Life is chaos.
Within the chaos are patterns, rhythms, and flows. Given this, to recognize, flow and be are as necessary as air, water, and food for our survival and evolution.
To learn to work with the chaos, the creative chaos, as one that is of the chaos, creatively, is to learn to be the flow more than to merely go with the flow.
My current circumstance, which I regard merely as a port of call among many in my healing voyage, albeit a trying one, has given me the blessed opportunity to feel myself, and be my Self, after years of rudderless living.
Being without normative shelter since May, unable to rely on the certainty of physical and domestic stability, I’ve had to call upon the latent forces within my being and Universe, which I regard as one and the same, in order to find direction, stability, and purpose. It’s been a process that entails remembering and forgetting, taking hold and letting go, learning and unlearning, giving and receiving, distinguishing and unifying.
I’ve experienced and observed, and can remember doing and observing so all my life without having been consciously aware of the act or its objective, that the urge of life expresses as the insistence on living no matter the circumstances.
So, for example, as chaos erupted in the South Bronx during the 70’s when conflagrations consumed my physical environment, my soul, ever remaining intact and engaged via accretion and transmutation of adversity into enrichment, found and always finds ways to transcend by remaining imminent, anchored in the moment, not escaping, not fleeing, but rather finding play and humor and, above all, wisdom in the flames of suffering.
What does that look like?
It looks like children finding occasion to play, climbing on the fire trucks as the firemen (true heroes!) did battle with infernos to save buildings and lives in the South Bronx during the chaotic 70’s; it looks like me, around 8 or 9 yrs of age, and my mother, my father, and Uncle Edgar, who was visiting us one day at 696 Cauldwell Ave, gutted by fire and looters except for our apartment which was somehow intact and untouched by fire, standing around the kitchen stove in apartment 2B with the oven door wide open blasting out the only heat we had during a frigid, Northeast winter, reminiscing with funny stories and jokes as we huddled, in full winter gear including coats and hats, in the warmth of family and indomitable soul; and today, under my current circumstances, it looks like the salaciously affectionate yet amorous couple hugging, kissing, and groping while standing on the food line at the Mission, a picture that, at first, garnered feelings of repulsion and disgust as I saw only the filth and the stink of it until, through alchemy of soul, I began to shift my seeing (by insisting on seeing it and not looking away!) and now I see only love and pleasure seeking expression as these 2 very Human Beings.
This is why the impoverished keep producing babies. It’s not merely base lust or the product of a scheme to enlarge welfare checks. No. It’s simply that life cannot deny itself and therefore will not suppress the urge for more life!
This urge for more life is the reason why those addicted to crystal meth keep smoking, snorting, and injecting it. It’s not merely the ‘high’ they get but, as I just discovered only yesterday when speaking with Mike on the food line who was open enough to admit that he used to be enslaved by it, it has much more to do with the ability to have blissful sex for protracted periods, hours and days at a time. Ahhh, I thought, when he told me this, so that’s the allure of crystal meth, that is what the addict is really after! However, with crystal meth Mike confessed that the pleasure of sex descends into deviancy, the details of which I can only imagine and did not want to hear.
This urge for more life is what the heroin addict is after. I worked for Lotus Software in the mid 80’s (I was about 19 yrs of age) and had invited 2 co-workers to my place for a Friday night ‘hang session’. It was me, Larry Kukers, and Barton Van Putten, a Brotha with the strangest name I had ever heard for a Black man and giant jeri curls (think Lionel Richie in the 80’s, only wetter). These cats were much older than myself, in their late 30’s to early 40’s is my guess, and they had lived life more than I had up to that point, which is why I always enjoyed hangin’ with older cats – they knew more and I was born an old soul.
They had confessed to having used heroin in their past (even at age 19 I couldn’t stand superficiality and small talk….I swim in deep waters, always have) and I was curious about it so I asked all kinds of questions. Just so you know, I wasn’t curious like I wanted to try it; I was curious because I love life, living, and the details, both gritty and sublime, through which they are revealed.
I’ll never forget what Larry said about heroin when I asked why he did it, what was the high like.
“Oh man! It’s like a dream! It’s like living in a dream with no pain…”
And you know what? From that moment on I never wondered about addiction or judged the addict whatever the drug or behavior of choice, because I knew then as I know now that it’s not about the drug and it’s even more than just the ‘high’. More than the high, and beyond it, it is life seeking more life and expressing this urge through filters and layers of consciousness that manifest and appear skewed, twisted, and hideous on the surface but hiding beneath its ugly details is the true aesthetic of life – truth, love, wisdom, beauty, and the desire within all living to be One, unified, and reunited with the Source and Origination of all life which lives, loves, and expresses in all things, through all things, as all things. It is the picture of Dorian Gray inverted.
What seems like chaos, death and destruction is a mere mask cloaking the visage of perfect order, life, and creation.Truth is not found in the light, it hides in the dark. Don’t be afraid of the dark.
If we don’t like what we see then let us hear the call to look deeper, to see as Creator sees. Let us, when repelled, find attraction. Let us, when seeking escape, turn around and jump into the hellish flames and stormy seas of destruction and chaos with the understanding that our destruction is the very means of our transformation, our death the gateway to new life, true life, our being lost and adrift our invitation to find our true north, to discover and know, through experience, our eternal Self.
Let us look deeper, peer into the dark, imagine, re-imagine, run and fly.
Let us accept the chaos, and be the flow.
Blessings, blessings, blessings
Don’t run from the beast; tame the beast, ride the beast, be the beast.