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Seven Years

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Dec. 5th, 2011 | 08:28 pm

Today I found myself thinking a bit about how some of the things I have been through can begin to seem less threatening--and can begin to make more sense--about seven years after they happen. Of course, at some point, I'll run out of seven-year periods in which to digest events from my past: maybe that's why one of the traditions in India has been for elderly householders to spend the final years of their lives in spiritual retreat.

A few of the "voices" that have been helping me recently to make sense of some of the things I have been through seem to have some things in common. They tend to be males--particularly somewhat countercultural males--who are devotees of The Goddess (particularly the Dark Goddess) or who are associated with Darkness or Chaos in a general sense. The people I'm thinking of are people like Antero Alli, Jade Sol Luna, and Phil Hine. I just read something by Phil Hine today that was written in response to a gay man's inquiry as to whether Wicca or Druidry might be a better option for him as a gay man. It seems to me that Hine had some insightful things to say about gay people (and queer and gender-variant people) in spiritually oriented groups in general, in addition to his specific observations from his prior involvement in Wicca.

The other day I was reading about Jade Luna's journey to India to study with gurus associated with Kali. He wrote that he thought that he was going to deepen his meditation practice and enjoy practicing yoga, but that he ultimately came to be confronted with lots of difficult shadow material. This got me to thinking that what happened in my situation--particularly after meeting Amma--is what is supposed to happen (at least for some people), rather than finding a comfortable niche and just hanging out there indefinitely.

I've also come to consider that it probably makes sense that I would have an upsurge in my tendency to attach to people while experiencing a significant jolt to my habitual sense of identity because of some sort of opening that may have happened toward some spiritual plane, plus the effects of experiencing the protracted process of loss involved with my mother's illness, death, and its aftermath.

It's beginning to make more sense to me that my anger toward the department where I work would have increased significantly--or at least my willingness to experience my anger consciously would have increased--seven years after I began to work there. Finally I had a sabbatical, which allowed me some more time for reflection, and finally I began to research the salary inequities at the university, and finally I began to consider that the difficulties I had had with some colleagues and students were probably endemic to the institution itself, and that trying to be a little nicer, to work a little more efficiently, to give people endless series of second chances, etc., were probably not going to improve the outcomes from my perspective in any significant way.

It also began to make sense to me that, as the seven-year anniversary of my difficulties with former friend X (who had introduced me to Amma) came to pass, I would find it desirable to separate myself from the Amma scene for the first time since I had met him. Maybe I sensed that some of the pain from that time could have come back into my consciousness, and maybe that wasn't the right time to try to process that. Of course, maybe I could have gone to the program and nothing would have happened.

The point, however, is that there is probably an inner logic to some of the attractions and aversions I have gone through, and rather than try to second-guess myself all of the time. On the other hand, for all of the time and effort I have put into my personal search, I would do well to prepare myself for people who have not put a commensurate amount of time and effort into their personal searches to totally not get it whatsoever. Previously, I found it difficult to resist the temptation to share in-process thoughts with people prematurely, in the vain hope that if I were honest and if I tried to explain myself as clearly as possible, that I could find my way into a community of mutually-supportive seekers whose knowledge and experience could be complementary and mutually enriching. I no longer believe that to be likely in my particular circumstances. Calling off a search for such a (as yet imaginary) community has been one of the best things I have done to promote healing and grounded, gradual growth.

Om Kreem Kalyai Namaha,


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