear on a silver platter.  No one has ever arrived at the feet of the divine on a road paved with gold.  In fact, no one has ever arrived there on a paved road at all.  This was  a strange revelation to me, when I actually thought about it.  No great spiritual voice has ever strolled into his or her divine robes snapping gum and feeling peachy.  It is by default rocky and uncomfortable, if not life-threatening.  The divine rises from within with sharp whips and singeing flames.  We must birth ourselves and lose our skin and face the glare with open wounds, realizing that the armor we bore was just that, armor, and we have separated ourselves from the one thing we all want: divine love.  In that moment before union, the painful realization of the separation this life imposes upon us, is each of our own crucifixions.  It is our calcination.  We are deprived of oxygen and decompose, we ferment in our air-tight container.  We realize we are seeds that have fallen from the mother tree and are buried deep in dark, cold dirt, aching for more than our mother, aching for the sun which nourished her to life in the first place.  We have no where to go but to our source.  Into his hands we commit our spirit.

God emerges when we realize we have lost her.  God emerges when we can experience the harrowing emptiness of not being one with god.  And when we follow this pain all the way through, not just to a momentary fix but all the way, all the way through the darkness, we can break through the soil.  Through the shade of the leaves of our mother tree above, the source of her life shines through.  And then we can blossom, and then we can feel it.

Quite frankly, I think it has to hurt, in order for the alchemy to occur.

Just sit there right now
Don’t do a thing
Just rest.

For your separation from God,
From love,

Is the hardest work
In this
World.

Let me bring you trays of food
And something
That you like to
Drink.

You can use my soft words
As a cushion
For your
Head.

-Hafez

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