In Purgatory

good-and-evilWhere have I been? What has been going on with me? Why am I not here, writing, regardless of what’s happening, regardless of circumstances? Why am I silent, when I have allowed mySelf to reveal itself in it’s fullest and most exposed way to the world through this blog? Am I fading away from my commitments and intention? Am I disconnected from my higher self and all of my work at deepening my awareness and expanding my consciousness? How the heck am I anyway?

Oh boy. As some of you faithful readers are probably aware over the last few months, since the middle east trip in the spring really, I have been dipping downwards with brief moments of bobbing up to higher ground. I have been feeling the weight of fear, anger and pain building in me as the economy has taken it’s freefall and things have been looking pretty dire for me and my world. I have had to put on a happy face while the fear and anxiety has been building underneath. I have struggled more and more to find that powerful voice in mySelf that knows that I am the creator of my Universe. I have been listening to the fearful, doubting and skeptical voice that leads to the hopeless and despairing voice, yet desperately seeking mySelf, that integrated Self of spirit, mind, body and emotions.

As all this has been smoldering under the surface, I have been supporting Karen and all the people around me to keep looking forward to what will be created on the other side of this hump. I have been playing loose and easy with the attitudes and fears around me, doing my best to ameliorate and abate them, or better yet transform them into powerful interpretations. I had given myself the role of “Attitude Adjuster” and “Keeper of the Faith” as things went haywire. I have done a pretty good job at that role and have been acknowledged for it by Karen and others and I know that it wasn’t a “bad” role, and that it was a necessary one. The only problem was that all the crap that was smoldering down in my basement wasn’t getting looked at by me or anyone else. It just sat down there and mutated and rotted and got more and more sucky. So that in the past few weeks I have felt a little schizophrenic, stuck in this place of “knowing the Truth of what was needed to affirm life and grow my universe” and “knowing the Truth of the life destroying and destructive forces at work to tear my universe apart that were mutating in the basement.” I was evenly pulled by both energies, and still am somewhat, causing me to be not particularly able to “tell the truth” because I felt torn between the two “Truths” so much that I felt I would be out of integrity to tell one or the other. I also felt deeply frightened of telling the destructive “Truth” as it would destroy my Universe as I know it to even tell it. Thought and Word as Prayer and prayer manifested into reality. So I worked very hard in mySelf to not even think about the mutating stinking mess in the basement, even as I kept watching pieces of my Universe be pulled apart. Is this denial? If I am avoiding the painful “Truth” then why is it so painful? If I am stepping into the powerful “Truth” then why is it so painful? The pain, fear, anger and suffering must be living in that purgatory of in between. That place of indecision. That fence walking that has me so close to stepping into either “truth” and yet not. There must be a way to open my consciousness to the “truth” that is mutating in the basement without having it destroy my Universe. There must be a way to know with the certainty of faith and spirit that as I step forward as light into the next moment that I am not in denial of the mutating mass in the basement I am just not at the effect of it, in fact I am somehow the cause of it and that it all is Truly part of the unfolding Sacred Dream of Life.

Sometimes I do wish that as I grow older and wiser that I didn’t also have to create challenges that would make it seem like I am actually growing more ignorant and idiotic.

I don’t think I have made much sense, in this posting, to anyone but mySelf. My intention is to open mySelf up and find a way in to heal and clean out the basement.

13 responses to “In Purgatory

  1. Henry, thank you for this post. I have been going through a similar situation myself. What has been helpful to me is to realize that my Universe is just another set of beliefs that I’m clinging to for dear life, afraid that I am not truly naturally creative, resourceful and whole enough to create another hopefully even better Universe than the one that I’m currently dreaming. (As if my mind will ever stop dreaming!) When I can face my fear and my Truth (which seems to be just honoring what is so in this present moment) things calm down and the way becomes clearer at least until I forget once again that I make up all my responses to my Universe.
    Thanks for having the courage to speak these words out loud. You are not alone. Moving from Purgatory to whatever is next seems to be a lesson many of us are tackling now.

  2. Hi Henry – I don’t know if I make the same sense of this that you do and I do make sense of it. Personally, I don’t buy that looking at the stuff in the basement destroys our universe or that it keeps us from enjoying the house built above it.
    If we LIVE in the basement, peer only out of basement windows, it could have that impact.

    If my basement has a busted pipe in it, I have to look at it. If I don’t, the entire house is subject to mold, bad smells, vermin, collapse.
    If I am willing to go into the basement and “see what is” and “be with it” completely, then I will feel lousy for awhile, but I will be at greater choice as to how I want to be and what I want to do.

    Emotions are processable and transmutable when we are willing to be with them. They move pretty quickly. When we are not willing (for whatever reason) then we hover in purgatory (as you put it). Nothing gets transmuted there, there is no evolution and choices are distorted and limited, if available at all.

    The resistance of focusing on the basement creates a focus on resistance. It would be a lie to assume that we are focusing on the house if we don’t clean up the basement. We’re just focusing on what we don’t want to focus on. The house, meanwhile, is being deprived of some really amazing energy.

    Rage, cry, be a victim for awhile, who cares what it is that takes you there. Don’t let the devil (note, small d) hold you captive.

    All that said, which I own as my own stuff and perspective on it, I really admire you in a very big way for your willingness to reveal the whole of you in your process.

    You and Karen (and Laura) and others along the way created something amazing and fantastic and meaningful to very many people. You’ve changed the world forever, no matter what happens next.

    And what happens next just might knock all of our socks off. Something comes up for me around attachment to outcome when we talk about wanting to pray or intention something in particular. Maybe it opens up more room for surprise, wonder and magic when we pray for courage, willingness and curiosity with a dose of “this or something better.” Then proceed to dance with the Mystery.

    They say if one door closes another opens. Look for the open door. That doesn’t mean we don’t grieve the closing one. Heck, we aren’t even sure how these doors are closing, how far and for how long (if at all really)…none of us knows these days (as if we ever did).

    Being scared, uncertain, angry, sad…it’s all part of a big full life. Someone really amazing taught me that…could it be you?

    Loving you on your journey!

  3. My hero Parker Palmer writes of the neccessity of living in ‘the tragic gap’ – that is, the gap between what is and what could be. Holding the tension of being in that place – and not collapsing into cyncism one way nor idealism the other. ‘We must lead to stand in the tragic gap, faithfully holding the tension between reality and possiblity in hopes of being opened to a third way.’

    And, I was stuck by something else in your posting. We are both the creators of our universe and at the same time we are not. No matter how hard we want to stamp our feet and say we are in control, sometimes we aren’t – the universe is creating something for us, is speaking through us and it doesn’t seem the least bit comprehensible (nor comfortable for that matter!)

    Keep posting, writing, raging, reflecting and staying – in that gap between the two poles, where possiblities for change are endless.

  4. Henry,

    Short and sweet isn’t generally my style, and right now it feels like a good fit.

    You are beating around and around and around a BIG Freaking bush in that basement of yours. I hear and feel HUGE FEAR/CONCERN here…. stop wallowing in whatever is true for you right now….and just toss it out there to be dealt with.

    FREE YOURSELF Damn it! (even if THIS is not the place in which to do it) BE the leader that you ARE.

    Calling You Forth with Love,

  5. Ahhhhh, Henry, it’s hell being human some days, isn’t it? I “hear” you feeling the weight of the world on your big shoulders. I didn’t know you had signed up for that job…carrying the ills of the world…in fact, I thought that job was taken. What do you know to REALLY be the truth?

    You are indeed our brilliant light…and so am I, and so is Beth and Sheila and Karen and, and, and, and… You are not alone.

  6. Hello dear Henry,

    Gosh, that would be a hard task for anyone, to have a basement filled with stinking mess and to go through your life “having to put on a happy face”, while in reality you’re fearful. The metaphor you use paints such a clear picture, yet leaves me so confused. Your write about seeking yourSelf, the integrated you, yet you exclude your basement from yourSelf. Isn’t YourSelf the House, basement and all? What makes you think you “have” to put on a happy face and what’s lurking down there that has you in doubt and fearful and keeps you from integrating all pieces of your House/yourSelf? I’d love to see you open the basement door to let the light and air of yourSelf illuminate every dark and musty corner. Instead of trying not to let yourSelf think about the mess, make the basement part of You, your House, and watch the mess disappear. Because whatever the crap is you’re dealing with, I know it won’t be able to survive in the light of You. What if opening your consciousness IS the way to not having the mess destroy your Universe?

    Time for a thorough Fall cleaning!


  7. Hi Henry — thanks for this post. I get it, in oh-so-many ways; I hear you, I feel your angst, your confusion, your longing. And I can totally relate. What I know for sure is that we do ourselves a grave injustice when we subscribe to the “if I look at something it will destroy/consume me” idea. It’s a mis-interpretation of the law of attraction. Looking at something, no matter how dark or scary, allows us to choose what to do with it. When we don’t look at it, it sits there, begging to be seen. So go ahead, look, explore, purge if need be — you decide. That’s my take (as someone who’s looking at a LOT of things right now). Big hugs Henry — you know I love you 🙂


  8. Henry,

    Another perspective/2 more cents: Your soul is learing….and stretching….and growing. There are lessons in that stinky basement for you. Lessons that YOU yourself have chosen for this lifetime. (dont you just hate that we dont generally get to hold that info in our conscious minds!) And, as you’ve chosen these lessons carefully for yourself (YES you DID!)….TRUST that you are indeed on your path! You always are….unless you are not….and if you are not, it will be VERY clear.

    Mull this over from any and every idea, philosophy, theory etc……and it will still boil down to soul growth my friend.

    Ask yourself what are you learning…and how have your grown from it.

    Sounds fairly simple….. NOT! 🙂 True soul growth/evolution is not generally simple my friend. Know that when it feels the hardest….your soul is advancing marvelously! So YEAH YOU for your magnificent strength in your willingness to wade around the STANK of your basement!


  9. Hi Henry,

    FWIW, it looked to me like you had the makings of a psychological compost energy generation system there in the basement. Maybe instead of looking to flush it you could wonder in the direction of, have I got anything I can power up with this shit?

    Seven-up dude!

  10. So Henry – I really like what Leann is suggesting here. I am in the camp of believing that before we are born we choose our path completely seeing the struggles we will encounter. And, we say “yes.” We say Yes with a clarity that is pure and knowing. And then we are born and forget it all! Is this a sneaky little trick by God? Or is it magic?

    When we come from this place of “knowing” we chose… then life truly becomes this fabulous, wonderful, and excited lens of “Wow, what is this shit”? What is here for me. Fear and suffering is released in this “Knowing.” It can’t be bad – we chose it in our fully awakened consciousness! There is no wrong. There just is. And we forget and falter and get scared. And the grounding in the moment can most often remind us of the truth that there is nothing else but this one moment we are standing in now. So, that supports are actions forward..moment to moment to moment.

    Of course, this sounds all weird, absurd, hocus pocus to many folks when we speak these ideas. It is through our spiritual practice that we learn this..right? And, this is what I want to share with those I encounter. OK – tangent going has happened!

    Back to you… I loved what Kathy said about who she learned from…could it be you..

    It makes me feel so connected to you knowing you are NOT the guru, yet you are/were my teacher and will remain so. Teachers come into our lives when we need them and they are simply there to reflect back to us our own “Buddha Nature” or “Christ Consciousness.” You do this. Thank you.


  11. Hello yet again Henry,

    Read Sheila’s post above AGAIN. And perhaps AGAIN. I know it to be true…and without concern around anyone viewing this knowledge (of our soul’s choosing our lessons for each lifetime in advance) as weird. How IRONIC that YOU were involved in the lessons that taught me to stand strong in who I am and NOT be held back by what other’s think. (no mistakes in the universe buddy!)

    I also LOVE TP’s idea around “what can I power up with this shit?” Again….learning to power up even with shit, especially with shit….is SOUL GROWTH!

    Hope you are really struggling down there in the basement and finding lots of juicy shit! (eeeew. LOL)

    GROW Your Soul Baby! Struggle in that shit….then come out smelling like a rose!!

    Huge shitty hugs to you, (aka… I am with you in spirit)

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