Have you ever lost it?
Really lost it?
“Losing it” is a phrase often referring to an experience that differs from the collectives agreement of reality. It might look like being in the car laughing with one of your closest friends and everything slows, and suddenly you’re not able to breathe – not because of lack of oxygen or the seatbelt crossing your chest, but because everything becomes a simulation. The cars passing by, the skin around your bones, the teeth in your mouth, the whisper in your throat – has become a computer program, and everything you see is clouded by it. It could look like lying in your bed for hours completely entertained by the reality that everyone is God in a “meat suit”, fed by invisible cosmic stardust, followed by getting up to fill iced teas at your restaurant job to save money for a car…
It could feel like you are God, really, and that you could bring peace to planet earth just by being. It could feel as if everything around you is a cosmic joke, even the eating, drinking, & breathing parts.
This isn’t to say that you aren’t God, and that this isn’t a big cosmic joke… In fact the above examples rate high on the “awakening” meter, and are often times the byproduct of a powerful life experience, ingesting of an entheogen, or a disciplined spiritual practice. It can be difficult to go through such an experience, and attempt integration with day to day life, but one doesn’t have to think they are God to relate to what western medicine might refer to as a “loss of sanity”.
We live in a world where handbags cost millions of dollars while children are starving. Someone can stand on their feet all day behind a register caring for thousands of people, and barely be able to feed their families, while a new born opens their eyes for the first time to a life experience where money flows like Niagra Falls to meet their every need around them, and where intelligent sea life washes to shore filled with plastic bags while whole families are dying so that nations are supplied with gas to drive their cars to lavish parties.
What we are exposed to at times hits highs and lows that shakes logic at its very core, exposing us to a reality that seems truer than fiction. We can be left shaking our head and lose our grasp on what is real and what is not.
So how does science define what is real? Physical outcomes can be defined, yet when it comes to the “animation” that lends power to something, like what causes an organism to behave and respond to its environment, science can only go as far as genetics – which in itself is pure intelligence at work!
We are born, we live our lives, and, eventually, we die on this material plane. Humanity has little grasp on the roadmap of what happens to a person after death. There is an unknown that many of us choose to un/consciously bypass so that we can continue to eat our favorite foods, ignore pressing world issues and tuck ourselves in at night before the next day breaks.
Because – sleep and food matter to our bodies, right?
The truth is, this physical reality is sometimes very real. Have you ever looked into the loving eyes of a child? Or felt a loved ones embrace? There is an undeniable realness, in being present, in feeling the wind cool our skin, in the warmth of our morning coffee (or chamomile tea 🙂 ) If a child within our care went hungry, would we sit back like we were God and they were God, and this was all a cosmic joke – or would we take necessary action to nourish their hungry belly? Get it?
“Herein lies the paradox.”
(par·a·dox 1. a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.)
If we haven’t thought about it before, it can feel like nails on a chalkboard, rerouting the full steamed train of our very being. If we have thought about it – maybe too much – it can feel like entering a child’s room, one that constantly needs to be recleaned and reorganized, and makes us begin to frantically re-organize the space- to make it all make sense.
This isn’t real… and this is real.
The pain of life is convincingly real. The pangs of hunger, loneliness, confusion, illness and drama are unavoidable at times. We don’t have to think about it to feel the experience. Its a sunny day, and the birds are chirping – suddenly we remember the events of the day before, we lost a contract that could have “changed everything”, or an argument that brought something we valued to a screeching halt. It asks for us to respond to it – in a “real” “physical” way.
And yet, powerful realizations beg us to see that its not.
Once we’ve seen that we are not our bodies, that anything is possible, and life is a riddle, it can be puzzling to return our gaze to a world where we have responsibilities to a physical form and to other physical forms around us.
Have you ever seen a movie that really moved you, and then suddenly become overwhelmed and pulled yourself out to think about what to make for dinner – only to hear the people around you chuckling at a part that you just missed because your thoughts had taken you elsewhere?
Or been distracted when playing with a happy young child, and after their multiple attempts to engage with you they get frustrated and begin to “misbehave”, and suddenly you wish you could rewind and play with that happy child you’d missed just moments ago?
This is what resistance to “reality” can feel like. It’s where our potential for healing lies. This reality of work, education, food, politics, and relationship is not real (see “insanity” above), yet at the same time it is. It’s less about picking which side we stand on, and more about remembering who we are, and being present to ourselves and feelings the way we would be to a newborn baby. Do we cry when a baby cries? Not usually, but we can feel it.
By revisiting that racing train, by peeking into that cluttered child’s room, by getting more and more familiar with the sensation of nails grinding across a chalkboard, we can learn to steer our ship through the most tumultuous, yet necessary waters.
Swinging to one side of checking out of the movie, to falling head over heels into believing the power of our despair rocks our ship. It keeps us in a loop of an insane reality – which if anything, is stimulating!!
This is real… and its not.
Let’s play it like a game, where we are the observed, the observing, and the observer. Let’s feast, cry, paint, clean – and all the time remember that we are playing, playing a game where there is a thing called love, partnership, rollercoasters, fireworks, and pizza. Where there is heartbreak, war, hunger, and the unknown. Where anything truly is possible, and love & kindness are the most important things.
Loving more unconditionally. Increasing our ability to feel. Learning our limits. Being more in the world and less attached to it. Airborne, and yet grounded, moving, and yet still. God, and yet human.
The Paradoxal Real