I remember walking down Sunset Boulevard with Jay B during his visit to Los Angeles, trying to explain to him the problem that I had with Evangelical Christianity. I remember telling him that the tools for ‘Evangelical Explosion’ involved two questions where the first answer was that we were all horrible sinners and could not save ourselves. I said, ‘What a horrible place to start a philosophy’.
But upon studying consciousness through the book ‘Power vs. Force’ by Dr. David Hawkins, I found an explanation that made it a more understandable beginning. The framework of Dr. Hawkins’ research into consciousness is based upon the idea that there are various levels of consciousness pertaining to how much Absolute Truth was present. For instance, Enlightenment or Christ/Buddha Consciousness is at 1000. Below that are Peace, Joy, Love, Reason, Acceptance, Courage, Pride, Anger, Desire, Grief, Apathy, Guilt, and Shame.
Shame is completely devoid of Truth because it builds upon the negative aspects of the notion that we have fallen short of the glory of God. Finding that this statement is not a negative connotation involves directing your consciousness to release yourself from guilt and move up the scale of consciousness to a healthier presence of mind.
When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they felt Shame. This was the first emotion felt by humankind upon its fall from grace.
This is the state I am in whenever I fall short of what I believe to be expected of me. This is where I am whenever I consider the ramifications of my tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol abuse. This is where I am whenever I consider my sexual impurities. This is where I am when I think of all of the people I have let down in my life. This is where I am when I revisit the past in the chariot of remorse.
Guilt is at a little higher state than shame, but not much.
Adam and Eve apparently pissed God off something fierce because they racked up some major bad karma, were kicked out of the Garden and were forced to work by the sweat of their brow, and were finally able to understand this notion of pain that the Snake failed to allude to when he was digging his fangs into the Fruit. They felt pretty bad about the whole thing.
Rising a bit out of my shame, this is where I begin to truly feel the implications of my wrongdoing. Where I at least have enough self esteem to know that I have hurt others by my actions, and more so hurt myself. It is still a state of paralysis in large part, and the reality it incurs does not offer much positive energy to move forward.
This is where Adam says, “Well, here I am out in the forest. I might as well build a shelter. I’ve got nothing better to do.”
After being pummeled with Shame and spending an exorbitant amount of time dwelling in Guilt, there is a subtle desire to get out of bed and start the day anew, but not so much of a push that the covers are quite thrown off. This is where I stare at the ceiling or floor or layer of dust on the counter and just don’t care that it is there.
Adam shrieks, “It’s colder out here, and this stupid shelter that took me hours to build is leaking rain on my forehead. I can’t sleep because my faux pas is bringing the Apocalypse. To top it all off, my girlfriend left me for a lesbian from the other garden, and my vegetarian son just killed my butcher son. I just want to crawl up in my new body and die.”
Rolling into the fetal position, I curse God for the life He has granted me and can barely fathom a way to recoup all that I have lost due to my wicked ways and foolish tendencies. In an inexhaustible resource of pain that tears at the heart and, coupled with the foolishness it exhibits, has a good likeliness to push one back down into Shame.
Tired of the torment, Adam raises his head and says to himself, “You know what I need? A bigger house. And maybe my own garden right over there.All this thinking is making me thirsty, I could go for some milk. Actually, you know what I want now? A cold, frosty beer. Ooh, served by a really hot waitress who looks better than that bitch with the taste for ribs.”
Once Grief is overcome and the bedsheets are kicked off, I get the strange compulsion to want more for my future. Though I have been ravaged in the valley of the shadow of death, I want more for myself than the life that I have led thus far. The sun rises over the horizon and I long to bask in it.
Though Adam has seen the glimmer of light at the edge of the cloud, he reflects on what caused his former demise. “I can’t believe I let her get me into this mess. ‘Just try it,’ she says! That’s it! Everybody on this whole damn planet can just go to hell! My ex! Her lesbo lover! Every single one of these raccoons, and badgers, and bears, and sharks, and tigers, and snakes! Oh, don’t even get me started on those snakes! I shouldn’t have given him such a cool name.”
The shadows of the valley, the specters of Shame, Guilt, and Grief wash over me, and an internal rage grows in my belly, causing me to at once hate myself, and at the same time grow into a staunch resiliency against the life that has plagued me.
As Anger subsides, Adam puts his nose to the proverbial grindstone. “Here I gotta work all day and stub my toe. I’m better than this. I’m smart. I’m good-looking. I’m educated. Well, at least I got that whole Knowledge of Good and Evil thing going for me. I’m quite a catch. Yeah, that’s right. I’m a bad mamma jamma.”
I deserve more than this, I say to myself. I’m better than I’ve thought that I am. I rise out of bed and look at the looming figure in the mirror, finding what I can of the man I think I can be, and claiming that it is me. I shower. I shave. I dress a little less shabbily than I have allowed myself to in the past.
Adam tears off his loincloth and bellows, “It’s time I did something about it. I know it’ll be tough, what with God’s boot print on my butt and having to go it all alone now. But I think I can do it.”
I grab my pack and move toward the door. Though I only have a few elements tucked away, I know that the tools I have will be enough to help me through whatever I must face. This is the point of no return. I will try to better my existence.
Stepping out on his new path, Adam consoles himself, “Then again, I’m beginning to get used to the arrangement I’ve got here. Sure, it’s still cold, damp, and lonely, but it’s got a certain charm. Whatever. I’ll think about it later.”
But even if I don’t succeed, I will still go on. My breath comes in. My breath goes out. I do not care about success so much as I care about the experience of trying. Whatever may come, I go.
Adam decides there is no turning back. “You know, on second thought, I should do something about my situation here. This place has got plenty of stuff to cultivate and enjoy.”
The elements that I started with begin to morph into new opportunities. The tool that I brought for a specific purpose has found a new use, and I find the fortitude to wield it with as much dexterity as I can muster.
Adam shrugs his shoulders. “Yup. There’s a few things I’ve got to take care of. But my, just sitting back for a moment and taking the whole place in… Once you start to like it, there’s a bit of reminiscence of the Garden.”
Yes, this is life. I have found purpose in the tasks that I fulfill and the people whom share them with me. I realize that getting out of bed and utilizing the power of Courage and Willingness have granted me great opportunities, and accept them with open arms.
With a bit more swagger in his step, Adam chimes, “Now I’m starting to get it. That boot mark on my butt has healed up and I suddenly don’t feel so far from home. As a matter of fact, I can smell the home fires burning.”
I have indeed found Purpose. The realization of my every breath grants me appreciation of life in total. I was not meant to dwell in the valley of shame, but am daily growing into a greater and greater awareness of what this life really means. From the actions to which my hands are placed to the words of acceptance that pass through my lips, I see the reaction I have on the world.
Finding spring in every step, Adam sings, “This is a great place to live.”
As smiles burst from those in my company, I am inbued with a stronger sense of meaning and purpose, to truly feel the exhilaration of other people’s happiness. For by my own Courage, Willingness, and Acceptance, I have realized that I can have a lasting impact on those who share my company and those who are, in turn, touched by them. Love really is a many splendid thing. .0
This is unspeakable.
My very being is all I ask.