Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Space in Between

"He is very interested in class, he pays close attention and seems very motivated. But when class is over, his attention gets completely dispersed. It takes him a while to recover and be able to focus on the next class."
I listen and understand that the little boy gets lost in the Bardo, the transit space between the end of one lifetime and the beginning of another. In his case, he lives through 6 or 7 lifetimes each day in school, and he has developed a strong habit of clear work during the steady space of the class, but after the bell rings a new habit takes over and he is lost, at least for a while, and until the guide comes along (in this case, in the form of a friendly elderly woman) to bring him back to a focused state. How many times has he gone through this doorway and been lost? And what will it take for him to develop a new strong habit that will react to the sound of the bell with renewed strength and focus, and the clear intention of seeking a favorable rebirth?
A basic habit like this is very hard to see, almost impossible. It is easier to spot the others… the constant scratching of the nose, the twirling of the hair, the particular curve of the neck when reading or watching TV, the loud laugh that comes from the father and the soft laugh that comes from the mother, the slight blink of the right eye when something is pleasing, the downturn of the mouth when something is distasteful… all of these can be spotted (with some work) but the ones that hide underneath, the micro fractal structures that underlie all the others and give them their true impulse and force, these are truly hidden, and, as such, they are the foundation of Real Occult transformation.
It has been said repeatedly, and will be said again: The true quest for Transformation is a journey inwards and the dragons that wait in dark caverns are hidden deep within, they are the living building blocks of your consciousness. To continue to attempt to find the answers outside, to look for hidden mystical enemies behind doorways and under bridges, in the realms of the humans, is to avoid the true unfriendly guardian that lies waiting, mouth open and fangs dripping with blood and saliva, coiled around the innermost core of your Being.
How we face the space in between, the Bardo, is completely based on these hidden structures, these persistent and miniscule habits. No matter how much we have read about it, no matter how much we repeat that we know what to do and how to do it, when the bell rings, the basic habits will take over and all the human thoughts and certainty will vanish as if they were never there (and in a very Real sense, they never were.) And there you will be, once again, naked and facing the primordial Chaos with nothing to hold onto and no place to hide… except maybe that little doorway that seems so comfortable and familiar, it seems that you may have been there before, sometime not too long ago.
Thinking about this will not help.
Reading about it will help even less.
Worrying about it won’t change anything.
But you can Work.
First identify the Bardo spaces. Find the moments of death within your day, identify them clearly, recognize them as they happen. This may be the moment that your day job ends, the moment of going to sleep, the moment when your train stops and leaves you at the station, perhaps that moment when you arrive home from a long day.
As you walk through the doorway of death, whatever shape it has taken this time around, invoke your presence and open yourself up to the distinct blurry shapelessness of the Bardo. Recognize that you have now entered a space of transit, a treacherous realm where things are not what they seem and you can’t even trust your own self.
After an initial burst of energy when the short previous lifetime has ended, you will quickly descend into a confusing space where many new doorways offer themselves up. Before you decide which door to go through, give yourself some time to sense the particular liquid space you are in. We have been trained to look away, to not face it. Force yourself to turn back and look, and feel, and sense.
When it comes time to choose, do so from a space of calm detached tranquility… or the closest you can come to that. What do you pick to be your next lifetime? Will this coming rebirth help in your work or will it be detrimental? Does it come from your true inner Will or does it come from mechanical habit? Is it a place you come back to again and again or does it represent a new unexplored area of the Labyrinth?
It is your choice. It has always been your choice. What will you be this time around?
What will you do when the bell rings for you?

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