Letting go of ‘God’

I wrote this poem some time ago. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes for sure, and may even cause some offense; though none is meant.

It was an exercise in letting go of the idea of God that I had grown up with, in order to be free of that and move on in my spiritual journey as a human being to places more real, and less self-projected. I realise this is a ‘stage in faith’ or maturing process that a lot of people will recognise for themselves; when we grow up we’ve all gotta find our own way of making sense of things that is not the hollow inherited received wisdom of our childhood authority figures. There’s nothing unique to me about that. But my need to let go of a certain idea of a God was a strong one when it came. And so I wrote…

Our Father, who art in jamjar
Hollow is your name
Thy kingdom undone, thy will uncome
In thought, as it is in reality
I give you today your jamjar
I forgive you your trespasses
Even though you don’t forgive or forget
No longer led along by your injunctions,
I am delivered from your evil
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory of being alive
That were never mine to feel
Are now mine to feel
For the rest of my years lived free from the fear of you.

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Favourite negative behaviours

So, working on my own anger, greed and ignorance. The essence of Buddhism. The path to a life that is free. Well, here we go, for my first time. Here is a list of favourite things I do – favourite habits of the ego. Things I run towards when I want to run away from pain; things that only serve to drive the pain deeper, or add more on top.

We all have things like this, and as Pema Chodron has talked about, the point is to ‘sit with’ these things as they arise; not judging them, and holding ourselves and our issues with compassion. Compassion and trust engendering a wish to surpass (but not transcend), to snuff out, these patterns.

Here’s my first attempt at a list.

Things feel unfair – comfort food: chocolate, pizza, ice cream, chips, burgers
At my wits end with other people or with work – alcohol
I deserve a happier life – alcohol
A sense of inability to control life, or life feels out of control – jerk off
Large negative drama, invites a sense of ‘my life is hard’ – smoke cigarettes
I must have to be perfect to get into Heaven and be liked and accepted – meditation, followed by I don’t have to be perfect.
I don’t have to be perfect – smoke cigarettes, wear bandana, play loud music, heavy drinking…or meditation
I’m not smoking cigarettes – I must have to be perfect
Someone else is ‘not OK’ – fix them through the demonstration of my amazing spiritual insight

Someone else thinks I’m not OK – can go two ways. Sometimes I stand up. Othertimes I believe them.
I’m one of the cool interesting deep people, rooted to the earth and creative and so on – smoke roll ups (specifically roll ups)
I get blanked, or I’m in a social situation where I can’t read the signs easily – plan my own suicide (largely overcome)

Oh heck there’s probably a few more but this is a start. And there’s probably deeper layers too in terms of what triggers what.

What’s interesting is that this list isn’t even very original! So the idea that this is my unique sh*t, supporting my own unique self, is also rubbish. There’s very little unique stuff here. Just repetitive, slightly self-destructive always, patterns persisting through time. Always taking me deeper into the negative emotions and further away from what I really want to achieve!

You mean I gotta be aware of all that and love myself when i see myself doing it and extend out a wish to overcome these habits? Oh boy. You mean other people won’t be able to sort out theirs quite so easily if I don’t sort out mine first? Noooo pressure then. Oh yeah. Without effort. Jesus H Christ.

Well here goes. Wish me luck 🙂

(I’d like to credit Pema Chodron and my buddy CH for inspiring this exercise.)