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Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Prosecution Rests

We have all faced a great deal of both suffering and joy in our lives. The world of ego is by nature a constantly fluctuating dance of cruelty and beauty. Though we all suffer, each of us carries a unique personal story of how we have been wounded by the very nature of the world created by ego. Yet as Hafiz so eloquently says, "your wounds of love can only heal, when you can forgive this dream."

We can only move beyond identification with "the story of me," which is essentially the story of what has happened to the ego and how it felt about it, when we can forgive the world for being the way it is. And this forgiveness is only possible once we feel that the story of our personal suffering has been heard, understood fully, and met with compassion. We must testify as witnesses for the prosecution, have the world be found guilty, and then decide in our hearts to grant it a full pardon.

Many of us have had experiences of temporary awakening. Each time we thought it would be the ultimate one, that it would last. Yet each time we were eventually pulled back into the world of ego identification. That happens because something is left undone. The ego identity is still being clung to for some specific reason, not just as a general state. That is why some people are able to indeed let go and stay let go. They let go and there is nothing that snaps them back. They are truly done with the story of their ego identity. It no longer holds any power over them, anymore than a movie they once saw does.

When your "story self" feels that he/she has been fully represented, that the criminal called "world" has been exposed, and that he/she is the one who has decided to forgive the world its sins, then it will be able to let go of you. It won't need to keep you carrying around its story, lest it be forgotten and never given its due.

The Trial
Write out the story of your suffering. Start with your earliest memories of childhood and go through your present life. See if you can identify any patterns to your suffering and any beliefs you have come to accept even though they cause you great pain. For example, I have dealt with an anxiety disorder my entire life and as part of that I developed a belief that this world was a very frightening place. I realize it isn't that frightening to everyone, just to people with anxiety disorders. But that doesn't make it any less true for me. So that is a part of the story of suffering that I carried through life, that I was a defenseless being in a terrifyingly violent world. See if you can identify not just the details, but the thematic beliefs of your story. This is necessary before the ego identity whose story it is can feel it has fully been understood.

Once you have written out the 3-10 pages you are likely to wind up with when you are done, find a trusted, loving, and supportive friend and ask him/her to help you with a healing ritual. Since you'll be asking a lot of the person, you may want to present it as a mutual project you are doing together, where they help you one week and then you meet again the next week for you to return the favor to them.

Send the friend your story in advance, with them committing to read it before your meeting, so that you can be sure they have had time to sit with it and fully take it in. Then when you are together, read the story aloud to them, so that you are testifying to them. After you have read the story, ask them if they understand fully or if they have any questions. If they have any questions, answer them as best you can before proceeding.

Ask yourself internally if you are truly ready to release the story of your victimization by ego's world. If you get a "yes," then burn the pages of your story, with your friend as witness. As you watch the pages burn, announce your love and compassion for the person who is being destroyed by the flames of love. Speak whatever words you feel moved to speak, and open your heart with full compassion for the story of suffering that once was your "home" and that will never be seen or heard from again.

Bury or scatter the ashes somewhere outside. That's it. It's over. May he/she rest in peace. Just don't go back to visit the grave.

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