Equinox: Balance & Crazy Wisdom

Yesterday, the Internet was all about rape. Articles and blogs and info graphs and rhetoric about rape dotted the feeds and punctuated the comments sections. It was a good day.

Today, the Internet is full of sweet blessings and happy wishes for Spring, cheerful and quirky art about rabbits and chicks and flowers, lots of innocence and prettiness. It is a good day.

A good day is not without its share of pain, nor its share of happiness. The universe is comprised of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows.

A good day is any day we draw another breath and take the opportunity to learn another lesson. Some lessons are difficult and painful. Other lessons are joyful and cheering. Others are difficult and joyful. It's not merely a spectrum of options. It's a border-less sphere without a center.

Yesterday's lesson was a very challenging one for me, emotionally, and yet I was heartened to see so many people willing to engage the difficult conversation. I watched (with my heart in my throat) as people online rolled through waves of rage, powerlessness, compassion, grief for society, grief for the illusion of innocence and longing for the ease of willful ignorance. Does seeing the word "rape" mentioned over and over and over begin to make you feel really uncomfortable? Good. That is gnosis. There is no not-knowing, now, that we have a serious problem with how we have enculturated gender, fear, power, and rage, and bound them to violence. There is no not-knowing, anymore, that we have a serious problem with how we shape illusory power in the minds of young men and how we maintain that illusion for them as a society through old age. (And yes, also how we shape the minds of young women and also that this statement is still incomplete because there are those who do not identify, or who identify differently, but I cannot make this so general as to not address the largest current statistical problem.) It is good to look at this problem of violent masculinity. This problem affects all of us, and it will take all of us to create the needed healing and remediation. I was horrified to see the constant barrage all day yesterday of "rape, rape, rape," and yet still very encouraged that people are LOOKING RIGHT AT IT. Good. We need to look at it directly under a very bright light. We need to interrogate this concept.

Now- hold that thought and don't look away from it. Do not allow aversion to take over. Do not allow it to fade. Do not allow the hormones that your brain is issuing forth right now, armed with forgetfulness potion and screaming, "STOP THINKING ABOUT IT," keep you from remembering that rape happens, that it is wrong, that you feel personally mustered to do something about it, and that it involves actually doing work and having difficult conversations. For the rest of your life. Every time. If you want to call yourself a Warrior for anything good on this planet or in the cosmos, please just get used to this right now.

Today, we see all of the light of the first day of Spring, and what an ease it is! What a balm to my weary eyes! Yes! Bunnies and kittens and flowers and maidens dressed in white and laughing. Big sigh. Big relief. Big joy. My heart rests in pleasure. I feel safe and comforted by the expressions of beauty. The rain tapping on my window this morning gave me succor. My snuggling kitties and beloved husband-to-be listened to me and gave me space for my feelings last night, and today I awaken refreshed.

...and in the back of my mind, I am still aware that, more than ever, this feeling is something everyone deserves. We all deserve to be safe and happy and beautiful and filled with love. This means, more than ever, in this rape-torn world, that the enculturation of beauty and tenderness and respect and integrity and gentleness into the masculine is necessary in order to bring balance and create healing. Whenever we get to have these moments of bliss, this psychic jouissance, we tend to want to cling to it. So, the good news is, we do get to hold on to it. We are allowed to choose to create a world of bliss and joy by being bliss and joy and protecting bliss and joy. We just have to commit to holding these feelings...forever. All of the time. If we want there to be a world of bliss, we can create it. It just takes constant attention and intention, as well as 100% agreement of all people on the Earth. If you want to be a force of Love and Beauty on this planet or in the cosmos, you're going to have to commit to this.

How can I be a committed Warrior, holding that grim Reality in my consciousness, and at the same time also be a committed agent of Love and Beauty, employing pleasure as my tool of change? And how can I possibly stand doing both of these things 100% of the time? I won't be able to keep it all up. I just know it. I will fail and fall. And the world won't get better because the world has always had major issues. Rape has happened for millennia. Spring comes, but then it goes and death returns to the land. I might be forced to take a physical stand and defend myself or another person. I might have to stop pretending things are pretty and fun. Why am I responsible for any of this? It's not my problem. I can't control it.  None of it matters. What point is there when we are all just tumbling like a red sock in the dryer anyway?

By cultivating discernment, complexity and skillfulness in myself, I can find my place of balance within this whirling, border-less sphere, again and again. As often as needed. Forever. Anyway.

Right now, we need rape education and prevention to take root in the heart and mind of everyone who cares about the topic. We need people to be willing to firmly move the topic forward in practical conversations and activities. Moaning and lamenting how "we need to do something in this country" gets us nowhere. Instead, speaking up and taking a stand in the moment rape culture expresses itself begins to turn the tide. Holding your ground and providing correction against the centralization of the imbalanced masculine shapes the emerging dialogue. The world turns.

Right now, my garden is sighing and cooing and bathing herself in the cool watery morning light, warming up to the Sun. Right now, people are exploring the pleasures of Spring in many different ways. There is innocence and sweetness this day. Allowing one's self to enjoy the quirky and unpredictable beauty of emotion and nature in a world where joy is frequently extinguished and creativity discouraged is the beginning of a personal revolution. Providing that experience for others is an act of peace. Allowing even those who have caused harm to earn back the right to love and beauty, along with some very firm and results-oriented corrective education and action, can make an enormous impact. The world turns.

The Equinox reminds us that light and shadow co-exist. There are, I might add, many other colors and spectra visible and invisible as well. It's all here, Now, and we cannot pretend that it doesn't all exist, that it isn't happening, or that any of it makes sense. We cannot know if we will actually change the world, yet we must pretend that we can in order to do what needs to be done. To know that and live with it is a sort of holy madness. Currently, what is dubbed "sane" by many businesses, scientists, religions, and civic authorities seems very insane to me. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. So if "sane" is not the goal for me at this time, then perhaps I will reach out into the Void and grab hold of some holy madness instead. To me, this is one of the definitions of magic- a willingness to come undone, defy convention, and journey into the vastness...then to come back from it transformed, forged, and rendered more wholesome as a being.

Tibetan Buddhists call this "crazy wisdom." I have been working with Milarepa lately, so perhaps this is why I feel Mad as a March Hare today, contemplating the co-existing sorrow of the rape culture dialogue as well as the joy of Spring's first day. When I am honest with myself about it, I see the inevitability of the tension between sorrow and joy for as long as humans endure. And I act as a Warrior, and as an agent of Beauty and Love, Now. Forever. Anyway.

To me, the crazy wisdom thing to do right now is to not allow aversion to take over. The crazy wisdom thing to do is to say, "We are all here together. We all created this mess, now let's all clean it up." The crazy wisdom thing to do right now is to take a stand for good and hold it forever, no matter how many times my foot slips out from under me upon this spinning, hurtling Earth. The crazy wisdom thing to do right now is to enjoy beauty anyway, to be love anyway. The crazy wisdom thing to do right now is to take a moment to be grateful for the blessings that still exist, even amid horror. The crazy wisdom thing is to seek the balance point again and again and again. Not just today, but every day. Forever. Anyway.