When I was a child, I believed I had two souls. I remember asking what a soul was, and being told a very ‘Catholic’ version of what it was and where it resides. My response was “Oh – I have two of those,” walking away satisfied with the explanation. I never accepted that I did not have these ‘two souls’ even as the occasional correction would come. I did learn that one soul was permitted of me, and another was not.
It was not then, nor is it today about gender or sexuality for me with regard to what I thought as a child to be my ‘two souls’. It is about the portion of myself I had to keep to myself…. one to flourish, and one to die – one to be fed in darkness- another welcome at the family (and society’s) table. It isn’t possible to live as a whole person, with part of you dying. It isn’t possible to die as a whole person with only part of you living…though many have departed us that way – many still do today.
The part of myself I left furthest behind has astonishing gifts of creativity. The power and symphonic magnitude of irrepressible expression – quiet, refrained, even huddling…hidden – though still, irrepressible expression.
The one I fed and kept with me- the one welcome at the table could build things, was strong and forceful… and was best suited to stand stalwart- to hide and protect the other- or so it seemed. To hold secret meetings with, and quietly and discreetly smuggle out the genius and radiance I was told no one should see.
I wonder today if we will see the glorious transformation of the human spirit and the human condition as we reject it upon arrival – when neither this nor that, him nor her… and no spectrum of variation in the in-betweens calls for social credential. This, is the ‘going against nature’- in defiance of how we were born. At 19 I was beaten, shot, called a fag and left bleeding along side a road – my car speeding off without me – without us…the hidden and the seen. At fifty-five years old, I have only begun to let light into that cellar, that hiding place – or is it that I have only begun to let light out?
We’ll see. I can’t answer that until the whole of me decides. None of us can answer anything until the whole of us decides. I hope we do. I hope we see the incorporation and fullness of our natures – and the profound resolution, which comes through the un-defining of who we are – the emancipation for all we can be.
Thought about my failures – Formidable and ever looming in the minds of those who’ve witnessed
Thought about my successes – Greater and ever fading to those whom they once inspired
Thought about my heart – Hiding from both in a void that can serve neither
Thought about my soul – Laughing or crying at nothing, lining through some list I’m sure I’ve seen
Thought about my spirit – Pushing and tired against all of these, thinking never would I fly again
Finally set my thoughts aside – Laughing weightless acrobat, seeing from above the sky
We function with measure by groups or generations, ultimately seeking recovery from our association to allegiances they exact upon us.
Literally and metaphorically – We take the bran and germ from wheat, bleach it for appearance and sell it to ourselves and to others, a generation ago. Then we buy bran and germ to unclog and fortify our bodies, add nutritionists and health gurus and vitamins to offset depletions. Books and courses, masters and initiates to struggle back to a wholeness that was taken apart peace by piece.
We raise children to learn to think our way – what to think, how to think, and to always be thinking before and after all they do. We dangle role models, heroes and achievement as the marker of whether that education has taken root, and anoint stock markets, social acceptance, playgrounds, chessboards, knowledge, credential, as assurance messengers to self and others that we’ve made good on all that thinking. As someone thought up original sin, explaining what we’ve taught’s unexplainable shame.
Then we seek new remedies for the bran and germ all this ‘bleached-for-nothing-thinking’ removed from us, selling it once again to self and others. Our clogging is with wars, arguments, competition, sickness and self-ambiguity – from the separating, just like the grain.
We put it all back together by hiring Tolle, Chopra,Oprah, self help books, and an assembly line of life coaches no more prepared to deal through thinking, with what’s in you, me, us than in themselves. We’re all un-bleaching our flour – taking courses and seeing gurus and teachers … on how to stop only thinking – stop thinking only – so as to return to being whole.
When if set aside, in neither past, future, nor thought- Reflecting its ever-changing allegiances back to us once again – dropping the weight of their needless accumulations – Where we find ourselves floating weightless in the ever-presence of a wholeness that has always been there.