Sunday, September 27, 2015

spiritual legacy ... pul-eeeze!

Woke this morning in what I think of as "legacy mode" -- sweeping together thoughts that will somehow sum up or codify the ways in which I have spent my life. Old farts do this, I suspect, and even if they don't, still I do. It's not very different from the pipe dreams of a teenaged male dreaming of getting into some cheerleader's pants, but it's a way to make the ferris wheel go around, the bright lights twinkle, the sights and sounds of the fair come alive ... or anyway, alive-ish. I suppose I could be accused of seeking "meaning" though I dislike getting caught with those pants down ... oh well, it's just another bare ass mooning the universe, which cannot be offended.

Much of my energy and attention has been directed at what could roughly called "spiritual," so my legacy mode runs off on that railroad spur. What importance, what lessons, what conclusions will I sweep together in this cheerleader wet dream?

Nobody who ever took up a spiritual practice did so because s/he was so damned happy. The tenor and tone of this observation may be too impish for those similarly inclined but I take it quite seriously. If it is true, as I think it is, the first thing anyone is likely to do is to take out after the needles and spokes of unhappiness. That makes some sense, of course: Investigation of the problem requires a lowering of this body and mind into a cauldron of sizzling confusion and habit and uncertainty: Let's put the bad stuff in its place; let's make the bad stuff good... something like that.

But notice ... notice in the midst of that often hard, hard work: If no one ever took up a spiritual practice because s/he was so damned happy and if the reaction to recognizing the piercing sorrows and grinding errors is focus, attention and hard, hard work ... well, what ever happened to that part of the observation that concedes without fear of contradiction that being so damned happy was a possibility? In the haste that addresses the attachments and habits that gloom the scene, what ever happened to the part where being so damned happy would throw the whole spiritual vortex into a cocked hat?

True, there is laziness that asserts happiness at the drop of a new car or a one-night stand, but isn't there also some true realm in which being so damned happy is a concrete, unfettered reality? How much of spiritual life is nothing more than papering this over with endless recognitions of what is so damned un-happy?

I think neglecting the happy part -- however much anyone might yowl and beg to be happy -- is a mistake. Sure there are glitches, but the bedrock is whole ... lousy stuff, good stuff ... poof!

The image that comes to mind for spiritual adventure is of a refrigerator in the kitchen that is plastered over with post-its on which wise reminders are noted in brief. More and more and more post-its until one day, it's just time to clean up ... take down the post-its and use the refrigerator.

No one can write about spiritual life ... or anyone can -- same difference. It's like writing about a "piano" and imagining it might somehow be a piano. But there's something to be said for learning to enjoy whatever foolishness is embraced.

Legacy, my ass ... but good ass or badass, it's the only ass I've got.

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