The combination of processing my vasanas, patterns, and interests and exporting these gains to the outside (by interacting with people rather than fleeing from them) is revealing things to me.
For instance, this morning, I re-connected with my happy self. I was about to shave and I remembered my Christmas as a shaving-cream Santa.
In that instant, I recognized my sense of humor and my love of laughter, long left in the dark.
Glee, connection, and a love of sharing is arising in me. I’ve utterly neglected my happy side all the years I lived in dismay and dejection. My predominant mood then was gloomy, not happy.
I’ve mentioned how I used to awaken each day feeling dismayed. “Am I still here?” I’d say to myself, thinking about life with my Dad.
My happiness would surface on rare occasions, but so often I ignored it by concluding that its appearances were aberrational.
Given that I created so much in my lifetime, you’d wonder how a person mired in gloom could do it and be optimistic at the same time.
If I were to ask Michael, I bet he’d say: The spirit is irrepressible. It can make itself felt through the thickest of fogs. And the nature of the times empowers that spirit to make itself felt all the more. And I’ve been feeling the inner push of the spirit.
It’s as if my happy side was in jail until now. From time to time someone would take notice of it, perhaps pass it a scrap of food (affirmation, usually perfunctory). I the personality was too mired in gloom to take serious notice of my imprisoned happy self.
But now that I’ve cleared my field of awareness of at least some vasanas, the space is there for things to arise. Consequently, my awareness has sharpened. My interest in life has increased. My adventurousness has as well: Instead of guarding my space at a coffeehouse, I’m now a welcoming presence. Total about-turn.
We might feel disappointed that space itself lacks bliss. Let me address that if you would.
I credit the existence of space as playing a critical role in causing what arises to arise.
Without clearing my mind of vasanas, it’s as if I’m producing smoke that fills up the room. There’s no breathing space.
When the smoke has cleared, what we’re left with is pure air, which was always-already there.
When space arose in my quiet mind, I felt neutral and normal. I didn’t feel blissful.
Bliss arose later. Space is just space and not inherently blissful, but bliss does arise in it, like a guest entering the house; like the wind finding any crack to enter the building. Bliss will not arise in the mind in which there is no space.
Space actually exists unto itself, outside our minds. But our minds are too busy to notice it.
I filled up my mind with worries, hopes, and fear so that I had no awareness of space.
That doesn’t change space itself. It only blocks me off from any of the good things that arise in it – like love, bliss, and peace – when I still my mind. (1)
As long as one is in gloom, however, even if one stumbles upon space and it lacks bliss, one might ignore it as I ignored my happy side all these years.
I think there are people who pass their entire lives in gloom, relying on medications and professional help where, if they processed their vasanas, they might get at the root of the problem.
(1) Through eradicating vasanas and patterns and raising interests to awareness.