Good morning readers and Happy Spring!
I continue to hang with this book because I find it inspiring, especially the concept of life on two levels: the logistical level, day to day, clocks, and to do lists, and such, and the essence level, magical moments of epiphany or beauty.
I believe that recovery, for ex-members, requires contradicting the coma by breaking cult rules a.s.a.p. Contradict cult common claims and practices: all cults claim ownership of “truth”. Cults cloak the universal in group-specific dogma. “This exclusive knowledge,” cults say, “You won’t find ANY WHERE ELSE. “
As a general rule, if a “new friend”, or mentor (cough, minder) utters such exclusivity, look around for the idea, or belief being commandeered. “School”, for example, claimed essence, as the force that spurred us into human existence, school said. We lose our connection. We fall asleep to essence. The only way to awaken, of course, was through The Work, as trotted out by “school”, or “the study”, or whatever the cult calls itself now. Does this sound familiar? “I, alone, can fix it.” (barf).
“School” does not tell new minions, “Lucky you! You’ve entered The Soul Factory. Now that you have our guidance, you get to GROW a SOUL, unlike all of those inferior, sleep-walking, un-schooled, creatures… but only if you follow “school’s” prescribed instruction to the letter. You only learn that “school” believes humans to be soul-less, vapid, “mad machines” when brewing in indoctrination long enough.
In direct contradiction, Anna Huckabee Tull’s concept of The Essence Level:
“… It’s the glorious magic of looking deeply into the eyes of one you hold dear. It’s the serendipity of confluence, luck and a sense of wonder. It’s an intuitive wisdom and knowingness, deep within you. It’s the splendor of the heavens and the way that looking up at a wide and twinkling sky can clam and expand you … It’s the AHA, the Eureka! It’s that moment of profound fulfillment, when you relax into all that surrounds you, realizing, in that moment, that you lack for nothing. It’s experiencing the presence (could it be?) of a loved one who has passed on and yet, somehow, even so, is right there with you …. It is the wavelength of possibility.”
Always, always available. For me, essence-level becomes apparent when life knocks away self protective shields — like when my dad was in hospice. But Ms. Tull is saying we don’t have to wait for those times and we don’t need external sources. We simply need to stop, look and listen. It’s all around us and inside of us. You experience essence level through your perceptions, your relationships, your experiences. Essence level comes through in moments that no one else can dictate, or steal them from you. I feel that those who attempt to dictate things so personal perpetrate psychological violence.
Right now, the sunrise is peeking through my window and throwing rectangles on the hardwood of a dining room table. A clock, a real one with hands that clicks past numbers in a circle, taps out a gentle rhythm. A furnace hums. I know my husband is sleeping and I hear my thoughts clicking out, I see them unfold on this screen. Writing, music and nature happen to be my muse and my connection. There’s no one on earth who can dictate this moment, or my sources, or yours.
This day is yours to live, to choose, to be in your work, your relationships, however they manifest. It will unfold and you will perceive and experience. Breathe it in. Trust yourself. And give yourself a window to stop and listen for, or see the essence level. It can’t hurt. And who knows what the day might present for you? Certainly not “school”. It’s yours to reach for, or discover, or uncover, or allow.