Khalid Hussain (khalid_hussain) wrote,
Khalid Hussain

Breaking the habit

This morning I was driving to work and listening to Linkin Park in the car. When the song "Breaking the Habit" came on, I started to feel kind of sad that my attempt to be a supportive, nurturing presence in X's life when he was going through a healing crisis in the summer of 2004 turned out so badly.

As I listened to the song, I thought about something someone had written recently on the Ex-Amma list to the effect that the darshan, the programs, the mantra, the IAM meditation, all of it had been in part a way of trying to escape some of the realities of his or her life.

I have begun to consider X's involvement in the Amma organization as a kind of holding pattern that may give him a focus and an alternative to certain kinds of self-destructive behavior, but only to a point.

In a way, striving to keep alive the thought that continuing (and possibly expanding) involvement in the organization may be like trying to turn a way station into a destination. It may or may not work for some people, but I am apparently not one of those people who is destined to stay associated with it for the long term.

I had some communication recently with the friend of a friend on FB. This (not terribly close) friend was expressing an interest in attending an Amma satsang and wanted some information about the one I used to attend rather regularly. I was able to express my growing distance from the organization while providing the informaiton that this friend was looking for. It felt good to be able to do that so easily.

As I allow myself to flow more easily and more completely into the circumstances of my day-to-day life, without compulsively relying so much on spiritual practice as a way of trying to (almost forcibly) manufacture positive feelings--as if I could know in advance that my feelings would be that much more negative without keeping after myself about spiritual practice--I began to think of "breaking the habit" in my case as loosening up on myself about specific spiritual practices.

Then, today, as I was doing paperwork on campus and listening to a recorded astrology lecture, the astrology teacher gave an example at the end of his talk about a therapy client of his who had a Pluto-Moon square in his natal chart come to fruition at about age 40, when Pluto transited his natal Moon. He had had a difficult relationship with his mother, and when that transit occurred, he had a difficult female boss. By standing up for himself before her, he had some opportunities to begin to own his power in ways that he had been unable to do in his relationship with his mother.

Similarly, when I had my Pluto-Moon square come to fruition in my early 40s, my mother was ill (which clearly brought up deep issues), but I was also friends with X and was having intense experiences around Amma. In a sense, my attempt to support X's healing could be seen as a proxy of my trying to heal my relationship with my (by now ailing) mother, which is probably one of the things factors that gave such an emotional charge to that situation. (It probably also contributed to its perceived irrationality in the eyes of others.)W

hen the astrologer said that such situations, in which we find new arenas in which to play out old stories, can provide opportunities in which to work out our issues in those situations, I felt as if I was beginning to understand this more clearly. The point is not to heal all of the tension in one relationship by substituting another one for it and trying to get the new one right, but rather to explore other dynamics of the situation that might be difficult to express directly in the first situation. For example, there is generally a cultural taboo against expressing anger toward one's mother, even if it is entirely justifiable under the circumstances. Because of that, it becomes nearly impossible to hold either parent accountable for their errors, and so tension builds and gets carried around for a long time. By having a friend who raged at me because of his own issues, I was able to participate in a situation in which I could experience both the liberating and the destructive potential of rage. It has changed my relationship to my own anger, and around issues of power generally. So, the point is not to preserve a friendship with a troubled person, but rather to learn some things about power, including the decision to eject someone from my life deliberately and, essentially, permanently. I have actually caught glimpses, through my office window, of X walking across the street from my office once or twice since the beginning of the school year. When this happens I simply look away and return my attention to my work. I'm just not interested anymore. 

Om Kreem Kalyai Namaha,



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