Saturday, March 31, 2007

Love and Intuition: Heeding Oneself

In the past several days, I've had a series of revelations of the sort that should seem fairly obvious in the first place. They haven't been because I guess I wasn't paying attention. The first came a few days ago when I decided to go back to the ear acupuncture clinic because of my sinuses. When I was about a half block from the bus stop, I had the following distinct thought: "I have a weird feeling I'm about to miss the bus." I actually thought that sentence to myself and in the same moment had to literally refrain from running. Ten to fifteen seconds later, the bus went rolling past, and I missed it. Of course, I was instantly annoyed with myself. "Goddamn it," I thought, as my next thoughts turned into a diatribe about how long I might have to wait now and how much sooner I could have reached my destination. But the more I thought about it, I started to grasp the bigger picture, which is that there's intuition that one follows and doesn't think twice about and there's intuition that one second guesses.

For example, if I'm walking down a street at night and I get the feeling that I should cross the street or turn instead of going straight, I never doubt it. I just do it. I never argue with myself. I never even bother to wonder what might have happened. I just go with it. But there are other times where I'll get a premonition or forewarning that I won't heed—like the aforementioned bus incident. The distinguishing feature seems to have something to do with language and immediacy. When I feel the need to cross the street, it usually happens in a split second in which there is no time to think it over and also the languge is something like "turn here" or "I think I should turn here." But it happens so quickly that I don't even realize there was a sentence or directive. I just do it.

But every now and again I will "hear" these sentences that start with "I have a weird feeling that..." and those are the kind I will tend to dismiss. I guess these things are less urgent, and I am more aware of the fact that I'm talking to myself. Except now I wonder about the true source of this information, because clearly this is intution though I have failed to recognize it as such. I guess what this really means is that during the periods of time in which I have felt as if I am cut off from my intuition, I probably have been fed or have generated plenty of intuitive self-instruction but I have been closed to it for one reason or another. Too distracted. Too tired. Too dense.

The second revelation has to do with love or the nature of love or specific with the reason that spiritually love is so important. By spiritual love I mean the "love your neighbor" kind of love that suggests we are all one. It came to me as I was watching Tibet: The Cry of the Snow Lion. My heart literally hurt as I listened to all these monks describing the various tortures they'd endured at the hands of the Chinese. Mortifying things. And of course the movie talked about the Dai Li Lama, and nonviolence even at the hands of the oppressor and the need for forgiveness etc. I thought about atrocities that have been committed from the beginning of time and that are being committed even today by my own country. Right at that moment a monk was describing being smeared with urine and feces by those who had taken him prisoner and a nun described being electrocuted in her vagina, and I almost had to stop watching. I kept asking myself, "How can people do this to each other? How can anyone treat anyone else like that?" Then the voice of my intuition explained the obvious to me. If people don't love each other, then they hate one another. When you hate someone you allow yourself to see the other as "the other" instead of as human or even as a fellow living creature. After that it's probably fairly easy to do things that we otherwise would never dream of doing to one another.

I was really struck by that. And yet, the next day, it was a real stuggle to keep myself from falling into old patterns and not to view msyelf as separate from those around me whose appearance or behavior I may have disliked. I guess that's the practice. But I had never really thought about it that way, and I think it's good. It puts a whole different slant on the nature of this existence.


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