TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “Maya

Illusion Crumbles

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Age has crept up on us

like a thief in the night

I think

as I watch the clock hands

remain stuck on 1:30

as I wait

in the third doctor’s office

in six days

with my newly retired husband

ill again

with the illness

that drove him

from his beloved work

with the poorest of the poor

mentally ill

and I wonder

as I worry

about him

how did he do it

and why

and why

did he marry me

taking my major mental illness

as a dowry

and I wonder

how did it happen

that we got so old

we look at people

30 years our junior

on the TV

in the waiting room

and think ourselves

like them

but we are not

old age has crept in

like a thief in the night

were we always broken

cast under a veil

of delusion

which now becomes

seen at times

as bodies

fall ill

and age creeps in

are we finally seeing

the unreality of the “reality”?

 

 


Transcending Maya

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Some of you may know Mooji.  I have only just found him through Hariod who blogs at Contentedness.net.  I am so grateful to her for introducing him to me because it feels like a relationship started long ago in this life, possibly before.  I am following him as my Guru now and am always amazed at how simply he goes to the right to the truth.  Please just give a listen for less than three minutes.  You may fall in love with him, too.


Nothing Changes/All is Flux

 

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Objects seem solid
yet
are made up of
wriggling strings
an optical delusion
in the dream
of Maya
3000 years ago
the Rishis said that
the world of forms
was all mind stuff
Maya
In the 20 the century
Sir James Jeans
said the universe
consists of pure thought
each thing a moving,
ever changing manifestation
of the life force
One unity
there are no boundaries

Beyond the Stars

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Sitting in the sun, acclimating to the gentle June heat, swatting away an annoysome fly who keeps returning over and over, I know this swatting is definitely wrong—a stirring of the killer instinct. I remember naturalist artist and writer and turtle man, David M. Carroll, keeping his hand steady, while being bitten by hordes of mosquitoes,  so as not to scare away the turtles as he paints them . Clearly he is a superior soul in his patient endurance of being bitten and as his, almost spiritual, beautifully poetic, writings and drawings reveal. I remember, too, the words of Pema Chodron, Buddhist teacher and nun, who teaches and preaches practicing compassion on little things, learning not to “bite the hook” of anger.

So I let the fly alight on my ankle and he seemingly happily stays on my leg and does not bite. I begin to try to image feeling kinship with this fly who likes my leg, fighting the idea that he is laying eggs in my skin. Pema Chodron has clearly inspired a city girl, afeared of bugs, to make friends with a fly as I watch the universe of insects beneath my feet. A Daddy Long legs crawls on my camera bag, hitches a ride to our bed when I go inside the house. I bring him back to his home outside.

This compassion things feels right, start small and grow big. As if to reinforce this point a butterfly lands on my chest when I return to my contemplation spot in our back yard. But all is not sweetness and light. Later the same fly (I swear it is) who landed on my leg now activates karma for my earlier murderous impulses towards him. He lands on my toe and bites me. A cautionary tale against getting too carried away with being virtuous. Still worse, later as I walk in the coolness of early evening, a bug lands on my arm and attempts a vigorous bite.   In an instant, a reflexive smack smooches him dead.

So it would seem I have to start even smaller with my acts of compassion. How much smaller can one start? I wonder with daunting discouragement about the many, many more lives I will have to live to learn lessons of compassion and no anger. I contemplate the prospect of how many, many more films I will have to view in this movie house of Maya we call life. When, oh when, will I learn all my lessons? When, oh, when, will the sun set for good for me on this circle of life so I can exit the orbit and rest beyond the stars??


Maya in Nature and the Nature of Maya

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If one looks at nature abstractly, one can see it is made up of line, color and form. Plato spoke of “form“. And Indian philosophy talks of Maya, the consensual reality that is a dream of our mortal bodies.  Yogananda warns us not to get caught up in Maya and how easy it is to see it as real.
My photograph is a homage to the Abstract Expressionist artist, Mark Rothko, a hero of sorts for me.  He was reaching for spirituality, too, but did not follow Hindu thought.  However, in his paintings, which I try to  emulate in photography, one can see color, shape and form. This is a step away from the dream of life or “Maya” and a step towards the spiritual.
Next time, when looking at nature, try looking beyond the scene to the formal elements, and see how the dream of life is a delusion in which our minds spend most of their time.

On Finally Seeing Maya

A fragmentation of reality

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A major psychotic break

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The other day I wrote a poem, Point of View, about having a psychotic break recently.  Well, the break was a very slight one.  Perhaps many people thought I was just being poetic.  It reminded me of a time when I was being prepped for a surgery and the surgeon asking me about the medications I take.  When asked why I took Thiothixene, an anti-psychotic, I told him that I was Bipolar.  He said, “I think we are all Bipolar.”  Maybe it was an effort to relate to me but it hit me in a “sore spot.”  Everyone has moods, it is true, but being Bipolar is not just being “moody.”  If we who are Bipolar have to endure the stigma of mental illness, at least allow that it is different from being “normal,” and not just some self-indulgent form of self-pity.  So braving the stigma of it all, for I am sure many will stop reading here if they have not already, it seems incumbent on me to educate people.  Bipolar Disorder is a major axis 1 mental illness characterized by extreme highs and lows.  It is one of the most risky mental illness diagnoses because people can die from it.  They suicide during a low.  In Bipolar 1 the sufferer can become manic and while manic, and even while despressed, can become psychotic.  Normal people do not become psychotic except perhaps in their dreams.  Being psychotic means a major break with reality.  It means entering another world that most don’t even know exists.  So, no, we are not all Bipolar.

And, yes, people have fractured views of reality.  But some views are more fractured than others.  There is another “reality” in psychosis.  This other reality exists when one is psychotic. What interests me is that different people who are psychotic have similar experiences, making me think there really IS another reality that is floating around out there.  In this other reality the TV and radio can give you messages directly relevant to your life– so relevant that one begins to think there is some mind-monitoring device in your TV or radio.  And the AC has a microphone that allows you to talk to the world outside one’s window, to the people in the street, and they respond to your commands.  When one has the nerve to venture outside of one’s apartment, a cacaphony of voices tells you positive or negative things.  People (I thought of them as teachers and/or psychics) do not come up to you and speak to you directly for they know you could not handle that.  Rather they speak loudly to one another about your behavior so you can’t help but overhear.  If they are pleased with your behavior at the time, the comments are your reward for getting well.  If they are displeased, criticism comes from everywhere.  There is nowhere to hide the shame you feel because negative feedback is coming at you from every direction.  Then life becomes a hell that does not disappear when you go back home, because you can still hear the voices next door or in the street.  That is just one down side of this other “reality.”  Everything has self-referential meaning.  You are either hearing voices that don’t exist, or you are one step away from that because the voices you hear are actually real, saying real things, but those things all have meaning for you and you alone.  There is no safe place.  No escape.  No privacy.  I was living in an apartment at the time.  How much worse is it to be living in a shelter, hospital, prison or, worse on the street where one is overwhelmed with every kind of stimuli possible!

Synchronicity is everywhere. This is, I suppose, a lower from of altered consciousness. Life alternates between heaven and hell.  That is what I meant by a fragmented view of reality in my poem, Point of View.  One wonders if there is some divine intervention in these states because of the ubiquitousness of synchronicity.  Is this another take on discerning Maya?  I often lament to my husband that I cannot see the world as a dream or Maya and I feel so utterly unenlightened.  And yet, how foolish I am, for many years ago I lived in another reality.  Only now can I see that “reality” IS a consensual dream or “Maya.”

(For a narrative non-fiction account of being Bipolar and Aspie, the quest for sanity and the search for love, please see: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ellen-stockdale-wolfe.html to purchase my book.)


Point of View

 

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It happens

every now and again

a psychotic break

reality blurred

thinking slurred

torrents of

uncried tears

MAJOR fears

choked inside

unable to open the door

to walk in the sun

or talk to someone

and then…

it passes

at least for this time

fractured mind

heals

and I emerge

purged

of demons

shaken but

crawling back

out of the dark

blinded by light

laden with guilt

over is it

unjustified anger

and justified hurts

or justified anger

and unjustified hurts

or no justification

just endless conflation

of swirls of emotion

that feed the

desire to die

I come

creeping back

confused lack

of any cohesion

into the world

of  “reality”

or Maya

depending on

one’s point of view.


Beguiling Wiles

Though I write about meditation, spirituality, animal rights, mental illness and nature on this blog, I would be remiss in not sharing my passion for Indian dance and Bollywood movies.  Bollywood movies, like Western movies, are vessels of escapism, but Bollywood movies add morality, family values and frequently, religion, into the mix.  The dance and music is uplifting and, yes, sensual, without resorting to the blatant obscenity of Western films.

In this excerpt from the film, “Khalnayak,” Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt star.  Madhuri is the diva of Indian dance and, in fact, I am taking free online lessons with her just for the fun of it. And fun it is.  Madhuri makes no bones about using one’s feminine wiles to beguile.  If interested the lessons are available at http://dancewithmadhuri.com.  Sanjay Dutt is the handsome, irresistibly vulnerable heartthrob of the Indian screen and he dances as well.  Most Bollywood stars not only act but dance, too.

In this scene, Madhuri Dixit plays an undercover cop acting as a dancer to allure and apprehend the soft-hearted criminal, Sanjay Dutt.  They have great chemistry and the dancing is definitely an earthly pleasure, a blatant manifestation of Maya, to which I am attached.  But I think I must follow to see where it leads.  Experiencing writer’s block and artist’s block at the moment, perhaps dance is good for my soul. Critics might say my interest arises from a Bipolar mania or an Asperger’s obsession.  Perhaps.  I don’t know.  I am certainly not manic at the moment. All I know is that the allure of this form of Maya is powerful, and to deny its existence may lead to the necessity of pursuing this manifestation of it in another life.  Paramahansa Yogananda says that all life is Maya, a picture show.  Perhaps by indulging in Bollywood films, I may get a new perspective on so-called “reality” and see it as Yogananda did, as a film show of the earthly passions, a dream from which we will awaken one day.


An Apparition

Apparition

Here one second,

the next, gone,

with traces only in our hearts.

The ephemeral nature

of all life.

Our loved ones,

people and creatures,

here with us

for a pause in eternity

and gone for seeming eons.

            *

It is as the Hindus say

all “Maya,”

a dream of life,

an apparition,

some form of us

awakens one day

somewhere

we know not

when or where or how

right now.


Web Wonder

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“As the thread is hidden behind the beads of a necklace, and as the dreamer’s consciousness is secreted behind the garlands of  dream images, so the Divine Coordinator remains unseen behind the dream lei of creation…  It is God’s consciousness alone that sustains all the dream appearance of creation.”

~ PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA