As I sit here on the plane moving hundreds of miles per hour across thousands of miles, I am sitting still in my “comfortable” flight seat by the window. I like the window because although I am enclosed in these small quarters with tight individual space I can see out to where I really am; the sky that is boundless, endless and never changing in its vastness. It makes me feel safe. If the plane suddenly takes a nose dive, believe it or not, I want to watch and find fearlessness in that moment of complete panic. At least that’s the fantasy I have in my head about imminent death.
For the past 14 years, I have been riding my own waves of clarity and confusion in what I hope has been “relatively conscious.” Today as I sit in this plane, listening to Joseph Michael Levry’s “I am” on repeat hoping that subconsciously the truth of those two words will just hit me in an instant, “I am” reduced to taking out my cards and playing Solitaire (yes, physical cards, not on the computer.)
So, I shuffle my cards, once… twice… three times… and a fourth because I love the feeling and the sound of the cards whisping through the air so rhythmically and determined.
I start the game paying attention to all the places I can shift the King of Diamonds and the Three of Clovers as needed. I then realize I cannot win this hand on one meld only but I am close. I flip over the meld and continue to play. Halfway through the second meld, I see I can win the game with two melds and feel satisfied although the main goal is to win the game with one meld only. I suddenly feel a tickle of truth hit me and I am intrigued…
I play again in order to test my “tickled truth” feeling as the self-defined scientist that I am.
In my second game, I realize I cannot win at all. Unless I cheat, but then I know deep down inside that I didn’t win. Again, I feel the tickle. I pause and reflect. And this is what I found.
These are the cards I was dealt. This is my karma. This is my causal body. This is my vasana. I shuffled the cards, I laid them out and no matter how much I spin them around or try to change them, I may or may not win. No matter how much I may want to be the next WNBA star, I was not given the height nor the physical endurance to do so. I didn’t get those cards which for some reason I visualize as the Queen of Spades.
“Winning” for me in this lifetime is to realize my true Self. I strive to become again what I have lost in my deluded perception of reality; becoming Brahman. This, of course, is quite a tall order -not easily achieved or found by just googling it and following an eHow video. Thus, this frustrates me and intrigues me at the same time. I know and feel deeply that self-realization is a true possibility for any human being who seeks it. I understand it conceptually with my mind and yet, I cannot grasp it. Because there is nothing to grasp when it’s beyond the mind. There is so much unlearning that must take place (AKA deep suffering) and although I ruthlessly play my cards over and over again, I do not “win.” It gets exhausting and disorienting, and I trust (not always but mostly) that I must at least try to pick up the cards again.
Can I accept I will not win the game? Or do I say, “No! I don’t accept! I’ll find another way! I’ll find a solution! Are there rules that I am still unaware of?” And when I have tried all of that and still found no way of taking out the Seven of Hearts that lies face down beneath the Nine of Hearts facing up, I do feel defeated.
But what is defeat? I do not know. All I need to do is decide… do I play again in hopes that this time my cards will give me a winning hand or do I accept these cards as they are and never win?
I reflect that both can bring me a sense of peace because I must challenge myself to reach this seemingly impossible goal and I must let go of that which I can’t control.
Maybe it’s just a house of cards where the balance of both playing with intention and allowing with surrender are necessary.
My journey continues…