I have always been one of those people whose retirement plan was to go off and die. Kind of like the old native who decides it is time to leave this old world and goes off into the wilderness never to be seen again. That has always been my retirement plan.
My stepfather drank himself to death. It was so gross that I told him that if he wanted to die there where better ways to do it than just drinking yourself to death. That epitomizes the way this world deals with death and dying. It does not deal with it at all. Today I understand better why people are like that. Without any sort of Spiritual connection, or any sort of experience or connection beyond this world, then this world is all there is. How scarey.
There is a big difference between being in a desperate state of mind and wanting to die, and just being ready to go. I ran into a couple of characters on the road that reminded me of people who where not happy and just waiting to die. Especially the old timer. He was 72, all the significant people of his life where dead, his wife and daughter. He was so frail that it took him a while just to cross the street. He was wanting to die, but did not know how.
In today’s modern world we can be kept alive for a long time past when we can take care of ourselves, past everything until we are hooked up to machines not able to do much of anything except lie there. Like so much with life, people figure that when it is there time to go, God will do the deed. Like it is up to something other than our self as to when we die. Dying is as basic as living and both are enriched as a person gets closer to understanding death and dying.
Waking up I notice the sun, still not far up the eastern horizon. Wondering what time it is, but not checking my watch. One of the last few technological things I have left. Unless you consider mosquito netting a technological miracle. At times I do. Those bugs can drive ya insane. But I do not have to worry about that now. I try to remember my dreams, as I do every morning and I am amazed at how lackluster and filled with nothing my dreams are. Just as forgettable as my days.
Here, way the hell out here in nowhere’s ‘vill Oklahoma. That is western Oklahoma twenty miles from the Texas state line. (I couldn’t get a ride hitch-hiking any further.) Here is where I will do my fast. Or is it my last stand? It is a stand of some sort. I look around at this dry dirty little wash-out. A little ravine with some trees, (trees are good in western Oklahoma) and old dry cow-patties everywhere. The kind of place that is cool, tucked away, but not very inspiring. I was hoping for some mountains, maybe some views of majesty, or even just a view of some sort, something inspiring. Here in this little dry, dirty wash out, under the trees, the only view there is weeds, some trees and lots of old cow patties.
Yet the whole reason I am here is to not be dependent on my environment, but on my connection with the Spirit. That happiness is based upon that inner connection and that my happiness flows outward through me into the world. That is the way things are ‘suppose’ to work. But like so many things going on in my life, I can not get there. I have moments, but then they pass. And then I am stuck, much like I am this morning, with my dry meaningless thoughts and feelings. I try to clear my thoughts, remember why I am here going through all this. There is a deep gratitude, a beautiful stillness. But it is not the overflowing gratitude of God. That endless overflowing gratitude.
Then there is that hurt, that pain, the world. Some where deep within me is a hurt, a pain that so far has not been healed, or taken away. I am not even sure of the hows and whys of it. And yet that pain has been the monster of my life. The rage of my youth, fear in middle age, and now it is guilt as I am growing old. And all of it internalized into my ‘wall of self-destruction.’
I hold these thoughts and feelings for as long as I can, but inexorably I am turned back to the world. Whether it is the sweat on my brow, the need to take a pee, or I can no longer hold that focus. My mind turns to the world. That hot, hard, dirty, bug infested world. Eat or be eaten. How to be at Peace and Happy when it is my turn to be eaten? When it is my turn to be sick?
I can see the Answer there in front of me, sometimes even feel It. To be in a state of Grace, to feel the Love of God coursing through my veins. It is a state that is completely opposite to the world. Loss is impossible; ‘everything is beautiful’ in a state of Grace. I can laugh at death, at the lunacy of the world. Yet for all of this that I can see, even experience, I can not hold onto it. It is this basic problem that brings me here, out in the middle of no where, with no money, no ID. It is this basic problem that I have been struggling with for years now. I feel that I am at my end? I have tried every which way I can think of to get past this problem, and yet here it is still facing me.
It is getting hot. The breeze blowing through has that hot, furnace blowing on me feel. I look up, the sun has risen to almost noon. It is going to be another hot day. Another day of sitting here, laying around trying to be as comfortable as I can. I am in the shade real well until late in the afternoon. Then it is that hot, blazing, August sun hitting me directly for a couple of hours. That is the really hard time.
When I first got here, a couple of weeks ago, I tried to meditate, stay focused on my spiritual task while laying/sitting in that sun. It was not too hard at first. But then like Chinese water torture, the sun is going to have it’s way with me. At first I break out in a sweat, slowly getting soaked with sweat. Then the sweat runs into my eyes. I wipe away the sweat and try lying down. But the ground is hot, I am soaked and slowly I soak the pad I am lying on. Slowly, one way or another, sooner or later I will think, this is insane. Then I quit and find some shade. During that whole time I hardly focused on any of my spiritual matters at all.
That is the way of it. Or more precisely, the way of me. I have a lot of strength at times. I am here way out in western Oklahoma with no money, no ID, no phone and I sure as hell do not know how I am going to get out of this one. (Trusting in the Spirits). I stay focused for a good long time, but sooner or later, I come back to the world, my ego, and my inability to get past this fundamental problem.
Why is it so hard? Something as fundamental as one’s connection with God, with the Spirit(s), why is it so difficult?
What is up with that? Why?
I am sick and tired of my failures, my inability to make progress. And then there is my great wall of self-destruction. I have internalized all my heart-ache and pain to the point of destroying my self. A life time of beating myself up. It is so hard-core that I have trained my subconscious mind to beat myself up. I have not made any sustainable progress in quite a number of years. And the only time I make any progress is when I go for it all the way, like I am now. Then I have some new spiritual experiences, but I can not hold onto them. My wall of self-destruction takes over. That is why I am here, in this wash-out of cow patties. To force it to go one way or another.
Me and my force. The reality is that I can not force anything. No matter how much I want spiritual progress; no matter how much I am willing to give or sacrifice for spiritual progress, I can not make any of it happen. I can only live in a delusional state of mind, believing that I can make any of it happen.
As depressing as all that sounds, and it is very humbling to get to that spot where I am so little, there is at least one great benefit. That is giving my all, or giving my whole self. When I give my whole self; when I feel that there is nothing more I can do, there is a very deep grattitude, a very deep peace. Regardless of what the Spirit(s) will do with my act is up to Them, but I have the peace of having given my whole self.
I did not want to get to that spot where I am starving to death and at the last minute I go staggering out to the road, waiting until some one calls the police or ambulance. Then it all becomes an expensive ‘big’ deal with doctors and police all wondering about my sanity. (I get enough of that as it is) I had tried to plan my location where I was going to be close to wilderness so I could go wander off into the wilderness for the last stage if I was up to it. Here at this wash-out, there was not that choice. Yet I still had to get out with no money, no I.D., no phone, way out here in western Oklahoma.
At the end of this whole fast, three weeks, I felt less grattitude, less importance than all the other times that I have fasted, or gone for it all. It was like nothing important had taken place at all. No really cool dreams; no new experience, there was an indistinct feeling deep within my intellect that some difference had taken place. But I did not know what it was. It was like it happened in my subconscious mind, but it was only a distant feeling.
The surprising part when I was coming out was how not hungry I was. I would get light headed when-ever I exerted much energy.. When I finally get up to the Interstate I am surprised at how not hungry I am. I am feeling good enough that I try to hitch west, to go further. To go further from safety, comfort and home. But no luck. Stood on the Interstate for a couple of hours and nothing. It was like this was as far west as I was going to go.
So I headed to the truck stop trying to figure out how I would get some one to buy me a meal. It was Sunday mid-day at the truck stop restaurant, and it was full. Did not want to go begging at the restaurant when they were real busy. A good way to piss them off. As it turned out a nice gentleman bought me a meal within about an hour or so of hanging around in the parking lot.
After the huge meal I was feeling so good that I tried again to go west into my journey. Once again no luck at all. I was starting to get sun burned again. It was a cooler kind of a day for western Oklahoma in late August, with high wispy clouds, a nice breeze. But none the less, I got exhausted and mildly sun-burnt standing out there trying to get a ride. So I took a break under the bridge. It was there I decided to just try and see what my luck would be like trying to go back east. It was the way back home. I really did not want to go back that way. Feeling that I would wind-up back home with all my problems more or less intact. I knew that if I went back home my wall of self destruction would kick in and then I would be back to drinking, smoking and trying to get up some money. But maybe that is what the Spirit(s) want. Maybe I have done what I was meant to do? How the hell do I know? The Spirit(s) seem to be far removed from me right now. But if I got a ride nice and easy going east, that would be a sign that it was time to go home.
Wouldn’t you know, after being on the Interstate for less than an hour I had a ride all the way to Arkansas. By a trucker of all people. It was only the second time in all my hitch-hiking days that a trucker stopped on the road to pick me up. Never have I seen a trucker pull over on the side of a busy Interstate to pick some one up. Yet this trucker stopped a few hundred yards down the Interstate, actually got out of his truck and walked all the way back to me to tell me that I had a ride. I had seen the trucker down the Interstate, yet I thought he pulled over for some other reason than to pick me up. So I went back to trying to get a ride. But lo and behold, this guy got out of his truck and walked back to me!
And a great ride it was. A really neat trucker. Reminnded me why I love hitch-hiking so much, which is getting to know people.
That’s all for now;