Although Marcia and I have been keeping up pretty well with the disparate areas of our blog, there has been one section that hasn’t been given much attention: my ‘Mike’s Writings‘ section. In fact, I haven’t posted anything here for over three months. I mentioned this briefly in an e-mail I sent recently to a friend, and that got me thinking about this area of our blog again. Here’s a part of what I wrote:
“Anyway, I’ve also been doing a lot of my own writing. It’s interesting, but I used to write solely for me – then I found myself sending out some of my writings to a select group of people – so a year ago I bought a laptop so I could type directly instead of writing everything out by hand first. Then I put some of my writings on our blog… but it all became too public for me. Earlier this year I read ‘Eat Pray Love’ and in that book she mentioned that she has a notebook just for her most private conversations, so I bought one and began writing in that while simultaneously doing some of my more public writing. Then I gave that up and now I mostly just write for myself again, although I do read much of what I write to Marcia. There’s a different feel to writing thoughts out by hand, although it definitely takes longer. It feels more private, I think.”
Shortly after that I wrote the following in my journal, which further expanded on what I was experiencing. I am going to share that section here, in its entirety…
“July 2, 2010
Well, Canada Day has come and gone, and it’s been a great couple of days. I’ve had a couple more major ‘aha’ moments recently, at least one of which is so basic and so obvious I’ve never seen it before. In short, you could say I’ve learned my lesson. Finally. And what lesson would that be, you ask? Well, I’ve learned my lesson about lessons.
Okay, no more being cryptic. As I said, it’s a very basic, very core belief. My whole life has been about lessons. I don’t mean my whole school life; I mean literally my whole life. It started back when I was little, with experiences that went like, “I’ll teach you a lesson you’ll never forget!” or “Have you learned your lesson?” When I was little there were times I wasn’t sure what the ‘lesson’ was supposed to be, I only knew and came to associate ‘learning my lesson’ as a way of avoiding pain. As I grew older, I incorporated that basic idea into every aspect of my life and basically my life became all about learning. I’ve known people who were honestly amazed when I didn’t know the answer to any question, on any subject, something I’ve never claimed. And while a quest for knowledge can be a good thing, as I’ve written before I tend toward two things: opposites and extremes. Seth once said that we tend to search out experiences that confirm our beliefs and avoid those that threaten them. As regards ‘lessons’, that’s certainly true for me. What I hadn’t realized until just the other day was the extent to which I’ve followed that.
One of my favourite Buddhist stories has always been the story about the two young monks and the cart of rice. When they return to the temple and relate their stories to the Master of the temple, he turns to each of them in turn and asks, “What have you learned from this?”
One of the few quotes I’ve ever remembered from the Bible goes something like, “Each man shall, upon his death, make account of himself to God.” In other words, “What have you learned?”
In general terms I’ve broken people down into teachers and students, recognizing at the same time that those roles reverse often enough. I’ve learned from many and I’ve taught many in return. P. once told me, “I think it’s really interesting when people feel a need to be teachers, because I think they really need the people.” I don’t think many teachers see it that way. For me, authority figures have largely been people who were ‘teachers’ in some way, and often those teachings were backed up by ‘enforcement’ for wrong answers.
For years I was involved romantically with women (a series of them) who were looking for something, and I’d help them find it. Invariably once they found ‘it’ they realized that what they were looking for wasn’t me, and they’d move on. There was a time when I would begin a new relationship wondering what it was I had to teach this woman before she left. It wasn’t an ‘if’, but a ‘when’. I always figured it was because I had a need to be able to give, and while that’s true it was only part of a larger issue. Once I helped them find what they wanted, I had nothing more to teach them. Learning was my truest meaning of value. If I had nothing to share, I figured that to them I had no value.
See, this is where it becomes pathological, because the lesson became more important to me than the experience. What I did, what I saw, heard or experienced became secondary to what I learned from the experience. Lose the experience, forget the memory, but don’t lose the lesson. For my whole life I’ve been driven to do more, to know more, to learn more, because if I stopped I wasn’t learning my lesson. When I went to the Tracker School I learned a number of different skills, but none so important to me as greater awareness. With awareness I was learning. I became one who noticed things. I was like ‘Johnny 5’, seeking “input”. I taught myself to be able to focus on several different things at the same time, learning on multiple channels simultaneously. When web browsers developed tabs I was in heaven. Even now I usually have 3-5 or more tabs open at any given time. Surfing the ‘net, I began collecting websites with good information until I had amassed over 14,000 bookmarks. Some of them were important to me, numerous others I figured might be important to someone else, someday. Being needed and learning/ teaching became more intertwined. I also found myself pushing things forward to the future, when I would have more knowledge and a better ability to deal with them. I came to avoid anything I couldn’t learn, couldn’t do well.
There were moments I stole away from this quest for learning, like when I was doing beadwork or leather work or other artisan-type work. At those times I focused all of my attention on the task at hand. It was like taking a vacation.
So, all of this fell open for me the other day in one of those flashes of insight. I’ve been steering my life in a different direction, and as a result I’ve been developing new paradigms and old beliefs are being exposed like forgotten relics revealed by shifting sand.
There’s a corollary to this as well. A little over twenty years ago I was talking to P. about some things and I said, “I understand these things are possible, but I don’t know how.” She replied, “There is no how. There just is.” Ah… but learning to do something is all about the ‘how’. Once you know how to do it the rest is practice, development. Knowing how is like belonging to a secret club of those with the same knowledge. Being told there is no how didn’t set well with me. Since then, of course, everyone from Abraham to Tut have said to forget about the ‘cursed hows’, that the ‘hows’ are not our job, etc. But to someone like me, being told to forget about how, that how wasn’t my job, etc. was a very different train of thought. There was a ‘how’, and whether or not it was within my job description to know, I was going to find out. For someone with a logical mind, how to do something is the key.
So, going back quite a number of years, I’ve endeavoured to discover the ‘how’ of reality creation. Part of this was from my own driving quest for knowledge and part was from the belief that once I knew ‘how’, it wouldn’t matter if my whole self or my inner self or anyone else wanted me to have something or not. Once I knew how, I could do it myself. From my memories of Lemuria I figured Marel and the others had such knowledge and my search was for teachers – physical or non – who would share this knowledge with me. The things is, there is nothing more deafening than an answer you don’t want to hear.
So, with this latest revelation, what have I discovered? There is no how, there just is. Seth spoke of this also, I just didn’t want to hear it, because it meant there was nothing to learn. Having nothing more to learn meant stopping, and that was worse than death.
What I understand from P. and Seth now is that there is no logical process, no linear series of steps to follow. There is spontaneity and and order according to Seth, but there is no ‘how’. The catalyst, the spark comes from desire, from intention – the why. The what is whatever object or experience is desired. The who has to be me. Everything I experience is ‘me’. The when and the where are here and now – the only possible options. And the how? Magic, pure and simple. That’s what I’ve learned. There will always be things I don’t know. I also realize that by making the experience central, the learning is inherent. I don’t need to sacrifice the experience to the lesson. What I learn is a part of the experience.
So… more has followed that of course, but that was what I wrote in my journal last week. It also explains why this section of our blog has been so quiet these past few months. Now, when our friend S. reached a place within herself where she felt she had gotten what she needed from her blogs, she removed from the ‘net everything she had posted. I respect her decision, but I’m not going to do that. Whether this section of our blog remains closed or not, however, is up to you. According to our statistics we don’t get many people coming in here. I still have a few hundred pages of notes typed into Word files, and if it’s important enough to you, I’ll post more if you ask. Just leave me a comment and let me know. I won’t be typing out anything more from my current journals. If I don’t hear from anyone, I’ll simply leave this section open as an archive; I think there’s still some good information in here.