This is the second time I’ve written about and with full-on laryngitis. It’s a scream (no laughs deserved there), watching what happens internally when this uniquely human mode of expression, verbal language, is blocked. In a sense (if it’s possible to put on pause for awhile the inherent inconveniences and frustrations of sudden almost missing-a-limb-level deprivation), one re-emerges into awareness of the rich, wild realm of non-human existence–into close(r) alignment with Everything (dogs, rocks, walls, kestrels, et al., and not in terms of deficit, but in terms of difference) and with the isness of BEing itself. What a gift. Not that I never want to not talk again, à la Chef Ito of Au Lac (omg I’m so hungry); speaking is a very useful natural adaptation and a gift in itself, straight from the sentient intelligence of Life itself, thank you very much. In fact, it was pretty frustrating not to be able to use this human short-cut to let my daughter know to move her butt when she’d spilled her almond milk and was sitting in it. Charades gets old after awhile. Not to mention, when Elsa and Peppa are louder than you are with your screen-gobbled impotent gesticulations and squeaks, shit gets upsetting for everyone. Word. Dammit.
In the unchosen silencing of my own voice, I am listening, listening. I seem to hear things at an increased volume and clarity (day three, no voice); the birds, a lizard skittering across a table, wind in the leaves (or is it leaves in the wind?), cars languidly rolling past, crickets, airplanes, my neighbor’s wailing 2 year-old. Colors seem brighter and clearer. Perhaps, however, all this is heightened as well by a week of good sleep. The truth is, these last few days, I’ve been prevented from expressing and communicating when it would have been foolhardy to do so. I’ve been forced to sit with feelings I would have blared over with talking about them (sorry friends, and also Self, for all my incessant talking, talking, talking–I am repentant). Though I’ve had access to texting, I’m so used to using voice messaging that texting feels archaic and really just more frustrating than anything else.
So I’ve been taken to this no-place again (a time-out for bad behavior, perhaps–really, all that infernal talking…), required to just BE. Thank God.
On this Day Three of Silent Me, last night, barred from calling a friend to catch up, I watched a couple of episodes of a show. As can happen sometimes, after turning it off, there was a panic. A severing of the ego-mind from its normal identification with…existing. “Where did ‘I’ go??”, it wondered in abject fear. It’s lost, spinning, confused by its recent absence, clutching at identity, scrambling for some kind of of known, some kind of safety. This seems to occur when the illusion of separate experiencer (the ego-mind) is cut off for a time from the experienced due to complete mental attention on the screen. The “I”, thinking it’s the separate experiencer, panics. There is no experience of the “I” happening for a time, but not in terms of dissolving into the Whole with a periodic, at least, awareness of that. Just an erasing. A blinking out. As “I” (really, WTF) watched, this ego-mind looked around at my apartment in wonder—feeling completely un-housed and unfamiliar with the familiar surroundings. “I” saw them from a place of removal and disconnection and noticed the beauty of the place, the plants, the carefully chosen, placed and cared for items.
This clearly uncovered the imaginariness of the ego-mind. The Great and Powerful Oz revealed as the fearful, weak and stumbling nothing behind the curtain.
“Look,” something said patiently and kindly to this ego-mind, “she’s ok. She’s taking care of you. Check it out. Clearly this is the home of someone moved by the One, the Whole. Look at the presence, the observation, the care. You’re ok. You don’t have to be in charge anymore. It’s ok.” The ego-mind watched as “she” moved around the apartment, putting little things away, getting the apartment ready for bedtime. No thought from the ego-mind, just awe-inspired observation. “See?” whoever said. “You don’t have to do anything.” And the ego-mind calmed and reintegrated.
This morning I woke up (there is no language for this stuff—who is I?) and was drawn deeply and heavily into what I can only describe as the Whole for about 4 hours—a deeply integrated relaxation, an energetic healing. Not much I. Just energy and sometimes an observing ego-mind present but only lightly. The body. The earth. Everything as everything. Healing is always happening. Because Life is healing.
Lisa Cairns wrote to the I this morning as itself and said it well:
I found that I lost knowing who I was anymore. That sounds really weird. I just lost myself. There was something that had always been there still there, but it no longer belonged to somebody; it was happening. There was this energetic change where I was looking at the whole world inside the body, and it was almost like I was watching myself in the brain, experiencing life. It was like I was more up here (in my head) than in what was happening, the dream was more important; of what I was imagining others to think of me, what I wanted to portray myself to be, it was just up here (in my head), and then that energy just stopped and it just went back into what was happening.
—For the Love of Everything
This whatever I’m calling the ego-mind appears to be the survival mechanism. And typical modern life is what happens when The Wiz runs the show: mayhem. Mayhem. The survival mechanism is there for a reason–to keep the organism alive. Not to call the shots, not to chart the course and navigate the ship. It’s simply not equipped, poor non-thing. We like to live in a dream of the ego-mind. But Life is everything and it’s happening. That’s it. Now note to self: Shhhh…