Thursday, December 15, 2005

"Got a minute?"

It started before we returned from the overnight trip to the coast. There was a message on the answering machine trying to schedule a meeting of the Defensive Tactics instructors. The training unit called, adding another class to my schedule. I had to call them to confirm a rumor that another class had been cancelled.

Arriving at work, not even officially there yet, just early as usual, "Sarge you got a minute?" Tactical team stuff- reassignment of radio call signs, scheduling training time at a facility, "Oh, by the way, you need to write the test questions for the Oral Boards and the lieutenant needs them tomorrow morning." "Got a minute? That class last week was awesome..." "Got a minute? We got a combative paranoid schizophrenic needs to go to the hole. Won't get it done on our shift, can you take care of it? Most of the paperwork is done." "Good to see you, buddy, what's you do, take a day off? Where'd you go? How's the family? Really could have used you yesterday, the west end went to hell in a hand basket..."

At a different time it might have been flattering or ego stroking- people rely on me, people I like and respect like and respect me. I love being useful... but people make me tired. Civilization makes me tired.

Before I got all grown up, before the obligations of work and family, I avoided people for the most part. I would spend long hours alone in the desert or on a mountain. It wasn't introspective in the slightest. Solitude was never about brooding, it was about opening.

Mac talks about acheiving a level of pure intention, when what should be, what you will simply is. It is a state of purity that he wants to lead me towards.

My natural state, my personal purity is to be in a state of pure awareness where there is no step between sensation and action, no conscious thought filtering myself from the world. I've spent days in this state without a word sounding in my mind, smelling and moving to water without once thinking of 'water' or 'thirst' drinking with nothing in my mind but the sensation of sunlight and water and muscles and air and rock.

Once long ago there was a period of ten days where I was able to maintain this state around people, able to perceive and act and even talk without conscious thought. It is almost impossible to acheive and probably impossible to maintain since all of civilization is about explaining things. That's what talking and communication and laws and almost all human interaction, even sex and violence boil down to. Sometimes there is an exception for violence, sometimes there is an ambush and you can slip the leash with no though of consequence or meaning; just perceive and act without filters or questions. There is probably an equivalent primal sex, no meaning beyond the physical moment, pure sensation... but I have a hard time imagining two people simultaneously being able to do this without issues of emotion and esteem and love and meaning, without thinking of either the future or the past.

This is my purity. It probably stems from the opposite end of Mac's perfect intention. Perhaps mine is physical, his spiritual; animal versus godly; low versus high.

It's been a very long time since I wandered off for long enough to empty the civilization out of my brain. Let go of all of the voices asking if I "Got a minute?" Part of me is pretty sure I wouldn't bother to return.

1 comment:

Mac said...

You're right - pure intention is the opposite flip of the coin from pure awareness, but one comes from the other, the other expresses the one. And it is not impossible, not even hard (if it was hard, it wouldn't be pure) and, once achieved, it never leaves. Pure awareness expressed through pure intention. Give yourself permission to experience and maintain. The saying goes, "established in being, perform action". This means that we still feel joy, grief, exhaustion, anger, sadness, the joy of combat, ego, lust, pride - it's simply human. But, etablished in Being, in pure awareness means never losing ourselves to the small, to limited options, to being overwhelmed by the moment, the task or the interaction, of maintaining a state of bliss (I hate that word - so pretentious - better to say it's more like living the Snoopy dance 24/7) no matter what else is going on. The Witness without being withdrawn, pure subjectivity without total disdain; full involvement in every tiny detail of life without while being fully uninvolved. Awareness. It's pretty easy - too easy for those who seek the complex, 'meaningful' answer that fits their either limited world view, or future preconceptions.