Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Three Men

These three men have been on my mind recently and something must be said of them. I must say something of them.

I'll start with Aleister Crowley, Mr.Aleister Crowley. When I first became interested in the Tarot, I stayed far away as I could from the Thoth deck. When it made its way into my home, I felt ambivalence towards it. I sensed it was too dark for me, maybe a little wicked, awakening those hidden parts within myself, you know those parts you want no one to see, and you yourself don't want to see or even admit a sort of base, swamp like, cold and muddy tendency could exist. And this is what a deck like Crowley's does, it brings me down--not emotionally, not mentally--way down into a physical place within my body I don't reside often or am not aware I even can reside but is absolutely necessary to acknowledge and even respect. With Crowley, the card Strength becomes Lust, Temperance becomes Art, Justice becomes Adjustment, Judgment becomes Aeon. When I began to understand the meaning of these cards, I started to see Crowley in a different light. I started to gravitate towards him. I could see how Strength, Temperance, Justice, and Judgment are rooted in an old testament God and how Lust, Art, Adjustment and Aeon are rooted in redemption, resurrection, forgiveness. He tells me I must accept all aspects of myself whether fragmented or whole, dark or light--they must all be studied. By denying one, you imply the other is good. By accepting one, you imply the other is bad. He says, Integrate. He was no wicked man, as some would lead you to believe. He found his way, his path and he traveled on this path without any apologies. We're only afraid of what we don't understand and how could a mere mortal understand a man like Crowley, a man as elevated as he? How could anyone possibly have understood a man who could see the world as it actually is? People would have always fallen short because Crowley operated on a higher vibrational level and people wouldn't have been able to relate to someone like this, someone who worked hard to be what he was. They didn't have the eyes to see or the ears to hear, literally. So why not tear down something we fear? He was beautiful and ugly. He was majestic and small. He was whole and broken. Crowley was a true man.

Now on to the middle man, Mr.Gurdjieff. Where does one begin when speaking of this master? Sometimes I imagine myself standing in front of the man and wonder what this could be like. When he looks at me, I know he sees me, everything, misses absolutely nothing. And I swallow hard because suddenly, I can see myself too--the fragility, the weaknesses, the hurt and anger, the naivety, the drama and stupidity. It all comes to the surface and I'm left feeling small and insignificant, meaningless and pointless. This is what Gurdjieff does to me. And you ask, Why put yourself through this? And I say, Because he sees me and I want to be seen more than anything else. I want to discover myself so that I may truly come to know myself in this world and what I'm meant to bring to it. You have to let go of the baggage, strip away the layers to find the jewel. There's no escaping this so I keep my head held high and go for the ride. I can hear Gurdjieff say, You must do the Work otherwise, you are nothing and you will remain nothing, forever. This isn't an easy thing to face but because I can hear it and I know this to be true, I understand what must be done. So in a great sense, I am blessed. Gurdjieff was a whole man.

And then there's Jesus--my sweetest friend, my beauty, my love, my everything in so so many ways. With the first two men, I feel judged, exposed, transparent. What does this say about me? It says I believe there's an ideal and that I'm not living up to it. It tells me these two men have the answers and the only way I'll find myself is to learn from them. With Jesus, there isn't the slightest inclination towards such feelings, towards self judgment. Now does this say more about me or something about Jesus? Jesus can stare at me and I may get weak in the knees but I don't feel the slightest discomfort. He accepts me, all of me. I know. He pushes but it's gentle and he doesn't have to utter one word to me. All communication is done through the heart, the mind, the body. And I hear him clearly. None of that self talk even has a chance to dominate my frame, my scene, my relationship with him. Jesus whispers, You have what it takes. He says, I'm here no matter what. He insists, You have everything you need. He tells me, Beauty comes from within. He tells me to trust my gut, to listen closely to my heart, to tame the mind. With Jesus, I sense I can love unconditionally. Jesus was a perfected man, a perfected being, a master of every plane of existence. Why wouldn't I tremble in his presence? Any trembling would come from a desire to blend with him, to melt with him, to be one with him not out of fear of what he sees.

And so with all of this, I'll continue to take what I can from each of them. Crowley and Gurdjieff are my teachers towards enlightenment, Jesus my anchor, my salvation.

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