Blog #55: Hello, Iguana

Blog #55: Hello, Iguana

Last night I had a dream that I was sitting next to a fountain. It was dark, and there was an iguana perched on the edge of the basin. He looked at me, calmly, then started to crawl in my direction. I grew a little timid, because I wasn't sure if he might be dangerous. But my inner silence allowed me to stay still, and he crawled up my left arm and settled on my shoulder—staring deeply into my eyes. There was power there, in the green, reptilian, scaly coldness. Once we were merged and relaxed, skin against skin, there was not any fear, but rather a mutual understanding and tranquil admiration.

A few days ago I had a long conversation with a Catholic priest, and we touched upon a similar theme. He told me a story of being on a missionary trip in the jungle, when late at night he was overwhelmed by an ominous presence and saw a ghastly face peering through his tent. He was sure it was Satan. He lay still, paralyzed in a state of shallow breathing until the apparition vanished. The next morning, he sought consolation in the New Testament, and found a verse from Timothy that was particularly reassuring: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

However, the priest was certain he would experience another encounter. A couple years after the terror in the jungle, his premonition came true when he was overtaken once again, this time in a house. The room darkened totally, blocking out all light from the outside. But he was prepared for the demon, and said to it, matter-of-factly: "Oh, there you are, Satan." With this casual acknowledgement, the darkness dispelled, and that was the last time he ever saw the devil.

Now, when it comes to both the priest's story and my dream, we are dealing with scenery from the interior. Does that make these episodes completely irrelevant or unimportant? No. We just have to regard them with the proverbial grain of salt. In AYP, inner scenery is neither obsessed over, nor deliberately avoided. We just take things as they come—staying the course towards broad purification and opening of the nervous system, without much concern for particular peaks or valleys. The permanent silence is the continual thread that weaves all the contrasting pieces together.

With that being said, I would still like to put a little contemplative attention on the topic of darkness, or lower vibrations.

In the Arabic language, the name "Satan" can be translated to mean "distant" or "astray". That definition is a little different than the more adversarial or evil depiction of Satan that is often portrayed in religious mythologies. When it comes to "distant", we begin to deal not so much in the realm of good vs. evil, but rather in the context of proximity and closeness. In the relativity of space and time, there doesn't necessarily have to be a moral spin on the objects contained therein.

If we consider the possibility that stillness, meaning complete and total peace, is at the center of our self, and even the entire universe, then our perception of reality begins to shift from a view previously clouded with imaginary lines, to a view now opened up to infinite dimensions of Being and experience. Through the lens of cosmic consciousness, the darkness is not really an evil entity with some kind of threatening power. It's more like a variation of the Light existing for the sake of amusement and diversification. Cosmic drama, cosmic comedy.

That's not to say that there aren't threats in life, or that moral labels are totally useless or meaningless. I'm merely pointing to the Oneness that captures all parts of the play. From the perspective of stillness, the threats are more easily mitigated, and even better, transformed. Nothing is wasted.

Merry Christmas!

3 Comments

  1. Tom Cudney says:

    Speaking of lines as histrionic comedies reminds me of a monk I talked to one day. He was drawn of imaginary lines, on an imaginary shore, on an imaginary beach of an imaginary world. I asked him some things, and he answered (unless it was my imagination talking).

    What is still?
    Everything.

    Where is everything?
    Everywhere, of course.

    Does everything include what is said about it?
    Yes.

    Does everywhere include non actual places?
    It does.

    Does division exist?
    Yes.

    Does change occur?
    Yes. It is only part of stillness.

    So, change does not occur, since it requires the movement of one thing into another. And then, neither can division be real, since even what is said of everything is not different from what is still. What is asserted or thought against stillness is as true of it as anything it contains in itself, aside from thought or speech. Thus, everything is motion, and stillness is only part of it.

    I agree.

    I’m glad you see things my way!

    • Tom Cudney says:

      Then I cam to wonder, apart from the onus of heuristics and ontology, philosophy and ideology, what the real value of stillness is. It’s simple. It’s only honoring the peace of God’s love for creation. It has active seasons and passive seasons, like tides, rains, autumns, and snows.

      What is God? What is stillness? What is a name? What is justice, truth, and right? Who cares?! It may be empty, or full, or still, or dynamic. But wouldn’t stillness be a stagnation of nature, a death of life to order? And emptiness, too, would be the death of love, and the death of life and light’s triumph over darkness.

      No. Our inward nature tells us that God is active and provides abundance… but not infinite abundance of anything. Death is conquered by life, indifference is conquered by love, and despair is conquered by hope. I believe this is done through Jesus, and that all abundance of justice is coming through him.

      That takes a load off of having to be still, holy, and pure. Of having to be consistent, measured, and stable in a way some teacher says I should be. Of having to be enlightened, positive, or even concerned for my spiritual destiny. The Lord holds it in his gentle, wise hands. For “God alone is good.” And our Blessed Mother prays for us.

      The downside to AYP is its dogmatic slant toward “kid’s gloves” Buddhism with shades of Hindu esotericism. In fact, the yoke of its rigid, incoherent, and irrelevant dogmas must be lifted for it to really free people. No system does not deny the Holy Spirit; the question is to what extent each does so. Free people will not adopt standard fare AYP because it is judgmental and redtrictive. Beyond having some good techniques for prayer and meditation, and being (ostensibly) open-ended with regard to direction (a chosen ideal, as long as it agrees with AYP ideals and teleology), AYP is dangerously limited and hyperbolized.

      So, why not use whatever we want of it, and in any way we see fit? Such is the fate of every amalgam that fails to unify. Bedides, doing so empowers and liberates us from being misguided and repressed by ideological stagnation, no matter how beautiful it may seem. A painting is also beautiful, but it is still a painting: it is bereft of life, and contains just a dream of it.

      let’s live.

    • codyrickett codyrickett says:

      Strong! Playful logic. Love it.

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