My life has been... well, it has been all but boring. I wouldn't exchange it for a job in corpo, a lexus and a house in the suburbs even if I could. And do you know why? Okay, let me tell you a story...
One misty spring day in a communist country far far away, a boy was born. Well, it so happened he came with a large deposit of heavy metals in his brain, apparently inherited from his mother (mostly mercury, which, spelled by capital M, was also his patron god). Oh, Mercury could make life surprising, as the boy was soon to learn. It also could make it mysterious, well, for the simple reason that with that amount of suspense circulating in your blood you could never really know what the following day would bring.
The boys since his early childhood showed signs of non-linearity. Some people called it ADHD. Some just looked and said nothing. One day while at the kindergarten, he was found occupying himself with a a fun game. Standing alone inside of a large empty room while all children were playing outside, he spinned in circles, so totally engrossed in this that even a kitchen lady who unwittingly entered was impressed. When asked by her what he was doing, instead of saying something like „Well, can't you see I am revolving around my own very vertical axis standing alone in the middle of this vast, empty hall, while the whole hall is rotating like mad in the opposite direction?”, which was probably too long and complicated thing to say for a 4 year old, so instead of that, he just admitted that he was „...playing with the floor.” This were his exact words, mind you. The kindergarten lady took that and eagerly tiptoed to the kitchen to share the revelation with her workmates.
Questioned by his Mom that evening, for the story quite naturally leaked to his family circles, the boy would state that the floor did indeed serve him as a sort of carousel that would obedietly rotate around when instructed. Such and similar occurences of outsmarting the age-old natural order were indeed of mercurial nature, although the boy hadn't probably heard nothin' about Mercury at that particular time of his life. If you asked him though, he would insist that the reality remained an upside-down phenomenon, a sort of „ha-ha, other than you thought!” trapdoor mechanism so well recognised for centuries as Jack-in-the-box.
This rare kind of perception was caused as a child physician would tell you by the toxic amounts of lead and mercury deposited in the brain. And as usual, there are things we have no much influence on. The boy's Mom has passed the neurotoxins on to him in her womb just like she received it from her Mom, and so on, and on, down in the history until maharajas and the Roman empire. It's a surprise to be born with a brain full of mercury and lead, and nobody said any surprise should be „just” or even „justified”. To the opposite, quite often it is neither.
It is a fact that the big part of my life was somewhere on the autistic/asperger/ADHD spectrum. I was tested on ADHD and got confirmed, but after watching the TV series Atypical (a story of a young autistic guy that nevertheless tries to find his way in society) I found too many key similarities with autism to keep calling it just an „attention deficit”. It was something much larger and multidimensional, a whole new way of brain functioning that made you wildly creative and at at the same time (oh, well...) painfully different. Compared to the main hero of the movie, I have grown quite skilled at masking my autistic part and pretending to be „normal”. Naturally, that had to happen at the cost of tremendous internal tension. This tension with time and experience I gradually learned to access and relax.
The punchline is that my life's adventures have often oscillated between two extremes. I either had to try to adapt and maintain my identity as an „ordinary guy” or embrace my true creative nature with its natural knack for the weird, antisocial and non-apropos. Since I started to admit and gladly embrace both, or, in other words, since I started to live both Here and Someplace Else, my life began to straighten up. The satisfaction that began permeating it flew from my being able to translate the non-linear into linear, the multidimensional into 3D, and the supernatural into the mundane, and share the knowledge with people.
Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.
Even if there is no one dumber,
if you're the planet's biggest dunce,
you can't repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.
No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.
Nothing Twice, by Wislawa Szymborska
Being diagnosed with ADHD, asperger, or autism means one thing for sure: you never know. The world shows itself to you like a vast ocean percolating with possiblity. Every day, every activity, every conversation, and every event are totally, TOTALLY different. With the so called ordinary people it's much easier to go from A to B, to reason logically, to, finally, maintain their intent til fruition as rationally required by environment. The ADHD is unlike that. Things rarely go straight A to B, as a result of certain blockages in the neurons, and instead find numerous atypical, strangely beautiful ways of manifesting.
While performing all the everyday tasks, the boy encountered million different situations where he was communicated that he had done it not the way it was done. In the beginning he found it quite disconcerting, but with time he learned to be most transparent to such comments. Say, he was asked to go to the cellar, bring from there and then peel a whole pot of potatoes. What an ordinary (no ADHD, no aspereger and no autistic) child would have done, is he'd plan how much he needed, picked a dish from rack, and then go to the cellar once. But the boy couldn't settle for such boredom. He carried the potatoes in his own bare hands, escapading three or four times before he finally collected the amount that could fill the pot. Well, to that linear world this was a plain smack in the face! Nobody could understand what actually happened, everybody, in best intentions tried to leave some advice. The boy looked at his hands and thought. Were they really different hands that most people on the planed seemed to have?
Somehow, he found the idea of an intermediary repelling. He would like to do things directly, hands-on, without needing a „dish” that was supposed to save his walking. He so much preferred to walk several times, each time enjoying the fact he had a body, complete with muscles, tendons and blood, thriving and throbbing at every step, reminding him of this vast and juicy game he called Life. Wasn't that a fantastic feeling? Why would he logically plan to „minimize effort”, painstakingly scheduling the „least resistance”track, if the effort itself was the most exciting, relaxing and enjoyable part?
Just as he used to say that he was „playing with the floor”, he „played with the potatoes”. It certainly didn't make him the speediest of potato Gonzaleses, but still allowed for moments of precious intimacy with reality that supported his sanity in a world where everybody compulsively watched how to do it RIGHT. The potatos, the floors, and the vast empty skies spoke to the boy ina language that nobody seemed to hear.
ALICE: Could you please tell me the way I should go?
CAT: It depends, to a large measure, on where you intend to reach.
ALICE: It actually doesn't matter.
CAT: In such case, it also will not matter which way you'll take.
ALICE: I would only like to get somewhere.
CAT: You will most definitely get there if you only walk long enough.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
That reminds me of the times of my living and working in India. By the way, there's never a straight A to B route there. The country is so deeply non-linear, so vehemently ADHD, asperger, autistic in its nature, that the so called Western Mind feels there as if suspended in vast vacuum. There is nothing to hold on to in this devilish nightmare of a place which doesn't respect any algorithms, as its base of existence holding the colourful flux of people, events and tuk-tuks, gleefully occuring here everywhere around you, 24 hours per day.
The beginner in India, one who really lives and moves to the Indian rhythm (and not in some fake fantasy beat of expensive hotels, air-conditioned parlours and noiseless toyotas) cannot help but be struck by the fact that nothing ever goes here as planned. But that's is the crux of Hindu philosophy! They feel at home there just as you feel at home sitting on the verandah of your quiet two-bedroomed house. So that's showing us something, right? It's showing us a very important point – the fact that order is not one and only way to go. Chaos works just as well, and, by the way, it brings so much more joy, bustling, interaction, colour and curiosity!
I was trying to understand how the Indian Mind saw travelling. A Westerner thinks: if I am going to get from A to B I need to build a road, preferably a straight one. It will then, quite reasonably, take me from one point to the next. This way I will satisfy my wish. But nothing of that sort is even distantly familiar to a Hindu. To get from town A to town B you first have to go to the Little Village A' that we cannot leave out because it is India, and all are included. If all are included, well then, we next have to go to the Little Village A'', stop there, take some, leave some, have a break, have a cup of tea, then Little Village A''', than A'''', A''''', A'''''', A''''''', and A'''''''. And that's only the beginning.
Needless to mention each of these Little Villages will be quite somewhere else off the main route, sometimes requiring the bus to meander like drunk. The trip to B that would, in a carthesian world, take up an hour and a half, here takes five to six, being nevertheless the most colourful and fascinating journey you could imagine. You have infinite number of long stops, food vendors, you sight see a lot of bazaars, festivals, elephants, lepers, brahmins, snake charmers, toilets, cows, and chai-stalls, and also you strike up conversations with numerous curious natives (always the same autistic set of „How are you?”, „Where are you from?”, „Have you eaten?” and similar), drink plenty of water, and generally feel like a flesh-and-bone traveller. Compare it to your clinical, jaw-breaking, lonesome journey by highway. And see whose life is more fun.
Conclusion – what makes life worth living is its daily unpredictability. We talk and discuss norms and logic, but what we eagerly omit is the fact that no two days are the same Some people don't. So far I have seen three groups: 1. children, 2. people with heavy metals in the brain, 3. nations remaining at the backwaters of what proudly passes as civilisation. All three of them found ways to invite the influx of stimuli so vast and versatile that there is hardly any way to order it. Every day is a whole new world of experience if you belong to one of those three. Every event wakes up a whole new adventure. And as much as this feels difficult to fit into our quiet and civilized frame of existence, it is there and allows, if given a chance, for a completely new experience. Jack-in-the-Box says:”A-ha!” Maybe, just maybe, he tells us Westerners about something we lost.
In our trying to „describe” things we assume they are separate. Separate parts, separate aspects, separate moments. You can describe something provided it is separate. But what if it isn't? What if it is a one big, pulsating, slippery phenomenon something of a, say, amoeba? It is intuitively obvious, that this „thing” something we call „reality”, or „life”, cannot be described, having no separate elements and undergoing constant motion. In its nude essence then it is shapeless, and pulsating and unpredictable, and slippery, and non-linear, i. e. moving in all the directions at once. In addition to that, it is uncessantly shaken by a multitude of overlaping tremors, and wave patterns.
Every „place” in it is connected to any other „place”, and some places are more obviously connected to some than others, owing to the changeable, wavelike and chaotic nature of this inner „mathematics”. And so the World of Things is a facade. Beyond it there is the Single and Mysterious Amoeba, residing, and how else, Someplace Else. I am seriously convinced that knowing and recognizing this constitutes the only meaning of Life there is.
In the pasture of this world, I endlessly push aside the tall grasses in search of the bull. Following unnamed rivers, lost upon the interpenetrating paths of distant mountains, My strength failing and my vitality exhausted, I cannot find the bull. I only hear the locusts chirring through the forest at night.
From Zen Flesh, Zen bones compiled by Paul Reps, based on 10 Zen Bulls by Kakuan
I was desperately trying to organize matters before our recent journey to Greece. The journey was supposed to be the beginning of a new lifestyle – one based on traveling, writing, meeting people and working locally, starting at www.workaway.info. I and my girlfriend, were in a hurry to get things done on time, all buttoned up by Wednesday, when we left for Warsaw, then for Athens, where our first Workaway host expected our coming. Funnily enough, I was in the midst of selling my flat, which required a great deal of hassle. But that turned to be only a tip of the iceberg. Our „list of chores” before leaving included picking up our new passports (old ones have ironically just expired), new ID card, buying some new clothes, repairing our good ol' backpacks, buying the presents and, last but not least, the dentist. Well, the dentist was actaully a true nightmare, as we had to visit the office once daily for two weeks, undergoing all kinds of dreadful drilling and plastering.
I admire the ability of many to manage and organize. Some people seem so flowing, so gracious in that, storing and retrieving information effortlessly, able to instantly define a course of action like it was a part of epee fencing. I was always so other than that. Facing problems made me numb, it was as if pressing my forehead against a cold pane. Can you imagine? You try to hear what they so eagerly discuss about, and you can't. You feel like a dog underneath the kitchen table, that's how you feel. What the heck? What are all these humans so eagerly discussing? And where's the sausage?
…40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations to be made. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!” 41 ”Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, „you are worried and upset by many things. 42 But only one thing is necessary.”…
The Bible, New Testament, Luke, 10:41
Not being capable of focusing intentionally, I had to develop a skill of trusting my own instinct.I had to make a shortcut, where instead of lengthy reasoning, ten year studies, or a twenty year of marriage, I would get quick access to information at a single flash.
I would usually make a „mind photoshot”, asking myself at the same time several core questions. Did I like it? Did the whole thing feel right to deal with right now? If so, was the provided information sufficient? Or did it feel dubious? Where there, perhaps, any other, options? Shortcuts? Ways around it? It was like I talked to space, talked to the clouds or talked to some invisible presence beyond. And only later in my adult live I realized I was talking to.... myself.
This kind of „self-asking” was a happy and creative endeavour. It felt light, humorous, and often gave me quick advantage over others in knowing and understanding what the situation needs. I trained my intuition to the extent that it became quite accurate. I would intuit things, knowing instinctly how something „tasted” without a need to discuss it or investigate at length. I sensed what kind of inquiry was pointless waste, what kind of person wanted what, and which situation had potential for disovery.
Of course, this has not always worked out in my favour. Often I had to just agree there were areas where I remained ignorant, and that often meant giving up any attempts to be part of the solution. However, some other tasks, especially those involving intuition, I could and did solve with success. And when it happened, I did it irrespective of guidelines, by drawing my own maps, making own discoveries and arriving at the conlusions by a peculiar, instinctly sketched path.
This whole „mind photoshooting” made me think of two characters from movies, both of who were blind. One was Daredevil, Matthew „Matt” Michael Murdock, a superhero from Marvel Comics. First an ordinary youngster, he was then blinded by a radioactive substance which, with time, heightened his remaining senses, providing with specific „radar” that allowed to locate things. The other was from the movie Imagine, directed by Andrzej Jakimowski, where a blind teacher has developed an amazing ability to echolocate. Both guys were clear reminders of how my own autistic mind seemed to operate. I liked that a lot. I remember I was so hypnotized by Imagine that I just couldn't get up and leave the cinema, staying in my chair untill everybody left (I actually had to be asked out by the personnel). Till now I consider this film one of the most touching pictures I have seen..
Following my two exemplars, I felt into any given problem, and listened for info, just as if the problem itself was a living being. Were I indeed and amoeba that fed and breathed by osmosis? No idea. But I either got an impression that something was worth it, and then immediately got interested, or I just felt numb and did nothing.
If I tried to somehow „pull myself together”, I was quickly overpowered by a sensation of disconnection and floating. To prevent the paralysis, I learned not to force myself to do anything, and at the same time to trust that the motivation will come, whenever the conditions change. This however, resulted in dire consequences. There were plenty of everyday chores, like shopping, body care, family, or staying social, or even the simple and widespread working from 8-16 that my mind just refused to perform. Without them it was hard to imagine living a life. How could I deal with those without forcing? I seemed to have reached and impasse.
Packing before a trip was always quite a thing. I tell you, packing before a trip of your life, a journey supposed to last forever and ever, was even worse. It was worse because you had to remember much more and my mind just turned numb at the very idea of „remembering”. How can you „remember” if you hate remembering, for it associates with force? Unless remembering was not naturally caused by interest, it would jeopardize the whole activity by blurring out the key data and immediately putting me behind the glass. As a result I would feel unethusiastic and avoidant, doing nothing to change my life, all the time thinking that „somehow it will be” .
The question remained – was this the only possible course of events?
I used to fill a short ADHD test that consisted of 10 questions. I had 9 hits per ten. But the fact that I couldn't properly focus attention, was, in my opinion not just related to ADHD. I consider it in an obvious way related to syndromes such as asperger or autism. Although I was never formally diagnosed with any of those, I read about them as well as heard a lot from doctors, family members and patients themselves. Finally, I examined the whole thing with my „inner radar”.
I learned that there was a very similar, if not axactly the same taste to all three conditions. It's like the neurons received a similar faulty wave pattern, or like all three kinds of sick people, went through similar life's nuisances, although perhaps, with different intensity. This made me infer that they are just different descriptions of one and the same basic distortion.
It's obvious that brains of some people find it extremely difficult to follow their classical metabolic routes. These people will either force themselves into the routine by the use of drugs, or will have atypical lives, with extraordinary, non-linear events. Perhaps, they are going to develop a completely new grasp on the so called facts? I needn't add, I was always a good candidate here.
Living „on the go”, i.e. by travelling for place to place, never staying anywhere longer than for one or two years turned out to be some kind of a solution. It sort of organized my life along some guidelines, even if by „guidelines” one only understands the subsequent relocations or relocation plans. The relocations, as exciting as they might seem, need a lot of focusing, and a lot of disciplined thinking, and a lot of, well, let's call it by name, wilful activity. You have to find a place, a means for life, sell the old stuff, say goodbye, buy tickets, pack up and so on. So, on one hand you are „free”, you travel, and people envy you. On the other, you are up to a lot of stressful, managerial activity. And nobody guesses that this is just a shrewd way you manage your autism.
See, there are things like remembering about dentists, social obligations, chores, smiling at the right time, or even simply keeping up with the conversation, that are all extremely difficult for an autist. That needn't be however. How? When they are indivisibly connected with freedom of travel. They both resulted from it and imply it. And then it all finally begins to click.
Say, you left to Greece for a year. You just had to do your dental jobs before! You needed it just for the simple reason that in Greece the dentist would cost you 3 times more. Similarly, you just had to buy a new set of socks, and probably a new pair of shoes, and generally new clothes, just because you were going to meet a completely new group of people and they would form their opinion on you, based on how you looked. So there was some inner logic in the traveling, that managed to soften the effects of autism/asperger/ADHD. Thanks to the gimmick, you somehow managed to motivate yourself to do things you would never otherwise have done.
Warriors know the difference between pure creativity of the nagual and the superb molding abilities of the tonal. The nagual is the only part of the warrior that can create; the tonal cannot create anything, it can only witness and assess and mold things, personally or in conjunction with other tonals.
Tomas, Creative Victory, Reflections on the Process of Power from the Collected Works of Carlos Castaneda
You will learn to grow by repeating, they say. Repeat it in your head. Repeat to yourself every morning. Repeat so you could be closer to God. To the Authorities. To the Golden Calf. Or simply to that personal map of dreams you have just so precisely outlined at an NLP workshop. Repeat many times. The exercise. The shaman's wisdom. The role to be learned. The instruction of how to get from A to B. The catchphrase from the newest book on social injustice. Repeat it to your friends on Facebook so you could spread the word to all your community and finally, all Earth. When you are ready, teach it to others. Start your own exclusive school of repetition.
And all that for really one reason, remember? You sincerely wanted, you promised yourself, you swore it to God and all Saints to reach Someplace Else before you are sixty. But then the faint voice at the back of your head says: how can you really find a Someplace Else if all you ever do, all you were taught and all you ever learned is – repeat?
Coaching as well as the majority of other self-help and therapeutic approaches tries to prompt us to be creative. Yet, if we look closely, there is hardly any creativity in what they propose. How can there be any if all coaches and all gurus and all therapists keep jabbering about mostly the same stuff? They use words of others who came before them, and who used words of others who came even earlier and so on and on, back finally to some genius who jumped out of his bathtub shouting „Eureka!”. That one had probably had something brillant to say but the spirit is long lost and now all they can do is quote.
Want to get to Someplace Else? How about for once look honestly at the idea and see it for what it is? Long enough it got compromised, sold, emasculated, diluted, „adapted for popular reader” and by million other ways reduced to tasteless mush. The question remains then very much up to date: is there a non-linear way of relating with the world? Is it just a fantasy of an autist, or is it objectively true, valid for all?
Are things other than they seem?
What is creative? We can recommend travelling, having good thoughts, getting social, picking up a hobby, eating better, starting a business or dropping the partner who doesn't satisfy but will those things make anyone really experience the turn of the screw in the very marrow of their psychological bones? Or will they only provide topic for a series of unending discussions, TV shows, self-help books and veg cafe slogans repeated on and on ad nauseam?
Will they give us another opportunity to experience equally unsatisfying events under the guise of sophistication and glamour? And is that what we call creative?
Well, in that context the question we ask is vital. We wonder if there is a possibility of living a life that is uniquely ours, like really, one that is not a repetition, not a mantra, not a philosophy and not a trend. We want to avoid wrapping ourselves around another depressing quotation and getting stuck forever in the dusty store-room and moth-ridden library of our past. Instead we desire to spit out the dreaded chewing gum that we heretofore used to clog our mind, to dim it to the radiant Thing that really goes on. We want to find a truth that is uniquely ours, having nothing to do with anyone or anything else. We earnestly hunger to be born again, to get up fresh with an idea that nobody else has had before...
At the very beginning they discovered that I could draw. I drew dragons and underwater creatures, later also robots and teachers. With time it additionally showed I was good at writing so they sent me to get verified by a special board as potential genius, but I failed the verification. I was somehow always considered to be guest from Someplace Else, a stranger in a strange land, an alien to be wary of or a butterfly to be collected. At some times it felt nice, at others, quite the opposite.
The failure to get accepted by board didn't bother me very much. One thing would happen with astonishing regularity throughout my lifetime, both as a child and later as an adult. It occurred when someone looked at me and said:
”Now, that obviously is something different!”
Naturally, my unfailing empathy provided me with feedback as for what the person had actually felt while saying that, and it was usually an appreciative. „Hey, look, tee-hee!”. Just like when you see a duck billed platypus, something that shouldn't be but, yeah, there it is. You are bound to say „Wow!”, even if you don't know what actually a duck billed platypus is.
Every once in a while I was scheduled to meet somebody who „ had just had to show me to his friends” (even though I myself hadn't been necessarily keen on the idea). Teachers passed me from class to class just because they „liked me”, and examining boards would happily accept my candidature explaining somewhat opaquely that „school needs a person like that”. Like what?! I racked my brains, but no easy answer would came.
The malicious would say that this popularity was due to my secret manipulation skill, some hideous talent to dazzle and pretend. I do not agree for again, I would ask: „Dazzle with what?”. Being always rather withdrawn gives one little opportunity to shoot flashes of brilliance at exasperated audiences. And so I preferred to occupy back benches and was happy to let ones with more of a showman's streak perform in front of me.
The only possible answer suggested that I had a quality that was out-of-pattern, Without a need to be defined, it was somehow obvious to the adults and they were appreciative of it, mostly. Perhaps it reminded about something they themselves used to have but... lost?
The nagual is the part of us for which there is no description – no words, no names, no feelings, no knowledge.
Carlos Castaneda, Tales of Power
Miracles transcend the body. By placing you beyond the physical laws they raise you into the sphere of celestial order. In this order you are perfect.
So what was the unusual ability I had? It was not invisibility, definitely not for despite my clear preference for back-benches I was always somehow one of the first people noticed. Similarly it was not flying, and not super strength and by no means the rubbery body of Mr Fantastic. Then what?
It was the fact that I somehow didn't seem to be from here; like I came from a distant star or evert myself from some kind of unheard-of geometry. It was this state of otherworldliness they so eagerly gasped at. As I am quite sure today, this otherwordliness was exact result of my inborn affinity with Someplace Else.
I guess it might have been part of my overall nerdiness, but it was also a something more. It was an gift. Some came here with great social skills, others with a knack for business, still others could easily do saxophone or kundalini awakenings. If you were English or American or French, you could probably remain best at several such at once, and that for a simple reason your culture didn't suppress growth. But that had also a minus side. Being English or American or French you could get easily distracted from what you really were, just because there was so much choice. Being Polish you didn't have much choice. But at the same time that was good because you had an opportunity to really look at what was it that you really are?
Only later in my life I have seen here the direct correspondence with the Castaneda's idea of nagual. I like the work of Castaneda and am sure that he definitely hasn't invented it. Even though not all presented „facts” might be true, the teaching is obviously based on somebody's deep experience of the „not-from-here” nature. His language describes exactly what I am trying to elucidate on here. However, despite my respect for the guy, one of the main tenets of his work, the path of will, has been in dire contradiction to the main area of my interest - the path of surrender. I thus didn't study the twelve books in detail and abandoned them in search of other, more appropriate resource.
And, yeah, the nagual was cool. Frankly, nowhere else ever (well, with the exception of probably ACiM) could I find a definition that would get so close to my own experience of the creative aspect of the Absolute. Having somewhat matured in my years, I can now see it in its whole splendor: light and luminous, otherworldly and ageometrical, i.e. without reference to anything I or anyone else thinks or knows. The lightness comes from eliminating need to do anything or go anyplace. No A to B route, first time for real, honestly, no sh...t here-and-now. In its sacrilegious song of liberation it freed man from requiring schools, trainings, books, meetings, clothes, children, lectures, gadgets or orgasms. The point is always not there.
It is Someplace Else.
There is an earthly sun, which is the cause of all heat, and all who are able to see may see the sun; and those who are blind and cannot see him may feel his heat. There is an Eternal Sun, which is the source of all wisdom, and those whose spiritual senses have awakened to life will see that sun and be conscious of His existence
Most of the growth systems for me personally did not turn out helpful or rather, they actually tried to guide me away from It. I can honestly say that I woke up despite most that is being said or discussed on spiritual fora. I crawled out of yukky mush of good advice, Facebook inspiration, zen talk, heart opening magic and the mutual admiration societies of various kinds. I can see them for what they are - a necessary step for many but a slow place nevertheless, and a defence against one's own direst meaning and truth. And believe me, I am not saying that lightly. If I hadn't been there, if I hadn't played the game myself for long years, I wouldn't know.
So most of the stuff didn't work out for me, yes. Some did. Some teachings were like arrows pointing at Moon, they helped me see the direction, and also heal various areas necessary to deepen understanding. And right, there was the rare few that indeed hit the mark, opening my eyes to the ever-progressing, ever-expanding reality of Someplace Else. Eventually all I knew, or thought I knew, or saw to be true, or saw to be untrue, or in any other way faced and considered on my way, has taught me Truth. All was and is being used for this work.
This „core” experience indeed was Someplace Else from anything I'd known or thought I'd known. It was definitely something quite different than the lukewarm soup I was fed by various New Age and therapeutic groups I belonged to in the course of my life.
So let's talk about Someplace Else. Hey, when you look around, everybody talk about it so what's the big deal? It is in the films, in the press, in churches, shrines, cafeterias, libraries, at therapy studios. All of the coaching and all of the New Age discuss it and not only them – even the consumerism and hipster-ism, even the grey and uninspiring, your parents, uncles, aunts, all of them, with no exception, propose the same. A change for the better.
We promise you. There's a Someplace Else ! We've been there and we'll show you the way. Life will be all different from then on!
This is somehow deeply in the nature of human mind, to expect a turn, a new finer existence so unlike what we know, so much merrier and sweeter. It's then even more human to expect that somebody else will take us there by the hand. So comfortable.
It starts when we are adolescent. People love to convince teens to follow a certain track. Be it medicine, law or a career in business, young people are persuaded to conveniently fit themselves into a narrow range of occupations that are considered practical.
Always comparing their choices to that, always wondering what the immediate reward will be - and thus intrinsically pulled away from exploring their real gifts. What a shame to be so early brainwashed! To sincerely believe one must change, set off on a long and thankless journey, as a number one goal in life taking adaptation to the demands of mindless society. Why would we all so sheepishly pursue that, rather than sit on our behind using whatever resources accessible from the natural treasure-house of Who We Are?
The same pattern is encountered at a later time during the process by some called „coaching”. Coaching tells us to be more creative, happier, make good choices and so on. It plays our friend, it wants to help. What sin can you find with the simple ideal of happiness? How about style? Good life? Social respect? Happy family? Aren't those by definition something sensible at last, so diligently searched and found? Would it be by all means recommended to carve yourself in a nice and elegant manner into this gracious well-proportioned figure, independent of depressions, daemons and all sticky goo?
But say, when you see it glaring at you from pages of trendy magazines, you don't really treat the stuff seriously, do you? It's somehow too... smooth, right? Too similar to the Coke ad, too sickly sweet, one-surfaced, empty, technical, devoid of adventure or suspense; too well manicured in order represent what it so proudly passes for: the fundamental law of human existence.
You probably noticed long ago. The well-off, the well-dressed, and the well-groomed year to year, with alarming regularity, recite basically the same dreary litanies. Be positive, be original, go freelance. Exude self-confidence. Think fast fast and be witty. Go on Facebook. You could probably imagine they teach it at some „happiness school”, with people who pay to sit there on weekends and make notes. I can almost see how the buzzwords appear one by one on the white projector screen, rows of rounded, android faces at the background, laughing at the right times while continuing to make notes with their golden Parker pen. And yeah, the machines! They sell aspartame loaded diet soft drinks at breaks where everybody need to get up an move a little before the next round of practical obedience.
Take any growth therapy, workshop, diet or religious scripture and look at it. Skim through these same washed-off mantras, jaw-breaking meditations, pulp recommendations, served in different arrangements, under different names, by different „authorities”, all really about one and the same thing: repetition.
Despite failing the whiz-kid test I kept my interest in writing. In the Primary School we wrote stories, which meant we had to invent them. This delightfully smelled of Someplace Else, and I loved the idea, honestly, more than anything else, ever. All those juicy epithets, crazy oxymorons, cool metaphors etcetera! They crowded around like a strange zoo. They demanded food, care and attention, but most of all - time. This was a lifelong path and yet - I have clearly seen it was mine.
I was born in Poland and attended Polish schools throughout my youth. In case you didn't know, Poland suffered a lot over the last few centuries. It's been invaded, enslaved, partitioned, bombed and burned to the ground which might explain why Poles are so warm and empathetic but rather hopeless at anything that even nears innovation. Opposing tradition was not what promoted survival during all those dark centuries of slaughter and conflagration. On the contrary, people grew to learn that only by sticking to guidelines and following closely in someone else's tracks they could eventually achieve some level of life's security and comfort. This was the society where I found myself all of a sudden, at the cusp of the new millenium, with my rabid desire to create something original. I had no choice but to roll down into the communal septic tank or... look for a Someplace Else. I chose the latter.
With all that we have said, it shouldn't surprise that in Poland any institutionalized creativity is blotted out from curriculum right when you turn fifteen. It looks like some high authority just plain didn't want the young people to think independently any further. It gets dangerously close to the time of young men's first employment by which they should remain already effectively dulled to any god-forsaken individualism. What begins instead is the rotten boredom of persuasive essays, an ideal tool to discipline young people in order to produce obedient slaves. Needless to say, this kind of writing demotivated me to the extent that made me opposed to school as a matter of principle.
In a nutshell, what the Polish High School wants you to do, is write lengthy justifications of truisms that neither you nor your colleagues feel for, and that for the simple reason of lacking appropriate experience. Well, wasting your life on that when you have literally bucketloads of revolutionary material just waiting at the doorstep, is just plain senseless. My talent has nevertheless forced me to squeeze in some original content into the stunningly boring essay templates. This was heavily discouraged by the syllabus and generally disliked by the teachers. I was in conflict that slowly built up, to the point when I began hating all adults, with their senseless ban on individualism, insistence on social adaptation and praise of results.You are opposed to something that curbs what is best in you, that's a natural tendency. Forced by circumstances, I began to look out for alternatives.
Some decade later, I began regularly writing for an internet portal where I finally found my share of appreciation. They called me an „indigo kid”, a „budding talent” or a „prophet”. At the same time, the conservative bunch saw me as a big-headed rebel or, in extreme cases, a lame duck. These early years of my writing were not easy as I had to connect the two seemingly opposing worlds: one of my collapsing past identity, and the newly emerged, extremely unstable Wonderland that fell apart or even completely vanished in the face of a single negative remark.
The perfect state, the summum bonum, is Play. In play, life expresses itself in its fullness. God's life is play. Adam fell when his play became serious business .
Embracing my ADHD/asperger/autism spectrum was something that I only learned with time. The key factor that encouraged and inspired me to do that was the possibility (suggested by some) that my condition was actually an early sign of spiritual awakening. I explored the topic and had to come up against tremendous social pressure. The popularly available expression, enlightenment, signified something incredibly wise, worthy and magnificent (which is probably why barely anyone was really interested). People like Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, Osho or Castaneda where considered icons to look up to and admire, by no means a somebody you could level yourself with or compare to. If you said, even only to yourself, that your seeming „sickness” is result of some Greater Consciousness trying to pierce its way through to this world, well this clearly would induce funny looks. And now the task was - to take this shameful holiness and decide to live for it, make it a number one, something to which all other goals are secondary. That appeared quite a task.
With time it turned that my initial intuition was right. All my awakening has come from giving up the guilt of who I am and appreciating its magnificence. All the meaning I gave myself derived from the total acceptance and total forgiveness of my autistic nature. I didn't want to make it into some sinful pleasure to be paid for, redeemed, medicated, counselled, reduced by habit or in any other way regretted and scheduled for change. I didn't want to make it, as materialists would advise, a quirk or fascinating aberration, to be examined, wondered at and then proudly added on the resume. I also definitely didn't want to make it an instrument of power: one that would try to prove anything, fight in the name of ideals, or even force me into some tight shoes like the Law of Attraction, NLP, shamanism, zen or (yuk, yuk) love and compassion for all.
In other words, I had to make enlightenment a most obvious thing, the ground of my life, the rational no-big-deal event, just like for many people see moneymaking, sex, status, or community work. Do you remember Matrix where Morpheus asks, „Do you think this is air you are breathing?” I knew I had to begin breathing it.
The raving madness of such a demand bothered me up to a point that made my life, to say the least, difficult. Excruciated by inner war, I went through all kinds of neuroses, existential nights, religious and philosophical conversions, stark manifestations of anger and other Gethsemane pleasures. And yet, I made a strong resolution to completely relax into my inner world, to never deny it or condemn in any way, so that the Someplace Else or ”samadhi” as some would call it, could finally start feeling safe and begin to unfold. And I managed and am managing to do it. How did I emerge from the Cemetery of Worlds where dead spaceships hover noiselessly in the is face of a rising Supernova? This is the interest and main point of this blog.
To be continued...
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