Finally got around to watching the “I Am” movie on Netflicks. I was going to do a workout and wanted something on in the background. I completed the workout … and then sat and completed the documentary, how could I not? And I’m not going to lie to you, I was crying throughout, by the end I was sobbing. Yup, all out sobbing. And I was burying my head down a bit in shame as the tears fell.
Why shame? Well, because I’m guilty as charged. In this neighbourhood I live in, surround by affluence, I’m sometimes quietly embarrassed when people drop their kids off or pick them up in our house. We aren’t rich (this is a comparable term, I know). It’s a drab little building, aluminium siding, wooden steps and things that need some paint. It’s not perfect. It’s not a mansion like others around here. And when I come up putting the keys in the door I often think of the perfect home just around the corner, just a lottery ticket away.
I was crying because as much as I know everything in this documentary, I’ve read the same books, had the same conversations, I’ve espoused it to people in conversations at coffee shops and dinner tables, I STILL don’t fully live it. I’m 41, this is getting kinda embarrassing. I read it, or hear it, or see it, and nod in approval or have my heart vibrate in connection to “truth”. I KNOW THIS message, in a ton of incarnations. How then do I not live it? Why then do I not walk into towards my front door and think, THIS is my castle, inside this place and wherever we happen to be IS the castle? Claire and Amanda and whoever else we’re dragging along at the time? In some capacity it has to be an insult to “God”, and that’s why I was sobbing and whispering “sorry”. Because I am.
Rumi and Coleman Barks. Those two do it to me every time. “The words that were spoken to the rose that opens it up are the same that were spoken in my chest.” I was grinning-sobbing from ear to ear on that one. Total complete truth. And of course the whole “heart science” was fascinating and brought about a stream of “yes” and more fighting back the tears of recognition. That our hearts give out measurable electronic fields of energy, out of bodies, to the things around us, to each other, to the universe. UNI-verse … one song. Anyway, yes, that we send out different energy signals depending on our heart’s state and we receive signals from others that effect our state. Our mind REACTS to this REALITY in our hearts. NOT the other way around. The two are interrelated to be sure, but the heart knows and is so connected to so much more, its more than reality, it is all. Thus my love for that scene in the Matrix after Neo dies he is kissed and it is true love, the heart, that awakens him to his full power. It must be why I’ve always loved romance stories/films, it’s the most obvious and outward acceptance of the HEART as a driving force for life, for decisions, for just DOING the right thing eventually and submitting into love, into this connection, this pull.
And the film does a great job of explaining the insanity of which we’ve chosen to live in our world. The mind. The ego. The stuff. Economy over all. Fight of the fittest. Competition. You reap what you sow, so that’s that for the poor, etc. I think the best example of that was the guy who talked about us wanting to make our world about machines. That a machine can be broken down, taken fully apart, piece by piece, and then put back together again and it works just like new, the exact same. But if we were to extend that to the living thing, the dog in the films’ example, take the dog entirely apart piece by piece and then stitch it back together again … well, life does not come back. That there is something about life that is different from machines. So to base our LIVES on machines, on the mechanisms of commerce and economics, is indeed a transgression.
And I sobbed because I buy into this transgression time and time again. I want stuff. I want my apple devices to be the latest … why? Because they look so rewarding the commercials. but what are they doing in those commercials? Living. Creating. Being involved with people. In relationships with living things and the apple device is but a tool on the side of those relationships. Is music in the instrument or in the person? Jimi Hendrix is the creator not the guitar ablaze and ruined in front of him. Performance art indeed!
So I read a book and I go “a-ah”. I get it. I get some tingles. I recognize what my body and heart are telling me “truth!”. Love and compassion and interconnectedness etc and so on. And then I sock it away and move on about my life in comparison, wishing for something else. I waste time on bullshit and never being present. In short, i have no practice to make this “truth” action. Should the goal not be to re-watch that film at 82 years old and not sob in shame once again? Shouldn’t I hope to have initiated a practice that turns more of that knowledge into action? Into prayer. Into meditation. Into being with others. Into being a better father who takes his family out into the world to be with nature and “one”, into real culture, as opposed to rushing around for things and consumption?
I think what I’m going to try to do is a small step that I know. Tobacco. Giving thanks. That small small thing, to humble myself, to remind myself, “mind, ego, “shane”, you are not in charge here, you do not matter here, heartsong, please, sing a verse.” Every day. Small step or prayer. Like stretching, tearing away the tissue that’s fused together from inaction, to crack open the rocks that’ve pile up around the heart so to speak. And to do that with you, Claire and your Mom, and just start a daily welcome to the world practice that is merely about Hallelujah. If I’m not teaching you that, what am I teaching you?