You can, of course.
You can focus a topic, leave things out, be evasive, not say things. But you cannot exist with less than your full life, you can only exclude things, create a focus that leaves things out.
"A blog about my teaching, practice and other life stuff." Written in 2007; if only I'd had any idea.
It is August, 2012. One way of expressing this temporal state is to say that in one month, it will be four years since my partner essentially stopped paying attention to me. September 2008-2012. But what good is this? Some achievement is met by that date? Better to chart the changes.
I used to get into sexual relationships to go deep, to really meet another person, to achieve a nearly unique intimacy, even amongst past partners. To achieve something mystical, to find the mystical aspect. Now I think it's all lies and deception. "Hey babeh, wanna fuck each other up emotionally? It's free and easy!" That to me now is the sexual come on. I am interested in fostering DEEP non-sexual relationships, and I am very, very interested in this. Leave all your adjectives at home, let's just hang out and sip coffee or beer and develop a killer relationship.
J and I have, in a way, a relationship that is non-sexual, but of course my memory will not let me forget or forgo other things, and the days of lust that will not be answered are stress and agony. Too much so, to handle anything else. I cannot sustain the dharma and want those days back. And now, I choose the dharma over that, but those days will not be refused, but they will also not reappear. Agony. No answer. You might think, hey, just get the endorphins by yourself, get some peace, do the work. It doesn't function in that way: you get the endorphins, the lust wants more, you get more, it wants more. Endless appetite. Better never to have gone there. No handling, no dharma, household fail. Frustration. Makes it hotter and worse, no answer, no way out. Die trying.
"But it feels good!" Death. Death is your paycheck. Think again. Grow aware.
So I am interested in deep non-sexual relationships, where I do not need to be crucified with no miracle and no testament. Artaud's signalling through the flames. It's not as noble as you'd think.
I wrote something deep on the Facebook (I write a lot of deep shit there, because it's advertising-proof and feels both subversive and sincere) about the recent scandalous speech about "legitimate rape," declaring that Gaspar Noe's 2002 film about rape (Google it if you're unaware, you have the power) creates an ethical situation not IN THAT the film gives us violence but BECAUSE the film gives us violence. If the film hurts us, it awakens us to the ETHICAL NEED, a sort of shock the bourgeoisie with a mission.
A commenter said, "Well just think of the good side, just stay in the light," or words to that effect, and it reminded me that this is what I do not do, this is my crime in writing and teaching and existing. I do not just channel the light. But wait, isn't that what the Sutras say, also? Sow light where you see dark, in more developed language? So what is my story?
J says that too. "Why aren't you happy?" Because happiness is no goal. Impermanence and contentment are a goal. Fuck all this bliss and happiness and joy and all that shit, all that impermanent noise. "Some day you will die," that's how the bit from Guishan begins, the very beginning. I too begin there; you think I've learned nothing from the last three years, now nearly four?
Lies! All that joy and sexual bliss of five years relationship; betrayal and lies! You will lose all of that joy, all of that ecstasy, all of that depth and connection. She (or he) will depart from you, become impersonal, not let you keep the post-orgasmic connection anymore, not let your sweat be mutual anymore, deny the very moment of ecstasy ("I don't work"), not let you have the moment, not let you both have the moment; all of this will leave, all of this will go without you, all of this will depart and leave you and you will be alone and together and you will suffer that paradox and you will seek some answer and not find it. Or you'll find it intellectually and you won't manifest it or find it manifest emotionally and it will be death. Death, death, death. Pain and death and loss and complaints and looking elsewhere and finding ecstasy which decays into the same death, the same pool of pain, over and over, ever over, again and again, until you too become death, sameness, undifferentiated, to emerge again, play the game again.
This is why I don't look at the bright side and simply "stay positive."
The worst answer to "Why don't you love me anymore" is perhaps "I still do," is it not? To sustain hope and to sustain pain, to never let it settle, never let it become memory. Or to do these gestures with NO communication, to simply make it understood. To make "I still love you" into some endless agony. What crime that is to commit. The only way out is differentiation, individualization, to stand off while standing close, but never to walk in, to lean in, to need anything....but who can need nothing? Who can want NOTHING from a partner who still loves us but cannot show it, is too busy, guarantees....what? That something, someday? Some future? What future? Is s/he listening to impermanence, watching its approach? In what and how are we to have faith? Better to die and be certain....
"When he's old enough we can get to know each other again." That and "Well you missed the snuggly part of the night, because you were asleep." "Well let me know when it is, and I'll set an alarm." "Oh it varies." Oh, OK. Old ENOUGH? When is that? Some untold future, which may never be told, so there is no future. It varies. Great, are you going to wake me up so it matters? No? Then it doesn't, and there is nothing.
A woman whose hips turn me into a puddle of desirous jelly, like some Salvador Dali painting. And she knows this but cannot know it, so I cannot know it, but I do. Some transgressive knowlege on which one can never act. No love, no affirmation, no joy, no nothing, can cross this line. Why and how should one "stay positive"?
But I can still teach, can still read the book for my book review, can still theorize, can still talk ideas, can still communicate to people, can still create some affective, communicative room, can still make eye contact, can still provoke students into confronting questions, can still have some social effect, can still manipulate ideas in public space. It's not post-coital quiet with continuing union, maybe, but it's sometimes close, and certainly related.
And there, death is just a given, not a requirement (well, it is no less required, but it seems more optional, because the relationship does not create it). For 75 minutes to three hours, we communicate about ideas; the academic classroom. This is a precious space.
The morning yoga room, with its group of 2-3, miniscule. All modified, limited practices, tired, early, determined. Discoveries that "practice can be random," nothing more.
Ever since Seattle I have felt that my practice is under a wet blanket. I never scored even ONE jumpback all the time I was there. Usually I can do two dozen jumpbacks before I even have to think about it. But nothing: slow, heavy, tired, uninspiring rooms, little apartments in the middle of some city that doesn't care. My little Indy room has significantly more magic and power than the Seattle rooms and that's damn bizarre. Sure, people come and do harder practice in Seattle (a bunch of third series, both in Troy's place and Sarah's also) but my room is warmer, more alive, friendlier, more communal.
I came back on August the 2. On August the 23, at noon, I did ten sun salutations and they were better than any in the prior three weeks; even at Matthew's place those salutations were inferior, more nervous, more anticipatory. These on the 23rd had nothing to gain and nothing to lose, so they were completely real.
Matthew has a new relationship and so is all happy and Shaktified and all about living life and affirmation and joy. Understandably, we did not get energetically along on this point. Also, Matthew had subjected his tendency to intellctualize and conceptualize, to the same "Shakti sensation" world, so now he is all emotions and squishiness and feeling and gentleness and "therapeutic sequencing" and keeping people practicing, and I am a disciplined, ascetic militant, who does traditional sequencing until tears come, over and over, until juiciness replaces them, well, if it ever does, again. We do not match.
And we do not match in ways that matter: I use my intellectualism ALONG with affect and feeling, in a unified field of approach to things. To have it cut off, to have someone tell me to emphasize feeling over thinking, in a programmatic way, and to simply "love life," that's ideological crap and I can't help but think of it that way. I see it conceptually as a thing one can believe in and probably a happy path, and I have no doubts that Matthew has been there and done that on impermanence, but this happy "love life" crap is not for me. Not yet, not today, cannot speak about the future.
Perhaps oddly, I do not intend this post as a depression session. A realism session, maybe.
So, what teacher? Matthew whose energy is so very different, who seems to know my blues but on a certain level, won't let me live in them? Kino, who saw my 2008 fabulousness, the depth of practice, but now sees only my weakness and tears, my total inability to be that practitioner? Who? How? What?
Who teaches me? The method; I teach myself, or better, I learn from my own practice, the ways my own practice is now. I can't authoritatively teach anyone pranayama or meditation as I don't regularly do either one with any sustained effort, but I can teach energetic pathways and emotional shit as well as anyone on this earth.
I can teach pain and agony and death and dying and the rationale of existential survival when there is no fucking point at all. I can teach you how to practice when you hate it. I can teach you how to practice into tears and through them.
I suppose I'm lying when I say this isn't a depression session, but I really feel that it isn't. Reality is like this. This is the real. The impermanence of joy, and the Sutras say this, the famous sutra in Pada II that says something like, to one of discrimination, all pleasure is pain.
It's too late and I'm too tired to process something I'd like to say about ethics, presentness and horror, about compassion and the way that our enemies' impermanence is the basis of compassion, impermanence being the death of everything, and realizing mortality is the cause of compassion, all of that, but I cannot get it out of my head now, cannot keep my eyes open.
I do not intend to be all offputtingly Death death death, Kali Kali Kali, but then, I suppose that I do. But I do not intend it to be OFFPUTTING.