Sunday, May 8, 2011
The Humble Musings Of The Manhattan Monk 5/8/11
Such is the gravitational pull towards being the center of attention. My false ego demands I wear a whole series of dynamic masks to gain the attention and affection of others, yet each of these masks, as I gaze at them in the reflection of my heart, only throw back a wicked gaze.
When can I accept that "I am that I am"? How will I learn to love myself deeply and actually, so that I am not crying out loud that I am not a poet on the winds of William Blake, that I'm not and probably never will be in the Ivy League, that I'm not a calloused and wise man of the streets but middle-class and white-bread through and through.
I'm not tall, charming, beautiful, and verbose like everyone in Manhattan, charismatic to a fault. I'm certainly not in touch with the loving core of my being, spontaneous, caring, and soft.
I kick and scream at being left out of the attention and affection circles of the association around me, completely ignoring my own duplicity, my own envy, and the fact that I've done very little to make myself of interest to those who may like a little meaning and heart before they may naturally share their own.
What we seek and need the most we are most unwilling to give. The secret is clear. To get the affection I need, in the most natural and ungreedy of ways, I have to pry open my beating heart and become free and true and willing to expose that which I am not, and that which I am. That which I am is very beautiful and very interesting when its willing to be shared.
So what good is my envy of those within these circles of affection and attention? The only good is that this rotten envy is completely exposed, and when the pain of this exposure compels me to become genuine like these brothers of mine, to live like them, to live in such a way where the natural affection I need flows to me like I am magnetized.
This life brings with it the demand that my previous course of action, to turn away and escape inward, into the fantasies of these masks, is no longer a viable or even sane option. To take this options means a pain that slowly rots me from within, rather than that healthy and searing pain which compels me to push outwards, to engage, to act, to love in gesture and in words and in affection given freely.
The paradox is that to get my heart's desire, the steady and warm love of these devotees, I have to give up my artificial demand for their love and surrender to the process of honestly earning it, by giving up my envy and illusions with gradual and firm determination.
I must find my simple heart in service to win their hearts, not with an expectation of selfish return, but with the goal of drawing out their eternal happiness. This breeds the affection of pure devotion, in which no one feels left out. There is no false anxiety over importance and position because these considerations are now left behind in the light of the deepest, most humble, and most natural equality.